Monday, December 31, 2007

Tuff Snuff - Potion

Tuff Snuff: Unlike a regular potion, this magical enhancer is a leathery leaf that is soaked in a mixture of drowish earth whisky, the blood of trolls, condensed unicorn breath, and shambling mound juice. When left in a mithril bowl under the light of a three night full moon, the leaves can be dried with alchemical salts and powdered in order to bring out their natural magic.

Tough snuff is usually kept in a small box and inhaled in pinches. Several pinches are often found together. A pinch of tough snuff takes a standard action to apply. One pich gives the user 3 temporary hit points, which are usually immediately removed in combat, but otherwise go away after the user next sleeps. Multiple pinches stack.

Also known as troll tobacco or blood snuff, a quadrupal dose of the raw red leaf (which costs 12 gp an ounce) can be chewed by trolls to increase their rate of regeneration by one. This effect takes at least a full minute of chewing to activate.

Weak necromancy; CL 1st; Brew Potion, vitality; Cost 25 gp

NPC Gear: Box of 3 pinches of tough snuff, 1st
Treasure Value: Box of 3 pinches of tough snuff, 1st

Math:

I treated this as a potion of a 0 level spell. One extra hit point probably isn't worth spending 25 gp on, so I modeled the effects on the cheap and often useless toughness feat.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Miscibility Flask - Minor Wondrous Item

Miscibility Flask: This flask of a silver mithril alloy uses a prism as a stop. It is covered with concentric circles enraved with astrological symbols, representing the influence of the stars. It can fit about 6 ounces of liquid, or two potions worth.

When two magical potions are poured into the flask, they can be drunk as one standard action. Both potions take effect on the drinker.

There is a 15% chance that one of the potions will be ruined by combining them, so that only one of the potions takes effect.

Weak transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, Brew Potion, must know 3 transmutation spells; Cost 6,400 gp

NPC Gear Value: 10th
Treasure Value: 11th

Math:

Drinking two potions at once would count as multiple similar abilities, I would think. So the weaker of two potions in such a combo should increase in value by 50% in such a concoction. The average value of such and increase would be 183 gp.

50+300+750 (usual price for first, second and third level potion) = 1,100 half again for multiple similar abilities = 1,650, difference (or increase) is = 550 gp. Averaged (/3) = 183 gp. *50 for unlimited = 9,150.

minus ((percentage of failure(.15))*(average value of a potion (1,100/3 = 366)))*50 = 2,745 to represent potential value of potions lost due to miscability failure.

= 6,400

Monday, December 24, 2007

Glowering Armor - Specific Armor

Glowering Armor: This suit of +1 full plate armor is beaten in designs of highly stylized faces inlaid with gold to highlight their expressions. Each half of the breastplate is usually a glowering, howling demonic face while the plate the protects the guts is a bas relief of a beatific man or woman. The shoulders, helmet, and other pieces of armor are like wise decorated.

When a character puts on the armor, they feel and hear barely audible whispers, as if the faces on the armor speaks to them. The feeling is encouraging and uplifting.

Glowering armor gives the wearer a +2 enhancement bonus to charisma. Once per day as a standard action, the wearer can command the faces to shout. This creates an effect equivalent to a shout spell cast by a 7th level sorcerer, directed by whichever direction the right hand gauntlet of the armor is pointing.

Moderate transmutation and evocationi; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Arms and Armor, eagle's splendor, shout; Cost 19,150

Treasure Value: 14th
NPC Gear: 13th

Math:

Shout 1/day = 4*7*1,800/5 = 10,080
+2 cha bonus = 2*2*1000 = 4000
+1 full plate = 2,650

16,650

armor bonus and cha bonus half again for multiple similar +2,500

Friday, December 21, 2007

Goggles of Ruination - Minor Wondrous Item

Goggles of Ruination: These goggles are made of leather that has an unwholesome oily sheen and fitted with lenses ground from a transparent crystal that makes objects refract and shimmer slightly when the wearer looks through them.

When the wearer is looking through the goggles, objects and sometimes creatures are illuminated with a shimmering line of blue light where their weakest point currently is.

The wearer of the goggles gains a +2 bonus to Disable Device skill checks.

Once per day, the wearer of the goggles can make an attack of opportunity when someone within their threat range makes a melee attack and misses.

Weak divination; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, true strike; Cost: 1,150 gp.

Treasure Value: 4th
NPC Gear: 3rd

Math:
Once per day, limited use attack of opportunity? 500 gp.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jotun's Fist - Major Wondrous Item

Jotun’s Fist: This metal gauntlet is plated on the back and fingers with blue black adamantine. Of the first joint of each finger is an inset of polished metoric rock.

The first of these gauntlet’s was made by the Dwarf Hugli Skycracker,and his was unlimited in power. Over time, more were made by Dwarvish wizards to help them combat the giants with whom they competed for territory. They allowed Dwarves to use rocky elements of the terrain and even the giant’s own ammunition against them at a distance, where Dwarves did not have cannon, and were often more accurate than the giant’s own thrown rocks.

Three times per day, the glove allows the wearer to use a limited telekinesis effect as per the 5th level spell. There are three things the wearer can do with this effect, each costing a daily use of the gauntlet:

You can hurl one non-living object within range of 90 feet other toward any target within 90 feet. The object can weigh up to 225 lbs. You must succeed on an attack roll to hit the target with the object, using your caster level + Int modifier. Objects do damage as if they had been thrown by the telekinesis spell using a violent thrust (PH pg. 292).

You can perform a bull rush, disarm, grapple (including pin), or trip on a creature within 760 ft. Resolve this attempts as normal, except that they don’t provoke attacks of opportunity, your BAB is your caster level plus your Intelligence modifier, and a failed attempt doesn’t allow a reactive attempt by the target (such as for disarm or trip). No save is allowed, but spell resistance applies normally.

Last, a character that is not flat footed can can make a Reflex save to catch a thrown item of up to 225 lbs. as a free action. The DC is 15 for a Small rock, 20 for a Medium one, and 25 for a Large one. If the projectile provides a magical bonus on attack rolls, the DC increases by that amount. When a boulder is caught like this, it can either be immediately dropped within ten feet of the glove’s user, doing damage as a falling object (DMG pg 303) if it lands on something (use the missing with a thrown weapon table, PH 158, to determine where it falls), or it may be held in the air until the character’s next action and hurled back as noted above. Dropping the object does not take one of the gauntlet’s daily uses. Throwing it back does.

Heavy transmutation; CL 9th; Craft wondrous item, telekinesis; Price 28,000 gp

Treasure Value: 16th
NPC Gear: 15th

An abbreviated version of this was a losing Paizo Next Superstar of Gaming entry.

Math:
5th level spell
5*9*2000 = 90,000

Average: 90,000/(5/3) for three uses per day
With 90,000/3 (spell prorated by possible duration of a telekinesis spell divided by limited uses allowed by this item)

Divided by 3 for limited scope of spell: cannot be used for sustained force, cannot move creatures)

At 28,000 gp, price might look to low. But this item is a 16th level treasure, and wizards will be doing 9d6 to multiple for three rounds (maximum damage for the spell) long before that. This should be a fun tactical item for a high level foe to use against PCs, or for PCs to use a couple of times in high level battles.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Stones of Kaaliphaan - Minor Wondrous Items

Stones of Kaaliphaan: The Pashak’s of Kaaliphaan have always been amongst the most gifted wizards of the Aeonic States. Early in the Twilight Years, they found a way to imprint stones with magical essence, in order to make their clave defenders more powerful warriors. The essences combined to make their wielder’s even more puissant.

The four most common stones were made of red, green, lavender, or yellow marble or precious stone. Each stone must be worn at the throat, on the forehead, or at the wrist, taking up a magic item slot. The Red stone grants a +1 bonus to initiative. The Green a +1 to Reflex saves, the lavender +1 to Fortitude saves, and the Yellow a +1 to Will saves.

Wearing the Red stone with any other stone provides a +2 skill bonus: combining the Red Stone with the Green stone gives a benefit to Hide, with Lavender gives a benefit to Disable Device, and with Yellow gives a benefit to Move Silently.

Combining two the other colored stones provides a +1 to hit with one kind of weapon: Green and Lavender combine to provide a bonus with slashing, Green and Yellow with piercing, and Lavender and Yellow with piercing.

Having a red stone and two other stones provides 2 points of resistance to the kind of weapon the other two stones provide a bonus with.

Having all three stones that grant saving throw bonuses provides a +1 Dodge bonus to AC.

Having all four stones provides their wearer with +1d6 sneak attack damage when used on an opponent who deprived of her dexterity bonus to armor class. This damage stacks with sneak attack damage gained from class abilities or other magic items.

The table below explains various combinations:

Red and Green: Grants a +1 bonus to initiative and a +2 bonus to Hide checks.

Red and Lavender: Grants a +1 bonus to initiative and a +2 bonus to Disable Device checks.

Red and Yellow: Grants a +1 bonus to initiative and a +2 bonus to Move Silently checks.

Green and Lavender: Grants a +1 bonus to Reflex and Fort saves, and +1 bonus to hit with slashing weapons,

Green and Yellow: Grants a +1 bonus Reflex and Will saves, and +1 bonus to hit with piercing.

Lavender and Yellow: Grants a +1 bonus to Fort and Will saves, and +1 bonus to hit with bludgeoning.

Yellow and Lavender and Red: +1 Init, +1 Fort, +1 Will, +1 hit and 2 resistance Bludgeoning, +2 Move Silently and Disable Devices

Yellow and Lavender and Green: +1 Init, +1 Fort, +1 Ref, +1 hit and 2 resistance slashing, +2 Disable Devices and Hide

Yellow and Red and Green: +1 Init, +1 Will, +1 Reflex, +1 hit and 2 resistance piercing, +2 Hide and Move Silently

Lavender and Red and Green: +1 to saves, +1 to hit with weapons, +1 dodge bonus to AC

All stones: +1 Init, +1 all saves, +1 hit with and 2 resistance against all weapon damages, +2 Hide, Move Silently, Disable Devices, +1 dodge bonus to AC, +1d6 sneak attack damage.

