Six Dandy Daggers

Nothing fancy today, just six magic daggers you might find useful in your game.

Image found HERE

Koroth’s Crippling Blade
This +1 dagger, when it strikes on a critical hit, buries itself in the victim’s body, assuming the victim is not killed by the blow. The dagger continues to deal 1 point of damage each round, and the victim is considered to be crippled (per the condition). The dagger can only be removed by its owner, after a remove curse or dispel magic is cast, or by making a Bend Bars/Lift Gates task check. If the dagger is pulled out, it deals a final 1d4 points of damage on the way out.

Image found HERE

The Blade of Avarice
This +1 dagger, when balanced on left pointer finger (requires a Balance task check), will point towards the largest mass of gold (be it coins, ore, etc.) within 500 feet.

Image found HERE


Knife of the Mason
This +2 dagger deals double damage against stone, be it ordinary stone or animated stone, such as a stone golem or caryatid column. Against flesh, wood or metal, it deals half damage.

Image found HERE

The Hungry Blade of Inzo-Khan
This +2 dagger can absorb one spell of up to 6th level cast in the presence of the dagger. When it does, the pommel glows first a tepid pink (as bright as a candle), then 10 minutes later a rosy red (as bright as a torch), then an hour after that a brilliant yellow (as bright as a lantern). The spell energy must be discharged from the blade to make the glow stop. The energy can either be channeled into a free spells (already prepared or known) of 1st to 3rd level if the dagger’s wielder is an arcane spell caster, or by making a hit with the dagger that beats an opponent’s AC by an amount equal to the level of the spell absorbed.  After 12 hours of glowing yellow, the dagger finally leaps from the wielder’s hands and dances, attacking the wielder with an attack bonus equal to 5 + the level of the absorbed spell for 10 rounds.

Image found HERE


The Resurrection Blade
When this +1 dagger is used to make a backstab attack against a humanoid, and that humanoid dies, it is immediately animated as a zombie under the control of the holder of the dagger. The dagger can only control one zombie at a time, and the animation lasts for 24 hours.

Image found HERE

The Crusader’s Blade
This +2 dagger practically leaps from one’s hands in the presence of Chaotic (Evil) creatures, it is so eager to attack them. The holder, if he or she does not wish to attack, must pass a Will saving throw each round to avoid giving into the dagger’s wishes. If the dagger does kill a Chaotic (Evil) creature, the creature is immediately resurrected with a Lawful (Good) alignment. Neutrals just stay dead. Lawful (Good) creatures killed by the dagger are not reborn, but the dagger’s owner’s alignment immediately changes to Chaotic (CE) and the dagger teleports elsewhere. The owner can only be changed back to their original alignment if they are slain by the Crusader’s Blade.

Two Cinematic Hex Crawls

Over the last few days, I managed to watch some D&D-ish movies before work – just dumb luck, they just happened to be on.

The first involved a few PC’s and their henchmen taking a dangerous cruise on a quest to break an evil magic-user’s polymorph other spell on a prince, who ended up a baboon. The quest eventually takes them to the arctic and a hidden, pleasant land within the arctic. On the way, they fight monsters, counter spells and eventually break the spell. Alas – no treasure, but they’ll probably be rewarded by the prince.

The second involved five people, four men and a woman, dragged from modern times into ancient Greece. The men are made galley slaves, while an evil king tries to romance the woman. The men eventually lead a slave revolt, wash up on shore, do a little hex crawling, and are made slaves again. Luckily, one of the guys ends up with an 18/00 strength (or maybe higher), and in this capacity serve a different king, and wind up fighting Hercules himself to get back to their own time period.

The first film was Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, the second The Three Stooges Meet Hercules. Scoff if you will, but the second flick is probably close to most D&D campaigns than the first. Oh, we all dream of Lord of the Rings-caliber gaming, but bumbling insanity is often what we get.

Both films were lots of fun – I’d actually never managed to watch the Sinbad flick, despite being a fan of Harryhausen – so here are a few bits and pieces inspired by these movies:

Giant Walrus

From HERE

Size/Type: Huge Animal
Hit Dice: 11
Armor Class: 16
Attack: 1 bite (2d6)
Movement:15 (Swim 60)
Saves: F5 R8 W13
Alignment: Neutral (N)Intelligence: Animal
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 550 (CL 11)

Giant walruses are much like their smaller counterparts, though they are more aggressive.

Minoton

From HERE

Size/Type: Large Construct
Hit Dice: 6
Armor Class: 18
Attack: 1 gore (1d10) or by weapon (2d6)
Movement: 30
Saves: F11 R12 W12
Resistance: Fire, electricity
Alignment: Neutral (N)
Intelligence: Non-
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 600 (CL 7)

Minotons are bronze automatons made by magic-users for brute labor and basic fighting. Most are armed with spears. They are tireless and immune to all mind effects, and only obey the commands of their creator.

