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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Liberator's Hand

This item is a short staff, three feet in length and two inches in diameter, cut from a single piece of ivory. The surface of the staff is carved, featuring a long hand grip covering the middle third of its length. Each end of the grip is stylized to represent a horizon, with three setting or rising suns spaced equally around the staff's circumference. The radiating rays of each sun are inlaid in mother of pearl, becoming an interlocked mesh of pearly sheen as they wrap around the remainder of the staff's length. Each end of the staff is set with numerous black pearls and capped with a small silver globe. Liberator's Hand is clearly a ceremonial object rather than a weapon, though it could be used for defense in a pinch. If tested for magical properties the item radiates Superb protection and dispel magic, and Great alteration magic. A Superb test of divination magic will reveal its properties:
  • Combat - Liberator's Hand is a Poor quality weapon, though its Superb toughness means it is unlikely to break if used as such.
  • Protection - The owner gains a Superb resistance bonus to charm and enchantment magic so long as the item is held. This is a passive effect.
  • Light of Will - The wielder can command the item to radiate a soft white light in a 30 foot radius. Anyone within this area gains a Good resistance bonus to magical effects that cause negative emotions (fear, despair, etc.) This power can be invoked thrice per day and lasts ten rounds.
  • Liberating Touch - The wielder can touch (successful melee attack required vs. an unwilling target) the victim of any charm or enchantment magic and dispel the effect (Superb potency). This power can be invoked thrice per day.
  • Voice of Freedom - When the staff is held and this power is invoked the owner gains a Good bonus to their public speaking ability, becoming an enthralling orator. This bonus rises to Great if the speech is focused on freedom and liberty. This power can be invoked once per day and lasts one hour.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Grim Monday: Carnifungus

Inspired by what may be the world's largest living organism, Armillaria ostoyae, Carnifungus is a form of fungus that lives beneath the surface. It inhabits forested regions, favoring damp or marshy areas. It extends long rhizomorphs in all directions from each central colony in search of food sources. A single specimen consists of several central colonies hidden away six to eight feet beneath the surface, all connected via massive networks of rhizomorphs, the whole mass covering an area of four or five acres.

The fungus's rhizomorphs spread just beneath the surface and can sense warmth within five feet (body heat is sufficient to attract the organism). Rhizomorphs will immediately begin to grow toward the heat source. Once they encounter flesh (living or dead), they will inject the victim with toxic spores that act as an anesthetic and a soporific, then begin to grow into the anesthetized flesh of their victim, injecting additional toxins that slowly dissolve flesh into a nutritious soupy substance easily absorbed by the Carnifungus. The process of locating prey, growing to it and injecting toxins sufficient to pacify it takes about two hours. Conscious victims must make a Fair test of observation to notice the invading rhizomorphs and their toxic sting. Unconscious / sleeping victims must make a Great observation test to awaken. Neutralizing the toxins once injected is a Great test of healing skill.

Areas inhabited by Carnifungus usually have no ground dwelling creatures, though tree dwellers may abound. Hoofed animals are generally safe from the creature's effects. Sleeping on rocky ledges or other hard surfaces generally provides protection from the Carnifungus.

Carnifungus rhizomorphs are delicate, any damage will destroy them. Similarly the colonies, if they can be reached, are easily destroyed. The massive area covered by these creatures makes them difficult to destroy completely however.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mishta's Hands

The mage Mishta specialized in the magic of animation and constructs. His magical Hands are a item that has often been attempted by lesser artificers, but never matched.

The Hands are a perfectly shaped pair of human-sized hands and fore-arms, each ending above the elbow. The 'flesh' of the Hands consists of interwoven layers of steel, ivory, and mother-of-pearl. The nails of each finger are made from silver, as are the terminus ends of the arms, which are flat and featureless. The surfaces of the Hands are polished to a perfect, shining finish. If examined for magical properties, the Hands radiate Epic alteration magic. A Great test of divination will reveal the mechanism of their operation.

