Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Magical Items of Sanctuary, Pt 1 of X

Ayaz Bungu - a massive greatspear, with a heavy leaf-shaped blade. Weapon of a fallen mamluk, renowned for his strength. Ayaz Bungu requires a 16+ strength to wield. It deals 2d6+1 damage, requires both hands. On a successful first attack, wielder may make another attack against another enemy in the first or second rank. (Based on an actual mamluk of the Third Crusade, Ayaz the Tall.)

Steel-Weaver - this AC 4 chainmail hauberk is of fine make, but a good bit longer than normal, and will hang a bit baggily off anyone who wears it. Once each day while the wearer is not in combat, the armor will flash a bright electric blue, and the wearer will be healed of 2d6 hp in damage. However, any wounds will be sealed by metal stitches; over time the sealed wounds will gradually come to look and feel like chainmail, and the wearer will lose sensation in the affected areas. Steel-weaver comes with 2d10 charges; once those are used up for a wearer the armor's magic no longer functions for them.

Eye of Piercing - This amulet bears an ornate eye-in-pyramid sigil surrounded by mathematical formulae. The bearer gains infravision (or extends it another 30'), and is immune to the Evil Eye. Once per week, the bearer may fire a ruby ray of energy from their eyes at a given target (d4 damage and -1 to attacks/damage, save vs. wands to avoid). After the amulet has been worn for a week, the bearer's eyes will be yellowed and reptilian, and remain so even if the amulet is lost or removed. After 1d6+1 weeks, the bearer may start to notice scuttling red creatures at the corners of their vision...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cultural and Background Benefits

Firstly, a BIG thank you to James at Grognardia for the shoutout earlier, and likewise to for their kind words. Grognardia was one of the sites that got me excited about getting back into D&D, so it means a lot to get a mention over there. I'm sorry I haven't been updating more, but Real Life takes precedence. Also, a lot of my RPG thinky-time recently has been spent putting together my assignment for this year's Secret Santicore, which I'm pretty excited about revealing once December rolls around.

Anyway. You guys don't care about my boring whining, have a few background roll tables for Legacy of the Bieth!

Roll a d8 on the appropriate table for your character (culture / class). The cultures around are "Imperial", the current hegemons and vaguely based on the Abbasids; "Nomads", who are desert nomads based off the Tuareg and Bedouin; and "Borderlands" for the frontier folks who are actually from around Sanctuary. Imperial folks should be thought of as the city slickers from back East, relatively speaking. They are all educated and stuff, but they haven't been fighting any major wars recently. (That's actually something I need to figure out - who were the borderland dwellers fighting?) Clerics are assumed to be clerics of Ar-Rahman; I'm not saying the rolls can't work for a cleric of the Many though.

Folks playing multiclass characters, BECMI elves, or something like that get to roll on the table they like better. Specialist classes like rangers and paladins and illusionists roll on the table that makes the most sense. Outlander characters do not get a roll, sorry. Please let me know if any of these results are stupid.

The title of your ability also bears some relevance; a Bodyguard has a better chance to follow security procedures, a Socialite can blend into partying crowds, and so forth. This is on the player to leverage.

Portions adapted from Zak's Alternate FighterAlternate Ranger, and Alternate Thief tables, which you should totally check out because they're excellent.

I'm going ahead and posting these tables, even though they're not complete, because I want to get something up on the blog and I want to get these out the door, even in an unfinished state. I will continue to refine them and edit this post; suggestions are very welcome in the comments.

1 Urban Fighter - +2 to AC when fighting in a city or town, or other urban environment. Why yes, abandoned cities still count.
2 Cavalry Training - +1 to hit and +2 to damage with the lance and shortbow. When making a mounted charge, you will do triple damage on a hit.
3 Intriguer - You had a hand in the various court intrigues of the Empire. Any time a noble is introduced, you can mention that you had encountered this noble before. 50% chance that they know you and owe you a favor, 50% chance you had a hand in screwing them over back in the day and they remember. Have fun.
4 Drifter - You have a +1 to all saves and may designate one thief skill to advance in at half the rate of a regular thief.
5 Garrison Soldier - roll twice for chargen cash and initial HP and take the higher amount, but you have a -1 to saves at first level only, and seasoned warriors will sneer at you until you do Something Cool.
6 Bodyguard - if an ally within melee range is hit, once per combat you can make a heroic dive and take the hit for them; make a Dex check to stay on your feet after the desperate lunge.
7 Formation Fighter - Allies to your left and right get a +1 to their AC from your shield, and you get a +1 from theirs. Shields to the left and right don't stack their bonuses.
8 Champion Brawler - +1 Con from your brawling days. After 3 rounds of brawling with an opponent (fists, daggers, or something light), you can try to throw a haymaker; if you hit, deal d12 damage and they must save or be knocked out. If you miss they're onto your fighting style and you can't try that again with the same opponent for another week.