Troglodyte

From HERE

Size/Type: Large Giant
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class: 14
Attack: 1 gore (1d6) and 1 slam (1d4) or by weapon (2d6)
Movement: 30
Saves: F10 R14 W15
Alignment: Neutral (N)Intelligence: Low to Average
No. Appearing: 1d4
XP: 200 (CL 4)

Troglodytes are large, primitive ancestors of human beings. They speak the language of simple primates, and though fearsome are not particularly aggressive. Female humanoids get a +2 reaction bonus with male troglodytes.

Eye of the Tiger

From HERE

Level: Magic-User 3
Range: Personal
Duration: 10 minutes

When this spell is cast, a magic-user’s eyes become cat-like (giving them darkvision to a range of 60′). Any feline they look upon within 60′ must pass a Will saving throw or the magic-user turns into a vapor and inhabits the cat’s body. The magic-user retains her own intellect, and gains the fighting ability of the cat. The magic-user can leave the cat’s body at any time, but if they are still inside the cat when it is killed, they die along with it.

Two-Headed Cyclops

From HERE

Size/Type: Huge Giant
Hit Dice: 16
Armor Class: 16
Attack: 2 weapons (3d6) or boulder (100’/3d6)
Movement: 40
Saves: F3 R7 W8; +2 save vs. mind effects
Alignment: Chaotic (CE)Intelligence: Low
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 800 (CL 16)

The two-headed cyclops stands about 50′ tall. It is terribly bright, but it really doesn’t need to be to get along.

Sleeping Pills

These magic items are akin to potions. They are made in lots of 4, and each pill packs the punch of a potion of sleep. Saves against them are saves against magic, not poison.

Magic Keys

From the Graphics Fairy

A few idea for magic keys you can drop into your campaign. All of them work in essentially the same way – a small, simple key of an interesting material that can open doors that are not there in different materials. To work, the holder of the key must close their eyes, hold their breath, stick the key out slowly, and then turn it slowly. The door then opens. The keys have a 1 in 6 chance of working, so they’re not a sure thing.

Where do these doors lead? The key opens a door onto one of the following (D10):

1-3) An ornate room with furnishings and decorations dependent on the material in which the door was situated, and attended by like creatures. Thus, a black key opening a room into shadows will open into a room of black marble with gauzy black curtains and thicker, black velvet curtains and dark wood furniture with cushions in shades of grey attended by shadows. The room is safe, and can be stayed in for 1 hour before it fades back into the plan of which it is composed and sends the occupants back from whence they came.

4-7) A long tunnel that leads to a second door which opens back into the material world. This second door will appear in the same material as the first, so a door opened through fire can only lead to a second door situated in fire.

8) A long stair leading deep down into the plane (or a demi-plane) appropriate to the key that opened the door, thus opening a door in stone will lead to the elemental earth plane.

9) The door leads to the key-holder’s childhood home, wherever it was (even if it is now a ruin, or just an open field).

10) A tunnel that leads back to the same door, but 1d6 hours later or 1d6 hours earlier. If it leads back in time, all that the characters had done in the world over that time has been undone, though the effects they suffered through remain evident on their minds, bodies and souls.

The material of the key governs what they key will work on, as follows:

Gold –> Natural stone

Amber –> Trees, hedge rows, brambles, thickets

Meteoric Iron –> Shadows and the night air

Copper –> Fire

Smoky glass –> Smoke

Silver –> Water, fog and mist

Green wood –> Spring Breezes

Bone –> Mausoleums and tombstones

Tin –> Laughter and thunderous applause (must “fill the air”)

Porcelain –> Weeping and wailing (as above)

Folded paper –> Riotous anger and yelling (as above)

Tarnished brass and tied with a fairy lock –> Hillsides

Dessicated and twisted wood –> Sand dunes

Notions on Potions

(Forgive the title)

Potions are one-use magic items that need to make contact with the skin in order to deliver their effect, which is usually based on a magic spell. Simple, right?

By and large, potions show up in treasure hordes in the form of edible concoctions (referred to as potions) and oil. In either case, they are presumably kept in little bottles that hold maybe a fluid ounce of liquid. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few referees even come right out and tell their players that they’ve found a potion.

Potions do not have to take the form of little bottles of liquid magic, though. And even when they do, they do not need to be distinctive from other common liquids. Keep your players guessing with a few of these alternate or variant forms for magic potions and oils:

Acid – something must be burned to release the magic

Beer – magical beers work well with rustic folk, like halflings – naturally one can use magical ales, stouts, etc.

