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An exercise in item design

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  • An exercise in item design

    Below is an extract from the Pathfinder System Reference Document. How would you go about translating this into Mage? And yes, I'm aware that the end result will be a monstrosity.

    Rod of Lordly Might

    DESCRIPTION

    This rod has functions that are spell-like, and it can also be used as a magic weapon of various sorts. In addition, it has several more mundane uses. The rod of lordly might is metal and thicker than other rods, with a flanged ball at one end and six stud-like buttons along its length. Pushing any of the rod’s buttons is an action equivalent to drawing a weapon, and the rod weighs 10 pounds.

    The following spell-like functions of the rod can each be used once per day:

    Use hold person upon a touched creature, if the wielder so commands (Will DC 14 negates). The wielder must choose to use this power (a free action) and then succeed at a melee touch attack to activate the power. If the attack fails, the effect is lost.
    Use fear upon all enemies viewing it, if the wielder so desires (10-foot maximum range, Will DC 16 partial). Invoking this power is a standard action.
    Deal 2d4 hit points of damage to an opponent on a successful touch attack (Will DC 17 half) and cure the wielder of the same amount of damage. The wielder must choose to use this power before attacking, as with hold person.
    The following functions of the rod have no limit on the number of times they can be employed:

    In its normal form, the rod can be used as a +2 light mace. When button 1 is pushed, the rod becomes a +1 flaming longsword. A blade springs from the ball, with the ball itself becoming the sword’s hilt. The weapon stretches to an overall length of 4 feet.
    When button 2 is pushed, the rod becomes a +4 battleaxe. A wide blade springs forth from the ball, and the whole weapon lengthens to 4 feet.

    When button 3 is pushed, the rod becomes a +3 shortspear or a +3 longspear. A spear blade springs forth, and the handle can be lengthened up to 12 feet (wielder’s choice) for an overall length ranging from 6 feet to 15 feet. At its 15-foot length, the rod is suitable for use as a lance.

    The following other functions of the rod also have no limit on the number of times they can be employed.

    When button 4 is pushed, a spike that can anchor in stone is extruded from the ball, while the other end sprouts three sharp hooks. The rod lengthens to anywhere between 5 and 50 feet in a single round, stopping when button 4 is pushed again. Horizontal bars 3 inches long fold out from the sides, 1 foot apart, in a staggered progression. The rod is firmly held by the spike and hooks and can bear up to 4,000 pounds. The wielder can retract the climbing pole by pushing button 5.

    The ladder function can be used to force open doors. The wielder plants the rod’s base 30 feet or less from the portal to be forced and in line with it, then pushes button 4. The force exerted has a Strength modifier of +12.

    When button 6 is pushed, the rod indicates magnetic north and gives the wielder knowledge of his approximate depth beneath the surface or height above it.
    Last edited by LadyLens; 05-10-2021, 11:59 PM.

  • #2
    Knee-jerk response is that a tetrarch serving the General had way too much fun with Dynamics.

    Gonna have to do some mental gymnastics to make the Rod something more accessible/playable, though.


    MtAw Homebrew:
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    • #3
      Spell 1: Forces shielding. Shielding can prevent any acceleration, negating the need for Unmaking. If you want it to be a dead stop, it’s Unmaking with a duration.
      Spell 2: Mind or Life or Prime or probably something else ruling. If they are already spooked or fearful, it’s compelling. Probably can’t tell allies from foes without Dynamics or Fate
      Spell 3: Death Fraying and Prime Perfecting to pattern scour them for mana then automatically heal yourself with the mana. Is probably two different spells with the same trigger. The Prime part uses the curse that makes it only target the user. Or you could just do the simple option and just have Life Weaving channel their health into you. This one would be persistent.

      Button 1 is a Matter pattering with Forces weaving
      Button 2 is just Matter pattering
      Button 3 is still just Matter Patterning with spell factors
      Button 4 is weird, maybe Matter Patterning as a advanced shaping and with a Forces Perfecting?
      Button 5 is just Matter Patterning
      Button 6 might be Compelling or Ruling or Weaving depending on the rod material

      All in all it’s a heavily imbued item, but nothing too major. The Forth button is probably the weirdest as it’s not a instantaneous effect. The other option is just make the entire thing Matter Dynamics. This does a couple things, makes the entire thing less mana intensive, makes the transformations guaranteed without a spell roll.

