Friday, December 31, 2010

Making a better Item

There was a time long ago in in the old world when magical items were immutable.  Once enchanted with function, they would never change from that.  This is how it was for hundred of years till a better method was needed.  Not because the items were not powerful, but because their creation was so dangerous.

To make an item imbued with magic required a long and complex ritual with rare materials and chaotic forces.  The risk of this process was that a item could be made of such devastating power and evil nature that it would destroy all that took part in the ritual.  And would then have to be hunted down and destroyed as it would call to the basest beings to protect it.

But in time this changed, with research into the weapons carried on Star Jammer class space ships being the key.  To make the weapons more versatile, their effect focus's were separated from how mana got to them.  This allowed the foci to be removed and a new one put into the gun changing how it worked.  Originally only used on larger capitol weapons other took note.

With the coming of the great war many were put to work on ways to get an advantage.  The Kudu researcher Glinbak Hardnut had been looking at ways to make magical items easier to make.  One day he came across plans for the next generation of space born weapon and had an epiphany.  If they can separate the focus of power from the gun...why could he not do it for a personal item?

Years went by and his efforts moved forward.  Eventually getting government funding and all the perks that go with it, Glinback did it.  He made a safer, easier, and more versatile magical item.

The legacy of Glinback Hardnut is that all magical items are broken into two parts.  The first is the conduit and the second is the focus.  The conduit is the item its self, bound to the character the conduit creates a stable path for the characters mana to be accessed.  But on it's own it has no power.

Foci are the lense for the characters mana.  They give the mana form and function.  Changing the chaotic nature of mana into a stable effect.  Foci can be slotted into any conduit item, drawing mana from the user, though the item, and into the focus.  Then imbuing the effects back into the item and the user.

This allowed a user to change foci at will, to alter his items with out having to carry twenty tons of spare equipment.  Just a small pouch with foci was all that was needed, and it was safe.  Foci them selves did not have power, so the item and the focus could be made safely with out needing to expose the creators to the chaos of the energies being harnessed.

In time this lead to new innovation in magic items.  Mana batteries called Universal Mana Crystals (UMC's), hand weapons that could accelerate a metal slug or launch a bolt of lightning.  Vehicles of any type one can imagine.  And even the great floating citadels of power on the planet Elttaes.

History of Magical Items, Abridged
Revised by Jacob Vanders, Human Historical Corp


  1. Nice. I had a similar concept in my old 3e game, with magical "batteries" used by an ancient civilization for everything from hovercars to automated housecleaning. Of course, the batteries radiated faint evil and turned out to have a portion of a sacrificed human soul contained inside as a power source... still, the party loved using the portable flame cannon they found even when they knew it was powered by bad juju!

  2. In this case UMC's are a little less...evil. :-) They store and convert ambient mana into a more stable form. Once converted the mana can not be used by a living being. to do so would kill them. But devices can use the mana. And it is a core part of the game worlds technology.

    Guns, refrigerators, vehicles, blenders...cell phones, walkie talkies, PDA's. And on and on and on. Fortunately enough I have designed things in a way to mitigate the initial destabilizing nature of the tools. But that is the way of things some times.