Blade – a small blade, it must be run across the palm and draw blood – the mixture of blood and steel releases the magic worked into the blade

Brackish water – just because it’s disgusting, doesn’t mean it isn’t also magical; it will force players to check out those seemingly useless puddles on dungeon floors

Candies

Candle – this could be a delayed release version of a potion, or a potion that affects a group of people (say a potion of invisibility sphere, for example); could also require a person to burn themselves to release the magic or perhaps the candle must be snuffed to release the magic

Cheese – or any dairy – “From enchanted cows …”

Chicken – gruesome, perhaps, but the chicken or other small animal must be snuffed out to release the magic – perhaps appropriate for the temples of evil cultists

Cord – perhaps it must be cut, or maybe it must be tied into a bow to release the magic

Cosmetics – lipstick, rouge, eye shadow – could be embarrassing for rugged adventurers; with lipstick, one person might have to put it on, but another might have to kiss them to release the spell, which then affects them both

Cracker – not the biscuit, but the Christmas favor; several crackers that must be pulled simultaneously by a group could be even better

Dye – the dye must be spilled on an item or one’s skin to release the magic, and the stain remains long after

Eggs – they must be cracked open, releasing a poof of foul-smelling gas that is sniffed to gain the benefit

Elixir – just a variant term for potion

False mustache – the mustache must be applied, and lingers thereafter until shaved off

Firecracker – see the cracker above; especially good for an Asian-themed campaign or dungeon

Flower – pluck a petal to release the magic; this could also work for a multi-charge (but not rechargeable) magic item

Fortune Cookie – the magic is released by cracking the cookie, and if the spell released is a divination, maybe the knowledge to be delivered is on the slip of paper inside

Glass sphere – not unlike the egg above, though perhaps not as disagreeable to the nose; could also just be a stone ball that is struck against something
Grease – a variation on oil, but might have the effect of making a person slippery

Horn – one blast from the horn releases the magic; the horn thereafter is either inert, or it disappears; the same could be done with a trill of a flute or by striking a tuning fork

Image – not a treasure item, but a magical image could be imprinted on a person’s eye and hidden beneath an eye patch – when the patch is risen, the image appears before the person and the magic is released

Lamp oil – like the candle above

Liqueur – Brandy of Invisibility, Scotch of Heroism

Locket – the magic is hidden inside, and released when opened

Match – must be struck to release the magic

Mud – another variation on oil; remember when you twisted your ankle and your coach told you to rub some dirt on it and walk around? Same principal

Needle – a finger must be pricked, and perhaps the magic only works on a particular finger

Nosegays and asphidity bags – one strong sniff is all it takes – maybe the scent ends when the duration of the magic ends, or maybe it lingers

Paint – maybe applied to the body, or maybe to a surface (for a dimension door effect, for example)

Perfume – in this case, not all that different from oils – make the barbarian smell like lilacs if he wants the potion of healing!

Pies – after all, you’ve seen how quickly a Hostess fruit pie can take down a super villain

Pills – the higher the level of spell, the bigger the pill

Plaster – in Elizabethan times (and I think beyond), small plasters in the shapes of stars, crescent moons, etc. were applied to the face as beauty marks; perhaps these must be applied, or perhaps they must be ripped off to release the magic

Powders – inhale them, swallow them or powder your face with them

Riddle – when it is solved, the answer releases the magic

Salve – apply generously; brings to my mind the Three Stooges bit with limburger cheese; also unguents, creams and lotions

Secret – not a treasure item, but a magic-user could write a secret message on a person’s back with magical inks that releases the spell when another person reads it

Soap – you must bathe with the stuff to get the effect; this conjures up granny women and their lye soap to me

Stick – the stick must be snapped in two to release the magic

String – could be for a bow or for a musical instrument – must be strung and then plucked, at which point the magic is released and the sting snaps

Syrup – perhaps it must be mixed with carbonated water and then consumed

Tinctures – an alcoholic extract of some plant or animal, not terribly different from a potion, though maybe the tincture is applied to the eye as a drop

Tobacco – or other potent weeds, of course; must be smoked to release the magic

Tune – a slip of paper with a seemingly harmless tune, singing or whistling or humming it releases the magic; unlike a scroll, anyone could release this magic and it cannot be transferred into a spellbook, but like a scroll it only works once

Tonic – just a variant term for potion

Wafers – and cookies, biscuits, breads, etc.

