Sunday, December 16, 2012

Virtual Magic Item System for 3E/OGL

Many playgroups enjoy playing in low magic campaigns. Unfortunately, D&D 3rd Edition does not handle low-magic or no-magic games correctly. To account for this, rather than receive ever larger magic items and ever-larger wealth, the characters receive virtual bonuses according to the table below. These items advance with schedule laid out in the Magic Item Compendium.

Masterwork items do not appear on this schedule.

LevelBonuses
4.+1 armor enhancement, +1 shield enhancement
+1 enhancement to all saves
6.+1 armor enhancement, +1 shield enhancement, +1 deflection, +1 natural armor class
+1 enhancement to all saves
+1 weapon enhancement
8.+2 enhancement to one ability and Con
+2 armor enhancement, +2 shield enhancement, +1 deflection, +1 natural armor class
+2 enhancement to all saves
+1 weapon enhancement
12.+2 enhancement to one ability and Con
+3 armor enhancement, +3 shield enhancement, +2 deflection, +2 natural armor class
+3 enhancement to all saves
+2 weapon enhancement
14.+4 enhancement to one ability and Con
+4 armor enhancement, +4 shield enhancement, +3 deflection, +3 natural armor class
+4 enhancement to all saves
+3 weapon enhancement
15.+4 enhancement to one ability and Con
+5 armor enhancement, +5 shield enhancement, +3 deflection, +3 natural armor class
+5 enhancement to all saves
+3 weapon enhancement
16.+6 enhancement to one ability and Con
+5 armor enhancement, +5 shield enhancement, +4 deflection, +4 natural armor class
+5 enhancement to all saves
+4 weapon enhancement
18.+6 enhancement to one ability and Con
+5 armor enhancement, +5 shield enhancement, +5 deflection, +5 natural armor class
+5 enhancement to all saves
+5 weapon enhancement
Shield bonuse apply when using a shield, buckler, or (optionally) if two-weapon fighting and using the second weapon for defense.

Optional: In the SRD, a magic weapon or armor must have a +1 bonus before any other properties are applied. This rule can be waived in favor of making more flavorful weapons. Since a weapon no longer needs an enhancement bonus, it can now have magical properties without first having to have a bonus. For example, a flaming holy longsword with no magic item bonus is a legal weapon under this system.

Design Note
I first posted this on the D&D Wiki many years ago. I'm reposting it here, and I'll find other things I wrote previously as well. I created this little schedule to help magic lighter games to operate.