Monday, August 31, 2020

The Necromancer and the Cavalier

A quick break from my sadly delayed SAWN-OFF releases (damned executive dysfunction) to post two classes inspired by Tamsyn Muir's undead Catholic lesbian space opera Gideon the Ninth and its sequel Harrow the Ninth! I read these a week ago and they've been living in my head rent-free ever since; and as a bonus I think they solve a neat problem in the Meatropolis, emphasizing the corpse aspect of the Turtle-Corpse that I've left mostly a background detail. In addition to the Butcher, Chemist, Fleshcrafter, and Traveller, the morbidly talented Necromancer and their dutiful Cavalier make a neat roster of 6 bespoke starting classes.

Necromancer


The Meatropolis still thrums with with the Turtle's last slow heartbeats, and so fleshcraft remains its central power and animating principle.

But on the fins, at the tail, on the shell - where life and marrow and flesh has given way to cold dead bone - necromancy rules supreme. An old school, from the old world, banned by the Cyclopean Empire on punishment of Utter Exile (read: being launched into deep space from the Turtle's back) for they could not afford to kill another living world. Joke's on them, their fleshcraft did it anyway. Now necromancy returns, empowered by the cold certainty that their power shall only grow, and they will be all that remains when the last vestiges of carrion are naught but dust, and the Corpse sheds its final pretenses of life.

Necromancers have dominion over souls, rot, decay, and dead bone. Their monasteries travel in the wake of the alien anoxic fungal ecosystems that take root on Ogoath's extremities.

Much to their own chagrin, necromancers (with few, powerful exceptions) are alive. They therefore control not their own forms but forms without, creating skeletal constructs, bestowing rot, empowering necrosis, engorging flaking skin into ablative carapace-shrouds. The greatest necromancers raise armies from a single corpse, wielding osseogenesis to create vast volumes of bone from single splinters or knuckles.

Hit Die: d4
Starting Equipment: Heavy robes inlaid with bone, set of ritual knives (flaying, deboning, scalpel, and sacrificial), book of anatomy.
Failed Career: 1. Battlefield Medic, 2. Doctor, 3. Fleshcrafter, 4. Noble Heir, 5. Sad Poet, 6. Serial Killer

Necromancer 1: Necromancy, learn a Form and two Techniques, 1 Death Die (d6)
Necromancer 2: +1 Specialty, +1 Technique, +1 Death Die
Necromancer 3: +1 Form, +1 Technique, +1 Death Die
Necromancer 4: +1 Specialty, +1 Death Die, invent a new Technique or Form.
 
Necromancy
Necromancy works like casting spells. Pick a Form you know and have immediate access to (you don't need to be touching it, but you should be roughly within the same room), choose a Technique you know to use, and roll and spend any number of Death Dice in your pool. Death Dice return to your pool on 1-3, or after a daily rest. Roll any number of your Death Dice,
 
Like fleshcraft, necromancy follows three laws. Break one while casting, roll a Mishap. Break two, roll a Doom. Break all three at once and the veil between the world of flesh and the world beyond will claim you like a lover, entranced by your daring and courage.
 
Law of Concentration. Flesh adapts to its new form and maintains new shapes, but death claims all things in the end. All constructs you create will end, without a Death Die to animate them.
 
Law of Conjunction. Flesh defies death. When you exert your will, life fights back. Roll with disadvantage if there's living tissue attached to the form.

Law of Continuity. As the fleshcraft law; you cannot turn one form to another through sheer necromantic power. Entropy takes its own time, and you cannot make it hurry. If you dare break this law, you must have both forms you want to transmute between.

Mishaps
1. Decomposition. Take sum necrotic damage.
2. Haunting. The spirit of whatever you've messed with doesn't appreciate it, and will tail you around heckling and bothering you until you appease it or stop playing with its remains.
3. Thanergetic Surge. Divide sum+dice necrotic damage equally around everything around you, allies and companions first.
4. Scavengers. You attract dice HD of local scavengers, who go for the Form you affected - or you.
5. See The Veil. You can see ghosts and magic and the dead for sum*dice*10 minutes, but everything else goes dark.
6. Shedding. The form falls apart into sum+dice minor undead and scurries off into parts unknown.