1 Barber - You're a dab hand with those knives. Any time you're told "you can attack X, but you'll also hit your buddy who's being grappled/ingested/etc," you can just deal damage to X instead. You're also hearing the local gossip, and you can always make someone's hair (awesome/terrible).
2 Connections- Pick a town or city (probably Sanctuary); you can sell items for 20% more cash. Does not boost XP from treasure. You also have a Shady Fence who can get you some inroads into the local underworld scene there.
3 Knife Fighter - You always have Advantage on a knife or dagger attack, and damage (roll 2 attack rolls, take better result).
4 Second-Story Work - You're experienced at working while up on ledges and other areas, take a +2 bonus to all non-attack/damage rolls while you're working up there.
5 Undercover Informant - You've convinced Johnny Law in one particular town or city (probably Sanctuary) that you're actually infiltrating the underworld rather than being a member; if you're accosted, you've got a chance to explain that this is all part of an elaborate sting operation or something. They do expect you to toss some criminals their way every so often, though, and there's only so far you can take this elaborate sting business ("You murdered the governor's entire household and burned down the granary?")
6 Socialite - You're a well-known party animal amongst the young, rich, and irritating - the better to fleece them with. Add an extra 100 gp to your starting cash, and you start with some fancy duds and a riding horse. When carousing, you roll on the Carouse Table on a 1-3 (rather than everyone else's 1 in 6); however, you may roll twice and choose which result you prefer.
7 Basher - +3 to attack rolls and damage when trying to knock someone out with a sap or somesuch; +1 to both when just using a blunt melee weapon.
8 Gentle(wo)man Bastard - +1 Cha from your congames and sneakiness. Once per level, you can designate someone as your "mark" and turn the full force of your charm on them - they'll have a -2 (or -10%, as applicable) to any tests made to figure out that you're conning them.

1 Esoteric Order - you may keep a spellbook, and memorize and use a single wizard spell once per day. This spell takes a clerical spell slot of the same level and has an automatic 10% chance of failure and backfire, but you can have access to as many spells as you'd like (so a spellbook with magic missile, fly, etc...but you can only throw one in a day)
2 Exorcist - You may reroll 1 of your 2d6 when turning unclean creatures, but must abide by the new result. Unclean creatures will target you first.
3 Judge - You are a roving judge, tasked with resolving disputes and keeping the peace. You may secure the cooperation of 2d4 guardsmen once a week while investigating (or "investigating") a case. You may receive requests to provide judicial services or investigate mysteries; ignore too many of these at your peril.
4 Scribe - You provide basic literary services for worshippers. You've got a 25% chance to know something extra about one item in the "news of the week," provided that you've been in the city for at least one week.
7 Lawyer - Take the average of your Int, Wis, and Cha (round up). This is your Law stat; make a check to improve or decrease one creature's reaction to another one step (hostile to wary, neutral to friendly, that sort of thing). This takes d6 rounds as you make your case, so it may not be the best thing to do if you're getting attacked. Fail and no change, spectacularly fail and reaction changes in the opposite manner. You're also great at dealing with bureaucracy.
8 Rabble Rouser- +1 Cha from your exhortations and demagoguery, and you start with a free 0th-level hireling (servant? lay acolyte? bodyguard? Up to you) who will never desert you (though they may flee battle, they will not leave your service).

1 Astrologer - you can chart the effect that the planets will have on forthcoming events. When you consult the stars, the GM secretly makes an Int check for you. Come up with some astrological gibberish. You then roll 2d4; you may apply the total to any one roll within the next week. However, if you failed the Int check you take the modifier as a penalty. You may mitigate some of the penalty or increase your bonus (GM discretion) if you manage to relate your initial astrological gibberish to your current situation.
2 Philosopher - You've spent a great deal of thought on what some might call "alignment questions." During chargen, you may pick one rule from another edition of D&D or one of its cousins like WFRP, BRP, etc. to apply to your character in some fashion (alignment tongues, healing surges, a feat, etc.). It may come in through a modified fashion, though; don't get too greedy. Ideally inform the GM of this beforehand.
3 Alchemist - you discovered the formula for a mystic elixir. If you (or anyone else) drinks it, choose a stat not Intelligence to reroll; you must accept the reroll even if it is worse. Then roll a d6 and subtract 1 from the resulting trait (1 = Str, 2 = Dex, etc). Additional draughts have no further effect.
4 Calligrapher - You may read languages as a thief of your level, you gain comprehend languages as a bonus 1st-level spell, and you have a bonus (TBD later) on creating amulets and scrolls.
5 Physician - After a combat, you can make an Int check to restore d3 HP to a combatant, provided you have at least 50 gp worth of medical supplies on hand. People resting under your care recover double HP from sleep. You start with 2 "doses" of supplies.
8 +1 Wis from your

