View Full Version : "Boons" instead of magical gear (3.5/PF)

2012-05-18, 09:25 PM
I'm trying to either find or create a system which allows a normal character to gain "boons", essentially permanent or semipermanent benefits that mimic the effects of magical equipment, without actually having to carry around a dozen magical trinkets.

Using item creation guidelines, the simplest method would be to consider the benefits as if they were slotless, thus doubling their effective cost. So, gaining a tattoo that gives you the ability to use Cure Light Wounds 50 times at caster level 1, before the tattoo fades away, would effectively cost 1500 gp, instead of 750 (the normal price for a level 1 wand).

This would essentially halve the number of consumable item benefits and permanent item benefits the character possessed. Of course, with the exponential nature of most passive items, that really means having equipment that's essentially one (or at most two) steps below what other characters should have.

Another option would be for characters to gain something akin to the benefits from possessing a Legacy Weapon, trading material wealth for perhaps two or three Menu choices at each level instead of one. This would remove consumable items from what the character could gain access to, but would ensure fairly balanced benefits.

I'm hoping to implement this system in a current game, one in which the Barbarian chooses to forgo all equipment save for a Mithral greatsword (so 1 set of Menu options for the sword, and one or two menus as passive abilities for himself), and a Psychic character who reaps fallen souls and trades them to devils in a pseudo-Faustean pact sort of deal (all menu options would be passive for this character).

2012-05-18, 09:33 PM
"Prestige Races" (http://www.dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Publication:Dragon_%28magazine%29/Dragon_304/Prestige_Races), written up in Dragon 304, gives almost exactly the mechanic you are looking for, via the feat Sculpt Self. The one exception is that they disallow incorporating items with limited charges (but limited uses/day is ok). The article also suggests alternative ways to incorporate this type of mechanic.

Its an OGL article, and available at the link I provided.

2012-05-18, 09:48 PM
I'm sorry I just couldn't resist (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7Rc4PH6vlQ&feature=related) :smallbiggrin:

2012-05-18, 10:28 PM
Oh. My. God.

I literally have EXACTLY what you're looking for.

Linky (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241220).

2012-05-18, 11:57 PM
It looks pretty solid to me. Basically having virtual GP to spend equal to your Wealth by Level chart, and trading the ability to get consumable items for never having your gear stolen. I like it.

Being able to shift your effective "gear" each day is powerful and makes the character flexible. The Barbarian will probably use it more than the psychic, though.

The psychic in particular could use her soul-reaping feats as a method of paying for temporary information and services via Devil. So she could still get some coin in return for feat investment and potential backfiring (they're EVIL after all).

I'll test it out. Thanks for sending me the link tonberrian.

2012-05-19, 08:43 PM
I would have to say I like the idea of a buying legacy abilities. I think D&D has always been way too magic item heavy (one disjunction spell and you are completely screwed (and because the player who need magic items the most are most likely to fail their save)).
I'm curious though if you think that would balance out with magic items or not though. Legacy weapons do have their limitations.