Light alteration; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, bear’s endurance, cat’s grace, or owl’s wisdom; Cost 750 gp each.

Treasure Value: 3rd
NPC Gear: 2nd

Math: pretty much all the bonuses are small, priced at 300 to 500 gp: limited save bonus, small skill bonuses, limited weapon bonuses, very limited damage resistance. The two bonuses that are hefy are the +1 dodge to AC and the sneak attack bonus, worth about 2 K each.

The combined bonuses of four stones are worth much more than 3,000 gp. I figured the fact that this would take up four magic item slots actually lowered their value, which I calculated at roughly (number of item slots taken squared)*2000 gp. It think these work as nifty scaling baubles.

If you use the new MI compendium pricing, which does not assume that stacking abilities scale up in value, then the loss of slots is probably more important. You might price the stones at 500 gp each.

If you don't use slots, they should probably be worth 2,100 or 3,000 gp each, post and pre magic item compendium.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sneak's Vestments - Minor or Medium Wondrous Item

Cloak, Sneak’s Vestment: This dark gray cloak makes the wearer a little hard to focus on because they flicker just the tiniest bit in time and space.

It grants a +6 bonus to Sleight of Hand checks, +1d6 sneak attack damage to any wearer that has the sneak attack class ability, and the ability to cast Mage Hand at will, which the wearer can use to make Sleight of Hand checks at a distance.

Moderate Transmutation; CL 3rd; Craft wondrous item, blink, mage hand; Cost 9,100 gp

NPC Gear: 11th
Treasure Value:

Cloak, Sneak’s Vestment, Lesser: This dark gray cloak makes the wearer a little hard to focus on because they flicker just the tiniest bit in time and space.

It grants a +3 bonus to Sleight of Hand checks, +1d6 sneak attack damage to any wearer that has the sneak attack class ability, and the ability to cast Mage Hand three times a day, which the wearer can use to make Sleight of Hand checks at a distance.

Weak Transmutation; CL 3rd; Craft wondrous item, blink, mage hand; Cost 4,300 gp

NPC Gear: 8th
Treasure Value: 9th

Math:

+3 to skill =3*3*100 = 900
+1 d6 sneak attack = 1*1*2000 = 2,000
Mage Hand 3/day = 1*.5*2000/(5/3= 1.6) = 625
Mage hand and skill bonus are multiplied for multiple similar = 4,300 (rounded up) or 3,500 if you prefer post compendium

+6 to skill = 6*6*100 = 3,600
Mage Hand at will = 1*.5*2000 = 1000
Mage hand and sneak attack are half again for multiple similar = 9,100 or 6,600 if you prefer post compendium

I figure the added ability to make sleight of hand checks at a distance is balanced by the near uselessness of the cloak for anyone without levels in rogue.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Shoulders of the Earth - Major Wondrous Item

Cloak, Shoulders of the Earth: These heavy cold weather cloaks are sewn of leather and wool panels in earth tones (red, ochre, brown, and black) that resemble the strata adventurers often see in in the cliffs and escarpments of desert and mountain-scapes, and in the crevasses the underdark.

Whomever wears the shoulders of the earth feels more solid, as if they have the mass of rock and stone. They gain a +4 bonus to Fort saves, a +4 natural armor class bonus, a +12 bonus to their intimidation checks, and earth mastery +3, which means they get a +3 to hit and damage rolls made against any opponent if both of them are touching the ground. They gain the ability to cast earthquake once per day by bringing their fists together. They also have a -2 modifier to their dexterity score as long as they are wearing the cloak.

Strong transmutation; CL 15; Create wondrous item, bull’s strength, barkskin or stoneskin, earthquake; Cost 105,500 gp

NPC Gear: 21st
Treasure Value: 21st

Math:

+4 natural armor = 4*4*1000 = 16,000
+12 bonus to intimidate = 12*12*100 = 14,400
+4 limited save bonus = 4*4*300 = 4,800
Earth mastery +3: 3*3*1000=9000
earthquake 1/day (as command activated) = 8*15*1,800/5 = 43,200

everything except earthquake half again for multiple different = 109,500

-2 stat modifier = 2*2*1000 = -4,000 = 105,500

using new MI compendium guidelines = 83,500

Monday, December 03, 2007

Domain Rod - Major Wondrous Item

Domain Rod: A domain rod is a roughly foot and a half long sliver of unnaturally tough crystal. Each has a different color: Blue, Red, Gold, Clear, Yellow, Black, Green or Lavender. Some actually shade into one or more color. Each is illuminated by an interior glow.

Each rod is associated with one of the school based magic user domains. This effectively means that each domain rod knows the power to cast one spell of each level 0-9 from a given school. Other domains can be substituted or invented as the GM wishes.

Once per day, a character can use a domain rod as a spell trigger device to cast any spell it knows. In order to do this, the character must make a Use Magic Device or Spellcraft check equal to 15+twice the spell's level. If this check is failed, the rod may not be used again that day.

Sometimes a given domain rod knows more than one domain. This multiples the cost of a domain rod by the number of domains they know. They may still only be used once per day.

Strong magic of the type it knows; CL 17th; Craft Rod, knowledge of one spell of each level in a given school (or other domain); Cost 133,000

NPG Gear: 21st
Treasure Value: 22nd

Math:

Each Spell as one use per day item.
Every spell after 9th level granduated for multiple similar (8th is 3/4 value, 7 and below are half value).

-10% for the need to use a skill check

Note: Don't let PC's create rods that liberally mix and match combat spells.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Phial of the Tears of Momice - Minor Wondrous Item

Phial of the Tears of Momice: This small multicolored glass has a bulbous, flattened belly that looks something like a tulip bulb, although it has been described as looking something like a toad or an obese, crippled monkey. It's neck and throat are twisted in a sinuous half turn, and the mouth of the bottle resembles petals or the nose of a mole. Careful observation reveals that the bottle changes over time, although it maintains these general qualities. It is capped by a carefully molded plug of gold and adamantine with the obscene seal of Momice on the underside and an opal fastened to the topside.

Once per day, a Phial of the Tears of Momice may be uncapped and tipped over as a standard action. There is a 34% chance that a single drop of liquid will bead at the lip. The holder of the bottle may use the energy of that bead of liquid to cast a confusion spell as if her were a 7th level sorcerer.

Weak enchantment; CL 4th; Craft Wondrous Item, confusion; Cost 3,700 gp.

NPC Gear: 8th
Treasure Value: 9th

Math:

As a permanent fourth level spell item, divided by one third for lowered chance of succesful use.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shadow Cloak - Medium Wondrous Item

Cloak, Shadow: This heavy cloak of black silk and linen seems to trap shadows in its interior, even during broad day light. The wearer seems to be partially submerged in darkness in shadowy light or darker.

The wearer of a shadow cloak gains a +10 circumstance bonus to his Hide checks. Once, as a move equivalent action, he can command the cloak to dissolve into shadows around him, allowing him to shadow walk as if a 13th level caster. The cloak unravels and is destroyed during the shadow walk.

Moderate Evocation; CL 13; Craft Wondrous Item, shadow walk; Price 12,800 gp.


NPC Gear
: 12th
Treasure Value: 13th

Math:

Single use 6th level spell = 6*13*100 = 7,800
+10 bonus to skill = 10*10*100 = 10,000 /half for eventual destruction of quality with item

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hammer of the Master and Knife of the Fletcher - Minor Wondrous Items

Hammer of the Master: This craftsman’s hammer adds +5 to the users craft (armorsmith) check. If used in combat, it acts as a non-magical light warhammer.

Faint divination; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, craft (armorsmith) 5+ ranks; Price: 2,500 gp.

Knife of the Fletcher: This craftsman’s hammer adds +5 to the users craft (bowmaking) checks. If used in combat, it acts as a non-magical dagger.

Faint divination; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, craft (bowmaking) 5+ ranks; Price: 2,500 gp.

NPC Gear: 6th
Treasure Value: 7th

Math: Entirely standard

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cloak of the Nightsoul - Minor and MediumWondrous Items

Cloak of the Nightsoul: This cloak seems to be made of navy colored linen, as fine as silk but with a durable quality to it. It flutters in even the lightest wind, and always billows when its wearer walks. In darkness, the cloak seems to disappear, though its wearer does not. It is embroidered with no patterns, but those who stare at it for long moments see smoky shapes moving in the weave.

Anyone who wears a Cloak of the Nightsoul is granted a +2 enhancement bonus to dexterity. If worn with a silver cloak pin, when the pin is touched the wearer can become ethereal as a move equivalent action, dispelling the effect as a free action. The wearer can be ethereal for 5 rounds a day. A stronger version allows 10 rounds of etherealness.

Weak or moderate transmutation; CL: 13th; Create wondrous item, cat’s grace, ethereal jaunt; Cost: 6,100 gp (5 round), 8,200 gp (10 round).

NPC Gear: 10th (5 round)
Treasure Value: (5 round) 11th

Math:

2*2*1000 = 4000 gp attribute bonus

ethereal 10 r per day (7*13*2000 = 182,000) /5 for once per day then prorate for lesser duration by /26 for rounds or 13 for 10 r = 1400 or 2800, half again for multiple differing

If you do not add the modifier for multiple differing, as per magic item compendium, the item is 5,400 or 6,800

Friday, November 16, 2007

Chalice of Tiamat - Artifact

The Chalice of Tiamat: This three foot tall chalice is carved in the shape of an open mawed dragon resting on its curled tail, from petrified dragon bone of mottled purple and blood red hues. It is worked with sharp, horny and scaly looking protrusions that one can quite easily cut themselves on.

