Friday, 19 May 2017

Magic Item: The Oracle Crown

The Oracle Crown

A crown in the form of a coiled python with its head raised, mouth open and forked tongue pushed out. It will detect for divination magic if its magic resistance is overcome (see below) and appears to be made from jadeite (although it is even harder) with ruby eyes and a polished haematite tongue. As with all powerful items, it is much harder to damage than a normal sculpture would be.

When worn, the crown possesses the wearer and the spirit of the python speaks through their mouth.

The crown will answer questions in sets of 7:

  • One question will be answered with 100% chance of veracity.
  • One question will be answered with 5/6 chance of veracity.
  • One question will be answered with 4/6 chance of veracity.
  • One question will be answered with 3/6 chance of veracity.
  • One question will be answered with 2/6 chance of veracity.
  • One question will be answered with 1/6 chance of veracity.
  • One question will be answered with no chance of veracity.

All questions will be answered; the crown will only say “unknown” if that is the correct answer and it is telling the truth or if it is lying and “unknown” is the most misleading answer the DM can think of.

The wearer has no way of knowing what order these levels of veracity will appear and the DM should secretly record the order. Once seven questions have been answered, the DM should generate a new order for the next seven (shuffle six numerical playing cards and a joker to get a new order). After the seventh question is asked in a sequence, no further questions may be asked for seven days.

The crown fits human-sized heads and will not work for non-humans; it will flex slightly to grip the wearer’s head and can not be removed until at least one question has been asked without doing 1d4 damage to the user. While wearing the crown, the user is in a trance state and unable to take any action except to answer questions or, once they have done that, remove the crown.

Wearing the crown boosts a psionic’s ability score by 100 points (50 strength, 50 defense) but has no effect on a non-psionic. Using the crown counts as using a psionic power for various purposes.

The crown has a magic resistance of 56% and this will apply even against a wish or similar spell used to determine the level of veracity of answers, whether to questions already asked or previously asked.

The crown will detect as Chaotic.

Other names: The Crown of Python, The Crown of Fortune, the Snake Crown (not to be confused with the Serpent Crown) etc.

xp: 5000
gp: 12000

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Magic Item: The Sword "Voracious"

The Sword “Voracious”

A +3 longsword, Lawful Good, INT 12 EGO 13

Primary power

When this weapon makes a successful to-hit score damage is rolled as normal and then the player must make another to-hit roll against any enemy in melee range. If there is a choice of targets, randomly select one. There is no requirement for each attack to be against a different foe and this process continues until there are no living opponents within reach or the sword has missed as often as its bearer has attacks per round.

Each attack takes but 1/6 of a segment

This power is limited in several ways. Firstly, it will not operate against Good opponents, although the sword will not object to being used normally against such.

Secondly, surrendering enemies may not be attacked unless they are high-level (8+) chaotic NPCs or monsters with a racial alignment which includes chaos. Not only will the power not operate, but the sword will object to such usage.

The power will operate against enemies that simply turn to run.

Finally, the power and sword treat non-combatants in the same way as it treats surrendering enemies.

Secondary power - The Dying Wish

A player may use the sword to make a wish. The wish must be specifically concerned with the situation the player’s character is in, and specifically about the sword rather than the character. It may not alter the past. It may be to allow a last successful attack but, beyond perhaps asking for maximum damage, it may not wish for instant kills or similar. It may not be used to make any sort of ranged attack out of line of sight of the character.

If the wish is granted, the soul of the character begins its journey to the afterlife immediately. The only magic capable of reversing this process is another wish, and a consequence of that will be that the dying wish will be undone in some fashion. Thus, if it was used to finally kill a demon prince, then some other demon prince will take up the dead one’s realms and seek vengeance on the mortal who struck the blow against the Abyss.

The only other limitation on the dying wish is that the character must not already be dead when it is made (e.g., not at -10 if using the bleeding rules). The character may be fully healthy, in fact.

