Tuesday, December 30, 2014

6 Roguish Magical Treasures

Magical treasures for more roguish types of play:
  1. Tabard of Shifting - Goes over armor and shows enemies the heraldic symbols of whoever they least want to fight- be they family, ally, or powerful enemies.  Enemies that understand such symbols will lose the first round of initiative and have -1 to hit thereafter. The tabard can shift even within combats.
  2. Quill of Stealing - Quill that allows you to forge, by stealing the real signature off of one document and placing it on another.  Only holds one signature at a time.
  3. Coins of Return - 7 gold coins with different ancient emperors depicted, each known for despicable acts.  Pay someone with all of these at once and the coins return to you at midnight.
  4. Fidelis Fibulae - Give one of these beautiful cloak pins to a trusted hireling.  As their loyalty diminishes, so does their hair- falling out little by little (the bald will grow hair).
  5. My Last Mistake - A colorful porcelain knot the size of a coin.  Break it and the last hour can be done over.
  6. The Golden Bones - Crude, carved from bone, as long as these dice are rolled anyone within earshot will gather round and watch the results.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

6 Magical Book Treasures

I wanted to give you these for Christmas, but books were harder for me to come up with cool items for play. They seem to be more dry reference materials than items players would be carrying around everywhere. Anyway, here is what I came up with:
  1. Book of Holding - This very heavy tome appears to be a collection of works by various hands from various times but resting a mundane book on top of it will cause that  book to be added to its pages.  It never changes size and appears to have infinite room for more new works..  Titled Praecepta ad Filium by Simplicius Porphyrogenitus.
  2. Book of Many Compartments -  It has 600 pages and 100 hidden cut outs.  You must remember the pages that small items may be hidden on, otherwise it appears a normal work of natural history.  Titled Memorabilia by Diodorus the Elder
  3. Dandolo's Fechtbuch - Studying a section will grant a benefit to any combats the next day, but you can choose only one section to study: Offense: +1, Defense: +1, Caution: reduced fumbles, Boldness: extended critical range.
  4. Book of Translating - Appears to be a dry record of commercial deals and political agreements made by different pairs of speakers.  But if two people touch the book while talking it will record that conversation in the book.  Conversations appear to be in whatever language the reader understands best.  Titled Accords of the Caravan Princes by Harun al-Hafiz.
  5. Book of Rehearsing - Appears to be small philosphical dialogues in which a person entreats another in different ways to different results.  Say the name of a person and then say something to them.  These will appear in the book along with that persons probable responses (a way to rehearse important npc interactions). Titled The Dialectics by Proclus of Tatos.
  6. Book of Snakes - Contains hundreds of swatches of reptile skin.  Poorly labelled but experience will show it contains rattlesnake, spitting cobra, python, flying snakes and even a basilisk.  Once a day, touching a swatch will cause the book to turn into that reptile and the toucher will be able to communicate with that snake.
I also really wanted to make two other ideas work but they take a lot of effort on your part as DM to fit them in your world.  first, the Friendly Book which is a sentient book that offers up answers, recipes, songs, and bits of lore, especially for new and younger players. (Kind of a bard as book I'm now realizing ;).

The other idea was to have a set of volumes that improve effectiveness as you find more of them.  I think one way to do this is have 4 books for making a poison or potion that break down like this 1) finding and harvesting ingredients 2) preparing ingredients 3) cooking and processing ingredients together 4) storing and applying. 

Players might sell any of them for gold, but if you set it up right they might have better and better chances of successfully completing the poison/potion.  Could be a mini-game or just abstract bonuses.  I was thinking a Chinese lich could have written 10,000 of these and the series is titled After Drinking a Golden Potion.

Friday, December 19, 2014

6 Solo Magical Treasures

These are aimed at the poor fool in the underworld alone:
  1. Choker of Isolde - Constricts slightly when someone is searching for you, eases again when they stop.
  2. Twine of Seeking - 30 feet of rough twine, hold one end, whisper a word, and it will slowly snake out and retrieve that thing- be it key, phylactery, or purse.
  3. Shadow Window - A rough piece of amber-tinted glass the size of a book.  Press it against a door and a shadow play of anything moving on the other side of the door will appear.
  4. White Mites - Pour out this sack of thousands of rice-sized, white mites and they will flee into the cracks of any lose stones nearby- trap, trigger, or secret door.
  5. Careful Boots - Click the heals and they leave no tracks, click them again and they leave tracks headed the way you came.
  6. Holy Chimes - Tiny, pewter, pilgrim badges dangling from string, they make no noise unless the undead are near.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

6 More Magical Treasures

I guess I've got these on my mind, so have a few more magical treasures:

