For those DMs out there who run Cerilia as a world in which spellcasters

and magic items are rare (ie the way the world is "officially"
presented), what "techniques" do you use to impress upon the players the
rarity and value of the magic they do encounter (beyond simply having
very little of it the game)?

One way I use is to make sure that every single magic item (well,
permanent/ charged items at least) unique in its own minor (or sometimes
not so minor) way. I have found the weapon quirks on page 1522 of the
Encycolpedia Magica good examples of enhancing a weapon without really
adding to much to the item's overall power.

BTW, I have some more magical items described like the one below, if
anyone's interested (they are of similar length to this one, so private
e-mail would probably be best, unless people would like me to mail one
at a time to the list - anyway I'll have them on my website soon).

An example:

Vladimir’s Purity

Each half moon head of this large double-headed battle-axe is deeply
pitted and stained with blood. The weapon’s haft is made of a strong,
black metal that is warm to the touch. Crude Vos runic symbols decorate
the length of the haft, dedicating the weapon to Belinik. As could be
readily guessed from its gruesome appearance, this weapon has a very
bloody past.
It was forged over 350 years ago by a priest of Belinik for a storeyed
Vos tsarevo named Vladimir. Legend tells that on the final night of the
weapon’s forging, Belinik himself visited the priest, whose name is lost

to history, and demanded of him the ultimate sacrifice so that the newly

created weapon would be a true instrument of terror. Lost in religious
fervour the priest unhesitatingly drew his dagger and thrust it deeply
into his heart, bathing the battle-axe in his own life blood as his god
had commanded. The priest’s blood stained the axe’s head with blood that

could not be washed off.
When Vladimir arrived at the isolated altar in the morning, he found the

priest’s drained body, lying next to the bloodied battle-axe. One
account tells of Vladimir sitting and staring at the weapon, whispering
in response to some vision only he could see. Another claims that
Vladimir run howling into the forest after taking up the weapon.
Whatever the truth of the matter may be, it is certain that Vladimir
wielded the weapon for the remainder of his life. With it, he spread war

and strife throughout his lands, always invoking Belinik’s name each
time the weapon took a life. The battle-axe was thought lost with
Vladimir’s death at the hands of a huge cave bear but the weapon has
surfaced occasionally in places all over Cerilia.
When used in combat, the battle-axe is +1 weapon except in the hands of

a devout follower of Belinik (not necessarily a priest) in which case
the bonus rises to +2. Regardless of who is wielding it, the weapon has
another property which manifests only when it is used to draw blood.
When this happens, the head of the axe starts to bleed and the haft of
the weapon begins to pulse in the wielder’s hand. These effects last
until five rounds have passed without the axe tasting more blood (not
including the blood that comes from the axe itself). There does not
appear to be any limit to the amount of blood the axe can shed. The
blood it sheds is real and it has the additional property of causing
permanent stains (nothing short of magic can remove them).

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