Using one of several command words, the owner may do the following with the Hands:
  • Attach - The Hands may be fastened to any non-living surface by placing their smooth base against it and uttering a command word. The Hands bind to the surface with a Legendary strength bond.
  • Detach - This command word frees the Hands from any previously created attachment.
  • Animate - When this command word is uttered the Hands animate, their movements mimicking exactly the movements of the owner's own limbs. While they are animate the Hands take on the appearance of the owner's own limbs down to the finest details (scars, hairs, fingerprints). This power can be invoked at will so long as the Hands are visible to the owner. It lasts so long as the owner concentrates upon the Hands.
  • Guard - The Hands will grasp and hold any moving object that comes within their reach when this command is spoken. The Hands must be attached to a surface for this power to operate. This power can be invoked at will and lasts until the Hands are detached, or a command word is spoken.
The Hands are capable of bearing great weight and grip with the strength of a powerful giant (Legendary strength). They are practically invulnerable to most sources of harm (Legendary toughness).
Other mages have attempted to duplicate Mishta's work. These lesser hands operate in the same manner as the original, but lack the potent strength of grip, attachment, and toughness, at best achieving Great potency in these areas.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mindbender's Girdle

This broad sash-like garment is made from the finest quality deep blue silk with lines of tiny scallop and cowrie shells sewn into the material. Heavy gold tassels decorate each end of the sash, and a pair of larger scallop shells form a buckle-like decoration when the garment is worn. If examined for magical properties the Mindbender's Girdle radiates Superb mental magic and Great protection magic. A Great test of divination is required to unlock its secrets.

The Mindbender's Girdle serves as a sort of reservoir of magical energy that the wearer can use to power the item's own powers. The effect of any magical attack directed at the wearer is automatically reduced by two ranks, the extra energy being absorbed and stored by the Girdle, which can store up to 100 ranks (charges) of energy. Accumulated energy can be used by the wearer to power one of the following abilities:
  • Telekinesis - The wearer can move one or more objects, up to 300 lbs. in total weight. The smaller the object the faster it can be moved. For example the wearer can cause themselves to fly at a Fair speed, use a half-dozen fist-sized rocks as missile weapons, manipulate the mechanism of a lock, or slowly shift a large boulder. This power costs one charge and lasts three rounds.
  • Pyrokinesis - The wearer can raise the temperature in a target object weighing up to 300 lbs. by 25 degrees (F) per round, causing appropriate damage where applicable. This power costs one charge and lasts three rounds (for a total temperature change of 75 degrees). The rate of temperature change can be doubled by doubling the charges spent.
  • Projection - The wearer can project their senses into another being within 100 feet, sensing exactly what the target senses for up to five rounds at the cost of one charge.
  • Shielding - The wearer can shield themselves and anyone within a ten foot radius from detection by mental magic (clairvoyance, telepathy, etc.) This shielding lasts five rounds at the cost of one charge.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Sunlash is a heavy, segmented flail. It's two-handed grip is made from bronze-bound cypress. A series of bronze links connect the three short golden rods that form the striking portion of the weapon. The pommel is set with a large yellow topaz, and a polished gold ball with a dozen sharp spikes decorates the terminal end of the weapon. Sunlash is heavy, requiring at least Good strength to wield properly. If tested for magical properties it radiates Great accuracy and damage enhancement and Great evocation magic.

Sunlash has the following characteristics:
  • Good damage and accuracy bonus.
  • Great damage and accuracy bonus versus undead creatures.
  • Radiates light in a 60 foot radius, equivalent to normal daylight in all respects. At will.
  • Sunburst - when a critical strike is achieved in combat the gold ball affixed to the weapon shoots forth two to six beams of solar energy, striking random targets within 60'. The beams have the following effects:
    • Undead foes are seared for Great damage and blinded for four rounds. Blindness can be avoided with a Good resist check
    • Other foes are seared for Average damage and blinded for two rounds. Blindness can be avoided with a Good resist check
    • Allies are blinded for one round unless they make a Good resist check.
  • Solar Storm - Thrice per day the wielder can call down a 20 diameter beam of pure solar energy from the heavens, striking a target of their choice within 300 feet. Any creature within the area of effect takes Good damage from the solar energies released (undead creatures take Great damage). This power can only be invoked outdoors between sunrise and sunset. Clouds and weather do not interfere with this power.
Sunlash must be exposed to full daylight for one hour once a week or it becomes inert, losing all powers and magical bonuses until it has been so treated.