  1. Belt of Swallowing - The wearer of this thick belt can eat anything - poison, acid, broken glass- and be unharmed.  They can also suck up creatures of less than 1HD on a successful hit.  This hurts, though, and they take 1hp dmg each time. 
  2. Silk of Reciprocating - If a person whispers a name into this length of silk and then binds themselves with it, that person named will be bound similarly- gagged, blindfolded, hands or feet tied magically together.
  3. Silver Razor - Shaving a person with this silver razor will cause them to love you until their hair grows back.
  4. Whale Breakers - Two pieces of whale tooth scrimshawed with scenes of Inuit bear hunts.  If they are held firmly in both hands for at least an hour (no shield, no rope use, no opening doors) they begin feeling colder and heavier and will allow the holder to strike foes with the force of two flails, breaking bones on critical hits.
  5.  White Fronds - Anything wrapped in these fuzzy grey, foot-wide fronds emits no smell.
  6. Telecanter's Bookmark - A strip of very worn human skin with a tattoo on it:  Find this name's enduring fame. If a proper name is spoken and the strip of skin is placed in a book, it will move through the book stopping at the first place that name is mentioned.  If the book is opened, and closed it will continue.  If that book is placed on a shelf of books, it will move from book to book finding references in a whole library.

Friday, December 12, 2014

6 Consumable Magic Treasures

I mentioned I didn't have enough cool consumable magic treasures so I've been trying to come up with some more.  These magic items are used up through use:
  1. Flowing Battle Ribbon - Grows 1 inch for each round of combat you are in but not hit, when you are finally hit it blocks that many points of damage and falls to tatters.
  2. Wax Wings of Flight - Small wings made completely of wax attached to a white silk harness.  There is a wick.  Lighting the wick will allow the wearer to fly beautifully, but cause the wings to melt irreparably in the time it takes for one combat or 1/2 mile of travel.
  3. Smouldering Robe - Continuously smouldering as if about to catch fire, this robe protects its wearer from any fire or heat for one combat or one turn before being consumed. 
  4. Bottle of Fog - Stoppered glass bottle filled with swirling grey mists.  Pulling the stopper will cause fog to slowly stream out for a day, filling a huge space.  Breaking the bottle will cause a 10' cube to fill instantly.
  5. Candle of Past Shadows - When lit, no normal shadows are made, instead a shadow play is cast of the last living things in this area.  Letting the candle burn down will cause older and older scenes to be shown.  Has 1d10 uses.
  6. Porcelain Gong - "Let this gong be sound when enemies surround" Striking will break the gong and cause the striker and all allies to fight one battle with great focus, committing no fumbles and much more likely to make critical hits (critical range is increased to 17-20).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

30 Magic Treasures Revised

I planned to do a quick follow up to my last post with a list of 30 consumable magic treasures, but I only came up with about 15 that I considered high enough quality.  So instead I'll give a few revisions for that last list.

First of all, I realized that the burdensome blade is, in fact, only detrimental- a cursed item.  So I revised it to be:

Burdensome Blade – Each day the blade draws no blood it becomes heavier to bear but more likely to land a blow.

That means a player getting that will have to make a choice of having the sword around, managing its blood needs or just tossing it.  It did make me think about why I didn't want anything cursed.  I suppose at the most basic, I'm trying to think of things that would be fun to find and that players would want to seek out and feel happy to find.

I don't really see the place for bags of devouring and such that just make the players hesitate to experiment with items.  If I were to use cursed items I think I would try to make sure they were a bit amusing.  As an example, my Torc of Trammel (which almost made the list) was fun for a player to roleplay the time it came up in my campaign.

Treasures for All
Some other observations.  I really like the idea of the Parchment Sash but didn't include it because I'm trying to make these treasures usable by almost any character.  Although the shields and swords are pretty fighter-centric now that I think of it.  I guess that is the difficulty of class restrictions and magical rewards.  I suppose I could have things like the Burdensome Blade be so magical that they morph into the favored weapon type of the holder.  Staff, dagger, or sword, if it is gaining weight everyday, you'll still need to make a choice.

3 Substitutions
I removed Godith's Gauge because it seems to vague, and the two I mentioned as being great to put in a dungeon - Branwalather's bridge and Clement's Docent - for that very reason, because they feel more like dungeon tricks or features than a personal item a character would want to carry around.

I added these instead:

Marvelous Folding Coracle – Saying the magical word will cause this small packet of willow bark to unfold into a circular vessel large enough for one person.

Ranulph’s Veil – A cage locked over the character's head with a muzzle built in. Wearing it makes them invisible and undetectable but mute and they must have someone unlock them to get the veil off.

Wolf Pelt – When a player drapes this over their shoulders they become a wolf.

I think the first and last are pretty evidently going to be useful at times and give players tools to use.  The middle one, like Anan's Veil, also on the list is just a ring of invisibility with big restrictions.

I'm going to try and make the chart with these revisions a pdf in the future.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

30 Magic Treasures

I've gone through my whole blog and created a list of the best treasures I've invented.  If anything seemed too powerful I left it out for a separate artifact chart.  If anything could be used up, I left that for a separate consumable chart.  These are all meant to be interesting for players to try and figure out and to provide more choices and options in their on-going adventures. While many of the items are mixed blessings (thus the choices required) I tried to leave out anything that would be considered a purely cursed item.  Five rings, four shields, three swords, and a bunch of miscellaneous magic.  I hope you find this useful.

