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Part 3.5: Apotheosis Items
In my previous piece on creating magic items that grow in power with the characters who wield them, I focused on a particular subtype: the Set-Piece Item. Although Set-Pieces are really just one item, they break up into several different parts, each of which requires attunement and provides benefits. However, if you collect all of the parts and assemble them, you end up with a single powerful item. The Set-Piece enables a GM to space out how often PCs acquire pieces, so they don’t gain all of the powers of the assembled item at once.
This article will describe a second type of item that scales with PC level: the Apotheosis Item. Although Apotheosis Items can work okay with the current attunement rules, they work better with the alternative attunement rules I suggested in a previous article. (TL;DR version: As the wielder’s proficiency bonus goes up, so does the number of magical items he or she can attune to.)
After an overview of how Apotheosis Items work, I’ll describe a specific example called the Sapling Staff of Sarohar — a powerful druidic item gifted to defenders of the wildlands by the mysterious Greenwarden.
Apotheosis Items Explained
In case you haven’t come across the term, an apotheosis is a transformation, usually from the mortal or mundane into the divine. It’s what happens when a mortal becomes a god. But hey, you’re gamers reading this, so obscure vocabulary is probably part of your stock in trade. These particular kinds of Legacy Items that we are calling Apotheosis Items are special objects of significant power. Putting these in your game will have to be a conscious act as they will potentially upset game balance, just as including a legendary item or even an artifact in the game might cause issues. However, there is one very significant advantage in terms of game balance that Apotheosis Items have in their favor: Because they require multiple levels of attunement, they limit the number of total magic items a character can use. Furthermore, particularly powerful Apotheosis Items might require a minimum character level for some of the levels of attunement. [Read more…] about Legacy Items: Magic Items that Scale, Part 3.5