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Magic implements like wands, staffs, books, orbs, etc.

 
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject: Magic implements like wands, staffs, books, orbs, etc. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Was thinking about how in D&D style games you've got weapons with varying reach, attack, criticals, favored by sneaks vs shock troopers and so on. In most editions of D&D though the wizards have books, staffs are unique magical artifacts, and wands are X amount of scrolls bundled together.

4e has many problems but they tried making different implements be specialized (tomes are good for boosting summons, orbs are good for sustaining effects, etc.)

So if choosing a magical implement was as important as a warrior choosing their weapons in a D&D style RPG what parameters would you want them to effect?
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nockermensch
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For D&D like magic, special magical implements could give something like +1 Caster Level on a single school (and -1 Caster Level on the opposition schools).

Wands: Evocation
Staves: Abjuration
Masks or Glasses: Enchantment
Capes or Decks of Cards: Illusion
Books: Conjuration or Divination
Daggers or Skulls: Necromancy
Orbs: Divination or Transmutation

Or you could have implements giving out situational bonuses that people can forget they have. Recent D&D editions seem to like this route:
Orbs: +2 CL to resist being countered or dispelled
Wands: +5' range on Close ranged spells
Skulls: +1 DC on Spells with [Evil] or [Fear] tags.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Likewise you could make it material based. An bone wand provides a bonus for Necromancy spells while a copper wand provides a bonus for [Lightning] spells.

Just keep in mind, just like a martial character can use a variety of weapons, an arcane character would have incentive to have a variety of implements.
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Occluded Sun
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I can imagine an argument being made for casting a 'school' of magic, or maybe one particular spell, as being one level lower than normal while retaining the positive effects of its original level. That would have to be reserved for the most potent magical implements, though.
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:18 am    Post subject: Re: Magic implements like wands, staffs, books, orbs, etc. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Was thinking about how in D&D style games you've got weapons with varying reach, attack, criticals, favored by sneaks vs shock troopers and so on. In most editions of D&D though the wizards have books, staffs are unique magical artifacts, and wands are X amount of scrolls bundled together.

4e has many problems but they tried making different implements be specialized (tomes are good for boosting summons, orbs are good for sustaining effects, etc.)

So if choosing a magical implement was as important as a warrior choosing their weapons in a D&D style RPG what parameters would you want them to effect?
I like the idea. I had thought about something like this but I had instead thought of relegating certain spells to certain implements so that players had to store or enchant certain implements in certain ways kind of like how weapon and armor enchantment are different. I like the idea of going as far as making certain implements work differently like described here though I think that a mere +1 is a bit weak sauce even among regular DND weapons proper. Still like the idea a lot.
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erik
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I like having items tied to different schools. Especially if all wizards are specialist wizards.

I also like having permanent items and expendable items. Perhaps they can channel a certain amount of spells from a permanent item each day, and they also can prepare expendable items to retain their magical energy each day instead of memorizing spells. So you have some unprepared free slots from your permanent items and then your prepared spells.

Casting spells without using an appropriate item makes you take a hit to your caster level. I'm thinking -2. Maybe specialist wizards will have a -4 penalty on a couple schools and +1 on their specialty school.

Abjuration: Staff, Prayer Beads, Runes
Conjuration: Tome, Scroll
Divination: Tarot Cards, Bones, Tea Leaves, Orb, Yarrow Sticks
Enchantment: Mask, Perfume Spray, Lipstick/Makeup
Evocation: Wand, Grenades
Illusion: Cards, Smoke Sticks, Cape
Necromancy: Dagger, Skull, Powders
Transmutation: Totem, Potions, Injections
Universal: none needed

There's definitely room for special items like a hammer that allows you to use storm related evocations, or bracers that do abjuration, or a lasso that does enchantment, a belt that conjures small objects, etc.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

No Hats for Conjuration? I am dissapoint.

Mainly thinking about existing D&D spells, and mundane and magic items that are emblemic of those schools of magic. Erik's idea of Focuses, and Components, makes sense. For me, making them on seperate sub-lists might help to clarify if an item gets consumed with each casting, or is expended somehow upon use

Abjuration
Foci: Holy Symbol, Glyph, Bullhead hand gesture (i.e throwing the horns @ the evil eye)
Component: Salt, Silver Powder, Powdered brick dust

Conjuration
Foci: Pockets/Hat/Sack, Ring, Lantern
Component: Fragile object Natural (e.g. twig, eggshell) or Artificial (e.g. clay token, origami), Chalk/Mud/Clay/Bug Milk/Graphite/Charcoal

Divination
Foci: Divining Bones/Urim & Thummim Stones/Runestones, Crystal
Component: Entrails, Tea Leaves, Embers

Enchantment
Foci: Staff, Orb, Crown/Wreath/Diadem
Component: Flower, Scent glands, Coin

Evocation
Foci: Amber, Fur, [???]
Component: Inflammables (pellets xor liquid), Seeds, [???]