I'm going to be mostly off-line for the next few days, so posts may be sporadic. I've queued up posts to cover the gap, but Blogger is reporting an issue with scheduled posts. Hopefully I'll have access enough to kick the post queue if it gets stuck.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Path Maker

This item appears to be no more than a sheet of vellum. Its snow white surface is inked with an ornate compass rose on one side and blank on the other, save for a narrow border of entwined, overlapping arrows connecting a random collection of circles, stars, squares and crosses that most resemble cartography symbols. The sheet of vellum is stored within a length of polished bamboo, stained a deep blue, reinforced and capped with copper. If examined for magical properties, the vellum itself radiates Epic divination magic, while its container radiates Great protection magic. Discovering the powers of each item is a Superb test of divination magic.

The enchantment on the container protects its contents from physical harm. The container has Superb resistance to any sort of mundane damage and Great resistance to magical harm. Furthermore the container's contents are warded against scrying or other location or detection magic.

The vellum itself has two functions:
  • Thrice per day the compass rose can be commanded to reveal true north. The vellum is placed upon a flat surface and a word of command is spoken. The rose animates and slowly swings back and forth until it points the proper direction. The direction remains true for five minutes, or until the vellum is moved.
  • Once per day the vellum can be commanded to reveal the path to anything desired by the owner. Again it is placed on a flat surface, this time with the blank side showing. The owner states their desired destination or goal and speaks a command word. The blank vellum clouds over, then shows an image revealing the path to the desired goal. The image shown may be as clear as a map to the desired object, or as obscure as a word or a symbol. The image remains upon the vellum for one day, or until any of the item's powers are invoked.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Grim Monday: Curse of the Howling Hound

The recipient of this curse is haunted by the distant sounds of a howling and barking dog. The victim will always hear the dog at the most inopportune times, while trying to hide, fall asleep or concentrate on some task for example.

This curse grows in power and intensity over the course of time, beginning as an occasional faint howling or barking. After a few weeks this will escalate to regular barking, baying and howling just out of sight. The curse is infectious. Those that associate closely with the victim can themselves become victims, especially if they attempt to help the victim find the source of the barking and howling. Avoiding the curse is a Good test of resolve.

Any attempt to find the source of the curse's noise leads the victim on a wild goose chase. The sound will always come from just out of sight, and randomly shift locations to throw off pursuit.

The curse can be identified with a Superb test of divination magic. A Great test of dispel magic is required to remove it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shrieking Helm

This barbute helm is made of polished steel with ornate, feather-like trim shaped from polished copper. The smooth surfaces of the helm are decorated with images of peacocks rendered in brilliant enamels with blues and greens predominating. The crest of the helm is decorated with a long trailing plume of peacock feathers. The helm radiates Great protection and alteration magic, and a Superb test of divination will reveal its magical properties:
  • The helm provides a Good protection bonus versus magic and a Fair protection bonus versus mundane attack when worn.
  • When the wearer is engaged in combat the plume of feathers lengthens and spreads, forming a broad shimmering cloak behind the wearer. Anyone attempting to attack the wearer from behind must make a Good resolve test or be distracted and dazed for three to six rounds by the shimmering beauty of the feathers.
  • Thrice per day the wearer can cause the helm to shriek. All the peacocks enameled on the helm animate and begin shrieking (if you've ever heard a peacock...) Anyone within 30 feet of the wearer must make a Great resistance check or drop whatever they are holding to try and cover their ears as they are deafened and confused by the horrible noise. The shrieks drown out normal conversation or shouts within 90 feet, rendering speech impossible. The shrieking lasts five rounds, and the wearer of the helm is unaffected by the noise.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


This item consists of a pair of light-weight sandals. The sandal uppers are made from narrow strips of mottled black and gold leather from some reptilian source. These strips enclose the front of the foot, while a narrow band secures the sandal around the wearer's ankle. The soles are cut from a heavy, black-dyed leather with a bumpy, pebbled surface. The toe of each sandal is decorated with the skull of a tiny serpent's head, carefully polished and sewn to the leather.

