Monday, December 29, 2014


Here's another spell book by Ed Greenwood from Dragon Magazine #92.  I like this one even though it contains no new spells, but it does conceal a dangerous guardian.

The Scalamagdrion


This is a large volume fashioned of parchment bound between slabs of wood and sewn to the black hide of an unknown creature, which has been stretched over the boards to form a cover. It bears no external markings of any kind. Its covers are edged with beaten copper, now discolored to a vivid green by the elements. There are 26 yellowed and curling pages within, and some owners report a binding strip of black hide which the book now apparently lacks.

The size and weight of the tome precludes its easy transportation by hand, under arm, or in satchel, and indeed it does not show the wear (scratched cover or corners, blotched or warped parchment due to wetness) typical of books that have seen much traveling out-of-doors.

History and Description

The true origin of The Scalamagdrion is not known. It is first mentioned in the writings of the mage Hethcanter, who owned the book in his youth. He does not mention how he acquired it, but does record that he gave the book to Hym Kraaven (one of the Seven Wizards of Myth Drannor) in payment for magical training. Shortly thereafter his writings end; Hethcanter is remembered today chiefly for his spectacular suicide, hurling himself to his death from the highest pinnacle of the crag now known as Hethcanter’s Leap. He did this when chased by almost a score of illithids; the sage Orfidel believes that these hated creatures sought The Scalamagdrion itself; an opinion shared by Elminster, Hym Kraaven never revealed or used the work in his teachings at the school in Myth Drannor, possibly because of the contents of one of its pages. Of Hym Kraaven’s fate or the means by which the book passed into the hands of its next known owner, nothing is recorded, but the sages Orfidel and Maerlus of the North were both present on Watcher’s Tor when a hitherto unknown magic-user named Valathond used its spells to destroy the mage Gaerlammon in a formal duel.

Valathond was later slain by the Company of the Raven, but his killers did not discover the book amidst the treasure in his keep, nor does an examination of their tales of encounters and skirmishes with the mage over an entire season ere his fall suggest that he still possessed it.  Auvidarus, sage of Hillsfar, and Laeral, wizardess and leader of the adventurers known as The Nine; two observers almost a world apart; have both recorded rumors ascribing ownership of the book to this or that mage.  One of Laeralís collected rumors, interestingly, again mentions a group of illithids.  But the veracity of these rumors is untested; the present whereabouts of the work are a matter of conjecture.

Elminster described the tome’s contents, drawing upon his study of Hethcanter’s careful notes, as follows: The Scalamagdrion’s first and last pages are blank. The remainder bear 23 spells, one to a page and with each page having a blank (rear) face, and one page contains only a curious illustration. The contents of the pages are as follows, in order of appearance from the front of the book: (blank), False life, longstrider, tongues, message, unseen servant, arcane lock, identify, animate objects, modify memory, blink, disintegrate, (illustration), feeblemind, fly, circle of death, scorching ray, delayed blast fireball, invisibility, levitate, conjure elemental, globe of invulnerability, wall of force, remove curse, dispel magic, and (blank).  The irregular order of the spells suggests that the book was created with its spells arranged according to the creator’s wishes, and thus was not the workbook of a magic-user progressing slowly in magical ability under tutelage.

The unique feature of the work is the illustration found on the page between disintegration and feeblemind. It is of “warm, velvety texture,” according to Hethcanter’s notes, and is a strikingly realistic painting of some unknown, seemingly endless caverns (perhaps on some other plane), in which crouches  a dimly visible, winged, reptilian monster on a bed of human bones. A word or name has been spelled out clearly in Common across the bottom of the page, by the arrangement of bones: “Ningulfim.” Hethcanter notes that if this word is spoken over the open page or the illustration is stared at for too long, the monster depicted therein will move.