Wine – many wines were spiced in the old days, and one could imagine such a preparation having arcane applications as well; or perhaps the grapes are enchanted while on the vine

Magical Strings [Magic Items]

Why magical strings? Because the idea popped into my head the other day while I was taking a walk. Enjoy …

Thread of Fate: This special thread is made from entwining gold and silver thread with hair plucked from the head of a hag. When sewn into clothing using a gold needle, the thread permits the wearer of that garment to once attempt to escape death. When faced with any event that would cause their death (hit point damage, a failed saving throw, etc.), the adventurer can ignore the event – i.e. the attack somehow misses, the saving throw is a success, etc. Once death has been escaped, the thread loses its magic unless the garment is subsequently washed in a potion of restoration.

Thread of Guiding: This magical thread, when its spool is dropped to the ground, traces the path of the person who dropped it, rolling along until it reaches its maximum distance of 300 feet. It can be re-rolled onto its spool while one follows it, but will not magically re-roll itself.

Cat’s Cradle: This is a magical string with an amethyst gleam that can be turned into a cat’s cradle by one deft with his hands (Reflex save). While held before a person, it can catch any spell thrown at the person (force effects included, but not energy or physical effects like fire or stones). The magical energies in the thread can then be flung back at the caster (and only the caster) the next round. If these energies are not so thrown within 3 rounds, they ignite the string, which deals 1d4 points of the damage to the holder of the cat’s cradle per spell level.
Obviously, while holding a cat’s cradle, one cannot wield a weapon or shield. Monks can still attack, but since they may only use their legs they suffer a -2 penalty to attack.

Memory Thread: Memory thread is a saffron colored bit of string. When tied to one’s finger, it permits them to remember one thing perfectly without fail. Magic-users can use memory string to remember a single spell of up to 2nd level, essentially gaining an extra spell slot. If the string is removed or destroyed, the memory is lost (though one could still conceivably remember it in the normal, non-magical way).

Spool of Recording: This is a spool of mahogany, well worn, without any thread. When held before a person and the command word (“Victrola”) is uttered, it causes anything said before it by a single person to take the form of a silver thread which is pulled from their mouth and reeled onto the spool. The sound of what the person said is converted into the silver string, so no sound is heard. Spells uttered in this way are disrupted.

If this string is pulled through the eye of a crystal needle, the sound can be replayed. This can only be done once. If the sound is a spell, there is a chance it will go off, based on the level of the spell, with a target chosen by the holder of the spool.

Level 0 to 1 90%
Level 2 80%
Level 3 70%
Level 4 60%
Level 5 50%
Level 6 40%
Level 7 30%
Level 8 20%
Level 9 10%

A string can also be destroyed with fire if the spool’s owner does not wish to hear it.

String Snapper: A string snapper is a magical amulet of bronze embossed with the image of scissors. By rubbing the amulet and then snapping her fingers, the owner can cause all strings within 30 feet to potentially snap. This includes the strings of instruments (though not magical instruments), bowstrings (though not of magical bows) and other taught strings. The strings in question receive a saving throw to resist the effect. Each time the amulet is used, there is a 1 in 6 chance that it dissipates into yellow smoke that smells of sulfur.

Kazoo of Power: This silver kazoo, when blown, produces no noise but causes all strings on bows or musical instruments to begin vibrating. This vibration renders an item useless for its owner, and also sets up a throbbing harmonic that causes 1 point of sonic damage per round to anyone within 10 feet of the item (cumulative). Magical items receive a saving throw to resist the effect of the kazoo of power.

Quantum Lens: A quantum lens looks like a monocle with a silvery sheen. When placed over the eye, it allows one to glimpse quantum strings that crisscross through reality. The lens also allows one to pluck these strings (or at least attempt to) to cause changes in the environment around them. The attempt requires on to make a special task check that is a Will save modified by intelligence (if one is a magic-user, sorcerer or bard) or otherwise made as if one had a knack at screwing with reality (also modified by intelligence). Different quantum effects carry with them different penalties to the task check. In any event, only one such event can be produced per day without attracting the attention of an astral deva, who will attempt to seize the quantum lens from the character with extreme prejudice.

 – Call lightning (-2)
 – Control weather (-8)
 – Control winds (-6)
 – Earthquake (-10)
 – Firestorm (-10)
 – Fog cloud
 – Gust of wind
 – Ice storm (-4)
 – Planeshift (-6)

 – Reverse gravity (-10)
 – Sleet storm (-2)
 – Whirlwind (-10)

Silver Scissors: This is a pair of scissors made from alchemical silver and engraved with various glyphs and words of power. Silver scissors can be used to cut astral threads, those threads that connect a person on one plane with his material self on another after he has traveled through the astral plane. Astral creatures can also be affected by the scissors, the cutting of the thread forcing them back into he astral plane for 24 hours.
Finding a thread is the hard part, of course. Threads usually connect to a creature’s back, and random attacks at a person’s back can be made with the scissors as though attacking Armor Class 22. If one can discern astral threads in some manner, they may attack them as though attacking Armor Class 12. Damage need not be rolled – a successful attack with the scissors cuts the thread.