Slitherfoot radiates Good alteration and protective magic if examined for magical properties. A Good test of divination will reveal the sandals powers and abilities:
  • The sandals magically conform to the feet of the wearer, providing a perfect, comfortable fit to any humanoid up to ogre-sized. They maintain the wearer's feet at a comfortable temperature no matter the weather conditions. Walking through deep snow or burning desert sand feels like a stroll across a cool meadow.
  • The wearer leaves little trail when passing through wilderness areas (Good obscurement). Those marks that are left behind appear to be the trail of a lizard or serpent.
  • The wearer can sense changes in temperature, much like a pit viper. This ability has a 60 foot range.
  • Thrice per day the wearer can transform their legs into two scaled, snake-like appendages, 15 feet long. These appendages grant a Great bonus to climbing anywhere they can be wrapped around the object being climbed (trees for example). They also allow a Good constriction attack versus foes. The scaly skin on these appendages provides Good resistance to physical attack. This ability lasts ten rounds when invoked.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Plainsman's Bow

This composite recurve bow is clearly designed for use on horseback. It is fashioned from a lamination of pale yellow horn and dark brown wood. Its grip is wrapped with a thin but tough layer of hide, dyed a deep green color. Each bow tip is carved with the image of a falcon's head, whose gaping beak serves to hold the horsehide bowstring. Each arm of the bow is painted with a fine pattern of feathers rendered in a rich brown color.

Examining the weapon for magical properties will reveal Great damage and accuracy enchantment and Good alteration magic at work. A Great test of divination magic will reveal the bow's magical properties:
  • Requires Great bow skill and Good strength to wield properly. Though magical in nature the bow has an extremely heavy draw. Only a skilled archer can make use of this weapon.
  • The bow has a Great bonus to accuracy and damage and negates any penalties to bow use for mounted combat.
  • Rabbit's Eye Shot - Thrice per day the wielder can invoke this power to gain an Epic bonus to accuracy and a Great bonus to range, allowing them to hit the smallest of targets at extreme range with ease.
  • Charging Ram - This potent shot strikes with the force of a battering ram. If successful any target up to human-sized is knocked from its feet (or mount if riding) and is stunned for one to four rounds. The attack also does normal damage. This power can be invoked thrice per day.
  • Falcon's Stoop - When this power is invoked, razor sharp talons sprout from the arrow upon impact, inflicting triple normal damage and causing a Good bleeding effect. Pulling this arrow free inflicts a second wound causing normal damage. This power can be used thrice per day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Poison's Touch

This item is a very thin ring, formed from wire-thin strands of copper, silver and gold twisted together in a random and chaotic tangle. The copper and silver strands are verdigrised and tarnished, discolorations that cannot be removed. Only the gold strands shine with any sort of luster. If examined for magical properties the ring radiates Great alteration and protection magic, and Superb poison magic. A Great test of divination is required to reveal the ring's powers, which are:
  • The ring magically re-sizes itself to fit whenever it is donned. Once worn it can only be removed by the wearer.
  • The wearer can command the ring to become invisible while it is worn. This ability can be used at will.
  • The wearer gains a Great resistance bonus versus all forms of poison.
  • Poison Touch - Thrice per day the ring grants its owner a poisonous touch attack, inflicting a poison effect on their target. The owner must touch the desired target within four rounds of invoking the power or it fades away unspent. A successful touch attack inflicts the chosen poison on the target unless they make a Great resistance check versus poison. The poison effects can be removed by magical means. The poison types are:
    • Coma - The target falls into a coma-like slumber for 20 minutes, resisting all attempts to wake them.
    • Death - The target takes Superb poison damage each round for ten rounds.
    • Slow - Paralytic poison reduces the target's ability to act. The victim is reduced to one-third their normal actions. Lasts 20 minutes.
    • Degenerate - Slow acting, wasting poison that inflicts Fair damage on the victim once per day. Lasts 30 days.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Grim Monday: Crawler's Curse

Today's Grim Monday is curse designed to cause both physical and mental discomfort. The mosquitoes are back for the summer here in Indiana, and their presence at a family cookout last night inspired this curse.