Tertiary powers

Sword of Light

The sword emits a light similar to other magical blade, but its brightness and radius alter in combat. When drawn, the sword illuminates an radius of 1“ to the level of a flaming torch.

On initiative being rolled, this increases in brightness so that it the illumination has a radius of 1“ per level of the user, with a consequent increase of brightness so that by 8th level, the light within 1” of the wielder is so bright that creatures which receive a penalty to fight in daylight do so within it. The radius of this “daylight” area also spreads at 1“ per level above 7th so that when used by a 12th level fighter it will illuminate a 12” radius with a 5“ core of pseudo-daylight.

The light is not daylight, however, and will not for example cause damage to vampires.

Scatter Thine Enemies

Any creature within any area illuminated by the sword must save versus fear when they enter that area (or it envelops them) if they are aligned to Evil or Chaos. Chaotic Evil saves at -3. Failure indicates an inability to enter the light without collapsing in fear and trembling.

Whether successful or not the result of this roll applies for the creature for a whole day.

Blind creatures are not immune to this power.

Bulwark Thine Allies

Any allied creature within the light never checks morale.

Characteristics

The sword can not communicate with its owner in any way, although it effectively has permanent know alignment and esp powers which allow it to judge situations.

As such, it will not cause damage to innocents who simply touch it as is normal for swords with Ego scores. Alignment and intent will be taken into consideration.

History

The sword is of divine nature, and is indestructible in the normal course of things. It has surfaced on the PMP a few times, wielded by The Silver Arm, as well as by the mortals U-thur and his son Ar-thur.

Since the sword can not communicate, it has been called by many names, but its true name translates as "Voracious"

Xp: 8,000
Gp: 20,000

Art: Jim Fitzpatrick

Friday, 12 May 2017

Magic Item: Cloak of Disguise

Cloak of Disguise

Appears to be a simple grey woollen cloak, although it will detect as alteration magic if tested. When donned, the cloak’s main affect will to keep the wearer warm in the cold in the same way as any woollen cloak would. However, if the wearer holds any item strongly associated with another person (or touches them) and concentrates, they will transform into the appearance of that person, as visualised. At this point the DM should make a hidden Int roll using the following table. If the total on the dice is less than the wearer’s INT, the disguise has been successful.

Level of Familiarity Dice (d6)
Close friend or relative 2
Acquaintance or distant relative 3
Talked to on several occasions 4
Met briefly 5
Described by one of the above +1

Thus, a description by someone who has only met the target briefly would require a roll of 6d6. Rolling the PC’s INT score or higher indicates that the disguise is “poor” and the difference between the roll and the character’s INT should be noted for later (i.e., this will be a modifier of 0 or more).

Once the disguise is established its usefulness will depend on whether it is poor or not. If not, then the PC will be able to pass as the target without any difficulty in casual circumstances, including talking (although the cloak does not provide any translation ability).

In more exacting circumstances than casual conversation, the disguise will be tested. Examples of such situations are: talking to close relatives or friends for more than a minute; openly contradicting some known habit or opinion of the target; interacting with enemies in unexpected ways (e.g., being friendly); spending an hour or more with less familiar companions. The DM can adjudicate others.

The first time this happens, any witness is allowed a saving throw against magic (with WIS mods). Success indicates that the NPC is suspicious and may try to engage the PC in further interactions to find the source of this feeling. A second save caused by such interaction indicates that they have seen through the magic, although filing the throw indicates that they have become reassured.

Witnesses automatically save against the first test of a poor disguise (i.e., they’re automatically suspicious). Subsequent saves are modified by the number noted earlier to represent how poor the disguise is.

For example: Jackomo dons the cloak hoping to get access to the seraglio of the Sultan in the guise of a midwife he knows works there. He has only met the woman a few times and has an Int of 14. On putting the cloak on the DM rolls 18 on 4d6, indicating a poor disguise with a modifier of +4.