From other sources not divulged to me, Elminster states with certainty that the page is a gate or portal to some unidentified plane or extra-dimensional space of endless caverns, and can be passed through both ways. Once the gate is activated, the monster will emerge from the page into the Prime Material Plane and attack all creatures nearby, seeking to slay and carry its prey back into the caverns to devour. Its true nature is a mystery, but what is known of it can be summarized as follows:

Scalamagdrion (“Guardian of the Tome,” “Ningulfim”)

The scalamagdrion resembles a grey-scaled, green-eyed dragon with stubby wings and a long, bone-spiked prehensile tail. It has statistics as a wyvern, with a few extra abilities.  It is fearless, enjoys human flesh, and is cunning enough to take a victim’s body, fallen items and all, back to its lair to avoid being caught eating.  The scalamagdrion radiates silence, 15’ radius about itself, and has Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the scalamagdrion fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

This makes it a deadly foe for magic-users; and indeed, none have yet prevailed against it.

Several wands and rings can be seen amid the bones upon which the scalamagdrion crouches. The monster and the gate to and from its abode cannot be destroyed or harmed by tearing out or destroying the page on which it appears, although any attempt at such activities will
certainly cause it to issue forth.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Orjalun’s Arbatel

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  Like I've mentioned before, I work at UPS, and have survived yet another peak season.  Now I can get back on a more regular posting schedule.

This brings us back again to  Dragon Magazine issue #92, and another spellbook by Ed Greenwood, Orjalun's Arbatel, and two new spells, encrypt, which lets you send hidden messages, and secure, a beefed up version of arcane lock.

Orjalun’s Arbatel


This volume consists of nine plates of beaten and polished mithril, stamped by the elvish smiths of Silverymoon with letters of the High Tongue, graven on small dies that are positioned on the page and then struck sharply with a hammer so as to leave their distinct impressions.  The plates are pierced at the top and bottoms of their left sides (as they are read), and fastened together with bronze rings. The work had an ornate case of stained wood and was carried wrapped in canvas, but these may well have perished.

History and description

Orjalun, the white-haired High Mage of Silverymoon in the early days of the North (now believed dead), oversaw and took a large part in the construction of this work, designed to be a permanent repository for the most useful defensive spells he could provide for the continued safety and security of his beloved city in the years to come.  But it never served so, for when Orjalun gave his staff of office to his chosen successor, Sepur, and left the city, Sepur revealed his true nature: taking the Arbatel and staff as his own, he also left that fair city.

Sepur’s fate is unknown, although the sage Alphontras recounts the finding of a broken staff atop a lonely, scorched tor in the Trollmoors. The Arbatel is first identified in the village of Longsaddle by Alphontras’s colleague Eelombur the Learned, who observed it in the possession of the sorcerer Arathur Harpell. Arathur was later slain in a magical duel by the necromancer Marune, who held the Arbatel only briefly.  Marune lost it somewhere in the winter snows when fleeing from the Lords of Waterdeep, and it must have changed hands several times in the following decade, for many hints of it are found in various re-
cords of the North.

It is mentioned once in this period by the sage Maerlus, who is represented in the Letters to the Court of Elfrin (“Collected by the King’s Own Hand, being a record and discourse most fascinating upon our lands
and times”) by a letter he penned to the monarch, King Elfrin, wherein the sorcerer-sage described a number of items of power known to be within Elfrin’s realm.  In the letter, Maerlus describes several works and speculates on their locations; the Arbatel, he says, is in the hands of the reclusive wizard Lios -- unless Marune has overcome him and regained it.

Elminster believes that Marune did slay Lios, but says that the activities of Marune from that time to the present reveal that he has not recovered the Arbatel, despite his repeated attempts to do so. Its recent and present whereabouts are unknown.

Orjalun was tutored by The Masked, most mysterious of the Seven Wizards of Myth Drannor, and two of the spells in the book are believed to be of his tutor’s personal crafting: encrypt and secure (an improved version of wizard lock).

The first and last plates of the Arbatel are featureless, so as to reveal nothing of the contents within, but the seven interior plates bear one spell each (the method of scripting allows only one side of a plate to be used). These are, in order of appearance, mending, charm person, encrypt, dispel magic, identify, guards and wards, and secure.

