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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:14 pm  
    4th edition Magic Items Slots/rules

    WOTC just posted an article on 4th edition magic items. Some good some bad (depends upon how you like your magic items I guess).

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20080123
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:00 pm  

    Doesn't seem like a big change to me. I guess I'd have to see it in play.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:09 am  

    I think you didn't read it carefully enough, Mortellan. Its quite a big change.

    First, all the "Plus" bonuses are now concentrated into three slots: weapons for attack/damage, armor for AC, and neck for resistance (saves). All other items are going to give special features/options, not direct bonuses. No more Shield +5, for instance. It can have some defensive property like absorption or something, but not an enhancement bonus.

    Also, the total number of items you can have is substantially cut down.

    You can have a shield (defense) OR bracers (offense).

    Helm OR goggles OR Iouan stone type thing.

    Magic Cloak OR magic amulet/necklace.

    No magic rings until lvl 11. Can't have a 2nd one until lvl 21.

    And the only items that they expect you to have in terms of game balance is the armor/weapon/necklace. The other slots are supposed to only be minor powers of various sorts that are cool, but don't really change how powerful the character is.

    That's certainly not the way things are now.

    Overall, I like the idea of toning down the impact of magic items in the game. I do this anyway, so its nice that the game rules start doing it also. Too bad so much else in the game is moving away from my preferred game style.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:36 am  

    The other thing that is implied in the article, but can't be known for sure since they didn't tell us what those items do, is that the non core 3 items are supposed to be much weaker than what is currently available.

    If I had to bet, I'd say that most of those things he has are per day or per encounter boosts, not permanent effects. Or if they are permanent, they are much less powerful than the kinds of stuff 3.5 expects you to have at the same level.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:49 am  

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    Yes Bubba....but the bad news is I left a post on Canonfire as well. Can you resist it twice? I think not.....You shall cave in to your inner rage!


    No I won't give in to the ranting urge. See? I _still_ haven't posted in this thread! No, wait...

    D'oh!
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    Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:33 pm  

    I suppose thats a significant amount of changes. The slot properties are still typical for those items in the DMG. The total number of spaces reduced is good. The rings level requirement is weird. Why not make all magic items level dependant to control? Why rings? In 3.5 rings you had to be high level to make them but it was silly b/c most common magic rings were VERY cheap and didn't justify their difficulty to make. This feels like the same overestimation.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:03 pm  

    Yet another case when somebody should've said, "It ain't broke. Don't fix it."
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:05 pm  

    Well, again, we don't know anything about the properties. That's the big flaw in the article. Sure, cutting out five item slots (7 for low levels if you count the rings as gone) is significant. So is ditching huge swathes of traditional items like gauntlets of ogre power, bracers of armor, and so on. But the big change is supposed to be the reduction in utility of the majority of items' properties. But we don't know what shadowswyft gloves do, so we can't compare it to what we have now.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:49 am  

    I'm not sure this isn't a result of "It may not be broken, but something's still not right."

    It doesn't just fall to PCs either. One of the things I have been doing lately with monsters/npcs, is making sure as much of their power as possible comes from within, rather than their items. I used to do the treasure way, but then realized that all iwas doing was power-leveling the characters, because they then took that same stuff. Of course I can get rid of the annoying stuff, but still. Fact is, less generic magic and more "cool" magic is a good thing to me. "You find Gloves of Cat's Grace +4." "Alright, put it with the Belt of Giant's Strength +4 and the Headband of Intellect +4." Big ticket ites that do bring some "ooh" factor, but not the same as even Slippers of Spider Climb ("come on, run up walls, jump up and stick to the ceiling, I'm Spider Monk! With a bow and my [not so] mighty shiruken! Can't touch this!"), or similar tactics changing items.

    Since most of your gotta have em abilities will come from class, then I can see backing off magic items some. As a design philosphy its not a bad one. Besides, I know several DMs who would be glad to see a reduction in the number of items, simply because they don't like giving out the sheer numbers required by 3.0/3.5.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:04 pm  

    It really doesn't matter how they muck with the mechanics. The simple fact is that since the inception of 3e WotC has done a truly crappy job of teaching people how to use the system. Remember all those articles in Dragon about 'how to DM properly'? When's the last time you saw an article like that? And no, articles describing how to rearrange the math don't count.

