Saturday, December 26, 2020

8 Dark Pacts

Give your skin,
to save a life.
Clearest soul, peace of mind.”

Save yourself,
rich as sin.
Empty eyes, pay the price.”

8 Dark Pacts
[1] The Nameless Dark Pact
Take at least eight shiny stones and place them in an oval on the grass. Set them out at dusk, so they capture the last light, and keep your mirror hidden under black cloth. Place the mirror in the center of the oval once night falls, it must be spotlessly clean. Take a pitcher of water from a well and pour it around in circles around the mirror without crossing over it, over and over, until a sucking sound is heard. Those who seek for curiosities sake, foolish as you are, must now force their gaze downwards and stay there until the morning comes. For those who wish to seal the pact, look up.

This Dark Pact is with a nameless being, it's only moniker is Foe of Reason. Once you have looked and gazed upon it, your mind is twisted but not broken. You will be able to see how the creature bends inwards on itself, its body angled away from you despite it pointed right at you. Its face will stare into yours, alien eyes without love of life or sense, and you will know its terms without a word. To refuse the pact is to have the creature find out what it wants through force- you will die on the spot with your brain gone from your skull. For this reason, those who do not wish to join this pact must not match the eyes of the being at all.

Once the Pact is accepted, its terms are simple. At the end of each day, you will forget everything you learned. You can remember everything from before the pact, and everything you learned each day, but as soon as the night falls again you lose all thought from that day- you don't even need to fall asleep, just as soon as the nameless sky returns it drains the thoughts straight from your head. You also lose -30% of your experience gained from this point on for player characters, and will be caught up to speed in universe or keep a journal to remind you of important details and events.

In exchange, those with this pact become sponges like their pact's writer- as in, they absorb everything. Each day, your eye for detail and knowledge skyrockets to dizzying heights. By studying fighting techniques and watching trained professionals, you can cram several months or years of training into just an hour or two; watching fighters train gives +2 to hit for the rest of the day. By taking a book from a shelf you can learn a basic spell or two and prepare it for casting later, even if you aren't an MU. You also pick up on tiny cues and investigative details, and can “cold read” anyone by picking up on tiny details- letting you get information such as where they live, their diet, their habits or occupation, or even their weaknesses in the case of monsters or if they are a vampire/werewolf and so on.

[2] Nature's Dark Pact
Take the skull of a man and the skull of any predator larger then a wolf. Crush them to dust and mix them in a fire made from oak wood. Burn them to ash and take them to a river- at dawn sprinkle them in the river and then walk up stream until night falls. Once the sun has set, you must find a dark clearing and stand at the edge, waiting for the spirit to appear.

The Nature's Dark Pact summons an old god, one of the first man found or created. It appears with the head of a man with glowing orange eyes that burn with a wildfire. It's body is that of a huge grizzly bear, with cubs latched onto its fur and nursing its teats. It is known as Hucalip, and offers its Pact bluntly and with little coercion. To accept the Pact, one must prostate themselves before this being and rub mud on their skin and clothes, becoming one with nature and filthy by their own hand.

The terms of the Pact are thus; you must sleep in the woods every night. Your body will ache without the comforts of home, and you are prohibited from bathing. Reduce your Charisma modifier by -1 after accepting this Pact. On top of this, you must only eat meat from living creatures- you must eat things you catch alive. Your body rapidly decomposes any fruit, grain, or agricultural products that you touch, making you a bad omen and forcing you to further live on the outskirts of society. Even if someone forces you to take a bath or eat civilized food, your body will become even more filthy and you will gain a nervous twitch or habit of picking your flesh in response to being “too clean” and “too civilized”. Even being forced into it, you cannot raise your Charisma modifier back up. Finally, you cannot have children anymore and become infertile- this ties into the power of the Pact.

In exchange for this Dark Pact- you will gain the strength and knowledge of nature. Firstly, you become an apt tracker regardless of your background, and can follow the smallest signs to find hidden places or track prey. Secondly; you cannot have children because you see the pointless, endless futility of life, and the self as it is a part of eternity. Feral children in the woods, spirits in the depths of nature with child like minds, and orphaned bear cubs and wolf pups will instead find solace in seeking you as their mother. Those who have joined this pact may either raise this children as their own, becoming their family, or may kill them. By bashing in the heads of these orphans and eating their brains, you gain +1 to your Constitution score without limit- but your modifier cannot exceed +4 from the power of this Pact alone.

[3] The Deathly Dark Pact
Go to a graveyard at midnight with a violin. Play the strings as fast and frantic as you can; you don't actually have to know how to play. Using an old, neglected violin is actually better for this. Whenever a string snaps, you'll hear the ground shiver underneath your feet. Keep playing. If the sun rises, come back to the same spot the next midnight continuously, every night, until all the strings are broken. If you miss even one night, the spell will be ended and the calling will not work. When the final string has broken, you will know you have woken the dead.

The dead come as a collective. They appear as little pale white faces, peaking up at you from the blades of grass and around the stones. They have no bodies anymore, and are jealous of life. They can give you great power, but it comes at a price. To accept the contract, one must cut their hand and give blood to the procession of the dead- the blood rejuvenates them enough so they can speak. When enough of them have drunk from your blood (1d6 damage), they will give you the title of Graver. Any number of people can join the pact once this ritual is complete if they are present- the dead are limitless in number, there are always more mouths thirsty for living blood.

This pact shall drain your soul. You feel the deaths of all beings around you who die. Once this pact is accepted- it takes a few days to acclimate to the tiny deaths of insects and vermin, constantly expiring just out of your sight, you will feel shivery and cold and pained and sad. But even once you are used to this, the deaths of greater beings only get more intense. Whenever anything as big as a rabbit dies nearby you, you are stunned for one round as you feel the waves of death creep over you. Whenever a person dies nearby you, you cough up blood- you take 1d4 damage from the internal harm caused by having death so close to your breast. This cost applies to anyone or who things who dies within about a stone's throw of you at the moment they are struck down. If something like a ageless sage, an annointed king, a demigod, etc. dies nearby you, save or die yourself- the death of greater beings then mere mortals is too great a sorrow for you to endure.

In return for your closeness to death, you now have sway over death. You can anoint any willing being with midnight oil and make them immune to death. They cannot die for 7 days. Once these 7 days are up, the being will now die the next time they take even a single point of hit point damage. You can also anoint yourself. Additionally, you gain the power to raise the undead by assembling a mostly complete skeleton of a dead creature- this skeleton becomes a 2 HD skeleton servant under your control, with abilities and intelligence similar to what it was like when it was alive. You may only have one skeleton servant at a time, and if the skeleton servant is slain its bones are shattered and cannot be raised from the dead a second time.

[4] The Bloody Dark Pact
Fill a bowl with leeches and let them starve. Once they are nearly dead, attach them to your body and let them drink deep. Lay on the floor in the darkness. It helps to use a clock to perform this ritual, but a water-clock or a helpful assistant can help keep the time- once per turn, you must pull off a leech and bite it in half, letting the juice and blood wash over you. Once you become delirious from the blood loss, and are starting to feel cold from the cooling blood all over you, you'll see it.

