Artifacts as Weapons/Armor

Discuss B/X rules, BECMI rules, Rules Cyclopedia, and the crunchy bits from the gazetteers here.
The Book-House: Find Classic D&D (BECMI) products.

Moderator: Blacky the Blackball

Post Reply
User avatar
Green Dragon
Posts: 4191
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm
Gender: male
Location: Long Beach, CA

Artifacts as Weapons/Armor

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:36 pm

In the rules for Artifacts (Master DM's Guide, p. 47) it mentions that artifacts that use magic items as the vessel (such as armor or weapons) don't don't have any special abilities thus associated with the vessel count against the Power Level total of the artifact.

However, the Artifact rules from Wrath of the Immortals (Codex of the Immortals: Book One, p 87) changes this, and includes rules for how to calculate the enhancement bonuses of weapon/armor vessels, as well as including most of the Talents from the armor and weapon rules (Cyclopedia, Expert/Companion/Master sets) in the Powers tables of the Artifact lists (those Talents that don't already have corresponding equivalents; Translating, for example, isn't included, because there is already a Comprehend Languages power for Artifacts).

For my part, I'm inclined to go with the original read on things (ie, inherent powers of the vessels are separate from those powers and the Power Level of the Artifact). Mechanically, I'm not sure why an Artifact flaming sword +1 wouldn't be able to stay flaming continuously as would a regular (non-artifact) version of the same, but would instead "flame out" when it uses up its PP for the day.

At the same time, though, I can't help but notice that one of the example artifacts- Ortnit's Lance of Doom- seems to present itself contrary to the vessel rules. Specifically, while its function as a lance +5, +10 vs. Giants does operate independently of its other Artifact powers, it's weapon talent of Translating has an associated PP cost with it.

Anyone else out there have any thoughts on which way to handle Artifact vessels seems to work best?
Moderator of the Mystara and Greyhawk forums. My moderator voice is gray-green.

User avatar
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:17 pm
Gender: male
Location: Michigan, United States

Re: Artifacts as Weapons/Armor

Post by Irondrake » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:55 pm

I agree with your thought of sticking with the original rules in the Master Rules. I think a magic item should operate independently from its Artifact powers, and I feel it just over-complicates things to combine the two power sets together. That's how I would do it.

As to the example of Ortnit's Lance of Doom, I'm guessing that was an editing error.

Post Reply

Return to “Classic D&D”