The 0-level guard at the door (WIS 15) needs to roll 19 to see through the disguise modified by 1 for wisdom and 4 for the quality of the disguise, for a final target roll of 14+. Since Jackomo has to talk to the guard to get past, and the guard is automatically suspicious, there is no way for him to avoid this roll.

If Jackomo had been successful in his initial INT roll, the guard would probably have simply waved him through unless, say, the midwife was actually his own mother.

Players will naturally attempt to check a disguise and if they ask another PC to look at it, simply make a secret saving throw roll and inform the players whether or not the checker feels uneasy or not. In this case, the checker is assumed to start off suspicious, so this is equivalent to the second saving throw of a totally unaware witness.

Sex changes are possible, as are forms with more than one set of arms or legs, providing that the difference in size/weight is no more than 50%. However, any extra body parts compared to the wearer’s natural form will not be functional (including disguise limbs which replace ones the wearer has lost). Scent is not changed, nor are thoughts hidden from spells or psionic abilities. The cloak will not fit anything bigger than a gnoll or smaller than a halfling.

Objects held or worn, including the cloak itself, are subject to a version of polymorph any object in order to fit in with the disguise but shifts must be within kingdom (so leather armour can become a leather coat, but not metal armour). No net improvement in AC can be obtained (although it can be reduced) and weight/encumbrance is not changed. Items that are part of the disguise return to their normal forms after more than a turn of being 10 feet away from the user of the cloak and will detect for alteration magic while disguised.

The cloak can be removed at any time, dispelling the disguise immediately for the wearer and any items even if not currently about their person.

Finally, a dispel magic will deactivate the cloak for a day if the spell succeeds against a caster level of 16.

xp: 800
gp: 7000

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Magic Item: The False Translator

"More and bloodier wars than anything else..."
A failed attempt by some long-lost would-be demonologist to harness the innate ability of demons to communicate with intelligent species, this ornate wooden box is subtly dangerous.

Outwardly it is a six-inch hollow cube made from expensive and highly polished wood, with silver thaumaturgic circles inlaid on each face. It has a bulk of 100gp and is light enough to float. Carved into the wood inside the circle of one face is an image of a mouth; on the opposite side a human ear.

If the ear is held up to the user’s mouth and spoken into, the mouth will become animate in the manner of a magic mouth spell and repeat the same words in the language of any one intelligent creature within a foot of the appropriate face of the cube. Communication can be achieved by passing the cube back and forth or simply by the holder turning it around to let the other party speak.

Within its confines lives a minor demon - a rutterkin, in fact - which does the work of translation. However, the rutterkin is not bound other than physically and is able to decide for itself what to say in the translation. The rutterkin is cunning and can hear (and understand) everything going on around itself, meaning that it can usually adapt to pass any translation test for reliability that is set up by a party.

Once the owner’s confidence in the translations is established, the rutterkin will bide its time until it can cause the most mayhem and the most harm it can to everyone involved.

Not a cursed item in the normal sense, the False Translator can be given away or passed around. However, an owner could decide that it is cursed and have a remove curse spell cast on it. If this is successful the demon will be freed, initially shedding darkness and then spending the next 666 minutes (11 hours, 6 minutes) on the material plane wreaking its revenge on any inhabitants it thinks it is capable of taking on. After that, the fading summoning magic which allowed it to enter the plane will send it back to the abyss.

Note that against any magic at all, the rutterkin’s 40% magic resistance operates as normal and a side effect of this is that spells, good or ill, targeting anyone actually holding it may well fail to affect them.

There is unlikely to be more than one of these items and it is likely to be found in the midst of a heap of bodies.

xp: –
gp: 1200

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Magic Item: The Assassin's Noose

This appears to be a piece of rope about a cubit long with the ends dipped in tar to prevent fraying. It will detect as alteration magic.

