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The Other Tome of Magic (3.5e Sourcebook)/SRP3

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MisterSinister (talk)
Date Created: 13th October 2010
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Chapter 3: Equipment and Enhancements

Items are a major part of who you are in DnD, and we want to have cool items to define our characters. However, the base DnD system spends so much time being concerned with getting 'even bigger bonuses' that a lot of cool and interesting items (which are overpriced to begin with) end up falling by the wayside in the race for numbers. Additionally, thanks to the body slot system, characters are encouraged, if not outright forced, to cover themselves in as many items as possible, while making wearing more than two rings impossible. Since these aren't things we want, they need fixing, and this chapter does exactly that.

General Rules Edit

These rules apply to a large part of everything in here, and so have been put before specifics regarding items.

Wealth By Level Edit

This is a system that has done more to ruin the size of dragon hoards than ever before. As money directly converts to vertical advancement, dragon hoards of large size now turn into Evian bottles of gold coins. Additionally, thanks to these guidelines, presenting lakes of molten silver, giant gold statues and gem-studded caverns to the party becomes problematic, as this just leads them to attack the setting with crowbars in an attempt to gain asymmetric power. None of this leads to a cool or fun game, and thus, wealth by level has to go. For good.

Wealth by level is gone. Treasure tables available in the DMG are still fine, though, with a little adjustment at the top. (check this later)

New Item Classifications Edit

A +3 sword in the core DnD rules costs your weight in gold. Carting around this much money, and indeed, any sane economy actually being able to absorb it given the rules, is simply asking too much. Additionally, the amount of accountancy magic items require, when combined with wealth by level guidelines, just becomes ridiculous. So let's simplify this the hell away. Since wealth by level is going away, we need a new system of organization and power labelling anyway.

Items are now divided into three broad categories, based on how powerful they are and what they can do, as well as how available they are in general.

Minor items are the most common and weakest magic items. They have a maximum gold piece cost of 4,000, and are freely available to purchase in any place that has sufficient gold in the economy to hold up such a trade (more notes here).

Medium items are less common and more powerful. They have a gold piece cost ranging from 4,001-15,000, and are available only in places of sufficient size (more notes here). While they can be bought with gold or gems, only the truly powerful can afford to have these, and even then, they're nearly always specially-made.

Major items are the most powerful, but also the most rare. They have a cost that cannot be paid with any sum of money ever, and can only be obtained by finding, making, stealing or trading for them using other items of similar power or favours. They are nearly always one-of-a-kind or specially-made.

Item Slots Edit

The 'body chakra' system used by DnD encourages all the wrong approaches to magic items. While on the one hand it makes being covered in a zillion items to fill every body slot a good thing, on the other, it means that people who want to wear three rings, or two crowns or something similar are out of luck. Neither of these is very desirable, and so it's time to fix things a bit.

You may use four continuously-active or use-activated items at any one time. You can, of course, carry more, but usage and attunement limits restrict you to four simultaneous items working for you at once. See the (section name here) for more information.

These items can be of any sort you can physically wear or wield. While somebody wearing two suits of armour is a bit silly, four rings or two crowns or whatever is totally fine.

Items When Starting Above 1st Level Edit

Proper Care, Feeding and Rules for Items Edit

Content to come.

Items By Type Edit

Armour Edit

Mundane Armour Edit

It is unfortunate, but current mundane armour is... well, extremely mundane. Additionally, according to the core system, there are only three kinds of armour that you get if you're not cash-strapped or stupid: chain shirt, breastplate or full plate.

In addition to this, magical materials are often applied in non-intuitive ways, if they're applied at all. All of these issues keep armours as something that is rather mundane, when in practice, adventurers wear all kinds of crazy stuff and call it armour. Since this is something we want to encourage, let's encourage it!

Armour and Natural Armour Edit

People get natural armour - this is just a fact. Whether it's player characters who want to be gnolls or gnoll NPCs who want a little extra protection, this is going to happen and we have to learn to live with it. However, it seems to be quite clear that one was supposed to replace the other, and when allowed to co-exist, the two rapidly end up reaching the statosphere and becoming totally level-and-CR-inappropriate. This small change should make this less of an issue, while still benefitting those who have both.

If a creature has both an armour and a natural armour bonus, only count half of the smaller bonus (rounding down).

Example: A gnoll (natural armour +2) decides to wear some armour that gives it a +4 bonus to AC. Its final AC would be 15 (counting half of the natural armour bonus, as it is smaller). If this gnoll were to then gain 3 points of natural armour, its AC would become 17 (counting half of the armour bonus, as it is smaller).}}

Potions Edit

Staves Edit

Wands Edit

Weapons Edit

Magical weapons are something people like having, especially if they happen to be on fire. Coolness of magical weapons is something we very much want to encourage.

Wondrous Items Edit

Intelligent Items Edit

Stuff about intelligent items will go here. Specifically, about how they are cohorts, and give them some rules that aren't stupid.


A Note on Artifacts
Some may have noted that this volume makes no attempt to balance artifacts, and frankly, none is needed. The whole reason artifacts exist is as tools of GM pity. If your character consistently falls behind the curve or doesn't keep up, an artifact gives the GM the ability to put you back on track and performing. Alternatively, they serve purely to achieve plot McGuffins that have a very tenuous, if not altogether non-existent, relationship with the rules. In the former case, balance is not necessary, and in the latter case, it's frankly not even possible. As a result, artifacts have been left alone in this volume.


Magical Locations Edit

Sometimes, treasure doesn't come in portable form. However, none would deny that magical fountains, rock formations or statues are also 'treasure' as much as anything else.


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