Player-Endowed Magic Items as Assets

      Player-Endowed Magic Items as Assets

      After our exciting game last Sunday, one of my players (who happens to have the Magic Ritual of Endowment), wanted to ask a few questions pertaining to the fact that he and another of the players who's character also possess such mystic skill have been more and more tempted to create numerous magically endowed (enchanted) items to support various upcoming campaign challenges.

      I am always happy to see my players come up with unique and cool ways for their characters to enchant items such that they offer various in-game bonuses and cool effects. I have seen my players come up with amulets that offer protections against demons and other such hideous foes, crystal swords imbued with magical sharpness and strength against their enemies, clear lenses endowed with the power to see through mystic disguises and to detect the unholy taint of the Swirling Hells, a feather from a fellow Paksin that was endowed with the power to help them find their lost friend by floating toward him on the wind, vials containing carefully-mixed potions that restore Vigor, enchanted chimes that when rung drive out into the open evil spirits, even earrings that allow the wearer to understand foreign tongues, etc.... All of them with varying degrees of success and longevity...

      I love this stuff! And so do my players, it seems... :D

      However, there can come a time when, enticed by need and the growth of one's character's skills, players may want to start "mass producing" such magical objects as time within the game permits... Although the rituals required to create such objects are certainly time-constraining to some extent, that doesn't change the fact that, with enough resources and weeks of game-time between adventures, those with the talent to do so might be able to setup a veritable "magic item sweat-shop" in an attempt to pump out powerful artifacts...

      Now,....I've never actually had this happen in my game to the extent that it caused imbalance, but if one of my own players comes up to me to essentially warn me of the potential, then I feel it makes sense for me to address it here, and offer a suggestion for those new GMs out there wanting to nip this possible problem in the bud.... :P

      What my player (Yishai) wanted to know was whether the rules to Assets described as part of Advantages applied to player-generated magical objects once the game had begun,...stating that if they did it would make a lot more sense pertaining to the apparent relative rarity of such objects in the game-world. He noted that, according to the rules listed in the Assets Value Table and the Sample Assets table, to possess a magical artifact that was useful 25% of the time, and that was also of amazing value (meaning of value to the game's storyline, not simple monetary value) would cost the character 9 Character Points.

      Though this cost represents such an item being given to the character during Character Creation, that same cost (represented by Story Points) would be applied if a player wanted to have their character gain such an Asset anytime during the game as well. I had certainly applied that logic to other assets (such as a small sky-skiff that the players wanted to find and make use of later in the game), but had totally not bothered to apply that same logic when they had begun to generate magic objects of their own using their rituals... It had never really gotten out of control in my game,...but it easily could have... And so I will be applying these rules from now on, just to keep things nice and balanced...

      Luckily this won't be too rough on the players, since, after all, when these items are eventually lost, destroyed, or lose their power over time (which they always do), the points paid to have those Assets always revert back to the player who created it for themselves (or others)...at which time they can choose to use the points to make some other object, or spend them in any way they wish! This will just make players think a bit more carefully before they just start making magic objects "willy-nilly"...

      So, as an example,...my players recently journeyed to Klinráh, where all kinds of intrigues could happen right before their eyes to which they would never be privy since none of them are even capable of understanding the special language of High Klin (much of which consists of sounds they can't even hear). One of my players wished to create those earrings I spoke of earlier, which would allow the wearer to magically "hear" the meaning of the words in their own minds when listening to one of the bats of Klinráh speak around them, simply by making a successful Essence Roll (not too easy, for some of them, but better than nothing, and full of all sorts comedy when they Fumble the roll from time to time)... Assuming that the Klin would normally attempt to speak the common tongue spoken by the characters (Tishíni), such a magic item would only be truly useful about 25% of the time during the days the enchantment would last, and since the use of such an item would be of moderate value considering the nature of what they were talking to the Klin about in most situations (rarely finding that they needed to know the difference between what their hosts were saying to one another, and what was being said to them in the case of these discussions), I would have imagined that the cost of each of the little earrings would be about 2 Story Points to have and use one, meaning that to create six of them, either the Mage who created them would need to expend 12 Story Points, or each of the six characters who got to benefit from them would need to expend 2 points each,...getting those Story Points back once the magic that powered the earrings came to an end...

      Using this logic for future enchanted items (or in fact ANY thing created by or summoned by magic or otherwise meant to hang around and benefit the character for awhile), it'll certainly make these creations more meaningful in the game. I just can't wait to see what my players are going to try to magically create next....

      Scottie ^^