DM only - items question

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Are the three artifacts meant to be PC useable? Everything goes on about how evil they are...
I think that they are wonderful roleplaying opportunities if used correctly. The sword tempts you to be chaotic. The scroll prods you to unlawfulness. If you are running the adventure you know why this is the case. If you are the DM, you have the choice to let them players use them as generic magic items of the type they are or allow the player to expand them into more. If you know that some of your players will not be able to have a good time with other players utilizing the items in a nonfriendly way, put the brakes on the evilness. I will be using all three and will be having to make a choice about their fate at the end of the adventure.
If you're doing the module in 4E, I would strongly recommend allowing the PCs to use the items. The progression in 4E assumes magic items of relevant power level to the PCs, and there are damn few in the module; removing them represents a power drop that might be fatal for non-optimized parties. Granted, this season the players are only advancing three levels so the differences are less pronounced than last season where they leveled every session, but still...

If you're going for D&D Next, you can take or leave the items. Magic items are not calculated into the advancement scheme of Next, and the monsters and challenges are scaled to be doable regardless of magic items held by the group. In this case, I would let the players work it out amongst themselves - evil items should represent a quick and easy rise to power, but all of the items carry a price to use their advantages.

The three artifacts are definitely meant to be used. As I've said in other threads, if you are running 4e and feel like the players are underpowered, use the Inherent Bonus rule that says all PCs get a +1 on all attack and damage rolls at level 2, doing an extra 1d6 on a critical hit. There are magic items available other than those three artifacts as well. Feel free to add any magic items you want to the adventure--I don't think they are needed, but as a DM you want your players to have fun, so if getting magic items is a requirement for them to have fun, then there you go.

Thanks to all the DMs and players!
Thanks folks.
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