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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eyes of Perfection

These lenses are made from a thousand sheets of microscopically thin, brilliantly polished gemstones, emerald, diamond, and onyx, each layered atop the other to form a perfect image of a crystalline eye in each lens. A frame of gleaming brass surrounds the two inch round lenses, allowing them to be worn as eyeglasses. A woven cord made from brown leather secures the Eyes in place once donned. The lenses radiate Epic protection and divination magic, and a Superb test of divination magic will reveal their purpose. When worn the Eyes grant the wearer the following abilities and powers:
  • Perfect Vision - The lenses provide perfect vision, sharper than that of a predatory bird. The wearer can, at will, see the smallest detail inscribed on the head of a pin, study a snowflake on the peak of a nearby mountain, or watch a single drop of rain fall in a torrential storm. Hidden or secret doors and panels are easily seen, as are concealed switches, buttons or levers. Illumination is never a problem as the wearer can see equally well in the burning light of the desert or the depths of the blackest cave.
  • Unending Sight - The Eyes protect the wearer from blindness, mundane or magical. They also provide Epic protection against any light- or vision-based attack.
  • Visions of the Future - Thrice per day the wearer can foresee the future in the short-term. This vision is limited to events directly affecting the wearer, and can see no more than ten minutes into the future. The wearer may, through their own actions, alter the observed timeline, though other people's actions cannot be changed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wander Hut

This artifact resembles nothing so much as a bundle of tiny boards and planks, each carefully planed and shaped. The entire bundle is wrapped in a canvas sleeve covered with tiny runes. The entire package is only six inches long and weighs less than a pound. The bundle radiates Great alteration magic. The command word required to activate the artifact can be discovered with a Great test of divination magic, or divined from the runes inscribed upon the sleeve with a Great test of magical lore.

When the command word is spoken, the bundle instantly expands and assembles itself into a hut-like shelter ten feet tall and fifteen feet across. The single entrance is protected by a vestibule that keeps out wind and rain. Upon command a magical fire burns in the fire pit in the center of the enclosed space, providing warmth and light. The magic of the structure maintains a comfortable temperature within no matter the outside temperature. Up to six people can rest comfortably upon the pillows and cushions scattered across the wooden floor. Each wall has a narrow window protected with a sheet of transparent crystal, allowing vision in all directions.

Once erected the Hut can be commanded to walk by the owner, traveling at a slow but steady pace. The Hut requires a wide, clear path to move upon, and is not particularly maneuverable, but it will adjust its course to avoid obstacles or obstructions. It can cover about 15 miles in a single twelve hour activation period.

The Hut can be commanded to assemble itself once per day. It stands for up to twelve hours before collapsing back into its compact form. The Hut's owner can also command the hut to collapse at will. Anything within the hut is ejected when it collapses.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Goofy Trio

I tend toward the serious in my gaming, but sometimes I need a break. Here are a few items with a lighter theme:
  • The Hat of the Jungle Stalker - This garish, wide-brimmed hat is made from red-dyed rhinoceros hide and fitted with a broad hatband made from tiger's fur decorated with bear's teeth. It radiates Great alteration magic. The Hat radiates Great enhancement magic. When its power is invoked the Hat's owner gains the ability to run one rank faster than their slowest ally. This power can be invoked thrice per day by uttering the secret command phrase "You're bait!"
  • Reflective Bandit's Mask - This bandanna-like mask covers the lower portion of the face. It's dark brown color blending with the dark garb typical of bandits and road-agents. It's Good illusion magic changes the wearer's features enough to make identification almost impossible. The Mask reflects the features of anyone looking at it, so witnesses will always describe themselves when asked to identify their assailant.
  • The Laphound Figurine - This figurine depicts a small, pug-nosed dog, rendered in black and white stone. It's eyes are highlighted with tiny topazes, and a narrow collar of woven pink silk set with sparkling flecks of diamond and pearl. The figurine can be commanded to life for three hours per day, becoming a small lap dog. The creature has no real combat value, but does bark incessantly and beg for scraps if the owner is eating.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mad World

This item is a polished crystalline globe about six inches in diameter. The translucent material is shot through with streaks and smears of multicolor lights, purple, green, red, and blue, that shift and twist beneath its smooth surface like a tangled knot of brilliantly colored snakes. Mad World is easily held in one hand, its polished surface strangely sticky to the touch, as if it were coated with a thin layer of honey.

The globe radiates Epic alteration and illusion magic. It's sole power is activated by a command word, which can be discovered with a Superb test of divination magic. When the command word is uttered, the brilliant colors snared within the globe spring forth, filling the surrounding area with a maze of twisting, vision- and mind- affecting lights. Anyone (save the owner, see below) within 100 feet of the globe must make a Superb test of will or be completely distracted by the shifting, glowing colors that block vision and distract the mind. Those that fail to resist stand enthralled by the shifting array of colors, and must make a Superb of will to attempt any action. Those that make their initial resistance check still suffer a two rank penalty on any skill check so long as they remain within the globe of lights and colors. Mad World's effects last for up to four hours or until the globe's owner commands them to cease. Those affected by the globe recover their wits 1d6 rounds after the colors vanish.

Each use of the globe's power has a 10% chance of affecting its owner, with no chance to resist. They can only stand idle while the globe's power runs its course.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Flesh Harrow

This crude spear was clearly fashioned by some primitive tribal culture. It's long and jagged blade fashioned from seven jagged pieces of razor sharp flint fastened to a shaft of greasy-looking black oak with lengths of dried sinew. Several bands of beaten copper adorn the shaft, and a matching cap protects the butt end. Despite its somewhat crude appearance, the six foot long weapon feels well-balanced, both as a melee weapon or for throwing.

