View Poll Results: What makes a magic item interesting?
- 172. You may not vote on this poll
Unpredictable or mysterious powers
Background and history
Special purpose or goals
Other (specify in post)
Sunday, 14th December, 2008, 09:35 AM #21
Lama (Lvl 13)
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The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
I voted "other" as I believe it is an interesting combination of the factors you listed, rather than any single factor, that makes a magic item interesting.
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Superhero (Lvl 15)
Uniqueness: If the item allows you to do something you couldn't do any other way, then it's interesting.
If it has a single use then it needs to do it better than anything else. If it has a function that can be used for many various things, then it will often outshine single function items in terms of interest.
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
I voted history/background. But that really isn't it. Making an item intersting involves a combination of factors in my mind.
First off, a magic item needs a name to be interesting. As long as a magic item is called a +2 Flaming Longsword, it will never transcend its stats. Once the sword is given a name, such as "Pyre" or "Flametongue" or "The Torch of Mars" or something like that, it begins to have an identity. From there, it is a matter of building on that identity, until the magic item is memorable and interesting.
In my opinion, a good magic item is an NPC into itself, even if it isn't intelligent. Like a memorable NPC, a good magic item may have a back-story, memorable personality quirks, distinctive features, and so on. An interesting physical description for the weapon helps a lot. A magic sword that quivers if it is covered in blood for too long is also interesting.
Also like an NPC, a magic item can be made more memorable and interesting depending on how it is introduced and how it works into the story. A magic item that is given to a PC as a symbol of the princess's undying love has more sentimental value to a player than the same item found in a dragon hoard. The famous magic sword that can only be wielded by someone of a certain bloodline (which serves as proof that a PC is a member of that bloodline) has an indispensable story role.
In summation, it takes a similar kind of effort to make a +2 Longsword into an interesting and memorable item as it does making a Level 5 Lawful Neutral Human Fighter into an interesting and memorable character. As an alternative analogy, making a magic item interesting is like making a dungeon or city memorable or interesting.
I guess that my final answer is that a magic item needs personality, charm, and character in order to be memorable.
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
I voted "unique." Magic items rarely inspire me. They're just not what I play the game for. I prefer items to either be generic bonuses I can forget about, or, to be unique and plot relevant.
I also like iconic items that players keep for their entire careers, and which can be repositories for iconic player abilities.
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
For me, it is the story behind the magic item that makes it interesting. Even a simple ring of invisibility can be epic if it has a proper backstory and purpose.
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
Since the thread that spawned this one got bumped, and the discussion there has turned to magic items, I thought I'd give this one a re-airing as well.
If you've posted in this thread already, has anything happened in the last six months to make you change your mind?
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
I seem to have missed this the first time around. Voted useful, because, as someone said upthread, if it isn't than its just a 4000 GP paperweight. However, I quite agree with everyone who said it needs more than just one aspect. I love me some Wands of Wonder, but if they couldn't be useful as often as not, I would never bother with them.
Scrag 'em all and let the gods sort 'em out!
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