Parent Pages: Rules

Magic Item Construction

This is quite simple. For the purpose of constructing them, magic items are nothing more than characters built using the rules for Items as Characters in GURPS Thaumatology (p. 118-119). New abilities are added via Afflictions that grant appropriate abilities to the item, with proper magic-item modifiers. Items may be granted intelligence by Afflictions that grant levels of IQ, but it's more common to give an item intelligence using the Life Force Transfer spell and possibly the ability to communicate with the Telepathy spell.

All magic items bear the No-Mana Shutdown Disadvantage. Most also bear No Legs (Portable), depending on design. The GM may allow built-in disadvantages for the items to be removed via an Affliction with the Negated Disadvantage Modifier.

Regardless, players wishing to purchase non-sentient magic items with points must use the gadget rules (p. B116-B117). Sentient magic items are Allies.

General Guidelines

  • Enchanters charge for magic items based on the time and material required to produce them. This covers both research time and casting time. Enchanters rarely, if ever, share their spells, as this would easily de-value their work and ultimately reduce their income.
    • This could be different in a more modern campaign.
  • Extended Duration (Permanent) (p. B105). At the +150% level without a terminal condition specified, the magic item can be disenchanted with very little effort. Passing though a No Mana Area with such an item destroys the enchantment and successful use of Neutralize (p. P97) like-wise disenchants them. At the +300% level (or for those with a terminal condition) they simply stop functioning in a No Mana Area and Neutralize has it's normal effects.
    • In either case, Neutralize is resisted using the original caster's Will. Assume 12 for items with an unknown creator.
  • Neutralize (Magic) with the +150% level of Extended Duration (Permanent) will suppress the magic item as if it were in a No Mana Area until it is repaired via an hour's work in a proper laboratory followed by a Magic (Enchantment) roll. At the +300% level, this can permanently disenchant any magic item.
  • Artifact-level items (which cannot normally be made by PCs) usually include an immunity to Neutralize for their own magic and usually bear the Supernatural Durability Advantage.
    • Many also have a single level of Mana Enhancer.
  • The GM should require high quality materials and/or exotic components to produce all magic items.
    • This is a measure to prevent unbalancing situations.
    • The one exception to this rule is the case of negative and/or limiting enchantments.
      • This would be any enchantment that reduces the usefulness of the item to it's user.
        • But not useful enchantments with side effects.
          • A Flaming sword that also burns it's user unless protective gear is worn doesn't count; that's just a limitation on an Advantage.
      • Examples that do count:
        • Cursed items the user cannot let go of without removing the enchantment.
        • Self-destruct enchantments that go off under the proper conditions.
          • This one can get a bit iffy and might be abused, however, depending on required conditions and the self-destruct effect.
          • The GM should watch out for the corner cases.
        • Limiting enchantments that prevent the item from being used by certain people.

Rules for Islands of War

  • Enchanting is a job for the Very Wealthy and would pay about $16,000 a month (Islands of War is generally TL 4). Assuming a 40 hour work week and four weeks a month, this comes to about $100 an hour. The final cost for custom items should include enchantment time (the smaller portion of time) and research (the greater part). Failed prototypes along the way add to final cost. Time spent disenchanting prototypes counts toward final cost. Any enchanter that offers their work for less than this is likely to run afoul of the others eventually (see below). Even mass-produced items will usually include at least 5% of the original research cost. Materials used up in the process also add to cost.
    • Enchanters follow a strict code of conduct requiring them to charge the above rates and never share enchantment spells, except with apprentices and other well-established enchanters. Those that don't follow these rules are likely to have “mysterious accidents.” Most know that the enchanters are behind this, but no evidence has ever been found. The shadowy organization behind these events is the Enchanter's Syndicate.
    • Being an enchanter is an Unusual Background [5]. This is usually counter-balanced with Minor Vow (“Always sell magic items at standard rates, never share enchantment spells with non-enchanters.”) [-5]
  • Prices for magic items are available on the pages for the spells used to build them and/or on the item's recipe page (if it has one). This page should also be a big help.
  • Enchantment requires a fine quality item, a jeweled item and/or exotic/abstract spell components appropriate to the desired enchantment that are used up in the process. Time spent gathering these components also adds to cost.
    • An example of an exotic component is the blood of a dragon. An abstract component is something that is normally not obtainable in a physical sense, like a thought distilled into a potion or the breath of a flower.
    • The GM chooses these components and is also free to assign different components each time a particular magic item is enchanted.
  • Magic items that run on charges (like wands, for example) function as an equivalent to a Power Item (see p. DF1:28).
    • It's capacity is based on the magic item's value as a non-magical item, just like any other Power Item.
    • This energy is only usable by the item's magical abilities, unless the owner uses it as their Power Item, in which case it's shared for both purposes.
    • It can be charged in the same manner as any other Power Item. The Recharge spell is used for this purpose.
      • Some items are capable of recharging themselves. For example, a Staff of the Magi can do this by absorbing spells cast at it's user.
    • This is produced by a special effect of the enchantment process when the item's abilities are unable to draw on any other energy source.
      • The abilities that draw on this reserve have at least one level of the Costs Fatigue Limitation.
      • Being unable to draw on any other source of energy is a -5% Limitation.
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