Eclipse and Complete Gear

Levitating, Meditating, Flute-playing Gnu

Seeks the Siddi’s Path My Son…

 

To continue with Alzrius’s question about comparing Eclipse and the “Complete” series from Dreamscarred Press… next up we have Complete Gear.

 

Complete Gear has got 13 pages, including cover, OGL, and artwork. I don’t actually have it – but I do have the sample file, answers to a few questions from a quick look at Dreamscarred Presses Boards, and the actual content from the OGL Wiki.

 

As far as the rules go…

 

  • Each character gets “Influence Points” equal to the standard Wealth By Level quantity which they can use to make items act like they’re magical. If an item costs 2500 GP, they can invest 2500 IP in any vaguely-similar item to give it identical properties. It does have to use the same body slots and other properties though, even if the form is different.
  • It takes one hour of meditation per 1000 GP worth of items or part thereof to attune the item(s) to the desired function and nothing happens until the attunement is complete. An interruption will spoil that attempt, although you can simply try again. Only one successful meditation may be performed in any given day – although multiple items may be attuned during it and an attunement lasts until you change it or the item is destroyed.
  • Optionally, the game master may require masterwork or otherwise especially-prepared gear be used for appropriate imbuements (weapons and armor mostly, since few other items require a masterwork base) – but the rules pretty much recommend not doing so, since such costs are already included in the magic item costs for specific weapons and such.
  • Attuned items only have magical powers when used by the person influencing them, for anyone else they are simply mundane gear.
  • If you’re mixing normal magical items with Influence Points, subtract the value of the normal magic they use from the characters supply of influence points. Given that Influence Points are far superior to fixed-property items, I can’t see why any character would ever bother with “ordinary” treasure (unless it’s worth more Influence Points than they have) except to give it to some subordinate who doesn’t have many Influence Points – but that may be just me.
  • Giving items the properties of special materials is done by spending the appropriate number of influence points – although the GM may decide otherwise. I’d kind of recommend it; why bother with those dangerous expeditions to get special materials, and the distant mines, and so on, when you can just influence it up? For that matter… “Iron” is arguably a special material (it gives picks and shovels made of it massive advantages over those made of – say – wood), can I make the sweater mother knitted for me into the equivalent of a chainmail shirt? Why not if the exact form doesn’t matter and I can influence it into acting as a +1 chainmail shirt? Good-bye Armor Proficiencies! After all, “items made by an influence have the hardness and hit points of their magical counterparts”.
  • As a possible variant, “The process of attunement has a unique effect upon smaller influences. Any limited use influence that costs less than 3,000 IPs destroys the mundane object once the magical use has been expended… Additionally, this variant can be extended to permanent influences of less than 3,000 IPs if desired.” Not much actual effect there. A Handy Haversack full of little vials and birch bark to write on and such is pretty cheap.
  • You can create charged items. As soon as they’re used up, or discarded, or destroyed, you get your Influence Points back. Personally, since this IS related to Complete Control, I would have thought that once you used up the charges you’d have to spend XP to “refresh” those Influence Points (probably at twice the creation cost, since you aren’t spending on materials) – but that isn’t so; you just get them back.

 

Hm… A Staff of Passage with two charges (enough for a Greater Teleport) costs only 6820 GP. A sixth-level character can imbue THAT. A Ring of Wishes with one Wish in it costs 32,650 GP – and a ninth-level character can imbue one. Hm… Party of Five, take two months off, and return to action with each character having a +5 Inherent Bonus on every attribute. Handy!

 

So, a third-level party gets shipwrecked on a desert island! Each could only save a few items in the disaster! They aren’t up to making a Staff of Passage, even with only two charges in it! How will they survive and get home? An exciting classical adventure awaits!

 

Well, they collect a few shells and seagull feathers from the beach and a climb trees for temporary safety where they meditate for three hours. They produce some Feather Tokens (several Swan Boats for safety reasons, a few Anchors, and a Bird to send home with a message saying they’ll be a bit late), they turn a few big leaves into Travel Cloaks, and they turn a few bits of wood into Spell Tiles (which work like potions when broken), quickly healing all injuries.

Hm. So any second-level character can meditate for an hour, invest their 900 Influence Points in Spell Tiles (Cure Light Wounds) if they can’t cast Cure Light Wounds (and in Wands of Cure Light or Lesser Vigor if they can cast those spells or have a good Use Magic Device check) if someplace REALLY needs healing. One second level character – of ANY class – can thus quite reasonably heal at least eighteen, and possibly a couple of hundred people in a day. Higher level characters… can do more.

Sure, the characters can only meditate successfully once per day – but this system says that you can pretty much say “goodbye” to all limited-resource adventures, survival situations, and tough choices. Need something built? Any sixth-level party can equip themselves with Lyres of Building. You want to harvest a field? A Phantom Mill (The Practical Enchanter) costs 2000 Influence Points, but it can keep a swarm of hundreds of Unseen Servants on a job.

 

In a normal game, characters (and utility items) are restrained because charged items get used up and trading in permanent items costs money (or XP if they’re creating their own replacements), which prevents characters from optimizing their gear to meet each situation. They have to make some decisions and try to meet many contingencies with the same load-out. Under this system… not so much. It WILL mean much more use of obscure and special-niche magic items, which can be fun – but it can also make quite a mess of how the game is supposed to work. It’s manageable – but a LOT of assumptions and things about the setting are going to change. It also means saying good-bye to a lot of plots involving incompetents who’ve gotten a hold of a powerful item, the recovery of stolen magical items, and so on – but there’s a price for everything.

 

Of course, even if the game master sensibly disallows such charged-item shenanigans, given that this means that the characters will pretty much ALWAYS have pretty thoroughly optimized gear, I’d reduce the amount a bit and charge XP to recharge expendable item powers.

 

Fortunately, that system is already a part of Eclipse… To buy the “Imbue Items” power in Eclipse you want to purchase Siddisyoga with Efficient and Inner Whispers (allowing the creation of charged items, but requiring that XP be spent to “recharge” them), Specialized for Increased Effect (the user may revise his “item selection” given one hour of meditation per 1000 GP of value provided that any charged “items” being “traded in” are fully charged), if the GM does not wish to keep track the user may default to two-thirds of his or her expected wealth by level) and Corrupted for reduced cost)/the user must simulate magic items and use appropriate slots, the user must select specific items as foci for his or her innate enchantments, if a focus is lost, stolen, or destroyed the user must meditate as if selecting a new enchantment to designate a new focus, the user cannot employ standard magical items, although artifacts and relics will work normally (12 CP).

 

There. That will remove “wealth” as a measure of power for anyone who takes that particular ability, and let them spend their money on barmaids, paying for that castle they burned down, and on building temples (or whatever) AND let them go broke without it actually changing their power level particularly. If the game master wants this to be the default for his or her game world – and dump most of the magic item glut (as well as all item creation feats) then he or she can simply implement it as a world law or mandatory package deal. Personally I’d also want to extend the meditation time required so as to put an end to the “re-equip for any mission in a day or two!” aspect, but that may well be just me.

 

 

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One Response

  1. […] Building Complete Gear-style Influence Points in Eclipse. […]

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