Saturday, October 13, 2012

Magic Item Creation for BESM 3rd Edition

Okay, so I have posted some information previously on BESM but I probably haven't fully bared my soul on how much I like this particular system.  Now, I generally have a fascination with deep, rules-heavy systems such as D&D 3rd Edition and Pathfinder.  (I attribute this to the Lawful side of my alignment.)  However I find that play with rules light systems runs much faster and with more roleplay input by both players and GMs.  I attribute this "better" play to the theory that the less time you have to spend at the table digging through rules and re-checking character sheets the more energy you can put into the creative aspects of play.  I find this is particularly true of combat situations, where ideally the action at the table will be as fast and furious as in an action movie.

BESM 3rd Edition suffers, however, from the fact that it is a toolbox of the core rules with only very basic information on NPCs, world settings, equipment, etc.  Personally I find this scarcity of examples to be a serious barrier to running the types of games I want to use it for because so much has to be designed from scratch.  The main type of game I'd like to use BESM for is a swords-and-sorcery type of fantasy campaign.  But there is pretty much nothing in the actual book for this other than an equipment list and one or two NPC/critter examples.

One particular area is magic item creation.  My first fantasy rules set as the old Chivalry and Sorcery (C&S) by Fantasy Games Unlimited.  Really the best part of the rules, far and away, was the magic item creation rules.  It was deep, complex, and very flavorful (yes, we're back to "I like rules-heavy systems because I'm Lawful aligned").  So I want any game I play to have a reasonably flavorful magic item creation process which actually affects play.  I don't want something where you spend X amount of gold pieces and experience points or you spend X amount of CP build points.  I want character to seek out exotic components, go through rituals, etc. in game time.

This led me to come up with a simple set of magic item creation rules for BESM using ideas from the old C&S.  It is based on an attribute called Enchant which is a variation on the Transmutation attribute.  Note that Enchant contains important specifics regarding backlash on failure and a delay to the enchantment taking full effect.

Enchantment Magic (for BESM 3rd Edition)

Enchant (4 CP)
Transmutation - Unlimited 1                                                           12 CP
Unique Attribute (extendable beyond 1 minute duration)                1
Unique Attribute (only transmutes for item enchants)                     1
Activation -2                                                                                    -2
Backlash -2 (if fail by 4 or more; see below for modifiers)             -2
Concentration -6 (requires full concentration)                               -6
Delay -2 (takes 2-12 hours to take effect)                                      -2

- Soul is the Relevant Stat for using Enchant

- The caster may enhance chance of  casting and Enchant by meditation, fasting, chanting, ritual dancing or other types of preparation to gain the a temporary casting modifier (see below).  The  If the casting is not successful the preparation bonus is lost and must be started all over again.
+1    1 hour
+2    2 hours
+3    4 hours
+4    8 hours
+5    12 hours
+6    1 day
+7    2 days
+8    4 days
+9    7 days
+10    14 days

- Enchanting involves altering the basic magical nature of the material being enchanted.  Some materials are naturally enchanted and thus easier to work with:

Arcane Materials (+1 to base difficulty to enchant)
 - Body parts from dragons, elementals, fey, magical beasts, and outsiders
 - Special magical materials, such as magicite and auracite
Challenging Materials (+3 to base difficulty to enchant)
- Body parts from aberrations, oozes, shapechangers, and greater undead
- Rare or precious materials, such as gems, gold, purest steel.

Common Materials (+6 to base difficulty to enchant)
- Body parts from animals, beasts, giants, humanoids, monstrous humanoids, plants, and vermin
- Ordinary materials, such as stone, water, dirt, wood, iron

- A roll is required to cast an enchantment:

(Base difficulty 12) + (material difficulty modifier) vs. 2d6 + (Soul stat) + (levels of Enchant attribute taken) + (enhancement modifier)

- If an enchantment attempt results in a Backlash then the caster is drained of all EP and the material loses one level of enchantment (if it has any yet).

- The number of separate materials and number of successful Enchant casts per material needed to make a magic item is equal to the CP of the item (prior to halving the final value for it being an item).  For instance an enchantment to give a sword a +1 to hit would require enchanting "Melee Attack (sword) 1" into it, costing 3 CP.  This would require three separate materials and three successful Enchant casts on each material, for a total of nine successful Enchants.

- Enchant can be cast in reverse, so to speak, in order to de-Enchant an enchanted item.

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