What makes a magic item interesting? - Page 3


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Poll: What makes a magic item interesting?

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  1. #21
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  • #22
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    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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    Uniqueness: If the item allows you to do something you couldn't do any other way, then it's interesting.

  • #24
    Versatility/usability.

    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.

  • #25
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    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.

  • #26
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    Usefull is a necassary but not sufficient condition for an item to be interesting.
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  • #27
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    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.

  • #28
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    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.
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  • #29
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    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?

  • #30
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    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.
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