Dooms
1. Primary Doom. You partially die. Some of your skin flakes off - perhaps a limb, or your abdomen, or your head - revealing the necromantic forms underneath. While you can do necromancy on this, reduce your max Health by half.
2. Consequential Doom. You're hanging on to life by a thread as more of your body decays away. You count as undead, and can't heal without using necromancy to do so.
3. Terminal Doom. You die. This is less of an issue than you'd expect, because death is kind of your thing. If you've found a way to prepare yourself to evade it, this is a great way to see if your scheme for eternal unlife works.
 
Forms
1. Bone. Brittle and dry, but firm and lasting. Our constant companion, and our final remnant. Constructs of bone have Armor like chain.
 
2. Carrion. Meat, once it's stopped twitching. Includes guts and organs and all the gribbly bits, once they cease to function and start to decompose. They still remember what they once were, and so constructs of carrion get an extra ability.
 
3. Rot. The sludgy growing mess of cell-corpses and split membranes. The leavings of scavengers and decomposers, without the offending messy organisms that usually facilitate the process. Constructs of rot can feed on living matter to heal and maintain themselves.
 
4. Spirit. Incorporeal souls linked to the remnants of their corpse. Not eternal, or at least not eternally here. Speak with them before they forget the last of themselves and fade into vengeful revenants. Bones anchor spirit best, as they decay slowest. "Constructs" of spirit are the ghosts of the departed corpse, or whichever pieces of its motive force remain, incorporeal and floating on the breeze.
 
Techniques
Some techniques have different effects on the living versus unliving versus the undead: undead are constructs raised by necromancy, unliving are corpses with no animating principle, and living is fodder for the Art that needs to get properly killed first.
 
1. Animation. Rolled Death Dice are invested to raise an undead of the chosen Form. It has sum Health and dice abilities of your choice (subject to GM approval; samples are flight, wielding a weapon, being large enough to ride, or possessing an ability it had in life). 1 die lets you raise 1 skeleton or equivalent undead (rot: zombie, spirit: ghost, carrion: horrific stinking meat blob). You can dispel the undead at any time; when it falls the invested die returns to your pool if it's 1-3. It follows simple commands, has physical stats of sum (a spirit instead has mental stats of sum), and whichever properties the Form provides.
 
2. Communication. All parts of a corpse remember its past, though their memories are strange and fragile things. Spirits, Rot, and Carrion can be spoken to (they manifest strange mouths), Bone can only be read. Spirits remember their life in proportion to how much of their corpse remains lifelike (reuniting it or faking it can trick the spirit). Rot knows the form of what it once was and can be asked to rot particular things, or to spit up chunks of what it's eaten. Carrion knows what the corpse physically did in life, and its illnesses and addictions. Bone carries resonance of all that's happened since death, a silent observer. Ask dice questions and get specific true answers (including "I don't know), or ask sum questions and it might lie if it has cause to.
 
3. Decay. Rapidly ages the target. Targeting unliving Forms causes them to melt and flake away en masse (sum*dice body-volumes). Deals sum necrotic damage to living creatures as necrosis sets in and they wither away. Decay+Rot deals dice extra damage, Decay+Bone also gives them osteoporosis and breaks bones, Decay+Carrion also causes organ failure, and Decay+Spirit also ages them sum years (but only deals half damage to things that can't age). Restores sum Health to undead.
 
4. Dowsing. Find the nearest dice deposits of the Form. You can either set dice conditions for the deposits (size, age, type of originating creature, etc.) and search within sum km, or sum conditions and search within dice*100m.
 
5. Generation. Engorge the Form. Doesn't work on the living, obviously. Either expand it as it keeps the same shape (fragments will return to the shape the whole once took), or make more copies of the thing. Increases volume sum*dice times. You can control the direction it expands in, though its shape remains the same (a femur remains a femur). You may invest a die (as Animate) to keep it going until you choose to recall the die. If you don't, it returns to its original form after dice*10 minutes or until you choose to dispel it.