Flesh Harrow is enchanted with Superb combat and alteration magic. A Great test of divination magic will reveal the item's enchantments:
  • Flesh Harrow is enchanted with a Good accuracy and damage bonus when used in melee or when thrown. It can be thrown double the range of a normal spear without penalty.
  • Jagged Wound - The deep, jagged wounds created by the spear are especially potent, bleeding for one rank of damage each round until bound. Furthermore these wounds cannot be healed by magical means, only time and medicinal preparations will provide any healing benefit.
  • Burrowing Shard - Thrice per day the wielder can command Flesh Harrow to inject a spine of jagged flint into the wound produced by any successful melee attack. This shard will burrow into the flesh of the victim, inflicting an additional two ranks of damage each round as it digs its way to their heart. Only a Great test of dispelling magic will stop this usually fatal process.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Twilight Corruption

The boundary between the mundane world and the realms of decay and darkness is usually well-defined and impenetrable. Usually. Sometimes the boundary is weakened, either by some great accidental cataclysm, or by intentional use of dark magics. When this occurs, the first sign is often an outbreak of the Twilight Corruption. This magical disease afflicts any living thing that goes too close to the physical break between planes. The symptoms and effects vary depending on exposure and the relative strength of the break. Since the Corruption affects all living things, be they plant or animal, the first signs often manifest in the local trees and undergrowth. Plants near the break receive constant exposure, making them very vulnerable to the Corruptions effects.

Any living thing that is exposed to the Corruption source should roll on the table below (1d10) for each day of exposure. A Good test of resistance negates the effect of any roll. Note that continued exposure means additional rolls. All effects are cumulative.
1-2No effect. The creature is safe, for now.
3-4Wasting Corruption. The creature suffers from a gradual wasting disease, which reduces one of vitality strength or will by one rank each 1d4 days.
5-6Devouring Hunger. The creature is driven by a maddening hunger for fresh blood. Each day a Good test of will must be made or the afflicted attacks a living creature for their blood. Consumed blood negates the effects of Wasting Corruption.
7Unholy Mutation. Any plant afflicted with this effect gains the ability to move using roots and branches as limbs. Plants can also use branches as crude weapons, clubbing or entangling their victims. Afflicted animals suffer uncontrolled growth, gaining 50% in size and strength, along with proportional strength. This growth is accompanied by an disgusting corruption of features and flesh, twisting familiar faces into cruel mockeries.
8Ecoplasmic Form. The afflicted sprouts 1d6 twisting tendrils of ectoplasmic goo from their body. These tendrils corrupt what they touch. Anyone coming in contact with one must roll on this table as if they were exposed to the source of Corruption.
9Necrotic Flesh. The victim's flesh begins to turn blue-green and decay, emitting a foul odor. Anyone within 10 feet of Necrotic Flesh must make a Good resistance roll or be nauseated for 1d6 rounds, suffering a one rank penalty to all action checks. There is no negative effect to the victim.
10Berserk Rage. The victim loses their last remnant of sanity and goes berserk, attacking any living thing that crosses their path. The berserker gains one rank of strength and vitality, and becomes immune to mind- or emotion-affecting powers.
Victims of the Corruption can be cured with a Superb test of divine magic (treat as a magical disease to determine appropriate spells or rituals). Each time a victim of the Corruption dies, there is a 25% chance their remains will crumble to dust, a 50% chance they will rise as a crude undead creature (skeleton or zombie), and a 25% chance their corpse will become a seed for a new rift between the planes. If the victim's corpse is treated with a Superb divine magic cleansing these effects will be negated.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This delicate spider-like figurine is made from fine threads of platinum and gold, woven together with tiny twists and knots. The eight-legged construct is four inches across, and has clusters of tiny gems, rubies and emeralds, for eyes. Each leg ends in a tangle of thin wires that seem to subdivide into finer and finer strands. Despite its somewhat fearsome appearance, the Arachno-key has a no offensive capabilities. It radiates Epic alteration and animation magic, and a Great test of divination magic will reveal the process required to activate its unique capabilities.

To activate the construct it must be fed precious metals, silver, gold or platinum, of at least Fair value. It consumes these materials using its tiny crystalline jaws, reducing the entire mass to nothing within a few minutes. Once fed it will be active for one hour. While active it's owner can place it upon any sealed or locked object (doors, chests, magically sealed scroll cases, etc.) and the Arachno-key will begin to open the closure, its tiny legs spreading into thousands of hair-fine manipulators, capable of opening the most complex locks, feel out the secrets of any trap, or uncovering the tricks of any magical seal.

Each minute the Arachno-key works it can do one of the following:
  •  Make a Legendary test of lock-picking.
  •  Make an Epic test of trap removal.
  •  Make a Superb attempt to remove a magical seal or locking mechanism.
The construct will continue to work so long as it is fed. It will eat a maximum of once every eight hours however.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Summer Rain

This artifact is a large stone fountain, approximately six feet tall. It consists of several pieces, a broad wrought iron base of twisting leaves and vines, a massive lower bowl of pale orange marble, a central vertical riser of wrought iron which matches the base, and an upper bowl, also of pale orange marble, with an ornately carved, three-headed dragon rising from the center. Each of the dragon's three mouths forms a spout. All told the components weigh several hundred pounds and would require a cart to move.

When fully assembled, base supporting lower bowl, riser supporting upper bowl, and exposed to full daylight for one hour the fountain will come to life. Three streams of varicolored liquid, red, yellow, and orange, will pour from the three spouts and mix in the upper bowl, creating a greenish brew. This drains through its serrated edges into the lower basin, which fills but never seems to overflow, the excess liquid mysteriously vanishing from sight. The streams continue to flow until the fountain is hidden frmo the sun, or sundown, when they cease. All accumulated liquids vanish, including any that were removed from the fountain.

