athornton: Angry.  Drunken.  BOFH. (Default)
[personal profile] athornton
So, while cooking tonight, somehow I got to free-associating on the Spear of Longinus.

So, clearly it's a magic weapon, right? The Nazis want it (well, at least in Castle Wolfenstein 3D, which is, after all, an accurate representation of....uh, anyway). But, you know, it's just a spear that Longinus the Veteran (that'd be a First Level Fighting Man for those of you keeping score at home) poked some crucified dude with to see if he was dead yet.

Now, I'm a big fan of magic weapons in RPGs being rare. I really like the suggestion that All Magical Swords Have Names and Egos Yes Even The Plus One ones.

And I had a realization that--and I would love to know who's done this before, because it's a pretty obvious idea to have--you could have your magical weapons not be "it has the plusses you need to kill this thing," but "it is plus whatever because it has killed this thing."

So you get a kinda Dwarf Fortress vibe going on. Sure, you can have a +1 masterwork weapon that's not magical, just really well made. But beyond that, well, Rockbreaker the club got its name, and its plus, and its ego, from smashing the head of the Troll King Gruthark at the Battle Of Stony Ford 75 years ago. And there's a song about it.

Your Plus Six Sword Of Ogre Decapitation? Well, yeah: it's REALLY GOOD at decapitating ogres. And everyone who's owned it knows that, because after the first couple, the sword started telling them so. It started out as just a couple feet of sharpened steel...but then it became "the steel that slew the Ogre that terrorized the Coldwater Valley," and then things really got rolling. So your magical items become positive feedback loops.

You could maybe even get away with doing this in a game in which magic is only a placebo effect.
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athornton: Angry.  Drunken.  BOFH. (Default)

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