      It might be possible to use a version of Wonderful Machine that can transform into the separate things combined, making the buttons mostly matter weaving.

      All of this assumes that it’s a imbued item, and it would need a massive mana pool to function. Every spell needs a casting roll, so everything has a chance of failure. Every spell also needs mana to cast, which can be gotten by a persistent Death Weaving with Fate to exclude the wielder that pattern scours anything the weapon touches.

      Yeah, the best version requires archmastery, but the bootleg version actually isn’t that bad, just Prime 4, Matter 4, Death 3, Forces 3.


      To whomever reads this, I hope you have a good day/night. May you be Happy.

      So, I made some Mage Legacies here, with some help. They vary in quality, but I hope you take a look at them. Every one contains pieces of me, for better or worse.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TempleBuilder View Post
        Button 6 might be Compelling or Ruling or Weaving depending on the rod material
        Wouldn't that just be a straight Space Knowing?
        Last edited by LadyLens; 05-11-2021, 11:51 AM.

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        • #5
          The big limit here is that a single Imbued Item can only have one Triggered Effect, everything else needs to be persistent.

          The actual transformation can be handled (relatively) simply, a persistent Imbued Item that's computer controlled (Rapid Access Memory, but for a persistent, rather than triggered, effect) using Matter 3 Shaping with Indefinite Duration, the ability to affect solids, and Advanced Scale for the larger sizes. Have each button activate a preset shape, with the buttons that choose the expandable/collapsible shapes also being knobs.

          To make only the "longsword" mode flaming is tricky. The "flaming" itself is straightforward, a persistent Matter 3 + Forces 3 effect to give the sword the properties of a fire its size in addition to its properties as a sword; but this would give the "flaming" effect to every mode, and we don't want that, so maybe a Fate 2 conjunctional effect that makes it so that shapes other than "sword" are not valid for the effect? The Imbument would still be active, but it'd treat any shape that isn't a "sword" as outside its purview.

          Button 6's effect would most easily be replicated by a persistent effect that was just a Space 1 Knowing spell, but if you want it to be part of the button, then the computer would have the persistent Space 1 Knowing spell and pushing button 6 would cause the computer to shape the rod such that it indicated magnetic north and displayed a numerical value on a screen for your altitude relative to sea level.

          For the activated effects the tricky bit is that you only can have one triggered spell in an Imbued Item. The Fear effect can just be on a separate Imbued Item from the rest since it's not really based on the weapon itself, but the other two are competing for the slot. The easiest way to get around this is to make the "Hold Person" effect sensory range and just make it a separate Imbued Item. The "once per day" limitation could be achieve by a Fate effect on each of the following, but I don't really know why you'd want to limit it:
          • Hold Person: this could be a whole bunch of different things. Life 2 and Mind 2 could both do this effect via Ruling (Life 2 would be limited to living creatures, only); Forces 3 could do it via a Telekinesis effect where it grappled the subject touched, this is probably the closest to Hold X effects in D&D but without the type restrictions that normally accompany them. I would go with Telekinesis with a high effective strength and decent duration.
          • Fear: this is another one that could be either Life 2 or Mind 2, with Mind 2 being the more useful version.
          • Lifesteal: this is probably a Death 4 effect, going by Death 3's Devouring the Slain.



          proin's Legacy hub

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LadyLens View Post
            Wouldn't that just be a straight Space Knowing?
            Forces knowing as well if you want the information to be just towards the mage, but the description says that the rod does it.... and maybe I didn’t read the second part of the description . Matter could still do it I think, along with Forces. But that requires a barometer and Space is way easier.


            To whomever reads this, I hope you have a good day/night. May you be Happy.

