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Author Topic: players identifying charms & covenant items  (Read 3563 times)
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kevperrine
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« on: January 01, 2007, 10:27:41 PM »

How do you go about giving players info on what charms and coventant items are??

I've always fought with how to do this.

Can characters just automatically KNOW if something's a charm or covenant iteam?
And once they know how/when do they find out the abilities?


Do you have any cool descriptive ways of giving this info to players?
Or do you just treat it like normal D&D, telling them its a "+1 sword"  or  gives a "+2 vs. Will Saves"  right away??


Any suggestions on how to best do this?
thanks
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 05:17:41 AM »

If one of them has some knowledge of charms I just grant him the ability to identify the item has being special if it has enough ranks in the appropriate skills I give him the full info on the charm, otherwise, I just present these as being tools of ancient and primeval lore that might bring some help to them in times of need. Without further description (except of course if they have been made for them by some NPC the know).

About covenant items, I just let the PCs awake the powers by using the weapon. Shoud one of them never throw is urutuk he might never discover thaht it has the 'returning' power, etc... More flavourful and full of little background scenes about the PCs. Agian if they meet someone who has info about their items, he might (or not) inform them about those.

I don't like the 'it grants you a +2 at level X, the XXX power two levels after, and...'. IMO to have a nice moment, mystery and surprise are better tools than game statistics.
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 08:07:29 AM »

Charms have only been considered as something i give them willingly, through some NPC, so they know what they do because it was said what they do when they received it, getting some charms as loot is probably not going to happen, first because the shadow followers do not really rely on them, second because you can't dentify one, so they m,ight take a efw trinkets believing they are charms, but not knowing what they do or even not being a charm may come up as an issue.

For covenant items I have to say I won't have much trouble, or had, they have come across a good share of weapons and I would make any covenant item stand out for qualities it has, I would describe it in detail, this would catch the attention of both players and the characters, the mechanics I would deliver to them whenever they would use the item in a situation it would actually be useful, not simply by picking up, but striking for a sword (and not just striking a tree) and the like.

Of course there is a channeler in the group whose lorebook might just help in knowing what the weapon can do, including powers not yet awakened.
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kevperrine
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2007, 12:51:33 PM »

If one of them has some knowledge of charms I just grant him the ability to identify the item has being special if it has enough ranks in the appropriate skills I give him the full info on the charm,


Charms have only been considered as something i give them willingly, through some NPC,
...
getting some charms as loot is probably not going to happen, first because the shadow followers do not really rely on them, second because you can't dentify one, so they m,ight take a efw trinkets believing they are charms, but not knowing what they do or even not being a charm may come up as an issue.



Great, thanks.
Your notes on Covenant Items makes sense and is basically what I've done.

Charms I'm a little confused about still.

Why couldn't the PCs attain Charms as "loot"?
Why wouldn't Shadow Minions have Charms?

I look at charms like articles of simple magic that act in the place of  "cure light wound"  potions in normal D&D.  I use the charm creation tables and many of them have those small interesting uses,  that (to me) would be useful to either Shadow Minion or Hero or Peasant.  I may be thinking of them wrongly (check me if I am)  but I see Charms as those neat little "good luck charms", bobbles, trinkets, and such that Midnight peoples don't fully understand but use almost as a natural aid like an herb, special support or something...


the couple situations I have given out Charms  (but again had a little trouble not just "giving away" that they were charms)  were:
-  Orc and/or Legate squads big enough to need the minor supports of Charms.
-  when PCs find another "hero" or peasant that makes sense to have a charm or two in their gear or home just in case.


Charms are virtually undetectable at glances, so it makes them the perfect item for use even amoungst the commoners.  Which is why I just always assumed that they we're for heroes only.
I've done the same with covenant items at times,  having a commoner wield a Covenant Sword that he knows to have been in his family for generations.  Sadly for whatever reason he is unable to unlock it's abilities, so he's never known it was magical.



So the main thing I'm wondering is if Heroes (pathwalkers) can just feel/sense/see Covenant Items, then when they pick them up can use their abilities (up to their level)  and possibly unlock more later. 
Charms I'm still not sure about.

I'm considering that they just have some tiny "shine" to them.  They stand out among a box of other trinkets.  Pathwalkers (PC or Shadow) just know.  Commoners might not.



I'm looking to follow the themes/rules without breaking the rational for them by the book.
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2007, 02:03:44 PM »

I take charms in a different way, and that is why my take may seem confusing to you. I see charms as things the shadow religion is strongly detached from, even against, instead of small faith on little trinkets they should have faith on the dark god alone, they won't believe a rabbit foot can bring them good luck, but that sacrificing a child to the dark god would do the same.

I see the Warrior's Sacrifice from Steel and Shadow as a counter part of the charm mechanics for the Shadow followers. i don't think there is anything wrong with either of our takes, the core rules are not really covering the charms as part of the whole religious picture, but as part of the folk lore of erenland.

Charms are used by commoners in their daily life, and heroes would make use of them too, specially true charms. On how to make charms and covenant items be detected, if they bear innate magic, then they could be detected by the spell detect magic (not astiraxes heheh) and make sure they know it is not channeled, but innate, detect feelings instead of school and so on. Allow identify to work on them and so on.

You could use the rules for covenant items as is, the knowledge is given to the character as he holds the item, but you may tie another requisite to it, the will to hold the item must also bear the belief it is special, it is this small feeling that powers the item, triggering the powers it has.
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Albert
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2007, 03:54:53 PM »

I'm with Nifelhein on this one. Charms aren't used (at least not in great extent) by the shadow in my campaign, and the PCs have yet to find them as loot. Getting ahold of charms would thus either be through trading, crafting themselves or as gifts, all of wich would probably reveal their workings (barring dishonest traders or giftgivers of course). Identifying an unknown charm could probably be done by anyone with the prerequisiste knowledge skill ranks to craft the same charm.

Covenant items on the other hand. I would give a spellcaster using identify or legend lore precise numberbased information, as well as flavourfull description. Without the use of magic there's simply no way to identify them precisely except through use. I have for example included a covenant item sword in my campaign that grants a bonus on saves vs. fear, the PC will realize this the first time he makes such a save while wielding the sword.
Knowledge skills, lorebook checks, or sometimes gather info could give clues to the items function however, but no precise numbers.
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2007, 05:08:55 PM »

We can't always disagree after all. Wink

I handle it exactly the same, but I Ccan see allowing the character that wields it to get some attempts to get more in tune with the item and make some kind of test to see if he uncovers something more (rolling BAB plus wisdom to get information from a sword and the like). I would not use this if a channeler in the party has identify though, mroe like a secondary means than anything else.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 05:13:55 PM by Nifelhein » Logged
Albert
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2007, 08:01:21 AM »

rolling BAB plus wisdom to get information from a sword and the like

Interesting mechanic, I've had a channeler in my group use spellcraft in the same matter, giving vague clues on good checks. Of course, he know he would have to take Divination if he is to get any solid info.
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