By drinking their own blood mingled with that of a dragon, a character or NPC aquires the half dragon template, with the type of dragon corresponding to the dragon from which the blood was taken.

Once a character drinks from the Chalice of Tiamat, they lapse into a coma for two days, during which time they slowly change form to that of a half dragonish version of their former self.

A DC 23 Fort save will hold the off coma for one day. Each day, a character that has drunk from the chalice may make a save to hold their transformation off for another day, falling into the transformationl coma once they fail their save. Only a wish can prevent the transformation once the chalice has been drunk from.

Strong transmutation; CL 20th; Craft wondrous item, shapechange, wish; 450,000 gp

Math: I completly ad hoced the price. The item really has no in game value besides bumping the level of the campaign. It's used should be entirely dictated by the GM, so I gave it a price that only epic level characters or nations could afford. Thus, it is an artifact.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cloak, Nightengale - Minor Wondrous Item

Cloak, Nightengale: This fine linen cloak is a drab olive grey, with a creamy lining. A scene of a mockingbird singing in a garden is embroidered in black on the back of the cloak, so that the mocking bird faces it’s wearer on the right panel.

When worn, the wearer’s voice becomes more beautiful and resonant.

The wearer gains a +1 bonus to the DC of all spells they cast, and a +5 to perform (sing) checks.

Weak enchantment; CL 3; Create wondrous item, spell focus, charm person; 4,500 gp


Treasure Value
: 9th
NPC Gear: 7th

Math:

5*5*100 = 2,500 for +5 bonus to a single perform checks
I price a general bonus to the DC of spells as if it were a combat bonus: 1*1*2,000
I just added the bonuses

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Goblet of Thralls - Artifact

Goblet of Thralls: This goblet is carved from blackened bone or ivory with black adamantium fittings. It is the size of a large brazier, its basin in the shape of a toothed demon face, its base a nest of serpents

The first creature to splash blood into the basin when it is newly discovered is the Goblet’s attuned user. The basin can be re-attuned by not being used for a year and a day, or by being washed with holy or unholy wine.

When blood from two creatures is mixed with blood from the goblet's attuned user in a ritual that takes ten minutes to complete, a monster is created. The resulting creature is a hybrid of the blood types, often the twisted result of opposite natures being bred into humanoid form.


Nature of Creation
: One of the creatures used is designated a base and one a secondary creature. The creature with the highest HD or Con score should be the base.

The creature has the creature type of the base creature if it was an outsider, dragon, fey, monstrous humanoid or giant. Otherwise, it is a monstrous humanoid. Whatever type the creature is, it has a humanoid shape.

The creature has the average HD and natural armor of its base and secondary forms, rounded down. Reduce the physical statistics as if they had been changed from large to medium creaturs. Average all stat bonuses and round them down to the nearest whole, even number. Add or subract them from ten.

The creature gains the vision and attack types of its base antecedent and the movement type of its secondary. Its humanoid form gives it two natural attacks if its base type has them, that do damage appropriate to a medium sized creature. It gains the racial skill bonuses and bonus feats of both creatures, the extraordinary abilities of both creatures, and one supernatural or spell like ability from either contributor, chosen by highest DC or caster level.

Saves, skill points, difficulty checks, and feats are determined by base creature type and ability modifiers, with skills and feats being selected from among its base creatures by the GM, excepting knowledge skills. Probably, skills and feats used by both creatures will surface first.


Initial reaction
: If the user of the goblet of thralls does not have the leadership skill, the creature that results from use of the goblet has an alignment that uses its secondry's law/chaos axis and its base's good/evil axis. If it shares one axis with the goblet’s user, is begins with an attitude of unfriendly. If it shares two axis, it begins as indifferent. Otherwise it starts as hostile.

Changing the creature’s attitude to friendly or helpful will get its help, but if asked to do something against it’s alignment, it will revert to its former attitude.

If the user has the leadership feat, the creature will have their alignment and react to them as if they were a second cohort as long as the total of its hit dice are less than the user’s cohort level allowed by the user’s Leadership Score. The user of the goblet will not gain additional lesser cohorts from using the goblet. Additional creatures created by the same user will start out with an attitude assigned using the method above.


For instance
: Fievrag, an evil high priest of darkness, takes blood from the giant eagle cohort of his good nemesis, which he has captured, and a choker living in the old dungeon that serves as his secret lab, to create a creature that he thinks will be both terrifying and physically imposing.

The GM rules that since the eagle has higher hit dice, it is the base creature.

The giant eagle is a large magical beast with 4 HD, +3 natural armor bonus modified to +1 for being reduced to medium size, +8 Str, +6 Dex, Con +2, Wis +4 bonuses modified to +0, +8, -2 Con for going from large to medium, a fly speed, claw attacks, a low light vision, and neutral good alignment.

The choker is a small aberration with 3 HD, +2 natural armor bonus, +6 Str, +4 Dex, +2 Con, -6 Int, +2 Wis, -2 Cha, modified to +10 Str, +2 Dex, +4 Con for going from small to medium, a climbing speed, tentacle attack, darkvision, and chaotic evil alignment.

The new creature’s type is monstrous humanoid. It has 3 HD, a +2 natural armor bonus, +8 Str, +4 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Int, and +2 Wis bonuses, low light vision and flight, and 2 tentacle attacks. It begins with 3 skill points, and three feats (one bonus) and a neutral evil alignment. It has the evasion, improved grab, and constrict extraordinary abilities.

The GM puts the skill points into Listen +1 (+1), Spot +1 (+5), and Hide +1. He assigns the Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, and Lightning Reflexes feats.

The new creature has an alignment one step from its maker and so is indifferent to him. With a successful diplomacy check, Fiervag convinces the creature to guard the dungeon exit to his lair from intruders or escapees. If Fiervag asked him to hold off killing an escapee, however, he would return to indifferent and need to be re-convinced. If Fiervag botched his diplomacy check, the creature might very well attack Fiervag.

Strong transmutation; CL 9; Create wondrous item, baleful polymorph; 72,000 gp.

NPC Gear: 19th
Treasure Value: 20th

Math:

I valued this as if it were a magic item version of the Leadership feat. Essentially, the goblet is a baroque was of doubling the leadership feat. Otherwise, its a weird NPC generator. I value feats as 1+any requirements, the five levels required to take leadership being the requirements. So:

6*6*2000 =

Notes: Despite it's high value, you can use this device at any point in a campaign. Nobody will have the gold to buy it. Governments or organizations who might would be inclided to take the item. A generous government would give the PCs a reward equal to a treasure of the party's level. In the posession of either a PC or NPC, the Goblet's value is limited by which creatures that character can defeat, and modified by the fact that they must mollify strong creatures.

In fact, if PCs own the goblet of thralls at low levels, it will probably be more trouble than its worth to protect it from other people.

If PCs make particularly clever use of it (creating and charming muscley thralls). You can also control the Goblet's use by awarding XP to thralls that aren't controlled by the leadership feat.

You can limit the efficacy by insisting that blood used must be fresh, from a living creature.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Cloak of the Manifest World - Minor Wondrous Item

Cloak of the Manifest World: There are four types of cloaks of the manifest world, one corresponding to each of the elemental types. Each of these cloaks has marvelous patterns embroidered into it: vistas of their natural elements. Each bestows a +1 bonus to a kind of save, a +1 bonus to one skill, and 1 points of resistance to one type of elemental damage.

The type of bonuses gained depend on the type of cloak, and are enumerated in the table below. The cloaks’ most interesting ability, however, is that its owner can increase its power over time. They can use their own life experience in a blood letting ritual to permanently increase the power of the cloak.

The number of experience points required to boost a cloak's power increases each time. To give the cloak a +2 save and skill bonus, and 2 points of resistance, the owner must sacrifice 660 xp. Each increase adds 1 to the save, skill bonus, and resistance.

For a +3 bonus, the sacrifice is 924 xp. For a +4 bonus, it is 1,188 xp For a +5 bonus, it is 1,232.

The ritual can be discovered in the same way that a command word can, and may be performed at any time the owner has enough xp to do so but not lose a level. The ritual causes two points of damage and 1 temporary con damage per save and skill bonus to be achieved.


Element------Save--------Skill------------Resistance

Earth--------Fort--------Concentration----Acid
Air----------Ref---------Jumping----------Electricity
Fire---------Ref---------Tumble-----------Fire
Water--------Will--------Swimming---------Cold

Weak abjuration; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, resistance, endure elements; Price 1,800 gp (+1), 4,800 (+2), 9000 (+3), 14,400 gp (+4), 21,000 gp (+5).

Treasure Value
: 6th (+1)
NPC Gear: 4th (+1)

Math:

1,200 gp per point of elemental resistance = 1,200
1*1*100 for skill bonus = 100 gp (half again for mulitple similar)
1*1*300 for limited save bonus = 300 (half again for mulitple similar)

boost to 2

2400 plus 600 plus 1800 = 4,800 gp or +3000gp value, 660 xp (divide by 5 and divide by 50 and sum)

boost to 3

3600 plus 1350 plus 4050 = 9,000 gp or +4200, 924 xp

boost to 4

4800 plus 2400 plus 7200 = 14,400 or +5,400, 1188 xp

boost to 5

6000 plus 3750 plus 11250 = 21,000 or +5,600, 1232 xp

Math re magic item compendium


1,200 gp per point of elemental resistance = 1,200
1*1*100 for skill bonus = 100 gp
1*1*300 for limited save bonus = 300

boost to 2

2400 plus 400 plus 1200 = 4000 gp or +2400gp value, 528 xp (divide by 5 and divide by 50 and sum)

boost to 3

3600 plus 900 plus 2700 = 7200 gp or +3200, 704 xp

boost to 4

4800 plus 1600 plus 4800 = 11200 or +4000, 880 xp

boost to 5

6000 plus 2500 plus 7500 = 16000 or +4,800, 1056 xp

Friday, November 02, 2007

Alchemical Textiles - Special Material

Infusing specially woven textiles with elemental energies can give the cloth, and any suit or item of clothing created out of it, quasi magical qualities in addition to making them more attractive. Often, outfits of "courtiers" or "noble" clothing are made of exotic alchemical textiles. Alchemical cloth is usually only made in cultures with a well developed arcanomechanical or alchymical industy.