6. Induction. Move or reshape the Form. Can't change its volume; can just blow it to pieces. If this deals damage, it deals sum+dice damage. If this motion or shaping increases entropy, it stays, but if it decreases entropy, it returns to how it was after dice*10 minutes.

Specialties
1. Army of Darkness. Requires Animation. You can maintain templates^2 points of 1-die undead without investing dice, each of which can have no more than templates Health.
2. Insorcist. Restore a Death Die to your pool whenever you kill a person without using necromancy.
3. Necro-Engineer. Requires Induction. You can invest Death Dice in Forms you induce to make them continue changing shape until you remove the die (in the way you set them initially; you can't change what you've induced it to do without using more Death Dice).
4. Spiritmonger. Requires Spirit. You don't need corpse remnants to call ghosts; they'll just show up if they died in the area - but you can't choose what kind of spirit will show.
5. Undead Dynamo. Your Death Dice return on 1-4 instead of 1-3.
6. Vast Range. If you definitively know the location of a Form (either by Dowsing), or having seen it there, you can do necromancy on it.

  Cavalier

Cavaliers are proud warriors that devote themselves to a charge, either a person they're sworn to protect (as in Gideon and Harrow) or a mount they ride fearlessly into battle. As a tradition, this arose when the Cyclopean Empire grew its first fleshcrafts to fight both horrors from the stars and their own internecine squabbles. Their creatures needed riders and guides; their fleshcrafters neglected martial training and so needed warriors to defend them against betrayal or sabotage. Thus, the cavalier, sworn by blood and nerve to their fleshcrafter. While war became more ritualized so as not to consume precious lives in a hostile world, cavaliers retained powerful positions in imperial bureaucracy and as more grounded aides to the lineages' heirs.

The fall of the Empire and rise of the Meatropolis saw the post of cavalier return to prominence. A more dangerous world demanded more savvy talent, and as the fleshcrafters spent all their time growing trinkets and clones in their towers, the few cavaliers who recognized the new dangers trained once more to fight and die for their charges. Fight they did, die they didn't, and heroes they became. Now, emboldened by stories of their elders, a new generation of youth seek training as cavaliers to guard their allies, climb social ladders, and ride out against the encroaching darkness.

Hit Die: d8
Starting Equipment: Weapon of choice, off-hand weapon of choice or shield, gambeson, spurs, contract of cavaliership.
Failed Career: 1. Animal Breeder, 2. Hunter, 3. Gladiator, 4. Knight, 5. Noble, 6. Teacher

Cavalier 1: Pick either a mount or another character to be your Charge. You can take attacks for your Charge if you're within range of the attack (choose whether or not to take it before damage is dealt). Get a Bond with your Charge.
Cavalier 2: +1 Bond. You and your Charge may communicate nonverbally if you're anywhere within line of sight of each other, or in close proximity (touch range, though you need not be touching). +1 Hit Die.
Cavalier 3: +1 Bond. Your Charge may use abilities as if they were in your space if you can communicate with them. You get a free extra action on your Charge's combat turn.
Cavalier 4: +1 Bond. Your Charge cannot die while you still live and can communicate with them.

