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Shards of Essence-Final
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Shards of Essence-Final

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The Shards of Essence are an alternative magic item system that was inspired by a friend's favorite video games. For reasons, I will not mention the title of these games, but most people that have played them will understand. My friend, whose idea this was originally, allowed me to take his existing system, which was only briefly scribbled across multiple papers stuffed in his masses of notes, and carefully construct a balanced and capable rules set for our standard role-playing game. Also, he originally built this system for 3.5e, which could not carry over very well into 5e. So, after a year of playtesting, and many hours of contemplation and rules restructuring, I present the Shards of Essence.

The shards replace the standard magic items. Shards have the unique ability to level up as the characters do, becoming more powerful as their abilities are unlocked. The shards are also, at standard, weaker than many magic items, but more of them can be equipped, allowing for greater customization based on the particular character.

This set comes with the rules required to play with the shards and the first 20 shards, carried over from the original notes and 3.5e into the new era of 5e d&d. This is the 3rd version of the rules system that I have produced, it is by far not perfect, but it is the most balanced and capable to date.

If you see any discrepencies, errors, or just want to ask a question, feel free. This system is very different from the normal magic item system, but the complexity it brings is very much worth it for the payoff to the players, the dungeon master, and the gaming experience as a whole. Thank you.

Update: 7/2/2017

The Shards were not met with a warm welcome, the downloads were sccarce and there was little to no feedback, so I decided to move them to pwyw. This also discouraged me from spending the time on creating the beautifully colored and detailed pdf of part 3, the final iteration of the shards material.

Now I present to you, in black and white, the complete list of shards in their original format, as well as new and altered equipment that help to create the "higher fantasy" atmosphere than is presented as standard.

I hope you enjoy

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Deven B February 09, 2017 6:28 am UTC
For those of you who originally purchased this, I apologize. Given the complete lack in sales, I am going to release these articles for free. I hope everyone enjoys.
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File Last Updated:
September 16, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on September 16, 2016.