The price for most items created from alchemical cloth is calculated by adding the cost indicated to an item of clothing. For example, a monk's robe made of shadowcloth will cost 205 gp, a courtiers outfit made from cloth of lighting will cost 330 gp.

Black Mist Boots: These inky black boots, made of leather impregnated with liquid darkness, give the user a +2 to their Move Silently Roll. They are 400 gp for a pair.

Cloth of Dreams: Cloth of dreams is a diaphenous, multicolored cloth that changes color with the mood of thier wearer. They are often worn in layers that change at different rates depending on how much dream impregnates a layer of cloth. Brocade fabric made with dream impregnated thread is becoming popular.

An outfit made of Cloth of Dreams offers a +1 alchemical bonus to Will saves. It adds 300 gp to the cost of any outfit, and costs 320 gp per bolt, which is usually enough to make two outfits.


Cloth of Lightning
: Cloth of lightning has a glittery, mineral quality, with sparkles that range from white to blue to indigo. Cloth of lightning makes the skin feel energized. It tends to carry a native static charge.

An outfit made of Cloth of Lightning offers a +1 alchemical bonus to reflex saves. It adds 300 gp to the cost of any outfit, and costs 320 gp per bolt, which is usually enough to make two outfits.


Cloth of Moonlight
: Cloth of moonlight has a lustrous pearly grey shine.

An outfit made of Cloth of Moonlight offers a +1 alchemical bonus to Fort saves. It adds 300 gp to the cost of any outfit, and costs 320 gp per bolt, which is usually enough to make two outfits.


Glamorweave
: Glamorweave shimmers in different colors, and can be sewn into outfits that create regular displays of color and pattern. When glamor weave thread is used to brocade cloth, the designs often shift minutely, giving the illusion of movement to their designs.

A cloth woven from pure illusion, an outfit made of Glamorweave will add +2 to one Charisma related skill. It adds 400gp to the cost of any outfit, and costs 420 gp per bolt, which is usually enough to make two outfits. Its bonus will stack with masterwork items.

Shadowcloth: Shadowcloth is a deep lusterous black that defies lint or marks, seeming to swallow them up.

An item of clothing made of Shadowcloth offers a +2 alchemical bonus to Hide checks. Multiple items may be worn, but each takes up a body slot on the character wearing them. For instance, a hat takes up the head slot, a jerkin the shirt slot.

A bolt of shadowcloth costs 550 gp, which is enough to make five items. Items made of shadowcloth are extremely vulnerable to flame, and if the wearer takes flame damage he will lose one shadowcloth item for each 10 points, or portion thereof, he takes. Shadowcloth clothing costs +200 gp per item.

Math: As a skill bonus. Shadowcloth is extremely fragile, and so this cost is halved.

Cost of a bolt is number of items created. I add 10 gp per item that can be created from a bolt to cover the materials cost to create most types of clothing. Some expensive clothing might need additional reasources. For instant, an outfit of royal quality would require an additional 90 gp worth worth of materials. To determine how much in the way of extra resources you need to create an outfit, halve the cost of an outfit and subtract 10 gp.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blackfire Amulet - Minor Wondrous Item

Blackfire Amulet: This steel collar has a coin sized medallion of rare, red flecked obsidian at the front of it. The stone is inscribe with a Necromantic rebuke.

A blackfire amulet must be worn by an undead creature to work. Once per day, when the amulet's command word is spoken, the undead creature wearing the amulet is affected as if by a desecration spell. The wearer of the amulet gains a +1 profane bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws, +1 hit points per die, and +3 turn resistance. The command word for a blackfire amulet may be spoken by someone not wearing the amulet, for instance, the undead’s creator instead of the undead itself. Such a command activates every such amulet within 60 ft. of whomever speaks the command word.

If the undead wearing a blackfire amulet is successfully turned, the amulet will shatter.

Weak necromancy; Caster level: 3rd; Craft wondrous item, desecrate or ability to channel negative energy; Cost 1, 350 gp

Math: 2*3*1,800=10,800 for command use item
/5 for once per day = 2,160

-50% for limited spell ability (desecration usually effects multiple undead)
-10% for fragility (shatters if undead wearing it is turned)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cloak of Fading - Medium Wondrous Item

Cloak of Fading: This charcoal grey cloak has a curious translucent quality, such that, when picked up, you can almost see your hand through the fabric. It is thought to be a fabrication of the Dark Brothers, who make it out of spun shadow, but examples of them have been found in ancient Gwear duns.

When worn, the cloak and wearer become subtly unreal, so that physical matter doesn’t always effect them, rolling off or through the wearer if the affect caught the edge of them. The wearer seems to glow faintly when standing in the light, as the light it is refracted by the cloak and his skin, and seems to be absorbed into darkness as it fills in their substance.

A cloak of fading grants a +2 circumstance bonus to Move Silently checks, a +8 circumstance bonus to Hide checks, and a +1 spatial bonus to reflex saves.

Weak illusion; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, shadow conjuration; Price 7,100 gp.

NPC Gear
: 10th
Treasure Value: 11th

Math:

2*2*100= 400 * 1.5 for multiple similar = 600
8*8*100 = 6,400
1*1*300 (patial save bonus) = 300 * 1.5 for multiple similar = 450

less 350 if you favor the Magic Item Compendium's tendancy not to multiply multiple similar abilities

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Prism of Zendl - Medium Wondrous Item

Prism of Zendl: This transparent glass polyhedron is about the size of a medium humanoid's fist. Light passing through it tends to blend into white, and to magnify, so that when in the open it glows with pure white bubbles of light.

Once per day, a Prism of Zendle can change a casting of cure light wounds into mass cure light wounds. The caster needs to hold the prism in one hand while casting the cure light wounds spell.

If the caster is less than 9th level, the mass cure light wounds effect take affect as if the caster were 9th level.

If a prism of zendle is used during the creation of potions, it can cut the time to make a potion in half, even allowing a single caster to brew up 2,000 gp of potions in a day, to a maximum of two potions in one day. The usual amount of gold and xp must be expended in the creation of the potions. Light passing through a prism of zendle allows the organic materials in potions to bind quicker.

Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, Mass Cure Light Wounds; Cost 13,700 gp

NPC Gear: 12th
Treasure Value: 13th

Math:

5*9*1800 (cure light wounds as command word item)/5 for once per day =16,200

minus resource used: cost of casting a cure light wounds at max caster level: (1*5)*10=50 gp, *50 for unlimited use =2,500

Total = 13,700

The potion thing is a freebe. It has no associated cost, except time, which is controlled by the GM anyway.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Slimy Deceiver - Medium Wondrous Item

Slimy Deceiver: In a jar made of cut crystal that is sealed with a stopper of iron and filled with amber fluid, floats a clot of tissue that undulates and pulses. The Slimy Deceiver is a partially living alchemical construct that has the power to mimic a wide variety of life forms.

Brewed by the lizard cult of the slime god, Slimy Deceivers earned their name for their doppleganger-like effects.

The owner of a slimy deceiver can place their hand upon the deceiver's crystal container and speak the name of a humanoid. If they are within 30 feet of a animal, magical beast, aberration, fey, dragon, or giant of 6 HD or less, they can speak the name of the creature's species.

In either case, the slimy deceiver will begin to transform. As a full round action, it will burst out of its glass casing and take the shape of the humanoid or creature mentioned, as if a simulacrum had been created. The slimy deceiver will have six hit dice maximum.

Slimy deceivers are sometimes used as guardians or combat nuisances, but are more often used to infiltrate communities and spy for the person who activated them. If discovered and destroyed, they dissolve into a semi-liquid mass that then acts as an gray ooze, attacking anything around it without discretion.

Slimy deceivers that are not part of an opponent's gear should have XP awarded as if they were a EL 6 encounter followed by an EL 4.

Moderate Transmutation; CL 11th; Craft Wondrous Item, Polymorph any object; Cost: 6,825 gp.

NPC Gear: 10th
Treasure Value: 11th

Note: You can turn any creature into a slimy deceiver by having its death spawn an ooze of some kind. This is a sort of encounter template. Slimy deceivers, RAW, would be expensive for an organization to use, but would make fun encounters, so you could shim the economics with a bit of plot: the slime god gifts them to his cult, a massive undead plant grows them like seeds, something like that.

Math (long):

This one was so tough to price. I thought it would be when I came up with the idea, but it seemed like such a flavorful magic item I did my best to puzzle it out.

I tried a couple of different options. Using the same guidelines for summoned monsters that I did to create the goblet of bile, I figured that a magic item that summons a 6 HD character (which would be the most powerful simulacrum the deceiver could imitate) and a grey ooze (EL6 + EL 4 = EL7) would be worth about as much as an object that summoned a black pudding (EL 7).

So, a summon monster 7 item.

Being that they were summoned consecutively, and not concurrently, and so would be dealt with as individual threats that cannot aid each other, I thought that meant they should be priced slightly less, so I gave it an ad hoc adjustment of -25%, reasoning that in a standard encounter, consecutive creatures would probably be about half as difficult, or 50% less of a challenge. Reducing the cost by 50% would make this item far to0 cheap (placing a 7th level spell in reach of a 8th level NPC, or a lower level PC). So -25%.

Note that if I cost this item as if it were a simulacrum spell followed by a summon monster spell, the value is something like 20,000 gp, mostly due to the costly gp and Xp components of the simulacrum spell, twice the value of am item that creates a single use summon monster effect that would summon a EL 7 creature. This puts it in reach of an 11th level PC, at which point the component parts of the slimy deceiver would be mostly a nuisance to PCs.

