Sunday, 11 September 2011

Building Legendary Treasure

When working on the Legendary Treasures series, Stefen and I used the following guidelines to control our design. We did not always stick to these guidelines but they are framework for building legendary items.

Requirements:
Each legendary weapon, armor or shield has a number of requirements that the character must possess in order to attune the item and gain access to its legendary abilities.t

Generally this includes:
- one or two feats
- one or two skills at 4 ranks or less.

Race is sometimes included as requirement if the item has a strong racial enemy or origin. Additional class abilities are seldom used unless multiple options are available. Such as one of specific domian, mystery or bloodline. We never wanted to pigeonhole a legendary treasure to strictly one class.

Abilities
- All legendary treasures begin with a +1 enhancement bonus. By the time the character has reached level 20 the treasure's total enhancement bonus should not be more than +5.

The 10 levels of progression generally it look something like this

1) +1 weapon/armor/shield
2) A spell-like ability (3/day; 1st-2nd level), supernatural ability, feat, other bonus
3) A spell-like ability (3/day; 2nd-3rd level), supernatural ability, feat, other bonus
4) +2 weapon/armor/shield (may have property)

5) A spell-like ability (3/day; 3rd-4th level), supernatural ability, feat, other bonus
6) A spell-like ability (3/day; 4th-5th level), supernatural ability, feat, other bonus
7) +3 weapon/armor/shield (may have property)
8) A spell-like ability (3/day; 5th-6th level), supernatural ability, feat, other bonus
9) A spell-like ability (3/day; 6th-7th level), supernatural ability, feat, other bonus
10) +4 weapon/armor/shield (may have property)


Other patterns are allowable but these give us a good starting point.

Kevin Video asked on the Purple Duck Games forums:


Finally, I don't see it on the weapon pdfs (correct me if I'm wrong) where it says whether or not you pay additionally for a weapon to be upgraded. For instance, at 20th level, you have a +4 weapon (eg +3 flaming greataxe). What if I want to make that a +5 flaming burst greataxe? How much does that cost me? If I get it done early, and it's a +3 keen flaming burst greataxe at only level 10, does it become a +5 greataxe when I hit level 20?


In my campaign I have not had this come up. I think if my players wanted to do it I would allow it on an enhancement cost basis. 


So let's say they are currently at level 14 and have attuned the heartwood staff from Legendary II: Legendary Weapons. At there current level this weapon is a +3 revitalizing quarterstaff; revitalizing has a +42,000 gp addition and the +3 has it costing 18,000 gp. So this weapons as of right now would be worth at least as much as a +5 weapon. If my player wanted to upgrade it to +4 revitalizing then they would need to come up with 22,000 gp to move it from an effective +5 to and effective +6. When the weapon would have naturally leveled up to +4 vitalizing it would instead become a +5 revitalizing. 


Since the weapons level up naturally, I've never had a player ask this but I think that is how I would handle it.

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