Magic items represent the items of power in the World of Darkness. At Darkwood Nights we have three categories of Magic Items; Consumable, Temporary, and Permanent. Each of these are made and used differently as detailed below. To create a Magic Item a character must have a Skill or Power that allows for their creation. These are the Alchemy Skill, Create Charm, Create Relic, Create Fetish, and Create Artifact. Artifacts are the realm of special Mages who have unlocked their secrets (at Darkwood Nights used Kismet to unlock the power) and Storytellers. Unless specifically stated otherwise, a character must have a power on their Character Sheet to imbue it into a Magic Item with Create Charm or Create Relic.
Consumable Magic Items are Potions and Poisons crafted with the Alchemy skill. All consumable magic items must have their tags attached to a prop, typically a bottle or vial. Potions and Poisons are used differently and expire 5 games after the tag was purchased..
Potions are generally beneficial concoctions that must be “consumed” by the target to gain their benefits. This is achieved by the user using roleplay to drink the potion.
Poisons are labeled as Touch or Applied and must have “Poison” added to the power call.
Touch: the user must touch the Target with the prop
Applied: the user must roleplay pouring the poison onto a weapon, then use the call when swinging it until it hits a target.
Potions and Poisons are split into two further categories.
Apothic: can be crafted by anyone, and
Alchemic: can be crafted by Fae, Mages and Vampires.
Temporary Magic Items are typically called Charms, however others may be added in the future. Charms can be created with the Create Charm power and allow the user to put one of their activated powers into an item for later use by themselves or another. To create a Charm the character pays all activation costs for the Create Charm power and the power they want to put into the Charm then writes that power on the Charm Tag, along with their character’s name, and attaches it to the prop. The prop can be anything, but must be large enough to easily hold the tag so things like rings are usually not appropriate.
A Charm can only be used once. To use a Charm the user will need to hold it, or touch it if it is being worn, and can then use the power contained within for free. After the power is used the Charm tag should be removed from the prop and torn in half at the earliest convenience. The power holding Charms together doesn’t last long and Charms expire at the end of the game after they are created.
Permanent Magic Items are imbued with greater power and can be used repeatedly. Such is their power that they do not expire and last until destroyed. To use a Permanent Magic item it must be prominently worn, so the tag is easily visible, on your person or held. If the power on the tag has P before it, where Cost usually is, that power is Persistent and always affects the character wearing or holding it. Otherwise the user must hold or touch the item and spend the number and type of energy listed in the Cost to use the power.
In regards to Permanent Magic there are four types of Items, although more may be added in the future; Grimoire, Relic, Fetish, and Artifact.
1. Grimoires are items that contain knowledge that characters may use to learn Attributes. There are two types of Grimoires, Lesser and Greater. To create a Grimoire the character must possess the Create Relic power for Lesser Grimoires or the Create Artifact power for Greater. Grimoires have a Dot Rating equal to the Dot Rating of the Attribute they can teach, so a Grimoire that can teach Modus 3 has a Dot Rating of 3. Each type of Grimoire have different costs to create.
Grimoires exist for almost all Factions, Vampires, Mages and Humans have Grimoires that provide teaching for Disciplines, Devotions, Foundation, Pillars, Rotes and Skills. Fae have little need for them, since none of their Attributes require teaching. Grimoires can take many forms and do not need to be books or scrolls. A Grimiore to teach Spirit Talker’s Chieftain Pillar may be a statue of a legendary king while a Grimoire to teach the Devotion Claws of Fenris may be a vial of blood.
A Grimoire can only be used by one player per game, and that player can use no more than 1 Grimoire per game. To use a Grimoire the Player enters the Attribute they wish to learn and notes that they were taught by a Grimoire in the App. Logistics will then note this on their Character Envelope and the Player will present the Grimoire at Check-In. If a Lesser Grimoire the Logistics is used the Staff Member will destroy the Grimoire tag, if Greater the owning player keeps the item.
2. Relics are the commonly created Magic Items of the World of Darkness and are items imbued with spells, magic, or darker powers. Relics are further broken into types based upon the Faction that created them. Fae create Treasures, Mages Talismans, Vampires Blood Relics, and Humans Holy Relics. These classifications help characters know which Faction created the item but little more.
