Monday, 10 January 2011

Experience: Treasure and Items

I'm of the belief that magic items should be rare. Fighting equipment with low "pluses" in my campaign is made out of one of the following special but non-magical materials:
what fell sorcery is this

Virtuous steel (+1 to hit, damage, armor): Carbonized iron treated with special craft, as in the historical workshops of Toledo or Damascus. The metal is flexible, and cuts or pierces as well as it resists when forged as plate or chain.

Azagyan (+1 to damage, armor): A dense and lustrous green-tinged metal, mined by goblin-kind and worn both by them and those who take it as trophy.

Silver-steel (+1 to hit, -3 to armor move penalty): This rarity was forged by dwarves for elves at a time of greater friendship between the two races. Chain and plate of this metal preserve freedom of movement, and the light strength of the metal makes for an agile blade or swift point. As well, the silver in the alloy is capable of damaging certain baneful creatures otherwise immune to arms.

Adamantite (+2 to hit, damage, armor): A powerful blackish-purple metal from the deep earth that cleaves all others decisively and seems to thirst for flesh when forged into a weapon.

These metals, of course, can be enchanted - or cursed - with magic, and are often favored for such applications.

With these and various other alchemical substances floating around it's hard to keep the distinction between "magic items" and "valuable treasure items" though the common denominator is my intention to keep both things fairly, meaningfully scarce. Thus the following protocol for converting all sorts of valuables to xp:

* All xp from an adventuring session are divided among those who were alive and conscious at the end of the session, regardless of who killed what or ended up with what.

* Coinage translates to experience when taken to safety, on a 1sp (campaign's base currency) to 1 xp basis.

* Valuable and magic items that are priced in my notes or campaign materials, but not tested or used in a way that would reasonably expose the character to any maleficent effects, do not earn xp.

* When brought to safety and tested or used, the party (those members at the time the object was brought to safety) gets half the xp from the item's value. Experience points should not be a clue; if testing revealed only a lesser power, while a greater one goes unguessed at, adjust the award accordingly.

* When sold on, the remaining half of the xp is distributed among the party at the time of the sale, or full xp if the item was never tested and the party manages to sell it.

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