When thrown by a thief or assassin (only) it becomes a deadly weapon against any target with a neck or similar limb or appendage needed for breathing. On a successful to-hit roll the rope will stretch up to twice its normal length and then constrict strongly, eventually causing death. Maximum range is just 3" (but there are no penalties for range). If using weapon Vs armour adjustments, use the ones for fist/open-hand.

The target is immediately "slowed" by the loss of air and bloodflow. On each following round the victim may attempt to make a save Vs death magic modified by its strength to-hit modifier and if successful the noose has been ripped off and probably discarded. However, this is only possible if the target has two limbs capable of gripping the rope and gives up any attack routine(s) for those limbs.

Each failed save reduces the target's maximum level by 1 (so a 3/4/5 F/MU/T would go to 3/4/4, and then to 3/3/3). Once zero-level is reached, the victim is "slowed greatly".

Death follows at -1. Notice that the level reduction will impact saving throws, however hit points are not reduced.

Levels lost this way are regained at the rate of one per half hour of complete rest (again, the 3/4/5 character would go from 0/0/0 to 1/1/1, to 2/2/2, 3/3/3, 3/4/4, and finally to 4/4/5 over the course of two hours of rest).

If thrown by an assassin with surprise, a successful to-hit roll allows an immediate roll on the assassination table and if successful the victim is incapacitated and collapses into helplessness immediately. They still lose one level per round but are unable to free themselves without aid.

Naturally, shape-shifters and similar magic will be able to negate this item (unless surprised by an assassin).

xp: 1400
gp: 6000

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Blitz Spear

This artefact is a relic of Altantis’s war on the Sky which ultimately resulted in its sinking.

Large (9’) and made of a metallic blue metal (from blueish-white at the point to a dark violet at the butt of the haft) it is heavy, weighing 5lbs and requires a strength of 12 to use it in melee and 16 to hurl it properly.

Its normal combat bonus is +3, and each strike does a base 1d8 physical damage to which this bonus and any strength bonus are added as normal.

Additionally, a strike from the spear does 2d8 electrical damage to targets which are vulnerable to this.
Since metallic armour is of little defense against this, the to-hit roll gains an extra +4 against such armour.

For example: the spear is thrown at a target wearing magical plate and a total AC of -2, requiring a roll of 14 to-hit. If the roll is successful then 3d8+3+strength bonus damage will be done. If the roll comes up with 10 to 13 then just the 2d8 electrical damage will be done.

This effect is at the 11th level for the purposes of MR.

Once per day the spear can be used to control weather as per the druid version, although the weather must be moved towards cloudy and storm. If this produces the necessary conditions (or they are pre-existing), the spear can then be used to call lightning (1/day again) as if cast by a 23rd level caster.
Anyone grasping the spear shaft is granted 100% magic resistance to any magic electrical effect and absolute immunity to any natural electrical effect.

When hurled, despite its heaviness and the strength requirement to use it fully, the spear has a range of 1“ per strength point (exceptional is ignored) and trails a lightning bolt behind it doing 8d6 electrical damage to everything other than who or whatever threw it. That person is instead transported to where the spear is, appearing with a grip on the shaft and ready for combat (no save, no choice).

The thrown spear does the following structural damage:
Wood Earth Soft Stone Hard Rock
6 2 3 2
The spear has a special purpose of overthrowing Law and when held aloft or used in combat causes a fear effect on all lawful beings within 18“ for 1-4 rounds.

Finally, the spear acts as a wand of lightning with 25 charges. Hence, the electrical damage done on a successful melee strike can be increased by 1d10 by the use of a charge, or 2 charges can be used to project a lightning bolt without throwing the spear.

Each die (or 5 pts) of electrical damage the spear protects its owner from adds one charge (spells may be cast directly on the spear if wished). There is no special effect from running out of charges and they may never exceed 25.

Mental powers

The spear has an intelligence of 18 and an ego of 18. It has speech and telepathic powers. Communication with its wielder will always be telepathic and has no language boundaries.