            So, I made some Mage Legacies here, with some help. They vary in quality, but I hope you take a look at them. Every one contains pieces of me, for better or worse.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
              The big limit here is that a single Imbued Item can only have one Triggered Effect, everything else needs to be persistent.
              Where is this from? I only have the core, and the supplements Signs of Sorcery, Tome of Mysteries, and Grimoire of Grimoires and of the supplements, I've only fully read the last.
              Last edited by LadyLens; 05-12-2021, 01:29 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LadyLens View Post
                Where is this from? I only have the core, and the supplements Signs of Sorcery, Tome of Mysteries, and Grimoire of Grimoires and I've only fully read the last.
                It's in Signs of Sorcery on page 67:

                Originally posted by Signs of Sorcery
                Persistent or Contingent: Chosen by the creator on Imbuement.
                Persistent Items are always active until their spell’s
                duration expires, unless dispelled. Contingent Items
                are triggered by a word, gesture, or condition set by the
                creator. Only one spell in an Item may be Contingent.
                And it's "Contingent" not "triggered," sorry.


                proin's Legacy hub

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                • #9
                  Can the only one Contingent spell be circumvented by imbuing a separate part of the object before assembly? Like imbue the head with life steal as Contingent, then weld the head onto a stick with buttons, with each button being Contingent?

                  or maybe add Fate to the imbuing process to add more Contingent slots?

                  Edit: Also there is surely a Matter equivalent to Rapid Access Memories that works with buttons and switches?
                  Last edited by TempleBuilder; 05-11-2021, 02:16 PM.


                  To whomever reads this, I hope you have a good day/night. May you be Happy.

                  So, I made some Mage Legacies here, with some help. They vary in quality, but I hope you take a look at them. Every one contains pieces of me, for better or worse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TempleBuilder View Post
                    Can the only one Contingent spell be circumvented by imbuing a separate part of the object before assembly? Like imbue the head with life steal as Contingent, then weld the head onto a stick with buttons, with each button being Contingent?
                    You could, but then you'd have to spend a mana and roll dice for each effect, whereas making them persistent bypasses that.

                    or maybe add fate to the imbuing process to add more Contingent slots?
                    Fate can't add more contingent slots.


                    proin's Legacy hub

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                    • #11
                      Plastic Eidoform: Adventurer's Rod (n/a)
                      Plastic, Structure Variable, Base Size 2, Relinquished Spell Capacity 12
                      Key Phrase: Simple, rod-shaped tools and weapons for "adventuring."
                      The Adventurer's Rod is a omni-tool for adventuring, but apparently the Supernal associates adventuring with battles against enemies, much to the amusement of certain younger mages. So far the mages have discovered the Rod can transform into tools and weapons shaped like or based on a rod; spades, shovels, hammers, picks, sticks, swords, spears, and axes have all been observed. The latest experiment saw the Rod transforming into a "climbing pole" with a spike on one end and claws on the other, sprouting horizontal bars to serve as foodholds and handles. Mages who wielded the Artifact note that its key symbol is too broad compared to even other Plastic Eidoforms, and suspect it is even more than it seems.
                      Currently relinquished spells:
                      Mind 2 spell "Psychic Domination." Uses the Reach effect to control subject, but can only command subject to stay still.
                      Mind 2 spell "Emotional Urging." Can only inflict fear.
                      Death 3 spell "Devouring the Slain." Can only be used to Scour living subjects.
                      Variant of Forces 4 spell "Thunderbolt" that surrounds the Artifact with damaging flames without harming itself or the wielder.
                      Variant of Forces 1 spell "Nightvision" that only perceives the Earth's geomagnetic field; enables the wielder to pinpoint which way is north and how deep underground the wielder is.

                      Note: By the Eidoform rules for calculating cost, the Adventurer's Rod ought to have 16 dots; 12 for the relinquished spell capacity, and 4 for the Plastic quality. The Storyteller may rule that exceeding 10 dots makes the Rod a purely narrative object similar to Astras, or just allow players to spend Experiences as usual.
                      Last edited by 21C Hermit; 05-11-2021, 10:19 PM. Reason: font, typo, clarity


                      MtAw Homebrew:
                      Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
                      New 2E Legacies, expanded

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