Although it could be said that the semi-permanent nature of a slimy deceiver should increase its value (and I assume that's why simulacrum has such costly components), character gold is largely a measure of combat power. The components of a deceiver make for interesting flavor or tactical elements in an encounter, but add little to the raw combat ability of their user at the levels they come into play. Further, they aren't meant to hang around. Like animated undead, they will be destroyed eventually. Increasing the cost would make them undesirable to a PC or GM.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Periapt of the Subtle Fist: When held in the fist, this periapt allows the holder to make an unarmed attacks for one minute. Each use drains one charge from the Periapt. The attack does not gain a plus to hit or damage, but allows the user to circumvent damage reduction or attack creatures that he otherwise could not damage. Each such periapt has a maximum of 18 charges.

Moderate evocation; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, Stunning Fist feat or ability or magic fang; Cost: 729 gp

NPC Gear: 2nd
Treaure Value: 3rd

Math:

A item with fifty charges is generally about a third of the cost of a regular spell effect magic item.

A +1 amulet of mighty fists is worth 6,000 gp. A third of that is 2,000 gp.

This item only has a maximum of 18 charges. So the value of it should be 720 gp, or about 40 gp per charge.

When I first created this magic item for temple of elemental evil campaign that I was running, I based it off an item in the Fighter splatbook, but totally ad hoced the price at 6,300 gp.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jittering Weapon - Weapon Quality

Jittering Weapon: A weapon with the jittering quality has a pommel designed like sturdy metal cage, in which is imprisoned a tiny fire elemental or will o wisp. The small dancing creature can be easily covered over with a hand or wrapping, but if removed, will destroy the ability of the weapon to jittery.

Once per day as a swift action, a jittering weapon can be released to attack on it's own for one round. The weapon will make one attack during that round round. The next round it will return to the character who released it, if they are still within 5 feet of its current position. A jittering weapon attacks using its wielder's base attack bonus, one handed strength bonus, and any feat modifiers for both its to hit and damage rolls. If it cannot return to its wielder's hand, then it drops to the ground.

Some jittering weapons will work up to 2 or 3 times per day. If a jittering weapon can be used more than once per day, it must be released and re-caught in between uses.

The jittering quality can be added to any mundane, masterwork, or magical weapon.

Weak transmutation; CL 11th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate object; Cost +580 per jittering attack per day, up to three uses.

NPC Gear: Jittering falchion, once per day, 655 gp, 2nd
NPC Gear: Jittering falchion, once per day, 655 gp, 3rd

Math:

+4 weapon bonus = 32,000 gp
/5 for once per day = 6,400
-10% for command word = 5760
/10 for extreme truncation of effect (one round of combat, as opposed to being useful all the time. This is the opposite of the standard "unlimited useage *50 modifier," prorated because the weapon price was already reduced for number of days. You could also just divide the whole value of the weapon bonus by 50) = 576
rounded for convenience = 580 gp per extra attack up to five.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Chromaglass Blade - Weapon Bonus

Chromaglass Blade: The blade of this weapon looks like jagged glass, the facets of which are colored in deep jewel tones of emerald, sapphire, flame, blood, and amythyst. The bearer of the blade can order it to transmute as a move action. Once per day each, the chromaglass blade can become Admantine, or a Brilliant Energy, Frost, or Shocking weapon. Once per day, the bearer can also try to evoke a +2 enhancement bonus to any one ability score. There is a 66% chance that this will succeed. Each transformation, or the ability score bonus, lasts for 2 minutes.

Moderate transmutation; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, greater magic weapon, major creation; Price +2 bonus

NPC Gear: see below
Treasure Value: see below

Laughing Death: This +1 chromaglass short sword looks like the blade was chipped from a piece of multicolored glass.

Once per day each, the chromaglass blade can become Admantine, or a Brilliant Energy, Frost, or Shocking weapon. Once per day, the bearer can also try to evoke a +2 bonus to any one ability score. There is a 66% chance that this will succeed. Each transformation, or the ability score bonus, lasts for 2 minutes.

The soul of the blade is that of a lawful good lucent. Once per day, it will cast see invisibility on a lawful owner, as a 3rd level caster.

Laughing death has an intelligence of 12, a wisdom and charisma of 10, and an ego of 5.

Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, greater magic weapon, major creation; Price 21,710

NPC Gear: 14th
Treasure Value: 15th

Math:

I divided the base value of each bonus or quality by five, for one use per day:

+1 bonus: 2,000/5 = 400 (twice)
+4 bonus: 32,000/5 = 6,400
Adamantine: 3,000 gp/5 = 600

Added them: 7,400.

That's almost the value of a +2 bonus, so I decided to throw in the once per day ability score bonus = 2*2*1000=4000/5 = 800

8,200. A smidge over. Fudged around for the percentile chance for the ability score increase to work.

Laughting Death is how I used the chromaglass bonus in my game, and is a standard +3 short sword with with intelligence.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Arcane Strike Weapon - Weapon Quality

Arcane Strike: This weapon is usually crafted with a mithril blade or head which had been made partially transparent. It's pommel is usually bare and inscribed with an intricate magic circle where the wielders palm would usually rest. In battle, glowing runes appear and disappear within the transparent metal parts of the weapon.

A character that uses arcane spells can expend a first level spell slot as a swift action while holding an Arcane Strike weapon. After doing so, the weapon glows with a dim blue white light, and glowing runes shine steadily in the transparent parts of the weapon.

The weapon does +1d4 points of force damage when it strikes in combat. The force damage will affect incorporeal creatures as long as the wielder strikes an incorporeal creatures armor class, even if the weapon itself does not hit because it is not magical or because of the incorporeal creatures miss chance. The force glow lasts for one hour.

If the wielder expends a 0 level spell slot, an Arcane Strike weapon will do +1d2 points of force damage.

The Arcane Strike quality can be added to any masterwork or magical weapon.

If the character who expended the spell that fuels an Arcane Strike weapon loses contact with the weapon, the force damage will gutter and fade after three rounds.

Weak evocation; CL 3rd; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Magic Missile, Magic Weapon; Cost +1,000 gp.

NPC Gear: Masterwork Arcane Strike Bastard Sword (1,335 gp), 4th
Treasure Value: Masterwork Arcane Strike Bastard Sword (1,335 gp), 5th

Math: I figured this was not as good as a standard +1 weapon bonus (which would be +1d6 damage), plus it required the use of another resource (a 1st level spell), and is really only useful to a duel classed character.

Like other weapon qualities, the cost is added to the weapon value because it does not truly scale: ie the force damage is independent of the swords normal damage when used against an incorporeal foe, unlike a ghost touch weapon, and it not always active because it is fueled by spellcasting ability.

You could play with the value of this ability:

Once per day = 1,000/5 or 200 gp. Masterwork Arcane Strike Bastard Sword (535 gp)

Greater Arcane strike = maximum spell level converted squared *1,000 gp added to weapon. Weapon gains +1d4 force damage per level of the spell expended to fuel it. Masterwork Greater Arcane Strike Bastard Sword, up to third level (9,335 gp).

Masterwork Greater Arcane Strike Bastard Sword, up to third level, once per day (2,135 gp)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blessing of Thunder - Weapon Quality

Blessing of Thunder: The pommel of this steel weapon is made wrapped in scaly yellow shocker skin, and it's wrought iron head is crazed with engraved lightning.

Once per day, the wielder can invoke a shocking grasp effect, as if cast by a third level user. The effect originates from the weapon, and can be delivered with a touch or melee attack. A touch attack gains a +3 bonus to attacks vs. opponents made of, carrying, or wearing a lot of metal. A melee attack does not gain this bonus.

The blessing of thunder can be put on a normal or masterwork weapon in addition to a magical weapon. It can be added to a cold iron weapon without paying double the enchantment cost.

Weak evocation; CL 3rd; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Shocking Grasp; Cost +1,200 gp per use (up to three times per day)

NPC Gear: Single Use Blessing of Thunder Greatclub (1,205 gp), 3rd
Treasure Value: Single Use Blessing of Thunder Greatclub (1,205 gp), 4th

Math:

1*3*2000 = 6,000/3 for once per day = 1,200

You can monkey with the math by making this a command word item: -10% or 1,080.

You can make it a once per day 3rd level magic missile, instead. In this case, I would not suggest allowing the item to circumvent the special costs for enchanting a cold iron weapon.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I own a piece of Dungeons and Dragons history! On the left, you see a 3.5 era Bullette, a huge metallic monstrosity. I used two of these in my game two weeks ago, as the pets of a lawful evil angel that kept my PCs tangled up for our full 3 hour session. Bulettes are fun. I had never used them before last Sunday, and I didn't know that they can jump and attack!

On the right is a little green lump of plastic that I've owned since before I started playing DND. Conservatively estimating, it is 30 years old. It came in a stiff plastic pouch of really wild, Johnny Socko/Ultraman looking plastic monsters that I got from the dime store. For those who don't understand the cultural reference, Johnny Socko and Ultraman were two live action, rubber costume giant monster TV shows that were on TV when I was a kid, way back in the 70's, that had really wild looking monsters. In fact, I'm pretty sure there was one Ultraman show that had a monster that looked almost exactly like a Bullette.

In the same packet, there was a monster that looked just like a rust monster. You'll have to take my word on that one, 'cause I don't have it anymore. But I owned those stupid little plastic monsters for years. I even carried them to New York with me, as part of the very small stash of toys I took into adult life, which included the bounty hunter action figures from star wars and a little plastic doll of Beuregard the Dog from the Pogocomic strip.

Which is fortunate, because it wasn't until well into my adult life that I realized: that Bullette and Rust Monster looked exactly like the pictures in the 1st edition monster manual, and they had no reason too! That Bulette in the picture, and the original rust monster, have no cultural referents that they're similar too. Just none. They're like the doodles that are born out of the skulls of bored seventh graders in health class: purely creative in form, entirely lacking in function.