Relic Tags will list the Relic Type, the powers contained, and the Energy Type needed to activate the item. If a character does not possess the listed Energy Type, even if it is of a Relic Type their Faction makes, they cannot use any powers of the Relic, including Persistent powers. The Energy Types a Relic may have are; Mists, Weaving, Quintessence, Blood, Gnosis, Health, Willpower or Any. If Health or Willpower are listed the user can spend Health Points or Willpower Points to activate the item even though those aren’t Energy Pools and so it can be used by any Faction. If Any is listed then any of the Energy types listed above can be used and so can be used by any Faction.
All Relics must be Attuned to the character before they can be used. To Attune to a Relic the Character must spend 1 minute mediating over the item. A Character can be Attuned to a number Relics equal to their Willpower Pool. A single Relic can be Attuned to multiple characters but only one character can use the same Relic at a time.
To create a Relic the Character must possess the Create Relic power. The source of the power will dictate the Dot Rating of Relic that the Character can create which determines the effects the Relic can impart. In general Relics can grant Augment or Damage Reduction, or allow the use of powers. See Comprehensive Rules Document - Economy and Items - Magic Items - Relics or Appendix 2 below for the full list of what each Dot Rating of a Relic may contain.
3. Fetishes are Magical Items created by placing a Spirit within an item. The Spirit doesn’t need to be willing, although a willing Spirit typically makes for a more effective and potent Fetish. Fetishes have Capacity, which is the Energy stored within the Item, and any costs for powers imbued into the Fetish can only be paid by using Energy from the Fetish’s Capacity and not the character’s Energy Pool/s.
Fetishes also have Requirements, a thing that must be done to appease the Spirit slumbering within, that must be fulfilled before the item can be used each day. Once the Requirements are fulfilled the Capacity recharges for that character only. Any number of characters may use the same Fetish, however each must fulfill the requirements individually and each track Capacity for themselves only. For example April has a Fetish with a Capacity of 10 and the Requirement, “Must give thanks to Whipporwill each morning.” In the morning April gives thanks to Whipporwill for the item and it recharges its 10 Capacity for April, who can now use its powers. Mark steals the Fetish in the afternoon but cannot use it, since he didn’t give thanks to Whipporwill with the item in the morning. He has to wait for the next morning to be able to fulfill the Requirements.
To create a Fetish a character must have the Create Fetish power, have a prop and a willing or Incapacitated Spirit present. They then pay the costs associated with their Create Fetish power and if the Spirit was willing, the Spirit player fills out the Fetish Tag. If the Spirit was not willing they go to ST who fills it out. A Fetish has a dot rating of 1-8 and is limited to 2x the Rank of the Spirit placed within. Only powers the Spirit has on its character sheet may be imbued into the Fetish, which can be different from those the character who used Create Fetish has. Its Capacity is equal to ½ the Spirit’s Gnosis, rounding down and the Spirit chooses the Requirements for the Fetish. Incarnae can never be made into a Fetish.
4. Artifacts are powerful items beyond the ability of most creatures to create. Excalibur, The Eye of Ra, Gae Bolg, The Book of the Dead, Longinus, and the Holy Grail are examples of artifacts throughout history and legend. Artifacts always have an Energy Type of Any and follow the rules above for Relics in that regard.
An Artifact’s tag will detail its effects, which can be conveying any number of Persistent or activated powers or any other mechanic needed. Examples of the latter are Artifacts that lower a Vampire’s Generation, allow for the formation or moving of a Cray, or Creating a new Fae Hold Space. If an Artifact is to have an effect besides conveying powers the creator needs to work Rules team to create the item. If a Player Character gains the ability to create Artifacts they must work with the Rules team for each Artifact they create.
Since Artifact’s Energy is always Any this means any character can use the Artifact regardless of Faction. This will lead to these being highly sought after by players and may provide powers to factions that otherwise would have limited, or no, access to them. Due to this ST’s should be careful when crafting these items and they should be used to drive player conflict and plot. Before creating and sending out an Artifact an ST should ask, “What is the purpose of this item and how should it drive player conflict.” If the purpose isn’t to drive conflict a lesser Magic Item type should be used.