This is a cross post from the magic item thread on Realmsboard.
The more I read this thread the more I think that Joe touched on an answer when he compared questing to other games (d20, etc) and when I mentioned some video games (eq, wow, etc). Most games have some sort of way of limiting the number of items a character can use at any given time. In video games this limit is hard coded by item type. For example, a character has a limited number of slots in which items can be equipped. As a further example, in WoW a character can have head, back, neck, chest, waist, arms(wrist), hands, feet, two earrings, and two trinkets (rings). Now I’m not proposing that everyone be able to have and carry that many items, as this would definitely not promote items changing hands in the slightest (unless we upped the number of items in the game significantly). However perhaps a more stream lined version of this would be good. Items of course would have to be sub typed in some fashion to indicate which sub-category they belong in.
a sword, axe, etc, would be a weapon slot.
magic chainmail, bracers, cloaks, hoods, etc (items that convey armor, or other protections) would be an armor slot.
rings, necklaces, jewelry would be a trinket or misc slot.
Anything that doesn’t fit into one of those categories would be an artifact slot.
extremely powerful magic items (say anything with over a 5th circle spell in it) would be an artifact slot, plus one other slot.
weapon slot (any weapon that swings magic)
armor slot (any protective item, be it armor, bracers, rings, etc)
misc slot (any miscellaneous magic item that has less then a 3rd circle spell in it)
artifact slot (any misc magic item that has a 4th or 5th circle spell in it)
note: uber artifact (or those that have over a 5th circle enchantment or combination of abilities… example a magic sword that also casts heal limb) would take the artifact slot AND one other slot.
Other items would not only just not work for them (unless they gave it up), but could have potentially dangerous side effects. To give up an item then have to give it to another player (for at least 24 hours), give it to the magic marshall, or sacrifice it. Either way this item should not work at all for the player who gave it up for some period of time. Think of it like attuning the item to yourself, and giving up that attuned item to learn a new item. At most a person could only carry 4 magic items. While I am not crazy about this idea, and it definately needs tweaking it would be a way to limit the carrying and using capacity of the number of items that someone could gain the benefit from at any given time.
We could make it so that players have to maintain a “spellbook” like book stating what items they currently have attuned to them. This book would be used as a marshalling tool during check in. Items that any player pre-reg would of course have to be in that players item book. (con: players would no longer be able to register items for other players, like some groups like to do.) This book would of course be an OOC marshalling tool, and non-stealable.
Personally I hate the idea, but It seems sound to me. The other problem that I can see with this is nations that have treasuries, or nations that trade items amongst themselves frequently. As examples, both Creathorne and Idaris have what they consider treasurey items. Heck I’ve even borrowed some items from friends in time of need. This has the potential of messing that up a little. Especially if the “loaned” item does not function for the “owner” for 24 hours.
Just some hopefully constructive ideas for the conversation. enjoy.