But apparently they made good templates. A couple of years back, Mr. Gygax was answering questions on EN World. So I asked if it were possible that my little lumps of plastic were cousins to the ones he used. And yes, apparently, it was the case. As a pre-teen me was getting that little plastic bag of toys as Christmas present or travel toy, our dude Gary was buying them for the Dungeons of Castle Greyhawk!

As a weird little aside, just as I was getting ready to post this, I found an odd, off hand reference to these toys on this blog. The rest of the article, which is about varient owlbears, if pretty cool too.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Befuddling weapon - Weapon Bonus

Befuddling: This weapon is decorated very plainly, with geometric patterns engraved on the blade, and three stones of different colors set in it's pommel. In combat, the blade sometimes seems to twin and flash with light.

Each time this weapon hits an opponent, the creature becomes mildly befuddled. His vision blurs, and he sees doubles of creatures around himself. In game terms, each time a creature is struck by a befuddling weapon, they gain a cumulative -1 penalty to hit.

This mild curse lasts for one minute, at which point it begins to wear off.

Weak enchantment; CL 3rd; Cost: +1 bonus

NPC Gear: +1 befuddling longsword (8,315 gp), 11th
Treasure Value: +1 befuddling longsword (8,315 gp), 12th

Math: I figured this doesn't grant to hit or AC bonuses, but it effectively grants a scaling AC bonus. I totally ad hoced this at a +1 bonus, figuring the bonus is mild, and depends on the weapon's user's skill and the targets AC for efficacy.

All about qualities

It occurs to me that I never really explained what a weapon quality is. So here goes.

Weapons are so important to a skirmished base RPG like DND, because they are the main tools for at least have the core classes, and a secondary tool for most of the rest. Magic weapons definitely add an element of coolness to the game. A problem I have with the cosing magical weapons is that they aren't available until about 3rd level, which is when minor magic weapons, with a minimum base value of 2,300+ gp, will come into the game. More baroque magic items won't come in until several levels later.

So using some of the thinking that I've been doing on these pages, some work I've done in my game, and being inspired by the weapon crystals from WOTC's collected magic item book, I've come up with some cheap weapon "qualities". Qualities aren't bonuses, and don't scale like weapon bonuses. Like certain armor bonuses, they add a set gp amount to the value of a weapon. All qualities can be placed on a base weapon without a +1 bonus. Some of them change how other bonuses scale, or can be scaled up to a fuller bonus.

In general, you can pile as many qualities on a weapon as you want. Simply add the values of the qualities to the weapon. None of them can be used simultaneously, and none of them scale, because they are often "use per day" abilities that must be invoked as opposed to "always on" bonuses that continually affect the power of a weapon and the character who weilds it. The cost of adding stacking qualities on a weapon should not be increased as it would be for an item having multiple different abilities. However, being that qualities are use per day abilities, and their full value will probably be realized, the value of stacking them should not decrease, as it would for mulitple similar abilities. Just stack them.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Okay, so I decided to pick up the Book of Nine Swords last week. Which is easy, because I've been buying game books for the library I work at. I almost picked it up last week, but a gamer kid spotted it and asked me if he could take it out. Usually, the books go out for their full four week check out. That this one didn't check out for its full four weeks really kind of bolsters my initial impression of it.

I decided to pick up the Book of Nine swords because it was there, because people seem to be saying that this is what 4th edition fighters will look like, and because my PCs are time travelling. They're in the "future" of my campaign world, where such things as Sword Mage's are common.

I played a 20th level Sword Mage or some damn thing when I was at Gen Con in 2006. It was for a demo of the Colossal Red Dragon mini that Wizards was running. It looked cool, with powers that did 100 points of damage in a blow. But... I didn't get to use him for more than a couple of rounds. That dragon was a tough bastard.

Right now, I'm creating an NPC to use against my players. He'll be about 16th level, heading some lower level mooks.

So here's my initial impression: the Book of Nine Swords is fun, but complex. It offers a lot of options, and you should probably 1) try them all over time to see how they work and 2) combine them properly to get the best use out of them. They work sort of like spells, except that they renew every encounter, instead of every day.

This is good for fighters. If they move wizards in this direction, it will be good for wizards.

Here's my worry: If all fighters become this complex, it won't be good for the game.

First of all, more complex, while more fun because it gives more choices, make for more complex game prep. Really, as far as I can tell, one of the things the Book of Nine Swords does for the game is make prep more strenuous. Less than dedicated GMs, like me, won't be so hip to this unless the digital initiative tools are really cool.

I know I probably won't use it much during the remainder of my current 3.5 campaign.

Last, and worst, the fighter has always been the base class for new gamers. Want your girlfriend or work buddies to try out the game? Have them roll up a fighter. New player isn't hep to your homebrew? He'll roll up a human or dwarf fighter. Durable and simple: point him in the direction of the enemy and off he goes.

The 9 Swords classes are not simple. Where do new players come in? Sure, I'm oversimplifying. Some new players start with a first level wizard. How hard is it to fire off a magic missle (and then wait till the next day to use another one. ZZZZZZ). But if 9 swords is the new model for 4.0 classes across the board (and, I remind you, I don't know for sure that it is), Wizards needs to simplify it in order to make fighters easier for GMs and new players to run.

That is all. You may return to your previously scheduled activities.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blog Update

I have been very single focused the last two weeks.

Last week, I finished up a big project IRL. This week, I am on vacation and working on what will by my third unpublished novel, evening out the narrative and creating a story bible so that the last 400 pages don't bog down in a lot of forgotten details.

Yes, I am a failed novelist (TM).

I interrupted my series on cheap weapons just to get a post up today. I think Alymanknam's Phials are kind of nifty magic items. I'm hoping to update through the next couple of months after I finish working on my manuscript, and will be posting extras to make up for a lack of posting last week and this.

Also, I sort of decided that I would finish out my two year run of 3.5 magic items, even though 4.0 will debut about two and a half months before I finish. I'm thinking that plenty of people will be playing 3.5 in the years to come.

I will also be posting about other gaming stuff on Rosy Rod from now on: encounters that I've run, thoughts about 4.0, notes on my next game, which is something weird that I've been jonesing to run for awhile, some articles. Really, I'm going to be potlatching all my 3.5 stuff that doesn't have anything I want to keep for my unpublished novels in it. Would anybody be interested in stat blocks from my current campaign? How about D20 Modern stuff?

Alymanknam's Phials - Medium Wondrous Items

Alymanknam’s Phial, Lesser: This small cut glass bottle has a hinged silver top emblazoned with a caudecus, holds about three ounces of liquid, and is usually empty.

When a potion of cure light wounds is poured into it, it will be changed into another healing potion. Roll a d20. If the result is odd, it becomes a potion of cure minor wounds. If the roll is even, it becomes a potion of cure moderate wounds. On a roll of 20, the potion of cure light wounds becomes a potion of cure serious wounds.

Moderate necromancy; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, cure serious wounds; Cost 6,750

NPC Gear: 10th
Treasure Value: 11th

Alymanknam’s Phial, Greater: This small cut glass bottle has a hinged silver top emblazoned with a caudecus, holds about three ounces of liquid, and is usually empty.

When a potion of cure moderate wounds is poured into it, it will be changed into another healing potion. Roll a d20. If the result is odd, it becomes a potion of cure light wounds. If the roll is even, it becomes a potion of cure moderate wounds. On a roll of 20, the potion of cure moderate wounds becomes a potion of cure critical wounds.

Moderate necromancy; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, cure critical wounds; Cost: 10,125

NPC Gear: 11th
Treasure Value: 12th

Math:

The value of the magic item is equal to the amount it decreases or increases the value of the potions placed in it.

It is essentially an unlimited device. Fifty is the defacto multiplier for “unlimited” in the magic item creation rules.

So I valued the item like this:

I took the difference between the values of potions:

For instance:

Cure moderate to cure light: -250
Cure moderate to cure serious: 450
Cure moderate to cure critical (“illegal” fourth level potion valued at approximately 4*7*100 gp or 2,800 gp): 2,500

I multiplied each by 50:

For instance:

Cure moderate to cure light: -12,550
Cure moderate to cure serious: 22,500
Cure moderate to cure critical: 125,000

I prorated each result by it’s likelihood of happening:

For instance:

Cure moderate to cure light: _____*.5 = -6,250
Cure moderate to cure serious: _____*.45 = 10,125*
Cure moderate to cure critical: _____*.05=6,250

Summed them

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bloodsipping - Weapon Quality

Bloodsipping: A bloodsipping weapon has a handle made out of bone and teeth, and wrapped in crudely stitched, badly cured leather. When the wielder of a bloodsipper weapon drops an opponent, droplets of blood crawl up the blade and onto the wielder's hands, like small warm leeches, where they are absorbed into the user's skin.

When used in combat, every time a bloodsipper weapon is used to bring a living opponent to -1 hit points of less, its wielder heals 1d3 points of damage.

Bloodsipping is a quality that can be added to any normal, masterwork, or magical weapon.

Weak necromancy; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, vampiric touch; Cost +500 gp

Treasure Value: Bloodsipping sickle (506 gp, 2nd level)
NPC Gear: Bloodsipping sickle (506 gp, 2nd level)

Math: I assume that a weapon healing it's user 1d3 is about equal to harming it's target for +1d3. Either way, the length of combat is changed by 1d3 hit points.

I started out pricing this as half a +1 value (1,000 gp). I halved it because it is far more restricted in scope and target. It doesn't grant or take 1d3 hit points each strike, only when felling a living creature. This ability becomes less and less useful as characters advance.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunreaving - Weapon Quality

Sunreaving Weapon: This weapon has gold flames filigreed upon its blade or head, and the holy symbol of a god adorns it's handle. It seems to glow in sunlight, and flashes with sparks when used in combat.

