Monday, November 12, 2012

Alternate Rules: Rings

Ok, so one of the common oddball things about DnD has always been that you can only wear two rings at a time. Anymore and they start interfering with each other, because magic. Now, I've seen prestige classes before where you gain the use of more than just two rings. Most of them amount to copy and pasting all the stats from the Wizard class and then over ten levels gaining the ability to use six to eight more rings than normal. The usual requirement is something like Use Magic Device or Knowledge (Arcana) or some magic item creation feat, usually the one for rings. To me, this seems rather lame and also like overkill. Couldn't the issue simply be resolved with a feat?

So I am thinking something along the lines of a feat with a requirement of the Forge Ring feat. That feat already has a 7th level caster requirement, and I would think ranks in Use Magic Device would be appropriate as well, so we'll call 7 ranks of Use Magic Device a requirement as well. This naturally limits the use of this feat I am creating to arcane spellcasters. I'm not sure how I would go about making it a universal feat, other than just simply making Use Magic Device ranks the requirement. I think if I were to make it able to be taken by non casters I would make the requirements 10 ranks of Use Magic Device or like 5 ranks and Skill Focus in the skill.

Ok, so the mechanics of this feat that I am thinking of are something like a relatively high Use Magic Device check made increasingly difficult by the number of rings you are currently wearing. The check is to stabilize or synergize the energy of your rings so they don't interfere with one another. I'm figuring a base of 20 + 2 per ring you are wearing. So this means adding a third ring makes the DC 26. Most magic items resize themselves to fit whoever happens to pick them up and I am thinking that if you fail the check, the magic rings turn off for 24 hours as their magic fritzes out and they all discombobulate each other. The penalty is that this would make them stuck on your fingers.

So every day, you put on your rings, make the check, and figure out if you can keep them stable for the day. If the check fails, you're stuck with a bunch of irremovable rings that won't work for you. I'm thinking having Detect Magic on while making the check will add a bonus on the Use Magic Device check. Meh, I dunno. 


  1. A suggestion might be as you level, you become more masterful at controlling magic and therefore the DC for making successful use of the rings gets lower. Also along those lines, the DC for wearing more than one ring would drop. Maybe I want to risk wearing 3 rings, lets say, at level 5. Make the DC difficult like 25, then at some milestone level the DC becomes easier; e.g. at level 10 the DC for wearing 3 rings drops to 15 and wearing 4 rings is now do-able with a DC of 30 or something.

  2. Maybe a will check, as you may be exerting your will over the magic that is conflicting in the rings. Either way, neat idea.

  3. Lance, I dunno. I feel like changing the check based on your level is kind of an oddball thing to do, I don't know of any other place in the rules where something like that occurs. Plus, putting more skill points into a skill kind of already simulates your increasing control over magic. The feat has a 7th level requirement, so if you've put 1 rank each level into Use Magic Device to prepare for taking this feat, you already have at least a +10 to the check (all arcane casters have Use Magic Device as a class skill, except Wizard, which seems really fucking weird to me). That isn't exactly a tiny bonus to the check. A Sorcerer or Bard would probably add a +4 to the roll from Charisma, so now you need a 12 to make the check. With Skill Focus you're pretty much in range of needing only a 9 or 10 to make a DC 26 check to wear that third ring. Plus, like I said, using Detect Magic would offer a bonus. I dunno, I want the DCs high so this isn't a guaranteed form of breaking the rules. Heh. There should be some risk for the reward with a reasonable chance of both occurring. I can perhaps see increasing the DC by just 1 per ring worn, instead of 2, which would leave the check to wear three rings high, but doable by 7th level.

    Eric, I don't think that would work. A Wisdom check would offer a far lower result, even if you have a 20, and a Will save doesn't make much sense in this context. Nothing is affecting your mind, you are trying to use your magic to manipulate magical energies. Perhaps a caster level check, but it would take very high levels to offer a chance at success to even wear a third ring, let alone ten.

  4. I just see it as getting accustomed to something that you've done for a long time. You might not get any better skill wise, but you may become more proficient at the same thing you've done over and over.

  5. I agree, you become better at the things you do, and you should get better at them. Pathfinder/3.5 shows this through levelling and giving you skill points to put into the things you want to be good at and giving you more spells and base attack bonus increases (interestingly, in GURPS you can actually gain bonus character points by doing something a lot). The system you are suggesting would amount to making the Disable Device checks to open a lock decrease as a Rogue levels, while still allowing him put skill points into Disable Device. Another way of putting it would be the AC of a target decreases based on the level of the Fighter attacking the target while they still get their base attack bonus increases. It just sounds weird and counter intuitive.