Crawler's Curse causes any biting or stinging insects and arachnids in the area to focus their attentions on the victim. This effect is subtle at first, a few extra mosquito bites after a night outdoors or a more serious flea infestation after staying in a filthy hostel, but becomes stronger as time passes. Some of the potential effects of this curse includes:
  • Pests, bites and stings - While outdoors the victim will be bitten by mosquitoes or horse flies, stung by yellow jackets or ants, or swarmed by gnats. Stings and bites cause discomfort and make it difficult to concentrate on complex tasks or remain still when being inflicted. There is a minor chance of contracting a disease.
  • Indoor pests - The victim attracts fleas, lice, and bedbugs whenever they are indoors around other people or beasts. There is a minor chance they can become infested with fleas or lice, and a similar chance of contracting a disease.
  • Creepy crawlers - The victim attracts spiders, scorpions, and other arachnids. These creatures will not be unnaturally aggressive, but will spin webs near the victim, take up residence in their boots, or crawl into their bed at night. There is a minor chance of receiving a bite or sting from these creatures, which may inflict a poison upon the victim.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Serpent Dogs

Today's entry is a beast. I woke up in the middle of a dream last night and this was what was stuck in my head. Go figure.

The Serpent Dog is a stocky canine the size of a boxer, with a similar muscular build. They have a short, smooth tan or brown coat, and a short, thick tail. It is at the head and shoulders where the resemblance to a normal dog ends. The Serpent Dog has two undersized heads on what appears to be a very short, fleshy neck. Appearances are deceptive however, as the beast's two heads are actually attached to two long, retractable necks. These can be extended or retracted independently, and are quite flexible, giving the creature four or five feet of reach with each head.

The Serpent Dog has the following characteristics:
  • Fair toughness and vitality.
  • Two Fair biting attacks each round. Attacks can be directed against separate targets.
  • Good running speed and sense of smell.
  • Mediocre ability to manipulate objects with its two mouths.

Serpent Dogs are likely the result of some sort of magical experiment gone awry. They are naturally aggressive and have a pack mentality. They will mix and breed freely with mundane wild dogs (the two-headed trait is dominant). They are clever (for dogs), and their ability to coordinate the actions of their two heads makes them difficult to pen or leash safely.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Figurines of the Sea

The origins of this collection of magical figurines is unknown. Some believe they are relics of a long lost, underwater civilization. Others believe they are the creation of an oceanic divine being. A third school of thought holds that they are created by natural magical processes.

Each figurine is a single piece of coral that appears to have simply grown into its present form. Each is four to six inches long. Fragments of oyster shell and tiny barnacles add detail to the somewhat primitive objects. The figurines feel damp and cool when held in the hand, and each emits a faint odor of seaweed and salt water. If examined for magical properties, figurines radiate Great alteration magic. A Great test of divination magic will reveal the figurine's word of activation and properties.

Each figurine can be used as often as desired. Each time a figurine is used there is a 5% chance it will shatter, rendering it useless. Figurines can only be used in salt water. While animated figurines have Great toughness and vitality. An animate figurine that is 'slain' reverts to statue form and becomes inert for one week. The various figurines and their effects are:
  • Shark - When commanded the shark animates and grows into a 16 foot long great white shark. It can be commanded to attack any foe within a 100 yard radius. The shark has a Great bite attack and Superb swimming ability. It lasts 10 rounds.
  • Swordfish - When commanded the swordfish animates and grows into a 10 foot long swordfish with a magically sharp 'sword'. The swordfish can use its sword to attack mundane vessels, inflicting Fair damage on any portion of the ship it can reach. It has Good swimming ability. The swordfish lasts 10 rounds.
  • Sea Turtle - When commanded the sea turtle grows to 12 feet in length and will serve as a mount for two people, swimming at Superb speed. The sea turtle lasts four hours.
  • Urchin - The urchin figurine grows into a 20 diameter globe of spiny protection, that immediately sinks to the sea floor and remains stationary. A small opening in the bottom of the object provides access to an air-filled interior chamber capable of sustaining four human-sized air breathers. The urchin provides Great defense. It's spines exude a paralytic toxin that affects anyone who attempts to break their way through the urchin's shell. The urchin lasts eight hours.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ahtep's Bag

