Posts Tagged ‘ Swords & Wizardry ’

Three Unusual Magic Weapons

Three new magic weapons for you to put into the hands of enemies to see if your players’ characters can earn them the hard way.

Borya’s Needle

Ornate, light, and nimble, Borya’s Needle is a +1 short sword that weighs as much as a dagger. A hit from Borya’s Needle that inflicts 5-7 points of damage on a living creature causes a slender steel needle to grow from the sword’s quillons. Upon command instead of a melee attack, the wielder may cause one or more of these needles to take flight as Magic Missiles. This remarkable blade cannot produce more than five needles per day.

Borya the Nimble was an Elven Fighter/Magic-User with a reputation for roguish and romantic exploits. Stories claim he owned several remarkable magic items, including a pocket watch that could slow time, a silken handkerchief that could alter its user’s facial features, and, of course, Borya’s Needle, the elegant rapier which bears his name. Borya finally met his match in a battle of love and wits waged against Cassia, the queen of dryads whose beauty is rumored to be so great that even a fleeting glimpse of her leads to longing, then to obsession, and finally to insanity. At Cassia’s request, Borya cast his fabled blade into the Verdant Whirlpool and then attempted to win Cassia’s love by refusing food or drink from one new moon to the next. Consequently, Borya the Nimble wasted away from hunger and thirst. The last word that passed his cracked, parched lips was the name of the dryad queen.

The Hideous Scimitar

Beautiful, inlaid with precious metals, and superbly balanced, this dread weapon was not forged for mortal hands, but instead was crafted in a cursed forge fueled by coals stolen from a hellish plane as a badge of office for a fiendish commander. Each day, for the first 10 combat turns the Hideous Scimitar is wielded in melee, it functions as a +2 scimitar. At the end of the tenth round of melee that day, the blade changes, becoming tarnished and gore-streaked no matter how well it is cleaned. For the next 10 combat turns after this change, any living, mortal creature damaged by the Hideous Scimitar must make a saving throw to avoid contracting a deadly disease (the effects of which are left to the Referee’s discretion). At the end of the twentieth round of melee fought that day with this weapon, the blade becomes even more horrible. It becomes pockmarked and scabrous, and its lesions ooze noxious fluids. For the remainder of the day after this second change, wounds inflicted by the Hideous Scimitar cannot be healed by magical means (a Remove Curse or similar effect can negate this effect).

Mortal creatures are not meant to wield the Hideous Scimitar. Each combat turn during the time the scimitar causes disease that a mortal uses this weapon, the wielder must make a saving throw or suffer 1d4+1 points of damage in the form of spontaneous gashes and bruises. During the time the scimitar causes wounds that cannot be magically healed, the wielder runs the same risk, but the damage suffered increases to 1d6+1 points per combat turn per failed saving throw. Tales claim that a mortal who dies from the baleful effects of wielding the Hideous Scimitar forfeits his soul to the infernal power that first created this weapon.

Stonebreaker

Carved from the heart of a stone brought to the Material Plane from the Plane of Elemental Earth, Stonebreaker weighs 20 pounds and must be wielded with two hands. It functions as a +3 weapon that inflicts 1d8+4 points of damage in melee (including its magical bonus). In the hands of a Dwarf, Stonebreaker‘s full might is revealed. Goblins and orcs cannot look directly at a Dwarf who wields Stonebreaker in battle, which causes those creatures to suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls against that Dwarf. What’s more, a Dwarfish wielder of Stonebreaker inflicts double damage (2d8+8) against Chaotic giants and all sorts of earth elementals.

The fabled Blind Masons of Kadiphonek carved Stonebreaker for King Bofnar Stonedelver at the start of the War of the Boundless Vaults. Stonedelver led his companions, the dread Ironbreakers, into battle after battle against the orcs, goblins, giants, and elementals that sought to unlock the Boundless Vaults. In Stonedelver’s hands, Stonebreaker turned the tide against the vastly outnumbered Dwarfs time and time again. After days of savage battle, Stonedelver stood victorious, but he succumbed to his injuries before he could be treated. Stonedelver and Stonebreaker were buried in the Catacombs of the Kings. Centuries later, after a succession of weak and quarrelsome kings, Stonedelver’s domain fell to a new threat, and Stonebreaker reportedly fell into the hands of drow priestesses.

Nota Bene: From now until the end of May, all Spes Magna Games PDFs in the category of OGL OSR are on-sale for 50% off their normal prices. Huzzah! You can check out the affected titles by clicking here.

May 17th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Some Love for Druids

Before we get to the new druid spells, an important announcement: From now until the end of May, all Spes Magna Games PDFs in the category of OGL OSR are on-sale for 50% off their normal prices. Huzzah! You can check out the affected titles by clicking here.

And, now, some love for druids!

