View Full Version : 4e Combination Artifacts

King Tius
2010-03-30, 11:57 PM
I just read through Seekers of the Ashen Crown and like the notion of having 5 or so "trinkets" that combine into some kind of amazing artifact. I was wondering if anybody had ideas about other cool combination artifacts for a collection-themed campaign arc. I think this would be much more preferable than gathering pieces of an armor set or the pieces of a broken sword (unless those sword pieces were all individual magic items themselves).

There is an episode of Star Trek TNG where some Klingons in the brig take off little pieces of their armor and combine them into a phaser. I can't be the only one who thinks this is awesome!

Giggling Ghast
2010-03-31, 07:18 AM
Well, there's the Rod of Seven Parts ...

2010-03-31, 08:29 AM
Well, you could do something like this:


Make about 5+ individual artifacts that can be of any kind (weapons, trinkets, even implants). Give them diverse and unique powers such as mind reading, divinations, summoning, etc.

Have them all be keys needed to unlock <insert plot device here> or simply a very powerful artifact. They all need to be inserted into their proper slots at the same time to unlock what they need to.

Each one is either hidden (I would only do this with about 1 of them, 2 tops) or in the possession of some powerful individual.

All of these individuals would know of the artifacts and their purpose, and each would be very protective of their artifact.

Some of them would simply concentrate on keeping their artifact hidden (and then protecting it should it be discovered) to keep their more evil counterparts from acquiring what is locked away.

Some would be actively hunting the other artifacts for themselves.

The rest would not care either way and just take advantage of the artifact's powers to do whatever they want.

The PC's can then be assigned to find and collect all the artifacts either by a villain who already has one and wants the rest, or just someone who wants them protected from the villains, and the PC's should not know the difference at the time of assignment :smallamused:. Or maybe no one assigns them the task, they just learn about the artifacts and hunt them down on their own to do with them what they will.

When all artifacts are inserted into their slots to unlock the "treasure", it is up to you if they become useless after that or if they can still be used in addition to whatever they unlocked.


So, more along the lines of combining them to unlock a more powerful artifact than to form one, but hopefully was helpful anyway.

Duos Greanleef
2010-03-31, 05:56 PM
You're part genius.

2010-04-01, 08:42 AM
Yay, first compliment! Ima have to quote that.

Man, sucks that there is so little interest in this, so may as well throw more out there.

Cause the crown theme is cool:


There was an ancient kingdom that ruled over most of the known world. The royal family made use of their most powerful artifact, the royal crown, to gain that power in the first place.

After the kingdom was overthrown, the victors realized the danger of the crown but lacked the power to destroy it outright. Instead they were only able to shatter it into <insert however many pieces you want here> pieces, each centered on one of the bigger gems.

The gems themselves are what gave the crown its power, and now each piece has the power of it's corresponding gem. The pieces were distributed to the major players in the kingdom's downfall for safe keeping as they founded their own kingdoms.

Each piece is now used as part of an amulet and is the treasure of the royal family of each new nation that emerged from the original kingdom's remains.

Should all pieces of the crown be brought together again, it can be reassembled. This only works if all pieces are present, no partial assembly with 2 or more. The newly restored crown would have all the powers of the amulet pieces plus whatever ultimate ability(ies) you want to add.

Of course like in the previous example, you would have some kingdoms doing their duty and protecting their amulet while others actively try to acquire all the rest. Much political drama ensues.


Diablo 2, WoW, D&D 3.5, etc. had a real good idea:


Item sets, plain and simple. They already exist in a limited capacity (hand and eye of Vecna, cup and talisman of Al'Akbar) so adding new sets is not hard.

The easiest solution is a set comprised of varoius slotted items (of different slots) and may or may not include weapons and armor. With each new set item acquired, a new ability is unlocked in addition to the individual item abilities.

For added fun, make paired/team items of the same or a similar type. Like 2 swords that when wielded by 2 attackers attacking the same enemy, they each get a +2 to the attack. Or the classic pair of rings where the person wearing one is not affected by AoE spells cast by the person wearing the other, but with added perks. This works well to encourage teamwork.


And something a little more fun:


Keeping with the theme of the hand and eye of vecna, how about a full set of construct implants/prosthetics?

With each one added, you gain the abilities of the individual item and also set item bonuses.

At the end, when you have collected and "equipped" the whole set, you become a living construct (change race to Warforged, or make this character an NPC like some artifacts do). If you let the player keep the character, then whether or not the items retain their powers after construct transformation depends on whether or not you want to allow that PC to keep equipping items aftarwards. Should the pieces retain their powers, the PC will be limited to what additional items they can gain the benefits of.


King Tius
2010-04-01, 09:16 AM
I was thinking something similar to your last bit, actually. What if you collected small trinkets that you put together to make a small doll or statue that then grew and became a powerful golem/companion?

I am well versed in item sets but I want things that actually combine. I think it is so much cooler.

2010-04-01, 01:34 PM
Well, going by your Klingon example you should be able to create a special suit of non-magical armor that can have some plates removed and re-formed into an axe or something. I was gonna say armor spikes that become a sword, but I doubt they would let you keep spiked armor before throwing you in your cell.

Some easy artifact/magic item ways to do this would be to have the main piece of the artifact (a piece of armor or a weapon) that the PC's find first, and make sure to point out that it has some empty sockets in it. As they find the rest of the artifact (trinkets useful on their own) they can inlay them into the armor/weapon. Or make it so the weapon/armor has only 1 slot for all the trinkets combined, and as they assemble the trinkets one at a time they get the benefit that way.

Or a collection of some wands/rods that combine into a powerful staff (that counts as a rod or wand possibly), or maybe even a polearm.