Our two previous posts cover “generic” equipment and magic items pretty well, but the original game also has plenty of distinct items with individual names. While some of those are just part of the traditional JRPG upgrade treadmill, others would make fine artifacts for a Dungeon Fantasy game. We’ll discuss them here.
As described in these supplements, artifacts are magic items that don’t follow the default rules for such in GURPS. In Gransys, their most likely origins are Magical or Material. In either case, they can’t be further upgraded or enchanted via alchemy, as they’re already as good as they’re going to get.
Any of the artifacts in DF 6 and DF Treasures 2 could end up making their way into a GURPS Dragon’s Dogma game. Obviously, none of them are available for sale anywhere, and no living artisan would know how to make one with the possible exception of some of the consumable items in those books. But thre is one other way in which a PC might come into possession of an artifact, or even of a more normal magic item: Dragonforging.
Dragon blood has all sorts of magical and mythical properties in a lot of media, and here it’s no different. A weapon or suit of armor bathed in the blood of a dragon as that dragon is killed becomes imbued with the beast’s might! This applies to lesser members of the dragon family as well as to The Dragon.
The mechanical effects of Dragonforging in GURPS “upgrade” the items worn or wielded by a character in a manner similar to what’s possible with standard alchemy, but much more dramatic. It always “maxes out” an item’s mundane quality descriptors, making it a close to ideal example of its kind. Armor becomes fine; shields become balanced and fine; weapons become balanced and very fine.
Additionally, the items gain additional enchantments commensurate with the power of the slain dragon. Unlike with traditional alchemy, these are not restricted to what’s available for sale in shops. In fact, this is a perfect way to introduce Artifacts to the campaign! Even artifacts found as loot are likely to have been used by some ancient hero to slay a dragon. The most powerful among them are those used by an ancient Arisen to slay The Dragon.
Obviously, it costs nothing to enhance an item in this way, other than having to fight a dragon.