Bonds
1. Aerial Ace. If your charge can fly, you can fall from any height without dying so long as you either fall from or onto them. You still take damage, but it can't reduce you below 1 Health.
2. Blood Bag. If you're in physical contact with your charge, you can hurt yourself to heal them an equivalent amount of Health.
3. Blood of the Covenant. If you're best friends with your charge, you can take the negative effect of failed saves in each others' stead if within range of the effect.
4. Broodmaster. If your charges are animals, monsters, or constructs, you can have two smaller charges instead of one big one (the smaller ones can't be mounts or mount-sized).
5. Bodyguard. If you're within arm's reach of your charge, you each get +1 armor.
6. Charger. If your charge is a mount, they can move at double speed. If they move full speed before an attack, they deal damage with advantage.
7. Doubly-Sworn. If your charge is also a cavalier, whenever they take damage for you, you can make a free attack against whatever dealt the damage. 
8. Faithful. If you and your charge serve the same Power, you both receive the benefits of any blessings it gives to one of you.
9. Follow By Example: If your charge is your superior in rank, hirelings, mercenaries, and other allies under your command won't lose loyalty for doing risky things they see you do first, including going into combat.
10. I'm Your Gun. When you sacrifice something for your charge, you get advantage on something they told you to do.
11. Love Conquers. If you're in love with your charge, you can make saves in their stead to save them from danger.
12. Mage-Auxilary. If your charge has magic dice (or other casting dice), you get a casting die and learn 1 spell (or form+technique, etc) they know.
13. Reciprocity. If your charge has more hit dice than you, they can take attacks for you as if they were your cavalier.
14. Scalpel! If they can heal, whenever they heal you or heal another with your help, dice rolled to heal are rolled with advantage.
15. Stalwart. If your charge has a smaller hit die size than you, step up your hit dice.
16. Student. If your charge has class templates, get a class ability they have.
17. Surrogate Parent. If you raised your charge from birth (or hatching), you can increase one of their stats by 2.
18. Teacher. If you can give your charge advice, you can let them use your skills to try again after they fail at a task.
19. Veilbound. If you die, you haunt your charge, bound to their service even in death. You can still act and speak through them, and they have access to all your abilities, which they can use with your permission (or you can use through them, with their permission).
20. Water of the Womb. If you and your charge are related by blood, you have perfect telepathy over any distance.

When your charge dies, you can either pledge yourself to a new charge (but your old bonds might no longer apply), or pledge yourself to their memory and become a Cavalier Vengeant. As a Cavalier Vengeant, you can still use all your bonds so long as you have a physical token to remember them by, but you can't level further in Cavalier.
 
Sample Mounts
These mounts hail from the Meatropolis. Feel free to reskin (ha!) them to fit your game, of course.
1. Ectoplasm Ooze. d8 Hit Die. Undead. Incorporeal except to you. Carries you inside it, like a gelatinous cube with long tendrils. Can interact instinctively with magic and the undead, but nothing else (besides you).
2. Giant Frenemy Crab. d10 Hit Die. Big, 2 armor, carries one person (will be annoyed and grab off anyone else). Attacks with big claw deal damage with advantage to someone grabbed.
3. Jelleyefish. d6 Hit Die. Can swim, can slosh across ground; 360 degree vision (no one will ambush you if it can warn you). If it's carrying you it'll give you 10 minutes of air.
4. Mound of Arms. d6 Hit Die. Like a cephalopod and a centipede except it's all human arms. Too smart for anyone's own good. Can wield weapons, though only has the coordination to attack once a round.
5. Pale Horse. d8 Hit Die. Undead, skeletal. 2 Armor. Carries 2 people, or one in heavy armor.
6. Ringwurm. 4d4 Hit Dice. Impractically huge, bus-sized. Space in carapace can carry whole party and supplies, like a vehicle. Burrows. Fears bright light, fire; will curl up like giant pillbug (crushes people inside).
7. Skinmoth. d4 Hit Die. Can fly and glide; carries one person in light/no armor. Can disguise itself as leather cloak.
8. Termeat Hive. d10 Hit Die. Big swarm of small bugs; takes double damage from area attacks but half from targeted attacks. Can command them, they're surprisingly smart. Burrow. Willing to hide just under your skin (this deals damage equal to the number of Health of termeat you want to conceal). Can be surfed/ridden like a wave.
9. Turtlociraptor. d6 Hit Die. Small, sneaky, won't let you ride it. Can call for other raptors' aid in a pinch.
10. Turtletoma. 2d6 Hit Dice. Big, 3 armor, very slow. Can carry the whole party, or one person and whole party's provisions/supplies. Ugly, but in that adorable twelve-eyed four-beaked way.