1 Border Skirmisher - Reroll any "surprised" encounter results for you and your party
2 Naval Specialist - You're awesome at sailing. Take a +2 (or 10%) bonus on anything that you're doing relating to ships or sailing. No, smartass, stabbing someone while you're both standing on a ship doesn't count (although the Dex check in swinging over using the rigging might.)
3 Brawler - if you hit using a blunt melee weapon (including fists), you may make another attack roll at a -5. If you hit, no damage but you can knock the target back or down or whatever. If you crit, damage as normal; if you miss, -3 AC penalty for the next round 'cause you're all off balance.
4 Serjeant - Once per fight you can give another PC or henchman an extra action that's not an attack or spellcasting, as you order them around in a sufficiently officious fashion.
5 Dog of War - You have worked with war dogs before; dogs like you,and you have Advantage on any instruction or healing roll that you make for them.
6 Faris - You gain +2 to attack rolls or AC (pick one at chargen) when fighting an opponent 1-on-1, with no others assisting or interfering.
7 Combat Archer - when firing a shortbow, you can have a shortsword or other similarly sized/weighted weapon in-hand and ready to use instantly.
8 Courier- +1 Con from your hardy rangings across the land and all that. You start with a light warhorse and light lance.

1 Reiver - Gain an additional 10% worth of treasure when looting currently civilized areas (not dungeons)
2 Scout - You gain a +10% or +1 to your hide/stealth/ninja skill, and can move at normal rates while concealed during the daytime.
3 Bushwhacker - when setting an ambush, if you and your party gain surprise, everyone gains an extra non-attack, non-spell action (triggering a deadfall or something is OK, but not two swings of a sword).
4 Saboteur - You're adept at rigging traps; +10% (or +2) to any relevant skill, and you know where weak spots are for buildings, siege engines, and other large structures.
5 Beggar - 25% chance that you know something extra about each of the items in the "news of the week" through your connections with the other beggars. Divide your starting GP by 10, but add 10% (or +1) to any thief skill.
6 Gambler - The dice like you. You can adjust a die roll that relates to your PC personally (so a enemy's attack or damage roll is OK, but not the surprise roll) by 1 1x/month. You're also able to read people effectively and you're good at gambling (duh).
7  Bounty Hunter - You can track as a ranger/Freelander of your level, and have familiarity with either the towns and cities of your region, or the surrounding wilderness. Pick one.
8 Treasure Seeker - +1 Int from the time that you've been poking around in Bieth ruins trying to find something valuable. Roll on the random mutation table from Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque, but you also have a 50% chance to decipher Bieth script.

1 Muttawiyah - At some point you served in an army because of religious fervor. Not just that - you volunteered. +1 to attack rolls when wearing studded leather or chain, extra d4 hp.
2 Exorcist - You have a +1 on your attempts to turn unclean creatures, but the stench of your fervor means that they will target you first.
3 Revival Preacher - You are well-known among the folks of the Borderlands, particularly for your hair-raising fiery sermons. You have a 10% chance of whipping up a crowd into some action that will likely take 1 hour or less (getting them to shave their heads in shame or defend the town from imminent attack are both doable, but not something like "go storm this neighboring town.") You take a -1 reaction penalty from Imperials, who disdain your uncouth and wild ways.
4 Nullpoint - Bieth magics seem to be particularly ineffective against you. You have Advantage on saves vs mutation, and sorcerous creatures like the Blooderfly will have to save vs spell in order to target you specifically unless no other targets are available.
5 Mystic - Your clerical order uses trance states and other ecstatic practices (meditation, fasting, psychotropic drugs, sex, ritual - probably not all of these together) to achieve a state of religious ecstacy and better know Ar-Rahman. You have a -2 penalty to reaction rolls with nomads and Imperials - either they are freaked out by your religious fervor and wild, crazy eyes, or they look down upon you for your uncouth behavior, or both. You can enter into a trance state, which takes d4 rounds. You will gain +2 to all saves from your increased fervor and force of will, but will take a -2 to all skill checks and attacks from your zoned-out nature. You may make a Wisdom check (still at -2) to avoid having your spells disrupted during combat (normally they're just lost if you're hit). If your order uses them, you may start with d8 doses of psychotropic drugs.
8 Marabout - You spent some time maintaining a small military outpost for travellers and keeping guard as part of your spiritual process. +1 Cha from your well-respected position as protector of the roads; +1 to all saves and d10 for your HD.

