Everyone and No One, Cyttorak, and A Coward’s Way Out…

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

The Patchwork Cloak

Varain told the shopkeeper he was from Pekal, about what life had been like in the village by the Stone Hill as a child with the wars raging on and on and on farther South. He talked about an old swayback horse he missed–his father’s–and shared a joke about the unreliability of Doderan cast-offs.

Verain told the innkeeper he was from Pekal, about what a childhood in the capitol had been like and how strange country ways still seem to him years later. He talked about never having known his family or anything of them, growing up just another street creature.

Verin told the captain he was from Pekal, about his family’s money and how he missed the simplicity of the northern estate. He talked about the fickle nature of the gentry during the war.

Vorin told the shopkeeper he was from Tokis…

System: The Traveller, god of journeys and beginnings and ends, had a daughter–and in a calamity lost to time, she took her own life in grief. Such was his despair that he wandered for a time on the mortal world–taking the stories of those who had also lost loved ones or things precious to them and stitching them into a cloak of many vibrant and dull patches. It served to remind him of the size and richness and, yet, one-ness of the world.

To attune to the cloak, one needs to eschew all possessions–rightly given away to others with no expectation of their return. Then, over the course of a day of travelling amongst people (a walk about a major city would be about right), the cloak grants the wearer the gift of communion with the essence of others.

The wearer may select, each year, up to four individuals. He learns the background of each and may gain inspiration from their ideals, bonds, flaws, etc. as if they are the wearer’s own–his mind shifting between lives he never lived constantly and may store 2 inspiration instead of the normal 1. He may also improvise any tool or skill proficiency from those backgrounds (but with only half the wearer’s proficiency bonus, round down).

The swirling of his past, however, leaves him vulnerable to mind-effecting magic. Disadvantage against checks and saves versus Illusion or Enchantment.

Heart of the Mountain

The old warrior trod slowly up the hill, his companions dodging and weaving behind him. The beast’s first volley–a boulder the size of a wine cask–crushed and shattered against Ser Broadway’s thick armor.

With a grunt and a barely audible sigh, he pressed on–one foot, and then another. Up the hill, as the creature’s allies rained stone down upon him. The rest of the group hunkered tightly behind their paladin as he continued his ascent.

Another stone, deftly pitched from on high, similarly shattered against Broadways–him the unrelenting storm. He faltered only a moment, cursed from within his metal shell, and slowly continued up the path.

System: The Heart of the Mountain is a helmet of rough, ugly malcocite–a grey stone with veins of raw iron through it. Forged in the elemental plane of earth and brought here for purposes long forgotten, it protects the wearer, but knows not the limitations of creatures on this plane.

Once attuned to the helmet, it can only be removed upon levelling though it may be left on. While worn, any critical hit struck against the wearer has two effects:

  1. Roll 1d6. On a 1-2, the wearer gains damage reduction versus piercing damage +1; on a 3-4, slashing; on a 5-6, bludgeoning. This may continue endlessly.
  2. Roll 1d4. The base movement of the wearer reduces by that amount; magical enhancements to movement fail automatically.

With each heavy strike, the helmet thickens and grows a bit more–eventually covering the whole of the neck. Chest. Shoulders. In a spreading mass of hardened otherwordly stone. The wearer gets slower and slower while being more greatly protected.

Once removed, it cannot be re-attuned to that same individual and they lose the damage reduction benefits as well as the movement penalties.

Coward’s Shield

Kerg stalked the little man around the chamber. Every time he got close, the little man would bounce away from him and Kerg would hit a soft invisible wall.

But, Kerg was clever. The master’s always said so. And he noticed the little man getting tired. Breathing hard. Slowing down. Eventually, this soft wall would stop getting in the way and Kerg would smash the little man’s little head.

System: The Coward’s Shield is a pair of gloves with enchanted steel plates on the palms, created by Horatio Gold, the Finest Thief of Greater Bet Kalamar and All the Lands in Her Eye (a self-created title most of the professional thieves and burglars despised in that grand city). Horatio called them “The Deft Hands of Fate”, but the common name for them were the Coward’s Shield.

Once attuned, only possible by surviving a critical hit (Horatio paid a drunk to hit him whilst he was asleep to achieve this effect), the gloves would come alive with power.

The gloves count as a +0 weapon (for the purposes of resistances and invulnerabilities) for unarmed attacks or while using improvised weapons. In addition to that, the wearer may use a Reaction to activate an unseen barrier between them and one foe after taking a Disengage action. This barrier raises their AC by +4 and goes away at the end of their turn.

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