All of the commonly known spells in the Arbatel appear in the standard form, and the two unique spells therein are reproduced below, from the books of Vauth, another apprentice of The Masked.

4th level illusion
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a pinch of dust or grey lint fluff, and a feather, and are consumed in the casting)
Duration: Permanent
You make a short message, up to 66 characters, or about 15 words, completely unreadable, even to magic like true seeing.  The only ones that can read it are you, and any beings named or visualized by you at the time of casting.  Such a message will appear to all others as an illegible, smudged area.

An encrypted message will remain until willed to disappear by you (no matter the distance), or a dispel magic is cast on the surface.  Weathering and other physical effects such as burning, scrubbing, or defacing the smudged area will not destroy the message as long as the actual surface It was written on survives (encrypt can be safely cast on any reasonably stable surface, such as stone, wood, or paper, but not usually with success on messages scrawled in soot, dust, or snow); it will still be clearly legible to those identified above.

The message does not glow or in any way attract attention to itself; an intended recipient may well not see it if not looking for a message or not chancing to look in the right place. A message encrypted in a language not known to the intended recipient is not made understandable by means of this magic; nor will it magnify script too small for the recipient to read.

No part of any message longer than the first 66 characters will be obscured or protected by this magic: attempting to encrypt such an overlong message would result in wastage of the spell; the entire message could be read (or destroyed) normally. Additional writing in the same after the spell is cast will not affect an encrypted message — thus, a second message can be written on top of an encrypted one to further conceal the former, without rendering the original message unreadable by those for whom it is intended. Morever, adding words or characters to a message known to be encrypted will not cause it to appear; the additions will remain clearly visible and the original will remain concealed. Multiple encrypt spells cast on the same or adjacent areas will not allow messages longer than 66 characters to be concealed; rather, when a second encrypt spell is cast, the concealed message of the first encrypt spell will vanish forever, replaced by the second message.  Writing used in encrypted messages can be very large or very small, written on walls, mountainsides, or even small bones or slivers of wood, and still be concealed so long as the maximum of 66 characters is not exceeded.

Encrypt may be used to conceal messages written by others, regardless of time elapsed since the writing, and will be effective in obscuring even runes deeply graven in stone, or letters formed by patterns of colored mosaic tiles. In such a case, the surface will appear faded, stained, discolored, or even covered with a smoky, sooty deposit so that the message is concealed. As aforementioned, no amount of physical cleaning will reveal the concealed message.

4th-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (gold dust worth at least 25gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Until dispelled
You touch a closed door, window, gate, chest, or other entryway, and it becomes locked for the duration. You and the creatures you designate when you cast this spell can open the object normally. You can also set a password that, when spoken within 5 feet of the object, suppresses this spell for 1 minute. Otherwise, it is impassable until it is broken or the spell is dispelled or suppressed.

Secure also protects against passage by ethereal, astral or dimension altering means such as blink and dimension door.  A knock spell is not effective against a secured passage.

While affected by this spell, the object is more difficult to break or force open; the DC to break it or pick any locks on it increases by 10.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Aubayreer’s Workbook

We now move on to Dragon Magazine issue #92, and I'll be pulling from Pages from the Mages by Ed Greenwood, and a collection of spellbooks, and, of course, new spells.

Phase trap is listed as a transmutation spell, but I changed it to abjuration.  Just felt right.  I will also add phase trap to my sorcerer spell list.  Seems to fit with the ectoplasmic spell ability of the incantatrix I posted.

For whatever reason, the thunderlance description is getting weird formatting.  Keeps adding all the extra spaces.  I've tried to fix it, but to no avail.

Aubayreer’s Workbook


This book is fashioned of a long strip of green hiexel bark, folded and refolded upon itself accordion-fashion. It is bound, protected, between two rectangular pieces of oiled wood held together with hempen cord.  Upon one of the boards is carved a rune, thus:

and by this rune the work can be identified as that of the mage Aubayreer.

History and description
Aubayreer was a mage of the Dalelands in the first days of settlement, and later sailed east to what is now Aglarond, where he founded a sorcerous ruling dynasty that continues to this day. The many works Aubayreer made while High Mage of Aglarond, and later Mage-King, are kept securely in the libraries of the palace there, but the original workbook Aubayreer developed as an apprentice to the mages of the Covenant has been lost.  

Early in the reign of Lurskas, grandson of Aubayreer, thieves broke into the royal libraries. Several were slain by the guardians and protective magics of the place, and these indeed kept the more powerful tomes safe, but the workbook was stolen. It vanished into the debatable lands east and south of Aglarond, and no definite trace of it has been found since, although reports of the activities of several mages (notably Nuzar of the Seven Curses) have hinted that they have perused Aubayreer’s Workbook, or at least copies of the two spells Aubayreer developed which end the work.

That the book still exists is attested to by the unceasing efforts of the royal house of Aglarond to recover it. The present ruler, the shapeshifting Mage-Queen known as “The Simbul”, is known to have slain the wizard Thanatus and to have ransacked the libraries of the school of magic at Mirrorstar in her attempts to seize the workbook.

Aubayreer’s lone apprentice, the now-dead mage Nytholops, set down in his Chronicles the contents of the workbook, for it was from this book (and no other) that Aubayreer taught him the Art.

There are (or were) 18 faces of folded bark in Aubayreer’s Workbook. The foremost is usually blank; it served as a surface for various protective magics (explosive runes, symbols, and the like) when desired.

The next 14 surfaces contain the spells dancing lights, light, message, burning hands, identify, shield, detect thoughts, arcane lock, enlarge/reduce, dispel magic, glyph of warding, fireball, ice storm and stoneskin.  Then follow two special spells—phase trap and thunderlance.

Phase Trap
4th level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (small transparent colorless gem of not less than 50 gp, which is consumed)
Duration: 1 minute

This spell affects any one target creature possessing the ability to phase-shift (become astral or ethereal).  If the creature fails a Wisdom saving throw, it is forced into its opposite phase and magically held there for the duration of the spell. An encountered phase spider, for example, that was in phase, physically attacking, at the instant of the caster’s completing the casting of a phase trap, would be forced out of phase, and thereby unable to attack, until the expiration of the spell. If it was out of phase (ethereal) when affected, it would be forced back into phase and be vulnerable to physical attack.

This spell will affect creatures employing spells or natural powers, and is effective against blink and dimension door, halting creatures employing either completely and forcing them into phase on the Prime Material Plane.

4th level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 300 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, until triggered
Casting this spell brings into being a thin shaft of faint grey, shimmering force extending 2 feet from the caster’s pointing finger. This lance is weightless and intangible, but if any creature touches or passes through any part of it, the lance vanishes with a loud clap of thunder, and the creature struck is dealt 6d6 points of thunder damage.

The caster can employ the thunderlance in many ways.  Held steady as a barrier against some creature’s passage or as a tripwire, at ankle height, to stop a pursuer.  It is also highly effective when wielded as a weapon; the caster can move his arm and finger about to strike with the lance. In any combat situation against a thunderlance, potential victims are regarded as having a base armor class of 10 (before any dexterity adjustments); the blow of the lance is transmitted through armor and shields, and the presence of such protection does not benefit the target of a thunderlance attack. However, the bonuses of magic armor and shields are not negated, and will improve a target’s effective AC by the amount of the bonus.

The touch of a thunderlance destroys a shield spell, wall of force, or
minor globe of invulnerability but the lance itself discharges (vanishes, without damaging anyone) upon such contact. Stronger protective spells (such as anti-magic shell) will also cause the lance to discharge, but will themselves withstand the shock of its strike and remain in existence. A lance penetrates fire, water (including ice and snow), and electrical discharges of natural or magical (e.g., wall of fire, wall of ice) origin without discharging, and thus the caster may strike through such phenomena at an enemy.