Ahtep was a well known, somewhat paranoid adventurer and explorer. I wrote about his blade in a previous article. Ahtep was the practical sort. Since he was often on the road, he commissioned this bag to ease his travels in the wilds.

The Bag of Ahtep is a round sack shaped from strips of tan and pale green leather arranged in a striped pattern and reinforced with a net of fine steel links sewn along the seams. The opening of the Bag is secured with a silken drawstring dyed to match the green leather. If examined for magical properties the Bag radiates Poor alteration magic. It has the following properties:
  • The Bag is enchanted so its true magical nature is hidden. Discovering each of the Bag's properties requires a Superb test of divination magic. A command word is required to open the Bag or use any of its powers.
  • The Bag can hold up to 40 lbs. of typical gear, being larger inside than out. No matter how much gear is placed inside, the Bag appears to be nearly empty and weighs 5 lbs.
  • The owner of the Bag can draw forth a good meal, including cutlery and dishes, and flask of pure water or good wine or ale sufficient for one diner. All accouterments vanish after two hours. This power can be used six times per day.
  • The owner may draw forth one of three statuettes. Only one statuette is available at a time. If a new one is drawn any existing statuette vanishes. A new statuette can be drawn forth every four hours. Each statuette lasts 12 hours, and can be commanded to life or returned to statuette form at will during this time. The statuettes are:

    • Horse - This statuette becomes a Good quality, full-sized mount, complete with tack and harness, upon command. The mount requires no food or drink, and can move at a gallop without tiring.
    • Dog - This statuette becomes a guard dog the size of a German Sheppard. The dog can be commanded to guard a specific area and will bark to alert the owner if anyone approaches within 60'. The dog has Superb senses, and is able to detect hidden or invisible foes.
    • Crow - This statuette becomes a full-sized crow. The owner can command it to scout up to five miles in any direction. Upon its return, the bird can convey what it sees with simple phrases.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Touch Flesh

This bizarre weapon is a short-bladed, stabbing sword, about 24 inches in length from tip to pommel. The weapon is formed from a gout of blood, magically frozen and shaped into a razor-sharp, slightly flattened blade. The grisly point is attached to a guard and hilt carved from the joint bone of a sizable creature, the ball of the joint forming a slightly off-center pommel. The hilt is wrapped with pebbled, yellow leather. The blade is fitted with a scabbard of the same pebbled yellow leather decorated and stiffened with polished bone. If examined for magical properties, Touch Flesh radiates Superb alteration and enhancement magic.

Touch Flesh has Great accuracy and damage bonuses when used in combat. But more importantly, when wielded, the blade passes through non-organic material as if it were air, making metal armor useless against it. The blade does no damage to non-organic material it passes through, it is simply unaffected by their presence. Note that this makes the weapon useless against some foes (elementals and constructs for example).

To maintain the blade's potency it must taste the dying flesh of a sentient being once per week. If this condition is not met the blade loses its potency until it feeds.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Grim Monday: Malicious Infection

