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View Full Version : (3.5) Reverse Enchanting Question (House Rule) (Item Creation Related)



DracoDei
2010-01-07, 06:43 AM
Wikipedia-like cross-referencing: Resonance Forks (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=178563)
and Another class that can break down items for XPs (and GPs) (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=11259552#post11259552)

Simple concept here, my question to my fellow brewers is how to balance the execution...

Illustrative dialogue:
Wizard: Well, I finished analyzing the enchantments on our just rewards from those demons we killed two days ago.
Paladin: Don't know why you even bothered with some of it, I told you it should be destroyed.
Wizard: Oh, I agree with your principles, you know that, but there are certain things your training in understanding the ways of magic didn't prepare you for. But we will get to that in a second.
Paladin: Say on then.
Wizard: Right, Ok, this rod here... the brass one with the little spikes? Yeah, we can melt that down in my lab together, and make sure none of the taint stays with the metal... which is rare, but possible.
Paladin: Out of curiosity, what does it do exactly?
Wizard: Well, consider the type of demon it came off of and then... actually, you know what? You will really sleep better NOT knowing... suffice to say that there is just NO appropriate use for such a thing...
Paladin: Ok, but what about that sword? None of us can even use it without our very souls being weakened as long as we wield it.
Wizard: Ah, now we come to the crux of the matter... it does have a property that renders it antithetical to our spirits, but it also has many simply useful powers, it is, in truth, a much more powerful weapon than any of us currently possess. The answer is quite simple when you think about it. What one can create with care, one can also destroy with care, just as an architect may remove only the part of a building that does not suit a new owner, so does the same skill that allows me to create the enchantments for your arrows that make then especially deadly either to devils or demons (but never both for the same arrow, since that would be a waste of magic), allow me to undo only that portion of the enchantment that is problematic.

Ok, so the PCs just captured an really nice magic item, but one of the enchantments on it is something they really would prefer just wasn't there. Simplest example might be a +5 Vorpal Unholy Sword captured by a Good aligned party. Well, especially if the party wizard has Craft Magical Arms and Armor, it ought to be possible to turn that into a +5 Vorpal Sword much much easier that it would be to take an ordinary masterwork sword and turn it into a +5 Vorpal Sword.

My current thinking is that you take the original market price of the item, subtract the market price of the item after whatever enchantments are being removed have been, and then treat the process as crafting a magic item with a market price equal to half of that. The requisite item creation feat or feats is necessary to perform this task, in addition to the standard GP and XP costs. In the case of a character with the "Retain Essence" class feature (possessed most notably by the Artificer), the XP that would be spent on the process is instead ADDED to the crafting pool of the character.

So in our example, the original +5 Unholy Vorpal Sword is worth 200,000 GP and the final result is a +5 Vorpal Sword worth 162,000 GP
200k - 162k = 38k
38k / 2 = 19k

So the person doing "Reverse Enchanting" (is that a good name, or can someone come up with a better one?) needs to spend 9,500 GP for materials, and 760 XPs to do that.

Maybe it shouldn't include the "divide by 2" step? (Might be better for game balance, but maybe not, and it certain offends my sensibility that creating something should be harder than destroying it.).

Naturally the game effect here is to make item creation feats slightly more valuable and/or the game slightly more high wealth (but that can be dialed back to compensate of course, as long as it is applied equally, whether or not the party has the requisite feats (they can always hire it done)).

EDIT: Added in the bit about Artificers, based on discussion below. I am still wondering if they should still have to spend GPs to "Reverse Enchant".

Latronis
2010-01-07, 06:57 AM
Seems like it'd be difficult to judge without playtesting, but it seems reasonable so far

dsmiles
2010-01-07, 07:49 AM
From a balance perspective, I don't see where this would be a problem.

From an RP perspective, I think that this is a great idea. I really don't like the 4e disenchanting process, this is much better.

DracoDei
2010-01-07, 08:13 AM
Didn't know 4E had rules for that... then again, I am pretty much boycotting 4E until AT LEAST when they make it OGL (if they ever do) and even then... well this isn't the place for that.

Since it is only "pretty much", what are said rules?