Boxes and Chains [Magic Items]

A couple magic items that popped into my head this weekend …

Bento’s Beneficient Box
Bento’s Beneficient Box appears as a simple wooden box, about 6 inches long, 4 inches wide and 3 inches tall. Each time it is opened, it is filled with one meal’s worth of food, the exact contents being random.

1 – Human meal – Tard tack and salt pork
2 – Dwarf meal – Thick gruel that tastes of dark, bitter ale, salty crackers
3 -Elf meal – Thin wafers (taste of vanilla and daisies) and a light salad
4 – Halfling meal – Meat pie and honey cakes
5 – Gnome meal – Mushroom stew and nutty cheese balls
6 – Orc mean – Grubs (still alive) soaked in bacon grease, something akin to pork rinds

The food is healthful and free of disease, but those who partake of it must pass a Fortitude saving throw (save vs. poison) or suffer the following side effects:

Human meal – +1 bonus to saving throws, inability to run away from a challenge for 24 hours

Dwarf meals – Knack for noticing stonework, become irascible and ill-tempered for 24 hours

Elf meals – Knack for noticing secret doors, become intolerably arrogant and snobby for 24 hours

Halfling meals – Knack for moving silently, become obsessed with food (consume double rations) for 24 hours

Gnome meals – Ability to speak with burrowing mammals, become an annoying practical joker and punnster for 24 hours

Orc meals – Knack for survival, become incredibly reckless and stubborn for 24 hours

Daisy’s Devious Chain
This item appears as a simple daisy chain that has been magically preserved. It is impossible to unravel the chain, and saves vs. damage as an adamantine item. The wearer of the daisy chain (helmets must be removed) gains magic resistance 5%, can discern creatures that have changed shape or that are capable of changing shape (such as lycanthropes or doppelgangers) and leaves no tracks in the wilderness. If the wearer of the daisy chain engages in battle with animals (not magical beasts), plant monsters or fey, the daisy chain animates and attacks the wearer. If fighting animals, the daisy chain becomes a constrictor snake; if fighting plants it becomes three assassin vines, and if fighting fey it becomes animated chains (per medium animated object). In all cases, the monster gains a free attack due to surprise (unless this has happened before, of course) and attacks with a +2 bonus to hit in the first round of combat. After the monster has been defeated, or after it has killed its wearer, it turns back into a daisy chain.

Codpiece of Power [Magic Item]

When attached to one’s armor, the codpiece of power actually just sits there, doing nothing. No powers at all. The magic is in the satisfaction of kicking someone’s ass while the codpiece of power stares at them with that smug look on its face.

That, or it permits the wearer to invoke the power of a potion of heroism once per day when facing a foe tougher than they are, or when outnumbered at least 3 to one.

Or maybe it can attack a foe per the lion shield (or shield of the lion, or whatever it’s called)

Or once per day, when you rub it, it answers one question for you, per the augury spell.

Any other ideas what this puppy might do?

The image above, and the images in the past post, are by Wendelin Boeheim

Perukes of Power [Blood & Treasure]

Don’t know why … don’t ask …

Cadogan of Holding: This wig is grandiose and ridiculous, being woven from two different colors of hair and being quite tall. The wearer can reach into the wig and pull out various items she has stored there, per a bag of holding (I).

Concubine’s Wig: This Egyptian-style wig of perfumed black hair allows female wearers to cast charm person three times per day and charm monster once per day. Charmed men must make additional saves each hour or be overcome by their passions. The wig just makes men look weird.

Diadem Wig: This wig of tightly curled blond hair gives the wearer the ability to cast command three times per day, and improves their charisma by 2 points while worn.

Lousey Wig: This wig of chestnut hair is crawling with nits and lice. Once per day, by shaking it vigorously, the wearer can summon an insect plague, which rises from the wig itself.

Periwig of the Rake: This wig is highly valued by duelists. Examples are either stark white and tied in ponytails, or composed of a heap of black curls. The wig grants the wearer a +2 bonus when using special maneuvers, grants non-duelists the ability to riposte as a 1st level duelist and grants duelists a +2 bonus to hit and damage when riposting.

Wig of Decay: This full, curled whig of auburn hair is cursed, making the wearer break out in open sores and effectively reducing their charisma to 3. While it is worn, the wearer also suffers a -2 penalty to saving throws vs. disease.

