Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Father Snake's Skin - Medium Wondrous Item

Father Snake’s Skin: This brightly patterned, red, black and yellow cloak is made of reptile skin leather. The clasp, sewn onto the cloak, is made from a viper’s skill that had been plated with silver.

When worn, the skin grants a +2 natural bonus to armor class, a +1 enhancement bonus to dexterity, gains a +1 enhancement bonus to the DC to resist the wearer’s poisonous attacks, spells, or spell like abilities, and is protected from attacks by reptilian animals as if he had a continuous hide from animals in effect.

The wearer can speak a hissing command word to summon a tiny viper.

Weak transmutation and conjuration; CL 6th; Craft Wondrous Item, Barkskin, Cat’s Grace, Summon Nature’s Ally; Cast 15,350 gp.

NPC Gear: 13th
Treasure Value: 14th

Math

+2 Natural Armor Class (2*2*2000) = 8000
Summon Tiny Viper at will: Summon Nature’s Ally I (1*1*1800) = 1800 half again for multiple different to 2700
+1 DC to all poison saves from attacks made by wearer: (1*1*300) = 300 half again for multiple different to 450
+1 Dexterity (1*1*1000)=1000 half again for multiple different to 1500.
Reptiles cannot attack (Hide from animals 1*1*2000-.1 for limited scope)=1800 half again for multiple different to 2700.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ribbon of Smoke - Minor Wondrous Item

Ribbon of Smoke: This ethereal magic item is a four foot long ribbon of translucent grey silk. When it is tied around the wearer’s eyes, they gain sneak attack as if it were a class ability. The number of dice depend on the individual ribbon: it ranges from +1d6 sneak attack to +5d6 sneak attack. The ribbon lasts for one minute, whereupon it disintegrates into smoke. Sneak attack dice granted by a ribbon of smoke stack with sneak attack gained from other magic items or any class ability.

Weak divination; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item ; Cost 50 gp (+1d6), 200 gp (+2d6), 450 gp (+3d6), 800 gp (+4d6), 1,250 gp (+5d6).

NPC Gear:

+1d6: 1st
+2d6: 1st
+3d6: 1st
+4d6: 2nd
+5d6: 3rd

Treasure Value:

+1d6: 1st
+2d6: 1st
+3d6: 2nd
+4d6: 3rd
+5d6: 5th

Math:

Number of sneak attack dice, squared, *50
As the Nac Mac Feegle might say, "waily waily."

I only posted once last week. There were reasons: a full work week, and anniversary weekends. Reasons so feeble, they can only be labled excuses. So, to make it up, and as penance, I will post every day from Monday to Thursday, an extra post in honor of the most coolest of holidays, October the 13th.

The truly exciting part of this is that I only have four more posts banked. FOUR. MORE. POSTS. Which, if you count, is the number of days I will be posting this week. If I had kept to my previous posting schedule, I would have an extra for next week.

I have only myself to blame.

I had been coasting for quite a while, actually. So, between Thursday and next Monday, I have to come up with another handful of posts.

Let's go.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mooneye - Minor Wondrous Item

Mooneye: A mooneye is a transluscent milky white stone nearly an inch in diameter. They can be enchanted into amulets. When carried close to the body, they allow their owner to Detect Magic at will, and grant a +1 enhancement bonus to wisdom.

Enchanted mooneyes can be inserted into an empty eye socket, where they will grant sight and negate any penalties associated with a lost eye.

An un-enchanted mooneye of this size can be bought for approximately 900 gold pieces.

Weak divination; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, Detect Magic, Owl’s Wisdom; Price: 3,500 gp.

NPC Gear: 7th
Treasure Value: 9th

Math

Detect magic at will: (.5*1*2000) half again for multiple different
+1 wisdom bonus : (1*1*2000)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Cloak of Grasping - Minor Wondrous Item

Cloak of Grasping: This blue cloak is embroidered with whorled patterns, not unlike a finger print, in green thread. Three command words are sewn along the bottom hem. Using them, the wearer has the ability to cast chill touch and shocking grasp once per day each as a 3rd level caster, and mage hand 3 times per day. They are also granted a +2 bonus to sleight of hand checks.

