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  1. #1
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    Making stuff from dragons

    I'm pushing around ideas for re-starting an inert campaign of mine. Near the end of the last one, I led the party into a cave under a mountain in Vosgaard. There, they found a young dragon skeleton (purely there for show, they were spooked... mostly). Two PCs had the bright idea to scavenge for usable bits for later. One of those PCs is still alive, and hoping to convert a pair of claws into daggers.

    In 3.5, there is a feat for Dragoncrafting (see Draconomicon), as well as feats for crafting magic items. Making dragon-claw daggers under this rule is somewhat difficult, but adds a non-magical point of damage. I suppose part of the rationale of having a separate feat for it is to meld the magic-ness of dragons, while not damaging what used to be living tissue.

    Given that dragons (and their remains) are super-rare in Cerilia, I'm not sure I can justify placing an NPC out there who would have such skills. Unless it's a long-lived person, like a dwarf. Somehow, carving up dragon remains doesn't seem like a sidhe thing to do.

    Anyway, I am considering allowing the PC to turn them into daggers ('cos it's just such a kewl idea), but I don't want it to be easy or expensive.

    Suggestions, anyone?

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    Member Kitch's Avatar
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    Want to make it a challenge? Make it so only the elves know the secret. That alone should stop your PC, or at least, slow him down.
    I stand alone before the raging winds of time. Behold! Not even they have undone my efforts!

    DM of the Non-Cerilia Campaign: Bersia

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    One point of extra damage for a dagger? Requiring a feat for that is ridiculously underpowered and limited, particularly in Birthright.

    Birthright favors few magic items, but powerful ones. You have to give items enough extra "power" or distinctiveness for them to be remembered in history.

    I'd suggest letting the dagger act as if it were +1 to +3, and have some other property such as: flaming; provides Resist Fire 5 or 10; provides a +2 bonus on checks involving ancient history (providing a subconscious echo of past ages to the mind of the wielder); defending (providing some of the legendary defense of a dragon's scales to the wielder); points in the direction of the nearest, strongest Source manifestation (having an affinity to mebhaigl like magnets have an affinity to the magnetic poles); provides a +1 or +2 bonus to actions related to Sources and realm magic, empowering it through the magical might of dragons.

    As for making it difficult, require some research in the College of Sorcery, consultation with wizards or Sidhe, experimentation, or an adventure into some ancient ruins to recover related information or additional components necessary to bring out the power. Perhaps it needs to be bathed in elemental fire and fused with a mithril hilt wrapped in dragonskin while exposed to the wild winds of a mountaintop, then left to soak in the mebhaigl of a Source manifestation level 7 or higher for a season. Maybe it's powers even relate to the season it was left in or the terrain of that Source manifestation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitch View Post
    Want to make it a challenge? Make it so only the elves know the secret. That alone should stop your PC, or at least, slow him down.
    Not so much. The party in this case is mostly elven or half-elven. And, they're working for the secret elven plan to subvert Cerilia. (Not that *they* know that yet.) If the elves want this to happen (and I think they do), they will let them find out.

    I'm thinking now that there may be a guy who can do this, but I want to make it a side-quest to either find him/her, or to do something for him/her once they find him/her. A short adventure to kick-start the campaign, not a whole 'nother campaign.

    Hunting up a specific dwarven smith ought to be a challenge in itself, no? I don't necessarily think this person should be hidden away. If you were a specialist in a really rare and potentially lucrative field, wouldn't you want it known?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    One point of extra damage for a dagger? Requiring a feat for that is ridiculously underpowered and limited, particularly in Birthright.
    I think so, too, so the final result will certainly be more spectacular.

    then left to soak in the mebhaigl of a Source manifestation level 7 or higher for a season. Maybe it's powers even relate to the season it was left in or the terrain of that Source manifestation.
    Now that might be a good 'un. I think I did have some note that merely by being a dragon's corpse, the area had source potential. Maybe they should have to explore a little more deeply?

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    At 12:51 PM 5/27/2009, Lee wrote:

    I`m pushing around ideas for re-starting an inert campaign of mine. Near the end of the last one, I led the party into a cave under a mountain in Vosgaard. There, they found a young dragon skeleton (purely there for show, they were spooked... mostly). Two PCs had the bright idea to scavenge for usable bits for later. One of those PCs is still alive, and hoping to convert a pair of claws into daggers.

    Anyway, I am considering allowing the PC to turn them into daggers (`cos it`s just such a kewl idea), but I don`t want it to be easy or expensive.

    Suggestions, anyone?


