Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DM Advice - Crystal Slotted Weapons


The Friday night Dragonlance game came upon a treasure trove of items near an ancient monastery that was held by ogres and a race of grey skinned humans (not drow). The gray-skinned humans were the descendants of the empire of Ishtar and the monastery was dedicated to the Kingpriest. After a battle with the guardians in which the heroes learn that they have been tricked and the ogre and the descendants are scapegoats for a necromancer who lives in a nearby tower. It is the necromancer who is using magic to make his undead henchmen appear like the descendants of Ishtar to defile and murder the farmers on the lands.

The necromancer is named H’annath and he is a member of the Black Robe wizard guild. His accomplice is an Inquisitor of Nutari who delights in torturing his victims. The heroes found the place where the necromancer would call upon the undead in a nearby tomb and after a long battle with the undead it came time for treasure.

As I had not expected the players to get so far into the campaign I decided to reward them highly with specialized items. Within an ancient alcove hidden to all but the elves they found a weapons locker. Inside they each found one item of the type of weapon that they currently possessed. An inscription of the weapons and their uses decorated the inside of the chamber. The weapons were carved with intricate runes and had gilded hilts with crystalline threads. Each hilt also contained a number of small holes when examined and compared to the writings on the wall were found to be slots that would hold crystals containing magical properties.

In addition to being able to confer a magical bonus from a gem within the hilt of the weapon each character is also able to learn the true name of the weapon and weave threads to the weapon granting it a permanent bonus when in the hands of the character that weaved the thread. This is a bit of an Earthdawn characteristic I added to give the items some truly legendary properties. In this way the party is able to have weapons that will probably stay with them throughout their adventuring career while being able to change them even on the fly and still limit the power based on the level of the character as is necessary in a level-based game.  I randomly rolled to determine the number of slots each weapon possessed for each player with a minimum of two slots.

Here are the rules I came up with for the crystal slotted weapons.



Item True Name: _____________________________________________________

Item Type: __________________________________________________________

Current Configuration
Slot
Total Item Bonus
Crystal Magic Properties
Threads
1




2




3




4




Rules
Reserve Crystals
Attuning a crystal costs the same as it would to purchase the magical effect normally for the weapon type as per weapon bonus +1/+2 etc. plus 100 times the total number of crystals the character owns.
Changing an attuned crystal is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
Reserve crystals – a character may have a maximum of five crystals in reserve at any time.











Threads – a character may spend an action point per item enhancement bonus and a full day threading to the weapon. Each thread weaved grants the item a permanent effect equal to the type of crystal spend. This effect only works in the hands of the character. Any crystal that is used in threading is automatically destroyed. The first thread is learning the true name of the item and the second thread is granting it a +1 enhancement bonus.

Crystal Slotted Item Characteristics
Level of PC Required
Total Item Bonus Permitted
Max bonus of one crystal
Max Threads
Max Thread Type
2-3
+1
+1
2
True Name, +1 Bonus
4-5
+2
+1
3
+1 Bonus
6-7
+3
+2
4
+2 Bonus
8-9
+4
+3
5
+2 Bonus
10-12
+5
+4
6
+3 Bonus
12+
+6
+4
7
+3 Bonus


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