Generic and Acme
Posted on September 11, 2017
My DM and I were both getting tired of generic character backstories with no real hooks for the characters. So in our homebrew campaign, we designed the town of Town. I created the first character from Town, Rand (short for random) Generic, a human Fighter with no stats higher than 13 or lower than 9.
Next we fleshed out things about the town. Nothing in the town was better than Average in workmanship. The people all were average-looking and had average builds. The one thing that the town had going for it was the Master Gnomish Enchanter named Acme.
Acme decided that the town was a perfect place to mass-produce magic items, all with a permanent Identify spell on them. So all the magic armor was emblazoned with a "+" and the modifier, the same with weapons and everything else.
Rand had left the town of Town to prove he could be a great hero. He even left with +1 half plate armor. He had made friends with a party and they all laughed at "+1" emblazoned on his armor, not realizing he was proud to have earned it before he left Town. They stopped laughing when they reached the town of Dragonstone and went to a shop where he asked the shopkeeper if he had any magic armor not made by Acme.
"NOT FOR YOU, Townie!" He yelled at Rand, and proceeded to give the other characters what they all wanted.
It was like this every place they went. Everyone else could get the best equipment, but Rand had to settle for average or worse.
They finally went to Town to find out why Rand was treated so poorly by other cities, and found out that Acme had a reputation for making inferior magic items and flooding the market. This led to an investigation at the factory and a direct conflict with Acme himself.
They found the factory employed Goblin enchanters who didn't care if they got it right. It was hilarious to see what some of the items actually did. The DM created a chart and rolled percentiles.
The party fought their way up to finally meet Acme. Acme had real working magic items in his office and gave the party quite a challenge before finally talking to them to find out what was wrong. In the end, Rand received a new set of armor made by Acme himself, with "+5" emblazoned on it.