    WotC has done a lousy job of teaching people how to DM, how to use the system to create various types of games, and how to grow in the art - yes, I said 'art' - of designing and running games. For a long time now they've been relying on the mechanics of the system to take care of a lot of that. The problem is, no mechanical system will ever be able to make someone into a better DM.

    All the problems with magic items are derived from this. Do the characters have too many? Then the DM screwed up and gave too much treasure. Do they have too few? Then again the DM screwed up. Are the magic items too powerful? Too weak? Do monsters and NPCs have too much or too little magic? Is magic too readily available or too rare? No matter what the situation, it's the DM's job to make sure things get fixed. Since no adventuring party is the same and since no two games go exactly the same way, no mechanical system will ever be able to account for every situation that comes up. A better DM is always going to be the answer. When WotC starts making better DMs, let me know and I'll gladly participate. Otherwise, they can goof around with mechanics all they want - they're never going to fix anything.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:58 am  

    I think you will find that strength boosting items are still in, although it remains to be seen what forn this will take.

    My own view has always been that you can retain the items' essence without resorting to boring stat bonuses. So Gauntlets of Dexterity can grant a +5 skill bonus to Sleight of Hand, Open Locks, and Disable Device checks without increasing AC or attack rolls. Gauntlets of Ogre Power and Girdles of Giant Strength can provide an equivalent SIZE modifiers, which would increase lifting and carrying capacity. You could apply a straightforward bonus to strength or leave base strength alone and apply a separate bonus to grappling, sundering, and knockback (a bit like super strength in Mutants & Masterminds). A Headband of Intellect can apply a bonus to knowledge skills, and a Cloak of Charisma could increase diplomacy. Simple ways to improve your characters that would not be 'must have' items and would not affect the wider game in a major way.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:10 am  

    This is precisely the kind of DMing skills I'm talking about, and also an example of why I say WotC has been doing a poor job of teaching the DM's art. In 1e DMs were encouraged to design their own magic items or otherwise muck with the system in order to make sure the party was properly balanced for the game they had in mind. Since 3e began, though, DMs and players have instead begun to take a 'supermarket' approach to choosing magic items (yes, I'm aware some used the supermarket approach in the old days, but it wasn't encouraged as much). The emphasis now has shifted to making sure a character's magic items are within the gp limits rather than whether they're within the DM's 'balance' parameters. The magic items in the DMG are 'the way it is' rather than just examples of things you can use in your games.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:10 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    This is precisely the kind of DMing skills I'm talking about, and also an example of why I say WotC has been doing a poor job of teaching the DM's art. In 1e DMs were encouraged to design their own magic items or otherwise muck with the system in order to make sure the party was properly balanced for the game they had in mind. Since 3e began, though, DMs and players have instead begun to take a 'supermarket' approach to choosing magic items (yes, I'm aware some used the supermarket approach in the old days, but it wasn't encouraged as much). The emphasis now has shifted to making sure a character's magic items are within the gp limits rather than whether they're within the DM's 'balance' parameters. The magic items in the DMG are 'the way it is' rather than just examples of things you can use in your games.


    I must say, I agree with you, little effort has been made to teach the "art" of DMing. I don't know if I ever felt that any edition tried to teach it beyond the little bit in the DMG but I do feel that Gygax did try and put more effort into that section of the DMG with 1st edition. Honestly, 99.9% of it is learning as you go. The idea of putting everything in a box and saying "there you go, everything fits to a math formula" was one of the biggest pitfalls of 3rd edition. I expect 4th edition to perhaps be better as far as the lid to the box fitting better (the math will be better) but it isn't what I want in a new edition. There is no math in any edition I can't adjust.

    The math, as is, may work for someone's campaign and not another'. Everyone has a different way of running their world, what kind of characters they allow, what level of magic they accept for those characters, what kind of challenges they are capable of running to make things fun and dangerous for the adventurers. No math formula can put it all in a box and make 1001 playing styles and choices work. Personally, I think what they should have done in the first place is recognized that these differences in campaigns existed and addressed it in a way that allows a workable solution for varying types.

