View Full Version : Player Help Character concept: Artifact Hunter - would you be okay with custom magic items?

2015-12-11, 08:24 AM
It's no secret to anyone who knows me that recently indulged media heavily influences my character creation.. When I played The Old Republic, I tried to apply the Jedi mindset to a standarf fantasy setting. When I read dark fairy tales I want to create a Winter Fey character. But I also try to create backstories to make certain classes work, like the D&D 5th edition Warlock which just oozes flavor left and right. Recently I've played Hearthstone, and inside that the mini adventure concerning parody discoverers of the early 20th century. Think Dwarven Indiana Jones reseaching his ancient roots with the Titans, think about an extradimensional thief trying to get highly magical artifacts.

But this is also rekindling my spirits in a build I wanted to do since I started with Pathfinder three years ago. A mundane researcher in a highly magical world, looking for and already having pocketed several ancient artifacts. I've done this with a rogue in Pathfinder, leading to one of the worst thieves/tomb raiders in history. As it turns out building a skill monkey requires a decent portion of rules knowledge. Like - which skills are substituted by UMDing them with wands, which skills are utterly focus of such a build, and how do you play this thing in combat?

In any game I could start off in we would be fairly high level, requiring me to spend a lot of money on weird magical items. But I'd honestly be completely ineffective in combat if I can have some artifact grade items in my pockets. Next to the fact that D&D battles severely lack being gimmick-focussed (to the point where you pull up a chart for the sweet spot on power attacking), I would want to write some severely circumstantial but powerful magical artifacts for my character.

The main question is: Would you as player and/or DM be okay with some very powerful non-combat focussed items?

I'm not thinking about:
- dual wielding Holy Avengers.
- finding spellbooks close to scrolls of Netheril or
- the [insert disgusting body part] of Vecna

I am more thinking about items like:
- the Diamond Scepter of Chomylla - enables Identify, Legend Lore and Tongues and quickened detect magic, and even Maze 1/day (and I would be fine with an encounter not giving XP because you mazed the guardian) or
- the tome of books - giving you access to all books you throw into the extra dimensional storage, with a hefty amount of ancient books inside that require checks to deceipher

or situaitonalitems like:
- the Golembane Scarab, giving you a gigantic edge on fighting ancient guardians because it circumvents DR of any golem.

Basically anything that doesn't affect skill checks or combat in a general way. Items that enable speciaiized uses. One-off items are also great if they are an asset in a fight that you could know of.

I realize that using a Golembane Scarab might make a Golem fight a cake walk so stories like these need the cooperation of the DM who more often than not doesn't want to spoil his encounters. Not even for someone researching the tomb before entering.

2015-12-11, 10:31 AM
I think I tried something kind of/sort of like this years ago, though it never made it into any game. First was a major artifact called the genesis device that basically allowed one to use the genesis spell at-will (heightened to 25th-level); something that had to be crafted by the gods in the mists of time because one of its requirements was expending 263,600 XP for an otherwise CL 40 item.

A little more subdued was a Final Fantasy XII-inspired healing crystal — a slab of uncut sapphire the size of an elf floating in the air that'd grant anyone who touched it (and all intended targets within 30 ft.) the benefits of mass heal, heightened to 10th-level at CL 25 (with a nice half-a-million gold piece price tag).

I think I had imagined the crystal resting in the center of an ancient, utopia-like floating island city of neutral-drow; essentially instead of going underground they raised their city to the sky 'cause they were sick of the world's $%#&, focusing on intellectual and spiritual pursuits — and oddball explanation for why the drow look so vastly different from other elves and have far more abilities; from the ground the light reflecting off of the floating island's underside would resemble the "moon." More-or-less inspired by Anemos from Nintendo's Golden Sun RPG series.

Mark Hall
2015-12-11, 11:06 AM
I'd have no problem with it, and have created such in the past. I might reduce some of them (say, the Golembane Scarab doesn't negate it, but reduces it, or works only for a limited time, or has a limited number of charges), but that's something else, entirely.

2015-12-16, 02:15 PM
The answer to your question is -- play an artificer. They can make all the golembane type items themselves, and you could fluff the custom items they make as them "finding" them.

Commonly heard in the party:

DM: You enter a clearing...
Artificer/Researcher: I recognize that rock from this old scroll I read 15 years ago, it has an artifact under it!

...The concept could be HILARIOUS!

2015-12-16, 04:48 PM
We are playing either PF or D&D 5. So playing an artificer is a varying degree of impossible to houserule. Also if I ever played D&D 5 I'd really prefer Rogue (Thief) because self-made magic items is right up the alley of that system but it honestly feels more like a DM domain in that game. I don't want the character to revolve around creating magic items. I want her to revolve around FINDING mystical artifacts. I know knowledge is power but I don't WANT these artifact items within my character's reach.