Adventurer’s Vault 2: Wrap Up…

2009 August 24
by Dante

Over the last week, we reviewed item sets and immurements which were introduced in the Adventurer’s Vault 2.  As I mentioned early last week, I have a favorite item.

And without further adieu, Dante’s Favorite Item is…

The Cask of Liquid Gold!  While it might seem strange that a lair item would be my favorite item from this book, I have a good reason.  You see, a long time ago in a campaign far, far, away Vanir asked if his character could have a back-mounted keg that stayed full of ale all day long.  That character’s name was Lumbar, and that keg saw all sorts of use from the mundane to the extreme.  I will save the details for another time, but suffice it to say that was a fun item to have around.

Now, I intellectually know an ever-full keg is something that nearly every adventuring party has either joked about or had in some fashion.  The fact that I created something similar for our adventuring party clearly has very little bearing on this item existing in the Adventurer’s Vault 2 (even though its fun to think otherwise!).  What I like best is that the design team that made the Adventurer’s Vault 2 has their finger on the pulse of the type of thing that adventuring parties want.

The main difference between my ever-full keg and the one presented in the new book is the issue of portability.  The AV2 stipulates that lair items cannot be taken adventuring and must stay within the lair.  My first response to this was dismay, but after reading through the rest of this section with more care I noticed that everything in the section were larger items like furniture, door enhancements, statues, and even rooms or chambers that provide special effects.  The keg in my campaign probably could have been characterized as a “Pony Keg of Liquid Gold” and therefore could be carried like a pack, but after seeing the artist’s rendition I understand that this thing is BIG.

Anyway, back to my point: the lair items are excellent examples of roleplay-centric items that provide some benefit to the owner.  The fact that these items are bound to a specific location builds in some structure that campaigns can revolve around.  Players that come across a keep with these items in place are going to want to come back, and those that have paid to equip their own homes will want to ensure they are protected.  The lack of portability can anchor the campaign or provide some very specific benefits toward certain encounters happening in the player character’s own lair, which can be a pretty exciting plot hook in and of itself.

Wrapping things up

Our previous articles reviewing the Adventurer’s Vault 2 do so without even scratching the surface of the main section of the book, which augments the already impressive set of magic items available in 4e via the core rulebooks and the original Adventurer’s Vault.  This was done entirely on purpose… I mean, we have to maintain at least some mystery!  To me, the item sets, immurements, and lair items alone are worth the purchase price of the book.  You can rest assured that there is a wide variety of more traditional magic items to use in your campaign, so many that I haven’t even read through them all in detail.  Go get yourself a copy at your friendly local gaming store!

That’s all on this topic for now!

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