Friday, August 21, 2020

SAWN-OFF: Spells

I write spells as tools, like a tinderbox or a shovel. They give players access to more approaches and effects that can't be accessed through mundane fantasy technology. I prefer specific gameable effects to magic words systems; having constraints on the effects the spells can produce lets players use them in more creative ways that I can adjudicate faster than abilities that work directly on the narrative. Similarly, I want everyone to have access to magic, because it makes up so much of the system's content (a whole page!). So that's what I've done - no longer is casting the exclusive provence of the casting classes; they're part of everyone's toolbox. Of course, this doesn't make it easy - or safe.

SPELLS
Anyone can cast spells. Characters start with 0 Magic Dice and 1 Focus. Spend and roll any number of your Magic Dice, up to your Focus, to see how effective the spell is: dice is the number of Magic Dice rolled, sum is their total value. Return spent dice that roll 1-3 to your pool. If you roll doubles while casting, a random Mishap occurs. If you roll triples, the next Doom occurs. Regain all spent Magic Dice after a daily rest.

If you have even a single magic die and a spell, you can cast. Specifically magic classes gain innate Magic Dice and Focus as they level up; everyone else has to make do with finding items that give them Magic Dice and maybe the occasional temporary point of Focus.

Mishaps
1. Take 1d6 damage
2. Can’t cast the same spell until next daily rest
3. Invert spell effect on target
4. Randomize spell targets
5.  Magic Dice return on 1-2 (or 1 if you'd rolled this already, or don’t return at all on a third result) until end of day.
6. Temporary Scar related to the spell’s effect for sum days.

Dooms
1. Drop to 0 Health and gain a temporary Scar.
2. Gain a permanent Scar.
3. Lose your magic forever.

Experimentation. Modify spell effects by taking penalties, either at random or of the GM's choice. This can: maximize one instance of [sum] in a spell, increase or decrease the number of targets, allow you to pull off the weird wording trick you just thought of, combine a spell with another spell that's being cast...
1. Step down the Magic Dice to d4s (return on 1-2).
2. Guaranteed Mishap.
3. Spent dice don’t return,
4. Costs 1 (or more) Health for each Magic Die.
5. Sacrifice a specific item or reagent.
6. Displease a Power.

Some guidelines if you’re eyeballing effects: 1 foot is ~1/3 of a meter, 10 ft is ~across a room, 100 ft is ~down a hallway, 1000 ft is ~across a dungeon. A cubic foot is ~size of a head; 10 ft3 is ~the size of a mattress, 100 ft3 is ~size of a bedroom. For anything that refers to objects as having hit dice, find the higher of its value in gold and size in ft3. 1 gold or less is 1 hit die, 10 gold is 2, 100 gold is 3, etc. and the same for size in ft3. Make rulings quickly and consistently.

These 6-spell lists are like wizard schools. Write longer ones, borrow existing ones, expand the ones I've provided. I've cut the spell descriptions to absolute barebones, moving the classic GLOG range/duration/target specifications into the body of the spell text because I think it looks better and it's far more forgiving to format.

Orthodox Spells
1. Animate Object – Animate up to dice hit dice of objects for sum*10 minutes or up to sum hit dice of objects for dice rounds.
2. Illusion – Create an illusion affecting dice senses in a sum*dice*10 ft3 volume. Lasts sum*10 minutes. One illusion per volume.
3. Invisibility dice targets are invisible for sum*10 minutes or sum targets are invisible for sum rounds. Can still be heard.
4. Knock/Lock – Force something open for sum rounds or lock something shut (Strength check must beat sum+10 to open) for dice*10 minutes.
5. Levitate – Lift 10^dice pounds and move it around for sum combat turns
6. Light/Darkness – Illuminate/darken a sum*10^dice’ radius for sum*10 minutes

Elemental Spells (pick the element when you learn the spell)
1. Elemental Bolt – Deal sum elemental damage to a target in line of sight. May have it explode in a sum*dice ft radius.
2. Elemental Cloud – Summon a sum*dice*10 ft3 volume cloud of the element. Lasts dice*10 minutes. If damaging, deals dice damage/turn.
3. Elemental Wall – Raise a sum*dice*10 ft long wall of element that’s up to dice ft thick. Lasts dice*10 minutes. If damaging, deals dice damage/turn.
4. Protection from Element – Up to dice targets can’t be damaged by the element for sum*10 minutes. Prevents all negative effects.
5. Shape Element – Shape a sum*dice ft3 mass of the element to a form of your choice. New form lasts dice*10 minutes. Recast to reshape.
6. Transmute Element to Element – Turn a sum*dice ft3 mass of the first element into the second or vice versa. Lasts dice*10 minutes.

