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How to Write Artifacts and Evocations

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  • #16
    Updated my rules (original post) to include Eric Minton's awesome charm naming blog posts. Very valuable resources!

    I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
    I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero


    • #17
      With the information posted in this thread from the interview with John Morke, I'll be VERY interested to see the new design of Evocations and how much it differs from my write-up here. Sounds like it might be considerably different, which I'm cool with. Homebrewing is definitely easier when it's smaller, but then again, it's also less needed once you have a book full of examples.

      ...although if the evocation trees are bigger, then maybe there'll be fewer examples. Hmm.

      I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
      I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero


      • #18
        I'm late to the party, but I've been thinking about artifact rating & dots recently so here's my take on them

        Artifacts come in 3, 4, and 5 dot flavors. What's the difference between them? First off, Evocations mostly don't affect the dots. Those are what a specific person can do with a specific artifact, not what is designed in for everybody.

        Artifact 3: Some items have intrinsic limitations. This level gets rid of those, possibly with a mana cost, or some other easy condition.
        Artifact 4: Take what the base item does, and extend it.
        Artifact 5: Weird stuff, or effects not related to the primary purpose. Aaaand, here is where things get tricky. My design problem is deciding what is evocation, vs what is intrinsic.

        Obviously that's a bit vague, so here are some examples in 3, 4, & 5 dot versions. (Spoiler tags added to make it less of 'wall O text')

        Sailing ship.
        Purpose: Ships let you travel over water and carry tons of cargo, or an army. Usually, a ship has shallow enough draft to go up a river, OR can handle ocean storms because of a deeper draft.
        Limitations: Crew requirements, speed depends on wind, and can't leave the water.

        Artifact 3: The solar canoe from Oaden. Crew of one, magically stable so can handle river or ocean, and light enough to carry. Or, a ship that is tough but not undamageable, but can repair itself without needing any materials.

        Artifact 4: Elric of Melnibone's Ship that can sail land and sea. Goes through ground as though it was water, with trees automatically getting out of its way. Can now travel anywhere in Creation, although it might or might not be able to go up mountains.

        Artifact 5: Ship that can summon a Roc to fly the ship somewhere (a la the spell that creates asorcerous 'thing' to carry the ship). KITT, the ship can sense when its' owner is in danger and sail itself to you. Maaaybe a ship with a hold of holding. A ship that makes Greek fire liquid for built-in flamethrowers.

        Purpose: Carry multiple people across land. Look cool. If you make the front & sides out of good material, they protect as much of you as is below the sides.
        Drawback: Needs horses to pull it. Bulky. Can't handle tight spaces. Driver has her hands full with the controls. If it protects at all, only protects the lower half of your body.

        Artifact 3: All of: Voice controlled. Keeps riders from falling off if it hits a bump, and extra balance for fighting on the chariot pole, or while standing on the horses backs. Can be sent Elsewhere when you aren't using it. Can create horse spirits to pull the chariot.

        Artifact 4: Pump up the owner's anima enough to affect a small army, football field sized area, etc. Forcefield to protect your top half as good as the armor in the chariot pieces.

        Artifact 5: Not sure if these would be powers, or evocations but. Concentrate the sun onto the chariot, so the reflection blinds your enemies. Create duplicates to give yourself a small army. Social effect to force duels with enemy generals.

        Throwing spear.

        3: Autoreturns when you throw it (effectively copy the retrieval charm), and it changes length enough that you can use it as throwing weapon and in melee without penalty.

        4: Weapony things like one thrown spear turns into many, better armor pen, etc. 5 dots,

        5: Turns into lightning or copies some of Gervaisins effects.

        Also, I would think a 5 dot would let you break bigger rules. So, the Unnamed Solar's firewand, artifact 5, lets you learn Righteous Devil Style as evocations (so can't learn any other Martial Art, and can only use RD with this specific firewand)


        • #19
          This is excellent advice @Unsung Hero!
          Having a framework to follow will make my efforts to learn to create balanced Evocations go a lot smoother. I find I learn a games rules best by creating things that interact with them. For most games this means stacks of characters I may never find time to play, but once I've gotten a few good Artifacts under my belt maybe I'll post them here for communual use.


          • #20
            I've just been stealing charms from homebrews. One of my players has black Jade fullplate and a black Jade Daiklave and between them he has all of the crumblepunches water dragon style except the form charm. One player had a an Orichalcum chain shirt and I stole a bunch of charms from one of the infernal homebrews.