1 Archaeologist -
2 Apothecary -
3 Artificer -
8 +1 Wis from your

1 Fatalist - treat all armor as being 2 points of AC worse (none of this matters; your fate is written anyway); gain an additional d4 HP per level
2 Lasso Specialist - +2 on lasso attacks or any entangling shenanigans you get up to.
3 Hunter - +1 to hit with spears or shortbows; make an Int check to
4 Raider -
5 Herder -
6 Corsair -
8 Inadan - You're a noted smith among your people, and can speak with the spirits of metals. +1 Con from your exertions at the forge, a +1 reaction bonus from fellow nomads.

1 Wilderness Healer - you know what sorts of herbs and roots can be found in the wilderness in order to create healing poultices. Base 1 in 6 chance to find them, it takes 30 minutes to create a poultice that will heal d4 damage; poultices cannot be stored for more than a few hours.
2 Rustler -
3 Explorer - you get double XP from exploring new areas, and you start play with a small cunningly wrought spyglass.
4 Animal Tamer - You start with a small critter (monkey, bear cub, snake, etc) that you have trained to do simple tricks. Each time you want it to do something new, roll a die ranging from d4 to d10 depending on how smart the creature is (monkey gets a d10, snake gets a d4, etc). Add your Int or Cha mod, whichever is higher. That's how many words of instructions you can give for that trick. Each extra turn (10 rds) you spend explaining adds an additional word, up to the max on the die. If your li'l sidekick bites it, you can catch and train a new one of the same sort, it takes 2d6 weeks for training.
5 Courier -
6 Evil Eye - Thrice per week, you can call down the Evil Eye upon someone and give them a -1 penalty to attack rolls and saves, for as many days as your Charisma score. (More detailed Evil Eye rules may follow depending on my whim.) However, if you roll a critical failure, the misfortune will strike one of your comrades randomly.
7 Futtak - You are known as an assassin-poet. +50XP for every HD or level of a target who you eliminated on your own - as long as you create and disseminate an epic poem celebrating your badassery (and making this assassination known to the law). You probably have a black cloak and an absurdly smug manner.
8 Trickster. +1 Int from your shenanigans and congames;

Augur - Once a day after an enemy performs an action, you get a saving throw. On a success, you foresaw his action and perfectly countered it before he was even started. Ducked under a crit, tripped a charging thug, whatever.
2 Hermit - You've lived out in the wilderness and fortified your spirit; you have a +2 to saves vs fear, and are better able to endure wilderness travel and conditions.
3 Mendicant -
7 Stylite - You've spent a loooong while sitting atop a pole as part of your communing with the universe and meditating on the nature of Ar-Rahman. You gain a +2 to saves vs spell. You also have a +1 reaction bonus to nomads and Imperials who respect your suffering for faith, but the hard-nosed skeptical borderlanders just think you're crazy (-1 reaction).
8 Transcendant Order - Your order helps you see the oneness of the universe, transcending perception of the temporal world. +1 Cha from your powerful convictions and fervor. Once per level per week, you may attempt to peel back the Veil and neutralize the existence of one discrete object (door, sword, elephant, but not kingdom, fear, etc.) Make a save vs spell with a -5 penalty; if you succeed, that object simply does not exist for you for a period of 1d6 days. (If you make a town guard not exist, he cannot arrest you or chop you in half, because he's just not there; in everyone else's reality, he continues to exist, continues to see you, and can still chop your friends in half.)

1 Dreamseer - You know an ancient incantation that lets you visualize things beyond your ken while you dream. Make a saving throw vs spell; if you succeed, you may learn one relevant fact about what you seek (DM's discretion as to what, of course).
2 Beast-tongue - Roll a d4. You understand the speech of (1) felines (2) serpents (3) avians (4) hounds. Roll a Charisma check with Disadvantage in order to speak it.
8 +1 Wis from your