The being looks like a beautiful woman of your own race, but her head is replaced with that of a bleeding stump, with leeches pouring out. She is always inverted, levitating in the air, blood trickling on the floor beneath her. She calls herself the Queen of Bloody Mornings. Nobody else in the room will be able to see or hear her, but entity is not purely a hallucination, as a dark black stain will spill under where she levitates that will never ever wash out from the wood or stone. She will offer her terms persuasively, not mentioning the costs or drawbacks, and promising great power and riches for those who follow her. She is manipulative and is quite good at getting people to accept her pact- especially since they're lightheaded from blood loss. Those who deny her pact after summoning her will suffer her wrath- she will flood the room with burning hot black blood that causes whoever who is splashed or submerged by it to contract a nasty diease; welts and sores open up on your skin. This disease will kill if your Constitution is 8 or less, otherwise you will suffer from skin lesions and daily pain for about 3 years for your insolence.

The terms of the pact are ritual sacrifice- cruel and barbaric. Once every year, around the summer solstice, you must perform a ritual sacrifice of an intelligent, living being. The sacrifice must be prefaced by at least a week of torture- both psychological and physical, which primes the victim's blood to make it the most “delicious” for the Queen of Bloody Mornings. Finally, the sacrifice is made where the vicitm's blood is drained from them slowly, with the ritual master taking a sip for taste, and then allowing all the rest to spill out onto the altar and ground. Typically, the ritual is done with sharp knives and hooks, as to extract the most blood from the victim's body. The victim is supposed to die and the blood must remain trickling until the morning sun rises- so they must be killed in the middle of the night. Failing to perform this sacrifice on time or if it is interrupted and the victim saved; the pact-makers loses -1d4 Strength, Dexterity, AND Constitution as their life force is drained. Every year they successfully complete the ritual these all are restored by +1 point, as the Queen is slowly appeased. If this stat damage would cause you to drop to 0 in any stat, then you have displeased the Queen for the last time and your body slumps to the floor with your blood turning to stagnant water and flowing out of your now lifeless corpse.

In return for this violent pact- the pact-maker gains +1d8 Strength after the successful completion of the first ritual sacrifice, their body filled with supernatural strength. The Queen does not reward her servants for simply accepting her terms, only after feeding her are they rewarded. Secondly, as soon as the pact is accepted the pact-maker starts to receive dreams about blood and violence, and becomes strangely detached and unemphatic to their fellow living creatures. They gain an unnerving medical knowledge- both a combination of their torturous practices as well as supernaturally from the Queen, which makes them capable of healing many otherwise incurable diseases or wounds. Treat injuries too challenging to treat by first aid possible with first aid, injuries too extreme to be healed even in a temple or healer's workshop are now curable in the right conditions, and increase all healing done by the follower of the pact by +2, with both spells and healing items if applicable.

[5] The Creeping Dark Pact
This being cannot be summoned on its own. It comes from within oneself, when one has lost all hope. It is extremely rare for someone to have such a depressive, suicidal mindset for long enough to have this being summoned forth without the person having brought themselves out of their stupor or having killed themselves. Only those imprisoned for many decades, being like elves who can experience emotions deeper then human can understand, or those truly in otherworldly despair can chance this being. It may also be possible to induce this state through magic or drugs, but very few would ever volunteer to drop themselves into such unfathomable darkness.

The being is just a shadow. It offers itself as a comforting friend, and a way to escape. To acknowledge it at all is to accept its Pact.

Anyone who takes this Pact will be slowly consumed by darkness. They will at first begin losing weight, until they become bone thin, then the color from their skin and flesh, and then their hair will fall out, and then the light will fade from their eyes, until eventually they look like a husk. Then, they will begin to fade physically- their body becomes progressively more shade like. They may become translucent in the light, and start to weight so little that their footsteps don't even make noise or leave footprints. Later, they will only be able to manifest both physically and visually for a limited time each day; 1 in 6 chance each turn they disappear for a while. Finally, they will cease to exist totally, with spells that bring that dead back to life or can ask them questions will not work on them. Their souls seems missing- either destroyed, or gone someplace so far away not even the Gods can find them anymore. This process takes about 3 years, the person becoming progressively more withdrawn.

In addition to the advantages to stealth from being partially a shadow as above, this pact also grants the user powers over the unformed darkness. At first they can create shadows which are barely visible to others in dark corners or shadowy alcoves; almost-illusions. Later on they will learn how to make these shadows take form, creating temporary physical beings and objects in shadowy dark places- they can conjure any amount of HD of shadow beings, which can deal 1 damage on an attack, but can only exist in one “pool” of shadow and are banished by light. With mastery and time, the Creeping Darkness will allow the user to create more powerful beings and let them move out of the shadow- still harmed by light but capable of creating fully moving and animated shadow beings. These beings are formed by sculpting the darkness and the user will be drained of energy from using this ability- consider each being summoned as a -1 modifier to all d20 rolls for exhaustion without a turn of rest. At the later stages of the pact, using this power to its full potential will cause the user to wink out of reality for a while as though they are suffering from the fading of their pact- or potentially they wink out forever after one last powerful shadow was created, and with it, they cease to be.

[6] The Cruel Bow Pact
This ritual requires several rare ingredients and a bow and arrow. Gremlin's tooth powder dusting the fletching, a bowstring made from a pregnant sow's intestine, yew wood from a sacred tree, a bit of magic metal for the arrowhead, sharpened the day before. Then, the bow must be fired up in the air towards an isolated place in the trees or wilds by a shooter with at least +1 to hit with bows. Finally, the arrow will fall and a loud yelp will be heard, even if nobody was around. Then, walk to where the arrow landed in silence.

When the shooter and anyone else arrive; they will see a tribal looking man with rough stones for eyes and a necklace made of teeth. The man will have the arrow in his leg, and be angrily blaming you for firing an arrow at him. Then, he will demand you heal him. If you do heal him and let him leave, he disappears and the Pact is canceled, and you can never summon this being again. However if you respond correctly- by telling him that “you deserve it!” three times, he will drop the act and smile. He will tell you his name is Carcini, and is a spirit of suffering. He will also freely answer any questions about him or his pact- in life he was a mortal who was shot by a stray arrow and died painfully and slowly over three days- and now allows others to spread in his suffering.

Once you have accepted Carcini's pact, you must spread suffering. This is the cost of the pact- you must go out of your way to make other people suffer, and cannot extend good will to anyone, or else suffer the consequences. You can still heal people's injuries, but cannot give pain medicine and just do surgery directly and bloodily, for example. You cannot give to the poor unless you fully intend to steal it back later, you can't cast beneficial spells on others unless it is directly to put them into harms way just after, and so on. If you try to break this promise, even if you regret it, you will find that your efforts to help others are instead nullified somehow by bad luck or chance, and then you will be punished for it with misfortunes plaguing you for a while until the spirit is pleased.

In return for following the Pact of the Cruel Bow, you gain the following benefits. Firstly, all arrows you fire count as poisoned- any wound inflicted by your bow will cause infection, aggravated wounds, get stuck in a bone and require surgery, or will otherwise ruin somebody's day. Secondly, you learn the dark magic of curses. You can perform magic rituals to create bad events in the future- specifically aimed against specific individuals, but sometimes many people (including yourself) can get swept up into the negative events. An example ritual is to drown an effigy of your target by firelight- they may be caught in a tropical storm where they live, or automatically fail a saving throw and be dropped into a tank of rising water. This does not guarantee a death or ruin to someone; but it will be very hard to get out of it. Finally, the knowledge of how to perform these curses is not special to the holder of this pact, meaning those who learn it can teach it to others, but Carcini is likely to punish those who share his secret art without paying the price.