Anyone wielding a thunderlance cannot be harmed by magic missile spells, regardless of what direction these strike from; their force passes harmlessly through the lance wielder to be absorbed by the lance, increasing the damage it does (by 2-5 hp per missile) when it discharges.  A lance does not confer any protection against other forms of magical attack, nor can it be passed to any other creature without discharging it.

At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the thunder damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 4th.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sword of Night

Continuing on with Dragon Magazine #91, we get the Sword of Night, originally by Stephen Martin.  The only changes I made were updating the darkness to match the blinded condition (which I included in the description).  I was going to match the fear effect to the frightened condition, but it has a lot of overlap with blinded, so I left it as is.
Sword of Night
Rare magic weapon
Though many magical swords shed light, a sword of night, also known as a black sword, sheds darkness. You determine the radius of the sphere of darkness given off by the sword; it can be from 5 feet to 25 feet, in 5-foot increments. Within this radius, all creatures but you have the blinded condition.  
• A blinded creature can’t see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight.
• Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have disadvantage.
You see normally in all respects, however, and can use the sword as a +1 weapon.

This sword can also cause fear in all creatures within the darkness who fail a Wisdom saving throw.  This fear power is generated at your unspoken command, and may be produced up to three times per day. Creatures affected by the fear will move away from the darkness at full speed for 2-7 rounds.

A daylight spell negates both the darkness and fear powers.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sword of Cowardice

Since the Everstriking Sword was one of my more popular posts recently, I'm happy to bring you another "cursed" weapon.  This creation by David Baldwin is not so much cursed, you can rid yourself of it, but it does come with a drawback.

Sword of Cowardice
Cursed magic sword
Developed by gods of mischief, such as Loki, this weapon is a magical sword +3 with a pommel formed in the shape of an animal,
monster, or human head.  This wonderful weapon, however, has also been infused with a cowardly personality. The first time it is swung at an opponent in combat, the sword’s head-shaped pommel will shriek in terror and cry for help. The noise will alert all creatures within a 120 foot radius.  The sword will continue to yell and cry for 2-12 rounds unless a silence spell is cast upon it.

The sword will also attempt to avoid combat, twisting in the user’s hands. The holder must make a successful Strength saving throw at the start of every combat round, or else the sword twists out of the user’s grasp and falls to the floor, still shrieking. If the user can hold onto the weapon, he may wield it normally during that round, with all appropriate bonuses to hit and damage.

Some of these swords are so timid that even being brought within sighting distance of a non-human monster will cause them to start shrieking. Though these swords are not cursed to remain with a particular owner, they are often regarded as too valuable to dispose of (how many +3 swords does one find?) and are kept despite their disadvantages.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sword of Assassination

The Sword of Assassination was originally written by Bruce E. Wright, but here merely provides inspiration for my write up here, since his version relies heavily on the AD&D assassination rules.  Hopefully I roll well on my 2d20.

Sword of Assassination
Unique magic sword
The sword of assassination, also known as the ruby sword, is a potent weapon in the hands of an assassin. If handled by any other type of character, the sword appears to be (and can be used as) a regular blade.  

When used by an assassin character, the true nature of the sword of assassination is revealed.  It appears as a short sword made of ruby, with a dull red glow to it, enough to shed dim light.  

The sword of assassination has the following special abilities in the hands of an assassin:

  • When in disguise, the true appearance of the ruby sword can be concealed as any other normal weapon, as small as a dagger or as large as a pike or lance.  No matter what weapon it appears as, you have proficiency in it.

  • You can use your Assassinate ability against any creature in the first round of combat, even if the target has already acted in that round.

  • When you use your Death Strike ability, the strike does triple damage on a failed save.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Everstriking Sword

Let's mix things up with a cursed item, the everstriking sword, originally by Stephen Martin and appearing in Dragon Magazine #91.  Pretty straightforward conversion, except I added the bit about trading for exhaustion.  The original also drained additional points if a creature could only be hit by a certain plus weapon, but since that has been replaced by damage resistance, I left it out.

