Tales of the Red Way
A Legacy item is a unique magic item that grow in power in tandem with its wielder. In fact, the Legacy Item is magical because of its proximity and importance to its wielder as a side effect of being used to do the great things that PCs do.
Examples of mythological Legacy Items:
- Gáe Bolg: Cú Chulainn’s great spear magical as much for the way it was thrown as by anything inherent
- Spear of Destiny: Before it was used at the Crucifixion, it was a normal roman spear.
- Green Dragon Crescent Blade: Guan Yu’s polarm.
Legacy items only work for their wielder, up until that wielder’s death (at which point they become magic items in their own right, though often with minor changes to their powers). In the hands of other characters, a legacy item is a magic item with no powers (weapons are considered +0, etc.).
Upon reaching 4th level, a PC selects a single non-magical item – this item immediately becomes a minor magic item created by the player (under the guidance of the DM – the DM does retain veto power over Legacy items). The powers of the item should be something that in some way furthers the character concept, suite of abilities, or theme; however, the specific power is basically up to the character’s player.
At additional levels (8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th), the legacy item gains another power or effect, also created by the player under the guidance of the DM. By 20th level, the Legacy item should be one of the most powerful magic items available to the players, on par with minor artifacts or relics.
- 4th level: Minor magic effect equivalent to a +1 weapon, a 1st or 2nd level spell, or a wondrous item of lesser minor status
- 8th level: Minor magic effect equivalent to a +2 weapon, a 3rd or 4th level spell, or a wondrous item of greater minor status
- 12th level: Minor magic effect equivalent to a +3 weapon, a 5th or 6th level spell, or a wondrous item of lesser medium status
- 16th level: Minor magic effect equivalent to a +4 weapon, a 7th or 8th level spell, or a wondrous item of greater medium status
- 20th level: Minor magic effect equivalent to a +5 weapon, a 9th level spell, or a wondrous item of lesser major status
Note that these powers are additive in nature. A legacy item often carried multiple effects. However, a player may elect to increase the effects of an existing Legacy item ability instead of adding a new one. A player may also have the Item “forget” an existing ability in order to replace it with a thematically similar but more powerful ability (for example – a +2 flaming longsword of legacy might be replaced by a +2 keen, flaming burst longsword of legacy, with the flaming ability (equivalent to +1) was transitioned to the thematically similar flaming burst (equiv to +2) and then replaced by another +1 equiv power, keen.