Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Magic Stuff!

Magic Stuff
Shadow of the Demon Lord has spells, as you saw last time, but what about magic treasure? Are there enchanted swords, cloaks, and other objects? Sort of. Magical objects are a staple in the fantasy genre. Frodo & Bilbo had the ring. Arthur had Excalibur. Arawn had his Black Cauldron. Agni had his wand of Universal Fire. It goes on. At one point, I had rejected the idea that the game would have such things as “magic items,” but I ultimately came back to it after recognizing that enchanted objects do have a place in dark fantasy. Such things can be mementos from previous stories, oddities that can hinder as much as they help. They can also operate as world-building tools for GMs and players alike. For these reasons and others, I use three broad categories for magical widgets: consumables, enchanted objects, and artifacts.

A consumable is a magic device that has a single use. When you use it, you consume the magic from it. In the case of potions, you literally consume the object. In the case of incantations, you consume the magic by reading the script aloud. Player characters can typically purchase consumables, though their availability depends on their rarity. For example, you’d have to travel to a large city to find a philosopher’s stone.

Here are two examples of consumable items found in the equipment chapter:

     Repair Oil: A thin, amber oil causes fractures in objects to close and repair any damage done to it. You may use an action to smear the oil on an object or a creature that is a construct within your reach. The oil takes effect at the end of the round in which you applied it. The object heals 1d6 damage or damage equal to its healing rate if it is a construct.

     Death’s Heralds: A white, powdery substance contained inside a wax paper packet, the powder is made from the eggs of a rare moth found in the Underworld.
     You may use an action to attack with the powder by blowing the contents from the packet into the face of one living creature within short range. The target must make a Strength resistance roll with two complications. On a failure, it becomes impaired for 1 minute. If it’s already impaired, it takes 2d6 damage.
     At the end of each round until the effect wears off, the affected creature must make a Strength resistance roll. On a failure, the creature takes 1d6 damage from the hatching eggs and burrowing larva. A creature incapacitated by the damage dies and its body vanishes.
     In addition, each time a creature takes damage from the death's heralds, a cloud of black moths spreads out in a 1-yard radius from a spot in the creature's space. The cloud remains until the end of the next round and it totally obscures its area.

Enchanted Objects
Enchanted objects are not generally for sale. Instead, they are  found in the world. They are worth whatever the NPC or PC is willing to pay for it. Enchanted objects are things of minor magical power that persists. A glass box that glows when touched, a wand that sprays liquid flames, or a bone scimitar that glows blue when brought to within short range of a troll are all good examples of such items.
            In the core book, the game presents a set of tables for quick generation. One table gives you an idea of what form the object will take. The other tables describe the object’s magical power. The GM can pick or roll dice for random generation.
            Here’s the form table:

Enchanted Object Form
1d20           Form                         Examples
1                 Light Armor              Robes, soft leather, hard leather
2                Melee weapon          Sword, staff, or spear
3                Jewelry                     Ring, necklace, bracelet
4                Furniture                   Chair, mirror, rug
5                Sculpture                  Statuette, idol
6                Coin                           A copper penny
7                Tool                           Hammer, scales, wrench
8                Clothing                     Hat, cloak, shirt, shoes
9                Instrument                Lute, drums, flute
10               Container                  Bag, box, chest
11               Inscription                 Tome, scroll, clay tablet
12               Implement                Wand, crystal ball, knife
13               Technology               Pocket watch, pistol
14               Game or Toy             Cards, dice, doll
15               Accessory                 Key, monocle, scabbard
16               Vehicle                      Cart, rowboat, wagon
17               Religious                   Holy symbol, book, beads
18               Weird                        Mummified hand, gallstone
19               Ranged weapon        Longbow, crossbow
20              Heavy armor            Chainmail, plate & mail

And here are a few entries from the effects tables.

6                The object radiates menace. Creatures within 5 yards of it have a complication for Willpower resistance rolls made to stop or resist being frightened.
7                You can use an action to place the object on any surface you can reach. The object stays there, no matter what, until you touch it and use an action to pick it up.
8                The object changes color to match its surroundings perfectly.
9                The object vibrates slightly when within 100 yards of a troll or giant.
10               You can use an action to extinguish all flames within 10 yards. You can use the object three times. You regain expended uses once each day when you douse the object with water.
11               The object turns green when within 10 yards of a poison.
12               You can use an action to cause all doors, containers, and other objects that can be closed or opened within 10 yards of you to close or open as you decide. The object has three uses.

An artifact is an enchanted object with a story. These items tend to be more powerful, have a drawback, and may benefit the entire group. Here’s an example artifact.

Blood Moon Medallion
A disk wrought from reddish metal and embossed with a skull-like visage on the front, the medallion hangs from a rusty chain that catches and pulls the hairs from the neck of anyone wearing it. When inspected in moonlight, the medallion gleams with baleful light.
     Raise the Dead: Once each night, you may use an action to choose a pile of bones or a corpse of Size 1 or smaller creature that you can see within short range. The target becomes a skeleton or a zombie until it becomes incapacitated.
     Upon creating a skeleton or zombie with this artifact, make a Willpower action roll. On a success, you fully control the target until dawn, at which point the skeleton collapses into a pile of bones or the zombie falls down to become a corpse. On a failure, you gain 1 insanity and the target becomes hostile to you and your companions until it becomes incapacitated.

1 comment:

  1. Can anyone use a scroll spell? It seems like from other examples, magic is not restricted to 'magic-users'.