Weak conjuration; Caster level 3rd; Craft wondrous item, chill touch, shocking grasp, mage hand; Price 4,140 gp

NPC Gear: 8th
Treasure Value: 9th

Maths:
Shocking Grasp (1*3*1800)/5= 1080
Chill Touch (1*3*1800)/5= 1080 plus half for 1620
Mage Hand (1*.5*1800)/1.6=562.5 plus half for 840
Skill bonus (2*2*100) =400 plus half for 600
Half again for multiple different abilities, rounded down

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Spot Goggles - Special Equipment

Spot Goggles: These copper cylinders are attached to the skull with leather webbing so that they will both cup the eyes and stand erect, allowing the wearer to see through them. Each cylinder contains several lenses ground into particular shapes. A series of levers on the outside of the tubes allows the wearer to change the combination of lenses with loud clacks. When worn, and one hand is used to actually set lenses to their most efficacious combination, spot goggles grant a +2 circumstance bonus to Spot and Search skill checks.

Masterwork equipment; Craft Skill DC 30; Cost 1,000 gp

NPC Gear: 2nd
Treasure Value: 4th

Math:

Skill bonus (2*2*100)=400 added together, half again on one for multiple different.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Staff of Grasping - Staff

Staff of Grasping: This staff of light colored stone pine is carved with an open hand stretching out its fingers at the head, and a closed fist shod with bands of iron at its foot.

The wielder can use the staff to cast:

Mage Hand
Shocking Grasp
Chill Touch

And gains a +2 bonus to sleight of hand checks while the staff is held.

Weak conjuration; Caster level 12th; Craft staff, chill touch, shocking grasp, mage hand; Price 12,200 gp (House rule: 244 gp per charge)

NPC Gear: 12th
Treasure Value: 13th

Math:

Shocking Grasp (1*8*750) =6000
Chill Touch (1*8*562.5) = 4500
Mage Hand (.5*8*375) = 1500
Skill bonus (2*2*100) = 400, halved for destruction when staff is used.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Stargold Ax of Liwyn the Gentle - Weapon

The Stargold Axe of Liwyn the Gentle: This battleaxe appears to have a head made of gold, embossed with emblems of the sun on one side and a lion on the other. It was gifted to Liwyn by the Aeons of the Legion of Grace, and is hafted with stone pine and auroch horn bound together with brass and iron rings. Liwyn the Gentle used it in battle against the gwear, the black aurochine of the Siccatrice Hills, and against several of the grey claves who insisted on closing kankers with sacrifice, even when Aeldhaus had proven it was not necessary to do so. He last used it in the Umberwoods, circa pre-753, attempting to save the life of the Briar Tiger’s wife. Liwyn slew the Briar Tiger with a blow to the head: the Tiger’s soul clung to the ax in death, and a tomb was built around his restless corpse, sealing the axe away forever.

The Axe is a +1 battleaxe, bane versus outsiders (demi-plane of shadow). Its wielder gains a +1 to turn attempts, if the ax is used as part of the turning attempt. The Axe grants a +1 modifier to the difficulty checks of conjuration spells cast while it is held. Once per day, The Axe can produce a ray of searing light that does 3d6 points of damage as a ranged touch attack.

Moderate evocation; Caster level: 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, ability to channel positive energy, magic weapon, searing light; Cost 27,210 gp gp

NPC Gear: 15th
Treasure Value: 16th


In the year 951, the Axe was recovered by a group of adventurers attempting to stop the Naktvaug creation of a shadowyrd in the Umberwoods. It was rehafted as a greataxe by the Luxwright of Lawbide, the high priest of the Lawbide pantheon. Its enchantment was made stronger in the process.

The Stargold Axe of Sredny the Forthright ne’ Liwyn the Gentle
is a +2 greataxe, and has all the other powers of its previous incarnation.

Moderate evocation; Caster level: 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, ability to channel positive energy, magic weapon, searing light; Cost 37,220 gp

NPC Gear: 16th
Treasure Value: 18th

Math:

+1 Battle Ax Bane vs shadow outsiders = 8,310 gp
+1 turning attempts (1*1*1000)/5 + 50% = 1,500 gp
+1 DC of conjuration spells cast (1*1*1000)/5 + 50% = 1,500 gp
Once per day it can cast 3d8 searing light (3*6*2000)/5 +50% = 15900

+1 Great Ax Bane vs shadow outsiders = 18,320

Friday, October 06, 2006

Amulet of Wilding - Medium Wondrous Item

Amulet of Wilding: This amulet is carved from old ivory polished to a silky finish. It has been carved to resemble a boar suckling a human babe, a bear cub, and a hound. It used to be a cloak pin, but the spur of bone that acted as a pin is broken off and a hole has been bored through the boar’s spine. Its hollow eyes once held gems, and one of the tusks is broken off, but the boar’s hooves are still rimmed in gold.

When worn against bare skin, in any magic item spot, this amulet grants a +5 ft. bonus to movement rate, and +1 natural armor bonus.