[7] World Forgers' Dark Pact
To summon the World Forger's takes creating a world of your own. You must isolate a small location, such as a garden or castle, and remake everything in your image. Your favorite things, your pets, you own art style and paint everywhere. The place must be a sanctum and contain both sentimental and monetary value; an average of 25,000 coins must be spent on the location. Then, the creator must be unsatisfied with the project, or at least pretend to be to all onlookers and invited guests. They must seem to “want more”. Only then will they be visited.

The World Forgers appear as the subject's own race and ethnicity. They are an amiable sort, and interested in extended their offer to anyone of creative mind and driven determination; hence why so no expense must be spared to create your haven- that way the Forgers know you are serious. They are a collective of powerful spirits, and allow beings to join them willingly, on the conditions that they worn will lead to ruin and excommunication if they are not followed.

The World Forgers must leave. They are not to stay in a single world, nor use their powers frivolously. Their goal is to create worlds, not change the ones that exist. From that end, they give only three days to leave your world and leave with them- enough time to say your goodbyes. If you refuse to go on that day, you will be punished; your abilities will be stripped and your body will change into that of a gray approximation of what you were before. Humanoids become two legged gray beings with no identifiable facial features or sex, quadrupeds become gray beasts with no fur or markings or muzzle types to differentiate between predator or prey. This punishment is irreversible to all forms of magic, except perhaps the mercy of the divine.

In return for leaving with them, the World Forgers grant the user the ability to fly, to change their form (as they themselves are form-shifters), and the ability to change and create the world. This change is very tactile; plants are woven from their hands onto the ground, animals are pulled and preened to change their shapes permanently (and their offspring carry these traits), and as such this limits that amount of the world that you can change in your short time allotted- you may be able to build a small fort, renovate a cove, or sculpt out a cave within a few days of work. Additionally, anyone blessed with by the World Forgers becomes ageless, though they are not immortal and can be killed by a blade as any other living creature. All these powers are removed for those who do not leave with them on their journey of infinite creation.

[8] Gleaming Dark Pact
To call her forth, go to a crossroads while dressed in nothing but your most private nightgown or sleepware. No one else must approach the crossroads. If anyone else crosses one of the two central roads- your ritual is spoiled and you will have to start again. Hiring bandits to stop people from getting too close is a tactic. You must take a handful of fresh snow and cradle it in your hands, and say “I wish this was cold as coin.” over and over again. As the snow melts, you must continue to hold it and speaking until it melts away completely, and only then may you get a new handful of snow. Because of this and the time of year required for it to snow- it can be very cold and is often done at night to avoid travelers crossing the road- every hour you do this roll two six sided die. The first die will be a 1 in 6 chance for you to be noticed. The second will be a 1 in 6 chance to get hypothermia. After you are noticed, you will approached only after another two hours of chanting.

She is known as the Spring Wind Spirit. It is a feminine ghostly image of a blowing sundress- with a sunhat floating just above- her body, if she has one at all in her spirit form, is totally invisible. The smell of cinnamon and other exotic spices from far away lands follow her. She represents the trade wind, and the sudden boost to all businesses and trades the moment the winter ends- the mountain passes melt open and the ships sail through what was once impassable ice. The Spring Wind Spirit will gladly accept a pact with anyone, she giggles as you and her conspire together, though she expects you to fully uphold your end of the bargain. It is a transnational relationship.

The Spring Wind Spirit demands the pact-makers to abide by one rule; scam your heart out. Every one who follows this pact is expected to extort as much money as possible from others- selling bogus potions, overpriced normal goods, services that never come, shoddy gadgets, and the bait and switch- fill a crate with cheap linen and replace just the top layer with a bit of silk and so on. The Spring Wind Spirit pockets 50% of all the money, with the pact-maker getting to keep the other half. There's no actual direct cost to those joining this pact, except the cost to your reputation and no-doubt the soon to be angry mob at your heels. You also cannot accept this pact without the intention to scam; the Spring Wind Spirit knows a cheat when she sees one and will be quick to punish those who do not try to turn a profit with her; curses that rapidly cause misfortune to drain the coffers of the offender, followed by a gust of wind to crash down their house before breaking off the relationship is common.

As business partners, the Spring Wind Spirit will grant her pact-maker two useful abilities. The first is a bit of glamour- the magic of illusion and changed perceptions. They can make anything gleam. By holding an object in the palm, a box, or a bag even a bit of charcoal will appear to catch the light just right and shine. This is most useful in tricking others with a scam, but can be used on a reflective mirror or even an especially bright outfit to dazzle an enemy- this grants a surprise round in combat, or a good chance to escape. The second ability is the power of the winds. The pact-maker can subtly wiggle their toes to control the winds; letting them change the course of ships or blow banners in just the right way. The most powerful ability of this though is the power of secrets- the wind blows secret whispered words from the mouths of other people nearby to the ears of the pact-maker on a 1 in 3 chance. By using these powers, the shrewd pact-maker is expected to steal and scam as much as possible. Finally; it should be noted here that out of all of the dark pacts- this one is the lightest and is indeed the only one that can be broken. The Spring Wind Spirit takes a liking to those who make a healthy profit with her and is willing to let them go... only after the 'debt' is repaid to the spirit for her knowledge and secret winds. The debt is always so massive that no amount of wealth the person can earn, with or without her help, would ever be able to repay it. She has the last laugh, as she will take the souls of those who followed her pact to become her invisible, spying, whispering winds.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Santa Claus stats

Santa Claus
Mythological Figure - Human
HD: 8+4
AC: 14 (as chain)
Morale: 12 Average (16 vs Naughty, 8 vs Nice)
Attacks: Two at +2 to hit; stocking hat flail 1d4+1, sack o' gifts at 1d8+2
Abilities: Incredible Flexibility, Magic Nose, Jolliness, Extrasensory Awareness, Detect Alignment, +4 to Stealth rolls w/ Advantage indoors
Items: Reindeer & Sleigh, Magic Sack, The List

Santa Claus is a powerful, semi-divine entity that rewards "nice" children with toys, and punishes "naughty" ones with coal. He can fit down chimneys, and can use this power to fit through similar area. His nose is magic and he can wiggle it to move nearby objects, fit down chimneys, or otherwise perform magic fitting of a 1st level spell. This power can be used as many times a day as Santa chooses, but requires a round to do so. The most common use of this power is to cast the spell Sleep. Santa Claus is also very jolly, and a happy figure. He cannot be possessed by dark forces, and is immune to any mind affecting spell that causes ill will. Spells or illusions that align with his behavior already, such as drowsiness or ravenous hunger, will still function normally.

Santa Claus has an innate sense of the goodness and badness of others, essentially acting as detecting alignment. He is especially fond of children, and knows their actions and habits best. Santa also knows when children are asleep, or when they are awake or pretending; this ability works on adults to a lesser extent. You must make a successful stealth roll to pretend to be asleep for Santa to still enter a house or residence. Santa prefers not to be seen and his attacks deal nonlethal damage. He adds his Stealth bonus to the to-hit and damage of sneak attacks as a Rogue, and always has advantage on stealth rolls while indoors, especially to avoid creaky floorboards.

Santa Claus carries several powerful and wonderous items. He rides in a sleigh that can fly, pulled by a team of magical reindeer. Each Reindeer fights as a 2 HD wild animal, except for Rudolf, who fights as 3 HD instead, and has a magic red nose that dispels magical darkness or weather. Santa Claus also carries a magic sack which holds toys, clothes, candy, and other gifts. He can magically pull out gifts for any person they are assigned to on demand. Treat this magic sack as an unlimited bag of holding, but is quite large and heavy, requiring several units of load or counting as one “sack” of encumbrance. Finally, Santa Claus has a magic scroll which contains the names of every 'person' in the entire world. The scroll only lists each person's name and assigns them as either “Naughty” or “Nice”, which is an rounding of all their sum actions and intentions for the previous year.

A high level priest can "turn" Mr.Claus by presenting a holy symbol substituted by a tray of cookies and a glass of milk. This does not "turn" Santa, but rather pacifies him for an exploration turn. This ability allows a second reaction check, especially if the force one was a failure.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Cannoin's Ember

The Ember appears as a small lump of gray, black, and blue stone. It leaks wisps of blue magical smoke, and is still very much alive despite the eons since its creation. Cannoin's Ember is thought to either be the first ever artificial soul- a truly feeling, thinking, experiencing being that was not drawn from beyond the veil where the things that haven't yet been made wait to live. Some think the Ember is made of parts from ancient gods; as true creation is only in their business and only possible through them, but others believe a soul could be found at the bottom of a flask. If the Ember is a product of mere alchemy, that it is truly impressive alchemy indeed.

It should be stated here that the Ember is absolutely indestructible. Any attempts to damage or split the Ember have failed and will always fail. You can smelt a magic ring with the ember placed in the liquid gold, then someone can smash it with a hammer for an hour only to come out with a damaged hammer, a pancaked bit of metal, and the Ember perfectly intact.

The Held Ember
The Ember is always stirring, pulsing, alive. To hold the Ember or to have it be a part of you gives you its first power- you can do this by simply wearing the Ember, such as embedding it in a ring or amulet, socketing it into armor, sticking it to your skin, or even ingesting it. By having the Ember equipped as such; you can create false life. Use sticks and rocks and form them into animal and humanoid shapes with your hands; the Ember will make them move and come to life. These constructs are of limited intelligence but can follow orders, and can be created up to 3 HD with abilities equivalent to a 2nd level spell or less in ability. Creating anything with the Ember costs some of limited energy supply- the Ember produces about enough energy to create 6 HD worth of golem-creations per day. Its energy will restore in the time between night and morning or dusk and nightfall- the Ember will never run out of power, it just needs time to recharge itself. The golems themselves can stay together and act with limited intelligence for up to 30 minutes each, then they fall apart.

The Liquid Ember
There is an exception to the above. The Ember cannot be destroyed, but it can be changed in form. There is a method to make the Ember from how it is, a physical object, into a fluid. The magic required to do this is not easy, and it can only be done in a proper vessel- a golem inscribed with holy names, an automaton with gears and flywheels of exact alignment, or a flesh vessel of stitched together parts and interlinked veins and cords. Once the vessel is prepared, the Ember is turned to liquid form and stored internally, used as engine lubrication, or runs through the body as blood.

The vessel will come to life as an incredible creation. It will be intelligent and fully aware of the world; as though an adult person was born as truly as any flesh and blood child. It will know the speech of its creators, and can be taught whatever they wish- it is a being with true and free will, whatever it is. No matter what form it is, or what name it is given, the being born of Cannoin's Ember is a living person and seeks what all people do- a purpose and meaning to its life.

This being will being at 1st level or 1 HD, but will rapidly grow in power if given training and motivation. It advances as any class most fitting its form and self-image, but gains experience at +30% faster rate, due to its uncanny intelligence and ability to learn. The Cannoin's Ember creation is also a magically gifted and accelerated being; a being created by the liquid ember is capable of turning the undead regardless of its class, and turns undead as though it was one level higher. This functions even if the Ember vessel itself is technically a corpse, or collection of corpses, as it is now 'alive'.

If an when this form is destroyed, the liquid in its body will drain away and reform back into the physical, stored Ember again. The religious among those who have interacted with the Ember say they pity it- a doomed soul trapped in the mortal realm, where as those outside of religion believe it to be something special- an immortal rebirthed one million times, again and again- never taken by the harsh ending of death.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

50 Magic Rings

Lion Ring
Iron ring with a bit of fluffy lion mane as padding for the finger. +1 to hit.

[2] Uronn's Ring
Dark gray ring speckled with green flakes. Once per day, can touch a piece of writing to blank it out instantly, as though erased. Can work on engravings, parchments, body writing, etc. Only works on words, not pieces of art or musical measures.

[3] Kallisbin Bands
These rings are always found in a pair. They are both green and have an ornamental lock on them, too small to fit any normal key. If the wearer of one of the rings die, their spirit is trapped in their body. The owner of the OTHER ring will suddenly spit out a tiny key. You can use this key to “unlock” the spirit of the other person from their body, but the ring and key do not have to be used while their corpse is wearing it. Some people have made businesses of trapping souls within corpses, burying them, and then ransoming the relatives to end the torment their departed must be feeling while trapped by the insidious magic ring. More positive uses include keeping someone out of hell for a bit while you try to figure out a way to fix the situation with a dead guy. Also if you die while wearing the ring and the other ring isn't being worn or is on a dead guy, then your corpse starts projectile vomiting a million tiny keys.

[4] Safe Ring
It's pink and childish. Pull this ring off your finger and drop it on the ground; you create a “safe” zone of 15 feet in diameter where enemies cannot enter, attack, or cast spells at in any way. Most enemies will just leave or wait for the time to run out. Lasts one turn, but you can't find the ring after you use it since it goes to somebody else who needs to be “safe”.

[5] Great Ring
This magic ring is golden and increases the level or HD of whoever wears it by +1. It's very powerful, but also not fitted for a human hand. It's closer a fit for a half giant; you could wear the ring as a bracelet. Sadly, this does not confer it's benefit. Maybe there's a way to shrink it?

[6] Ring of Vee
Plain but aesthetic silver ring, which has no apparent effects. If you wear this ring for two years, you gain magical ability. This only applies to settings where certain races or beings can't do magic innately, obviously. Regardless, your newfound magic means you can cast one 1st level spell once per day, regardless of your class or level. If you were already a magic user, you advance in spell slots as though you were one level higher, but all your spells are only as powerful as they are at your current level. Once this power has been granted to its wearer, you can take the ring off and somebody else can start to wear it, but it does take a long time to kick in.

[7] Shatterfly Ring
This ring appears as a thick metal band with a tiny mosaic made of glass of a butterfly. By touching the hand that this ring is on onto any piece of glass, you can willingly shatter it. In the instant it is shattered, the glass shards turn into butterflies. The butterflies just act like normal butterflies do with the same color as the glass that was shattered. If the glass was smoked glass then the butterflies are mildly poisonous and if they land on you to rest you must save or be poisoned.

[8] Pain Ring
Once per day, you can gesture at a living thing with this hand and cause them unbearable pain for one round. They must save or be stunned.

[9] Bal Rock Band
Greenish gray stone roughly chiseled and hollowed out into a ring. Wearing this ring grants +1 AC, but only when both your feet are firmly planted on the ground. Also, if you are holding a rock that's at least as big as your head, increase this bonus to +3 AC

[10] Cro Man's Ring
The ring is purple and feels fragile, much like the chaos desert wadnering Cro. The wearer of this ring feels their mind expand, and gains the power to perform a 1d6 nonlethal psychic attack three times per day at anyone they can see. Wearing this ring for extended period erodes away a person's natural empathy or kindness; every year you regularly use this ring shift your alignment towards Lawful Evil.

