Monday, January 18, 2010

Magic Items They Can't Publish

As someone who is interested in publishing for 4E, the blog post here was a very interesting read.  Basically, WotC is publicly acknowledging what many people have been saying from the beginning regarding magic items: The 4E system has sucked all of the 'magic' out of magic items.  They are little more than window dressing, designed to give the appropriate numerical bonus at the appropriate stage in a character's life.  What a sad state of affairs.

Of course, a situation like this is the perfect opening for a small indie publisher to put out some interesting material.  I've been scribbling notes regarding new magic items from months now but have never gotten around to putting them into a coherent form, let alone anything suitable for publication.

Even more compelling is the fact that, to my knowledge, there is only one company putting out magic items for 4E, and that is Creation's Edge Games.  I've not purchased any of their products, but I may need to--if only to see what they are doing.  I get the impression that their products follow the standard 4E format, which means there is little to differentiate them from WotC.  Now that is not a hit on them at all.  They are pursuing a valid strategy.  But it is a strategy that I am not interested in.  If I were, I probably would have pursued it before now.

Because the product would present items that are far outside the norm for 4E, it would have to include a lot of advice to the DM regarding how to use them in his campaign, etc, etc.  (You old-schoolers are probably thinking to yourself, "What?  Really?"  My answer is that I have learned that many new-schoolers really appreciate that kind of advice.  They were kind of trained to expect it in my opinion--but that can be a topic for another time.)

Not only does the blog post open the door for the publication of new and interesting magic items for 4E, it actually could be used as part of the advertising.  Think about it: You are introducing a new product line that describes magic items, and you are doing it in direct response to a blog post written by a WotC employee.

Let's just make it official: The Fantasy Cartographic is, at some point in the future, going to release a product detailing new and interesting magic items for 4E, items that bring the magic back into magic items, but items that will fit into the 4E rules.  If anyone is interested in contributing to such a project, send me an email, and we can work out the arrangements.

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