The fantastical approach takes a drastically different view of magical item construction. Here, when the player says, "I want to create a rope of climbing," the DM provides a list of impossible ingredients. It then becomes the player's obligation to discover the means to collect each ingredient.
Thus, to make the rope of climbing, the DM could require a skein of unspun yarn, the voice of a spider, and the courage of a daring thief. The player would then have to discover the meaning of each ingredient or the means to produce it. This, in turn, could require more research and spells to accomplish the goal.
For the rope of climbing, the player might solve it by finding a magical sheep whose wool is so thick it needs no spinning. This he could form into a rope, casting spells to give a spider voice so it can say a few words over the cord. Finally, he could trick a renowned thief into using the unfinished rope on a dangerous mission. After all this, the wizard would cast the spells necessary to bind the various elements and, voila — a rope of climbing would be the result.
The fantastical method gives the campaign a high fantasy element, for such impossible tasks are part of the wonder and enchantment of such a world. Furthermore, it ensures that each ingredient or step will be an adventure. Wizards won't casually assemble their ingredients at the local magic supply warehouse. It also provides the DM with a means to control the time required (since assembling components can be quite a task) and a method for draining excess cash from the character's accounts.
At the same time, players can perceive this method as too difficult and too restrictive. They may become discouraged by the DM's demands. To alleviate this, at least partially, the DM should balance the requirements against the potency of the item being created. Combining the practical with the fantastical is a workable alternative to either method. Not every magical item can be created by gathering the organs of creatures or the essences of rare plants, nor does each require the spellcaster to overcome the impossible. Simple and common magical items (potions of healing, scrolls with various spells, wands of detection) could require only that the proper things be brought together and ensorcelled. Powerful, exotic, and highly useful items (such as a mace of disruption) might test the spellcaster's abilities and resourcefulness, requiring that he solve puzzles and riddles far beyond the normal ken.
The combination of the two philosophies can even be used to explain the fact that some magical items are so common and others so rare—potions are everywhere, but maces of disruption are hard to come by. Potions require simple ingredients; maces require the moving of mountains.
With priests, the process is very different and somewhat easier. Like a magic-user, the priest must gather the ingredients and construct the item itself, with much the same restrictions; a staff of healing might require the husk of a being from the plane of positive energy, for example. One the item is constructed, they must spend two weeks in meditation and purification ceremonies and then another week in fasting and purification. Then they must likewise purify the item and seek to invoke it with a small portion of his deity's grandeur. Fortunately, this step takes but a single day and night. Once this is done, they must place it upon a consecrated altar of their god and beseech them to endow it with their holy powers. There is a 1% cumulative chance each day that their prayers will be heard. If the priest is arrogant, prideful or not completely true to his calling (i.e. a low piety score), they may be denied it, or their god may curse the item through spite.
Magical items that allow for recharging can be recharged by a wizard who is both able to cast Enchant an Item and is also able to cast a spell with similar energies to the item, for example a Wall of Fire or Fireball in order to recharge a Wand of Fire. The DM will be the judge of which spells are acceptable to recharge an item. The item is recharged by casting Enchant and Item upon the magic item; the caster then gets a saving throw vs. spell. If it fails, the item does not become receptive to recharging, and the caster must make another save at a -1 or the item is destroyed. Otherwise, the item becomes receptive to recharging. The aforementioned spell may be casting into the item, a process which takes 1d4 hours per spell. Each spell restores 1 charge per spell level, and so long as he casts each spell within 24 hours of the last one that was placed into the item, the item does not stop being receptive to recharging; otherwise, Enchant an Item must be cast again to make it receptive as detailed above. Note that activating the item or using it instantly makes it unreceptive; you cannot simply use it by the day and recharge it each night.
Divine items are recharged in much the same way as they are created.
Other Forms of Enchantment
Besides the creation of enchanted workings by a wizard or common cleric, there are many other ways in which magical items can to be. Magic is a part of the world, and it can arise from many sources besides the weaving of spells.
The rarest form of enchantment, imprinting occurs only in very special cases. In most, only items of the highest quality can be enchanted by imprinting - just as with regular enchanting. If the circumstances are correct, however, even rough items such as raw crystal or crude equipment can be imprinted.
Imprinting occurs when an item plays a part in an event of great intensity; whether of emotion, magical power or historical import. When this happens, the item in question can act like a magnet, drawing magical energy into itself. There are many examples of this in nature: a mithril blade which has been used to slay many orcs may grow to hate them and hum in their presence. The enchantments that can be woven by imprinting can be even more powerful than those produced by normal means; if the imprinting event is strong enough, whole cities can be laid under an enchantment.
