Monday, May 28, 2012
Sometimes the artwork attached to an ADnD spell description is just ever so slightly incongruous. The Dave Trampier illustration attached to the spell, Enchant An Item, is one of those situations.
While it's true that the illustration shows an item being crafted -- one of several steps involved in making a magic item -- it would make more sense for the illustration to show the spellcaster interacting with the item, and somehow imbuing the item with the desired dweomer, rather than a weaponsmith busy with his more mundane tasks.
Does the same circumstance threaten magic-users in 3E and 4E? I suspect, like many other game design features inherent in early versions of DnD, all of the advantages have been transferred into subsequent rule sets, while the risks have been discarded as "not fun" for the players.