Easy Artifacts: Rules vs. Worldbuilding   1 comment

For a lot of game players and game designers out there, I’ve noticed an odd little quirk: the rules for their world gets in the way of building their world.  Case in point: GMs might sometimes stress over whether or not to include a potion for a fourth level magic spell in a location.  Due to the story, a potion that does a particular thing could be incredibly useful.  One the other hand, the rules for potion creation clearly state that only spells of third level or lower can be turned into potions.  So what should the GM do?

My advice: just ignore the rule.  If it truly helps your game’s story, then completely ignore it.

“But what if my players complain?” you may ask.  Let ’em.  Players complain about everything because it’s one of their only defenses against “losing” the game.

Now, if you really have to work out a plausible in-world explanation for why this works, then my recommendation is to make Artifacts.  The rules for artifacts state very clearly that the means of creating these items are lost to mortals.  However, it doesn’t say that such an item has never been possible, or couldn’t be possible again.  A truly capable NPC might have easily figured out ‘the trick’ to potions, and are thus able to create very weak minor artifact potions.

I could talk for a long time about this topic… and likely will… but this should suffice for now.  Remember: the NPCs and PCs follow different rules.  The rules for NPCs just don’t get codified quite as easily.

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Posted October 1, 2013 by John Little in Uncategorized

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One response to “Easy Artifacts: Rules vs. Worldbuilding

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  1. I’ve haven’t often come across players who complain much when being provided rule-breaking advantageous goodies. But there’s always that one guy…

    These sort of things I’ve found are pretty easy to play off from behind the screen. “Why yes, PC that has experience brewing potions, this is a weird thing to find. Who could have made it and more importantly why is it just laying about?”

    I’ve also gotten extra fancy and pulled a page from D&D before by having certain items commonly referred to by their creator. Tenser, Bigsby, etc.

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