Latronis
2010-01-07, 08:28 AM
I'm boycotting 4E until they add some DnD :smallbiggrin:

Oooohaloophole
2010-01-07, 08:34 AM
I'm boycotting 4E until they add some DnD :smallbiggrin:

Pretty Good Idea.

And yeah Im Permanently boycotting 4e. Seriosly, I bought EVERY book hoping "FINALY MORE COMPLEX RULES" But it never happened.

Anonymouswizard
2010-01-07, 08:42 AM
Maybe a general disenchangt item feat that lets you disenchant any item but ignores the /2 step?

3.5 should of had these rules.

dsmiles
2010-01-07, 09:00 AM
This is the 4e enchant/disenchant process.


Disenchant Magic Item
The item ignites in a brief flash of brilliant light, then crumbles
to golden dust in your hands.
Level: 6
Category: Creation
Time: 1 hour
Duration: Instantaneous
Component Cost: 25 gp
Market Price: 360 gp
Key Skill: Arcana (no check)
When you finish performing this ritual, you touch a magic
item and destroy it, turning it into a quantity of residuum
valued at one-fifth of the itemís price. The item must be
your level or lower and must be something that can be created
using the Enchant Magic Item ritual.

RESIDUUM
Residuum is the magical substance that results from using
the Disenchant Magic Item ritual on an item. Itís a fine,
silvery dust that some describe as concentrated magic,
useful as a generic component for rituals (see Chapter
10). In some exotic locales, residuum is traded as currency,
measured by weight and carried in small metal vials. Itís a
convenient way to transport large sums of wealth; 10,000
gp worth of residuum weighs as much as a single gold piece
and takes up only slightly more space, so 1 pound of residuum
is worth 500,000 gp and fits in a belt pouch.

Enchant Magic Item
Magic drawn from the warp and weft of the universe infuses
the item you hold in your hands.
Level: 4
Category: Creation
Time: 1 hour
Duration: Permanent
Component Cost: Special
Market Price: 175 gp
Key Skill: Arcana (no check)
You touch a normal item and turn it into a magic item of
your level or lower. The ritualís component cost is equal to
the price of the magic item you create.
You can also use this ritual to resize magic armor (for
example, shrink a fire giantís magic armor to fit a halfling).
There is no component cost for this use.

Latronis
2010-01-07, 09:19 AM
Also doesn't the artificer have some kind of disenchanting ability? (to use for further crafting granted but it could be tweaked to fit aswell)

DracoDei
2010-01-07, 09:51 AM
Ok, the 4E rules... yeah, even worse than I was expecting...

A general disenchanting feat... even with /2 thing, I think that would mostly be something that NPC clerics would take. The situation in question, while annoying under the current rules*, isn't something that comes up very often.

* Our GM solves it by having Good temples pay the going rate for Evil weapons as a bounty so they can be destroyed.

Hadn't occurred to me to consider artificers in this context... I would consider allowing them to take a feat that would let them GAIN the amount of experience (added to their crafting pool of course, not their XP total) they would otherwise spend to perform this process, and maybe even negate the GP costs. A good name might be "Surgical Essence Retention".



Re: comments on 4E in general
Yeah, mostly I think that if they ever make it OGL I might translate some of my previous creations into it, just to show some mercy to those who don't have the intellectual drive to prefer 3.X . If I feel really feisty, I might even help some people rip the guts out of it and retool it into something that rewards tactical and logistical skill more like 3.X does.

But... enough of that...

dsmiles
2010-01-07, 09:59 AM
Ok, the 4E rules... yeah, even worse than I was expecting...

You actually expected something better from WOTC?


A general disenchanting feat... even with /2 thing, I think that would mostly be something that NPC clerics would take. The situation in question, while annoying under the current rules*, isn't something that comes up very often.

* Our GM solves it by having Good temples pay the going rate for Evil weapons as a bounty so they can be destroyed.

I have been doing this for a long time...


Hadn't occurred to me to consider artificers in this context... I would consider allowing them to take a feat that would let them GAIN the amount of experience (added to their crafting pool of course, not their XP total) they would otherwise spend to perform this process, and maybe even negate the GP costs. A good name might be "Surgical Essence Retention".

Sounds like a good idea there...



