Magic Item Creation: Nurturing

Blogger Zero XP Adventures talked about his ideas concerning magic item creation. He suggested that an item should require a bearer to adventure with it for some time to awaken its power before it could be actually used. I’m still having problems replying to Blogger, so here’s my input.

I like the fact that the weapon (or any magic item) must be carried to attain its power. Almost like the enchantment is just the birth and the PC must raise the magic item like a child, bathing it in the blood of his enemies (or the up-swelling of human development, if you like). You could say that the magic item needs to be in the presence of a certain amount of XP (it doesn’t take a share or anything, you just need to gain that amount) before it’s fully activated. That would reduce the rate of magic item creation and make it so you can relax the magic item creation costs in XP and/or GP. It also prevents someone who has a stash of money from just sitting in a cave and churning out magic items for sale like a vending machine left plugged-in.

Making the bearer gain 1 XP per full GP value of the item seems appropriate. And you can’t nurture more than one fresh magic item at a time. If you do, you have to choose which one bathed in the XP anytime you gain some.

I don’t necessarily see the connection between, say, Boots of Striding and Springing and fighting XP. It would make more sense to require a certain amount of travel on foot for that item to awaken. But I think it’s probably easier to balance an XP gain requirement in general.

What to do about potions and scrolls? Are they low-power enough and boring enough that you can just make them and pay the costs? I think so.

I like the idea of a magic weapon continuing to advance (as in, you make a +1 Sword and nurture it to fruition but then it continues growing after that), but maybe at a slower rate once it hits its basic awakening. Or maybe you need to accomplish some great deed with it to birth a new ability in it which must then be nurtured through more XP bathing. It’s like how Philotomy (Session 4, second to last paragraph) promoted a zero-level NPC to 1st level Fighter because of how well he had distinguished himself in battle. Was the weapon always something special and just wasn’t appreciated fully? Or did it “level up” and grow into its new status as a result of the great deed?

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