Illusion
Foci: Wand, Cape, Mirror
Component: String, Cards, Dust

Necromancy
Foci: Stone, Athame/Sword, Urn
Components: Bones, Dirt, Teeth/Hair/Nails

Transmutation
Foci: Figurine, Lodestone, Goblet
Component: Reagents, Sprouts, [???]

Universal: The caster's own symbol for their Arcane Mark

Mostly trying to create three options of focus and component for each. Ideally the foci would have an artificial option, a natural one, and a gesture/pose. Ideally the components would have a range of rarity/value. Then one could assign a scale of bonuses for the focus/components used.
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A little off-topic, but would other characters be able to tell what kind of wizard they are by their paraphernalia? Though that might be something a random thief wouldn't know about, but another wizard might.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

To an extent i'd say yes they can.
Probability of a Cleric using a Sceptre made from a Bone and a Skull is probably pretty damn low . . Same as a Necromancer using a holy icon for his stuff. More detailed gets harder though.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thaluikhain wrote:
A little off-topic, but would other characters be able to tell what kind of wizard they are by their paraphernalia? Though that might be something a random thief wouldn't know about, but another wizard might.


Knowledge Arcana DC 10- would do the trick. Anyone can make an untrained knowledge check <= DC 10.

In this case some random people know, but pretty much every wizard knows.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

As far as magical implements go, you have to ask yourself how many doohickeys you want casters to carry around in their golf bags. Lots of wizards in various media just have their one cool trick that they spam over and over again. And you can also find media where mages pull a thing off the shelf every time they cast a spell.

For an edition of DnD, I would think you'd want a low level wizard to have like two things they used regularly with the option of diving into a weird thing for specific tasks. Like how a fighter routinely has a sword and a bow, but in odd cases can pull out a silver dagger. So like a wand and an orb to switch between normally, but then pull out the book when enemies have high resistances.

-Frank
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

erik wrote:
I like having items tied to different schools. Especially if all wizards are specialist wizards.

I also like having permanent items and expendable items. Perhaps they can channel a certain amount of spells from a permanent item each day, and they also can prepare expendable items to retain their magical energy each day instead of memorizing spells. So you have some unprepared free slots from your permanent items and then your prepared spells.

Casting spells without using an appropriate item makes you take a hit to your caster level. I'm thinking -2. Maybe specialist wizards will have a -4 penalty on a couple schools and +1 on their specialty school.

Abjuration: Staff, Prayer Beads, Runes
Conjuration: Tome, Scroll
Divination: Tarot Cards, Bones, Tea Leaves, Orb, Yarrow Sticks
Enchantment: Mask, Perfume Spray, Lipstick/Makeup
Evocation: Wand, Grenades
Illusion: Cards, Smoke Sticks, Cape
Necromancy: Dagger, Skull, Powders
Transmutation: Totem, Potions, Injections
Universal: none needed

There's definitely room for special items like a hammer that allows you to use storm related evocations, or bracers that do abjuration, or a lasso that does enchantment, a belt that conjures small objects, etc.


Dragon Warriors did something similar, if you make a wand (which was described more like a staff) you permanently lose magic points that go into it, and you get that + an extra 50% from the wand you can cast on specific spells relevant to the wand. IIRC, you are permanently worse at casting any other spell, though, so it's quite a trade off.
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Tannhäuser
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thaluikhain wrote:
Dragon Warriors did something similar, if you make a wand (which was described more like a staff) you permanently lose magic points that go into it, and you get that + an extra 50% from the wand you can cast on specific spells relevant to the wand. IIRC, you are permanently worse at casting any other spell, though, so it's quite a trade off.
That seems pretty abusable. The Weapon Focus feat chain isn't broken because it's hot garbage, but if the math supported it every Fighter would be walking around with only a few weapons they were heavily invested in using, which I think isn't great for the game.

You'd want a wizard to pick up the Necronomicon and be happy or scared to use it on its own accord, not brush it off because their Implement Focus is in orbs, or even use it because it's an upgrade to their now tossed aside Book of Shadows.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thoughts that come to mind...