Wig of Glowering: This white, powdered magistrate’s wig allows the wearer to cause fear (as the spell), once per day, by scowling.

Wig of Insect Repulsion: These powdered wigs, when fluffed or shifted vigorously, produce a 15-ft. radius cloud of white powder that forces vermin to pass a Will save to enter the cloud, and even then forces them to save vs. poison (Fort) each round they are in the cloud or suffer 1d4 points of damage. The cloud persists for 1d4+2 rounds and can be created once per day.

Wig of Medusa: This wig has long, red locks that hang down to the hips. They can be animated by the wig wearer, making three grapple attacks using the wearer’s attack bonus.

Wig of Sneezing: This powdered wig can, once per day, create a cloud of powder equivalent to powder of sneezing.

(Welcome to those from the Sneeze Fetish Forum! You’ve got to love the way the internet connects everyone to everyone eventually)

Sorry folks – no magical merkins for now …

How to Enchant An Item [Blood & Treasure]

Here’s a draft for the whole “creating magic items” bit for Blood & Treasure. Still thinking about this, so feel free to make suggestions and such (unless you think it sucks, in which case keep it to yourself as I have a fragile ego and artistic temperament).

The overall idea is that games are always talking about all the cool ingredients that can be used in making magic items, but this one is going to codify it (in a very vague way, of course). It’s also going to attempt to use the system for making these items as a impetus for adventure – i.e. you need a medusa’s tooth for an item, you have to slay it yourself. The other idea is to make sure that magic items are not being created willy nilly and all the time without using several tons of required gold pieces or XP costs to achieve it.

THE BASICS
The game has two systems for “what level do I have to be?” to make magic items, one based on 3rd edition, where as full spellcasters advance in levels they learn to make different types of magic items, and the other drawn from older versions of the game, that require one to be 9th level to make anything. Treasure Keepers can do as they like.

The overall cost to make an item is equal to have the gp value of the item – which can be divided up by the creator between hiring master craftsmen and alchemists, making the item to be enchanted, etc.

The item to be enchanted must be made by a master craftsman under the watchful eye of the magic item’s creator using the best possible materials

Magic weapons, armor, rings and rods must be forged from meteoric iron, mithral or adamantine or, for rings and rods, precious metals

Leather goods must be made from expensive animal hides

Cloth goods must be made from expensive fabrics (silk, velvet, cloth-of-gold, cloth-of-silver, wool from the exceptionally fine sheep, the hair of virgins, etc.)

Wooden goods (wands, staves, etc.) must be carved from rare and expensive woods

Scrolls must be scribed on vellum prepared by a master or chiseled in an expensive stone (malachite, porphyry) using an adamantine chisel

Potions must be brewed in vats made of precious metals with the assistance of an alchemist

MAGICAL ELEMENTS
All magic items are tied to an “equivalent spell” determined by the Treasure Keeper – i.e. what spell is sorta kinda (or exactly) like the magic item being made here. For each level of that spell, the item requires a “magical element”.

Roll d8 for potions and scrolls, d10 for all other magic items.

MAGICAL ELEMENT (Roll d10)
1-2 Herb (must be harvested from a special place or at a special time)
3-4 Mineral (discovered in a dungeon)
5-8 Monster (slain by the magic-user and his comrades)
9 Place
10 Time

HERBS (may be ground, used to make essential oils, smoked, burned as incense or ingested as a tea)
Angelica: Good and lawful spells, abjurations, summoning
Anise: Abjurations and divinations (esp. clairvoyance)
Basil: Strength, fire, evocations, necromancy, command/domination
Bamboo: Dispel magic
Caraway: Air spells, charm spells, movement
Cinnamon: Holy spells, mind-effects, communication spells, healing spells
Cloves: Negative energy protection, silence, dispel magic, charm person, astral projection, ethereal jaunt and other travel spells (teleport, dimension door)
Coriander: Abjurations
Foxglove: Poison, cause wound spells
Frankincense: ???
Galangal: Luck spells, blessings, remove curse
Garlic: Exorcism, protection from undead, healing, weather spells
Ginger: Fire spells, curses, evocations, spells of travel or movement
Ginseng: Restoration
Hellebore: Exorcism
Henbane: Poison, death spells
Holly: Resistance to electricity, magic circles, protection from evil
Horehound: Plant spells, tree spells, hallow
Lavender: Bless, healing, memory spells, sleep, bull’s strength, bear’s endurance, illusions
Lovage: Eagle’s splendor, charm spells
Mace: Transmutations
Mandrake: Evocations, summoning, visions
Marigold: Illusions
Marjoram: Animal spells, necromancy
Mistletoe: Love, druidic spells
Mugwort: Astral and ethereal travel
Mustard: Enchantments, dispel magic
Myrrh: ???
Myrtle: ???
Nutmeg: Dream, nightmare, divination
Onion: Contact other plane, commune
Oregano: Calm emotions, good hope, abjurations
Parsley: Haste
Peppermint: Animals, energy spells (including protection and resistance), healing, necromancy
Pomegranate: Communication with the dead, necromancy
Poppyseed: Sleep, dream, nightmare, confusion, insanity, binding spells, curses
Rosemary: Fear (including resistance to), exorcism, legend lore, alarm, glyphs and other spells that protect items, fox’s cunning, owl’s wisdom, water spells
Saffron: Sun and light spells, divinations, true seeing, detect invisibility, wind spells
Sage: Healing, longevity, protection from scrying
Savory: Animal spells, fey spells
Star Anise: Lawful spells, mark of justice, detect lie, hallow, aid, bless, prayer
Tarragon: Dragon spells, rage, remove fear
Thyme: Fey spells, divinations, necromancy
Turmeric: War and weapon spells, exorcisms, hold spells, mage armor, shield
Wormwood: Illusion

