D&D 5th Edition Magic Items in D&D Next





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  1. #1

    Magic Items in D&D Next

    Magic items have played a role in D&D throughout the years, and this week Mike takes a look at what the team is planning to do for D&D Next.

    Read Magic Items in D&D Next on D&D Insider here!

  2. #2
    Seems like the approach I voted for.

    No custom items, no wishlist as default. Every item is a unique thing, that strictly makes you better. Perfect.

    Getting a flametongue once again means something. And topping at +3 seems old school. I don┤t remember +4 or +5 weapons from actual play in 2nd edition. And my adventures also usually have only +1 or +2 wepons on a more regular basis. +3 or more are very rare.

  3. #3
    This approach seems correct. I fear it may lead to very few items in the core book, but I bet the magic item book will be awesome.

  4. #4
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    +3 seems high for a cap if the bonuses are pure bonuses.
    If "A" is broken, that isn't a valid reason for "B" to be so, even if they vary in degree.

    Tactician style Gamer, or so I have been told.

    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."-Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherhead View Post
    +3 seems high for a cap if the bonuses are pure bonuses.
    Yes, and this is why you really should not give out +3 items a lot. Getting such an item should be something epic (even if you get it at first level).

    I think +3 as the maximum for usual weapon seems correct. The only higher weapons I remember was the sword of sharpness, +4 IIRC or the vorpal sword +5... but we only got one of them a single time... and there we were first facing it...

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    ° Ignore Mishihari Lord
    First thought: sounds awesome, exactly my preferred approach to magic items.

    Second thought: sounds difficult to do well. Most of the magic items I hand out I custom design. But in doing so, I know the composition of the party, the details of the campaign world, the challenge level of opponents, and expected future adventures. Frex, if I'm planning a mountain climbing adventure in the near future, I'm not going to hand out something that negates the planned terrain challenges.

    Power level is going to be difficult to judge well. Frex the Gorgon helmet from the article. Is it weak or strong for a 5th level character? It's tough to judge, even knowing what the upcoming encounters are.

    It seems like DMG lists of thousands of magic items will be a lot more work to come up with too.

    In any case, I hope they overcome the challenges because it sounds like it will be really fun.
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  7. #7
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    I didn't hear a thing about wishlists or expected character wealth, so this is already sounding like the best approach to magic items we've seen in D&D for 12 years.

    I did hear reference to rolling perhaps random histories and things (and generating new abilities), which is also crazy awesome.

    It does make me wonder a bit about item building as a character -- that's not something I think we want to take TOTALLY away (what with the dwarves forging magic swords and the elves having mithril and all that), but it is something we could stand to be secondary in comparison to folks discovering awesome treasure.
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    ° Ignore Balesir
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    I didn't hear a thing about wishlists or expected character wealth, so this is already sounding like the best approach to magic items we've seen in D&D for 12 years.
    If you happen to dislike those things, yes. In the context, specifically, of D&D I actually find them very acceptable, but I think they may well be "modulisable", so no biggie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    I did hear reference to rolling perhaps random histories and things (and generating new abilities), which is also crazy awesome.
    Yep, I liked that idea, too. Even if I end up passing on 5e I'll likely steal this bit for 4e.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    It does make me wonder a bit about item building as a character -- that's not something I think we want to take TOTALLY away (what with the dwarves forging magic swords and the elves having mithril and all that), but it is something we could stand to be secondary in comparison to folks discovering awesome treasure.
    Other than disagreeing with the last bit, here, I very much agree that crafting is an essential part of the game. Again, though, it could be "modulised", I guess, for the benefit of insecure GMs out there.
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  9. #9
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    I liked this part:

    For example, a few rolls on a table might reveal that dwarves crafted this specific sunder rock mace for use against a demonic incursion. That might give the mace two more special abilities. Whenever the mace is below ground, it gives a slight, gentle tug in the direction of the path that leads back to the nearest dwarven stronghold. If a demon comes within 200 feet of the mace, the weapon grows slightly warmer in its wielder's hand.

    I do something like that - well, exactly like that. Roll to determine the item type; roll to determine its power; roll to determine who made it and why.

    That said, my method is very, very crude. I'd like to see what they come up with.

    And for fun here's a roll and a random magic item of level... let's say 7:

    *roll* +2 Plate Armour of *roll* Awe, made by *roll* Minotaurs for *roll* the Beast Within:
    A large suite of +2 plate armour, this was made by minotaurs who worshipped Baphomet. The wearer gains a +2 bonus to checks when he clearly displays his armour and intimidates others with the threat of physical force. When the wearer charges a target, all foes who can see him pull back 10' in terror (+10 vs. Will). (On charge: [Fear] Close Burst 20, foes only, +10 vs. Will, push 2)
    "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
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  10. #10
    I've really got mixed feelings for this, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until I see it in play test.

    Up to +3 in bonuses (higher for artifacts?)... +'s are still +'s, I'd rather they didn't go that high. When the rogue gets a +3 dagger, he's the weapon master then, not the fighter (especially if all the fighter has is his class +x bonuses to fighting). Getting an item that (with lower stat progression) almost doubles your bonus that's pretty significant... And you can't say that low levels won't have it, because then you're going back to tying magic items to level progression... Up to level 5, you don't have an item, after that characters will have +1's... then at level 10 they will all junk those for +2's, and at level 15 they'll be able to get their hands on +3 items... It doesn't make for "flat math" it just makes for "flatter math" that still will have item expectations so that you aren't laughed at by fellow party members. Why are you still carrying your grandfather's antique sword, instead of using the new shiny +x bonus weapon? I'd only put +'s on the item if there is a reason for it. Why does the mace of smashing inanimate objects make it so much easier to hit the quick and agile goblin? Whereas a heartseeker blade that actually twists in your hand to more directly strike any heat producing creature (not constructs, water elementals, etc..) that makes sense.

    Escalating Armor via purchases... Why is the heavy armor wearer the only character that has to level up to get his base stats? If the concept of your class is wear heavy armor and hit things, and you won't be able to actually do half of that for multiple levels? If there are class options, or themes that will give you higher armors at the beginning then this could be a moot point though. Otherwise every other class is equipped with everything they need coming out the door... The fighter though comes out half dressed. This would be like the wizard being able to have 3 different at-will spells, but he'll only know 1. Or the rogue being able to pick locks with the proper tools, but unable to get those tools until a higher level, and still further until he'll get the tools to disarm traps.

    These are really negative sounding, but I honestly want to see them in play. Like I said I could see the second one being moot if there are class options/themes/backgrounds that bypass it.

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