Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring, and Three Magic Items

So, spring has hit central New York.  There is sunshine and short-sleeve weather.  My lawn needs mowing, the garage needs cleaning, and that's why posting is down.  I'm renovating my house, building a treehouse for a friend, and being a stay-at-home dad (which actually means going out on lots of errands).

Getting The Basic Illusionist out the door left a space for new ideas to flood in, so I'm sorting through those.  I'd like to do something, or a bunch of something, for Knockspell, and probably also Open Gaming Monthly (for which I also need to write a review or two).  Plus, the cultist has also turned out to be unexpectedly fertile in some respects, so I'm plugging away at that, which wasn't on my radar at all (because every class needs variants like the apostate, diabolist, knave of courts, and sha'ir).

I feel like I ought to post something spring and game-related, so, let's see what I can find in the archives.

Here we are.  Three magic items, part of a batch I wrote in 1998 as a follow-up to my Dragon magazine article.  The article came out in August of 1999, I think?  It was on the stands at Gen Con when WotC announced Third Edition, so that scuttled my plans.  It was a pretty awesome GenCon to be at, though - not that I have much standard for comparison.

Badge of Alliance

 These magical brooches or pins are constructed by halfling priests, and given to particularly valiant non-halfling allies.  They often bear a symbol important to halflings, such as a sheaf of wheat, a sickle, a smiling sun, or a bush or shrub.  The maker of a badge can always recognize her own work.

A badge of alliance grants the bearer several magical abilities:
·         speak with any halfling he encounters with perfect fluency;
·         reduce his size to 3' tall for one hour per day;
·         Move silently through natural terrain as a halfling, imposing a -4 penalty to opponent's suprise roll, if the bearer is in non-metal armor and either alone, or in a party of characters with similar abilities.
Badges of alliance function only for good characters, or the individual for whom they were created.

Dagger, Thornblade

Inconspicious items often carried by halfling sheriffs, guardians, wardens, and other protectors, thornblades appear as woody brown thorns between 3" and 6" long.  Halflings often use them as hairpins, or to pin a cloak together, or simply stick them into the cuff of their pantleg. When grasped and the the command word is spoken, however, a thornblade transforms into a long, razor-sharp dagger that inflicts 1d4+1/1d3+1 hit points of damage.  Thornblades are carried as emergency weapons, and used sparingly, since they may be used only three times before the magic is extinguished.  A 7th-level or higher priest of Avoreen, Brandobaris, Sheela Peryroyl, or Yondalla, however, may recharge a thornblade over the course of a week.
Thornblades are not metallic weapons in either form, and are not affected by rust, magnetism, or any other attack designed for metallic objects.
10% of thornblade daggers are permanently enchanted magical items, with a bonus of +1 to +3.

Puff-puff Pipe (Pipe of Deception)

Puff-puff pipes are the work of powerful gnomish illusionists and a few rare halfling priests. These tobacco pipes are seemingly identical to those favored by elderly halflings, gnomes, and wizards of all ages. The pipe functions perfectly as an ordinary pipe, but its true magic is revealed when a pinch of certain ingredients are introduced to the bowl of the pipe.
·         With the addition of a special blend of herbs (worth 25gp for 10 pinches), the bearer of a pipe of deception may cast change self.
·         A pinch of powdered dung (no cost), allows the smoker to cast stinking cloud.
·         A fragrant blend of herbs and spices (75 gp for 10 pinches), enables the bearer to cast phantasmal force.
·         With a pinch of powdered diamond (worth 50gp per pinch), the pipe-bearer may cast hypnotic pattern.
·         Ground nettles and thistles (no cost), allow the bearer to cast wall of smoke (identical to wall of fog).

In each case, the spell effects are created out of smoke from the pipe, and last only as long as the pipe-bearer concentrates or until the spell duration ends, which comes first.  The pipe of deception must be lit and smoked for the magic to function.  The pipe always smells fresh, and never needs cleaning.  A few reports have indicated that a few pipes may possess other powers.

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