Rolemaster Deconstruction: Daily X Magic Items.

Back from vacation and thought I would dip my toe back into blogging with a short deconstruction article! Today I wanted to address “Daily X” items and the mechanics around it.

When I first started with RM, the Daily X magic items were great: they softened the power of traditional permanent items found in D&D and they worked well with the Imbedding spell lists. These items were also a great way to augment player shortcomings or add spell capability to non-magic users.

My only real issue is the “Daily X” part itself–that the spell abilities “recover” at the start of the next day. Sort of an instant charge that occurs at 12:01. I’ve had players abuse this before; they scheduled attacks right before midnight hoping to use their Daily X items right before, and then again, right after midnight. Certainly that’s an annoying exploit and a sensible GM may arbitrarily stop that…but that’s not how the rule reads.

To avoid this type of rule abuse, I changed “Daily X” definition to a per/hour calculation. So a Daily V item could be used up to once per 5 hours or a Daily I every 24 hours. This certainly nerfs the Daily X items, but I also have Battle Runes, permanent imbeds and other options in the BASiL lists to fill in those gaps.

10 Replies to “Rolemaster Deconstruction: Daily X Magic Items.”

  1. There could be another method – have characters need to perform some sort of recharging ritual. One that’s easy enough, and not time consuming, but without doing it, no charges. Having to do that at the wrong point could be awkward.

    1. If it were a group buff type spell, my method doesn’t allow the Daily spell to be cast multiple times. So it can be a tactical nerf.

      1. This could get awkward, but you could allow immediate successive uses, but any break in that chain triggers the accumulated delays. So, for example, use that Daily V item three times in a row, no round-to-round delays, and then if you pause even one round, you can’t use it a 4th time for another 15 hours.

  2. I like the limit you place on how daily items reset.

    How do you handle recharging items with charges?

    We had some discussion of this in RMU. The item creation rules made actually creating the item pretty time consuming — cast x spell every day for y many days (and ‘y’ was usually a very high number). But the recharge I think could be handled a couple of different ways: by casting a specific recharge spell; by using the current RMU rules (quite complicated and takes a long time); or by using some other skill (some of us on the forums suggested Power Projection for Essence spells, Channeling for Channeling Spells).

  3. Two thoughts. First, I suspect your recharges don’t actually depend on the Roman-numeral of the spell, but on the actual uses per day. That matters because Daily V can be for an item with a 5th level spell once per day, or a 1st level spell 5x/day.
    Second, why not make the uses tied to BOTH 8 hours rest, like spells, AND the 24 hour clock? Once you use all the day’s charges, it takes both 8 hours and a change of day? In some cultures it could be tied to the sunrise/set or moonrise/set instead of midnight. Makes for interesting twists if the party picks up items from different cultures with different triggers.

    1. 1. Right, there are two mechanics in play here. The first is the imbed spell which is an aggregate of spell level and X/day. I leave that alone and only addressing how to work with the X/day.

      2. 24 hour clock and an 8 hour rest still seems arbitrary. Mechanically, HOW or WHY does it need to work that way?

      3. I like the ideas on sunrise/moon etc and would be a great spell mechanic for a particular setting. I’m playing around with that with Shadow World for specific items rather than build it into the overall spell mechanics. For instance, I’m tying “Dark” spells from Charon to the waxing and waning of the moon in relationship to the Essaence envelope that connects Orhan and Kulthea.

      Thanks for commenting!!

      1. On #2, I can only answer how this would happen in my campaign world. Your mileage may vary, but I think you could carry some of the rationale, if not the metaphysics, to any world.
        First, in my world everything has Essence that does several things. That Essence holds the history of a thing, as well as its purpose in the Universe. More Essence supports the structure and physical character of the object or substance. Casting an Essence spell draws some of that support Essence. More powerful spells draw more of it, and draw it from farther away from the caster. Over time, Essence naturally flows back to that structure from other objects and from Essence that has been discharged in spells.
        So when an item casts a spell, it uses some of the Essence from around it as well as from the object. The recharge time can be explained as a result of the need to do that, lest the object or wielder be harmed by too much use.
        The second way I would explain it is based on the fact that the spells and items were developed by creatures (humans, elves, etc.) that dwell in a world of day and night. As spells developed, it would be reasonable that they reflect the cycles the casters live by. So the basic spells could be said to reflect what a character can do in a day, before they need to rest. And the items inherit those limitations.

  4. I always liked the concept from “the Dresden Files” where sunrise is a renewal of the natural order. You could use that as the in game rational for reseting daily’s at sunrise. Of course to implement the rationale you should probably come up with rules for ending ongoing spell effects at sunrise as well.

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