It can speak Xag-ya, Air Elemental, Blue Dragon, and the lost tongue of Altanis. It can read the latter language through the eyes of anyone holding it.

Its alignment is CN and any non-chaotic grasping the spear will suffer 18 points of damage.

Its personality score of 36 and general bent means that it will expect to be used by at least a name-level character but even so, the character will need decent scores in INT and CHA to be able to overrule the spear which will be noticeably reluctant to flee any combat encounter, especially one with lawful opponents.

To those that can understand it, it will sound like a demon talking over an old analogue telephone line with interference.

Side effects

A minor effect of the spear is that anyone who uses it in combat can be smelt quite easily as they give off a “just after a storm” ozone smell. Creatures which use electricity or come from the elemental Plane of Air or the quasi-elemental Plane of lightning can smell this at a considerable distance even from the Ethereal Plane.

As the Blitz Spear is used over a long period, it has a slower and more dangerous cumulative effect on its owner as each time the owner loses a personality clash with the spear, their charisma reduces by one point.

This change continues until a charisma of zero is reached, at which point the character transforms into a quasi-elemental form and departs the PMP (and the game) for the plane of lightning.

The in-game process is one of the character gradually becoming more and more alien in outlook, speech and appearance, so that eventually others shun him or her. This loss of charisma does not require characters to become assassins if it reaches 5, and it can be restored by abandoning the spear. Note, however, that personality scores for PCs are based on charisma and the spear will not take lightly to attempts to discard it or remove it from its owner. Each month during which the spear is not handled will restore one point of charisma.

Fickleness

It may be hard to discard the spear, but if it is aware of a suitable being of greater power than its user it may well attempt to force the current user to give it away.

Value

As an item of artefact level power, the Blitz Spear brings no experience point value. If potential purchasers are prepared to bargain rather than capture, it would fetch about 50,000gp.

Such items can only really be sold at the largest cities in a campaign, however, not in border towns or similar locales where trying to get a fair price will result only in various agents becoming aware of the item’s presence.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Magic Item: Cloak of the Berserker

How many friends have I killed today?
This appears to be a normal bear-skin cloak with a gold broach at the neck. It will fit any half elf, human, or half-orc and while worn it reduces movement penalties for terrain by one step. It will also keep the wearer comfortably warm down to -10°C (14°F) and prevent frostbite down to -40°.

If the wearer is struck for damage (other than falling damage), the magic of the cloak will cause it to become unremoveable and in addition each point of damage gives a 1 in 10 chance (non-cumulative from hit to hit) of causing the wearer to transform into a large and very angry bear - specifically the one that donated its hide to make the cloak. The bear will act pretty well as a bear and fight anything nearby, starting with anything associated with the damage that set the transformation off. After that it will simply turn on the nearest animate creature or object in reach/sight. The bear can only be struck magical or silver weapons and can continue to fight after 0hp in the same way as a true bear.

This process will continue until ten combat rounds have passed without the bear being hit for damage or doing any damage. At this point the transformation will wear off and the owner of the cloak will be found standing in it, probably otherwise naked and with their possessions scattered around the area (consult the lycanthropy rules on DMG p23 for effects of wearing armour during the change).

If the wearer is struck for damage but does not eventually transform, the enchantment on the clasp will allow the cloak to be removed after a similar ten rounds wherein no damage is suffered or dealt.

The specific bear form is one of the following:

1-12 Brown
13-15 Black
16-18 Cave
19-20 Polar

When the cloak is placed or found, the DM should roll the hit points of one of these bear types and retain these. Damage done to the bear comes off these and heal at a rate of three per day if the bear does not manifest or just one point if it has done so within the previous 24hrs.

If the bear is killed in combat the cloak will not activate again for a full month, at which point the bear will be at its full hit points again.

On returning to normal form the owner will have lost half as many hit points as the bear did, and may therefore be dead.

The magic of the cloak will detect as alteration and necromancy.

xp: 200+100/HD (ignore +'s)
gp: 600+500/HD