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Wenin
Senior Scribe

568 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2018 :  18:57:20  Show Profile Send Wenin a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I'm trying to design a cool magic item, and this was before I knew of the Rod of the Pact Keeper. It is intended to be a magic item that dates back to the days of Nethril, prior to the creation of the Anauroch.


Netherese Arcane Staff +1

Stave, Very Rare (requires attunement, arcane caster)
Slot: 1 hand, Value 15000 gp, wt 4 lbs

You have a bonus +1 to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.


When the wielder is attuned to and holding this staff it grants the following benefits. When using a 3rd level or lower spell slot to cast a spell with a casting time of an action or less, you may choose to expend 1 of its 3 charges. When a charge is used the spell that is cast is enhanced as if it was cast with a spell slot 1 level higher.


Cantrips cast while wielding the staff gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls.

More powerful versions

Arcane Staff +2
+2 bonus
4 charges
4th level or lower

Arcane Staff +3
+3 bonus
5 charges
5th level or lower

Session Reports posted at RPG Geek.
Stem the Tide Takes place in Mistledale.
Dark Curtains - Takes place in the Savage North, starting in Nesmé. I wrapped my campaign into the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, but it takes place in 1372 DR.

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6777 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2018 :  20:49:48  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thought Netherese arcanists generally favoured quasi-magical items which won't function too far away from a mythallar? If so, I think the primary reason they'd make lasting real-magical items would be for intended (or emergency) use away from an enclave.

Things I think such a staff would probably do ...
... compensate for stuff arcanists couldn't easily accomplish with spells - or somehow augment their spells - because arcanists capable of real-magical item creation would always have plenty of spells already cast and plenty of spells available to cast.
... provide some useful variety of "travelling" or "adventuring" or "survival" magics, basically any sort of spell which could come in handy but not generally be worth spell slots. Remember that arcanists could already cast any spell they knew without needing to memorize first.
... provide some sorts of combat usefulness because an arcanist away from an enclave may not be able to always rely on armed bodyguards.
... provide an emergency exit (such as a contingency or a one-way teleport home)
... be specifically designed for combat/duel vs other arcanists (perhaps dispels magic, antimagic shell, psionic attacks/defenses, or even some kind of mythallar-radius jammer).

[/Ayrik]
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4468 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2018 :  21:06:56  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Prior to the Mythallar Age permanent magic items would have been crafter (that is a span of 1000+ years I believe). Then during the Shadowed Age permanent magic items would come back into fashion as the mythallars - especially ground based mythallar begin to fail inexplicably (secretly targeted by phaerrim).

Can't help on the 5e stuff though, not my thing.

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Wenin
Senior Scribe

568 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2018 :  21:07:12  Show Profile Send Wenin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This was intended to be something that didn't require the mythallar to function, though I could add features that enhances its capabilities while within a mythallar.

I don't play post spellplague, and the way I roll with the magic system is that however the edition of magic works at the time of play, is how it has always worked. So while this was designed with 5E in mind, the way the item works now is exactly how it would have worked when it was created.

You bring up excellent points on what a staff could do for a Netherese arcanist, this staff wasn't to be designed with predesigned spells. My intention was to make this kind of a powerful +1 (+2. +3) weapon, wielded by the Netherese back in the day.

Kind of inline (not necessarily equal) with what I found to be in the Rod of the Pact. I think this is actually a bit more powerful than a Rod of the Pact.

Session Reports posted at RPG Geek.
Stem the Tide Takes place in Mistledale.
Dark Curtains - Takes place in the Savage North, starting in Nesmé. I wrapped my campaign into the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, but it takes place in 1372 DR.
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Wenin
Senior Scribe

568 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2018 :  23:12:38  Show Profile Send Wenin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah I found something explaining what you're talking about.

I wasn't familiar with the term quasimagical item. It is an item that only works within a Mythllar, as Ayrik spoke of. The first created in -3014 DR. These items were very easy to create and flooded the economy. Then Karsus' Folly in -339 DR brought about the fall of Netheril, and those items loosing their power.

So yeah, this would definitely be an item that was meant for use outside of a Mythallar. I won't be adding any bonus abilities for being in a Mythallar as that isn't necessary.

Thanks for the insight!

Session Reports posted at RPG Geek.
Stem the Tide Takes place in Mistledale.
Dark Curtains - Takes place in the Savage North, starting in Nesmé. I wrapped my campaign into the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, but it takes place in 1372 DR.

Edited by - Wenin on 19 Dec 2018 23:13:56
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6777 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2018 :  23:50:43  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry, I should have specified. I spoke of arcanists and quasi-magic and mythallars as they were known in 2E (and some 3E) rulesets. I wouldn't be surprised if they're very different in 4E and 5E rulesets.

[/Ayrik]
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1801 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2018 :  02:34:36  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wenin

When the wielder is attuned to and holding this staff it grants the following benefits. When using a 3rd level or lower spell slot to cast a spell with a casting time of an action or less, you may choose to expend 1 of its 3 charges. When a charge is used the spell that is cast is enhanced as if it was cast with a spell slot 1 level higher.


Cantrips cast while wielding the staff gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls.

