4E Points of Light, Dawn War, and Magic Item Economy (4e)

Compared to what?
Compared to the beginning. At first, there weren't a lot of untyped bonuses flying around. Powers granted power bonuses, Feats granted feat bonuses, items granted item bonuses, Enhancement/Inherent bonuses were baked in, circumstantial combat bonuses were mostly folded into CA.
"in the end" expertise feat taxes, other feats, items, powers, more items, and whatnot were throwing around untyped uber-stacking bonuses like candy to force significance in lieu of being interesting in their own right, and thus guarantee that anyone who picks 'em up is "just better."
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Compared to the beginning. At first, there weren't a lot of untyped bonuses flying around. Powers granted power bonuses, Feats granted feat bonuses, items granted item bonuses, Enhancement/Inherent bonuses were baked in, circumstantial combat bonuses were mostly folded into CA.
Ah... yes compared to with cruft added.

"in the end" expertise feat taxes,
Bah strip the numbers off and some of those are cool.

in lieu of being interesting in their own right
I continue to assert that story is what really makes items interesting and I am starting to think Abduls idea of putting maneuvers (or techniques) as learned and discovered things in the story just like spells were... is not only a massive throw back but more interesting as time goes by - that said player agency of just being able to choose the feats/powers etc that you have is pretty important in some ways too, juggling act. I guess letting / ensuring the player chooses the story works for some of that.
 
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Compared to what?


That somehow being different flavor is presentation (4e makes underlying numbers explicit )
Anything perceived as required is also exactly not meaningless so eh...
That said perhaps something-role - like needs to affect item effects too...hence having expected and meaningful variations within a range. Keeping heros within a range of effectiveness for their level is useful for challenging them with generic things like purchased adventures and the like... its also about having level be meaningful rather like how you have people leveling up for "significant" items. ->similar function different presentation.

Roles allow expected variations within an over all contribution by balancing things around different parameters... the striker doing a lot more damage than the defender is distinct.
What I mean is, we replaced enhancement bonus with an inherent bonus, because the idea that 'magic items made you better' was meaningless in a system where there was a fixed expected bonus at a given level. The items were meaningless, they only existed to convey an expected game benefit.
I'm not against expected ranges of values, but OTOH it has an impact on the flavor of the game!
 
Ah... yes compared to with cruft added.


Bah strip the numbers off and some of those are cool.


I continue to assert that story is what really makes items interesting and I am starting to think Abduls idea of putting maneuvers (or techniques) as learned and discovered things in the story just like spells were... is not only a massive throw back but more interesting as time goes by - that said player agency of just being able to choose the feats/powers etc that you have is pretty important in some ways too, juggling act. I guess letting / ensuring the player chooses the story works for some of that.
The way I see it, if the GM and players are engaging in something along the lines of the @pemerton (ian) story building exercise, these things will 'just work' as I intend. That is they will be a story-building element used by the whole group together. Honestly, you can be a perfectly 'classic' DM and do this, and many an AD&D campaign was run in this sort of fashion where the loot was pretty much determined by where the players decided to go to find it (and they were cognizant of the choices).
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
What I mean is, we replaced enhancement bonus with an inherent bonus, because the idea that 'magic items made you better' was meaningless
I like level being meaningful... which is it? Not sure you can have items that are not geared in without level being turned into meaingless fluff, like it was in AD&D
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
and many an AD&D campaign was run in this sort of fashion where the loot was pretty much determined by where the players decided to go to find it (and they were cognizant of the choices).
Mostly saw chaos myself but... you know that is the issue of them days...
 