This weapon can be commanded to produce a ray of brilliant energy that sears it's target for 1d3 fire damage.

Some sunreaving weapons have been known to inflict 1d6 fire damage.

The sunreaving quality can be added to any masterwork or magical weapon.

Weak evocation; CL 3rd; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, disrupt undead; Cost +900 gp (1d3 damage), +1,800 gp (1d6 damage)

NPC Gear: Masterwork Sunreaving Morningstar (1d3 dmg), 1,208 (3rd)
Treausre Value: Masterwork Sunreaving Morningstar (1d3 dmg), 1,208 (4th)

This inexpensive addition to a weapon gives the melee fighter something nominal to do while manuevering for a charge or fighting from afar.

Math: cantrip, command word activated = 1*1*1,800/2=900, double for double damage

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hasty Weapon - Weapon Quality

Hasty Weapon: This weapon has a pommel wrapped in denatured and rougened phase spider or ettercap silk. There is mitheral in the blade or head, and runes down the length of it's blade or haft invoke energies that allow time itself to be manipulated. When used, the edge of the blade glows with a faint blue-white light.

As a swift action, a hasty weapon can be used to make an extra attack as part of a full attack action. The attack is made using the creature’s full base attack bonus, plus any modifiers appropriate to the situation. This stacks with extra attacks granted by any other effect, but does not actually grant an extra action, so you can’t use it to cast a second spell or otherwise take an extra action during a round.

Some hasty weapons can by used two or three times per day. They cannot be used to grant two or three extra attacks in one round, just to grant an extra attack in two or three separate rounds.

The hasty quality can be added to any mundane, masterwork, or magical melee or missile weapon, but not to ammunition.

Weak transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, haste; Cost +600 gp (one extra attack), +1,200 (two extra attacks), +1,800 (three extra attacks)

NPC Gear: masterwork hasty sickle (915 gp, 2nd)
Treasure Value: masterwork hasty sickle (915 gp, 3rd)

Math: Haste, once per day, then prorated by the number of rounds.

2*3*2000=30,000 then /5=6,000 then /5 (lowest caster level is 5, a 5 round duration) = 1,200

Half again for lack of +1 to hit, +1 to AC or reflex, or movement = 600 gp per attack

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dashing - Weapon Quality

Dashing Weapon: A dashing weapon in always masterwork, and crafted beautifully. Whether plain and elegant or baroque and flashy, a dashing weapon looks like quality, and it is obvious to everyone who sees it. When holding a dashing weapon, a prospective user can tell that it is well balanced and easy to use. Often, it is consecrated to the gods of wind or time.

A dashing weapon grants its user +1 to their initiative rolls. This bonus stacks with all other bonuses to initiative.

The dashing quality can be added to magic weapons.

Weak transformation; CL 3rd; Craft magic arms or armor, cat's grace; Cost +400 gp.

Treasure Value: Masterwork dashing longsword: 710 gp, 3rd
NPC Gear: Masterwork dashing longsword: 710 gp, 2nd

Math: It's always been curious to me how low a value is assigned, RAW, to initiative. Considering that it is often (no citation) credited with deciding entire battles, you think initiative would be worth alot. Yet there are only two widgets RAW that grant initiative: the Improved Initiative Feat, and the Haste spell. Being that it is piled onto the haste spell with a ton of other things, it's hard to infer a cost for that bonus, so I work from the Improved Initiative feat.

Improved Initiative is a cheap feat. It has no pre-reqs. It is often taken at first level, with toughness, which grants 3 hp, dodge, which grants a limited bonus to AC, and Skill Focus which grants a +3 bonus to skills.

This would seem to indicate that a a +4 initiative bonus is worth about as much as half a 1st level spell once per day (cure light wounds: average 5.5 hit point healed, half of that would be 2.75, round up for three, 200 gp?), about half or a quarter of a +1 bonus to AC (anywhere from 500 to 1000 gp), or an item that grants +3 to a skill (900 gp). So a lower bonus should be worth less.

I often used to assume that a single feat with no pre-reqs is worth a +1 weapon bonus. But that's a crock, comparing it to the values of the feats above.

On the other hand, for combat use, +4 initiative beats all of the above hands down.

My compromise was to treat Improved Initiative as a first level spell or weapon bonus, about 2,000 gp. I could divide by four to get the value for each individual plus, but value tends to stack, so I treated it as a once per day item, one fifth of the value. The price for +1 initiative is 400 gp, theoretically, the price for +2 is 800 gp and +3 is 1,200 gp.

The full +4 baloons to 2,000 gp. I don't know that I'd allow an item like that, however. At the very least, I wouldn't let it stack with Improved Initiative. It would allow nearly unbeatable initiative much too cheaply.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Quick apologia! I had said cheap weapons, but the blackfire arrows are a +4 enchantment. This week has been too too hectic, and in my list of prepped post ideas, I'd slipped this bit of equipment from a creature early in my current campaign. It seemed like the easiest post to finish while family is at swimming lessons.

As an aside, I use magic arrows as NPC gear a lot: they are the game equivalent of biodegradable trash, being used up quickly by the NPCs or by players if there are any left over. And a single blackfire or other powerful arrow, given to a low (2nd or higher) level NPC sharpshooter, gives an encounter with that NPC an interesting punch: a quick, alarming dose of damage at the front end of the encounter, and an extra round or two because of the temporary hit points.

Blackfire Arrows - Specific Weapon, Weapon Bonus

Blackfire Arrows: These arrows, with heads carved from the bones of undead creatures and fletched with the feather's of carrion birds, burn with a black fire when nocked against the string of a bow.

These +1 arrows do +1d6 fire damage. Any damage they do is transferred to the creature who fired the arrow as temporary hit points that last for ten hours.

Strong necromancy; CL 12th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, vampiric touch; Cost 647 gp each.

Blackfire Quality: This weapon constantly burns with a black fire. They do +1d6 damage per strike, and any damage done is transferred to the weapon's wielder as temporary hit points that last for ten hours..

Strong necromancy; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, vampiric touch; Cost +3 bonus.

Treasure Value: 5 blackfire arrows (3,235 gp, 8th level)
NPC Gear: 5 blackfire arrows (3,235 gp, 7th level)

Math: The +1d6 damage is roughly equal to a +1 bonus. It seems reasonable that giving the user +1d6 hit points would be as valuable. I figured the extra hit points from the +1 and base arrow damage would be worth another +1. It would be an average of 4.5-5.5 hit points per strike, more than one d6. An extra one or two hit points per hit doesn't seem to be worth more than a +1 bonus. So, +3 total. As per raw, this ability should be stacked over a bonus of at least +1, giving these a minimum of +4 pricing anyways.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ficklesharpe - Weapon Quality

Ficklesharpe: The steel of a ficklesharp seems oily, with strange prismatic patterns that spread out over it in ever changing ripples. When it is swung through the air, the metal seems fluid, the blade elongating against the direction of its swing, then snapping back to its normal shape when it strikes.

The ficklesharp quality can be added to any masterwork or magical weapon, and usually involves being inscribed with runes of enchanted quicksilver, quenching in the blood of a quasit, and an inwardly directed circle of protection from chaos.

When attacking with a ficklesharpe weapon, it will do +1d6 chaotic damage if the to hit roll is an odd number.

Weak evocation; CL 3rd ; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, circle of protection from chaos, shatter; Cost +900 gp.

NPC Gear: Ficklesharpe masterwork short sword (1,210 gp), 3rd
Treasure Value: Ficklesharpe masterwork short sword (1,210 gp), 4th

Math: Approximately half of a +1 bonus. -10% because it will not function if a 1 is rolled to hit.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Voracious Barding - Armor Quality

Voracious Barding: Voracious is a quality that can be added to any medium or large barding. It often involves a thin layer of mithril plating, and the helmet is carved with runes of transformative power. The teeth of dire predators are often used as spike-like decorations.

Voracious barding has two qualities. First, any suit of voracious barding will alter its shape so that it can fit any medium or large quadruped.

Second, once per day, as a spell like ability, a command word uttered within 30 feet of the armor will trigger a magic fang spell. This spell will default to the wearer's primary attack.

Weak transformation; CL 3rd; Craft Magic Arms and Armor; magic fang; Cost +360 gp.

NPC Gear Value: 1st
Treasure Value: 2nd

Math:

1*1*1,800 gp for first level spell like ability, command word activated, once per day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Brand - weapon quality

Branding: This weapon glows with a dull red heat when unsheated, not enough to light an area, but enough to give you away in the dark. If touched, the metal of the blade or head is hot enough to cause minor burns, but combat amplifies the blade's heat until it becomes more destuctive. A branding weapon does +1d3 heat damage when it strikes in combat.

The branding quality can be added to any metal weapon that is masterwork or magical. If added to a flaming or flaming burst weapon, it bumps the dice of damage cause up by one size (+1d8 or flaming, +2d6 for flaming burst).

Magical energy can be harnessed in similar ways to create different weapons: the Frostbite, which does cold damage, the Sparking, which does lightning damage, the Sharpsong, which does sonic damage, and the Caustic, which does acid damage.

Weak evocation; CL 3rd; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, burning hands; Cost +1,000 gp.

NPC Gear: Branding Masterwork Scythe (1,318 gp) 4th
Treasure Value: Branding Masterwork Scythe (1,318 gp) 5th

Math: Approximately half a weapon bonus. The math or half steps in scaling is a pain in a but, and in truth, after the initial effect is applied, an enhancement this trivial doesn't scale. So I priced it as +1,000 gp.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Scythe of Xygwym - Specific Charged Weapon

The Scythe of Xygwym: The warrior priestess Xygwym was taught how to make these scythes by the 13 death gods of Ghaemyn.