Re: comments on 4E in general
Yeah, mostly I think that if they ever make it OGL I might translate some of my previous creations into it, just to show some mercy to those who don't have the intellectual drive to prefer 3.X . If I feel really feisty, I might even help some people rip the guts out of it and retool it into something that rewards tactical and logistical skill more like 3.X does.

But... enough of that...

Yeah, no kidding. I like that 4e makes it easier to transition the video gamers to tabletop gamers, but as far as system and mechanics and balance, I have always preferred AD&D.

DracoDei
2010-01-07, 01:31 PM
Sounds like a good idea there...
Do you think artificers should not have to pay any GPs? I think it would actually make sense that the should have to, given that it is a more precise operation than just destroying the enchantments outright. Also, I think it makes sense from a balance perspective (again, not that this happens that much), and MAYBE even zero XP change, rather than gaining any (not a good idea thematically IMHO, but I am mentioning it for people who are concerned about powering up an already very powerful class even more).

TabletopNuke
2010-01-07, 05:02 PM
The Book of Exalted deeds has some rules for converting evil weapons into good ones. Have you considered looking though that for some ideas on balance and cost? Sadly, I do not have BoED with me at the moment, so I can't check it.

FireSpark
2010-01-07, 05:13 PM
I too like the cut of this concept's jib, and will likely look towards inserting it into the Pathfinder game that I'm currently running.


Hadn't occurred to me to consider artificers in this context... I would consider allowing them to take a feat that would let them GAIN the amount of experience (added to their crafting pool of course, not their XP total) they would otherwise spend to perform this process, and maybe even negate the GP costs. A good name might be "Surgical Essence Retention".

And though I don't have all my Eberron source material on me at the moment, I seem to recall that a player in my group just got done playing an artificer that did just this. So I believe that there exist methods (for Artificers at least) to perform this sort of 'disenchanting'. Came in very handy for turning a few eeeevil assassin's daggers into some gauntlets of ogre power, which we subsequently handed off to our half-ogre brawler.

Much hilarity ensued. At least for us at any rate.

DracoDei
2010-01-07, 06:29 PM
The Book of Exalted deeds has some rules for converting evil weapons into good ones. Have you considered looking though that for some ideas on balance and cost? Sadly, I do not have BoED with me at the moment, so I can't check it.
That sounds very interesting... please report back on this, if someone doesn't beat you to it.


I too like the cut of this concept's jib, and will likely look towards inserting it into the Pathfinder game that I'm currently running.
Thank you very much!



And though I don't have all my Eberron source material on me at the moment, I seem to recall that a player in my group just got done playing an artificer that did just this. So I believe that there exist methods (for Artificers at least) to perform this sort of 'disenchanting'.
The Artificer class feature in question is called "Retain essence" I am fairly certain. Artificers get a certain pool of "free" experience points at each level that they can ONLY use for paying for item creation costs. It doesn't count towards reaching the next level, nor can it be used to pay XP costs for spells. At a certain level (maybe 1st, maybe not), they gain the ability to spend a long time (on the order of hours) working on a pre-existing magic item. At the end of this time the item is at least disenchanted, and perhaps also physically broken. They add the XP cost of creating that item to their extra XPs, and can then use it to make other items. The difference between that is that in the examples I gave you would still have to spend 162,000 GP and over five months of crafting time to re-enchant the sword after using "retain essence" on it. With my mechanic of "Reverse Enchanting" it would take you only 38 days to perform the same operation, and there would be no GP cost (or perhaps as much as 19,000 GP) and only MAYBE a small XP cost(which an artificer could pay from his craft pool. "Retain Essence" is much more versatile, but "Reverse Enchanting" is cheaper and quicker.

Latronis
2010-01-07, 09:23 PM
It seems my electronic version of the eberron campaign setting is borked so i can't double check up on the artificer ability without spending a bit of time on google (which i dont feel like doing :P)

I looked up the BoED and the redeeming evil items doesn't really do the same thing as TC wanted.

It's more about a good aligned character converting evil items(as in must be evil to use) into a similiarly powered good item. (such as changing holy to unholy or making demon armor 'guardinal armor') I guess the rules can be converted to ignore the alignment properties perhaps changing a property to another of the same enchantment value (pain to balance)

It uses the original item creation feats and normal XP costs of the to be redeemed item but not GP cost.