Crafting Magical Arms And Armor

Magical weaponry and armor are much-beloved implements of almost every adventuring professional. The actual creation of such tools usually requires a great deal more than just the acquisition of a high-quality sword or a superbly-fashioned shield, however. It requires a certain degree of importance and glory about the weapon, some contact with greatness in its past. A nameless and unstoried blade of masterwork quality just doesn't take the enchantment as well as great hero's chipped belt knife.

A superbly-fashioned blade spares the need for certain preparatory purification rites, but even a bent pigsticker can be ensorceled if a hero once bore it. A battered and chipped leather breastplate can receive the magic if a brave man died wearing it, even if it costs a little more to prepare than the gleaming dwarfmade mail of a Glorious Hero General. As such, it is very difficult to "mass produce" magical arms and armor, even when gold and time are copiously available.

Many adventurers prefer to retain one weapon throughout much of their careers, trading the plunder of their gory trade for the chance to have further virtues unlocked in their trusty old sword or faithful shield. When a magical blade is found in a treasure hoard, it's almost invariably a weapon with some sort of history behind it, even if the true past of the weapon is forever lost with its prior owner.

On some occasions, it's even possible for a hero's weapon or harness to spontaneously acquire magical qualities. The makeshift shield that a great hero snatched up to make his final stand, or the shoddy blade that the elven sword-saint bore to save her village might retain echoes of the great deed in which they played a role. It's impossible to tell precisely what the effect might be of such things, but some of the greatest weapons and armors of legend never had a wizard play any role in their enchantment. It is impossible to intentionally enchant an item in this way- it either happens or it does not.

For purposes of game mechanics, PCs can pay to have their existing weapons, armor, or neck item enchanted, and can pay to have this enchantment improved over time. The level of the weapon, neck or armor cannot exceed more than the character's level +1, and the cost of the former weapon is subtracted from the cost of the new one to determine how much gold is required out of their magic item budget to obtain the item.

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