31.) Old Man Humbert, Scroll Dealer and Professional Enchanter "Welcome, welcome children. How can old Humbert help you today? . . . Protection against fire-breathers, eh? That reminds me of the time young Faravold fought that dragon up the coast a bit, nasty business. Now where were we . . . ? Fire-breathing, yes, yes! Let me just go get a few extra things from the back . . . (many minutes later). Oh! Didn't know I had visitors today. . . . Who were you again?"
A retired wizard of some reknown, Old Humbert manages a small enchanting business that provides for his few needs and little more. He is extremely absentminded and has horrible short-term memory, a combination which ensures that his business will never be very profitable. Humbert will often miscast orders ("fire-breathing" instead of "protection from fire-breathing"), double-enchant something if he forgets that he has already done it, and even add in extra things that the customer hasn't asked (or payed) for. On some days, he is fortunate to be helped by his adolescent granddaughter, Elsie, who is fiercely protective of the old man. Any extra coin he does manage to scrape together usually goes into buying small gifts for her. Go to Comment
What can I say that hasn't already been said? The dialog, combined with a short sketch of each business and personality paints a really clear picture for any GM to follow. This is definitely going into the binder! Go to Comment
This is I think a great question, and in the systems that I have set up to deal with this there are no "permanent" magical items because of that... instead the items are all powered by things:
One might be by the faith of sentient being in their god, but if the religion dies so does the item, unless it is reborn... also some magical items where not permanent but the power of the legend around gave the item permanent power as long as the story was believed and retold (everyone around here knows about the Sword of Truth) taking power from belief and shaping it through the magic item.
Another is taking the power from lay lines, ambient magic, ambient life or pulling it from another realm altogether. This requires some form of collection device which may or may not be a part of the magic item itself. A sword that kills grass and bugs, or take the death of a small animal to work. Or a staff that is tied to an alter, destroy the alter and the staff is useless. (These are my favorite methods)
Something else that might do it is to imprison the soul of sentient being in the item to give its power. That should be permanent. Go to Comment
Gods do not have a monopoly on the energy generated by the faith of sentiant beings. Many 'Holy' or unholy relics come into being not from the direct intervention of the divine, but through the sincere belief of the masses. If enough followers can be convinced of the power of an item, then this faith will help make this a self-fufilling prophesy. Obviously this type of energy source is generally beyond the reach of normal PCs', but kings, high preists, and even demons could make use of this to create and power items.
I dont think we need to go to so much trouble for enchantments:
1 take bar of steel
2 magnetise using electric coils/other magnet (you get the idea)
3 permanent magnet
1 take normal sword
2 enchant using acrane ritual
3 sword with dangerous, life taking field around it.
First example is a verifiable physical process which produces a permanent effect, second one is a magical process which produces a permanent effect.
We could also consider the halflives of various radioactive compounds. 28000 years is a long time for a sword to become half as effective as when it was originally created in the magical forge.
So an enchantment could be a sort of irradiation process or magnetisation process. In one case, the magical effects would gradually weaken, but for human timescales, they would seem eternal. Magic could affect an until-now unheard-of fundamental particle, which would decay and release magical energy. Go to Comment