Peter Maranci (bobquasit) wrote in runequest_brp,
Peter Maranci

RQ Charms

I came up with this idea a while ago, and then forgot all about it. I stumbled across it again on my hard drive, and I'm thinking about expanding it into an article for my site. I'd really appreciate any feedback before I start writing, though. ->PM

Recently I had an idea for a new kind of magic item for RQ; something that seems so obvious that I can't believe someone didn't already create it: Charms.

Lucky charms, that is (no cereal jokes, please), which increase the owner's chance with a specific skill. For example, a little toy bridle made of horsehair which increases the owner's chance to Ride by a certain small percentage. Or a tiny silver arrow that improves Bow Attack similarly.

The thing is, there are a number of decisions to make about how charms would work. Some questions:

1. How much should a charm improve a skill? I'm thinking that the enchanter should be able to choose at the time of creation, either rolling 1d6 or taking a flat 3% (in other words, using the experience gain mechanic). This would allow more variation among charms.

2. How much POW should it cost to make a charm? Does 2 points for +1d6/3% sound reasonable?

3. Restrictions/Requirements? There are many of these. For example, I'd think that the enchanter who makes a charm should have to make a check against the applicable skill when they craft the charm. And perhaps the charm can only increase the skill of the owner up to the skill of the enchanter when it was crafted, so that if Bob the Enchanter has a Ride skill of 78% when he makes a +3% Ride charm and gives it to someone with a 76% Ride skill, it only increases their skill to 78%, not 79%. Also, I don't think that the charm should be factored in when making experience rolls. Should direct contact with the charm be required for it to be effective? Should there be a limit to the number of charms which can be used at one time by one person? Perhaps they need to be attuned, like powered crystals, in which case only one could be used at a time. Or perhaps the limit should be POW/3 or POW/2.

4. Bonuses? I think it should be easier to make a charm by using appropriate substances, or rather it should be harder to make a charm out of an inappropriate material (or materials). For example, making a Ride charm out of horsehair is appropriate - making it out of metal is not (unless it was a piece of metal taken from a bridle, perhaps). The GM should apply a negative modifier to the creator's Enchant roll for inappropriate substances (but how much?).

Contrariwise, magical substances should make it easier to enchant, or possibly in the case of powerful magical materials reduce (but never completely eliminate) the required POW. This sort of logic should probably apply to ALL sorts of magic items!

5. Stackable? I'm inclined to make the charm enchantment stackable, so that more powerful charms can be created. But this would be easy to abuse, so I'm thinking that the POW cost to stack charms should increase exponentially: 2 POW for the first 1d6, 4 for the second, 8 for the third, and so on. Sound reasonable?

6. What about charms for entire skill categories (i.e. Agility, for example)? Or for ALL skills (that would be incredibly powerful). Also, what about charms that improve Luck rolls, or resistance to disease? There should be charms which improve the chance to cast specific spells, and maybe some which work for all spells, too. Though again that would be very powerful.

7. Special success? What happens if the enchanter specials or criticals their Enchant roll for a charm? What if they special/crit the required skill roll for the skill? What if they special/crit both rolls? What would the effects of a Fumble be for either roll?

Anyway, just some ideas. What do you think?
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