Cursed magic weapon
An everstriking sword always hits an intended target unless an impossible blow is attempted, such as striking at a target that is out of range of all attacks. This weapon has no bonuses to hit or damage.  However, a peculiar effect comes into play when such a sword is used in combat.

If the sword is swung at an opponent and a miss is rolled, then you lose a number of hit points equal to the difference between the failed to hit roll and the target’s AC, making the strike hit, in effect using the your own energy to guide the attack home.  Ten hit points worth of damage drained can be “traded” for a level of exhaustion.  This energy drain will be felt as a sudden, sharp pain coupled with a feeling of exhaustion.

Any character who uses this sword once in combat will be cursed to always draw the sword in any further combat, and will ignore all other weapons that he carries in favor of this one. If another weapon is used, all attack rolls with it are made with disadvantage.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Vision Globe

Next item up was originally a psionic item by Roger E. Moore.  Most of my reworking was just editing.

Vision Globe
Rare wondrous item
This is a crystal sphere 6 inches in diameter.  When you hold the globe in both hands you can project images that you receive from spells such as clairvoyance, ESP, telepathy, ect., so that the images will be visible to those who look into the globe.  Any mental pictures that are received from the mind of a contacted being, or images that show what a location looks like, are depicted in the vision globe.  The globe will remain inert if it is held by a character who cannot use it.  

The vision globe will not transmit sound or speech, but can depict words if they come through as mental images (for example, if someone pictures in his mind what the word “dog” looks like, instead of thinking the word “dog” as the label that identifies a mental image of the animal).


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Trumpet of Doom

I'll continue with my weekend barrage of posts, this is one by Ed Greenwood and was a pretty straightforward conversion.

Trumpet of Doom
Very rare wondrous item
When the trumpet of doom is winded, all human, demi-human, and humanoid skeletons and corpses within a 60 foot radius about the horn will be brought into unlife, as per the spell animate dead. All of the undead will obey you without question, to the utmost of their ability.

The greater the number of undead animated, however, the shorter the time that they will remain active. If only one skeleton or zombie is animated, it will remain active for 60 hours under your control. If two are animated, they will be active for 30 hours, three will be active for 20 hours, and if 4 or more skeletons and/or zombies are activated, they will be animated for only 10 hours before they collapse again.

The undead created by the trumpet of doom may be commanded to “go down!” (at which they will disintegrate into dust) if the user of the horn wishes it; otherwise, the undead will serve until destroyed, dispelled, or their time runs out. Use of a trumpet of doom is not considered to be a good act, though sounding it to test its properties is not evil. 

The trumpet of doom may only be sounded once per month. Using it more often will produce no results.


Saturday, December 6, 2014


I guess I should mention that these magic items from Dragon Magazine #91 are from an article called "Treasure Trove" which is a collection of 47 magic items, most of them submitted by readers of Dragon Magazine.  Like I said, I won't be converting most of them, they are an uneven lot.

Today is the Harrowhelm, by Victor Selby.  I felt was powerful enough to assign Artifact status to.  I don't have the DMG yet, so I'm not sure the level of power matches.

This is a psionic item.  For the Mind Blast power, I simply copied the power of the same name from the Mind Flayer.  The Innate Spellcasting (psionic) are the same powers of the Githyanki Knight.

I do like psionics in my game.  I don't have any in currently, but some are in place.  I plan on using the Psionicist and Psionic Warrior that Khaalis posted over at Enworld.  

Artifact, requires attunement
You must be a non-psionic character that can wear metallic armor to attune the Harrowhelm.

When first found, this helm appears to be any other sort of normal steel helmet; it radiates magic, however, and faint runes may be seen on the inside rim of the helm.

You gain the ability to generate a mind blast up to three times per day, but only once in any single round.  The Harrowhelm emits psychic energy in a 60-foot cone.  Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw or take 22 (4d8+4) psychic damage and be stunned for 1 minute.  A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

You are also immune to psychic damage except for mind blast, but the helm grants Advantage on saving throws against the mind blast.

You also gain Innate Spellcasting (Psionics).  The Harrowhelm’s spell save DC is 15, +5 to hit with spell attacks.  You can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components.

