Design Diary 10

Magic Items, Pt II - Everything Else

I just finished the magic items (phew). There's not a whole lot to say concerning everything besides weapons and armor. I did forget to talk about armor in the last entry, so I'll rectify that now.

Firstly, the mastercraft rules were put into place to augment armor - it's a way for PCs to boost their Armor Class a little higher without spending a fortune on enhancement. Since mastercraft bonuses are set once the item is made, it's pretty well balanced.

Second (and more importantly), bracers of armor are gone. I'll give you a moment to scream, curse my name, and say "WTF?".

Still with me? Good. The reason behind this change was twofold: the cap for bracers' enhancement bonus is +8 instead of +5, so they follow a really wonky price progression; and despite the bracers slot being for "battle items", it didn't really make sense for a protective item (which occupy the chest slot) to be bracers. So… you can now enchant finely made clothing (which has a +0 armor bonus). Mages will lose a few points of AC because of the +5 cap, but they can add certain enchantments to their robes/vestments/whatever, as with armor (just a little more limited), AND they can make use of other types of bracers. Let's face it - there aren't that many magic robes, and this means that you can enchant, say, a robe of stars with an armor bonus (making it doubly useful).

As for the rest of the items… like I said, there's not much to say. A couple items got nerfed or cut entirely due to spell changes (the darkskull is gone, because unhallow is a ritual and you can't imbue a ritual into a magic item; the ring of three wishes now grants limited wishes), and most of the staves were repriced. For the sake of keeping what little is left of my sanity, I didn't even try to figure out how the rings and wondrous items were priced (though I did change a couple wondrous items based on spell level changes).

Some time ago, I started working on some artifact rules (because artifacts in d20 suck - several of those items shouldn't even BE artifacts), but I never got around to finishing them (they're about 3/4 done). I might include them at a later date, but I did enact some minor changes (item caster levels and aura strengths) for the initial release. I really wish the 4E rules were OGC, because one of the things 4E got right was the artifact system.

So now it's on to the monsters. First, though, I need to finish up some bits and pieces I've been putting off - revised disease and poison rules (kind of important), aerial movement and combat rules (also important), and a few other little things. The next post will probably be about something other than monsters, so stay tuned.

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