Gnauskaia’s Arid Brotherhood

Spell Level: Druid, 3rd Level
Range: 30-foot radius around caster
Duration: 1 hour

By means of this spell, the druid summons a 1d4+1 small dust devils to perform simple tasks. These whirling masses of dust and hot air can fetch and carry things, open doors, blow small objects about, et cetera. Each continues its assigned task until it is given another command. A dust devil conjured by this spell cannot exert a force of more than 20 pounds, nor can it attack or move beyond the spell’s range.

Laununill’s Muddy Lexicon

Spell Level: Druid, 1st Level
Range: Normal reading distance
Duration: 10 minutes

The druid pours a quantity of water and mixes it with dirt while casting this spell. For the duration of the spell, words spoken within range appear in the mud scribed in the secret tongue of the druids. Written words may also appear in the mud if the source of the writing is touched to the puddle. Once the druid reads the words, they fade away.

The Spell of Centrifugal Aurora

Spell Level: Druid, 4th Level
Range: 20-foot cylinder
Duration: 1d6+1 turns

A cylinder of roaring wind and cracking electricity with a 20-foot diameter whirls about the druid. Each round, any creature within the cylinder other than the druid must make a saving throw. Failure means the creature is sucked through the vortex of wind and lightning, suffering 1d6 points of damage from being buffetted about and another 3d6 points of damage from lightning blasts before being thrown to the outside of the cylinder.

May 16th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

The Pholcids of Orgimchak

Orgimchak is an area of ancient woodland near Hasharot. It is a former royal forest that covers 2,476 hectares (which equals a bit more than 6,100 acres), and contains areas of woodland, grassland, heath, rivers, bogs, and ponds, spread lengthwise about 12 miles and being no more than 3 miles east to west at its widest point. In most places, Orgimchak is considerably narrower as it lies on a ridge between the valleys of the rivers Tizma and Choqqi.

As early as last century, Orgimchak was a valuable area for wildlife and foraging. Today, Orgimchak is accursed. Its oak, beech, and hornbeam trees produce prodigious, twisted branches so heavy that their weight often cannot be supported by the parent tree. As a result, large amounts of dead wood in the forest supports numerous rare species of fungi and invertebrates, many of which are dangerous, even deadly. Unusual numbers of rats and adders live in Orgimchak, and even the small breed of deer native to the region tends to be fiercely aggressive. Orgimchak’s boundaries include over 100 lakes and ponds. Most of these bodies of water are small but deep. The fish within these lakes and ponds are abundant, but few are considered edible by any but the most hungry. The fish from Orgimchak’s ponds and lakes have an unwholesome, greasy flavor.

The evil that infects Orgimchak took root gradually. For a time, the notorious and brutal Rihard Turvin maintained a hideout within Orgimchak. He waged a campaign of brigandage, kidnapping, and arson for months before authorities from nearby Lounoun tracked Rihard to his lair and slaughtered him and his followers. Since that day, Orgimchak has become a nexus for violent crime. No fewer than four children have been murdered and their bodies dumped in Orgimchak by at least two killers. At least nine other murder victims have been found in the forest. Most of these heinous crimes have occurred in the past decade, but the earliest murders took place more than 40 years ago. Who knows how many other bodies remain undiscovered in Orgimchak?

To this day, bandits and orcs regularly use Orgimchak as a hideout. More serious threats, such as ogres and trolls, infrequently stalk the forest, and stories of ghosts seeking either revenge against or consolation from the living have long been set in Orgimchak. Perhaps the deadliest inhabitant of this cursed forest are pholcids, a terrifying combination of giant spider and undead monster.

A pholcid is an intelligent, magical giant spider that uses a humanoid skull as a shell, exchanging one skull for another as the pholcid grows or as the skull becomes damaged. A pholcid cannot be harmed by normal weapons, and it moves with stealth and speed. It prefers to attack by surprise, most often casting its webs at its victims before closing to bite. A pholcid’s web fills an area 5 x 5 x 10 feet. This monster’s web is as strong as a Web spell, and a pholcid may project its sticky fibers 1d4 times per day.

Pholcid: HD 2; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (1d4 + poison); Move 12; Save 16; AL C; CL/XP 5/240; Special: 3 in 6 chance to surprise prey, hit only by magic or silver weapons, lethal poison (+2 saving throw), webs.

May 12th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Grand Temple of Oevrumines

Oevrumines, the brutal Lord of Mazes, enjoys public worship in only one place in the known world, namely the accursed island kingdom of Kríti, whose corsairs prowl the seas, raiding coastal communities, attacking ships, and collecting tribute from vassals. The Grand Temple of Oevrumines sits atop the Kalokairinos, a broad and low hill that gently rises some 85 yards above the surrounding countryside.

The complex is a maze of halls and chambers staffed by a minotaurs, minotaur shamans, and dozens of slaves whose lives count for nothing to their wicked overlords. The beautiful and cruel Pasiphaë, immortal consort of Oevrumines, rules Kríti. She is the high priestess of the Lord of Mazes, and lurid tales of her cruelty and lust have terrified listeners for generations.