Summer Rain, its components, and the liquids it produces all radiate Superb alteration and transformation magic. A Great test of divination magic will reveal its powers. The fountain transforms the energies accumulated from exposure to sunlight into magical liquids, each with a unique effect:
  • Red - The imbiber's veins flow with the heat of the sun, granting limited immunity to cold-based damage. All such damage is reduced by two ranks, and any resistance checks gain a two rank bonus.
  • Yellow - Anyone drinking a dose of this liquid gains piercing sun-lit vision, capable of seeing through the blackest shadow or thickest fog. They gain immunity to any blinding effects, and a three rank bonus to any perception check involving vision or sight.
  • Orange - Energized by the sun's eternal flames, the imbiber gains an increased energy level, allowing them to act more quickly than normal. They gain an additional free action every other combat round.
  • Green - The combined light, heat and energy of the sun give life, and those that drink this green liquid are similarly rewarded. The imbiber heals at an accelerated rate, recovering one rank of damage per hour. They also gain a one rank bonus to all resistance checks against life- or vitality-draining effects.
Each of these effects lasts until sunset of the day the liquid was drunk. The fountain produces enough liquid to create 20 doses of each liquid per hour (each dose is about two cups of liquid).

Friday, March 19, 2010


This large coin purse is made from gleaming, deep red leather, sewn with fine black thread wrapped with silver wire, and decorated with matching silver studs. The main compartment of the interior is lined with heavy black velvet, as is a second, much smaller compartment tucked into the purse's side. Two clasps of silver-chased bone hold Coinflipper's two compartments closed, and a thick loop of leather allows it to be securely attached to a belt or sash. The large compartment will hold about two dozen coins, the smaller, but a single coin.

Coinflipper radiates Superb alteration and Great protection magic. A Great test of divination magic will reveal the item's powers:
  • Sealed - Each of Coinflipper's two two compartments is magically sealed, requiring a command word to open. A Superb test of dispelling magic will bypass this protection, but cause a loud, piercing whistle to sound from the forced purse for ten minutes.
  • Conversion - This power is activated by filling Coinflipper's main compartment with a single variety of  coin, then placing a single coin of a different denomination in the second compartment, sealing both and uttering a command word. This process instantly transforms the coins in the main compartment into identical copies of the coin stored in the secondary compartment. This process works on any form of currency, though the enchantment is sophisticated enough to ignore slugs or counterfeit coins. This power can be used once per day and can alter up to two dozen coins. There is a cumulative 1% chance that all coins involved in the process will be mysteriously destroyed instead of being transformed (this chance resets to 1% when the destruction event is triggered).
Note that coins altered by Coinflipper are exact copies of the original, right down to scratches, markings or dents. A cautious merchant might grow suspicious if they notice a stack of identical coins being used for purchases.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spirit of Renewal

This heavy pendant is a single irregular chunk of bright green glass, its surface has a smooth, almost melted appearance. The pendant hangs from a simple silver chain about forty inches long. The chain runs through a narrow hole in the stone, apparently a natural formation. If one studies the stone closely a dim, flickering yellow light can be seen in the heart of the pendant.

The pendant radiates Superb spirit and protective magic, though these effects do not accurately reflect the device's nature. The pendant is a spirit snare, designed to capture and hold an elemental creature of nature. The creature contained within is a life-giving elemental with only a dim awareness of its surroundings. A Great test of divination magic will reveal the process required to tap into the trapped spirit's powers, while a Superb test will reveal the process required to free the spirit contained within.

To activate the pendant's powers the owner must meditate upon the flickering light it contains, opening their will to that of the spirit contained within. Obtaining the proper mindset to do this requires a Great test of will. After ten minutes meditation the spirit will form a spiritual bond with the owner, which has two effects:
  • Maintaining the bond drains the owner's will, causing a two rank penalty to any skill tests or resistance checks involving willpower.
  • The owner gains the spirit's powers of renewal, healing one rank of damage every ten minutes, and gaining a two rank bonus to any resistance checks versus poison, disease, or other natural damage sources.
The spiritual bond lasts four hours, but maintaining it is draining on both the owner and the spirit, it can be attempted no more than once per day.

Should the owner attempt the rite required to free the spirit, a Good difficulty ritual, the pendant will shatter, leaving the owner with nothing but a Good value silver chain and broken bits of green glass. Note that the spirit is not particularly unhappy with its current status, as it is a very low order entity.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Three of a Kind - Not

Three shorts today each completely unrelated to the other:

Planar Edge - This heavy one-handed axe has a haft of pure silver wrapped with dark blue leather, fitted with a solid chunk of lapis as a pommel stone. The weapon's blade has a triangular shape, a straight-edged face backed with a long narrow point. The blade is made from a transparent blue crystal shot through with darker bands of glowing green. The weapon radiates Great quality combat and summoning magic. When wielded in battle it has Good bonuses to damage and accuracy against mundane foes. Against summoned beings, extra-planar entities, or insubstantial creatures these bonuses rise to Superb. Thrice per day the wielder can force an extra-planar or insubstantial creature to fully manifest on the mundane plane, stripping it of any benefits it receives from its unusual nature.

Ironshield Potion - This magical brew provides the imbiber with a potent defensive advantage. The sickly rust-colored liquid tastes faintly of iron, one of the ingredients used in its making. Once drunk the potion hardens the skin, providing a Good defensive bonus to physical attack. Any physical damage received is reduced in severity by two ranks. The effects of the potion last twelve rounds, or until thirty ranks of damage have been absorbed. Brewing this mixture is a Great test of Alchemy. Required ingredients include a bit of metal armor that has been worn in battle, the dust of a Great quality bloodstone, and a paste made from ground acorns and a troll's fang.

