Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Handling Magic Items in a B/X + 4e Mashup
Magic items in 4e are zero good.
They're fiddly and complicated: "Hey, I think my Circlet of Ringfire Bladethorne gives me an inconsequential bonus in an extremely rare circumstance, except in the case of a crit, when it makes me slide anyone in a burst 3, as long as they're—"
That's how it is.
Also, you're supposed to get X per level, which isn't on. If you assume a power curve, just make that inherent in the class progression and have magic items be maaaaaaagic.
Solution: don't use 4e magic items at all.
When you give out magic items, give them from your older edition resource or else just make up stuff that seems cool to you. Don't make them blah blah blah +1 whatevers.
The exception, I think, are consumables. I think it adds a fun layer of resource management to have some potions of fire resistance, levitation, etc., in the inventory.
But, for non-consumables? Make them weird or legendary. Don't worry too much about making them OP. And don't worry about weapon proficiency requirements with them. Anyone should be able to use a magical weapon. Gandalf had his sword, man. And their proficiency bonuses should all be +3, which is the best in the game among the mundane items.
So, if one of my players finds Excalibur, which exists in the game somewhere, anyone can use it, and it will be boss for whoever uses it, because it's Excalibur.
Read the session 1 recap for the first magical item the PCs have recovered, the Cloak of Saint Martin. It's got history behind it, but they don't know what it does yet!