The Monster Part system looks like a solution for my issues with items


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Really quick oversimplification for people who don't know what I'm talking about: this a system that allows you to use parts of monsters you acquired - whether by violence, diplomacy or other means - to both create and "level up" items. Get the parts, build an item (or use an existing one)and imbue it with power overnight. Next day - boom, your item is now more fancy! This includes essentially the equivalent of fundamental runes, but also things that are more akin to property runes, but more gradual and varied. A little later in here is some more info, if you are interested.

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My problem with most items in 2e (and several other systems) is that items are kind of... boring? With 2e (and 1e if I deduced that correctly) making them part of the necessary progression path, they are even bordering on something mundane, almost. Most of them simply do not spark my interest or imagination in the way a lot of other things in 2e do. I also do not like that most non-armour/weapon items have a natural expiration date due to the inability to change their inherent DCs or bonuses. It is not a bad system by any means, it just lacks a little something for me.

The new system totally invalidates my second problem and neatly solves my first by creating something that feels absolutely natural to an RPG - roleplaying. But in this case you don't "just" have your character, now you get to RP your equipment as well. There is a world of difference if you bought that +1 sword or carved it out of the ribcage of that big nasty beastie that wanted to destroy your hometown. For me at least.

There is also the added bonus that most encounters feel more meaningful, even if just a bit. Some will hit that spot a lot, like carving your new weapon out of your bane's ribcage. For my GM side, any additional reason for people to care about a given encounter is welcome! For my player side, it helps with immersion, RP and satisfying those old hunter/gatherer instincts :D

All in all, for me this system will breathe much needed flair and wonder into the item section of the game.


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It sounds somewhat similar to a subsystem I've been developing, though mine is focused more around some feats and archetypes than that version appears to be. But when it comes out, I'll be happy to look it over and decide if I can stop developing my own system.


NielsenE wrote:
It sounds somewhat similar to a subsystem I've been developing, though mine is focused more around some feats and archetypes than that version appears to be. But when it comes out, I'll be happy to look it over and decide if I can stop developing my own system.

I can really recommend to just keep creating your own stuff, even if you'll never use it. You learn a lot of things you otherwise wouldn't have and it can be a lot of fun ^^


How does this system deal with PCs getting overly powerful magic items?


Progression is fun for a lot of people, and I definitely agree that there is a cool factor to gathering what you need for that progression directly from encounters (particularly memorable, epic type encounters!).

The Ronyon wrote:
How does this system deal with PCs getting overly powerful magic items?

A valid concern. I think any sort of progression system can have power caps built into it. A point system of some sort would prevent an item from becoming too powerful. Reasoning can be determined by the system.

For the one described, the innate magical properties of too many creatures interfere with each other when combined, creating a negating effect that renders the item mundane (or something along those lines :D ).


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I think this should be in the third-party discussion forum.


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The Ronyon wrote:

How does this system deal with PCs getting overly powerful magic items?

The items follow the same balance principles as existing ones. You also can't level up your items above your own level - you can already put the parts in, but it will only level up when you do.

Liberty's Edge

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I will likely get this, but I see two main problems with such a system : killing creatures (or even intelligent people) just to harvest their parts for more power seems ethically risky. And this can easily have the PCs just trying to target select creatures for the abilities they will provide rather than care about what is happening in the setting, basically throwing your campaign off the road.


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The Raven Black wrote:
I will likely get this, but I see two main problems with such a system : killing creatures (or even intelligent people) just to harvest their parts for more power seems ethically risky. And this can easily have the PCs just trying to target select creatures for the abilities they will provide rather than care about what is happening in the setting, basically throwing your campaign off the road.

Agreed. It doesn't seem like a good fit for every campaign. On the other hand, if you're running a sort of Monster Hunter-esque, or sort of Final Fantasy "monsters are congealed magic" kind of campaign, then it seems like the perfect tool. The sample PDF also suggests three different ranges of importance the system can have in your games, which seems like a good conversation to have.


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Also if you're a less violent party (like my group) you can befriend monsters and receive tokens as gifts from them and use those, with the same effects without killing them, based on the whole idea in fantasy lore that like "An angel's feather freely given" might have more magical power to it than a whole bunch of angel feathers you took by force.

Liberty's Edge

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Agreed. This system can support a lot of great ideas. But it can also become quite problematic. I think some advice for GMs on how to get the most out of it and how to avoid likely pitfalls would enhance its value.


The Raven Black wrote:
I will likely get this, but I see two main problems with such a system : killing creatures (or even intelligent people) just to harvest their parts for more power seems ethically risky. And this can easily have the PCs just trying to target select creatures for the abilities they will provide rather than care about what is happening in the setting, basically throwing your campaign off the road.

That's pretty much what I expected to be the main concerns as well. But apart from groups that have members of wildly differing attitudes towards these topics, I think it should be fine. Especially because of the non-lethal/non-eviscerate options. But definitely something to have a discussion about even beyond selecting what style of the system you want.

The ethics side of things is a very good place to bring up and play up alignment/a PC's character. A good character and most neutrals would more likely than not kill a creature for a different reason - usually because it wants to viciously murder you - and then use the materials because anything else would be a waste and you worked hard for it. Good problem point for druids as well. If such a character were to systematically search out and eliminate creatures (sentient or not) for the pure reason of getting cooler bling, then that clearly represents a shift towards evil. And if you have an actually evil character, then ethically dubious questions are not going to be a new topic and (hopefully) aren't running a group of people who will have issues with that.
If a creature is actually sentient it really just amplifies this whole dynamic. But since most sentient creatures that you fight will absolutely murder you if you don't do so first, I guess it won't be a massive deal for most parties? Unless you get the random "wrong place, wrong time" scenario and suddenly get attacked by an angel or something - that's a perfect opportunity for some heavy questions and character development, if anything.
All said, I think this will likely be a problem that can be solved by getting together at the beginning and talking out your group's stance.

The second thing is the real danger to be ware of in my eyes. Apart from having a frank discussion or occasional GM reminder to not get carried away, I think this can be mitigated by trading, at the very least. Monster parts have a GP value and you can trade for other parts of the same value, so you don't have to go terminator on every fire monster you see to get that cool fire sword.

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