On the other hand, if your only experience is with computer RPGs, you might not know what the hell I'm talking about. Character equipment is not only a defining characteristic of RPGs, but one that is widely assumed to be of great importance in the age of market-tested game development. Yet in many RPGs, item design seems like little more than an afterthought. Wagonloads of magic items are joylessly awarded throughout the game, with no evidence that actual creative work went into any of them. So what gives?
On closer inspection, it's not entirely surprising that computer RPGs have been mostly unsuccessful at reproducing that tabletop feeling of "love at first loot." For one thing, there's no DM in computer RPGs to tailor rewards specifically for the PC. For another, there's a tendency to dole out more loot in computer RPGs, which has the effect of diluting the importance of any one item (more on that later). And then there's the depressing fact that designing items is a finishing touch in an industry where finishing touches increasingly take a backseat to publishing deadlines.
|"Precious? Eh, not so much."|