Stone of the Depths - Legend says this strangely crystalline pearl was recovered from a monstrous half-clam / half-crab creature that came ashore eons ago. The fist-sized object appears to be a normal, white pearl, save for its faceted crystalline shape. It radiates Superb alteration magic, and a Great test of divination magic will reveal its powers. When held the Stone enables its bearer to breath water as if it were air. Any creature of the depths will treat the owner as a friend, though no communications abilities are conveyed. Any water-based spells or abilities used by the Stone's owner gain two ranks of power when cast.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Horn of Chaos

This instrument is made from a deformed ram's horn, an off-kilter, twisted S rather than a smoothly looping coil. The Horn's natural brown surface has been carved with primitive shapes and patterns, each colored with a greenish substance that stains the hands of anyone that picks up the ugly device. A dull bronze mouthpiece is fitted to the Horn's pointed tip, and a ring of matching material decorates the instrument's open bell end. Anyone touching the object will experience a faint sense of distaste as its surface seems to have a curiously variable texture, warm one moment, chill the next, soft and rubbery or slick and glassy. Most will feel more comfortable carrying the Horn by its baldric, a simple strip of black silk fastened to the Horn with ornate and complex knots.

The Horn radiates Great evocation and alteration magic and its nature is obscured by Good illusion magic that affects attempts to discern its powers. Only an Epic test of divination magic will reveal the item's characteristics, though experimentation will also produce results. The Horn has the following powers and abilities:
  • Shifting Nature - The device's owner suffers a gradual alteration of their fundamental characteristics and abilities. Each week they must make a Great resistance check against the Horn's power or suffer one of the following effects:
    1. One rank of a random attribute shift to another randomly determined attribute (strength shifts to intelligence for example).
    2. Gain one rank of ability in a sense (sight or hearing for example) while losing one rank in another.
    3. One physical feature undergoes a fundamental shift (hair or eye color for example).
    4. Gain or lose three inches in height.
  • Wild Imaginings - Thrice per day the owner can sound the Horn. Anyone within 30 feet must make a Great resistance check or be afflicted with a sense-altering madness for 2d6 rounds. Those affected suffer terrible and threatening illusions formed from the mundane objects around them, tree branches become slithering giant snakes, grass becomes a creeping pool of ooze, statues come to life and stone walls close in, threatening to crush the victim. The afflicted suffer a three rank penalty to all actions and must make a Great will test each round or become distracted by the illusions that threaten them from every side.
  • Elemental Shift - Once a day the wielder can sound a note upon the Horn that causes a single non-living object to shift its basic form, gas, liquid or solid, to another randomly determined form. Stone becomes vapor, Water becomes solid, or Air becomes thick and liquid. Up to a 15' radius of material can be affected by this power, which lasts six rounds. Note that the affected substance will change shape as appropriate to its new nature, liquid stone will flow like water, gasses will spread and disperse on the wind. At the end of the power's duration the object affected will revert to its previous form, though it will not return to its original shape.
  • Primal Chaos - This note calls forth a portion of the universe's original primordial ooze, a one foot diameter globe of pure chaotic energy lasting six rounds. This object moves in a random direction, traveling 1d4 x 10 feet each round. The globe is unaffected by gravity or magical effects. Any material object touching it must make an Epic resistance check or instantly be absorbed and permanently destroyed. This power can be invoked once per day. This note has a 1% chance of shattering the Horn when it is sounded.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hides of the Bestial

This item is a crude jerkin made from the poorly tanned hides of a half-dozen predatory animals, wolf, lion, bear and wolverine, all sewn together with black leather lacing in crude strips and patches. At a casual glance the garment is unremarkable, a mess of smelly hides and clotted fur, but if checked for magical properties, the garment radiates Great alteration and enhancement magic. A Good test of divination will reveal the item's enchantments:
  • The Hides will re-size themselves to fit anyone from the smallest Halfling to the largest Ogre.
  • When worn they provide Fair quality armor. The Hides are bulky enough to prevent other armor from being worn.
  • Predatory Instinct - Thrice per day the wearer can use this power to gain the senses of a predatory creature. This ability provides them with a Great bonus to hearing, sight, and sense of smell. It also allows the wearer to track with a Great chance of success. Each invocation of Predatory Instinct lasts one hour.
  • Bestial Rage - When the wearer engages in melee combat they have a Great chance each round of flying into an uncontrollable rage. While enraged the wearer will attack without consideration of personal safety or strategy, going for the nearest available target. They will only use melee attacks, resorting to fists and teeth if they are unarmed. While in enraged they gain two ranks of strength and vitality, and Fair regeneration capability. The wearer will continue to fight for three rounds even if they would normally succumb to their wounds. Bestial Rage lasts until there are no foes present, or a maximum of ten rounds. At the expiration of Rage, strength and vitality fades and the wearer collapses for 1d4 rounds.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A New Blog

RPG Creatures is a new addition to the role-playing games blogsphere. The author is publishing creature artwork, along with descriptions and stat blocks. If you're interested in this sort of thing (and why would you be reading here if you weren't?) you should definitely check out this site.

