Author Topic: Questions—Hirelings and Magic Items  (Read 1943 times)

sully the raptor

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Questions—Hirelings and Magic Items
« on: March 19, 2014, 10:44:15 PM »
Hey Y'all!

Been having a great time running DW for my group. Couple of questions, sort of general advice stuff.

First off, about Hirelings. Found some really useful info about how to handle them, treating them like a resource, etc. My question is about their skills. So my PCs hired a Priestess, having no dedicated healer in the group. They found her in a town, and I gave her stats of 1 loyalty, 2 ministry, and 2 first aid. The party is mostly level 2, so it seemed more or less appropriate. Her cost was good accomplished, which is proving to create a fun dynamic since they average to chaotic neutral.

So my question is, how have folks handled the "leveling" of the skills? I sort of imagine that, since she used first aid a few times this past session, and the party ended the session by setting camp and most of them leveled, that it's probably fair to up her first aid to 3. Her loyalty was tested because the Barbarian killed a goblin that was begging for mercy, but our Wizard parleyed with her and wound up offering a fairly valuable piece of treasure to her church, so I think I leave loyalty be for now. Does that make sense? I'm interested to hear how people have handled the stats of hirelings.

My second question is about magic items. I have some neat ideas for a few to include in treasure pay-outs in my game, but I've been shy about including them. It seems like such a balancing act: I want them to recognize that it's something valuable and special, but I don't want to outright say it's magical. For some things, like a sword of flame or something like that, it seems more straightforward. It could have a certain sheen to it, and then i throw a goblin or something at them for them to test it out and Whoah! Fire! But some of the items I have planned are sort of more mundane, like a grody old coin. How do I show them it's special from any other coin without outright saying it?

Anyway, thanks for any advice or examples from your own games!


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Re: Questions—Hirelings and Magic Items
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 09:17:16 AM »
Did you say your party has a Wizard and an NPC Priestess? The Wizard has Detect Magic. One way, although it might seem cheap, is to simply tell the Wizard player that just s you know, there might be magic items to be found in here, I suggest you take the time afterwards to cast Detect Magic and go through the loot.

Another way to bring magic items to their attention is to use the Spout Lore effects ("Vampires usually keep magic items locked away, afraid that they might be able to hurt them" is both interesting and useful when sneaking around in a Vampire´s castle) and the Discern Realities ("what here is useful to me" can be answered "that coin there -- for a brief second it seems like it catches the light of the sun and glimmers, but you're underground... it might be magical, or some sort of dwarven masterwork"). Same goes for "what here is not what it appears to be".

Remember, be generous with the truth: that last question can be answered by telling them both that the unassuming knife is trapped, and that there is probably a reason for it to be trapped; it's likely to be special in some way…

As for GM moves, consider putting useful but not game-changing magic weapons in the hands of their enemies. If they see that the barbarian chieftain has a glimmering coin in a chain around his neck, in a culture where no-one has any adornments or trinkets, it must serve some practical purpose, right? When the chieftain's an enemy, that counts as revealing an unwelcome truth (future badness), but if they defeat him they will be tipped off that there's something special about it.

I think you should also generally consider the people or creatures who have the magic items before the PC's arrive. They probably use them, right? Or if they're not suitable for daily use, they might be put on pedestals and in safes and protected by holy symbols and "break glass in case of emerency" signs. If a magic item is just lying around the dragon queen's chamber without any indication that it's special, what's to stop the little dragon princelings from playing with it?

I've never used Hirelings, so I can't hep you there.