Today is the start of a new , hopefully regular feature that features what can best be described as “Items of Interest” – hence the title of the same name. I have created a generator for myself that output randomized magic items.
The challenge then becomes to take this randomly created item concept and make something that can be used in various games. For the time being, these will be system neutral, but the various powers and features will be given in such a way as to make it as easy as possible to convert to a system of your choice. This could be considered to be version 1.0 of the Random Item Generation System (R.I.G.S.). New features will probably be added to R.I.G.S. in the future. If this occurs then previous items will normally be updated when added into the compilation, but popular items may be selected to be upgraded if requested by enough people. There is a plan to eventually have R.I.G.S be published in some way, once there is enough aspects added. The good thing about R.I.G.S. is that it can be adapted to feature items from any genre, such as Sci-Fi or horror. To begin with though, it will be focused around fantasy and medieval items, from mundane to artefacts of great power.
Each will have 6 aspects. All but the last aspect, details, has been randomly created using R.I.G.S.. These are not set in stone and if it feels better to change something one way, then it will be changed. The best way to think about R.I.G.S is that it is a system of guidelines, not hard and fast rules that MUST be followed to the letter, although some of the more interesting will be created when the guidelines are followed as closely as possible.
Name – This is the name of the item and will give you an idea to its function. May sometimes feature the name of the maker or person most associated with it.
Approximate Age – Roughly how old the item is. This may not be accurate but can help give you a rough time frame for when it was made or discovered.
Condition – How well-preserved an item is. A modern item may not be in as good condition as something hundreds of years old. Just because something appears to be almost broken does not mean it is not useful.
Power Level – Expressed as a level from 0 – 10. 0 would generally indicate the item is drained of power or has never had any. 10 would indicate this item is technically an artefact. 1 – 9 fills in the gaps. The power level determines not only how powerful the item is but how much “charge” remains. It is deliberately vague to give you room to work into your stories and campaigns.
Activation – How is this item activated? There are 11 types of activation in R.I.G.S at the moment with more planned. So far they are:-
- Appropriate Action : Items with this type of activation will have their primary power go when an appropriate action occurs. This is related to the item, so a sword would be when it cuts someone or a bell when it’s rung etc.
- Automatic – Location : These need to be in a certain location before they become active. Once active they can either be only used in this location or for a short period of time.
- Automatic – Time : Is the same as above, but only activates at a certain time of day. Both Automatic(location) and Automatic(Time) can be used as normal mundane items if it is not the appropriate time or location.
- Blood : This requires a small amount of blood to be dropped on the item. Either the user’s or the target, whichever is most appropriate.
- Gesture : These require a certain gesture to be made in relation to the item. This could be the item moved in a certain way or a gesture made above the item.
- Mental Command (Any Language) : This requires a certain word or image to be directed towards the item. It can be any language.
- Mental Command (Language) : As above but it must be in a certain language as well.
- Random : This item will activate randomly, for a random period of time. Favoured by makers who follow Chaos.
- Touch : This item will activate or become ready to use it powers when touched. This could be when picked up or a certain part touched or a sequence of locations pressed.
- Will : Will is similar to Mental Command, except to no word or image is required. The user must simply will the item to activate.
- Word (Any Language) : Similar to Mental Command, except that the word must be spoken aloud. The command word can be in any language.
- Word (Language) : As above but the command word must be in a certain named language.
- Other : This is for future types of activation or anything that is unique to the item.
Details : This is the main part of the item description. It will flesh out the above information, may give some insight into its creation and give information about its powers and features. These powers will be based off the items name in some way.
Other aspects that may be added at a future date include:
Quirks : What is odd or unique about the item
Maker Information : Who, or what, made the item and for what reason
The first example made with R.I.G.S is shown below.
Approximate Age : Many – 39 years
Condition : Excellent (8)
Power Level : Artefact (10)
Activation : Mental Command (Any Language)
Looking at its details we can work out that it is almost 40 years old, is in excellent condition, is artefact level of power and is activated by a mental command in any language.
The name suggest its powers – A match that can light up with the power of the sun. It would be a good item to use against vampires or any other sun-fearing creature. It would make sense for the item to become active when it’s struck against a surface whilst the mental command “Brightness” is directed at it.
The Sun Match is an artefact level item that first surfaced almost 40 years ago. It is unknown who the maker was. But it saved the life of a lone adventurer who had found the matches whilst exploring a ruined castle.
It was believed that the adventurer was fighting vampires and the undead and was trying to light their lamp to keep the darkness at bay. Finding themselves in what appeared to be a cross between a temple and a laboratory, the unlucky adventurer was running out of time. He could hear the scrambling horde of the undead getting closer and closer as the lamp light flickered. Finding a small book of matches on what looked like an altar, the matches were used to light the lamp. The first 3 didn’t work. Panicking and fearing for his life, the adventurer used the last of the matches , willing it with all his mental strength to “LIGHT DAMMIT!”. Just at that moment the master vampire reached for the poor souls neck.
It was at this point the match became lit. What happened next surprised everyone. It appeared that being in the presence of the altar for a long time had infused the last match with the power of the god it was dedicated to. It was rather bad news for the vampire and other undead that this altar was dedicated to a sun-god. The light that burst forth from this small match was as bright as the noon-day sun. The vampire and many of the horde was turned instantly into dust.
The others who remained were blinded. Seizing the opportunity, the adventurer fled the location and eventually returned to civilization where the Sun Match was given to the local kingdom who has been having problems with vampires and undead. This generous gift allowed the adventurer to retire wealthy and helped save the kingdom from the horde and eventually destroy them.
To use the Sun Match it must be struck against a surface whilst the mental command “LIGHT” is mentally shouted. As long as the match is held, an area about 30 feet around the user is treated as being as bright as it would be at noon on a cloudless day. Those caught within range are affected appropriately – Either damaged or blinded. The user is immune to the blinding effects and can carry the match around with them. If the match is dropped, then it must be lit again. It can’t be lit underwater, but can be carried underwater and provides the same illumination effect. As soon as the user stops holding the match, the light level returns to normal. This item can be used as many times per day as required.