Sometimes mundane items just aren't enough. Your players will demand magical items that give new powers. Here's the rules for generating items and using them.
Abilities on Items
Items contain abilities just like characters. Characters that pick up artifacts with abilities can use some of the abilities immediately upon picking the weapon up. Before training, if the ability has a cost, a character can use it, but the cost will be doubled. Passive abilities cannot be used.
A character can train and learn to use the abilities off an item effectively. By spending a number of character points equal to half the amount that would be required to train those abilities normally (rounded up), the character can use the abilities on the artifact. The character can train in one ability on the artifact at a time if he or she chooses. So, if there's one particular ability the player wants, he or she can train in that one first.
Character points spent towards training an ability off an item are subtracted from the cost of the actual ability should the player decide to learn it without the weapon. Item specific abilities are bought at the base cost for a character (2 times ability level and then halved for being on the item).
Items can also be consumable and give permanent abilities as well. The cost of gaining abilities off of an item like this comes at the full cost of the abilities since the item cannot be lost. The advantage to this is that a character can learn an ability without a teacher and can potentially learn abilities that he or she would not have been able to otherwise (a level 5 ability from an opposing group or an item specific ability). This can be used to give characters supernatural abilities they wouldn't be able to get from regular faction abilities like stretching their limbs to ridiculous lengths or setting their fists on fire.
Of course, learning abilities like this is potentially powerful and is therefore done purely at the discretion of the GM and all character creation item purchases should be accepted by the GM.
Items that do not grant abilities through training (mundane ships, houses, etc.) are considered mundane and should be acquired through roleplaying.
Item Specific Abilities
The following are some sample abilities that can be granted by items specifically.
Cost: 1 per attack
This item is imbued with a particular element to such a powerful level that it can channel it into or even as a weapon. The item becomes sheathed in that element and the attack that this ability is used on gains that element as its descriptor. For the most part, this is harmless and for flavor, but some monsters take more damage from specific sources of damage and some abilities make enemies vulnerable to specific types of attacks. Also, a fire sword could be used to burn a rope or a lightning dagger could power a generator in a pinch. Common elements are Fire, Water, Wood, Earth, Lightning, etc. Less common elements are Love, Hate, Good, Evil, Math, etc.
This item has the supernatural ability to point towards other items of a certain nature. For instance, a good artifact dousing rod can point towards water. There's also items that can lead towards the nearest deposit of gold or gems. This ability cannot be used to track people. So, an item that finds alcohol is fine, but an item that find loose members of the opposite sex is not.
Hidden Lore Manual
This item contains copious amounts of hidden lore about a very specific skill such as history of an area. Training with this item means taking the time to reading it and knowing what to reference when you need to glean information from it. This item gives a +1 to a very specific skill (in other words, local history, operating large ships, dirty jokes, but not something like moving your body). The character that has read this is considered capable in that skill as well as long as he or she still has the item for reference.
This item is fast, very fast. While the trained user uses this item, they gain 2 squares to their base movement.
Cost: 1 per 2 squares
This item is capable of extending itself out to infinity as long as the user is willing to pay for it. This item can extend in battle and increase a character's melee attack range. This item will extend as many squares as the user wishes at a cost of 1 life per 2 squares extended. This is still a solid object. So, if other objects are in the way, a character may not be able to hit someone far away, even if they have the energy for the reach unless they can cut through the objects. For instance, in a dense forest, the trees might get in the way.
This item is imbued against the elements and gives the user a protection against it. This item protects against a very specific type of damage and reduces all attacks of that kind of damage by 5. Examples of specific elements include raw elements like Fire or Electricity or certain materials like wood or a rare weapon material.
This item was forged in the fires of war and has grown to hate a specific target. Pick one of the three sides (Pirate, Ninja, or Wanderer). This item does 5 extra damage on all attacks to that side.
Cost: 5 per attack
This item is sheathed in energy, much like the Elemental Fury ability, but this item can be used to make ranged attacks with a melee weapon made of pure energy. This can be used to either make a melee attack at a range or be used to make ranged attacks with a melee weapon. Either way, this does not have the defect that Extended Reach does. This weapon attacks in straight bolts and cuts instantly through most mundane materials like wood. The maximum range of the bolts is the character's precision or will stat in squares (whichever is higher).
This item gives some of the damage the user does in his attacks back to his life total. For every 10 actual damage the character does in an attack (round up), the item gives back 1 Life. However, in AOE attacks. Each hit only gives half the life (round up).
This item is capable of giving the user flight like a bird. While this ability is on, the can move with perfect acrobatic grace in the air.
This item gives protection like the Specific Protection ability but applies it to something much more common and general like bludgeoning trauma, sword damage, energy damage, damage from a specific side, etc. This reduces damage by 5.