Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Treasure Island

At our last gaming session the topic of treasure came up as we picked up a few trinkets our fallen enemies had left behind.

Of particular interest was a rather spiffy scimitar and some swanky armor, both with interesting powers. While the rest of the magic items in 4E are pretty weak, I have to say that the armor and weapons are generally very well done.

Besides the expected "+whatever#" they all seem to have a fairly cool little power attached. Nothing really jaw dropping. Five temporary hit points or a free healing surge or things of that ilk. Yet they're still quite useful (even if only a Daily use) and more importantly, they're easy to remember. Mainly because your character's armor and weapons are going to be the center of attention. Weapons moreso, but even armor isn't as likely to be forgotten as some necklace or ring. For me at least, those trinkets tend to get buried and forgotten on my character sheet.

I would be curious to see if changing the magic item powers from Daily to Encounter would make a noticable difference. Maybe I can talk Crwth into trying that out for a couple of sessions. Or maybe someone out there on the interweb has tried this. If so, please let us know how it worked out for you.

The other thing that this brief topic brought to mind was the sheer amount of loot we've gained. It's no secret that the official line of modules released with 3rd edition was incredibly skimpy on the loot. The writers must have had access to the various tables and guidelines for giving out treasure, yet they either ignored them for some reason. Probably because they're jerks. I mean, a Roper against a party of 4th levels? Only a real asshole would write up something like that.

Anyways, the 4E modules have actually been right in line with the suggested treasure guidelines. Far from Mony Haul-ish but we certainly can't complain. We're just a smidge shy of 5th level and everyone in the party now has magic armor or a magic weapon, and in some cases, both.

Even better, for those of us who don't have a magic weapon (myself and our ranger Hune) have enough coin to enchant our weapons to our preference, thanks to the ritual.

Enchant Magic Item (PHB, p 304). This ritual is the cat's ass. Okay, it's a little too MMO-like for my tastes. The jaded skeptic/curmudgeon in me sees this as an obvious way to sell the edition to computer game producers who will then tout that all the kids can easily have flaming swords and armor that spits out lightning. But, putting that aside it really is a nice and useful little effect. Find some generic components and voila, you have a sword or armor that suits you to a tee.

There's some inherent suspension of belief there, but no less than in the 3.5 days when our DM had to conveniently stock the local merchant with whatever magic item we'd been pining/whining for.

While there aren't a lot of magic items worth questing for, at least we have an easy way of turning gold and gems into the item we really want.

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