Identifying Magical Items?

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Identifying Magical Items?
« on: March 08, 2013, 12:13:02 PM »
I was wondering what the common practice for magical item identification was. I haven't seen any specifics in the book other than the Wizard move Enchanter. Are there any good custom moves or could you just use Spout Lore and Discern Realities straight up. Thanks for any help.

Re: Identifying Magical Items?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 12:24:13 PM »
The Wizard's Ritual move would also be good.

Otherwise, it's always fun to just use something to find out and hope it's not cursed.
-Jeremiah

Re: Identifying Magical Items?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 01:24:46 PM »
I was wondering what the common practice for magical item identification was. I haven't seen any specifics in the book other than the Wizard move Enchanter. Are there any good custom moves or could you just use Spout Lore and Discern Realities straight up. Thanks for any help.

It would depend on how you framed it, I suppose.  Spout Lore is definitely valid, if your character would know how to identify a magic item by memory and analysis!

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noclue

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Re: Identifying Magical Items?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 02:21:10 PM »
One of the things I remember fondly from my D&D days was finding a magic item and having no idea what it did.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: Identifying Magical Items?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 02:29:18 PM »
I concur Noclue but some of my players find the not knowing and the potential trial and error to discover the magical items use as frustrating. I'm trying to find a balance which will hopefully bring some of the mystery back into magical items our group lost in  D&D 3rd and 4th edition.

Re: Identifying Magical Items?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 03:12:27 PM »
Here's a quick Custom Move I made up. Any thoughts?

Identify

When you have some quiet time you can study an item you know to be magical to reveal some of what it does; roll +Int.

On a 10+, choose two from the 7-9 list.
On 7-9, choose one from the list below.
- You decipher the items command word. Tell the MC how this happened and he will tell you what the command word is. Do you activate it?
- As you study the item it imparts to you a hint of its use. The MC will give you a one or two word description of what the item can do.
- You remember some historical fact about the item you’re inspecting. The MC will ask you two questions about the items origin.
- The item reveals it’s secrets to you but at a cost. The MC will tell you the cost and you can decide if you think it is worth it.

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Identifying Magical Items?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 08:45:16 PM »
I concur Noclue but some of my players find the not knowing and the potential trial and error to discover the magical items use as frustrating. I'm trying to find a balance which will hopefully bring some of the mystery back into magical items our group lost in  D&D 3rd and 4th edition.

They want to know about this magic item right? Tell them the requirements or consequences and ask.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: Identifying Magical Items?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 10:12:02 PM »
Make them try it and defy danger but perhaps go with soft moves...

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noofy

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Re: Identifying Magical Items?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 11:36:36 PM »
'magic' in an item could be anything you as a group dream up yeah? I'd say make it a stake question (even you don't know what the magic in the item is) to be answered in play.

Describe the item with aplomb, invite the characters to spout lore about what they (think) they know. I find John Harper's descriptions for his items in the temple of Ungu or the Slave Pits perfect examples of this type of play to see what happens.
Quote
Stoppered Jug
A heavy crockery jug with an old cork and a thick coating of red sealing wax.
What could be inside? Maybe it is a magic potion!
Maybe you should chug it down like cheap wine!
Quote
Ungu’s Venom
A glass vial of black, sticky poison taken ages ago from the dead fangs of Ungu.
The very best thing would be to throw it in some chasm, for it will bring only pain and trouble.
Seriously, what are you doing with this? Get rid of it, it can only profit evil. Why are you putting it in your pocket?

Or you can simply encourage the players to find out by trying it on...
Quote
Ring of Beckoning Shadows
This beautiful ring is affixed with a multi-faceted gem made from crystal- lized shadow-stuff. The shadows you target with this ring become a portal for you and your allies. Name a location, describing it with a number of words up to your level. When you use the ring, Roll +INT.
On 10+ You arrive safely. On 7-9, Choose three:

*Your own shadows are not severed
*You don’t attract planar attention
*You arrive at the destination
*The gem is not fractured, ruined

Fail, and God help you

Ask the players what they want the 'magic' to be and make moves around the potential of their concept for the magic items. See what you come up with at the table. One of our most memorable magic items was Tonks the Wizard's book of miscellaneous world trivia that after study during make camp always came up with a 7-9 spout lore tidbit of interesting information on the current situation.