Beta 3 Preview: Magic Items

By | October 25, 2014

Hello and welcome!

This week, we’ll be briefly previewing the rules from Beta 3 of Forthright Open Roleplay for magic items.

As we were developing these magic items rules, we paid attention to myth, fantasy fiction, roleplaying fiction, other roleplaying games and video games.  What we found is that the concept of having lots and lots of magical items seems to be fairly new, and heavily influenced by video games.  We found that most fiction depicts characters with one or two magical items, most often one, and maybe some items with unusual properties because they’re made of unusual materials.

Because we’ve been trying to draw mostly from fiction, we decided we’d follow this lead.  In Forthright, characters will be able to wield only a single major magical item at a time by default.  Major magic items are permanent magic items with significant power – swords that burst into flame, shields that protect the bearer from magic, thrown hammers that strike their targets with the force of lightning before returning to their wielder’s hands.

As characters progress through their adventures, they might gain additional powers that can be seated in their weapons; for instance, a normal shield could gain the power to protect the wielder against dragon’s fire after being exposed to it on the field of battle.  Such powers placed in a magic item would be less expensive than similar powers embodied in the character him- or herself.

If characters really want to be able to use multiple major magical items, they will be able to do so by investing in Talents which can unlock the use of additional magic.  This would allow a character to wield both a magical blade and wear a magical suit of armor, for instance.  Or wield a magical sword and shield, or multiple magical rings.

In this way, character power is invested in the character himself or herself.  The magical items themselves are just one path to such power.

All characters will be able to use minor magical items – consumables, such as picks of unlocking or potions of healing.

So – what do you think?  Let us know in the comments below!