Mind Spells
1. Alter Perceptions – For dice*10 minutes, invent or conceal up to dice features of the party. For each feature, modify reaction rolls accordingly.
2. Enrage – Target gets +dice actions each round, can make dice extra attacks, must attack each round, and gets -dice armor. Lasts for sum rounds.
3. Intrusion – Implant an intrusive thought in target's mind of sum or fewer words. At the end of dice*10 minutes it goes away. They know you did it.
4. Message – Send a telepathic sum-word message to up to dice people you know or can see (or dice word to sum people).
5. Read Mind – Ask dice questions about someone's mental state that can be answered with yes, no, or a snapshot of memory. GM must answer truthfully.
6. Sleep dice hit dice of creatures fall asleep for sum rounds or sum hit dice of creatures fall asleep for dice rounds. They sleep lightly.

Flesh Spells
1. Alter Form – When you learn this spell pick a creature, element, etc. Gain dice of its features for sum*10 minutes or sum features for sum rounds.
2. Cure/Blight – Heal sum Health with a touch, incurring a debt that negates the next sum+dice points healing of target gets. You may have it just cause debt.
3. Enlarge/Shrink – Increase or decrease a touched target's size by dice+1 times. Lasts for sum*10 minutes.
4. Fuse – Combine two touching things with (5-dice) similarities into one for sum rounds. If both have minds, make opposed rolls for control each round.
5. Mend/Shatter – Restore pieces of a broken thing with hit dice ≤ dice into a seamless whole, or split unliving object with hit dice ≤ dice into sum pieces.
6. Raise Dead – Animate up to dice hit dice of corpses for sum*10 minutes or sum hit dice for dice*10 minutes. Corpses retain dice qualities they had in life. May split corpses into multiple creatures.

Spatial Spells
1. Alter Gravity – Change the direction of gravity in a sum*dice*10 ft3 volume for sum*10 minutes. Can alter strength by +/- dice Gs (9.8m/s2)
2. Haste/Holddice targets get +/- dice actions/round for sum rounds.
3. Scry – Remotely view a location within dice hexes for sum*10 minutes. Must be able to describe the location’s physical features first.
4. Step Between – Choose two objects you can see with (5-dice) similarities. You can treat those two objects as adjacent for sum rounds.
5. Summon – Choose an object or creature to bind when you learn this spell. Casting summons the bound target for dice rounds if dice is less than the hit dice of the summon, or otherwise for sum*10 minutes.
6. Teleport – Instantly transport dice targets sum*10’ within line of sight or create a portal with dice uses (1 use can transport the whole party, if they're all in contact) to a location you’ve been before.

Metamagic Spells
1. Empower/Dispel – Increase or reduce a target spell’s sum effects by sum and dice effects by dice. Can cast as a reaction to the target being cast.
2. Identify Magic – Ask dice questions about the qualities of a magical object or effect. The GM must answer truthfully.
3. Permanency – Target spell lasts dice+1 times longer. At 4 dice, you can make it permanent.
4. Mutate Spell – Experiment with a target spell. Make dice alterations.
5. Spellify – Turn target object or creature with dice or fewer hit dice into a spell and put it in your brain. You can cast it like a spell. If you hang onto it for more than sum*10 minutes, it’ll get pissy and start trying to break free.
6. Spell Glyph – Inscribe another spell you know on a surface with values of sum and dice and set a condition under which its cast. Spent dice don’t return until it’s cast.

