So the problem came to mind again about equipment. In a 100 level system how do you keep a consistent growth of equipment for the player? I mean, lets be honest, either they're going to upgrade every 15 levels or it's going to become a mess of +15 butterknives and +25 flaming pitchforks (great for destroying thatched huts maybe?)
Possible ways to improve weapons.
Various scales of quality from Poor to Godly. Characters can find all kinds of quality on opponents, in tombs, crafted by NPCs or even crafted by themselves. This is more dependent on the skill of the person crafting the item and the time taken to craft the item. A rough item can be put out very quickly, whereas a Godly item could be an extremely long process with an amazing result.
Possible levels of Quality
Poor, Rough, Average, Fine, Masterwork, Godly
Here I am after making a post saying I wouldn't get into materials in weaponry on another blog... However, this could be a good tool for setting the quality of weapons. Early along this list would be some normal natural materials followed by either standard or setting specific higher quality materials. These would represent increased resource cost and time cost, possibly increasing the skill requirement to craft the item.
Iron, Steel, Mithril, Adamantine, Woods (of various natural types), Ironwood, Ent Wood, Exotic creature leather, Wool, Cotton, Silk, Iron Silk and so on...
These are a little more up in the air. I can either go heavy into enchantments with a wide variety of benefits, or be very basic in their qualities, or somewhere in-between. For simplicity with listing such things and tracking them (given the player will have armies to manage in addition to their awesome sword) I think perhaps keeping it basic will probably be more beneficial. Add it to the stats once, don't worry if it's bane against carnivorous butterflies or whatnot. However I think since they should be applied to weapons only as that little something extra.
When I say little something extra, I mean they should have a smaller effect than the material or the quality does. This seems a bit strange, but imagine magic weapons for a moment, they are that intangible bit that seems to help push you over the edge. They have side effects like being unbreakable and maybe shiny or glowy, but generally they are just a little something extra. Ideally, you would only want to enchant a good weapon from the start.
Enchantments would utilize exotic materials (only produced by large towns and above) and a great deal of expert labor and time. I'm also considering making enchantments only performable by a race that has an affinity with that material, making it a racial bonus to crafting that allows enchantment. Which also brings up the point that I want anyone potentially able to enchant. Warriors, kobolds, rogues and commoners. If they have the materials, know the rituals, and have the crafting skill, they can put the part of their spirit and soul into the weapon and imbue it with the breath of magical life. The skill being skill in crafting that type of item.
This means that in the ideal situation you would have a crafter craft an item in the ideal workshop, with the best tools, using mythically rare components, being the best person to do it, for two years, then breathing life into it using a massive amount of exotic materials in a giant city that can produce them or afford to trade for them. This would give you a Godly Ultimatine Butterknife +3. Congratulations, you now spread butter like no known hero king before you may you use your power wisely.
For the purpose of abstraction, how will this apply for heroes and soldiers? Will armies be equipped with magic weapons and armor? Is this scale possible?
I'm thinking Heroes can possibly have magic weapons, but not soldiers at a large scale, magic items should not be that numerous. Yes you can hand your two +1 swords to a regular soldier, but when the scale increases to Party or Army level, 2 out of 10 or 1000 soldiers having a +1 bonus doesn't help much. (maybe you can reason they would be the last of the soldiers to die, but +1 isn't really much)
However, giving it to a Hero helps in individual encounters and for the direct survival of the hero during targeted attacks and small scale combat. Sometimes sending an army isn't the best choice, but you can still take some faithful fearless companions with you, or on your behalf. (I'm considering house rule variants or even official rules allowing Heroes to also be possible players)
Materials and quality however could play more effectively. I'm thinking probably the lowest material type to probably the first mythical metal type will be used in materials (given the odds are low there is enough material findable for an army worth of Ultimatine) and up to Fine for crafting quality (Mass producing tends not to lend itself to particularly high quality items). This of coarse seems about appropriate however, as soldiers should never reach the combat prowess of a player.
I'm still working out the details, but I think I'll probably continue on my lvl 20 landmark points for these things.
More to come...