I don't think level was 'meaningless fluff' in AD&D at all. In fact, it wasn't THAT much different in meaning than in 4e, mostly it signified a transition in the thematics and flavor of the game, though that was partly accomplished by a change in the numbers.
 

sabrinathecat

Explorer
I just made it so that if a character had an item, when s/he leveled up to the next level version of the item, it leveled up as well. I.E. if they had a lvl5 +1 Radiant Weapon, it became +2 at level 10 unless they wanted a completely different item--then they had to find it. Heroic Gauntlets of Blood became Paragon Gauntlets of blood when the character made lvl14. Sometimes people changed. Sometimes I'd throw a different item into the mix to see if they wanted it. When it came time to looting dragon hordes or wealthy fey baron's treasuries, I'd say something like "You each get a lvl 15 item, and 3 heroic items" just so they'd find some oddball stuff. Sometimes I'd limit it to "3 heroic wonderous items". Or just "11k gp of non-magical equipment", but they had to be able to carry it or use some of it to carry the rest. Oh, and there were only so many carts, wagons, carriages, coaches, or charriots.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I don't think level was 'meaningless fluff' in AD&D at all. In fact, it wasn't THAT much different in meaning than in 4e,
Ask the level 12 thief and the level 10 wizard which had more impact... then add an artifact potent item to the 9th level fighter and a stingy list of spells that missed the most powerful ones to the caster... it very much could be fluff but whatever. Level did not really mean relative power between characters and in a monty haul campaign it meant nothing like in another conservative game. No it was very close to meaningless both because of classes not really being balanced and because of capriciousness in magic items (which included what spells the mages knew) and magic items potentially making massive significance in power.
A DM on here commented that giving a Holy Avenger weapon to a paladin at level 6 was entirely within scope since most campaigns only went to name level or so... blink blink.

Point being - You end up needing some separate measure of character power if you want to not correlate gear with level.... then what meaning is level if you need to compute something else to measure power?
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'm not sure where I got the impression make/buy were both at 100%, but the markup on the latter seems unanimous, so I guess it must be somewhere. It does make a certain 4th level ritual a big deal, though. :🤷:
A level 4 practice for finding contacts to better sell exotic things which allowed 100 percent return would seem appropriate wouldn't it.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The way I see it, if the GM and players are engaging in something along the lines of the @pemerton (ian) story building exercise, these things will 'just work' as I intend. That is they will be a story-building element used by the whole group together. Honestly, you can be a perfectly 'classic' DM and do this, and many an AD&D campaign was run in this sort of fashion where the loot was pretty much determined by where the players decided to go to find it (and they were cognizant of the choices).
I think there is some very big diligence involved in that ... and the story could end up well feeling contrived/artificially or overly loot driven
 

pemerton

Legend
Generic Residuum is so incredibly meh.
In my campaign it's like gold in a classic D&D game. The PC invoker/wizard keeps track of it on his sheet, with the rest of his reagents, and uses it to power rituals. Occasionally that's been making things - eg he made some water-breathing items when the PCs needed to infiltrate the Shrine of the Kuo-toa. Not a lot of making in my game, though.
 

sabrinathecat

Explorer
Holy Avenger isn't the game-breaker it used to be.
With something like that, I'd go "Artifact route" again--the item levels up with the character as they become more attuned to each other.

As for purchase--any item purchased beyond heroic must be commissioned. Depending, crafting time may be weeks or even months.
By epic, there is a cabal of elderly wizards and priests who have heard of the party and will help them out by crafting for them. Sometimes they'll even know ahead of time what to create, based on divination or divine command. Why the high prices then? Well, so the party doesn't just take the power of the items or the time of the crafters for granted.
 
Ask the level 12 thief and the level 10 wizard which had more impact... then add an artifact potent item to the 9th level fighter and a stingy list of spells that missed the most powerful ones to the caster... it very much could be fluff but whatever. Level did not really mean relative power between characters and in a monty haul campaign it meant nothing like in another conservative game. No it was very close to meaningless both because of classes not really being balanced and because of capriciousness in magic items (which included what spells the mages knew) and magic items potentially making massive significance in power.
A DM on here commented that giving a Holy Avenger weapon to a paladin at level 6 was entirely within scope since most campaigns only went to name level or so... blink blink.

