Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Delving into the 5e DMG Part 5

Master of Adventures winds up with Chapter 7 in what is perhaps the longest section of the book, Magic Items and their details.

Now for some specifics. Treasure in this section is categorized as Coin, Gemstones, Art Objects, and Magic Items. There are random treasure tables categorized by challenge level. Gemstones have a series of tables sorted by value that allow you to generate a specific type of gem. The same goes for art objects. The author give advice on the buying and selling of magic items, the default being MIs are too rare to have much of a market. There is a section on identifying a magic items. Basically take a short rest and you can figure it out. If you need to know right now use a identify spell. If you want to be more old school and make identification difficult they give you advice on that.

Some magic items need attunement. You have to meet the items prerequisite, and spend a short rest bonding with the item. You can't have more than three items attuned to you at one time. Cursed items are discussed including the fact the unfortunate bearer can be attuned to the cursed item. The different categories of magic items are discussed, Armor, Potions, RIngs, Rods, Scrolls, Staffs. Wands, Weapons, and Wondrous Items. Wearing and Wield a magic items is discussed and the operative rule is use your common sense for times like a character tries to wear two helms. Ways of activating magic items is talked about including command word, consumables, spells, and charges. Advice is given on the resilience of magic items. Most magic items, other than potions and scrolls, have resistance to damage over their mundane counterpart.

The next section is a really good addition to DnD. It called Special Features and it is a series of table you can use to make a bog standard magic item distinct. These tables include

  • Who created the item?
  • What is a detail from its history?
  • What minor property does it have?
  • What quirk does it have?

After a series of random magic items charts that works in conjunction with the random treasure table is 64 pages of magic items. The magic items are described evocatively with the prose kept short. Many of the old favorites are back. The cap is generally +3 on bonuses and often lower. The pages are littered with the best illustrations of magic items of any edition and beg to be put on cards to be used at the table.

Following this is a section where the author give rules and advice on creating Sentient Magic Items. Their abilities, how they communicate, what senses they have,their alignment, it is suggested to the NPC personality tables, and what special purpose the sentient items has. Next is advice and rules on what happens when the item's personality comes into conflict with the wielder. Which basically involves an opposed Charisma check. Mmmmm I think one of my characters is in trouble with this. And for the win, this section concludes with a write up of the classic trio from White Plume Mountain, Wave, Whelm, and Blackrazor, along with an item I am not familiar with Moonblades.

Next is the one of the sections that people drool over. There are not as many as ADnD 1st edition but the author do a really good job with the one they include. This section also see the return on random artifact properties; Minor Beneficial, Major Beneficial, Minor Detrimental, Major Detrimental. There is also a section on destroying artifacts. The artifacts that made the cut for 5e are: Axe of the Dwarvish Lords, Book of Exalted Deeds, Book of Vile Darkness, Eye and Hand of Vecna (no head sorry), Orb of Dragonkind, Sword of Kas, and the Wand of Orcus. Again this section is really well done.

And the chapter does not end at this point. It has a surprise in that new types of rewards are listed. In Other Rewards, the authors talked about Supernatural Gifts. Marks Prestige, and Epic Boons.

Supernatural Gifts include blessings and charms. Basically minor magical abilities gain as result of service to a god or somebody discovering special esoteric knowledge. These are things like your constitution score goes up by 2 to a max of 22. Or a sword in your possession acts as a dragon slayer for the next 9 days.

Marks of Prestige are the mundane world counterpart to blessings and charms. They include things like Letters of Recommendation, Medals, Parcels of Land, Special Favors, Special Rights, Strongholds, Titles, and Training. The section is filled with good idea on rewards that doesn't involve more gold pieces, or more items.

Epic Boons is likely going to a topic of discussion as it serves as 5e method of post 20th level progression. The basic mechanic is that for every 30,000 xp after 20th level (350,000 xp) you gain a epic boon. For example a Boon of Skill Proficiency, you gain proficiency in all skills. If you think this makes your campaign too epic then there is toned down alternative where character can earn ability score improvement up to 30 or keep on taking feats.

So this ends Masters of Adventures, next up is Chapter 8 and Masters of Rules.

Link to all parts of the Review

2 comments:

faoladh said...

Reason #2864556 that I know I am not quite "right": My first thought, on reading that you have to spend a short rest "bonding" with your magic item, was "Do you play softball with it? Go fishing together?"

Ken H said...

Cue the Barry White