Magic Items

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Magic items in Legend are special tools that can only be used by characters of sufficient power. A character must reach a certain level to be capableof wielding particularly powerful items, and can only use so many at any given time. One may own many magic items, of course; a particularly powerful character may have an armory full of magical weapons, and may change his or her choice of magic items at the end of any [Scene] in which that collection of items is readily accessible. Even in games where items are less accessible, GMs should ensure that player characters can acquire powerful items as they become capable of using them. As always in Legend, your game will work best when your group works together to create an enjoyable game.

Gaining and Choosing Magic Items

The most straightforward way to gain additional items is to acquire them in-game as encounter rewards or quest rewards. All GMs should ensure that, at a minimum, the players can acquire enough items in this way to fill all available magic item slots in their item progressions. It is also generally wise to provide items that are useful for the player characters, as few sages particularly want a magic sword and not many barbarians wish for magical books. As noted earlier in this chapter, a game in which large numbers of magic items are inappropriate should be designed around that concept from the outset, with player characters using the Full Buy-In progression.

In some situations, players may gain additional resources beyond the number of items they are actually able to use. Characters may maintain a cave where their butler and product engineer store extra treasures and tools, or they might simply devote a wall in their bedrooms to storing spare weapons. These are reasonable things for adventurers to do, and our item system supports this choice. Between [Scenes], if a character has access to extra magic items, the character may switch out one or more magic items currently in use for items of the same tier that are not currently in use (for example, a Lesser item for another Lesser item).

When the player characters wish to acquire extra items for these purposes, it is reasonable to set up a short quest focused on acquiring items, possibly with in-character repercussions involving bitter nobles or vengeful guard captains. Campaigns don't generally suffer from extra challenges and plot arcs.

Generally, a character should have no more than one of a particular item, unless the item's description states otherwise.

Activating and Using Magic Items

Magic items in Legend can only be activated by a process of attunement. Attunement is a brief process, lasting only a minute, but only a creature of sufficient power can attune to any given magic item.

Various magic items are "unlocked" in different ways; relatively common attunement methods include feeding the item a drop of the would-be user's blood, implanting a gem into the item, and holding the item in noonday sunlight or the light of the full moon (many adventurers store sunlight and moonlight in ritual jars so that they can attune items at more convenient times). As a rule, assume that characters have or gain the resources to attune a magic item by the time they acquire it; if an item is part of a quest reward, the attunement resources should be part of the quest as well.

Once a magic item is attuned to its user, using it is a straightforward process. Items generally provide passive ("always-on") bonuses to their users; if a specific item has an ability that is activated separately, follow the item description to determine the action cost and availability of the active ability.

Magic Item Types

Magic Weapons

A magical weapon provides a +1 or higher item bonus to attack rolls with that weapon based on its item tier, along with special abilities or options.

Magic Armors

Magical armor provides a +2 or higher item bonus to Armor Class with no penalties, along with special abilities or options.

Magic Shields

Magical shields provide a +1 or higher deflection bonus to Armor Class based on their item tier, along with special abilities or options.

Places of Power

Sometimes, a character can draw insight from a place of significance, and gain a benefit similar to that of a magic item. Many of these places may not be physically present in your campaign in any sense, but their essence can still be available to those who seek them. A place of power acts as a magic item of equivalent grade.

Items for Mounts

What [Mount] Items Represent: These items grant benefits to any mount. Thus, they are quite flexible in what they represent. Such an item might represent a special bond between you and the mount through which you can transfer magical powers. Alternatively, it could represent schematics or modifications the character knows how to apply to any mount. They might even simply be magical items that return to you on command, even if you've lost the mount carrying them.

Some items, marked with [Mount], are only usable with a mount (from the Ride skill, the Signature Ride ability, or any other mount that follows the rules from Mounted Combat) and only convey their benefits on that mount. Some normal items usable by characters can extend their benefits to mounts as well. When you attune to a magic item marked with [Mount], you may designate a mount within your [Close] range. That mount may benefit from that magic item for as long as you are attuned to that item. If you lose this mount, you cease to be attuned to any magic items marked with [Mount] from which this mount was benefiting before you lost it.

Magic Item Grades

Lesser Items

As the weakest category, Lesser items are the relatively simple things, like the well-worn tools in Batman's utility belt. They often have a significant effect, but they tend to be more colorful than powerful. Most players will start with access to one of these, and gaining it may even be part of what sends them off on their adventuring career. Even the simple things can count for a lot.

Greater Items

More powerful magical items are always problematic. Our intellectual model for these is that they should be like Artemis's bow. Sure, it's an item of power, it's been blessed, crafted, coddled. But at the end of the day, what matters is that this was a bow used by Artemis, not that this was the bow Artemis had to use. Items in this class are powerful props that help add depth and diversity to your character's arsenal, rather than define your character.

Relics

Every story has MacGuffin items. We thought it'd be nice if they were also MacBeatYourFoesToDeath items. These are deadly powers given a home in steel, and serve as milestones for a character's ascension to power and fame. More than that, relics are the tools that great deeds are sealed with, representing rarities likely to be almost universally sought after. Many of these relics are likely to have unique names, and histories of their own. While they are unlikely to be the defining aspect of a character, there's a modicum of notoriety involved simply in owning a Relic that players should be prepared for.

Artifacts

Artifact items are singularly character-defining, those rare items of immense power that are almost inextricably tied to the heroes who wielded them. If Relics help you finish quests and win battles, Artifacts are the items that make a quest possible, or a battle conceivable. Excalibur comes to mind as a superb example. Artifacts elevate their owners, as few other things in this system do, and often have their own stories and histories that only the truly powerful can hope to be worthy of. The bearer of an artifact often has a measure of status by association alone, even if their own greatness dwarfs their tool’s legend in time.