MINERALS
Agate: Plant spells, physical ability boosts, cure spells, abjurations
Amber: Sun and light spells, detect spells
Amethyst: Mind and emotion spells, clairaudience and other hearing spells, AC-enhancing spells, remove curse, break enchantment
Aventurine: Earth spells, open doors, knock, passwall, remove curse
Bloodstone: Remove fear, enhance physical abilities, heroism, mage’s transformation
Carnelian: Abjurations, fire spells, spells of movement (fly, jump, haste)
Chrysoberyl: Spell turning, reflective spells, locate object, spells of awareness
Copper: Remove fear, neutralize or delay poisons, communication spells
Emerald: Charms and enchantments, exorcism, enhance mental abilities and vision
Fluorite: Chaos spells, cure disease
Garnet: Abjurations, heal
Gold: Spells of purification, positive energy spells
Hematite: Mental and psychic spells, time spells
Jade: Water spells, wisdom spells, healing
Jasper: Abjurations, cure disease
Lapis Lazuli: Psychic spells, remove fear, divinations
Malachite: Plant spells, bear’s endurance, transmutations
Moonstone: Confusion, insanity, wish, neutralize poison, sleep, illusions
Obsidian: Protection from energy, detect evil, true seeing
Onyx: Lawful spells, spells of command and control, abjurations, wall spells
Opal: Emotion spells, memory spells, astral projection, ethereal jaunt, dream, nightmare
Platinum: Anti-transmutation
Quartz: Aid, bless, prayer and other such spells, evocations, cold spells
Rhodochrosite: Fire spells, legend lore, calm emotions
Rose Quartz: Atonement, heal, cure disease, resistance to fire and other energies
Ruby: Command spells, growth spells, haste, resistance to fire and other energies
Sapphire: Wind spells, water spells, planar travel, abjurations, creation spells
Silver: Energy spells, sleep, insanity, magic circles and other protections
Sunstone: Sun, light and fire spells, blessings,strength
Tiger Eye: Animal spells, true seeing, divinations, travel spells
Topaz: Blessings, evocations, mineral detection
Tourmaline: Heal spells, mental spells, plant spells
Turquoise: Earth spells

MONSTER
Requires eye, hair, feather, skin, gland, organ, claw, tooth, etc. of a monster (aberration, dragon, fey, giant, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, outsider, undead) or legendary personage (at least 12th level) associated with the spell or power being woven into the item. Monster must have twice the Hit Dice of the equivalent spell to be used.

PLACE
Ruined temple
Ancient palace
Place associated with birth or death of particular god or demigod
Place associated with magical or historic event
Stone circle sanctified by a 15th or higher level druid
Elemental plane or other plane of existence
Atop highest mountain
Fabled or mythic island
Active volcano
Cloud giant’s castle
Storm giant’s undersea palace
Waters of a magic pool or fountain
Bottom of deepest chasm
Within the pounding surf
Waters of a holy river

TIME
Specific phase of the Moon
Specific solstice or equinox
Specific position of stars
Anniversary of magical or historic event
During a storm, earthquake or other cataclysm (natural)
During a meteor shower

Example: Flaming Longword
The Treasure Keeper rules that fireball is the important spell for a flaming longsword. Fireball is a 3rd level spell, so there will be three rolls on the table above. The TK rolls and gets mineral, monster and time. He decides the “mineral” will be carnelian (3,000 gp worth, powdered), the “monster” a salamander’s blood and the “time” during a meteor shower. The magic user must also provide a sword made of meteoric iron, mithral or adamantine. The magic-user will have to use divinations to discover when and where a meteor shower is to occur, and of course he’ll have to liberate a carnelian from a dungeon and slay a salamander. The services of an alchemist are needed to prepare the carnelian powder. While the flaming sword is forged by a master smith (during the meteor shower and under the open sky, of course), the magic-user mingles in the carnelian powder and salamander blood and casts the fireball spell.

