Magic and High Tech items - RPG Crossing
RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
twitter facebook

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-24-2019, 09:34 PM
Mechaniacal's Avatar
Mechaniacal Mechaniacal is offline
Deus Ex Machina
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 01-29-2020
RPXP: 299
Mechaniacal Mechaniacal Mechaniacal
Posts: 128
Magic and High Tech items

I'm working on a setting for 5e that's set in a high tech future instead of a more traditional medieval setting. In this setting, I'd like to have both magic items and high tech items that have effects that could be compared to some magical items. For example, a reactive camo cloak vs a cloak of elvenkind or a sword with a plasma edge vs. A flametongue.

Now, in the interest of making sure things dont get absolutely ridiculously OP, what could I do to ensure that high tech weapons are both a viable alternative to magical items without them being preferable on account of not requiring magical attunement? Should I include some sort of slot limitation? If so, how would I justify it, lore-wise?

My first thought is to either make the effects... lesser, but still useful... or make the high tech items easier to find, but very expensive... or even give them a chance to fail or be broken, where a magical version of that item wouldn't be. That is, of course, in addition to the idea that high tech items don't bypass resistances like magical items would.

Interested to hear some feedback on the idea. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-24-2019, 11:10 PM
Admin Dirk's Avatar
Admin Dirk Admin Dirk is online now
So old, I saw the last Chief's Super Bowl
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 01-29-2020
RPXP: 60441
Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk
Posts: 47,745
I am not sure I understand all your concerns... if you are just changing the description of th item, and not anything else, there's no real need to dive too deep.

A phaser is a wand of magic missile... works for 50 shots, then the battery is dead. Flametongue is indeed a plasma sword. No need to do anything for that, that I can see.

If you are worried about the item slot thing, you can just declare it so... after all, I don't know the magical reason I can't wear 5 rings, or two cloaks, or whatever. Just that I can't.

If you need a reason, you can go with weight (after all, magical items are half the weight, these items would be full/normal weight), or "conflicting radiation signatures" or "emf interference" or "frequency modulation problems" if too many are too close, etc..
__________________
Charter Member, Mithral Society: RPGX Nordic Spirit Award
Philatalist? PM me/Got a buck? Get my book./Remember the Post of the Month Contest
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-24-2019, 11:23 PM
Mechaniacal's Avatar
Mechaniacal Mechaniacal is offline
Deus Ex Machina
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 01-29-2020
RPXP: 299
Mechaniacal Mechaniacal Mechaniacal
Posts: 128
It's less that I want to replace them, and more that I want to make high-tech items distinctly different from magical items, and I'm not sure what the key differences should be.

For instance, I want to have both the plasma sword AND a flametongue be options, with benefits and drawbacks for choosing one over the other.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:49 AM
Admin Dirk's Avatar
Admin Dirk Admin Dirk is online now
So old, I saw the last Chief's Super Bowl
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 01-29-2020
RPXP: 60441
Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk Admin Dirk
Posts: 47,745
In general terms, you already have some pros/cons between tech and magic. The problem is, they may not come up much in your game world, and thus, be of no use.


Tech works in anti-magic zones, magic doesn't.

Magic works (somewhat) underwater, a lot of tech probably doesn't very well.

Without some kind of mechanic for repairs, it's likely that tech will rust, break down, and need repair more than magic. That's kind of how Firearms are, and why gunslingers get grit and such.

Tech could take an extra moment to use/re-use, like a crossbow versus a normal bow. Tech may work for X rounds, then need a breather/cooling off.

It's hard to say, in a world where magic can do almost anything, how to make tech "better" than magic... You can make it equal, but to make something better than "near perfect" is almost impossible. You can impose limits on magic, which alters the base game rules a lot. You can make using magic an extra action, or extra time, or need a recharge...

Older DnD did this with Drow items, to "prevent" them from being taken to the surface and used in the sunlight world, for example. It was a workable dynamic, if a bit clunky.
__________________
Charter Member, Mithral Society: RPGX Nordic Spirit Award
Philatalist? PM me/Got a buck? Get my book./Remember the Post of the Month Contest
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-26-2019, 02:18 AM
Gaijin's Avatar
Gaijin Gaijin is offline
Σ͑͒͌̏̍͞҉̻͎̙͈̯͔͖̟
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 01-28-2020
RPXP: 9172
Gaijin Gaijin Gaijin Gaijin Gaijin Gaijin Gaijin Gaijin Gaijin Gaijin Gaijin
Posts: 6,669
"Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

~~~

There really isn't any mechanical distinction between magic and sci-fi tech. A spellbook is as indecipherable to a modern human as an advanced computer algorithm would be to an archmage. The later would probably interpret the algorithm as some form of arcane language.


If you want to incorporate High Tech as distinctly different from magic, then I would suggest making "Tech" expensive, highly specialized, and/or fragile. (Trade channeling innate magical ability for channeling the power of civilization, electricity and money.)

For example,
The Sun Blade is a Rare magical item that operates like a Lightsaber and deals 1d8 radiant damage instead of slashing damage.

A Plasma Sword as a High Tech alternative, could function similarly, but deal 2d8 radiant damage per round while consuming Energy Cells at a cost equivalent to ??gp per attack.
A Technomancer could gain the ability to regenerate Energy Cells like a Wizard would regain spell slots.



Edits:
A Tech version of a Healing Potion could be a Syringe of Nanites that provides fast healing for x rounds, but only works on a specific race. More powerful nanites require attunement to specific individuals.

A Tech version of +1 magical armor could be a Forcefield pack. If the enemy makes a successful attack, the armor is disabled until the end of the player's next turn. (Like the Displacer Beast's Displacement ability.)
__________________
>The Workshop: Tablemancy, Formatting, Tools
Posting Status: Slow (Graduate Research)

Last edited by Gaijin; 12-26-2019 at 03:13 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:09 AM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.( 2009-2012)


RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2020, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB