Settings with Intelligent Items

In most settings, intelligent items aren’t a major component of the setting. While they may be present, they aren’t a focus of these settings. Even high fantasy settings like D&D’s Forgotten Realms don’t feature intelligent items as significant to the world.
But it seems there are some rich storytelling opportunities for a setting where intelligent items are a in the foreground. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Council of Blades – Given how many intelligent items are weapons, why not create a setting based around them? In this setting, the government is ruled by a council made up of wielders of intelligent weaponry. But are the weapons the ones in charge? How does succession work? What happens when one of the weapons turns on the others?
  • Hearth Spirits – In many older civilizations, there was the concept of a hearth spirits. Basically, a group of spirits that governed life around the home. One play on this idea is to have every home or structure possessed of some form of intelligence. While this is an idea that plays well in scifi settings, it works in fantasy as well. How do these intelligences change day to day life? Can they turn against the residents? What happens when a building is razed?
  • Oracles – In the Hitchhiker’s Guide, an alien computer is built to calculate the answer ot the life, universe and everything. The computer takes so long to develop an answer that entire religions form around the computer. An interesting take on this idea is to have a set of “oracles” scattered across the world. These oracles are actually intelligent items interred in their shrine with dedicated cults. Do the items have an actual god complex? Are they beneficial? What happens when one is stolen?
  • The Progenitors – Building on some of the concepts from that last hook, perhaps the items are responsible for the foundation of the government or nation. Maybe they’re even responsible for the evolution or creation of the inhabitants altogether! What happens when these progenitors fall into the wrong hands? What happens when they decide they made a mistake with their creation?

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