The blogger, Nicholas Cloister, does a great job both with his art and the descriptions of the creatures. All stats are provided in a simple-to-adapt format. I like the Lammathen and Nordjarimm in particular.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Glass Ward

The Glass Ward is a medium-sized round shield made from a twisted mass of black volcanic glass tinted with red and green stains caused by impurities. The edges of the shield have been polished smooth, but the face is a mass of twisted, razor sharp spines and spikes. A bronze frame secures the Ward's leather grip to the polished back of the disc. The Glass Ward radiates Superb protection and alteration magic, and a Great test of divination will reveal the item's powers.
  • The Ward can be used as a normal shield, it's glass surface magically enhanced to resist damage (Epic toughness). It provides a Fair bonus to defense. The shield can be used as a weapon as well, inflicting Good damage with the many spines and spires of glass on its face.
  • Glass Barrier - At will the bearer can invoke this power, which causes an array of three glass discs to spin forth from the shield and circle its owner. The Glass Barrier lasts ten rounds and absorbs damage from melee attacks directed at the bearer, reducing each attack by three ranks. Absorbed damage accumulates in the Barrier, and must be released before the effect ends or all accumulated damage is applied when the Barrier expires (see below). Invoking the Barrier takes a full round of concentration.
  • Shatter Barrier - This power breaks an existing Glass Barrier, spraying forth chunks of razor sharp glass in a 10 foot radius. These shards inflict damage on all targets within the area of effect (including the Ward's wielder) equal to one-quarter the accumulated barrier. Invoking this power takes a full round.
  • Enhance Barrier - The wielder can recharge an existing Barrier, extending its life by ten rounds. Accumulated damage ranks are reduced by one. Enhancing takes a full round and can be used at will.
  • Negate Barrier - The wielder can Negate any accumulated damage on the existing Barrier converting it into healing energy and applying it to any single target within 20 feet. Negating takes three rounds of concentration and if interrupted automatically becomes a Shatter Barrier effect. Negate Barrier can be used at will.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Black Heart

This pendant hangs from a necklace made from twelve strands of thin iron chain, each strand a tangle of rusted and bent links twined and twisted with the others. The pendant itself is a fist-sized cage of bent and fused iron rods covered with ragged and rusty burs and spines. Trapped within this cage is the dessicated and blackened heart of some supernatural creature. Despite its apparently state of decay the gruesome organ continues to beat in an irregular pattern, each pulse forcing a mixture of noxious green gasses and yellow ichor from its torn and gaping veins and arteries. Black Heart radiates Epic quality necromantic magic and is a potent source of evil. To make use of this artifact's powers, the wearer must become attuned to its noxious nature. A Great test of divination magic will reveal the attunement process.

To attune Black Heart a potion brewed from the item's noxious emissions and the owner's own blood must be created. Creating this potion is a Great test of alchemy skill. Once prepared the owner must don the pendant and quaff the potion. This afflicts the owner with a Good potency disease, which inflicts Good damage each day for seven days. The victim may attempt to resist this disease effect once per day (a Great test of toughness required). Any success reduces the damage for the day to Average. Any form of healing applied to the owner negates the entire attunement process. If they survive the entire seven days Black Heart becomes fully attuned, and grants its new owner full understanding of its powers:
  • Black Heart grants a Great resistance bonus to all forms of disease and poison, and reduces any damage received from these sources by two ranks.
  • All healing effects applied to Black Heart's owner suffer a one rank penalty in effectiveness.
  • Venom Touch - At will the wearer can inflict a poison attack doing Good damage to their victim by touch. The victim can reduce this damage to Average with a Good resistance check.
  • Noxious Brew - The wearer can use the noxious emissions of the heart and a portion of their own blood to create three doses of Great strength poison (requires an Average test of Alchemy). This poison can be injected or ingested, and inflicts Good damage for four rounds (Great resistance check to reduce damage to Fair each round). Drawing the blood required to make this venom inflicts an Average wound on the wearer.
  • Disease Cloud - The wearer can cause Black Heart to expel a cloud of noxious vapors in a 15 foot radius around themselves. This cloud infects anyone within the area of effect with a vitality-draining disease (Great resistance check per round of exposure to avoid). Once inflicted the disease drains one rank of vitality from the victim every six hours. The disease lasts seven days or until cured. Creatures slain by the vitality drain are permanently slain, their bodies reduced to dust. This power can be invoked once per day. The wearer is immune to the effects.
Edit: Tweaks to various powers and effects to balance out the powers of this item.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Magician's Hand

    This item is a short and stubby wand about nine inches long. Magician's Hand is made from a twisted length of petrified wood, the gnarled grain and knots of some ancient branch clearly evident. Polished gemstones, garnets and amethyst carved to resemble tiny leaves and nuts, are set along the wand's length, and each end is protected with a polished platinum cap incised with a nine-pointed star burst pattern. The item radiates Great divination and evocation magic, and any intelligent, magic-using creature that touches it will instantly be granted full awareness of its capabilities and powers. Magician's Hand has the following characteristics:
    • The item grants a one rank bonus to its owner in all uses of divination magic. This bonus applies to effectiveness, duration, range, and information discovered.
    • Any damaging evocation spell cast by the wielder inflicts an additional rank of damage to all targets normally affected by the spell.
    • The wielder gains a one rank bonus to all attempts at using magic-related skills such as artifice, alchemy, or lore gathering. The exact skills affected should be determined by the GM as fitting their own campaign.
    • The wielder gains a Great bonus to all language comprehension tests, and can learn new languages with ease, tripling the normal rate of learning. Any languages learned are retained, even if Magician's Hand is lost or destroyed.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    The Mind Shards