Today's Grim Monday is all about diseases. Not the fatal sort, I wrote about those a while back. No, today's diseases are of the troublesome, debilitating, but not deadly variety.
Diseases can add an interesting element to a campaign. They can spread, causing problems beyond a simple affliction. Those infected are often shunned or worse. Seeking the cure, assuming a magical treatment is not readily available, can be an adventure in and of itself. Here are three troublesome afflictions ready to infect your party.
Withering Plague
This affliction is spread by physical contact (Poor chance of spreading), usually from goblin races, who are often carriers, but unaffected by the disease. The victim takes on the appearance of advanced age, graying hair, wrinkles, age spots, and a somewhat withered, stooped appearance. They also suffer from an Average penalty to strength tests. If treated within a month of the first onset the visible symptoms disappear completely within a few weeks. Treatment applied after this period leaves the victim with some permanent changes to their appearance (typically age spots and graying hair).
The Withering Plague is believed by some to be a symptom of vampirism. Victims are often treated as outcasts, and sometimes attacked and slain, their remains burned and scattered. Of course strangers already afflicted with the disease will simply appear to be... old.
Nightmare Nails
This strange disease causes rapid growth of finger and toe nails and, to a lesser extent, hair, in the victim. Those affected also crave meat and other high-protein foods to supply their body's accelerated keratin production. The nails and hair of those afflicted grow an inch or more per day. This growth causes shooting pain in the affected areas, causing the victim to suffer an Average penalty to all tests involving manual dexterity. The disease is carried by a variety of biting insects, and can be spread via bodily fluids.
The visible signs of this disease can be controlled in the short term, but over the longer term (more than a few weeks), the disease will have more permanent effects. Nails and hair become thicker and denser, eventually resembling claws and spikes more than nails and hair. Once cured normal growth patterns resume within six months.
Crazy Eye
This affliction of the nervous system is contracted from consumption of poorly prepared fresh water fish. The disease disrupts the victim's vision, causing their eyes to move in a disconcerting independent fashion, which gives the disease its common name. The victim suffers a Great penalty to any test requiring vision, and has a terrible time focusing their gaze. Reading is nearly impossible, and even walking becomes a challenge.
If Crazy Eye is left untreated for more than six weeks the effects become permanent. Those afflicted are often thought to be possessed by demons or devils and treated accordingly.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Soul Lifter

Soul Lifter is a scepter of dark brown wood, ornately decorated with inlaid silver star bursts and topped with a massive tiger's eye globe. The scepter is about two feet in length, and is clearly meant as an ornamental fixture. If examined for magical properties, the scepter radiates Superb enchantment and alteration magic. An Epic test of divination magic will reveal the item's singular power.

Soul Lifter radiates magical energies in a 30' radius, affecting any sentient being within the area of effect that sees the scepter (a Superb test of willpower will resist the effect). Those affected are infected with great feelings of well-being and happiness. Minor pains and injuries are forgotten, as are petty arguments and negative thoughts. These feelings persist for one day. Soul Lifter's owner is immune to the effects of the item.

While Soul Lifter can be a useful tool in the hands of a leader, raising morale and cheering followers, its effects are addictive. Repeated use creates a craving that grows with each exposure. Two or three exposures create a minor desire to fall under the item's influence, a half-dozen turns minor desire to serious craving. The addictive effects fade over time. After two weeks with no exposure the cravings of even the most addictive will have faded to almost nothing.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Windcaller is an ornate, knee length cloak. Snake skins sewn in a vertical pattern form the cloak itself, while long black feathers form the garment's broad collar. The skull of a two-headed snake decorates the cloak's clasp, and its lower edge is trimmed with a row of delicate bird bones. Examining Windcaller for magical properties will reveal Great alteration and evocation magic, while a Superb test of divination magic will reveal the item's uses.

