Posts Tagged ‘ Swords & Wizardry ’

The Phoenix Chasuble of Acqui Terme

Shown in the pictures above are the front and back of a beautiful chasuble made by Geneviève Gomi of Maris Stella Vestments. I read about these remarkable garments on New Liturgical Movement’s site, specifically this post right here.

A chasuble is a liturgical vestment worn over other vestments. It is something like a poncho. It’s an oval-shaped (or nearly so) piece of cloth with a round hole for the priest’s head to pass through. It tends to fall below the knees all around. It originated as a adaptation of common garb worn all over the Roman Empire in the first few centuries of Christianity. Originally, the priest at the altar would have been dressed very much the lay people in attendance at the Mass. In some way, the idea of reserving a special outer garment arose, possibly for no more reason than it was easier to keep one clean if it wasn’t worn every day like normal clothing. As you can see from the pictures, chasubles today are no longer common articles of clothing, but can be works of art embroidered with ornate designs and images symbolic of religious doctrines, such as the use of the phoenix as a symbol for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My aims here, however, are significantly more modest. I’m just using a wonderful picture as inspiration for fantasy gaming.

The Phoenix Chasuble: This remarkable relic was created for the first bishop of Acqui Terme, who wore it on certain sacred days, including the day in which the bishop faced down an army of marauders at the city gates. The bishop’s words and courage so impressed the war-like chiefs of that horde that they ordered that Acqui Terme remain unharmed. For more than the past two centuries, the Phoenix Chasuble has remained in the cathedral vestry, handed down from one bishop to the next. The full powers of the Phoenix Chasuble are perhaps unknown. The wearer gains complete immunity to fire, even magical flame. He also enjoys a +4 bonus to saving throws against magic. Once per day each, the wearer can use the following magical abilities: Continual Light, Detect Invisibility, Dispel Evil, Fireball, Fly, Protection from Evil 10-Foot Radius, and Wall of Fire. The wearer can communicate with any type of fire elemental while wearing the Phoenix Chasuble. Once per week upon command, the Phoenix Chasuble causes its wearer to burst in flames. The wearer’s melee attacks inflict an additional 1d6 points of fire damage. Any creature striking the wearer in melee combat likewise suffers 1d6 points of fire damage. Usable By: Lawful Clerics only.

June 8th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

“Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!”

Galgenbaum is ruled by five Mayor-Justices, each one serving for life and holding jurisdiction over part of the town, and all five meeting to decide matters that affect more than a single jurisdiction or the entire town. When a Mayor-Justice dies in office or is no longer able to perform his or her duties due to ill health, a new Mayor-Justice is carefully chosen from the Rechtsanwälte, the guild of lawyers. The selectee must be approved by the unanimous consent of the Mayor-Justices. Each Mayor-Justice possesses a magical gavel and sounding board. When a Mayor-Justice takes the oaths of office, the other Mayor-Justices invest the new justice with the gavel and sounding board. This ceremonial process links the Mayor-Justice with the gavel and sounding board. Their powers function only for the Mayor-Justice to whom they have been entrusted.

When a Mayor-Justices strikes the sounding board with the gavel, the magic takes effect on all who hear the gavel’s raps. Mayor-Justices are immune to these effects, which vary depending on the number of raps of the gavel. A Mayor-Justice may choose to exempt certain persons present from the effects. Typically this courtesy is limited to the bailiffs present in the court.

One Rap: All those affected are subjected to a Hold Person effect. After one minute, a saving throw can be attempted to move normally.

Two Raps: Those affected must stand up and remain relatively motionless. After one round, a saving throw can be attempted in order to move normally.

Three Raps: Those affected must sit down. After sitting down for one round, a saving throw can be attempted in order to stand and move about normally.

Should a gavel and its sounding board fall into unauthorized hands, the magical powers still function, but the user cannot exempt anyone from those effects. This includes the unauthorized user himself. Furthermore, the gavel and sounding board are invested to a particular Mayor-Justice, who becomes instantly aware of the items’ misuse. The Mayor-Justice even knows the general direction and distance to the gavel and sounding board. The closer the Mayor-Justice is to the items, the more precise is his or her knowledge of their location.

May 18th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

The Henker of Galgenbaum

The hanged undead of Galgenwälder are not the only defense present in Galgenbaum. Aside from the town watch, mostly volunteers who patrol certain neighborhoods in small groups armed with clubs and whistles, there are the bailiffs, court officials with some martial training who are empowered to determine guilt and mete out minor punishments on the spot for lesser infractions of the law or offenses against the public order.

