I’m really digging the High-Speed D&D concept; 30 sessions, 30 levels, one kickass campaign. It’s as simple as it is elegant, and promises to be one heck of a ride from start to finish. But there is just one wrinkle that needs a little more thought: magic items.
Your regular run-of-the-mill 4e D&D progression involves gaining XP, steadily progressing through the levels and amassing treasure along the way in the form of Treasure Parcels which are shared evenly among all your team-mates (or less evenly if one of them happens to be a Rogue). That doesn’t work when you’re increasing a level at the end of every single session, and especially not when we’re playing in the Modern Day where wooden chests piled high with gold pieces aren’t quite so thick on the ground.
Instead, what we’re going to do is this……….
Each character gains magic items whose total level equals their new character level. They can replace existing items they possess with more powerful versions after they reach a high enough level.
For example, at second level Annette Weber (Human Wizard) could select a Staff of Fiery Might +1, a level 2 item. When she reaches third, she could take a new third level item, a 1st and a 2nd level item or three 1st level items. When she reaches 7th level, she could replace her Staff of Fiery Might with the +2 version (a level 7 item) and use her 2nd level “slot” for something else.
That’s all well and good, but where to these magic items come from? I’m not going to litter the modern landscape with long lost powerful swords, enchanted armours and the like. That would be silly.
No, these magical items are manifestations of the character’s power, drawn from the same Source that provides their Powers and Abilities. Annette’s magical Staff is a creation of her willpower which grows, shapes and becomes more powerful as she herself does as the campaign progresses. The Fighter’s sword and armour springs into being when it’s first needed, becoming as much a part of him as his skill with the same.
In the first scenario, it’s a mere Longsword, but later scenarios may well see it transform into a Vicious Longsword +1, or a Flaming blade or even a completely different weapon altogether depending on how the player’s vision of the character grows.
Sounds awesome-powerful, right? Conceptually, yes – I mean, the hero’s magic items are manifestations of their will, how cool is that??! – but in truth they’re just gaining level-appropriate[1. Actually much less, but that’s splitting hairs] magic items just as they would in any other D&D scenario. A lot more quickly, granted………..
Next: The End of Endday. For now, at least.