Identifying Magical Items? HELP ME SHIELDWALL!


Heya Shieldwall!!
I recently converted my 5e group over to ICRPG a few weeks ago, so far they love it!.But one question looms over my head. When you present your party with magical items, weapons , armor etc whatever the case may be do you just tell them the stats on the items? So far I have been making them get the items identified by a local Mage for a few hundred gold. Which I am starting to wonder if this is even necessary. I do wanna keep the RP element to the game with out making it feel clunky.

Plus i want to find a good balance in Meta gaming vs Story Elements. or should i even worry about that?


I haven’t worried about it when it comes to the abilities of the weapons; but I didn’t like it in 5e either. Though the short rest to experiment with the weapon could also be fun sometimes.

Ultimately just like everything in ICRPG it’s up to you. If you think that the identifying is cool keep it. If you feel that it’s getting kind of in the way and clunky just axe it.


If it’s an item doesn’t really matter to the plot, I usually just give them the stats. If it is an item with a plot element or even something I want to keep a secret for a while, I tell them that they have to put a hearts worth of effort to study and learn more about it.

Maybe if it has multiple aspects I would have additional hearts afterwards to glean more stats/abilities for each heart.


I’ve actually never thought of making an epic item with multiple tiered abilities. That sounds awesome.


Yea Ive never really looked at it that way before! Great input,


Each time the item is used they can roll towards a HEART to “Bond” with the item and unlock it’s abilities.


Send them on a quest for the local wizard so the prices drop dramatically! Perhaps eventually the wizard gives them a periapt that allows identification from a distance!


Close to what Kane said, I sometimes hide its abilities. I may give them the stats, but not its magical ability and then sometime in battle (let’s say its a weapon) I’ll have the ability activate. Maybe it’s an intense fight they are losing or maybe they happen to do more than 1 heart of effort with it in a single strike and it unlocks more potential.


I hide its abilities and even the fact its magic from the players until they pick it up, and they get this feeling of power from the item. At this point me and the player talk about whats cool about this item and they spend time in research to find out what kind of ritual is needed to attune themselves to it. For each cool thing it does (it being magic is considered the first) they spend a week in rituals to attune themselves to it.

I like this method since it allows the player to decide whats so cool about this item and it gives a sense of progression with the item as the player adds stuff between games “Man I wish this blade could fight on its own,” and then we can make it happen.


I tell players what most items do right off the bat, but not always. The two primary cases in which I do not is powerful items (with possibly multiple abilities) and one use items. Mysterious magic arrows are not always safe and not every potion is labelled correctly. Adopting this style could be an answer to your situation without eliminating the wizard NPC’s relevance.

Another option is have items have given abilities on discovery, but give the NPC wizard the spell “unlock potential.” So the wizard (or PC if they get the spell) can cast this spell and do magic effort against the items hearts. Once its hearts are defeated, the item rolls on a table to add a modifier to it (some good, some bad, some mixed, and sometimes it’s something purely cosmetic). The number of hearts is equal to the number of abilities the item already has. So, the players can choose to invest time and money into powering up items, but it is optional. Importantly, it lets them forge their own unique greater item. Then, should that item become lost (from say being dropped during a failed jump attempt across a chasm) the GM now has a lost relic with real history behind it.


I really like this concept! its kinda what I am going for without feeling too clunky. Natural language FTW!