30 Magic Treasures
  1. Amethyst Band – Prevents poisoning but contracts in doing so, amputating a finger.
  2. Anan’s Veil – A chunk of cloudy-grey crystal that obscures the presence of the holder but also obscures the world to the holder in a swirling grey mist. You are invisible but blind.
  3. Beautiful Cap – The wearer of this colorful cap will catch the eye of all creatures in viewing distance, pique their curiosity, and draw their gaze. Creatures that fail a save will follow along, watching the wearer.
  4. Bone Stylus – Write the name of your antagonist in your flesh and he will leave you be. Works similar to sanctuary against the named individual. Causes one hit point of damage for every letter inscribed in the bearer's flesh. Lasts until the damage is healed.
  5. Branwalather's Bridge – Actually a pair of heavy, lignum vitae chests. Carried, even one of these is heavy enough to slow and tire two strong men. Opened they appear mundane. If a person is shut up inside one, they exit the other.
  6. Bulwark – This large shield gains +1 to AC and 50 lbs each round of combat.
  7. Burdensome Blade – Each day the blade draws no blood it becomes heavier to bear.
  8. Clement’s Docent – This pair of crude, high, wooden clogs is sometimes known as the Beneficent Path. Uncomfortable and clattering loudly, they are remarkable in that they will lead the wearer's feet, gently pulling with each step. The path they take is the last journey made while worn.
  9. Friendsward – Useless in battle unless next to a fast friend, in which case it will block every blow that tries to harm them.
  10. Godith’s Gauge – Floating this ornately carved spoon on liquid will cause it to spin and point toward that which poses the greatest threat to its owner.
  11. Hat of Climbing – These hats, found in male and female forms, are long and ungainly, consisting of at least two yards of fabric. When the proper magic phrase is uttered they slowly stiffen to the strength and rigidity of steel. They can be climbed, used as a lever, pole, or even vault and will remain rigid until the magic phrase is uttered again.
  12. Iron Hammer – A hammer that will give you a bonus to hit equal to the penalty you take to your armor class. Want to hit your foe, let him hit you.
  13. Ivory Aegis – This shield is so slight it's actually a detriment in combat (-1 to AC) but will help guard the bearer against any charming magics (+4 to save).
  14. Knot Book Corliss Loop This book explains how to make a knot that will let a weight slowly and evenly down a vertical rope. Allows a person to descend without climbing or being lowered, and thus remain alert and ready. Good for invalids. (1d4 sessions to learn -1 for exceptional Int).
  15. Knot Book Hour HitchThis book explains how to make a knot that will cause this to release in one hour, also a half hour variant. (1d4 sessions to learn -1 for exceptional Int).
  16. Knot Book Songbird – This book explains how to make a knot that will release at a particular whistle note. (1d4 sessions to learn -1 for exceptional Int).
  17. Lover’s Charm – Two pieces: crude ceramic heart the size of an apple and a barbed, silver arrow as long as a thumb. As long as the arrow is stuck in living flesh, the heart will give off enough heat to make it uncomfortable to hold.
  18. Needle – This rapier never misses its mark but only leaves the tiniest mark (always hits, 1 hp dmg).
  19. Obsidian Blade – By cutting yourself with this razor-sharp rock you can heal someone as many points as you decide to bleed out. You will recover your hit points normally. You can bleed yourself as often as your health allows.
  20. Ranulph’s Runcible – A spoon ornately carved from a single piece of maple. When used to spoon liquid from a container, it will turn black if the liquid would be harmful to the imbiber. This black color will fade away in a day.
  21. Ring of Extrication – Taken off, it transports you to the place you put it on, but the ring stays behind.
  22. Ring of Redolence – Emits a constant air of fragrance. Each ring's scent will be unique to it, mint or lavender, for instance. The atmosphere around the wearer will be safe from noxious fumes such as the reek of ghasts or the stink of wizard clouds. But the fragrance will carry far, especially in enclosed spaces, and none who wear it come unannounced.
  23. Rings of the Joined – These bands only work in multiples. All wearers can share aspects of themselves among themselves. If, for example, 8 give up 1 foot of height, a ninth will become 8 feet taller.
  24. The Silent Horn – Blowing into it makes no noise. But every person told its magic phrase will hear it sound, deep and clear. Its signal has been used to win battles and in the assassination of seven sultans.
  25. Sister Sacks – Two grimy sacks woven of hair, one red, one black. Just large enough to hold a loaf of bread, put something in one and it appears in the other.
  26. St Colvin’s Key – St Colvin was a humble miner trapped in a cave in. He dug a hole in the ground in the shape of a cross. This cross slowly filled with water as from a spring and on lying in it Colvin was transported to safety. A hole of a specific shape dug with this spade will fill with water. A second hole dug in the same shape will fill with water and form a gate to the first.
  27. St's Buckler – Crude and wooden, this small shield offers no bonus to AC but a foe's critical hits are reflected back on them.
  28. Testudunculum – This bronze shield will block three successful missile hits on anyone in 20' every round.
  29. Thrall’s Torc – In combat you are much harder to hurt (+3 to AC), but the torc constricts each round you're engaged in violent activity. Half your constitution is the number of rounds you can fight before passing out completely.
  30. Wealward – A ring. One malady will but darken it, any more rebound on all in sight.