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Emissary’s Voice

These swords are the only remaining sign of a world-spanning empire long ago. Each one a work of art made of the finest metals and gems. Razor sharp even when found in the bottom of a centuries-old gravel pit lair of acidic lizards. So far in recorded history three of them have been found, and none have woken up for their powers to be discovered.

Each one is a +1 weapon to start with. When woken up the sword reveals itself to be a intelligent sentience that was crafted to be a translator and advisor for the soldiers sent out to explore unknown lands. The sword communicates telepathically and can instantly translate for the wielder and even translates the best possible version of what is being said to make the wielder sound like a master diplomat. Giving the +1 bonus to social/negotiating rolls.

These swords are very lawful and attempt to nudge their owner into founding a empire. Wanting to see a world-spanning nation once more to bring the light and stability of civilisation to every corner of the world. If the owner has a weak will the sword may even take over and use him as a puppet to advance the cause of lawful control as best the two of them can manage. Use the rules for magic-user mutation whenever using the +1 bonus in combat or diplomacy. With some kind of imposed lawful compulsion instead of physical deformities.

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Posted by on February 8, 2012 in Items

 

Torc of Tongues

This is a magic item I thought up for a contest for Legend of the Flame Princess. I didn’t win. Which I was kind of expecting given the quality of responses a general crowd-sourcing call gets in that part of the web. The old-school blogs I follow have pretty creative readers. I, however, thought that I would at least be the only person to use the word/item Torc. It is hardly in common usage after all. Nope, another guy used it as well. Ah, the fleeting sense of uniqueness passes so quickly.

Anyway I thought I came up with a exotic and somewhat gruesome magic item. In my opinion it is a great hook for future adventures and a great character hook. Really spells out what a adventurer will do for extra abilities. Very few characters are missing a tongue (might need to write up that critical hit table) so if this item is found the decision whether to slice out their own tongue will come up. A good gamemaster will play up the gruesomeness and gore of taking a dull rusted blade to do the deed.

Also the chance that each tongue might start saying words other then what the character is intended is a wonderful hook for the gamemaster. Will the trapped soul ask for release? Will it try to deceive the rest of the party? Will it say exactly what the character wants until they are in the middle of a tense negotiation before breaking out into blasphemous chanting and song? The possibilities are endless.

The torc also illustrates what I believe is important for magical items. It isn’t too powerful to be given out as the first treasure a character finds and on the flip side is useful enough that a character might keep it for their entire adventuring career. The lack of stats/mechanics/bonuses helps with this. That could just be to keep the item system neutral, not specifically a power level thing. My opinion is the best way to keep magical items interesting is to make each one enough to base an entire character around. Which means that every magic item should be possible to find as the character’s very first piece of loot and helping define that character from that point on.

Torc of Tongues
Nobody knows how many of these torcs are around, most people who discover the truth behind them hope that the answer is ‘not many’.  Wound around the the torc are 2d6 still living tongues of various species. The tongues are constantly moving and shifting when worn, writhing against the bare skin of the person wearing the torc.
If the person wearing the torc has lost his tongue (or had it cut out) he can take one of the tongues on the torc and put it in their mouth. It bonds to where they used to have a tongue and allows them to speak with the same creatures that the tongue came from. Depending on the tongue, they may also be able to speak in any languages they knew before as well. While wearing the necklace the tongues that come from it can be removed and put back onto the necklace and another one may be chosen.
If the necklace is removed the bonded tongue is permanently joined as the person’s own tongue and is no longer part of the necklace. Also, there is a chance (10%) that each time a tongue is bonded to the torc’s wearer the trapped spirit of the creature takes control and the tongue will say whatever the tormented soul wishes instead of the speaker.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Items

 

Staff of Thunder & Lightning

No legends or stories are told of this staff despite its power. Crafted from thick black wood with both ends capped with rough black iron. It was never meant to be a magical item, but some commoner’s weapon. That was before it was captured and spent who knows how long around a Drake and became the focus of raw elemental forces. The air crackles constantly around it. Electric sparks flashing across anything metal nearby. When used as a walking stick a low reverberating rumble sounds each time it strikes the ground, not matter how softly the touch. When deliberately used as a melee weapon this is enhanced so that the staff strikes with the force of thunder or hits with the fury of lightning.

This makes it useful for any fighting man who wishes to knock his enemies off their feet with casual swipes. Only magic-users can unlock the staff’s true powers. At the most basic level the staff enhances storm magic when used to cast spells. With time and study a magic-user can manipulate the staff to create spell-like effects without using up personal energy or risking mutation.

Staff starts as a +1 weapon for both physical combat and lightning/thunder based magic.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Items