Point being - You end up needing some separate measure of character power if you want to not correlate gear with level.... then what meaning is level if you need to compute something else to measure power?
I understand your point about AD&D lacking a very 'set' progression. A lot of character power in that game is wrapped up in 'stuff' and in exactly what resources your character has acquired. This is of course why AD&D was so horribly vulnerable to power bloat (creep would be too mild). This kind of failing is not present in 4e, and that is because of what you say. Still, level is far from 'meaningless' in AD&D. Its meaning may be highly contextual, but it certainly is still true that 'name level' PCs are materially different from, and stereotypically engage in a different sort of game than level 1 PCs. Again, the meaning is less contextual in 4e, but the different sort of game part is still true.
Clearly, the reason items are seen as 'so important and cool' in AD&D and 'blah' in 4e (for some people at least) is due to this factor. An AD&D fighter gaining Gauntlets of Ogre Power is suddenly on a different scale of power. All sorts of possibilities suddenly open up for that character which are NOT guaranteed to become available to a fighter of ANY level without an item of this sort. This is, actually, a lot like how magic works in myths and legends. 4e's way is less so.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
This is, actually, a lot like how magic works in myths and legends. 4e's way is less so.
There is rather no such thing as level in myths and legends the statement is nonsensical bud. It is a game tool measuring capability ... if all it measures is part of ability it really does have no value on its own if you still have to measure something else on top of that.

And if you go to the point of analysing the characters able to deal with something big and awesome you will find ahem... regardless of whether one gets the ability one way because of Excalibur or the other does it because he is Bound in Oths and super human grades of Discipline.

They are comparable. Arthur indeed has Excalibur and Lancelot has the Other (and weapons nobody remembers the names of)

Myth and legend support the 4e model just fine.

Does myth and legend feature adventuring side by side with other heros who suddenly make huge bumps in power... or does everyone get a cascade of them (which may not be so sudden more like levelling up)

Do we see big adventures by Arthur before and after Excalibur in a team? Actually not until After Excalibur do we have Arthur and his team doing things (early in legend on we had Arthur and the Irishman - who is potentially an early early (Lugh Lamfada) who later goes from llewc Luanleawk in Welsh to a later Lancelot)
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That level 6 character just got Holy Avenger weapon did he have anything prior or just boom and how well does that work in a game to go from potency 6 to potency 15 - Cause that was handing ye old Holy Avenger out by a broad estimate.

Does having magic items jump someone from the beginning of one tier to the middle of the next actually make a good story?

Or does learning the artifact and acquiring excaliburs potency gradually work better?
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
is it cool to have 1 character make that jump massively ahead of others in honor of this sought after "suddenly"?

Note because if he had a +3 and goes up to a +4 with some other cool effect it isn't really suddenly even if in theory putting down the weapon he is that much less.

4e kind of exposed that illusion

That was arguably its worst sin along side balancing the classes it exposed the illusion to the light of day.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Holy Avenger isn't the game-breaker it used to be.
With something like that, I'd go "Artifact route" again--the item levels up with the character as they become more attuned to each other.
The reference was of course in the context of the 1e Avenger

And I agree an item like Excalibur or the Holy Avenger or Stormbringer probably all should be constructed that way. AND heck any signature weapon ought to or at least could be seen to grow with the wielder.

The idea of the item becoming well more magical because it was the weapon of Hero X and the heroes awesome rubs off on it is actually pretty damn cool too.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The idea of the item becoming well more magical because it was the weapon of Hero X and the heroes awesome rubs off on it is actually pretty damn cool too.
This right here could be an interpretation of the effect of Inherent Bonuses.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
One of the improvements I made to martial practices was the idea that someone Forging a magic item with Forge Weapon practice could both bind it to a particular wielder or bloodline/team and leave the item open so that it could absorb power to kick off special empowerments (player can choose which in the subsequent adventure) .
 
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