Attunement & Resonance

The following are house-rules I plan on using for D&D.

Why? I'd like magic to feel a bit more rare and special... also, unpredictable. Rather than making it a magic-poor campaign world, the use of magic is limited for non-magic-users. These restrictions will force players to make difficult choices, which is something I want.

Additionally, the world will have super-science and technology. These also have limitations, such as power supply, learning curve, and component breakdown. If magic worked perfectly every time, it would have an unfair advantage while feeling rather... unrealistic.


The character must spend at least one hour in close proximity to a magic item while focusing all one's powers of concentrating upon its nature, being, and essence. While attuning the item, no other action (talking, sleeping, eating and drinking) can take place.

Once attuned, the magic item is considered bound to that individual and can only be used by him unless the item is attuned by a new owner, at which point the item changes masters.

There is no limit to the number of magic items a character may attune to himself.


While magic-users have mystical power flowing through them constantly, non-magic-users do not. They can only use, bring forth, or benefit from magic as many times per day as their level.

For instance, a 3rd level fighter wants to either drink a healing potion, that's a point of resonance. Yesterday, he found a magic ring that can turn the wearer invisible. He's already attuned it, and wants to put it on before entering the next room of the dungeon. That's a point of resonance. The fighter's sword +1 has a special ability, it can protect the wielder from demons. He activates the sword's demon protection. That's also a point of resonance and his free and easy use of magic is done for the day. However, utilizing the sword's +1 wouldn't cost him anything - that benefit is considered automatic.

Negative results from magic are almost always "resonance free" and applied as per usual, such as getting blasted by a fireball spell. On the other hand, receiving super-strength or flight from magic does cost a point of resonance for each spell that grants a benefit or bonus.

After they've used up their daily allotment of resonance, magic has a few potential consequences... determined by the following random table. In lieu of rolling on the table, the PC may opt to either take 1d6 damage (bridging the magical gap is draining) or 1 point of permanent intelligence loss (keeping quadratic equations in mind also takes its toll), instead.

Pushing The Envelope

1. Explosion: The magic itself explodes, causing 3d6 damage to everyone within 10'.
2. Fade Away: The magic item simply fades away. If it was a spell cast upon the subject, that spell disappears from the magic-user's mind.
3. Magic Disappears: That item, spell, etc. is no longer effective for the subject.
4. Short Circuits: Every magic item carried or worn by the subject is temporarily non-magical for 1d4 days.
5. Cursed: Item is cursed for... 1) a week, 2) one year, 3) forever, but just for that subject, or 4) forever, for everyone.
6. Time-Out (Greater): That item can't be used by the subject for three days.
7. Time-Out (Lesser): That item can't be used by the subject for one day.
8. Weird Magic: Strange anomalies occur, such as rain of flaming toads or dimensional gateway opens up 20' from the subject.
9. Nothing Happens: Item or spell doesn't seem to work just now.
10. Works Normally: The item, magic, or spell works as per usual.
11. Works Normally: The item, magic, or spell works as per usual.
12. Resonance Restored: A character's daily allotment of resonance is restored back to full.


Well, that's it. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing!

I'm hoping some gamers will be interested in playtesting these house-rules before my Cha'alt campaign begins. If you try something out, please let me know what happened.


Authored by Venger Satanis


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