Magic in games

I personally don’t care much for RPGs where you can buy magic things (weapons, armor, etc.) in a store.  Like when you can trot on down to uncle spiffys’ magic emporium and pick up a sword from the +1 rack .  How many fantasy stories do you read where the heroes simple go in and buy some magical armor?  I am sure these exist, but I never read them.  Why should you bother pulling the sword from the stone when you could just buy one and declare yourself king of all Britain?

Over all when it comes right down to it I like a more Sword and Sorcery approach to magic.  I am also more partial to a more low fantasy setting.  Dark and grimy, fantasypunk if you will.  Trenchcoats and longswords perhaps?  Basically I think magic should be dangerous to wield, deadly to your foes, and rare.  If you have a magic weapon (of any sort) it makes you stand out, if you are a wizard you should be feared and respected.  As player characters you should be competent (not always successful but not a feeb.)

Part of a fantasy characters identity is with his weapon of choice, often symbolic of something.  Not something they picked up at Jiffysword.


4 responses to “Magic in games

  1. I agree totally, I don’t allow for “magic shops” in my games. If you want a magical thing “item/weapon/armor”, you are going to need to quest to find it, and it isn’t going to be easy. I don’t care for the “+1, +2, etc.”, the item is going to have a name and a history that the PC is going to have to understand if they want to use the item to its full potential.


    • Agreed and further, I think allowing a PCs favored weapon to gain power over the course of a game is an awesome way to go. If my character had an heirloom weapon I wouldn’t want to just toss it away in favor of a shiny new magic trinket I just found.


      • Agreed, that is the idea behind the history of an item. The more the PC understands about the history of an item, the more power they are able to gain from it. Every item has a limit, so not everything is an artifact of godly power, but say in game terms, “+4 sword of quickness” is going to go from +1 upto +4, and the quickness ability will show itself either at the time when the sword is fully understood or possibly somewhere along the way as deemed by the GM.


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