    This set of earrings is crafted from a single source material, a twisted hunk of sapphire, emerald and topaz shot through with veins of pure gold. When the Dwarven miners pulled this crystalline mass from the depths, even the least sensitive could feel its power. Dwarven artificers carefully split and shaped the raw material into a collection of earrings, each a single stud designed for a piercing, each imbued with a portion of the original stone's power. Each of the jewelry pieces radiates Good charm and enchantment magic. Each piece's power and command word can be discovered with a Great test of divination magic. Each individual earring has a unique power:
    • Empathy - This piece is a simple stud made primarily of topaz and gold. It allows the wearer to sense the emotional state of any sentient being within ten feet. This earring's power can be activated at will with a round of concentration, and lasts so long as the wearer focuses on maintaining the connection.
    • Devourer - This piece consists of three segments of sapphire dangling from a gold base. When worn it allows the wearer to consume the recent memory of a single target within 10 feet. The target will forget the last 2d10 minutes of their existence, feeling a temporary sense of disorientation when the device takes effect. This power can be used three times per day, and the target can resist the effect with a Great test of will.
    • Dominator - The wearer of this polished emerald globe gains the ability to control the actions of a single being (humanoid or mundane creature) within 10 feet for 1d10 minutes. The victim can resist this effect with a Great test of will. The target will carry out any non-life-threatening task set by the wearer to the best of their abilities. This power can be used thrice per day.
    • Watcher - The wearer of this disc, half topaz, half sapphire, gains the ability to see through the eyes of a single being (humanoid or mundane creature) within 30 feet for 2d10 minutes. The victim can resist this effect with a Great test of will. The wearer gains the benefits of any sight enhancements the target is able to use while this power is in effect. Watcher can be used three times per day.
    • Enforcer - This pendant earring is made from emerald shot through with gold. When worn it raises the difficulty of will checks for other Mind Shards powers by two ranks (the will check for Dominator, for example, rises from Great to Epic). This power is passive and affects all other pieces.
    • Expander - This earring is a delicate chain of linked topaz and sapphire rings supporting a single nugget of polished gold. When worn this earring trebles the range of all other Mind Shards. This power is passive.
    The wearer of any individual piece of the Mind Shards can concentrate for a round and know the approximate direction of the nearest additional piece, making it possible to find and assemble the entire set.

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    The Blade of the Heavens

    Ancient legend says that once every thousand years the gods appoint a mortal guardian to defend the gates of heaven. The Blade is the chosen one's weapon. It is a heavy one-handed sword with a blade of pure silver and light. The weapon's basket-like guard is carved from purest green jade, inscribed with two guardian lions, each chasing the other's tail. The weapon's grip is wood wrapped with brilliant red wire, and a gleaming chunk of hematite forms its pommel. The Blade's scabbard is made from silver and trimmed in wolf's fur. Three red silk tassels hang from the scabbard's throat.

    The Blade radiates Legendary combat and protective magic and Epic alteration magic. An Epic test of divination magic will reveal the item's enchantments:
    • The Blade is a Legendary quality weapon, for all intents it is unbreakable, and grants Superb damage and accuracy bonuses when wielded.
    • The wielder gains Legendary protection from all forms of mental attack, magical influence and control, including charm or fear effects, suggestions, esp, or domination.
    • The wielder can run as swiftly and as tirelessly as a hunting wolf, gaining a Superb bonus to endurance and running speed.
    • When the sword is held the wielder can fly at Superb speed (though only average maneuverability).
    • Lion's Call - Thrice per day the wielder can summon forth a pair of Celestial Lions, supernatural creatures with Superb toughness and flight capabilities. These creatures fight for the wielder using Epic claw attacks and are utterly loyal. Slain Lions vanish and can be instantly resummoned, up to the three per day limit each.
    • Earth's Renewal - Three times per day the wielder can plunge the Blade into the earth for one full round. At the end of the round they are healed an Epic amount of damage.
    • Heaven's Cut - Six times per day the wielder can strike a blow imbued with the powers of heaven. This blow inflicts Epic damage, shatters the target's weapon (Epic test to resist), dispels any enchantments or spells affecting the target, and neutralizes any magical items in use for six rounds.

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    Hobbit or Elf?

    Man, which is he? What a neat, inspirational house.

    Web Urbanist has some great inspirational material for gaming mixed in with the usual weird-web fare. Definitely worth browsing through.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    The Summoner's Claw

    This device is steeped in demonic magic, radiating Epic summoning and demonology power and possessing an aura of evil. The Summoner's Claw is a short rod-like object made from the petrified hand and forearm of some demonic entity. Four black-clawed fingers curled into a raking hand connect to a pallid, bone-scaled forearm, which ends in a golden cap inscribed with unknown runes at the stump end. Though clearly a dead relic the Claw emits faint warmth, the flesh beneath the scales resilient and slightly squishy. The powers of the Claw can be unlocked with a Superb test of divination magic.

    To activate the Claw, the wielder must use it to inflict an Average wound upon themselves (the item's claws are razor sharp, making it a clumsy but effective weapon), and invoking the item's command word. Once activated the Claw summons forth a demonic manifestation which serves the wielder for one hour or until slain. This demon has the general form of a human-sized winged serpent. General characteristics:
    • Good toughness. The serpent's scaled form is resilient and resistant to elemental damage.
    • Good flight ability. The creature is fairly fast and maneuverable.
    • Good claw attack. The creature can attack each round with a pair of claw attacks.
    • Great bite attack. The creature can attack each round with a powerful bite.
    Roll once on the table below using a d20, adding one to the result for each summoning. Enhancements are cumulative across summonings. See Enraged below.
    1-4Enhanced ClawsThe creature's claw attacks increase either accuracy or damage by one rank.
    5-8Enhanced BiteThe creature's bite attack increases either accuracy or damage by one rank.
    9-12Scaled FleshThe creature has thicker, tougher scales. Add one rank of toughness.
    13-14Elemental ResilienceThe creature gains two ranks of elemental resistance versus a specific element (determine randomly). Subsequent rolls add additional ranks or new elements.
    15-16Tail LashThe creature can use its serpent-like tail as a Fair lashing attack. Subsequent rolls increase either accuracy or damage one rank.
    17-18SpinesAnyone engaging in melee with the creature suffers an Average wound each round from the creature's protruding spines. If the creature already has spines increase their damage by one rank.
    19-20Fearful ShriekThe creature emits a hideous shrieking noise that causes fear in a 10 foot radius, usable at will. Average resistance check to ignore. Subsequent rolls increase radius by 10 feet or the difficulty of the resistance check by one rank.
    21Venom SpitThe creature can spit venom up to 30 feet causing Great poison damage to the target for one round. It can use this ability thrice per summoning. Subsequent results increase range by 10 feet or duration by one round.
    22Acidic FleshAny wound inflicted on the creature sprays forth a potent acid, inflicting Fair damage on anyone within 10 feet, and damaging metal items. Resistance roll applies. Each subsequent roll increases the potency of this effect one rank.
    23EnragedSee below.