 

MAGIC ITEMS

These are merely sample lists. Write your own to expand upon them. They make far better rewards than any mundane gold, and but one or two rumored in the depths of a dungeon are worth an expedition (and perhaps some hapless hirelings' unfortunately truncated lives).

Spellbooks
1. Grimoire. d3 spells from the same list. 1 inventory slot per spell.
2. Notes. d2 spells from different lists. 1 inventory slot per spell.
3. Scroll. 1 spell, consumed on use. Takes 4 hours to replicate, with appropriate tools, training, and materials.
4. Contract. 2 spells, brokered with a specific Power. If you break the terms of the contract, you're Cursed and the contract turns to ash.
5. Tattoo. 1 spell. Can only cast if uncovered. 0 slots.
6. Powdered Spell. Snort the powder and instantly cast the spell at 1 magic die (expires at end of day). The spell boils out of your eyes and nose and mouth.

Foci
1. Clouded Orb. Name a spell at the start of the day. +1 Focus for that spell.
2. Fake Math. A sheaf of foolish calculations. +1 Focus to a specific spell school, works once before disproving itself and vanishing in a puff of illogic. Creating it requires skill with the occult, esoteric inks, and too much free time.
3. Mantra. +1 Focus if you have time to perfectly recite it from memory. Usually about a page of text or a few-minute song. Learned, not created.
4. Precision-Machined Staff. +1 Focus while calibrated. Takes a few hours to calibrate to a new location (roughly, a new hex or a new dungeon level).
5. Someone's blood, hair, finger, etc. +1 Focus on spells targeting that person. Consumed when used (the spell eats it).
6. Wizard Robe. +1 Focus if you're wearing it clearly and openly. Can't be worn with armor (it distorts the thaumic resonance), thick and difficult to move in. Enemies are smart, and will follow the eternal adage of "geek the mage first".

Talismans
1. Bottled Fire. +1 Magic Die, open and release the fire to expend it to get an additional Magic Die (both dice then expire at end of day).
2. Heavy Crystal. It's pretty and shiny. +1 Magic Die, but needs to charge in sunlight to regain die after it's expended.
3. Puzzle Box. +1 Magic Die when open. Takes an hour or a successful Intelligence test to solve. Closes itself when left to its own devices.
4. Scrimshaw Bone. +1 Magic Die. Rattles loudly, wants to be reunited with the corpse it came from.
5. Witch's Wort. +1 Magic Die, needs daily watering. Hope you have a green thumb.
6. Wizard Teeth. Crush and snort to gain 1 Magic Die until end of day.

Magic Weapons 

Minor Items
1. Bag of Swallowing. 4 extra inventory slots; take 1 damage when retrieving item unless you have a minute to carefully avoid the bag's teeth.
2. Flask of Vigor. Rapidly ferments liquid you fill it with (if possible). Holds 6 shots. Liquid un-ferments if removed without being drunk.
3. Hungry Rope. Feed it a ration for +50' of rope until end of day. If cut, both parts lose their magic.
4. Lazy Shield. Floats around on its own; don't need a hand for it. Only provides damage resistance on 50% of attacks.
5. Magebane Lantern. Reveals magical effects and invisible creatures. Runs on equal parts blood and oil.
6. Sorcerer's Chalk. Can draw in 3 dimensions; doesn't need a surface.

Major Items
1. Empowered Armor. +2 Armor, takes up 4 inventory slots. May spend and roll Magic Dice to add to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution rolls.
2. Eye Stone. Can see through this as if it was another eye. Orbits your head; can be moved telepathically at walking speed if you focus.
3. Familiar Orb. Holds a small, smart, magical creature. It's loyal to you so long as you take good care of it. It has 1 magic die and knows 1 spell.
4. Featherfall Charm. Whatever (or whomever) it's attached to has a terminal velocity of walking speed.
5. Gloves of Elemental Molding. Can work the chosen element like clay.
6. Universal Solvent. Dissolves anything but silk, gold, and bone. Bone and silk flask holds 3 shots.

Most Recent Post

Starship Blueprints

I've written these rules for a Star Wars game, but they can be sufficiently genericized for any space combat rpg. These are intended to ...