Rod- bonus for spells like rays, fireball, missile. Can also be the hilt to a magic blade sword so wands are quite physical combat oriented.
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Orb- They float around you can can be sent out, returned, and be the origin point for spells. A sustainable effect like burning tornadoes are easier to sustain if the orb is in the center of it.



Tome- Mostly for rituals like summoning. Can also enhance the monsters you summon with it, command your summoned monster does its super move and dissipate 'cause the magic energy/contract is spent.



Staff- Used to ground bigger more exhausting spells. If the rod is a rapier then the staff is a greataxe. Is also physically a staff you can whack and parry with.


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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as magical implements go, you have to ask yourself how many doohickeys you want casters to carry around in their golf bags. Lots of wizards in various media just have their one cool trick that they spam over and over again. And you can also find media where mages pull a thing off the shelf every time they cast a spell.

For an edition of DnD, I would think you'd want a low level wizard to have like two things they used regularly with the option of diving into a weird thing for specific tasks. Like how a fighter routinely has a sword and a bow, but in odd cases can pull out a silver dagger. So like a wand and an orb to switch between normally, but then pull out the book when enemies have high resistances.

-Frank


This is pretty important if you don't want PCs carrying all sorts of crazy crap.

I recall that my level 1 Fighter in the Living Greyhawk game owned:

-spiked chain
-throwing axes
-greatsword
-lance + horse w/ leather barding
-bow & arrows
-morningstar

Pretty much every encounter I'd have to use a different weapon just to be using something effective for each encounter.

Of course, it was ridiculous as fuck, but I didn't want my character to be like a monk facing zombies with just their unarmed strikes.

I'm a mentally ill outlier who doesn't want their characters to die though. Even when I've been at larping events (where you have to carry that shit everywhere, and always have it on hand if you don't want to get killed by random shit from around 10pm-3am (friday), 5-7am to 3am (saturday), & 5am-12pm (sunday) each event). I've generally tried to be prepared with my characters when I'm gaming (not that's worked, but one very preventable PC death isn't a terrible record for a 200 pt character that front-line tanks for 1400-2000+ pts characters). I'm pretty sure I've been the only person at the dozens of larping events I've been to where I carried not just a "blunt" and "edged" weapons at the same time (plus a 3'x4' shield), but also two types of ranged weapons (seed-packet "darts/rocks"; & crossbow that can fire nerf-style foam darts); or worn ~40lbs of full leather/plate in 40*C summer events (it's really not that bad if you keep a wet handkerchief tied at your neck and draped between your shoulders; and drink a lot of water). It might look alright, costuming-wise, but it makes the overall aesthetics of the players at the game really inconsistent as a result of poorly thought out mechanics & game rules.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, but to be fair, most spellcasters in source material either are super-specialists who use one or two effects, and so they just carry the stuff they need for those, like Harry Dresden with his shield bracelet and blasting rod, or they actually have a minor artifact that's special, like Doctor Strange and the Eye of Agamoto.

And then there are wizards like John Constantine who have the stuff for some basic tricks, and otherwise have to run home or break into a shop/museum to grab what they need.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as magical implements go, you have to ask yourself how many doohickeys you want casters to carry around in their golf bags. Lots of wizards in various media just have their one cool trick that they spam over and over again. And you can also find media where mages pull a thing off the shelf every time they cast a spell.

For an edition of DnD, I would think you'd want a low level wizard to have like two things they used regularly with the option of diving into a weird thing for specific tasks. Like how a fighter routinely has a sword and a bow, but in odd cases can pull out a silver dagger. So like a wand and an orb to switch between normally, but then pull out the book when enemies have high resistances.

-Frank


This is pretty important if you don't want PCs carrying all sorts of crazy crap.

I recall that my level 1 Fighter in the Living Greyhawk game owned:

-spiked chain
-throwing axes
-greatsword
-lance + horse w/ leather barding
-bow & arrows
-morningstar

Pretty much every encounter I'd have to use a different weapon just to be using something effective for each encounter.

Of course, it was ridiculous as fuck, but I didn't want my character to be like a monk facing zombies with just their unarmed strikes.

That's a pretty reasonable loadout for a knight. It helps if you have a squire to carry your extra stuff. It's basically what everyone forgets. Real adventurers carry a lot of equipment, so you need a batman. Everyone needs a batman.

Quote:
I'm a mentally ill outlier who doesn't want their characters to die though. Even when I've been at larping events (where you have to carry that shit everywhere, and always have it on hand if you don't want to get killed by random shit from around 10pm-3am (friday), 5-7am to 3am (saturday), & 5am-12pm (sunday) each event). I've generally tried to be prepared with my characters when I'm gaming (not that's worked, but one very preventable PC death isn't a terrible record for a 200 pt character that front-line tanks for 1400-2000+ pts characters). I'm pretty sure I've been the only person at the dozens of larping events I've been to where I carried not just a "blunt" and "edged" weapons at the same time (plus a 3'x4' shield), but also two types of ranged weapons (seed-packet "darts/rocks"; & crossbow that can fire nerf-style foam darts); or worn ~40lbs of full leather/plate in 40*C summer events (it's really not that bad if you keep a wet handkerchief tied at your neck and draped between your shoulders; and drink a lot of water). It might look alright, costuming-wise, but it makes the overall aesthetics of the players at the game really inconsistent as a result of poorly thought out mechanics & game rules.


The problem with LARPS is that they don't provide the players with batmen.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

With the possible exception of Dawn of Justice, basically everything is improved with Batman.



Anyway, how you're going to divide up your magical implements has to do with what your casters can do and how many implements you want them to carry.

So if you have a War Mage class who spends their time blasting and smiting in various ways, having the Wand be the implement of choice for blasting and smiting would be insufficient. You might want to have something where Silver implements do Cold and Copper implements do Electricity and shit. If you have a Water Mage class that does only water magic all the time but has a mix of divination, illusion, conjurations, and control effects, then you probably want them to be running around with mirrors and bowls and orbs for different types of effects.

Any particular decision about how to divide up implements and magic correlations may or may not be appropriate. It depends 100% on what individual mages can do in your hypothetical system.

-Frank
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erik
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"Judging__Eagle"(edited with costs) wrote:

I recall that my level 1 Fighter in the Living Greyhawk game owned:

-spiked chain 25gp
-throwing axes 6gp per
-greatsword 50gp
-lance 10gp + (light)horse 75gp w/ leather barding 40gp
-(short)bow 30gp & arrows 1gp
-morningstar 8gp

Pretty much every encounter I'd have to use a different weapon just to be using something effective for each encounter.

Of course, it was ridiculous as fuck, but I didn't want my character to be like a monk facing zombies with just their unarmed strikes.


I agree that's ridiculous af. Too many weapons and no special items.

You start with 240 gp.
Getting a lance and mount... that's excessively wasteful.
125 gp for a light horse, lance and barding that you probably never use is just crazy. 2x damage on a lance isn't that outstanding at level 1 when your bonuses are shit. *
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50 gp for greatsword is too costly. Morningstar is fine.

I'll assume you spent 30 gp for shortbow since 240 starting gp won't cover a longbow with all that other gear, but either way, bow and arrows were a waste of coins. I'd use handful of javelins which were usually better than a normal bow at level 1. You get to add strength mod, and it is unlikely you'll need more than a handful in an intro adventure.*

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Your list looks like you already exceeded the 240gp starting moneys, and you don't even have armor. Or a holy symbol to trick enemies into thinking you're a cleric. I'm sure it has been a while and recollection is hazy tho. I know mine is hazy.

This was my standard level 1 combat gear.

1 Healing potion 50gp
1 Acid Flask 10gp
1 Alchemist's Fire 20gp
3 Javelins 3gp
Spiked Gauntlet 5gp (always provide a flanking bonus, even if disarmed, even if a caster)
cheap 1H weapon (Typically longsword/morningstar/halfspear) 1-15gp + heavy wooden shield 7gp
or a 2H weapon (longspear/halberd) 1-10gp
Salve or scroll of magic weapon 25/50 gp
Armor 25-100gp

I think I had to use magic weapon once ever on an Intro that had an Allip, which come to think of it was in the same region as the ranged boss battle... the mod writers for that region tried to compete for most deadly modules.

For non-casters first magic item was usually a +1 weapon which would be the workhorse afterward. I'm just working on rusty memory since I don't have my sheets with me and my old computer files are apparently so old that my computer cannot read them.

For my halfling ranger I got my +4 mighty +1 bow ASAP
+1 lance for my halfling druid (later fighter/druid cavalry)
+1 spiked chain for my halfling rogue (I forget what I was doing there, I recall TWF with spikes, mostly for shock value, I know it was a rogue/arcane caster built for unseen seer)
I have a hazy recollection of a +1 greatsword for my half-elf bard (later bard/paladin). Maybe I got by with a longsword until I multiclassed into Paladin.

Once I got my +1 weapon I mostly just used that. The golf bag era was over.
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