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We will be using a more specific type of identification process. In order to properly and efficiently identify items the player will have to be skilled in that type of crafting.
We will be using Knowledge checks based on what type of powers the items have. I’m not going to tell you which to use, using different checks might result in a different explanation of the ability.
There will be different ways to identify items, but just like the potion method the longer time you have to sit and work with it the better chance you have of identifying the items. First off, spells and/or abilities attached to an item will be called complexities.
Complexities can consist of anything from +1 modifier to a sentient being living within the item. Each complexity will have a different DC tier based on the power of the complexity.
If a player doesn’t find all the complexities on an item before they decide to use it, there’s a chance it could activate the ability at random and even on a party member.
Arcana will most likely be the main check to identify magical items, but based on the weapon maybe Nature, Religion, and History can help identify it as well.
If the player ISN’T proficient in either weaponsmithing or armorsmithing the roll is done at DISADVANTAGE. If the player IS proficient in either of those trades than they can add thier proficiency bonus to the roll. Even though you may roll high the check MIGHT NOT give you all the information on the item.
Example of Non-Proficient: You find a weapon after killing a monster and you start to look at it, the player would roll a D20 + Knowledge Modifier at DISADVANTAGE.
Example of Proficient: You find a weapon after killing a monster and you start to look at it, the player would roll a D20 + Knowledge Modifier + Proficiency Modifier,.
What it Does
Using detect magic on an item will give you the school of magic most closely associated with the item but won’t tell you anything more.
Casting this spell can give you the number of complexities of the items.
Allows you to ask your deity with yes / no questions.
Contact Other Plane
Allows you to ask a demigod, a spirit of a dead sage, or a mysterious entity from another plane. Depending on the item the only answers it can give are yes, no, maybe, never, irrelevant, or unclear
This spell can bring to your mind a brief summary of lore about things.
Example of Non-Proficient player in Weaponsmithing: After the boss drops to the ground the giant hammer he wielded through the battle falls to the floor. The player goes to the hammer picks it up, casts detect magic on it. A feint aura glows from the hammer, and it’s showing you that it has a distinct property associated with the school of evocation. The player rolls a knowledge arcana check (D20 + the roll + disadvantage) and gets a 12. With that roll the player knows that this hammer has a +1 modifier, and deals lightening damage when it hits a creature.
Now as the DM I know that there are more complexities to this item, I know that this item also has an ability to cast the spell Call Lightning.
Example of Non-Proficient player in Armorsmithing: As the party opens the chest, they notice its filled with an abundance of treasures. As they dig through the gold and jewels, they notice this shiny ornate breastplate. The wizard casts Detect Magic to see that the armor is associated with the evocation school of magic. As the party rests to prepare to move farther into the dungeon the wizard begins to try and identify the armor, he casts Identify on the object and knows that there are 4 complexities within it. He then begins to try and inspect it closer and rolls his Knowledge Arcana checks, since he is specialized in crafting armor he rolls an 15. He was able to identify 3 of the 4 complexities within the armor, knowing it grants the user the ability to cast Light as a spell off the armor, it has a +2 to AC from arrows, and grants the user wings to fly for 1 round a day. Now he isn’t sure about the other complexity and will hopefully look at it again the following day.
These potions were created by an unknown person or creature. You can not be certain it was by a being that knew exactly what they were doing in the alchemical process. So these potions might have an added POSITIVE or NEGATIVE side effect that goes along with the base potion ability/spell.
The DC for any potion identification process will be = 15 + Level of spell/ability + Any modifier that I add.
The process of identifying potions may vary depending on the potion. Certain requirements such as taste testing may be required. And doing so may activate the spell/ability in the process.
Example of Non-Proficient: You find a potion after killing a monster and you start to look at it, the player would roll a D20 + Knowledge Modifier at DISADVANTAGE.
This will leave the player with choices of:
EITHER Taking a chance with it and hope that IF there is a negative effect that it will be manageable.
OR Take that time to get it figured out, maybe goto a alchemist to help identify, or an alchemist in the group could spend the time to break it down and figure out exactly what it does, maybe they can figure out what exactly the ingredients are and what they do.
Example of Proficient: You find a potion after killing a monster and you start to look at it, the player would roll a D20 + Knowledge Modifier + Proficiency Modifier,.
This will leave the player with choices of:
EITHER taking a chance with it and hope that based on what you figured out would be correct and there aren’t any other side effects
OR when you have time, take that time to break it down (without destroying it), and possibly based on rolls figure out how to make your own version of the potion with the ingredients from that potion
These potions were made by someone or something that is HOPEFULLY specialized in alchemy, so these potions should do what they are supposed to do. Based on the location of the establishment or person you purchased it from and the price may change the effects of the potion.
Again these side effects are temporary and only last either the length of the spell/ability in the potion (Within reason)