Let's see, you didn't even try to define the effect in-universe, it completely relies on parts of mechanics so fancy they don't hold still from edition to edition, and it doesn't fit the existing lore because according to the only unambiguous sources (Arcane Age), the Netherese didn't cast the Vancian way.

quote:
Originally posted by Wenin

I wasn't familiar with the term quasimagical item.

<request for "facepalm" smiley>
quote:
within a Mythllar

That would be quite a trick.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 20 Dec 2018 02:37:22
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Wenin
Senior Scribe

568 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2018 :  20:38:05  Show Profile Send Wenin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ayrik, I never paid attention to 4E resources, and I don't believe that 5e has addressed old Netherese magic. With 5E the GM can craft however they wish. As for 2E vs 3.xE vs 5E, in my opinion the details of the mechanics are simply shades different. At their core they all have roots that lead to Vancian magic. In my gaming, I'm simply glossing over the differences in editions to being ultimately non-existent.


To ancient Netherese magic items, I could see going a couple of different ways.

Method 1 - How it works is simply backstory
How it works in 5E is simply how it happens to work in 5E. It could be explained that the device performed differently back in the day, however the overall effect was similar (ie enhanced the user's spell casting, making spells more powerful). Could add this flavor by having the character roll an Arcana check to figure it out, or simply hand wave the roll. The character figures out a way to utilize the magic item, tapping into its power. Or the way it was used in the past was wholly different, but the end result being the same in game effects.

Method 2 - Something Foreign
Design an item that doesn't adhere to the 5E system. It operates as it did in the past, and what it does doesn't "plug" into a vancian system. Something more creative than it simply casting "ancient" spells.

Method 3 - Simply doesn't work
The magic item is... "broken" It was created to run on DC current, but it exists in a world that has gone to AC. Requiring the characters to simply toss it aside, sell it as a novelty, or Arcane a converter up. =)

Other suggestions?

Ultimately I want the item to be useful to the party's wizard, so I'm leaning towards 1.

Session Reports posted at RPG Geek.
Stem the Tide Takes place in Mistledale.
Dark Curtains - Takes place in the Savage North, starting in Nesmé. I wrapped my campaign into the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, but it takes place in 1372 DR.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6777 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2018 :  22:09:06  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wenin, lol just go with whatever works within your campaign. If you want immersive detail then there's no requirement for it to strictly adhere to ancient Realmslore unless it somehow interacts with ancient Realmslore. Too many details just add to paperwork without adding any interesting backstory or adventure hooks (or red herrings) to keep things moving onward. It can have a "unique" one-off history which doesn't require conformity anyhow. Players are always happy to scribble down any tiny detail you offer, no matter how sparse they may seem - they're carefully exacting hoarders always afraid of overlooking something important or they're sloppy spontaneous types who just want to play the character or play the game while letting the DM track details for them. It can be treated as a common +1 item or as a Really Important Thing any time, no need to invent more details until you've invented some way to make use of them.

If the players continue to believe this staff is somehow awesomely important after a long time then you can have some adversary appear who's been hunting for it. A lich, a student of ancient magic, the last dude sworn to break the curse or protect the macguffin, whatever. The staff could then manifest other powers when it's somehow "activated" by other magical things.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8008 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2018 :  23:29:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wenin,

If you're wanting to work the 5e rules with a Netherese magic item and make it pretty cool, then I won't say you accomplished it. Don't take that as a slight though. All I'm saying is that the effect is … meh... Still, I like where you're going about wanting to make some special Netherese staff that's still kind of "generic" enough that there might be dozens (hundreds?) still around. What about instead of enhancing a spell's slot level used by using a charge, what if it went a little further. What if when you cast a spell using the staff and expending a slot, the staff could take on the concentration requirement of the effect... allowing you to cast another concentration spell? This would "somewhat" resemble their making of "mantles" in which they cover themselves with defensive magics. You might even use a stipulation that it can only be concentration effects where the caster is the target.

So, what about the idea of "variations" of the staff, like you're talking about. Maybe the "lesser" staff can only work with spells of 1st and 2nd level. Maybe the normal staff can work with spells of 4th level or less. Maybe there's a greater staff that can handle spells of 7th level and under, or 2 spells of 4th level and under. Then maybe there's the "unique" (well, only 5 made) version for archmages that can handle a single spell of 9th level and under, 2 spells of 6th level or under, OR 3 spells of 3rd level or under.

As to why it follows 5e mechanics, I'd just go with your option 1. It worked differently previously. It was focused on giving someone wardings and making them last. When magic changed, it changed. It may have been DECIDEDLY more powerful in the days of Netheril, but during modern day its still a great item.

On the concept of the Netherese only making items that worked in range of a mythallar…. I don't see that holding, as one of the big things I see the Netherese doing is leaving their homes to go beat up other beings and take their stuff. While they would have made a lot of mythallar items to make day to day drudgery OR enclave defense easier, they still would have been making or acquiring stuff for remote use.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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valarmorgulis
Learned Scribe

110 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2019 :  01:02:10  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The mages of Netheril had disciplines that were different from the Schools of Magic. Those disciplines were: Mentalist, Inventive, and Variation. So, you could have each staff be associated with one of the disciplines and only work on spells that would have been part of that discipline.
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1375 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2019 :  06:49:13  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Random thought: have you looked at 3.5e runestaffs? New class of magic items in back of Magic Item Compendium? You could also look at dwarves rune circles from Races of Stone as a mechanic for designing mythallars.

Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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