Moderate transmutation; Caster Level 5th; Craft wondrous item, ability to wildshape or polymorph or expeditious retreat and barkskin; Market Cost: 3,500 gp.

NPC Gear: 9th
Treausre Value: 10th

Math:

+5 ft. to move: as +1 weapon bonus (1*1*2000) 2,000
+1 natural armor bonus (1*1*1000) half again for 1,500

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ring of Stuttering - Ring

Ring of Stuttering: This thin silvery band is inscribed lightly with spiky spirals difficult to see with the naked eye. As a free action, the wearer can twist the ring up to a quarter turn, enabling her to act as though affected by a blink spell for up to 10 rounds each day. The duration of the blink effect need not be consecutive rounds.

Moderate transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, blink; 6,000 gp

NPC Gear: 9th
Treasure Value: 11th

Math:

blink 1/day (3*5*2000)/5 = 6,000

Instant New Hotness

How to make original new magic items in three steps, with two tables.

By Lawrence Kapture

I don't know about you, but I always have the worst time equipping NPCs. The stuff they really need is often not available until higher levels, and I feel like I'm often left giving NPCs tons of potions. Which I find screamingly dull. I often skip the DMG and kit bash magic items, for treasure or equipment, if I have the time. The problem is, I often don't have the time. Sometimes, I haven't really thought about treasure until an encounter resolves.

Case in point was an encounter from my last campaign. I had landed my PCs in the ancient temple of a god of greed. All around them were golden items that had been gathered for the greater glory of their god. It was mostly a set piece, and the PCs defeated the temple's guardian handily enough. Then they started setting off the traps on the treasure, to loot the item. They got through three traps before they cried uncle and left, but they looked in their trick or treat sacks right afterwards. "I cast identify.” Said the wizard. “What did we get?"

Uh. I dunno.

Hastily flipping through the DMG, I figured: each trap was an EL of 10. That's a 5,800 gp treasure. What's in the DMG that's around that valuable? Practically nothing. No rings, no rods, and only 6 wondrous items that fall within 400 gp of that. Maybe double if you go up to 5 or 600 gold. And none of the items I described had been weapons.

So I did a little reverse engineering, and calculated that an item that duplicated a third level spell once per day would fit the bill just about perfectly. What did we end up with? A goblet that creates a draught of heroism once per day, a mask that casts displacement once per day, and some other damn thing. I forget.

The point being, starting with some target numbers, I was able to come up with some nifty treats for my heroes on the fly. So I decided to formularize the process for later use.

There are three steps to Instant New Hotness:

1) Pick a number, depending on what you want.

If you want a cool piece of NPC gear, take half their gear value and read down the value column on table one until you find a number that comes close.

If you want to fill out an NPC’s gear, take the remainder of his gear and read down the value column on table one until you find a number that comes close.

Read to the left of the table: that's the level of the spell the item duplicates. Read up: That's what kind of item it is.

If you have an encounter you’re looking to provide an impressive reward for, read down the encounter level column on table two to determine the value, and the maximum possible spell level for a given type of item.

What the item types mean:

Unlimited uses is a use activated wondrous item that triggers a spell of the level indicated as a standard action, as often as desired.

Single use item is a wondrous item that triggers a spell of the level indicated. It can only be used once.

#/day is a use activated wondrous item that triggers a spell of the level indicated as a standard action, where # equals the number of times a day it can be used. I don’t use the column for 4 uses per day, because by the logic of the game, which tends to emphasize a “4 encounters and then you rest” rhythm, 4 uses per day is unlimited use. I include it for completeness.

2) Pick a spell. Run your finger along the magic user, cleric and druid spell lists for a good one. The best rewards are something your characters might actually use.

Spell used with this method should not have a gp value material component cost or an xp cost1.

Also, I tend to default the duration of magic item effects to one minute per caster level, using the lowest possible caster level for the item (unless they are shorter in the book). That tends to mean that one use of the item lasts through a single encounter. Items with 1 hour per level or 1 day durations should not be used with items that have a limited number of uses per day.

3) Pick a shape. Is it a rod? An orb? A gauntlet? Or, roll on table 2. The Item column can be used with 3d10 or 1d30. To flesh out the column, you can roll one ten sided die for each of the detail and depicts columns.

There you have it. A five minute process, give or take some waffling.

Footnotes

1 Although, if you multiply a gp cost by 50 and add it to the magic item cost, you have the correct price right there, although it will probably exceed the value you were targeting for the item. multiply a xp cost by 250 for the same effect.