[11] Menabin Band
Thick metallic ring with the ability to deflect magical songs. Any magical song within hearing distance is distorted by this rings unusual vibration. This applies to all magical songs, including the ones used by its wearer. Masters of magic or name-level Bards can wear this ring and use it to reverse the effect of any spell-song they sing.

[12] Polymorph Ring
This ring is bronze, and is so warm it almost feels alive. By putting it on your finger, you feel a pulse of life energy through your arm. The hand that holds the ring can be transformed into the head of an animal you have eaten at least once. You can turn the hand into a wolf head to do bite attacks, a cobra to spit venom, or a dragon head to breathe fire. The real challenge of this ring is to find, kill, and safely eat some flesh from all the creatures you want to turn your hand into. In game terms; you can make attack rolls by using this hand like a weapon, copying the natural attack of a specific creature, but the size of the creature's head you make is limited by your own hand size; maximum bite attack of 1d6+1

There is no limit to how long or often you can change this hand, but you can obviously only transform while wearing the ring. While transformed, your hand appears as the animal head and has the ring on their tongue inside the creature's mouth. If the ring is removed or the hand/animal neck is severed off, the hand will revert to its normal state and you will no longer have the transformation attack.

[13] Scurvyman's Ring
This ring is a dull yellow gold, giving it a sickly impression. By pointing ominously at a location or moving object (like a ship) in the distance, this ring acts as a slow Putrefy Food & Drink, as the reversed version of Purify Food & Drink clerical spell. This ring ruins 2d6 rations worth of food or drink every turn you use its magic; over the course of a long chase over the open ocean during the day, the enemy ship's quartermaster may find their entire pantry rotten and filled with maggots- spontaneously generated in the flesh of their only food.

[14] Ring of Dead Seagulls
This is a crude silver ring, flecked with ocean spray. One end has been hammered flat and on it a small relief of a wing has been carved. This ring has a minor curse- if you wear this ring, birds hate you. Eagles will attack you if you climb near their nests (moreso then usual), ravens flock around your house to make the neighbors think you are into dark magic, songbirds sing too early and wake you up all groggy, seagulls will poop on you at the beach, etc. The longer you wear the ring, the worse the curse gets, but taking it off means it will slowly fade.

This ring is made with pirate magic. It is one of the only known artifacts that can make pirates honest- at least until they fulfill their end of the bargain. When wearing the Ring of Dead Seagulls, you can enforce magical pirate pacts by having two pirates spit into their palms and shake hands. You do not have to be a participant in the agreement, just mediating a meeting between captains and your ring will work its magic. These magic pacts require both parties to be fully aware of their part in the agreement, and verbally state their intentions to each other willingly before shaking on it. Then, both parties must try to fulfill their side of the agreement, whatever it may be. If one or both sides try to weasel out of it or break their agreement- they will begin to feel the wrath of the sea as the weather turns bad for them on their voyages and sea life beings to turn against them. It is possible then to avoid fulfilling your part of a pact by simply moving away from the sea and becoming a landlubber, but that is a fate few pirates are willing to suffer.

[15] Ring of Red Mornings
This ring is copper, with a fiery red jewel. You have a 5 in 6 chance to accurately predict the weather each day. You can also tell whenever the weather was changed due to a magic spell or dance, and you know exactly what spell it was.

[16] Fisheye Ring
This ring has a creepy fish eye stuck in a stagnant glass bubble filled with water. Once you put on the ring, you can see out of this eye. The eye is nearsighted and is blurry, and often gets color confused, but you can use this to see around corners or look behind you discretely by turning your hand, etc. This ring also has a secret ability- if submerged in water for at least one turn, the eye on the ring begins to glow and anyone wearing it gains underwater night vision from the magic ring.

[17] Riptide Ring
This ring looks battered to hell by hammers. Every round, you can make a d20+2 attack roll vs any target's AC who is in water. The ring whips up the waves and makes them smash, shove, and pull under the unfortunate who you are targeting. There's no limit to this power, but you are not immune to the ring's power if you are in the water too, and you can only use it on those you can see and motion at.

[18] Booty Band
This ring is a fat gold band with several diamonds- it's quite a catch. If you bury something with this ring on, you will always remember exactly where it is without need of maps or landmarks. If you aren't wearing the ring, you forget. If someone else puts the ring on, they can remember their own treasure hoards but it's specific to each individual. Pirates constantly fight over this ring to get their treasure-hoards they buried with it back, and pirate captains have spent fortunes trying to get freelance magicians to reverse engineer the memories of other pirates who have worn it; you could potentially unlock a million treasure hoards all over the world with this ring, which is why it is so valuable.

[19] Timewalk Circle
This powerful magic ring has the appearance of bright blue glass, which is almost totally transparent. Tiny glittering dust particles float freely inside of it. The wearer of this ring can channel energy and, once per day, create a split from their current timeline. Within the new splinter, they can perform any action or do anything they wish and, after 20 minutes or 2 exploration turns, time will revert back the way it was as soon as the ring was used. While all the changes you made during this time were reset, the timewalk ring wearer and those who were touching them when they activated the ring will remember everything that happened in the time splinter, where as everyone else will forget and will have reverted to that pre-time splinter state. You can use this to gauge your strength against a foe, or for scouting, or for any other number of things. With powerful enough time magic, you could selectively swap timelines over to the time-splinter, letting you have multiple tries before you create your perfect series of events in that 20 minute period to keep instead of returning to normal.

Also, using this ring more then once totally fucks up the time stream and starts cosmically marking you for outside forces- your mortal soul looks a bit weird after this. Every time you use this past the first time, 1 in 20 chance of summoning and Unspeakable.

[20] Ohes Teean's Ring
This ring is black and etched with arcane runes that glow green when its spells are ready. The power in this ring recharges every day at the peak of the moon, though will not recharge on the nights of the new moon where no moon is visible in the sky. This ring contains two spells, both spells can be used twice per charge. The first spell is Shockbolt which deals 1d6 damage to any target without a to-hit roll, identical to magic missile but dealing lightning damage. The second spell is Shock to Flame which is a magical spell that turns any electrical discharge or lightning bolt into fire or vice versa. This spell can be cast somewhat in anticipation for an effect, since most spellcasters won't be able to react and target a lightning bolt mid flight, but the spell must be cast in the same round. Upon being changed, any spell which does fire damage will now do lightning damage and vice versa, all spells lose one dice worth of damage from the transformation as some of their momentum is stolen. Spells with effects over time, such as a Wall of Fire spell, will instead burst instantly and be over with. Spells that grant an aura or shield like a Static Armor spell will instead light those who are affected by the spell on fire. Finally, you can also use this spell on a normal fire or electrical substance to change it as well.

[21] Furious
Red ring of orange and red metal. It gleams with inner fire. Whoever wears this ring unlocks the secret of brutal rage at the cost of their sanity. You can use this rage to gain another use of rage (if you are a barbarian) or go into a beserk rage; all of your attacks and damage rolls have advantage on rolls, but you have disadvantage to saving throws. Every time you use this ring, lower your Wisdom permanently by 1 point.

[22] Ring of Connections
This ring is white-gold, and is simple and humble like a wedding ring. Once you have put on this ring, you may declare any connection to another person you wish to the world; whatever it is, it will be true in a cosmic and magical sense. The other person is changed mentally in any way, but whatever connection you declare to them will be touched by fate. For example, if you claim to be the Son of a long lost King with many bastard heirs, then as far as anyone knows it would be true, and you can hold aloft that King's old magic scepter without being shocked- a sure sign of your lineage. If you declare yourself to be the bitter rival of someone who barely even knows you exist, then they will feel the pressure of fate as you quickly advance to being their greatest enemy.