Example: Cape of the Mountebank
The magic-user must provide around 5,000 gp worth of materials for this cape, which must be woven of silk or another expensive material, probably with gold or silver thread embroidered in it. It is associated with the dimension door spell, a 4th level spell of movement and travel. Rolling the dice, the TK decides he needs an herb, two minerals and a place. He decides the place will be the tomb of an infamous illusionist – the enchantment, though not the manufacture of the cloak, must occur there. The “herb” is ginger, which must be brewed into an ale and consumed by the magic-user while creating the item. The “minerals” are sapphire and tiger’s eye, which must be powdered and mixed into a dye for the cloak. The cloak will have silver threads embroidered into it to form symbols of power.

The Abacus of St. John the Enumerator

I was inspired reading Grognardia today, and decided to make up a relic.

St. John the Enumerator was a blessed clark and keeper of accounts for the holy church of Nomo. After extended service, in which he kept the church’s accounts afloat even through the years of Pontiff Palaithian the Decadent. For his ability to keep the church in the black, he was named a saint and his abacus was declared a relic of the church.

If only they knew how John kept the church afloat, the deals he made and the price he and others had to pay.

The Abacus of St. John the Enumerator

The abacus is a simple instrument made of oak, copper shafts and glass beads. In the moonlight, a careful observer can make out tiny motes of dancing light within the beads. Within each bead is locked the soul of a young priest of the church, an innocent true believer murdered by John’s own hand and interred in the ossuaries in the catacombs beneath Nomo’s streets, never to be discovered.

The abacus has ten rows divided into two sections. The larger section held five beads on each row, the smaller section held two beads. All of the beads are no longer remaining on the abacus.

The abacus projects a protection from evil, 10′ radius effect that, unfortunately, in ineffective of any evil creature summoned by or connected with the abacus. It also creates a sanctuary effect in whatever building it is placed in, an effect which is also ineffective against evil creatures summoned by or connected with the abacus. Because of these effects, the abacus is believed to be a holy relic rather than an unholy one.

By touching a bead in the larger section and focusing on a person, their current whereabouts appear in the toucher’s mind, per a crystal ball. If the person harbors ill feelings toward the person they are viewing, one of the following effects occurs, even if the user of the abacus does not knowingly will it to occur. The toucher of the abacus must make their own saving throw or one of the following effects occurs:

1. Lose one level or hit dice
2. Lose 1d4 points of charisma; in essence, they are disfigured
3. Lose 1d4 points of wisdom; in essence, they are driven slightly mad
4. Lose 1d4 points of constitution; in essence, they begin wasting away
5. The remains of the victim whose soul is encased in the bead is animated as a spectre and seeks the toucher out to destroy them.
6. They are affected by the bead’s curse instead of the toucher’s target

If any of these effects kill the person, a pit fiend appears in a cloud of sulfur and blue fire and collects their body and soul.

Lust: The target is struck as though by a suggestion spell with no saving throw. They feel the same lust towards the toucher of the abacus and must go to them that night to consummate their feelings. Once the act is consummated, this lust turns to repulsion.

Jealousy: The target’s ability score most tied to the object of jealousy is lowered by 1d4 points and those points are transferred to the toucher of the abacus. The feelings of jealousy are now transferred to the target in relation to the toucher.

Hate: The target is struck with mummy rot. As they slowly rot and die, the toucher is himself struck by a discoloration of the skin, which first turns yellowish, then mottled black and purple and finally a deathly white. When the person finally dies, the toucher returns to normal, but loses the ability to love or be loved.

The beads can also be used in another way. Touching a bead, it can be used to cast a cleric spell of a level equal to the row number minus one. In other words, beads in row one can be used to cast 0-level orisons, while beads in row 10 can be used to cast 9th level spells. When this is done, the bead turns to dust and the soul is released from it with a terrible shriek. The soul then returns to its remains in the catacombs and animates them as a spectre to hunt down the user of the bead. Spells cast from these beads impose a -5 penalty to saving throws made against them.

A lawful cleric using the abacus cannot remain lawful. With the first use, they become neutral, and with the second chaotic. A third use consigns their soul to Mammon, the arch-devil patron who helped John keep the church afloat all those years.