Identifying Magical Items



  • Here's the Identify spell by rules as written. Bold emphasis is mine.

    Identify

    Level: 1
    Duration: 1 round per level
    Range: Touch

    This spell may be used to determine the magical properties of a single magic item. However, the magic-user must be holding or wearing the item according to its function and the spell must be cast no later than 1 hour after it comes into the caster's possession. Weapons must be held, boots worn, etc.

    If such an item happens to be cursed or otherwise requires a saving throw, the spell caster receives all normal defenses.

    For each round the spell is in effect, there is a probability of 15%, +5% for each caster level that one power of the item is discovered. If the item is powerless this information will be gained as well.

    However, when using this spell, the caster must succeed in a saving throw versus spells each round. Only if this succeeds is the information gained correct. If the save is failed by 5% (1 lower than the target number) the information gained is false, to be determined by the referee. If the roll is failed by more than that, no information is gained.

    Note that while specific abilities or powers are revealed, the specific +s of a weapon is not, only the fact that it is enchanted is revealed and a general sense of whether it is strong or weak. The specific number of charges, if relevant, contained in a magic item is not revealed. Knowledge of an approximation is granted, which will be in the form of a range above and below approximately 25% of the actual number.

    This spell is very draining on the caster. The caster suffers temporary loss of 8 points to CON when the spell duration ends. If this should bring the magic-user to fewer than 3, he falls unconscious for 24 hours but awakens with full CON restored. Points of CON may only be restored at the rate of 1 per 6 turns (1 hour) of rest.


    That shit is crazy, right? It's essentially a big fuck you for wanting to know what that magical item does. Cursed items will always get the MU (saves applicable), there's only a tiny chance a lower level MU can actually learn one of the properties (15% + 5% per level AND a saving throw vs. Spells to succeed!), AND the MU is basically fucked after using it and out of the game.


    Here's a revised version of the Identify spell we'll use

    Identify (Revised)

    Level: 1
    Duration: 1 round per level
    Range: Touch

    This spell may be used to determine the magical properties of magic items. This spell may only be used once on an item by any individual magic-user.

    The magic-user must be holding or wearing the item according to its function. Weapons must be held, boots worn, potions sipped, etc. If such an item happens to be cursed or otherwise requires a saving throw, the spell caster receives all normal defenses.

    A magic-user may identify all the properties of one item per round. There is only a 15% + 5% per level that the magic-user learns the full properties of an item. Failure indicates the magic-user only gets partial information pertaining to the item. For example, a magic-user who fails a roll to identify a wand may learn it can cast fireball, but not how many charges it has. Or, may learn that a sword is enchanted, but not how powerful it is. Or, that a ring can cast a meteor storm, but not the command word to activate it. This is left up to the DM to decide.

    Research to Identify

    As you've learned, the spell Identify isn't foolproof. And, requires fumbling and using the item, which means cursed items will be used before knowledge of such a curse becomes a realization.

    Items can be researched in lieu of using the Identify spell to learn the properties of the item. This requires careful study, tests, and consultation for a week. However, the magic-user need not handle the item, and thus cursed items may be avoided.

    Roll on the research table above as you would learning or creating a spell. After completion of research is successful, the magic-user learns all properties of the magic item.

    Experimentation

    Lastly, anyone can just put on an item or use it and fuck around with it. The DM will give vague impressions as time passes.


  • Dungeon Master

    Woof. For a game that is so reliant on gaining and properly using magic items to advance, that as written version is rough. Thanks for the revision. Question: if identify only gets part of an item, and by using it we're only going to receive vague impressions over time, how likely is it that we would ever understand fully any complex item i.e. clangdrang?



  • @Jackson said in Identifying Magical Items:

    Woof. For a game that is so reliant on gaining and properly using magic items to advance, that as written version is rough. Thanks for the revision. Question: if identify only gets part of an item, and by using it we're only going to receive vague impressions over time, how likely is it that we would ever understand fully any complex item i.e. clangdrang?

    Overtime, you will get more detail as you use it. Some intelligent items may just impart the knowledge upon you.


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