    I assume none of the characters has the capacity to make magic items the "traditional" way, right? If that`s the case, as Kitch notes, the easy answer is: elven magic simply because there are more of them, but any wiz with the appropriate powers would be able to create such items. Of course, anyone capable of creating such magic items is going to have some sort of hefty payment in mind in the tradition of gaming, but if you`re looking for something more BR-like:

    1. A dragon claw fashioned into a dagger might become magical when used to commit bloodtheft--especially if the transfer of bloodline does not go to the usurper or some fraction of it is diverted to the weapon rather than the wielder. Any unusual circumstances behind the act might be used to justify this diversion of energy.

    2. The various and sundry gods of the BR setting might empower a dagger (or two) if given the proper service. Their priests might also be enlisted to enchant a magic item, with the same issues involved with elven aid.

    3. Exposing the claws to domain level magics might have some influence:

    A. Regents (particularly those with sources, of course...) might be able to spend RP to enchant an item.

    B. If a dragon`s claw was used to do something like sever a ley line or destroy a level of a source holding by doing something like stabbing the heartwood of the tree that represented the anchor of a ley line or manifestation of a source then it might become enchanted somehow.

    4. A dagger might become enchanted by having suitably powerful gems set into it`s pommel or engraved with sufficiently difficult to attain alloys.

    A. The combination of a dragon claw and a sielshegh gem (BoM pp 76-80) might give benefits in addition to the power of the gem.

    B. Similarly, a dragon claw set into a suitably sized mebhaighl stone (BoM 75-76) might also give the blade powers beyond that of the stone itself. Most mebhaighl stones are supposed to be the as big as a melon, but one might be sized to properly fit in the hand and work as a handle.

    C. A claw with tighmaevril engraving/inlay might also gain powers. This might grant magical enchantment and maybe the power to commit bloodtheft even if it was really only a small amount of the alloy (not enough to create an actual weapon just out of that metal.)

    5. The claws might "spontaneously" become magic in a way that is explained through something like the Land`s Choice. (That might work as an intriguing way of showing the PCs that the Land itself has some sort of consciousness or guiding force behind it....)

    Aside from any of those "straight" methods, you might also consider:

    1. The claws might be able to enhance the magic of an existing magical item. Set into a magical shield as spikes they might do additional damage (more than a spiked shield might do.) Fixed as "horns" on an already magical helm might enhance the powers of that item. Attached to a pair of magical gauntlets they might
    gain/enhance the benefits of those gloves, turning them into a weapon that works like a katar or cestus.

    2. The process of enchanting the claws might require they be combined into a single weapon like a forked spear, a double headed axe or a pick.

    Hope that helps,
    Gary
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 05-29-2009 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Vertical length.

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    More to think on, thanks.

    FWIW, the player that had the presence of mind to take the claws fights two-dagger-style.

    No one in the party has the feats to make their own magic items yet.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Another possibility is that the claws unlock a special feat. Generally I use a standard feat with a little something extra for using the designated weapon. Attaching one of the benefits to a feat (plus item) rather than just the item requires a little investment for extra payoff to make full use of the item.

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    What you want is to make dragon claws (or something) be a material type. No magic properties but special material properties - start with mithral and bump it up some. Is there already a dragonhide material type somewhere?

    Perhaps granting the ability to bypass SR when used for delivering a spell.

    Weapons and armor made of this material would of course be masterwork so they could be enchanted at a later date.

    Maybe when used to make magical weapons they increase the bonus by +1? Or perhaps merely reduce the cost due to its strong tie to the mebhveil.
    Duane Eggert

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    given the rarity they will pretty much be a one-off. One idea is to use a chai-asi approach and say that each claw may have an inherent magic property - it just needs to be unlocked, this could require bathing it in a high level source for a period of time (during which the mebhaighl of the source is directed into the claw and not available for casting, or if you are feeling tough, RP) after which perhaps some action might then unlock the power. That way even relatively low level PC's (or low in mgic terms) might be able to get a crunchy weapon.

    So you might say 'leave it in a L9 source for 2 seasons, then expose it to powerful magic or use it to slay a beast - it will either absorb the power of the magic in some manner, or gain some deadly property against the beast.'

    I'd note that a pair of claws might be able to make a circlet of some sort - particularly if set in say, fine filigree silver, a single claw might be carved into a pendant, etc.

    Otherwise I'd say cut the cost, or increase the normal power to reflect the unusual nature.

    A combination of dragonbone and sielshegh should have some 'interesting' property - perhaps you could cut leylines, the ties of blood-heirship, a portal to the plane of shadow (Azrai sielshegh), summon an elemental (one of the four gods linked to an element), etc.

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