Windcaller has the following powers and characteristics:
  • The wearer is immune to the effects of naturally occurring weather. Cold, wind, heat and precipitation are no more than minor annoyances to the owner. The effects of magical weather are reduced by one degree. This is a passive effect.
  • A swirling gale can be called into being at will. This ten foot radius maelstrom provides a Fair physical defensive bonus against melee attacks and a Good defensive bonus against missile weapons. This power can be invoked thrice per day, and lasts one hour.
  • Once per day the the wearer can summon a small thunderstorm with a one mile radius. The storm takes ten minutes to form and has a duration of one hour. It is accompanied by heavy, driving rain, strong winds, and lightning and thunder. The summoner has no control over the storm or the lightning strikes it produces. The storm can be targeted on any location within a ten mile radius, and once summoned is stationary.
  • Once per day the wearer can calm the weather within a one mile radius. This effect calms winds, stops precipitation, and clears the skies. The effect is stationary once cast, lasts for four hours, and is centered upon the caster.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Naysayer is a rather ornate ring formed from an unknown, glossy black metal. An intricately carved image of rope winds its way around the band. Seven pieces of agate are set into the carving, each cut into the shape of a knot. In a lighter setting the multiple stones might look gaudy, but in this heavy black band they appear quite fitting. If tested for magical properties, Naysayer radiates Great enchantment and alteration magic. A Great test of divination magic will reveal its properties:
  • The wearer of Naysayer can inspire disagreement in anyone they speak with. While this might seem more a curse than a blessing, because the effect can be controlled, it can be leveraged. This power can be invoked up to three times per day and lasts for a single conversation. The effects can be resisted with a Superb test of willpower.
  • Naysayer can cause disagreement between others. This effect targets four to six others within a ten foot radius and sixty foot range. It has a duration of ten minutes and can be invoked three times per day. Each person in the area of effect will disagree with any conversational point made unless they succeed at a Great test of willpower.
  • The wearer can cause a single target to challenge a point made in conversation. The victim will feel compelled to argue with the speaker, driven by a fiery conviction that their position is wrong. The target can resist this effect with a Superb test of willpower. This power has a range of sixty feet and endures so long as the argument continues. It can be invoked once per day.
Those subject to the effects of Naysayer will remember any induced conversations and the decisions they may have made while under the effects of the item. They will believe the choices were their own, but each day their choices are questioned they gain an additional chance to shake off the effects (a Superb test of willpower). Once free of the item's influence they will realize they were affected by outside influences, but may not be able to identify the source of the effect.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Ghostmaker is a slender, six foot long staff of pale ash. One end is capped with a web of silver inlaid into the wood and extending a foot or so up the shaft. The other end is capped with a similar webbing of gold. Each web is surrounded by a faint nimbus of energy, faint lines of purple power that twist and bend in convoluted knots of energy. If examined for magical properties, Ghostmaker radiates Legendary alteration magic. The secrets of its power can be unlocked with a Superb test of divination magic.
Ghostmaker has the following characteristics:
  • It serves as an Average quality weapon, though its lightweight construction reduces its melee damage potential to Mediocre.
  • Ghostmaker's bearer can see out of phase, ethereal, astral, phase shifted, or otherwise altered beings as if they were normal creatures on the material plane.
  • Any creature struck with the silver end of the staff must make an Epic resistance check vs. magic or be instantly thrown out of phase with the material world (see below). This effect lasts one hour, except that once per day the wielder can make the effect permanent.
  • Any creature struck with the gold end of the staff must make an Epic resistance check vs. magic or be instantly and fully manifested on the material plane. If the creature normally inhabits an alternate plane or has phase shifting abilities, this effect lasts one hour, otherwise it is permanent.
A creature placed out of phase by Ghostmaker remains on the material plane as an invisible, insubstantial ghost. Time passes normally in this state, but the target does not age, require sleep, air, or sustenance. They can perceive the material world, but cannot affect it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Grim Monday: The Cold Feet Curse

The Curse of Cold Feet is not, as it may sound, cured with a pair of warm boots. The victim of this curse is assailed by doubt whenever they must make a decision. The curse initially affects the victim only when important decisions are before them, but grows over time. Eventually the act of choosing which shoes to wear will become an insurmountable obstacle.

The initial effect of the curse is to cause the victim to doubt any major decision they make. As the power of the curse grows physical effects manifest themselves: sleepless nights, overly cautious behavior, and a shaken demeanor become the norm. The victim becomes less and less sure of themselves as the curse's influence spreads to even minor choices.

  • Hindsight - The victim reviews past choices, wondering if their decision was the correct one.
  • Infinite Delay - Rather than make a decision, choices are delayed. And delayed and delayed.
  • Sleepless Nights - The victim spends their night tossing and turning, mulling over choices past and future. Even the decision to get out of bed and do something useful becomes a momentous choice.
  • Shaken Hands - A choice made, the victim is so nervous in its pursuit that their hand shake uncontrollably.
  • Flip Flopping - Choices made are reconsidered and revised. Decisions last no more than a week, usually less than a day.