[23] Ring of Impending Doom
The moment this ring is put on, the wearer feels an incredible sense of dread and impending doom if they were to remove it. The ring has no effect, but while worn the wearer gets a +1 to all saving throws from their paranoia and constant diligence to every little action. Taking the ring off requires a morale check or saving throw; if you fail, you can't try to take off the ring for another week as you build up your courage. The ring isn't known to have any ill effects, but most prefer to get rid of it as soon as they possibly can.

[24] Monkey Ring
Made of a few small twisted twings and leaves. This ring makes the wearer more monkeyish. They can now use the ability of monkey-see-monkey-do after watching someone else attempt an action or combat maneuver, and can do it themselves. The result is always amateurish, and all modifiers or rolls made for this move are made at a -1 because of the rough attempt, but it still allows the attempt. Secondly, wearing this ring gives you climbing skills. You can either climb as a 2nd level Thief, OR gain a +2 to saving throws to falls or whatever climbing system you prefer to use in your game.

[25] Arrow Ring
Spiraled metal ring that has a point connected to a feather in relief on the band. If you are wearing this ring on the same hand when you draw back a bowstring, you can magically make the ring unfold and turn into a straight metal arrow- which has a +1 to hit and damage. The arrow counts as magical but has no special powers beyond being able to be stored as a ring. After firing, you'll still have to retrieve the arrow and bend it back into a circle to make it a ring again.

[26] Title Ring
When placing this ring on your finger, you may announce a title for yourself. As long as you wear this ring, everyone who addresses you must address you with that title, either verbatim, abbreviated, or even in a mocking way if they don't like you, it still must be used. Once you have picked a title when putting on this ring, your title as long as you wear this ring will be that, taking the ring off and putting it back on will keep the same title for you. This ring makes it easy to spread your renown.

[27] Atria Ring
This silver ring is studded with four different gemstones, each of a diamond cut shape. You may motion with your hand to give yourself or anyone you wish +1d10 maximum and current hit points, but this temporary vitality fades after one season. This can be used instantly as a free action at any time, so you can use it just as an orc gets a successful hit against your Wizard with 1 hit point remaining and it will give them a buffer to survive. After each use, one of the gemstones fades into a dull gray stone. The stones can only be restored via ritual sacrifice of a living person; one stone per soul.

[28] Tornado Ring
Twisted silver in a spiral shape. Fits on forefinger, too long to fit down the knuckle. If you point the finger wearing this ring out and slowly circle it around, you can whip up the winds into a twister. From a small dust devil after 1 turn of circling, which can then be flung or released to wreck havoc, or by spinning over the course of several hours to create a mini twister. There's no limit to how much you can use this ring but it is tiring to use and obviously leaves you vulnerable while spinning your finger around for hours at a time.

[29] Archmage Ring
This is a fanciful gold and purple ring that seems to emit an aura of arrogance and command. You become immune to your own spells. However, magical creatures such as fairies, certain spirits, chimeras and the like see you as an ancient archmage who died 300 years ago. This archmage's image is superimposed onto your own from the ring- and he had many enemies.

[30] Ring of Rot
This is a cursed ring. Putting it on melds it to your skin. It can only be removed by finger amputation in the first hour, hand amputation in the first day, or arm amputation in the first season. If it goes beyond that, it has infected your whole body and cannot be amputated without killing you. The infected parts of your body, spreading from the finger in the time frame explained above, starts to turn gangrenous while yellow tendrils grow throughout your flesh like tree roots. Every stage of infection above grants you +1d6 maximum hit points as you become supernaturally vigorous and nearly immune to pain. However, your natural healing abilities stagnant and eventually fade. After one week, you no longer heal naturally and can only heal through doctoring. After one season (3 months), even medical skills are of no use and you can only heal through magical healing potions or spells. After a full year of infection, you will be unrecognizable and go feral, becoming a disease bearer creature. Assume that each day after one year, you have a 1 in 20 chance, as you aren't exactly sure when it can strike.

Disease Bearer (X HP, +2 To-Hit, +X+2 AC, two attacks of diseased swipe at 1d6+2, save or be infected with plague on a hit)
Morale- 10

The Disease Bearer is a creature that has lost its mind after putting on the Ring of Rot. It now only exists to spread the disease and plague around it, and seeks to die in such a way that the ring can be found and put on by someone else to continue the process. The Disease Bearer has the same HD it had while alive; it's HD is the same as its host but it retains all the damage it had that was not healed by the host; going feral did not rejuvenate it. Secondly, the creature has the same AC as whatever armor the host was wearing, plus 2 from its newfound toughness. You can cap this at 19 to keep it from being too excessively powerful. Finally, each attack this creature makes can infect its target on a hit; they are infected with a skin rotting plague. The plague is not communicable, you can only catch it from a Disease Bearer. Finally; use the above infection rates to determine how quickly the infection spreads, but in this case you lose -1d6 maximum hit points instead of gaining them, and stop being able to heal at the same rate.

[31] Margin Ring
The friend of merchants and quartermasters. It is a humble golden ring, with a smiling fat face etched on the side. Every time you make a trade or sale, your profits are boosted by +1d6% worth of coinage for that season; roll each season. How this ring actually works is a mystery; tiny coincidences or discounts on things you wouldn't expect make trade and voyages more profitable- there is no mind controlling effect of this ring, things just simply work out to make a benefit to your profits. Maybe you purchase a shipment and the wooden crates can be reused to patch a hole in the ship, reducing repair costs. Maybe you sell something to a client and they only have larger coins on hand and let you keep the change. Those armed with this ring can quickly become fat merchant lords.

[32] Slimer
Dull green ring. It's unusually thick and large; most people wear it around the thumb, or ogres can wear it around the pinkie. Whenever they wish, the user can make anything they touch with that hand slimy. Slime has several properties; firstly, it nullifies acid and protects the object from corrosion- pieces of armor covered in slime aren't corroded by acid attacks or rusting spells. If you spread the slime onto your skin; take half damage from acid until the next time you are washed off. Anything slippery, especially a weapon or the floor, will require you to spend a round to carefully move over it or pick it up- if you try to rush save or it slips out of your hand/you slip and fall on your ass.

[33] Fling Ring
Heavy iron ring with a bulging bit of iron slag on one end. You can pull this ring off and throw it as hard as a sling bullet; 1d4 + Strength modifier in damage at range. If the target is not wearing a helmet; save or be stunned one round.

[34] Flight Ring
Wearing this ring makes you a master of flight. Note, it does not actually grant the ability to fly. While riding a flying mount, piloting a flying ship, after casting a fly spell, or while sitting on a flying carpet you gain a bonus to skills in navigation of 3d space. You become as good as a captain of an airship. If you already were as good as a captain, grant +1 to morale checks to your crew, mount, or squadron mates. In effect, this ring grants the automatic ability to navigate 3d space while flying and the ability to ignore the need for things like handle animal or flight checks during stressful aeronautic maneuvers. Also, you and/or your craft gain +1 to AC in the air.

[35] Addict's Ring
This ring has a spike on the inside, that makes it appear as though you cannot put it on. However, pushing your finger into the ring makes the spike slide away into the ring. If you wear this ring, you can once per day command it to inject you with a specific drug, alchemical substance, or charge or some ichor. The ring will protrude the spike directly into your finger and inject you with the substance. This substance can be whatever you wish, but is limited in scope or power to either 1 turn or 1d6 maximum effect.