Imprinting can produce not just beneficial effects, however, but curses too. The best-known example of this is the city of Alta. Destroyed in times long since past by a horror that swept the town and destroyed it to a man, a fell specter lies upon that city. The towers still stand after thousands of years of neglect, and shadows and illusions hang over the ancient streets.
The best-known enchanters on Morus - far more than wizards or priests - are the dwarves. Their runepriests are legendary throughout Morus for the incredible works they have wrought. This is with good reason; by the power of their gods, these impeccable craftsmen have gained the power to forge magical equipment consistently. Of course, the dwarven runepriests do not consider this magic per se, nor do they consider their creations to draw power from the gods. If a runepriest creates a +1 sword, it is not because of some divine ritual or magic spell. It is because he has honed his craft to such heights that his blades have taken on properties that humans - uneducated as they are in true craftsmanship - would call magical.
The dwarven runepriests excel at making "low-grade" magical equipment with relative ease. The creation of a magic item is still a monumental task, and requires the very best in equipment and materials. Still, a runepriest who can create a +1 sword with nothing more than a well-stocked forge and the purest steel ingots still possesses a wondrous ability. Generally speaking, most runepriests can create magical items that are equivalent in power to a +1 item, with the best being able to create +2 items. Of course, the actual function of the item can vary - it just has to be roughly commensurate to a +1 or +2 item. It is common for runepriests to craft items for specific purposes - such as goblin-slaying axes for a campaign against dwarvenkind's most hated foe.Runepriests can create more powerful magic items, but these usually come to them involuntarily - in the form of what the dwarves call "Mot Ottan" (literally, "strange mind" or "strange mood"). When taken by a strange mood, a runepriest knows instinctively what exotic ingredients are required to create their masterpiece. There is a great deal of experimentation and frustrating failures involved in the creation of a masterpiece, and in many ways the creation of a masterpiece is very similar to the normal process of enchanting when undertaken by a wizard.
The vast majority of magic weapons in the world are dwarvish; but the most powerful ones are elvish. This reflects the difference between elvish and dwarvish enchantment. The dwarven runepriests, driven by divine inspiration and exercising their incredible skill, can create wonderful works - and do so consistently. With elves, it is a far looser affair. Elves, after all, have the benefit of immortality. The greatest elven bowyer in the world may simply decide one day to stop pursuing his craft and travel in the human lands. He may pick his profession back up - right where he left off - three centuries later. But he is just as likely to never touch another bow until the Reckoning.
Elven crafting is like elves in general - a matter of passion. After honing a craft for hundreds - sometimes even thousands - of years, an elf may well be skilled enough to create a magic item. Their ability to do so does not come from mere skill, however - if they were to attempt an enchantment simply because they needed money to pay for a trip, it is unlikely they would succeed. They must be seized by true inspiration - a passion that grips them and will not let them go until they succeed. They may vow, in the heat of a moment, to reforge the shattered sword of an ancient king. They may see the most beautiful gem they have ever beheld and swear to fashion a worthy setting for it. In this way, it is very similar to the "strange mood" sometimes felt by dwarven runepriests - only it comes from their own fey personalities, rather than any divine inspiration.
Besides that just described, there is another form of elven craft-magic that is far more mundane. The elves are a fey race; their roots are in other worlds. Few enough elves are obsessive craftsmen capable of creating the works of passion described above, but the elves have many crafts which would seem magical to humans - and indeed, they are made by secret and mystical arts. Even so, to the elves that work these crafts the lines between magic and craft is blurred - those who are skilled in the creation of such things weave their love and desire to create beautiful things into their work. In so doing, they can create quite wondrous things.
Some examples of this form of elven magic include:
- The cloaks and boots of elvenkind, which are woven from special fibers under the light of the moon and are often given to scouts, those of royal blood, and friends of the elves.
- Hithlain, a rope woven from special fibers which is as light as silk rope. Although it can be cut, it is extremely difficult to break by pulling or fraying, and can carry very great weights. It also comes loose when asked to, no matter how well the knot is tied.
- Honey leather, a delicate but durable canvas that is completely waterproof. It is often used to make tents or cover books. If properly wrapped, even something completely immersed in water will remain dry.
- Feywine, a sweet and powerful wine fermented from crushed flowers, honey, and an ingredient that some claim is distilled moonbeams. If drunk by humans (or pretty much anything other than an elf, dwarf or gnome), it has a powerful stupurous effect, usually resulting in the drinker falling asleep. It is drunk to celebrate victories or at festivals.