    The Summoner's Claw binds a true demon (the item's command word is the demon's true name), its magic allowing the creature to partially manifest on the mundane plane. Each time the creature's manifestation is summoned there is a cumulative chance it will be able to take control of the manifestation and inflict its rage upon the Claw's wielder. The Enraged result indicates the demon has seized control of its manifestation. Roll again on the table above, ignoring Enraged results. The resulting creature attacks the Claw's wielder, using all its powers and abilities to inflict maximum damage. Should the wielder be slain, the creature will continue its rampage, attacking the nearest available target until it is slain, or the one hour time limit expires.

    Once the Enraged demon has been defeated or dissipated reset the summoned creature back to the basic beast and reset the table roll bonus to zero.

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Living Dolls

    This artifact consists of a set of small dolls or figurines. Each doll has a soft fabric body fitted with superbly crafted clay heads, hands and feet. Each figurine is dressed in a complete outfit woven from the finest materials, silk decorated with ivory and gem chips. Each outfit reflects the Doll's purpose (see below). Each Doll is approximately six inches tall. The Dolls radiate Epic alteration magic and a Great test of divination magic will reveal the command word that activates the individual Dolls. All Dolls share the following attributes:
    • Fair toughness. Despite their apparent fragile appearance the Dolls are relatively tough. They can be damaged via normal physical or magical attacks however. Damaged Dolls recover one rank of damage per day of inactivity.
    • Animated - While active each Doll can walk, run, sit, stand, etc. Some Dolls have alternative movement capabilities available.
    • Activation - Each doll can be activated once per day for a maximum of eight hours. They will stop whatever they are doing and return to their owner prior to the expiration of their activation.
    The following Dolls are known to exist:
    • Messenger - This Doll wears a white robe decorated with tiny sapphires. Tiny wings are sculpted onto its hands and feet, and it holds a jeweled scroll case in its hands. When activated this Doll can be commanded to carry a written message to a named individual within 100 miles, and potentially await a return message in a similar form. This Doll flies at Epic speed and has an unerring ability to find its target so long as they are within range. Any written message is magically shrunk and stored within the carried scroll case. Should the Doll be destroyed the message is also lost.
    • Spy - Instead of a face, this Doll's head bears a huge glaring eye. It's slightly simian form is dressed in black silk trousers and shirt decorated with flecks of ebony. When activated it can be commanded to spy upon any location within one mile, relaying a vision of everything it sees back to its owner. The Doll runs at Great speed, and has Epic hiding abilities. It can see in the dark or through obscuring mist or smoke with ease.
    • Assassin - This Doll is dressed in metallic gray cloth fashioned to resemble mail. It's face is covered with a tiny metal helm, and each of its hands bears a needle-sharp dagger. When activated this Doll can be commanded to seek out one target within sight and attack, using venomous daggers with Good accuracy and inflicting Great poison damage if it succeeds. The Doll attacks ten times before its venom is discharged and it returns to its master. This Doll runs at Fair speed and has Fair hiding abilities.
    • Medic - This Doll is dressed in red silk robes decorated with diamond and ruby chips. It wears a matching satchel slung over one shoulder. When activated the Doll will treat any wounds, illnesses, poisons or diseases on the selected target(s). The target is cured of one rank of wounds and gains a resistance check versus any poisons, or diseases affecting them with a Great bonus. Each target treated consumes one hour of the Doll's active time.

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010


    This amulet is triangular in shape, made from thick gold and set with a single twisted orange crystal of unknown origins. The reverse side of the amulet is inscribed with an image of three stylized eyes, arranged in a triangular pattern. A thick, twisted gold chain about thirty inches long allows the amulet to be worn around the neck. The heavy pendant radiates Legendary alteration magic, and a Superb test of divination magic will reveal its enchantment.

    Multiform has a single unique power. Thrice per day the wearer can split into three smaller versions of themselves. Each version capable of carrying out independent actions as if they were the original. Each copy has two-thirds the health and/or toughness of the original, and any duplicate which is slain vanishes, unless it is the last copy, in which case the wearer is slain. The duplicates last a total of six rounds. When the effect expires the wearer can choose which duplicate becomes the new original. Any status effects applied to any copy remain in effect after the rejoining, but the rejoining process allows the wearer a new resistance check if applicable.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010


    This artifact appears to be a living plant, its shaft a narrow tree trunk wrapped in vines and tendrils, its butt end a snarl of thick, twisted roots, and its point a trio of stiff, razor-sharp leaves. The six foot long spear is not balanced for throwing, but makes an ideal melee weapon. It radiates Epic combat and alteration magic. A Great test of divination magic will reveal the item's magical characteristics:
    • The spear bears a Great accuracy and damage enhancement.
    • Any successful attack by the weapon deposits a seed in the resulting wound. This seed sprouts into a fast-growing vine, which spreads to entangle a human-sized opponent within three rounds. Entangled opponents are slowed to half normal speed and drained one rank of vitality each round. Entangling vines last 2d6 rounds, then wither and die. Drained vitality is recovered at the rate of one rank per hour.
    • Upon command Vinespear will shoot forth a cluster of tentacle-like vines that will fasten themselves to an inanimate object within 60 feet of the bearer. These vines can be used as a rope for climbing or to break the wielder's fall. This power can be invoked up to three times per day, the vines created last ten turns per invocation.
    • Once per day the wielder can command the tangled roots at the butt end of Vinespear to dig. The spear will immediately begin excavating whatever earth or stone  it is placed against, adhering to the substance until this power's duration expires or commanded to cease by the wielder. The roots can excavate a cubic foot of stone or a cubic yard of soft earth per round. This power lasts up to twenty turns or until the wielder commands the spear to cease digging.