At will: mage hand (the hand is invisible)
3/day each: jump, misty step, nondetection (self only),
1/day each: plane shift, telekinesis

The Harrowhelm has two disadvantages. First, it attracts the attention of all psionic creatures within a half-mile radius as soon as it is put on (whether or not any of its powers are immediately used).  Though it does not necessarily anger such creatures, it will be easy for these beings to locate and track the helm wearer as long as they stay within this range; they need only concentrate mentally to do this.

The second disadvantage manifests itself when a psionic character puts on the helm. The unfortunate wearer will immediately be attacked by the mind blast effect, and has Disadvantage on saves against the mind blast.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Gauntlets of Heat, Flame Arrow

There are a bunch of magic items in Dragon Magazine #91, some are hit and miss, not sure if all of them are worth converting.  The Gauntlets of Heat were originally by David Baldwin.  Each of the spell abilities were originally usable a certain number of times per day, but I based it on the Staff of Fire.  Produce flame and heat metal are druid spells, and heat metal is on the bard's list as well, so I restricted attunement to those classes.  I also use elementalist wizards and sorcerers, so I opened attunement up to them as well.

One of the abilities, flame arrow, is not a 5e spell, so I updated the 3.5e version.  I'm adding it to my ranger, sorcerer, and wizard spell lists.  I'm on the fence about the "at higher levels" portion.  That's an additional 10d6 worth of damage for each spell slot, which is a lot.  Of course, I'm picturing using this to ignite 1 arrow each of a unit of archers in a mass battle as the initial shot in an attack, with each requiring a hit roll and not targeting the same thing.  With the short duration, it's not reasonable for a single archer to go through all of them before duration expires.

Gauntlets of Heat
Very rare wondrous item, requires attunement
You must be a druid, bard or elementalist to become attuned to the gauntlets.

These gauntlets are capable of generating heat and fire upon mental command.  You can use an action to expend some of the gauntlet’s 10 charges to cast one of the following spells without using any components, using your spell save DC.

Produce Flame (1 charge)
Burning hands (1 charge)
Heat metal (2 charges)
Flame arrow (3 charges)

For each additional charge you expend, you can cast the spells at a higher level slot.

The gauntlets regain 1d6 + 4 expended charges each day at dawn. However, if you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the gauntlets blacken, crumbles into cinders, and is destroyed.

Flame Arrow
3rd level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (drop of oil and a small piece of flint)
Duration: 1 minute
You turn up to 50 pieces of ammunition (such as arrows, bolts, shuriken, and stones) into fiery projectiles. Each piece of ammunition deals an extra 1d6 points of fire damage to any target it hits. A flaming projectile can easily ignite a flammable object or structure, but it won’t ignite a creature it strikes.

At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you can effect an additional 10 arrows for every spell slot above 3rd.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Girdle of Lions

Grabbing another magic item out of Dragon Magazine #91, this one by Ed Greenwood.

I always find it interesting how many old AD&D items, spells and monsters have such individual unique rules to them, that are similar but different from rules that another item, spell, monster, or class ability.  One of the things I like about 5e and a modern rule set is the idea that you use a standardized rule.

Speaking to that, as design note, the girdle of lions has two abilities copied straight from class abilities.  The monk's Slow Fall and the Rogue Thief archetype Supreme Sneak.

Girdle of Lions
Very rare wondrous item
This belt appears to be like any other magical girdle when first
encountered. When it is put on, you gain several special abilities.  You can speak with felines (as per the spell speak with animals). The felines, from house cat to sabertooth tiger, will view you as if you had a Charisma of 18 (for purposes of reaction checks). Often the cats will give advice or assistance to you and may obey your command, if such are reasonable.

You also gain the ability to land on your feet from a fall.  You can reduce any falling damage you take by an amount equal to five times your level.

The girdle also gives you the ability to move silently.  You gain advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks if you move no more than half your speed on the same turn.

Finally, the girdle confers low light vision.