When the wielder of this masterwork scythe hums the names of at least five of the death gods in rapid succession, a charge is drained, and the scythe becomes a +3 weapon for ten minutes. When she ends this command by shrieking: “You belong to them now!”, she can drain five charges from the scythe and make it a +3 wounding weapon.

A newly forged Scythe of Xygwym starts with 50 charges.

Moderate transmutation; Caster level 15th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, magic weapon, cause moderate wounds; Cost 9,318 gp.


NPC Gear
: 11th
Treasure Value: 12th

Math:

A +3 charged weapon bonus = 3*3*1000, plus the value of a masterwork scythe

Charged Magical Weapons

A friend of mine asked how I’d do charges weapons.

I’ve seen a couple of different methods used on various newsgroups, but none that really stick.

I figure there’re two approaches.

As per RAW, a continuous or use activated spell effect item has a multiplier of spell level times caster level times 2000.

A continuous use weapon has a multiplier of bonus times bonus times 2000.

A command word spell effect item has a multiplier of multiplier of spell level times caster level times 1,800. One assumes that the 20% reduction in cost is due to the restrictions using a command word places on using the item: for instance, must be able to speak, which several things, like silence, paralysis, etc., can mitigate. Plus, it’s just not always actvie. It needs to be started up, as it were.

You would assume that if a magic sword required a command word to activate, it would have a multiplier of bonus times bonus times 1,800.

The base price of a spell trigger item with 50 charges is spell level times caster level times 750. The difference between a spell trigger item and a command word item is only knowledge of a spell list.

Knowledge of a spell list could be considered an “other consideration”: required specific class or alignment, because spell lists are a function of class.

A magic weapon really shouldn’t require a specific class to use. Unless you really want it to.**

Theoretically, needing a specific class or alignment to use an item makes that item cheaper. So, if a spell trigger item became a command word item, that would increase the base cost by 30%. Adding 30% to a multiplier of 750 makes 975, which would require some sloppy math. Lets round that up to 1,000 gp.

So the cost for a charged magic weapon that requires a command word to use and has fifty charges should be something like: bonus squared times 1,000.

A +1 charged sword would be 1*1*1000 = 1,000 gp (975 sloppy math)
A +2 charged sword would be 2*2*1000 = 4,000 gp (3,900 sloppy math)
A +2 flaming charged sword would be 3*3*1000 = 9,000 gp (8775 sloppy math)
A +2 holy charged sword would be 4*4*1000 = 16,000
A +3 shocking burst charged sword would be 5*5*1000 = 25,000
A +2 brilliant charged sword would be 6*6*1000 = 36,000

Add the base cost of a masterwork weapon.

Let’s compare the price of this to making it an actual wand.

A wand of magic weapon would cost 1*1*750 or 750 gp +30% = 975

A wand of greater magic weapon would cost:

3*5*750 = for +1= 11,250, +30% = 14,625
3*8*750 = for +2 = 18,000, +30% = 23,400
3*12*750 = for +3 = 27,000, +30% = 35,100
3*16*750 = for +4 = 36,000, +30% = 46,800
3*20*750 = for +5 = 45,000, +30% = 58,500

With no way to scale beyond that, RAW.

And, you should add the cost of a masterwork weapon to that, if you’re combining wand with sword.

That gets way out of control. At every level, using greater magic weapon as a wand, the bonus you get costs way more than for a charged item. At lower levels, it’s 3-7 times as much. So, obviously, putting greater magic weapon into a wand it pointless.

Would a charged magic weapon be overpowered? After all, you’d paying half the price for the same bonus.

RAW, a 18th level NPC would be carrying around a regular +4 sword, which is about one quarter of the total value of his treasure.

Assuming the same ratio, an NPC shouldn’t have a +4 charged weapon until they were 16th level (16,000 gp would be less than ¼ of 77,000 gp)

A PC could expect to find a +4 charged sword as a treasure at level 14. She could expect to find a normal +4 sword as a treasure at level 17.

+1 to hit and damage three levels earlier?

If a character used one charge per combat, 13 charges per level, a fully charged weapon would last almost 4 levels.

So, what, in a 20 level campaign, you’d have to buy or get five charged weapons, say at 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. They would probably be one of each, lets say 55,000 gp total over the course of the campaign.

A typical character would spend just 48,000 on getting a regular +5 sword. He’d probably get it at 4th level (facing 6-7th level challenged). Then he’d upgrade it by paying the difference in steps to 50,000.

And, of course, “found” charged swords might not have their full fifty charges, which means they wouldn’t last reliably as long, which means that they’d “cost” more.

So it looks to me like you would have PCs with magic weapons earlier, but that they would cost a tiny bit more if you relied on disposable (charged) weapons.

Would this spoil permanent magic weapons? Not necessarily. First of all, the extra gold spent on charged weapons (7,000 gp plus) would be almost enough to equip a character with a +2 armor bonus. Cheaper is better. Plus, activating a charged weapon could be quashed by silence spells, which wouldn’t happen with a normal magic weapon.

Second, you could metagame. For instance, charged weapons can’t have bonus abilities, like flaming or bane. Personally, I think that would be dull.

What I like better is making the weapons moderately scalable. For instance, you could give the characters a charged +2 great ax. When a barbarian uses it in battle, screaming his tribal war cry, it burns one charge and becomes a +2 weapon for 10 minutes. If the barbarian screams the name of his god while using his battle cry, the axe burns two charges and becomes a +2 flaming battle ax. If he is wounded before the axe is activated, he can burn four charges and it becomes a +2 flaming battle ax, bane versus trolls.

This largely works because the bumps from +2 to +5 are about double in price, so doubling the charge cost should add a +1 bonus to the weapon. This doesn’t work so well for +1 weapons: the bump from +1 to +2 is quadruple cost. At low levels, you’d get a lot of bang for your buck turning a +1 weapon into a +2 weapon with one extra charge. At high levels, who cares about a measly +1 bonus.

This would mean that the weapon would have variable usability, and tend to use up charges faster, making it even more expensive. It would be interesting, fun, and tactical… but stable, permanent magic items would be much cheaper, which trumps everything.

Also, while writing this little essay I realized that I’d priced every staff on this blog wrong. I was using the numbers in the Craft Staff section, for the cost of creating the staff. Not the final cost. So I went back and redid them.

Ehm. Sheepish grin.

** Although, theoretically, you could say that to use a weapon well, it requires the character have levels in fighter. That isn’t really in the spirit of the RAW, however.
Today's post is another charged weapon. The post below it is an article about how I decided to price them as such.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So, hey. How about that 4e thing?

No, really. How about it. I've probably got 4 or 5 regular readers. Anybody planning on swapping over? I'm wondering if Rosy Rod has a future as a crunch blog.

In other news: cheap magic items, until I run out. Five weeks?

Grunhilde’s Mace - Specific Magical Weapon

Grunhilde’s Mace: This masterwork heavy mace burns one charge and becomes a +1 weapon for ten minutes when the name of its creator, Grunhilde, is invoked. When the name of Grunhilde is combined with her diety, Thor, and 3 charges are spent, it becomes a +1 thundering weapon.

“Grunhilde didnae die in vain, you trollish boilpickers!”

or

“Grunhilde died for the Glory of Thor!”

A newly forged Grunhilde’s Mace has 50 charges.

Weak transmutation; Caster level 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, magic weapon, wind wall; Cost 1,312 gp.


NPC Gear
: 4th
Treasure Value: 5th

Treasure Value:

+1 charged weapon: 1*1*1,000 (See charged weapon article below), plus the value of a masterwork weapon.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Expulsive Lamps - Minor and Moderate Wondrous Items

Expulsive Lamp - These brass oil lamps always look shiny and new. They usually are very plain, allowing their users to fool observers into thinking they are lighting an ordinary lamp. Devastating sneak attacks have been launched by a seemingly nervous attendant lighting a explusive lamp. It isn't until one turns over the base or the lid, or looks on the inside surface of the handle, that they will see the runes that evoke fire.

Filling and lighting an expulsive lamp is a full round action. The first time a lamp is filled and lit in a day, it will vent a cone of flame at the end of the full round. Most lamps vent a 10 foot cone that does 3d6 damage. Some vent a 20 foot cone that does 6d6 damage, or a 30 foot cone that does 9d6 damage. The rarest vents a 40 foot cone that does 12d6 damage.

Because of its plain nature, an expulsive lamp can be lit as a surprise action. This always requires a successful bluff check. Lamp users gain a +2 circumstance bonus on their bluff attempts if they have a good reason to light a lamp (for instance, it is dark and there are no other light sources).

After they use their cone attack, an explusive lamp burns oil at half the normal rate, ie, one pint per 2 hours.

Some expulsive lamps can be used twice or three times in each day. In each case, the first two or three filling trigger the expulsion. The lamp cannot be used as a normal lamp until all of its uses of expulsion are triggered.

Weak to moderate evocation; CL 5th; Craft wondrous item, fireball; Cost 800 gp (3 dice, 1/day), 1,600 gp (3 dice, 2/day), 2,400 gp (3 dice, 3/day), 3,600 (6 dice, 1/day), 5,400 (9 dice, 1/day), 7,200 (6 dice, 2/day or 12 dice 1/day), 10,800 (6 dice, 3/day or 9 dice, 2/day), 14,400 (12 dice, 3/day), 16,200 (9 dice, 3/day), 21,600 (12 dice, 3/day)

NPC Gear: 2nd (3 dice, 1/day)
Treasure Value: 3rd (3 dice, 1/day)

Math:

For the lowest damage, the cost is derived from burning hands: 1*4*2000, divided by 5 for one use per day (or 5/# of uses per day), divided by half for multiple limitations.

The rest are created as per permanent fireball magic items, divided by half for multiple limitations.

Multiple limitations include: limited ability to place the affect (in most cases), limited area of effect versus fireball (in most cases), and using a full round action to light.

Less valuable than fireball: cannot place spread as efficiently, smaller cones do not cover similar area to fireball, full round action, requires resources.