[36] Empty Ring
This ring is so bland and seemingly worthless you'll barely even notice it. Once it is slipped onto your finger, everybody else forgets it exists. The next time you make a solemn vow with the ring on; a declaration of true love, a vow of revenge, an unbreakable promise and so on- you can now toss the ring away to break that vow. The punishment for oath breaking is severe in the eyes of the Gods, but even they will find the sin mysteriously gone, blanked out, as though your soul is opaque.

[37] Blue Ring of Valor
Commissioned by the Blue Knights, these rings have proliferated since their collapse. There are about two dozen of them, one per each of the great Blue Knights. All of them were made the same; a smooth and sparsely decorated blue ore ring, so that all members of the Knights were equals. Wearing this ring grants both yourself and two hirelings you control automatic success on all morale checks against evil foes or dark creatures. If more rings are brought together in your party, the number of people each wearer can command doubles each time. So with two rings, both wearers can command four people each with this bonus. With three rings, all three wearers can command eight people, and so on. The great Blue Knights were once expected to commands armies of the freedmen against the forces of evil, and that their rings allowed them to do.

[38] The Splendid Signet
From the moment you put on this ring, you know it's something special. Those with less then 10 HD, or a partial divine bloodine, will be disbarred from being able to wear this special ring and making themselves its master. Those who can master this ring can put it on, otherwise the ring will not fit someone who is unworthy.

The first power of the Splendid Signet is that any magical item the wearer claims; if it be by their own hand or added to a collection of theirs, they gain that magical items powers as channeled through the ring. Note that these powers are based on the magical enchantments or aura of the items, not the physical parts or construction of the item itself. So a +1 magic sword wouldn't grant them its damage on a melee strike, but it could grant them +1 to melee to-hit rolls for the improved accuracy. Powerful magical items, or magic items with charges, instead have limited effects. So a wand of fireballs might let the wearer of the Signet start a candle-fire in their hands. You do not have to have these magic items on you to channel them through the ring, but you must own them in some way, so they must be in storage or adorning your servants, etc. If these items are destroyed or stolen, the Signet can no longer channel their abilities.

The second power of the Signet is resistance. Anyone who wears the Signet gets +4 to saving throws against enemy spells, unless those spells or curses are brought through the signet (ie; trick them into claiming a cursed magic item).

[39] Wise Man's Band
This ring is made of carved amber. It is always warm and comforting, but humble in it's luxury. Whoeer wears this ring treats their Wisdom modifier as +1, and has an air of enlightenment about them. Once per Season, a random supplicant will approach the wearer of this ring to seek spiritual guidance, regardless of if the wearer has any wisdom to actually offer or not.

[40] Rainy Ring
Whoever wears this ring smells a bit like after the ring; an aura of petrichor. While wearing this magic ring, cast any spell with the words Cloud, Rain, Storm, Mirror, Odor, or Water in the name as one caster level higher.

[41] Housecat Ring
Your character can ignore exhaustion penalties for a whole day or prepare one spell (of 2nd level or less) with a light 20 minute cat nap, or two exploration turns. You channel some aspects of the cat but aren't especially graceful or predatory; more like aspects of a fat lazy housecat.

[42] Spiral Ring
Thin gold ring that spirals around the finger. After being worn for more then a day, it starts to twist tighter. The entire person's body gets stronger- increase your strength modifier by +1. After two days, the ring is too tight and you can't take it off. After four days, your finger starts to turn purple and hurt really bad, by the fifth day the ring twists the finger off and the effect ends.

[43] Goblin Ring
Grants +2 to stealth, but the moment you put it on your face scrunches up and gets ugly. Only reversible with surgery, or a remove curse spell.

[44] Golden Nugget Ring
Gold ring with an appropriately sized raw golden nugget as the “jewel”. As long as you wear it, you find and can make +10% more gold from treasure hunting and your various estates and holdings. This only applies to gold coins earned, meaning it lacks usefulness for young or poor adventurers seeking copper and silver, is powerful for gold, but falls off again once you start seeking ancient jewels or platinum coins as your main treasure source. Also only applies to the GOLD you earn, NOT the XP you get for gold recovered. It's just additional income.

[45] Ring of Power
This magical ring is made of silver with bumps of quartz crystal. This ring gathers up energy and can be expended to make a single social order, command, or gesture as equal to someone as one higher “rank” in your social group or society- once per day. For example, a lesser noble could sit next to a group of greater nobles for a grand feast by using this ring to invite themselves in. For some inexplicable reason, they will be and nobody will feel like it is unseemly or out of line. Villagers can be treated as well as the local constable, Kings can command like an Emperor and so on. For less abstract purposes; once per day get +1 to a reaction roll.

[46] Trap Ring
This ring is gold, and has the appearance of a tiny link of chains as ornaments carved into its surface. This magical ring has the power to trap spirits within it. These ghosts can only be trapped by a successful to-hit roll with the hand that has the ring, grasping and clutching, which will draw them inside. The total amount of HD worth of spirits this ring can trap is 6 or less. The spirits will automatically file out of the ring in the order they entered if a new one is put in over the limit, or whenever the wearer wishes to release them. Spirits who are released are under no obligation to obey or not seek revenge against the wearer.

[47] Ring of Houses
This ring is made of wood, painted red like a shingle. It's a humble little ring, with magic well suited for its urban origins. As long as you wear this ring, you get +2 to stealth checks and can sneak around really well. Additionally, you can place this ring down in a back alley, turn around three times with your eyes closed, and walk forward into a magical alleyway that appears from nothing. This alley can take you through part of a city- only from a district to district, and can't pass over major landmarks, but will let you rapidly evade guards or criminal chasing you. However, the ring disappears where you left it and will end up on the hand of some random beggar.

[48] Inner Beast Ring
This ring cannot be used by animal people. It is a hearty brown ring, made of some kind of stone that appears as wood, waxed and sanded to be almost ceramic. Anyone who puts on this ring first knows instantly what their spirit animal is- animal people are already half (or more) animal, and as such already know what animal they represent. But for humans- their animal side is hidden within them, as an animal spirit. Wearing this ring allows you to call on your animal spirit- you can restore 1d6 hit points at will AND grants a bonus +2 to hit and damage for your next attack- but doing so will allow the animal side to express itself and take over bit by bit. Every time you use this ring, you gain 1d2 mutations related to your spirit animal. If your spirit animal is a pig, then you might gain a pig nose, or a pig tail, or trotters for feet, or pink skin, or a sudden urge to oink occasionally and so on.

[49] Ring of Lips
This magic ring is a lady's ring. Silver, with a fanciful green jewel and diamonds bordering it. If someone willingly kisses you while you're wearing this, they become enamored with you, and count as the spell Charm Person. Even if they discover this spell has been cast on them, they will still be unable to put aside their feelings. This spell can be broken with a typical remove curse, killing the person who was kissed, or by finding and kissing the lips of the filthiest prostitute in town.

[50] Warband's Ring
This is a cruel iron ring with a metal spike pointing outside, giving it the impression of a weapon. You can wear this ring and point the spike outwards, which increases your unarmed damage by +1. Secondly, this ring is enchanted with the knowledge of ancient barbarian warriors. You have access to 2d4 random Special Moves of 1st or 2nd difficulty.

