Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Delving into AD&D: Magic Item Creation

This started out when I read the description of the 8th level Permanency spell in Swords & Wizardry. I saw that unlike AD&D it has nothing to do with magic item creation. It does what the spell title suggestions, makes a duration of a spell permanent. I then went to the Greyhawk Supplement to see how the original was worded, pretty much the same.  Then I thought to check out Enchant Item as that is a 6th level Swords & Wizardry spell. And it wasn't there nor in Men & Magic or any of the supplements. I asked around the forums, Google plus and StackExchange and with the aid of helpful posters found that it not in any of the Dragons or Strategic Reviews. 

The only reference to creating Magic Items in the 1974 edition of Dungeons & Dragons is found on page 6 and 7 of Volume I (Men & Magic). In there it says 
Wizards and above may manufacture for their own use (or for sale) such items as potions, scrolls, and just about anything else magical.
Looking at the level chart on page 16 of Volume I  we see that the title "Wizard" refers to a 11th level magic user.

There it was made into a 6th level spell which can be cast by a 12th level wizard. In addition the 8th level permanency spell has been altered to make it a requirement for the creation of permanent magic items. This meant that in AD&D, compared to OD&D, the level of making permanent magic items has been increased from 11th level to 16th level.

Wow Gygax must not have liked 11th level character making magic items.

Also this means Enchant Item in Swords & Wizardry is an imported AD&Dism. I am thinking for the Book of Lost Magic of dropping this down a fifth level spell. So that 9th level wizards can create magic items. This fits better with how often magic item appear in the Majestic Wilderlands. And I will revise the minor Magic Item creation spells I introduced to the Majestic Wilderland Supplement to the following

Create Scroll 1st Level spell (unchanged)
Create Potion 2nd level spell (unchanged)
Create Charm 3rd level spell (dropped from 4th level)
Create Wand 4th level spell (dropped from 5th level)
Enchant Magic Item 5th level spell  (dropped from 6th level)
Create Teleport Circle (dropped from 6th level)

1 comment:

Hedgehobbit said...

This is the way DCC RPG does it. While I like the idea, I'd prefer that the magic item creation spells have other uses. For example, scrolls could be made by a Write Magic spells that not only makes scrolls but lets Magic Users create magical writing such as notes or graffiti that can only be read with Read Magic. Or the enchant magic item spell could be used to make a weapon temporarily magical. That sort of thing. Also, I'm thinking about requiring multiple spells (a formula sort of) for individual items. For example, a MU would need to know Fireball to make a flaming sword.