I decided to take the plunge and make an equipment rules change in my DF campaign.
- Magic weapons and armor require a positive-cost prefix to hold an enchantment.
- Charged magic items can only store power as if they were a Power Item equal to their non-magical value. Ex: A magic wand made out of dragon bone and gems worth 12,000 can hold up to 25 FP.
I discussed the armor enchantment a little bit before here, and my rules in general here.
The second one is just something that's been mostly in effect already, but I wanted to make it clear how it works.
Any special reason why?
Yes. The extreme cheapness of Fortify and Lighten meant that every single piece of armor the PCs have is +1 DR and 75% of normal weight. Same with the armor of almost every single NPC, even cheap-end hirelings who could barely afford beer money - enchanting a full suit of armor cost as much as getting a spare axe or mace.
So I was starting to feel the pressure on enemies, too - why don't the orcs all have +1 armor? Why not the hobgoblins? Why not bandits? Basically, shouldn't everyone have magic armor? It's ridiculously cheap and canonically some of those groups have access to wizards, and canonically some of them have looted civilized areas and/or trade with them.
Changing this also means that equipping new characters is much faster - no longer do you need to figure out the per-item costs for these spells and ensuring all new guys have the right armor enchantments.
Weapons, well, that's just to avoid the whole "I have 5K burning a hole in my pocket, I'll make my sword +1" thing. I'd rather people have a good basic item first.
With a lot of new characters, and the old guys needing to re-equip, it seemed like a good chance to do this while keeping it fair for all.
What's the in-game justification?
Guild rule changes. Enchantment is NPC only, and they decided to stop enchanting junk for a pittance.
It was either that, or change the enchantment rates to $20/point for any enchantment, which would essentially make spell stones and minor enchantments go away, which would be a great campaign starter but I like the access to money-draining one-shot spells. I could just do it for armor, so it was 1000 for +1 DR and 2000 for -25% weight, but I didn't want to make that split. I could, if my players would rather say anyone can get this but it's more expensive for armor, but I like the fact that armor needs to be pretty good stuff (Ornate +1, say, or Dwarven) to get enchantment.
How did this go over?
Okay. One of my players asked for existing characters re-equipping to be grandfathered in. I said no, because the fact that everyone (or almost everyone) currently playing needs to re-equip was why I sprung this now. Grandfathering the old guys in would mean they'd all have cheap armor with Fortify and Lighten them but the new guys wouldn't, creating a have/have-not split. That didn't seem fair. Otherwise, it's not a huge deal.