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Thread: Multiple enchantments

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    Multiple enchantments

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    The 4E rules never specifically state (at least that I have been able to find) whether or not magic items can have multiple magic enchantments. I merely assume this to be the case, and it probably is. Would you as a player or DM, want or allow magic items with multiple enchantments?
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    I think it is assumed they can't. A weapon with two different effects would be higher level than either of the individual effects, but it would be VERY difficult to determine what the effective level of the item should be. As such, knowing how relatively powerful it is, how much it is worth, and when you should give it to a player is sketchy at best.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    By multiple magic enchantments, I assume you don't mean simply multiple powers and properties. The Flaming Weapon template from the Player's Handbook, for example, has two powers.

    There is a rule against multiple enchantments, at least through normal means available to characters, and it can be found at the top of page 199 in the Adventurer's Vault.
    Likewise, magic item properties and powers cannot be stacked, so that a character cannot imbue a suit of sylvan armor with the property and power of sunleaf armor as well.
    As a DM, I agree with Yukonhorror: determining the effective level would be a pain. Therefore, I would make any such items artifacts. In the Dungeon Master's Guide, the sample artifacts all have multiple powers and/or properties. I think this is the way to go with any homebrew items that have multiple enchantments, because the temporary nature of artifacts means I can yank them from the game if they prove to be unbalancing. Also, since artifacts are no longer limited to the highest level play, I could create the item in question as an artifact for a low-level party, if I wished.

    The question of if I want them around is trickier. I'm rather fond of the streamlined, focused qualities that the fourth edition items have. Furthermore, such items still run afoul of the total magic item use limitations that are now in place.

    I would use items with multiple enchantments if I wanted to limit the total quantity of magical items available to the players while still giving them a variety of power options, so that a PC doesn't have to carry a quiver of wands, as a silly example. I would also create such items if they were thematically appropriate, such as a key whose user could perform both the Knock and Arcane Lock rituals as two separate powers.

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    Actually:

    From the Scepter Tower of Spellgard, the official module set in Forgotten Realms, an adventure for level 2-4, there is a double item. In room T4, there is an item called scepter of arcane winter which functions as both a wand of shield +2 and a wand of icy rays +2. I thought there was also a Thundering Ice mace in there too, but I can't seem to find it, so that may have been something I made up as the GM.

    Ok, so it's just a wand, but there's no wands with 2 spells in the main book either. I basically go by the theory that there can be items with 2 powers in them, but they are immensely rare. As for level, I go by 1.5x the level those items would be separate. So, say you have two powers you want to put into one sword, and individually those two powers would each make a level 4 magic item, a sword with both of them is a level 6 item.
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    Quote Originally Posted by korhal23 View Post
    Actually:

    From the Scepter Tower of Spellgard, the official module set in Forgotten Realms, an adventure for level 2-4, there is a double item. In room T4, there is an item called scepter of arcane winter which functions as both a wand of shield +2 and a wand of icy rays +2. I thought there was also a Thundering Ice mace in there too, but I can't seem to find it, so that may have been something I made up as the GM.

    Ok, so it's just a wand, but there's no wands with 2 spells in the main book either. I basically go by the theory that there can be items with 2 powers in them, but they are immensely rare. As for level, I go by 1.5x the level those items would be separate. So, say you have two powers you want to put into one sword, and individually those two powers would each make a level 4 magic item, a sword with both of them is a level 6 item.
    Does the module give the monetary value for the item? I would be curious how it's treated. Either one of those wands is a level 8 item, which would be worth 3400, singly.

    In the absence of such guidelines, I would propose treating the Scepter as two Level 8 items that happen to occupy the same object, but yes, I think it's still a pain. From a mechanics point of view, I would count it as two instances of treasure packet Item of Level + X, and it would yield residuum equivalent to two Level 8 items when disenchanted. My concern with the 1.5 level multiplier is that it might risk giving the party a lot of residuum, or a lot of gold should they choose to sell the item. The justification I have for my approach is that the rules are fairly adamant that the enhancement bonus determines the absolute level range of the item, which would mean that a level 12 item must have a +3 enhancement bonus. How does that approach sound?

    As for creating such items, I would leave it in the realm of the DM. However, if you are proposing to let characters create such items, then at a start, your 1.5 multiplier doesn't sound bad at all...at least from level 4 onwards.
    Last edited by Umiushi; 07-12-2009 at 08:24 PM.

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    *shrug* The rulebooks are guidelines, not hard science, so whatever works I suppose. That said, you're creating a bit of a conundrum there. The items are level 8, so the new item is level 12, so now they're +3 which makes them 13, which makes.... obviously you can't ride this treadmill forever. I, as the GM, would say both items individually are level 8, so the rod with both is level 12. And that's it. Since we're making up a rule anyway, I can give it whatever parameters I like, so long as its consistent.

    Like I said, there were only two items in my campaign that fell under the whole dual-bonus heading, and both got used by the party to the campaign's conclusion (sadly, members moving away permanently or being deployed to the desert for extended periods brought an abrupt end to our campaign at the end of the module, which is a shame because the module has an unbeatable hook for any kind of campaign you could ever play at its end, but is wholly unsatisfying on its own). That said, I think I'd probably have played the 1.5x rule across the board for money and residium gains though, had it come to that. But if I thought the players would sell said item just to gain inordinate amounts of money, I'd probably say the shopkeeper couldn't afford to buy that item from them, or didn't want it/thought it was cursed/etc, and make them hang onto it for a while. Worst comes to worst, turn it into a Sword of Plot Advancement and make an adventure hook out of an item with such disproportionate power.
    Fighter: "I can kill a guy in one turn."
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    Wizard: "I can kill a guy before my turn."
    Bard: "I can get three idiots to kill guys for me."

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    Quote Originally Posted by korhal23 View Post
    *shrug* The rulebooks are guidelines, not hard science, so whatever works I suppose. That said, you're creating a bit of a conundrum there. The items are level 8, so the new item is level 12, so now they're +3 which makes them 13, which makes.... obviously you can't ride this treadmill forever. I, as the GM, would say both items individually are level 8, so the rod with both is level 12. And that's it. Since we're making up a rule anyway, I can give it whatever parameters I like, so long as its consistent.

    Like I said, there were only two items in my campaign that fell under the whole dual-bonus heading, and both got used by the party to the campaign's conclusion (sadly, members moving away permanently or being deployed to the desert for extended periods brought an abrupt end to our campaign at the end of the module, which is a shame because the module has an unbeatable hook for any kind of campaign you could ever play at its end, but is wholly unsatisfying on its own). That said, I think I'd probably have played the 1.5x rule across the board for money and residium gains though, had it come to that. But if I thought the players would sell said item just to gain inordinate amounts of money, I'd probably say the shopkeeper couldn't afford to buy that item from them, or didn't want it/thought it was cursed/etc, and make them hang onto it for a while. Worst comes to worst, turn it into a Sword of Plot Advancement and make an adventure hook out of an item with such disproportionate power.
    I'm not advocating any sort of slavish adherence to the rules, merely discussing my choice from the context of the rules. I would like to clarify that using a 1.5 multiplier and then changing the enhancement to +3 is not my proposal, so I wouldn't say that I'm creating any conundrum. I'm only pointing it out as a reason for why I favor my method.

    Neither am I pretending that somehow my way is what must be done by the rules. I am saying that it's how I would prefer to treat the situation. As you say, any sort of consistent parameters are acceptable. One advantage of your method I'll grant is that it does raise the level where you can create the item, or disenchant it to residuum, assuming these items do get allowed in a campaign.

    In any case, did the module discuss how to treat the item any further, or did it basically describe the item the way you described it in your first post, as an item that functions as Item A as well as Item B? For that matter, what sort of implement is it, now? You're implying it's a rod in your second post. Is that how the scepter is treated?
    Last edited by Umiushi; 07-12-2009 at 10:19 PM.

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    Err, it's a wand. And my description is basically all the module says. It's a wand that acts like X and Y. Sorry, I misread your post a tad I guess. So, to understand correctly, you're saying just give it the value of the two level 8 items then, rather than my theory of giving it the value of one level 12 item, correct?

    Either way works. As long as you remain consistent, either one works.
    Fighter: "I can kill a guy in one turn."
    Cleric: "I can kill a guy in half a turn."
    Wizard: "I can kill a guy before my turn."
    Bard: "I can get three idiots to kill guys for me."

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    Quote Originally Posted by korhal23 View Post
    So, to understand correctly, you're saying just give it the value of the two level 8 items then, rather than my theory of giving it the value of one level 12 item, correct?
    Yes, if I were including it as a reward (it would be worth two item parcels, for example). However, I might prefer your method if it was something that a PC proposed to create out of the blue, assuming I allowed that in the first place.

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    The thinking there might be that they want to reserve multiple-power items for artifacts. Making multiple-power items available removes the unique quality of artifacts in that they usually have multiple powers, so makes artifacts less desireable than multiple-power items, since artifacts have behavior requirements to unlock the powers.

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    I don't know, seems possible, but artifacts have lots of powers, not just two or three... either way, dual-items should be exceedingly rare. Plus, artifacts are intelligent items, with wills of their own... that's what makes them so special, not multiple powers. I see no reason it can't be done, and in fact, I see a precedent set by an official module for their (occasional) inclusion.
    Fighter: "I can kill a guy in one turn."
    Cleric: "I can kill a guy in half a turn."
    Wizard: "I can kill a guy before my turn."
    Bard: "I can get three idiots to kill guys for me."

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    I'd call the "Is this fun?" rule on it. They are /magic items/ after all - breaking the rules of the world we live in to provide fun fantasy. Working out a level/cost might be a bit of trial and error, but it shouldn't be impossible!
    --
    Grimwell

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