More serious threats to law and order might be met by a Henker backed up by a squad of guards and possibly some of the watch as well. A Henker is a religious official who answers only to Galgenbaum’s Mayor-Justices. Each Mayor-Justice has several Henkers under his or her command. Because of their devotion to the gods of law and due process, a Henker possesses certain magical abilities that help defeat and punish scofflaws. Whereas the guard is authorized to only mete out minor punishments, such as a fine or a mild beating, a Henker enforces the law with stiffer penalties, up to and including summary execution.

A Henker is recognizable by the distinctive uniform of black leather, white gloves, high-collared cloak, and hangman’s hood. He wears a noose around his neck as a badge of office. In combat, a Henker fights with a stout rope, one end of which is tied into a noose. He can strike with the rope, using it as a bludgeon or a whip.

He may also command the noose to ensnare a foe’s neck, after which he releases the rope, which snakes up into the air, jerking the foe several feet off the ground. A successful saving throw avoids this attack; otherwise, the foe takes 2d6 points of damage each round from strangulation. The rope can be severed as normal, and the Henker can command the rope to cease its attack.

Once per day each, a Henker may use Darkness 15-Foot Radius and Fear. A Henker is immune to sleep and hold magic.

Hit Dice: 3
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Attack (Damage): By weapon (1d6)
Move: 12
Save: 14
Alignment: Law
Challenge Level/XP: 5/240
Special: Darkness, fear, hangman’s noose, immune to hold and sleep

May 17th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Holy Disguise

And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them. But their eyes were held, that they should not know him. (The Gospel According to St. Luke 24:13-16)

Holy Disguise
Spell Level: Cleric, 1st Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 12 hours

By means of this spell, the Cleric appears to be a normal sort of resident or traveler native to a particular region. Those who see the Cleric do not notice any special vestments, holy symbols, et cetera. Furthermore, abilities that detect alignment show the Cleric to be of the same alignment as the detector. Even those who personally know the Cleric do not recognize him unless he performs a certain action or says a certain phrase, the nature of which is determined when the spell is cast. This spell in now way disguises the Cleric’s actions or grants any knowledge of languages or customs.

April 30th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Three More Monsters

More monsters inspired by Domenico Neziti.

Mamac
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: Bite (1d6)
Special: See below
Move: 6/12 (when swimming)
Save: 17
HDE/XP: 3/60

Mamacs are humanoid creatures that dwell in murky coastal waters. They appear more fish than man, with webbed fingers and toes, a prominent doral fin, an eel-like tail, and a large head split by a wide mouth. Long barbels grown from the upper and lower jaws, and mamacs have large, lidless eyes. A fleshy esca grows from a mamac’s head. This organ glows with a soft, comforting light. A mamac’s barbels pick up vibrations in the air or water, making mamacs difficult to surprise (half normal chance) and enabling the monster to fight in melee even when it cannot see. A creature not already engaged in combat who sees the light of a mamac’s esca must make a saving throw are be lulled into a passive trance that lasts as long as the light is visible or until the victim suffers damage.

Kriti
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: Beak (1d6)
Special: See below
Move: 6/12 (when flying)
Save: 13
HDE/XP: 7/600

Kritis are magical avian humanoids. They are darkly feathered with heads like those of crows or ravens. Wings grow from their shoulders, as do human-like arms. Their legs resemble those of a great bird. A kriti can don a few items of clothing in order to create about itself the illusion that it is whatever humanoid creature the clothing is common to. They use these disguises to move about villages in order steal shiny objects and abduct particularly beautiful children. Kritis can Speak with Animals, and once per day each they can use Phantasmal Force and Confusion.

Fenjer
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 3+3
Attacks: Touch (see below)
Special: See below
Move: 12
Save: 16
HDE/XP: 4/120

Fenjers are a type of ghost it seems, perhaps the spirits of those who died while lost. They appear much as they did in life, but are obviously not corporeal. Fenjers pass through most solid objects as if those objects weren’t there. They can only be harmed by magical weapons and by spells, except for those that cause sleep, charm, or inflict damage via cold. A fenjer’s touch is painfully cold. With each successful hit, its touch drains one point of Dexterity. If a victim is brought to 0 Dexterity, he freezes solid and dies. Dexterity points return after an hour, assuming death has not occurred. All fenjers carry a lantern. These lanterns cause night-time darkness in a 20-foot radius.

April 7th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »