Saturday, December 24, 2011

Magic Items in Worlds Apart

I thought for a long time about how I wanted to present magic items in Worlds Apart and finally I went with my gut on the issue: The Magic Items Section is going to be a toolbox as opposed to a shopping cart. There are two main reasons for this decision. Firstly, Traveler has always favored the do-it-yourself game and I want to continue that. Secondly,  I want to non-codify magic in the game to leave it very open to each individual GM's interpretation of how it works in their world. I want magic to be the big unknown. Below's a brief example of what I'm talking about in regards to Worlds Apart magic items.

Magical Equipment
Magic comes in many different shapes and forms: potions, scrolls, wands, arms, armor, and just about every piece of clothing or jewelry imaginable. Most items are common items possessing a single trait, but some powerful items possess several, while the most powerful are truly unique. A character can control as many magic items as he has points of Magical Strength—any items beyond this limit on the character’s body simply do not function. Some items may require more than one point of Magical Strength to control. It takes a day for a PC to attune himself to a new magic item, providing him the benefits of the magic.

All magical items communicate their benefit and how they can be used when held. Some magic items may lie about this and convey false information.

Potions, Scrolls and other Consumables
Any items that are destroyed in their use (such as potions, scrolls, salves, magic foods, etc.) do not require attuning to use. They can be used by anyone at anytime. GMs should exercise their judgment for every item, but the general rule is that a consumable’s magical effects are instantaneous or they last for 1 minute, 1 hour, or 1 day. For example, a GM could rule that drinking a potion with the Healing trait would instantaneously heal 1d6 damage,  applying an oil with the Bleeding magic trait will last for 1 minute, inhaling a magic incense with the Smoky magic trait would last for 1 hour, and eating an apple with the Commanding magic trait would last 1 day. The GM should clearly indicate to his players how he will rule for each magic trait when the item is discovered by the players.

Magic Traits
Magical item may possess one or more of the following traits.

This item resists change. When attuned, the bearer gains a bonus to his armor.

This item hates a particular type of creature or human culture. When attuned to this item, the bearer deals additional 2d6 damage to such creatures.

This item punishes trickery. Whenever the bearer, or one of the bearers allies, is attacked first (ie. does not initiate combat), the first successful hit against the bearer is magically transferred to the opponent who dealt the blow.

This item craves blood. When attuned to this item, the bearer deals and additional point of damage to all melee attacks. The target suffers this additional single point of damage for the following two rounds as well, resulting in a total of 3 points of damage.

This item proves that there are some sights not fit for humankind. The bearer of this item can cause blindness in one target if the target fails to throw 8+ Magical Strength. This ability can be used once per week.

This item has lordship over a particular type of creature. Those attuned to the item can command that type of creature to do as commanded and the creature must obey. Sentient creatures can resist the commands by throwing 8+ Magical Strength. Non-sentient creatures (such as animals) always obey the bearer.

This item resists targeting. An attuned player character can deflect a missile attack as a minor action if he throws 6+ Magical Strength.

This item knows the wishes of the heart. The item shows the direction to that which its bearer most desires at the moment. The bearer may try to deliberately change his desires to change the guide, but doing so is difficult (throw 11+ Magical Strength).

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