    A good example is the XP system. It went from 1st edition which was very slow to zoom, to what we currently have, "let's fly like superman." Essentially, nothing in between other than "If you don't like it change it". Sure I changed it. I know how to do that. But having a very slow (so your campaign lasts for 10+ years), slow (5 year campaign), average, and fast XP chart would have been nice. If they feel the need to dictate the number of magic items by gold piece value (another pitfall of 3rd edition as far as I'm concerned) then they should have worried less about gold and given some examples of magically weak characters, average, magically powerful adventurers, and supermagic characters. This would have said a lot more than "at this level you need to have "X" amount of magic items in gold pieces, or you need exactly this many pieces, or you can only have "X" number based on body slots." I mean it's one thing to say that only two magic rings work at the same time, it is another thing to say you can't use it until 11th level and that all magic items that you wear around your neck have "X" effect. Talk about putting the game into a box, placing a lid on it, and wrapping it up with so much tape you need a butcher knife to open the blasted thing. I had hoped WOTC would have learned to take a more "off hands" approach to the box and instead placed their wisdom and knowledge in examples and advice rather than mechanics. DMing is an art, always has been, always should be. It is how I teach others and when they have reached a level of gaming where they understand this, then they raise their level of gaming. Everyone learns at their own pace, but this "in the box" approach hinders the learning experience and creativity of campaigns.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:04 am  

    I've been away for a week or so and what's changed? Absolutely nothing. Bubba and that damned Prophet are still makin' sense. I need a mushroom cordial.
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:43 am  

    Ragr wrote:
    Bubba and that damned Prophet are still makin' sense...

    Nobody's more surprised by that than me... Wink
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:18 am  

    Thanks guys.....I feel the warmth! Happy Ragr, good to see you back! Bubba tried to take your place in the beat up on Eileen area, but he was to much of a paladin. According to my calculations you are exactly 47 posts behind schedule, of which 27.18% include insults to me, 19.26% include compliments to me; 28.99% are intended as 4th edition disappointmens, 08.38% are 4th edition neutral, and 16.19% fall into the miscellaneous category.

    So what has changed? Many things....after taking a break from actually adventuring due to alternative responsibilities of one of our players, I shall be returning to Ravenloft to finnish off that blasted vampire (with virtually no spells available on my part). Can't be done you say, just watch. Oh, and I'm on vacation for a week, didn't know it was coming until two days before hand, that was nice, working on a Legion of Super-Heroes RPG, shower head broke on me a couple of days ago, moved my dice box from one side of my desk to the other, put a new battery in the clock, bought new music, found out about the president's rebate, got a new coworker, pen ran out of ink, and the light in the kitchen burned out this morning.

    So as you can see, a lot of things have changed.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:40 pm  

    Wait...you moved your dice? What, are you crazy?!?! You're gonna break the mojo! Now you'll NEVER defeat that vampire!
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:02 pm  

    So a post should go something like;

    Prophet, you are completely useless and have no chance of besting even a kobold.
    But you are exceptionally gifted and will easily best a feeble vampire.
    Man I hate 4e, even the thought of such drivel breaks me into fits of screaming rage.
    Or does it?
    Has anyone ever submitted an article featuring the noble mushroom (not Myconids).
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:22 pm  

    Ragr wrote:
    Quote:
    So a post should go something like;

    Prophet, you are completely useless and have no chance of besting even a kobold.


    Sigh.....haven't you learned anything yet? It is troglodytes I fear, not kobolds. Where I come from kobolds are hardy a threat to anyone.

    Ragr then wrote:
    Quote:
    But you are exceptionally gifted and will easily best a feeble vampire.


    Well Yea, I hope so anyway. I took out the one in the Lost Cavarns of Tsjocanth with little to no help from the wizard and paladin.

    And then he decided to write:
    Quote:
    Man I hate 4e, even the thought of such drivel breaks me into fits of screaming rage.
    Or does it?


    Yes it does break you into a fit of screaming rage. Unleash your inner beast and tell us what you really think!

    And in conclusion he wrote:
    Quote:
    Has anyone ever submitted an article featuring the noble mushroom (not Myconids).


    No, and what is this preocupation you have with mushrooms. I count 6 previous mentions of them within the last 72 posts from you.