    Monday, March 1, 2010


    The ShirshiSreen is a hideous arachnid creature with a bizarre composite nature. Each ShirshiSreen is a collective, each part a complete creature, each part subsumed by the greater whole.

    ShirshiSreen begin life as an undifferentiated cluster of eggs laid on a food source, generally decaying organic matter (a dead tree or the remains of some unlucky creature). Eggs hatch within a day and the grub-like larva immediately begin to feed, doubling in size within a few hours. In short order the grubs begin to mutate, developing legs, eyes and chitinous shells, then transforming into the various forms that make up an adult ShirshiSreen:

    Queen Brain

    Each cluster of eggs produces a single Queen Brain, a stubby-legged creature with huge multi-faceted eyes and a tough chitin shell. Most of the Queen Brain's body atrophies, allowing a network of dense nerve fiber to fill the vacated space. A mature Queen Brain is little more than a stomach and brain in a shell. The Queen Brain's legs allow the creature the crawl at a painfully slow pace, but they are ideally suited for their true purpose, clinging to the Spindle Legs.

    Spindle Legs

    Each ShirshiSreen has three to six of these creatures associated with it. They provide the colony with both mobility and defense. Each Spindle Leg is spider-like in appearance, with four to six well developed walking legs, two grasping limbs altered to grasp and protect the Queen Brain, and two fore-limbs bearing spiny protrusions suitable for defense on their outer face and delicate claws for holding and manipulating on their inner face. The creature's bodies are covered in a protective chitin shell. Their head is a stubby protrusion, almost hidden by deep-set, multi-faceted eyes and powerful biting jaws.


    The smallest members of the ShirshiSreen collective, the Swarmers are beetle-like, with six of their many legs mutated into delicate feather-like wings which fold beneath thick, chitinous shells.  Their remaining limbs end in a cluster of curving spines and claws. When inactive, Swarmers cling to the much larger Spindle Legs and Queen Brain, but they spend a great deal of time scouting for food sources to feed the ever-hungry collective. Like the rest of the ShirshiSreen Collective, Swarmers have well-developed, multi-faceted eyes. Each Swarmer also has a pair of spiny mandibles capable of inflicting a venomous bite.

    The ShirshiSreen Collective

    ShirshiSreen inhabit dense woodlands, preferring the warm tropical environments. The typical collective consists of a central Queen Brain supported and carried by three to six attached Spindle Legs and dozens of much smaller Swarmers. A newly formed ShirshiSreen has a combined leg-span of a foot or so, but the creatures continue to grow throughout their multi-year lifespan. Huge specimens with ten foot legs and yard long Queen Brains have been reported.

    ShirshiSreen are predatory in nature. Swarmers scout the surroundings, and when prey is located, the entire Collective attacks. Typically the Queen Brain will remain at a distance, with one or two Spindle Legs for mobility, while the remaining Spindle Legs and the Swarmers carry out a frontal assault. Once prey is neutralized the entire Collective quickly shreds the corpse and feeds it to the Queen Brain, the only member creature with a true digestive system. The Brain digests the remains into a soupy goo that she then shares with the rest of her Collective.

    Each ShirshiSreen shares a collective consciousness, controlled and directed by the Queen Brain's dominating psyche. Collectives manifest a certain level of intelligence. Larger specimens use tools, construct primitive shelters, and lay traps for the unwary. ShirshiSreen are territorial in nature, and disputes often lead leading to violent confrontation.

    As previously mentioned ShirshiSreen are egg-layers. Queen Brains are female and Spindle Legs are male. ShirshiSreen breed during the spring months, and during breeding season Collectives permanently exchange Spindle Legs, providing genetic diversity to the species. During the spring months each Queen Brain will lay three to five new egg clusters, which will hatch into new ShirshiSreen. Queens also lay individual eggs year-round, which are fastened to the Queen's own body by attendant Swarmers. These eggs hatch into new Swarmers or Spindle Legs and replace any lost colony members. If a Collective's Queen Brain is slain all its member creatures die as well.

    Queen Brain Attributes:
    • Good toughness shell
    • Terrible mobility
    • Average bite attack
    • Collective attunement - The Collective operates as a singular creature so long as the Queen Brain is active, sharing all sensory information and coordinating actions as a single living being.
    • Great psychic sensitivity - The Queen Brain can sense the mental energies of living beings within 60 feet. This sensitivity extends to reading surface thought and divining basic intent.
    • Great sensation projection - Using its psychic abilities, the Queen Brain can project sensory illusions onto a chosen target. Sensations such as intense pain, horrible smells or blinding lights are typical results. Each projection lasts 2d6 rounds, and a Great test of will can negate the effect.

    Spindle Leg Attributes:
    • Great toughness shell
    • Great mobility, including the ability to climb and cling to sheer surfaces using powerful clawed pincers.
    • Good claw attacks (two each round) capable of inflicting bleeding wounds. Two successful claw attacks in a round allow an automatic bite attack next round.
    • Good bite attack. A successful bite injects the target with flesh-destroying venom that inflicts Average damage each round for 1d4 subsequent rounds.

    Swarmer attributes:
    • Good toughness shell.
    • Fair flight ability with Good maneuverability but Poor endurance.
    • Fair bite attack with spiny mandibles. Each successful bite injects a flesh-destroying venom that inflicts Average damage each round for 1d4 subsequent rounds.