You Found an Artifact! Now What?

Mutant Crawl Classics is the warped, mutant sci-fi twin to DCC. All Plantients, Manimals, Mutants and PSH are welcome here...

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You Found an Artifact! Now What?

Post by Melfast »

[Edited to correct a typo in the number of magic items per average DCC adventure (from 20 to 10)]

Hail Fellow Travelers in the Wastes!

This is part three of a look at artifacts. The first one looked at the threefold role of artifacts as encounters, treasures and character class abilities. The second one looked at the distribution of artifacts by type and level of adventure, and then compared that to the distribution of magic items in a DCC adventure (spoiler, the average MCC adventure has 28 artifacts and the average DCC adventure has 10 magic items).

This post looks at what to do after you've found an artifact.

Artifacts are a fun part of the game, and pretty much every character will be able to use them and want them. It is important to share these like you would treasure in any other game, but also keep in mind that PSH generally have class abilities that are more dependent on having artifacts than the other genotypes.

Who is best at making the artifact checks? This is pretty easily answered.

Who can best use the item? This is harder to answer, because there will be some party or character-specific considerations.

All things being equal, PSH will generally make the most effective use of artifacts in a party, which usually means making sure your PSH are your primary artifact users.

At Level-1, PSH are +2 to artifact checks over Mutants and Manimals, and +3 over Plantients. Shaman are one better at +3 over Mutants and Manimals, and +4 over Plantients.

While Mutants catch up a bit, falling only one point behind PSH from Level-5 forward, Manimals and Plantients keep falling further behind – at Level-5 a Manimal is three points behind and a Plantient is four points behind.

Shaman just keep getting better – at Level-5 the Mutant is three points behind, the Manimal is five points behind, and the Plantient is six points behind.

This does not count the Sentinel’s Artifact Die that is added to their artifact check for weapons and armor, a die that keep getting better – providing on average another +2 at Level-1, a +4 at Level-5, and a +8.5 at Level-10.

This bonus to artifact checks mean that PSH are better at surviving “encounters” with artifacts, converting them into treasure by learning how they work, and generally will be better at using them because they have abilities that can key off them (Sentinels, Healers and Rovers, anyway).

Non-PSH are best waiting until one of the PSH have learned the item and can teach them how to use it, whereupon it is only a DC 10 Intelligence check to learn it, and it only breaks on a roll of a 1.

Artifact weapons and armor should generally be given to Sentinels, Healers and Rovers, who all have higher class attack bonuses than Mutants, Manimals, and Plantients, with Rovers being the best in the game when attacking with ranged weapons that are not artifacts, and they are second only to Sentinels with artifacts.

Giving artifacts to Mutants, Manimals and Plantients before PSH will generally be less efficient for a party, and it will have a big impact on the capabilities of the PSH to contribute to the party. Giving priority to PSH while sharing artifacts across the party will usually be the most efficient and effective way to distribute them.

Happy gaming…

- Melfast

Edited on 12/31/20 to expand a bit on artifacts in the game and to clarify that when you are teaching someone else to use an artifact, it is a DC 10 Intelligence check not an artifact check.
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Re: You Found an Artifact! Now What?

Post by maceo_the_escher »

One thing I have heard from others and experienced a little myself when running MCC, is that players will start hoarding the artifacts until they have a better chance of success, which is smart but seems kind of against the spirit of the game. What are some ways to encourage players to take the risk - or is that not really a problem?
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