    But overall, yea, it looks like you still got the hang of it.


    bubbagump wrote:
    Wait...you moved your dice? What, are you crazy?!?! You're gonna break the mojo! Now you'll NEVER defeat that vampire!


    Trust me Bubba, since I haven't played it won't matter. Like most good gamers, I have my rituals which are followed unerroringly when the game is about to begin.

    1. Remove everything off the desk.
    2. Wash the desk with a moist cloth.
    3. Allow to dry.
    4. Place required playing books on desk in upright position held in place by book end with the other side against the wall.
    5. Admire 4 poster map of Greyhawk mounted on the wall to my right.
    6. Place DM screen in front of me at the end of the desk.
    7. Place little wizard/dragon statues on each end of screen. Wizard on the left, dragon on the right.
    8. Open dice box (I have a very nice pewter like, felt lined inside, dice box with engravings of a knight attempting to slay a dragon on the top, the front and back sides have an ornate design with a dragon head centered. The bottom of the box is also felt lined so as to not scratch the desk.
    9. Remove dice by gently rolling them out of the box.
    10. Place each die in piles by type.
    11. Starting from left to right place the d20's together inside the DM screen, followed by d12's, d10's, d8's, d6's, and then d4's.
    12. Place empty dice box between DM screen and books.
    14. Remove Players Handbook from books and place on desk on the left side of the DM screen.
    15. Place module in front of me (if I'm running one), which is 89.73% of the time.
    16. Place character sheet next to Players Handbook.
    17. Place calaculater, pen, pencil, and eraser on right side of the desk below D&D books remaining with book end.
    18. Open Eileen's personal dice bag (made of leather) remove dice, and admire them. They are black with hold numbers and gold swirly designs on sides.
    19. Tell players ro roll for music.
    20. Pick up Eileen's personal d20.
    21. Shake virorously within semi closed hand for 2.73 seconds.
    22. Allow die to roll on top of desk without touching anything as it does.
    23. Lose die roll 78.31% of the time.
    24. Get can of pop from refridge or cooler.
    25. Open pop
    26. Place on cloth positioned next to calculater, pen, pencil and eraser.
    27. Pick up pop again.
    28. Drink pop 3 swallows of pop.
    29. Place pop back on cloth.
    30. Begin game by recapping last playing session.

    I follow this procedure every game and I have only died 1 and a half times. Pretty good huh!
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    Last edited by EileenProphetofIstus on Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:27 pm  

    Eh? You've died 1/2 a time. Explanation, please.
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:12 pm  

    Ragr wrote:
    Eh? You've died 1/2 a time. Explanation, please.

    Long story, it most likely won't make much sense because of all the missing details, but I'll try for a short version...

    The first module we went through was Ghost Tower of Inverness. The soul gem kinda sucked out my soul. I went into the module having changed the "forever dead" statement of the module, everyone had put way to much work into their characters to have a soul sucked out and end the character permanently. Of coarse luck would have it that I was the only one who suffered the soul sucking effect.

    My souless body was abducted by worshippers of Hextor and placed under the guardianship of an evil ghost who also worshipped the evil god of war (previously a fallen paladin of Heironeous, goes by the name of Lord Othwaite.)

    PCs tracked down where the body went and entered the ghosts lair. They bargained with the ghost (who showed a redeeming moment when he saw the paladin of Heironeous) and so the body was given to them. They then had the body and soul gem taken to Greyhawk City and placed in the square. After a sufficient crowd gathered, the wizard made a lengthy speech about the god's power and how they must worship accordingly. The body and soul were then reunited through the power of the gods and presented as a miricle in the square as an attempt to influence the masses into returning to the proper ways of worship.

    So I consider it only half a death. Body was kinda in a suspended animation just soulless for a short while).
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:17 pm  

    I am sooooooo tempted to say something witty about soulless women right now....
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:21 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    I am sooooooo tempted to say something witty about soulless women right now....


    I dare you.....

    No, I double dare you!!!!!
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:57 pm  

    What do you get if you line ten prophets of Istus up side by side and cast "gust of wind"?


    Answer: A wind tunnel!
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:58 pm  

    Just kidding, of course. Laughing
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