D20r:Aspect Items

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An Aspect Item is a special magical device or item, typically a weapon, shield, or suit of armor, that gains power as a character progresses in level.

The Aspect Item system, like the Legacy Item system on which it is based, is intended to allow players to carry 'signature' items throughout their adventuring career, rather than trading them in for new, better loot.


Aspect Item Basics

Aspect Items

Acid Aspect
Air Aspect
Cavern Aspect
Chaos Aspect
Darkness Aspect
Death Aspect
Desert Aspect
Earth Aspect
Electricity Aspect
Evil Aspect
Fire Aspect
Forest Aspect
Fury Aspect
Good Aspect
Hatred Aspect
Health Aspect
Ice Aspect
Law Aspect
Luck Aspect
Learning Aspect
Madness Aspect
Moon Aspect
Mountain Aspect
Nature Aspect
Ocean Aspect
Psionics Aspect
Sonic Aspect
Spellborne Aspect
Stalker Aspect
Stealth Aspect
Sun Aspect
Trickery Aspect
War Aspect
Water Aspect
Undeath Aspect


An Aspect Item has a specific number of special properties, or 'aspects', that are reflective of the source and nature of its powers. All aspect items have one aspect when initially bound (see bonding ritual, below), and can gain more as the character progresses. New aspects and tiers can only be unlocked with a particular ritual. The maximum number of aspects an aspect item may possess is equal to its numeric enhancement bonus. A character may only have one aspect item at a a time.

However, an aspect item cannot have any abilities other than an enhancement bonus when first initialized, nor can it gain them later except through the purchase of AP (see below); the unique powers of an aspect item interfere with lesser dwoemers, though they accept raw magical power.

Aspects have several characteristics, as follows:

  • Granted Power: Similar to clerical domains, each aspect has a special power it grants to the item's bearer; generally speaking, such powers enhance the abilities of the character or type of character who first wielded or is intended to wield the item. Some granted powers, like the other powers of an aspect item, may be conditional- anything from a certain lighting condition to a specific class feature. Generally speaking, however, granted powers are 'always on' while the item is on the possessor's person.
  • Ability Menu: Each aspect an aspect item possesses allows its wielder to access a specific menu of abilities reflective of that aspect; for instance, a character with as cold-aspect weapon would have access to cold-themed abilities. Each ability on a menu belongs to a specific tier, from first to fourth; the first tier is levels 1-5, the second, 6-10, the third, 11-15, and the fourth and last, 16-20th. Each ability also has an aspect point cost. Aspect points will be discussed in more detail later in this entry. If a character no longer has access to a specific aspect for any reason, he loses all aspect item abilities tied to that aspect's ability menu. Some abilities may have 'mitigating factors' that can be used to reduce their aspect point cost; these factors are unique to each power or ability menu, more or less, and cannot be mixed-and-matched. The saving throw for an aspect power is 10 plus twice the power's tier plus the bearer's Charisma modifier.

Aspect Points

Aspect points (AP) are used by the character to purchase abilities from their aspect's ability menus.

A character gains one aspect point per aspect per level they wield or carry the item; if a character gains an aspect item after first level, they gain points retroactively based on the number of aspects their item has on initial activation (generally, one aspect). You may choose the same aspect twice to gain a bonus aspect point at each subsequent level-up; doing so also reduces the cost of powers in that aspect's ability menus by one point.

Aspect points can be saved level-to-level (to purchase more powerful abilities later), and do not 'disappear' if not used.

The Aspect point cost of a particular power can be reduced by the application of conditions; the more restrictive the condition, the greater the point reduction. The reductions applicable to any given power will be spelled out in that power's ability menu. The minimum cost of any ability is one point. Only one conditional aspect may be applied to a power. Conditional effects can be "bought off" at a later point in time by paying aspect points equal to one and a half times the reduction--after this point, the condition for the effect is removed, and the power is activated without the need for special requirements.

Aspect Powers

Aspect points can be used to purchase powers from the aspect menu. Each power is arranged into a tier (first through fourth). Initially, only powers from the first tier of one aspect may be purchased, but certain rituals can activate access to new tiers and new aspects. Unlocking a tier unlocks it for all aspects on the item; similarly, an item that has two aspects on it already and has second-tier powers unlocked immediately unlocks the second-tier powers of a new aspect.

Aspect points can also be used to purchase 'normal' weapon enhancements, such as keen or flaming, at a cost equal to double the property's bonus-equivalent cost. Normal properties can be made conditional, in the same fashion as aspect powers, to reduce their point cost; you may add any one condition one of your menus specifies for an ability of equal or lesser point cost. The minimum cost of any property is one point.

The bonus-equivalent cost of your normal weapon enhancements purchased in this way cannot exceed the item's enhancement bonus.

Aspect powers function only for one who has performed the bonding ritual (see below) with the item in question. Only one person may be bound to any given aspect item at a time.

Activation Costs

Aspect items require special 'rituals' to unlock their abilities. The exact nature of a ritual is dependent on the weapon's history, purpose, or construction, and varies from weapon to weapon. All the rituals described below require the item to be used during the ritual, and the ritual will fail if the item is absent.

  • Bonding Ritual: This ritual, which initially binds the item's wielder to the item itself, has a gp cost equal to (Item's Initial Number of Aspects x Initial Enhancement Bonus x 500), with an associated cost of 1/4 that amount in XP.
  • Activation Ritual: In order to unlock a new tier or new aspect, the character must perform a ritual with a cost of (Number of Aspects Post-upgrade x Enhancement Bonus Post-upgrade x 500), with an associated cost of 1/4 that amount in XP.
  • Ritual of Unbinding: This ritual, which unbinds an item from the wielder and destroys it, has a gp cost equal to (Item's Current Number of Aspects x Current Enhancement Bonus x 500), with an associated cost of 1/4 that amount in XP.

Losing An Aspect Item

If an aspect item becomes broken, stolen, or lost and is separated from its bonded wielder for more than 24 hours, the unlocked features of the item become dormant. A second bonding ritual is required to reactivate the item, though it only costs (Number of Aspects x Enhancement Bonus x 250), with an associated cost of 1/4 that amount in XP.

If an aspect item is lost and unrecoverable, the bearer will never be able to use another aspect item: since he cannot perform the Ritual of Unbinding, he is incapable of severing his current bond and acquiring a new one.

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