Monday, December 14, 2020

GLOGifying Specialists

So before this article begins in earnest, I want to explain something. Firstly, I don't really use the GLOG, I just think it's interesting. But I've written about this before. Secondly, I'm not criticizing the GLOG for its cool flavor- far from it. Like many others, I was entranced by Arnold's series of Monastic Wizard blogposts; the many schools of magic. I can't speak for everyone, but I think a LOT of people enjoy the GLOG for its unique magic system.

But look at the other classes of the GLOG. They just don't have that same level of love and attention that the GLOG wizards do. Now that's not to say they're bad necessarily- but you have these Wizards with multiple spells, unique abilities per school, a unique taboo and Doom that is ripe with flavor, and other classes don't quite reach that level. Instead, each nonmagical class seems to be a collection of abilities and some skills, but nothing quite as inspiried as the GLOG's MU.

So let's GLOGify the specialist a bit.

The GLOG Specialist

The specialist is a term used for skillful characters whose abilities are neither directly tied to spellcasting, but also not to combat. That doesn't mean they can't fight, many of them are able combatants, and can take templates in fighting classes if they wished to bolster their strength; but the specialist is a unique role in a party.

Most specialists have skills which are related to dungeoneering and adventuring. Things like architecture, machinery, performance, cat burglary, poaching, and so on. These are what this Blogpost is talking about. Specialists also have abilities which are based on their class- things like the Ranger's tracking ability or the Thief's luck. Don't change these. These are the same as they were before as written up in the class description.

Every specialist now has a Creed and Knacks. At the bottom of your character sheet, write Doubt with a 0% next to it.

Honor among Thieves

Every specialist has a Creed. Your Creed is a reason for you to keep going, it is your guiding principle. Even if your class isn't thief, you probably have a collection of skills and the experience in using them in ways that aren't totally legal. Knowing how to pick locks and mix poison is always questionable, even in legal situations where you may be allowed to use them. There is a bit of moral ambiguity in the art of the specialist. As such, your Creed is what lets you go to sleep at night. It's the justification for all the weird blackmailing and throats slit you keep doing with your party- all thanks to your skills. Your Creed is also (eventually) will act as the power source for your more supernatural or mythic abilities- things not necessarily possible but aren't explained as magic either.

When you take any specialist A Template, you must make a Creed. Your Creed can be anything, but typically it's going to be something that acts as your moral guide, even in an amoral world. The thief steals, but only from the rich to the poor. The torturer puts splints under people's fingernails to get them to talk, but it's only because learning the truth is the most important thing. No player character gets to be a thief who just “wants money”. That's a one line justification that belongs on an NPC stat spread your players kill in a session. Thieves who just steal for money or because they are good at it are NPCs, not player characters.

Thief Knacks

No matter what type of specialist you are, or how common your skillset is, you have a few tricks up your sleeve. Knacks are like special talents or bonus situations related to your skills that only you know. These are things like putting chalk on your fingers so you can really grip the edge of a pressure plate, less then an inch jutting from the floor. Or sharpening the other end of your lockpick into a point, so you can use it to peel the rust off the older locks. Stuff like that.

You can declare a knack whenever you succeed OR fail a skill check, and only as long as you have a knack “slot” available. You can have a maximum number of Knacks equal to your number of Specialist Templates times two. The maximum number of knacks you can have in any one skill is equal to your number of Specialist Templates. This means that while you can put a lot of knacks into your main skill, you have the opportunity to branch out into other skills.

Knacks are special talents that let you essentially bypass a skill check. Say your character has Architecture and wants to roll to find a hidden wall in a long dead dwarven stronghold. They succeed. You declare your character now knows how dwarves like to hide their walls, and since dwarves aren't terrible creativity, pretty much all of them are hidden like that. Your DM allows it. Now, you can automatically find hidden walls and sliding passages in strongholds built by the dwarves, or those with strong dwarven influence.

Knacks can also be used as a last second thing on a failed skill check- this lets you avoid the penalties of the failed check. For example, if your character tries to disarm a flame trap and fails- you declare they find the air valve at the last second and plug it up with their sweat band and stop the fiery dragon sculpture from breathing on them. The DM allows it. However- using a knack like this locks you out of creating any new knacks from the rest of the session. You've had your special moment of drama, now you got to cool off and be in the background for a bit.

Finally; Knacks can also be used to expand a skill in a meaningful or fitting way in a situation where a regular Knack would be too broad of an application (and a new skill would be too narrow in scope). For example, your thief finds a dragon egg and really wants to hatch it. They have the Animal Handling skill, but raising eggs is a bit different. Your DM lets them add “Animal Handling / Dragon Rearing” to their character sheet. It's a bit too specific to be its own skill, but it would be a bit too powerful to just let them succeed every time they want to stop their baby dragon from burning their house down. In this situation, their knack has made the skill more broad in scope, but they still need to succeed on a roll to actually use it, since it's still hard to raise a dragon.

Finally, with your skill comes doubt. Where as Fighters may struggle against foes beyond their muscle and Wizards must deal with their own madness and intellectual battles; the only real struggle for the thief comes from within. Your Doubt eats away at you if you let it.

You gain +10% to +30% doubt if you violate your Creed; the degree of infraction indicating how much doubt you accumulate. If you consider yourself a noble thief who steals only from the corrupt and decadent, but yet you begin bribing officials to look the other way with your crimes, you will start to feel like a hypocrite. Small amounts of doubt eat away at you. You also gain +1-5% doubt whenever you fail a skill roll in a stressful situation or when it really matters. If the lock on the ancient vault door you've been camped under for two whole days is just too tough for you to open, it's no big deal. It's clearly just too complex for you. But if you really need to disarm a trap and it ends up killing your lantern boy, well then that's your failure. You feel the sting of that one inside you, like
you just aren't good enough. Maybe you had it once, but in your age you're losing it. How many old pickpockets do you see? Exactly.

The higher your doubt climbs, the more it interferes. Once per session, the DM may declare that the thief must make a Doubt check whenever attempting to use a skill OR a class ability related to their specialist class. They then roll a percentile roll out of 100. If they roll under their doubt, they hesitate, freeze up, and fail the roll or ability. No additional doubt is accumulated, but the damage was already done.

In many ways, Doubt is similar to the Doom of a Wizard, but instead of being bombastic and magical, it is slow and insidious. It is also possible to remove doubt. If you manage to steal or accomplish a great task related to your skills- like climbing the tallest mountain in the setting for a Climbing specialist or steal the King's Jewels, you gain a surge of optimism that reduces your doubt by -1d6x5%. So a roll of 2 means you drop your Doubt by a whole 10%. However, these situations are meant to be rare, and you can only get the benefit of this doubt reduction roll by doing an even greater feat next time. Breaking a dead language so its ancient lost spellbooks and tomes can be read is a great achievement- but once you've done that, decoding some cypher or learning old elvish just doesn't cut it anymore. Eventually, Doubt will lead to a character's death or retirement- and all those special tricks of the trade die with you.

Optional Rule: If the DM deciding when to kick in doubt is a bit too storygames or too antagonistic for your table, consider instead having doubt trigger on an on/off condition based on your specialist's creed. For example, if you're creed is about getting treasure, then your doubt is constant for the first part of a dungeon run- UNTIL you acquire at least 200 gp worth of treasure in a dungeon. Once that gold is in your hand, you start to get your motivation back until you return to town and have to start over. Another example is "As long as nobody gets hurt", in which case you have no doubt unless somebody in the party dies or is maimed; in which case doubt plagues you until you can return home and unwind.