Ancient Armors, Wrenching Guts, and Deathly Bears (Oh My)

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ’em, like ’em, share ’em, and comment.

Plate of the Lost Emperor

The lightning flashed over the empty leagues of hills and wastes. Kix Boyd had spent the last four weeks wandering this desolate place and had regretted the adventure that brought him to it. Alone and wet and tired, he walked on, almost praying the storm would strike him down. At least he wouldn’t have to put up with the chaffing of wet leather against his skin and could get a decent rest then. Gods know the open grasslands aren’t much for shelter and this ruin of a place didn’t even grow what one could call a grass.

As he made his way in the dark, the armor glinted with the latest crash of sky fire… off in the distance. standing sentinel and quiet. Kix thought it a man for a bit until he got closer. Just an armor. From head to toe, it was a dull bronze–the color of a rich man’s bathtub. And from the top of the hill it stood on, Kix could see for miles around in every direction. The patterns of wasted trees and scorched ground, rocky crags and sheared hills all seemed to center with this spot. As though it alone stood watch over the desolation. rumor had it that a great empire once stood here, in the Deadlands. But a folly of heroes left the place shattered.

Kix didn’t believe in folklore, but that armor sure looked fancy…

System: The Plate of the Lost Emperor acts as a +0 magical full plate armor of dull beaten bronze when attuned to the wearer. It requires a strength of 18 to wear it for the extremely heavy nature of its archaic construction. While attuned, the armor grants the wearer advantage in saves against magical effects (Magic Resistance), requires a DC20 Con Save from every creature (ally or enemy or bystander) each time the advantage is used or they gain 1 exhaustion. The wearer is exempt from this effect, and may choose not to use the advantage and roll normally (thus not sapping the strength of those around him). The radius is equal to the wearer’s Con modifier x10 ft. (minimum 10ft.).


The Promise

Fancy Hal Brookwood strode into the lair as though he had not a care in the world–teeth white and dashing as ever.

“Oh, your greeeeeeatness… it is I, Hal Brookwood–renowned wordsmith and adventurer extraordinaire. I have come for a drink!” His voice echoed into the dark over and over–“drink… drink…drink”.

A warm rush of air coincided with a bellow… “Aren’t you… confident.” it said.

“Confidence I have and fine gossip to share. I’ve heard tales that you kill bold warriors on sight, but never miss a chance for fine dinner conversation. As you see, I’m unarmed and only interested in some wine and sharing the latest word of the provinces… come now, you can’t tell me you’re not curious…”

The darkness paused deep in the cavern… and Hal could see glints of arcane wards powering down and could feel the whole passage relax its defenses. He strolled in, hardly a care in the world. A half-mile away, Sir Broadways knelt in the mud, sword in hand, waiting for the tugging at his guts and breathing steadily.

System: The Promise, on their face, are a set of brass rings–too flat to be worn on the finger. A bit like metal washers, but inscribed with very old Druidic runes. Two people sew them under their skin, above their hearts and allow the wound to heal without magical help–this takes 1d4 days. From there, one can feel the metallic loop underneath with a DC20 Investigation, otherwise it is unnoticeable by normal or magical means. The Promise was brought into the world through the sacrifice of the Umar Stargazer Circle of the Marish Druids as part of a war long forgotten. While keeping the Promise (in one’s body), the life-forces of the two individuals are linked. Instantly, when one is reduced to 0hp, the other is teleported (by becoming one with the air and light and forces of the world–this is not considered planar travel) to them.

On arrival, the HP of the fallen go to max and the same amount of HP is subtracted from the one teleported (if this reduces anyone to 0hp, they die). If the one teleported still has HP, they may take their turn in full after the current creature/player’s turn is over and are reorganized in the initiative order from then on for the duration of the combat. The Promise can be removed with Divine Intervention or Wish, only.

Great Bear’s Folly

As Quinn looked over the field, he wondered if he’d ever get it plowed in time. Only a few weeks left of the right weather, and he’d hardly enough money to feed himself and the family, much less pick up extra hands. He watched with sad and serious eyes his younger brother pulling the plow. Though half his age, Brenn was twice Quinn’s size. A giant of a man, really. Rumor was, in town, that be was half-giant–but the old boys that were still around did a fine job hollering at them what said so. Brenn was a runt, if anything, growing up anyway. Quinn remembered taking him out when the boy was 15 or so and telling him he better plan on buying a good mule, as he weren’t big enough to do much on the farm.

To look at him now, though, you’d never guess it. Brenn came back from that time he ran off with those brigands, few years ago, and he was a great strapping lad–large as a shithouse. But all the fire and light in that boy had near vanished. Now, the great big fucker could hardly string two sentences together and oft as not shit his own pants while working the plow. Strong, sure… but slow. Ate enough for four. Cried at night, with a haunted look in his eye–like he was mourning the passing of some part of himself. Quinn shook his head. The world was big, and every time he thought about leaving this shit farm behind, he looked over at Brenn and was cured of the inclination.

The old folks say the Death Bear’s own cub wandered into the world, its said, and a great hero of the ancient times slayed it. The Death Bear cursed the hero, wearing the dark pelt of its child, to have his greatest dreams and wishes come true. And the hero grew tall and strong, and took his own life for the horrors the curse also gave him with it. Quinn thought about that story every time he saw Brenn stumble dumbly into the field to wallow in the muddy ditch or just stare at the sky. The pelt he’d brought back from his adventures was black, and it gave Quinn the willies.

System: The Folly is a bear fur cloak with a braided leather tie–mundane except for the exceptional quality of the fur and its lack of need of cleaning or wear. It grants cold resistance once attuned. additionally, once attuned, every time the wearer scores a critical hit, they may make a choice–either they can do maximum damage on that hit or not.

If they do not choose to do maximum damage, they can roll damage as normal and apply it as normal.

If they choose to do maximum damage, they do not roll damage and take the maximum value from the normal dice. Additionally, they grow (physically) 1 inch taller, gain 10 lbs more mass, and have a 40% chance of dropping the wearer 1 INT and 1 WIS ability points and applying them (adding them) to STR and CON (respectively). Once an ability score (either INT or WIS) reaches 3, apply a long-term Madness effect from the Madness table in the DMG.


3 thoughts on “Ancient Armors, Wrenching Guts, and Deathly Bears (Oh My)

Add yours

  1. Shit, the promise is genius. I’m grabbing that for my game for sure. So risky. In my game I have two friends that are married and this might be kind of cool for them. They’re married in rl and in game they’re close and all. So this could be like some kind of spiritual bonding and that’d be cool.


  2. With the Great Bears Folly, do the ability point changes revert with unattuning from the item or does it require greater restoration or powerful magic to restore?


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