Thursday, April 9, 2020

GLOG: Spells Bound to Minor Magic Items: Replace your spellbooks with something the barbarian can also use.

Here's an enjoyable aesthetic:

In the opening to the Harry Potter series, we see Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard alive, use a a little trinket to do his dark deeds. Instead of just willing the street to be dark, he comes prepared with a nifty little piece of artificery.

The first Harry Potter is full of this kind of device-based magic. The Deluminator, the invisibility cloak, the remembral, the philosopher's stone, everything in the quidditch trunk. Does Harry even use a wand to cast a spell during the film?

As the movie series goes on, magic shifts towards being more about laser gun fights. Pew pew. But in Deathly Hallows, the snitch and deluminator make a suprise comeback, and additional hidden abilities are retconned revealed.

I like this vibe. Let's adapt it to tabletop rpg magical items. 

Each item below has two abilities -- a "cantrip" and a "spell".

The cantrip is a magical effect which can be used freely and repeatedly by anyone with even the slightest bit of magical experience, or even by the magically ignorant if they fiddle around with it for a few hours.

The spell is a more powerful effect, maybe taken from your standard wizard spell list, and can be used by anyone magically powerful enough to actually cast spells. Using the item's spell will deplete its charge, preventing either the cantrip or spell effect from being used until the next dawn.

I'm using GLOG-style magic, where spells are levelless and limited by the caster's pool of "Magic Dice". (See here or here for an explanation, and here for the full ruleset I'm using.) Anyone with Magic Dice can spend them to activate the device's spell effect, using the same system as if they had that spell in their head instead of in their hands.

If you adapt this concept to a system with leveled spells, then allow the device's spell-effect to be activated by expending a spell slot of the appropriate level.

On to the list!