Those captured by the corsairs most often die so that their pain, fear, and blood can propitiate Oevrumines. These victims most often die during savage bloodsports held in the Central Court. Unarmed and unarmored, the sacrifices face fierce bulls or minotaur soldiers. Other victims are tossed into the vast, multi-level maze that twists and turns within Kalokairinos. Minotaurs and even infernal beasts prowl those subterranean corridors.

Rumor has it that the corridors and portals of the Grand Temple shift constantly, which is why no slave has ever escaped from the complex. Of course, the minotaurs and Pasiphaë have no trouble navigating the Temple’s halls and chambers. It is said that even divination magic is of no avail within the Temple, for such spells and items always yield deceptive results unless Oevrumines wishes otherwise.

Most inhabitants of Kríti live debased and fearful lives, tilling the land and fishing the coasts. The corsairs occupy positions of privilege, but the minotaurs of Kríti rank higher than all save Pasiphaë herself.

Minotaur Shamans: Treat as normal minotaurs, but add spellcasting ability equal to a 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-level Cleric. Increase Challenge Level/XP to 7/600. For more exceptional shamans, increase Hit Dice and perhaps add a special magical ability or two.

Pasiphaë: HD 12+12; hp 66; AC 0 [19]; Atk 1 melee weapon (1d6); Move 12; Save 3; AL C; CL/XP 18/3,800; Special: +1 or better weapon to hit, immune to paralysis and poison, magic resistance 50%, never gets lost in labyrinths, spells (equal to 12th-level Cleric)

Nota Bene: If you click on either of the first two pictures above, the image will embiggen for greater detail.

April 23rd, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Shadows, Benign and Deadly

In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that through God’s grace even the “touch” of Peter’s shadow could heal the sick. Since so many fantasy RPG spells clearly draw at least some inspiration from Jewish and Christian scriptures, why not one more?

Petrine Umbra

Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that when Peter came his shadow at the least might overshadow any of them, and they might be delivered from their infirmities. (Acts 5:15)

Spell Level: Cleric, 3rd Level
Range: See below
Duration: 10 minutes

By means of this spell, the Cleric transforms his shadow into a conduit for divine power. For the duration of the spell, the Cleric may use the “touch” of his shadow to transmit spells with a range of touch. In low-light conditions, such as provided by candle light, the Cleric’s shadow has a range of 15 feet. In full daylight, this range increases to 45 feet. This spell requires a light source sufficient for the Cleric to cast a shadow in order to function.

*

I’ve been watching The X-Files on Netflix. I watched the series when it first aired. Currently, I’m somewhere in season two at the moment. Some of the episodes don’t hold up well. A few of the stories are little too pat or else a little too confused. For example, season two’s “The Calusari” is kind of a hot mess. Is it a low-rent riff on The Exorcist? Is it an insult aimed at immigrants?

But enough commentary. Let’s snatch up Tony Shaloub and turn him into a creature for Mutant Future:

Shadow Killer

A shadow killer is a strain of mutant human with some most unusual abilities. In most respects, a shadow killer appears to be a Pure Human. Sure, a shadow killer’s demeanor reflects a combination of agitation and exhaustion, and its flesh looks sallow and glistens with what appears to be the sheen of sweat, but a Pure Human who has endured a period of illness and stress might exhibit the same signs. What makes these solitary mutants dangerous are their shadows, which are semi-sentient projections of destructive “dark radiation”.

Many shadow killers exhibit behaviors contrary to their ominous name. They are not killers, but instead are often lonely creatures who think of themselves as cursed by their mutations to always been on the outside looking in. They cannot really take part in society because of the lethality of their shadows, but they still long for some contact with other sentient creatures. Of course, some shadow killers seem to revel in their destructive powers, and it is these individuals that have given shadow killers their fearsome reputation.

In combat, a shadow killer attacks with whatever weapons it has on hand. Also, each round, its semi-sentient shadow is 50% likely to attack a random target within 30 feet. The shadow stretches across the ground, along walls, and so forth in order to reach its target. A successful attack by the shadow inflicts damage as exposure to radiation equal to class 1d6+4 (roll for each attack). A shadow killer can not always control its shadow. If the shadow killer has not killed a creature with its shadow in the past hour, the shadow is 50% likely to attack any creature than approaches within range regardless of the shadow killer’s wishes.

Diffused light or total darkness that negates shadows prevents a shadow killer’s most dangerous, unpredictable attack from functioning.

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Any
Movement: 120′ (40′)
Armor Class: Armor type
Hit Dice: 10
Attacks: 1 (50% for 2)
Damage: Weapon type/radiation class 1d6+4
Save: L10
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: XII
XP: 2,400

Mutations: Ultraviolet Vision, Unique (Semi-Sentient Shadow)

April 8th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »