An Attack Bonus, Confident Armor, and A Shaping of Their World…

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 Blaque Rider

The world was silent, a slow motion thudding of blood and smoke. The creature was getting away, its wings beating a storm down the tower and across the plaza. Rizik squinted against the dusty gale, bow cocked, whispering to the Old Man that his shot find its way.

As the verdant beast pounded up into the sky, hurt and angry, seething and wounded, Rizik could make out the ragged and burned gash in its flank from the sorcerer’s bolt. He pulled back hard, near enough to worry that the string or bend might break and this would all be for nothing… that Mira laying torn and bloody in the grass, gone and growing cold… that it would all amount to folly and nothing more.

But, from the corner of his eye, he saw Himlaf–drained as he was from his magical assault–pull the Rider free and in a great overhand throw that pulled him off-balance, send the dart flying at Rizik’s profile. The ranger winced at the coming pain, and smiled.

System: The Rider is a dart–a weapon of simple variety forged as part of a collection of such items now all but lost. A shaft of adamantine, nine inches long from point to bale–the shaft vaguely triangular and hand-beaten into shape with all the tell-tale pock and irregular shapes that comes with. The point, however, is inhumanly sharp and the whole thing hums with an uneasy menace.

Attuning to the Rider requires bathing and cleaning it, scrubbing and polishing the surface, in a mixture of one’s own blood and water. It must learn the wielder as the wielder is to learn it.

Once attuned, as a standard action, the wielder may make an attack (the Rider’s stats are the same as a dart) and treat the Rider as a +0 magic weapon. In addition, on a successful hit, they may choose to pour their own life’s essence into the connection with the target to bolster the target’s own ability.

On a successful hit, the wielder selects an ability (STR, DEX, INT, etc.) and rolls 3d6. The resulting number is the number of ability points that are temporarily transferred to the target. For example, if selecting Strength and rolling 6, then the target adds 6 strength to their Strength ability score (and updates modifiers) and the wielder subtracts it. This transfer lasts until the start of the wielder’s next turn. The wielder may opt to have it last an additional number of turns by rolling an additional +1d6 on the initial roll (i.e. for it to last 2 turns instead of 1, roll 4d6; for 3 turns roll 5d6).

Should an ability go to 0, the wielder drops to 0 HP and becomes unconscious (be mindful, healing them may raise them above 0 HP, but at the start of their turn if their ability score is still 0, they will fall to 0 HP and become unconscious). The wielder may use a Reaction to drop the connection. Every use of the Rider’s special ability that drops an ability score to 0 adds 1 exhaustion to the character which can be removed with a Greater Restoration or other high level magic.

The Adze of Becoming

“All things have a destiny. Every rock is going to be a pebble every tree will be dirt. Wind will become storm. But more deeply than that, the creations and objects of the world want to be things beyond their destiny. The hammer wants to be a sledge or the door wants to be a gate. If you know how to listen, you can hasten this becoming.”, Himlaf droned on–his deep baritone voice never rising or falling in pitch. The perfect empty sounds of a one-sided conversation.

“So… this will make the plate harder? I don’t get it.”, Broadways hated talking to the arcanist and most mornings just ignored him–but, a mood had struck the old caster and he was asking about improving the paladin’s dinted armor. Seemed like a fine enough thing while the roads were washed out.

“Yes. It will make the plate more becoming. Its truer self.”

“So… harder? Better?”

“More real.”

“What’s that even mean, Him?”

“Oh, I haven’t any idea–but, let’s get started.”

System: The adze is a versatile handheld tool like cross between a handaxe and a small pick. This one, in particular, has been enchanted by the Fourth Smith in a lost age to inscribe his marks and cyphers on the metal and stone and wood creations of the world. To bring their essence out.

The adze may be attuned after using it to craft 1000 gp worth of arms, armor, or goods–all of a superior quality (DC 20, appropriate crafting skill or tools). At that point, it may be used to etch and carve the runes of the Fourth Smith onto any object made of wood, stone, or metal large enough to bear the marks (a round-ish runic symbol 1/8″ deep, 2″ diameter against a reasonably flat surface). This carving takes 1 careful hour of attention and work.

At the end, the DM should write on a card either “Low”, “Mid”, or “High”–the players do not get to see which. Then, openly roll 1d6. On a 1-2, the result is Low. On a 3-4, it is Mid. On a 5-6 it is High. The DM should write the result on the card.

So long as the two match (both Low, both High, etc.), the object gainst a durability, strength, and acuity beyond its material making. The item gains a +1 to its magic nature (if armor or weapons add +1; non-magic item becomes +1 magic, a +1 magic item becomes +2, etc.; if another object, it now never rusts or splinters, is unnaturally durable and gains bonus damage resistances or reductions at DM discretion in addition to possible advantages).

Should the two on the card not match, it gaines a -1 (non-magical items suffer a penalty to their AC, attack, damage; non arms or armor items are disavantageous to use or especially fragile now). In truth, some weapons desire to be less dangerous, some armor wants to be other.

This effect is permanent and may be removed with a Wish or other similar high level magic.

Leaden Cloak

Paolo wasn’t as worried as most should, the creature was inside and no doubt there were horrors that would come out of the walls and dust and shadows to plague them when they charged. The thing was unclean and its lair was no better.

It had been a quarter mile since he’d seen a living plant and the woods–gnarled and grey–nearest the tomb were silent and still. One can forget the sounds of a living wilderness, but when they vanish their absence is somewhow even more cacophanous.

He heard Timik vomit, doubled over, as they approached the door. Racing through the passage to the bowels of this hell, he heard Renquist scream in pain. As his comrades fell, one by one, he alone made it to the inner sanctum and it’s master, ready inside.

System: The Cloak is an artifact of the wild experiments of the Blackwood Coven, a collective of wizards and warlocks that sought to perfect their mastery of the world and the things in it through almost reckless study of deepest magical secrets. Theirs was the work that laid waste to the Grim Isles (not always called that) and blighted the Filhorn mountains in the time of the voghun Brast.

The cloak, itself, is made of flexible strips of spring steel–smokey gray and thin as parchment–sewn together with a wyrmling leather lining. Wearing it gives disadvantage to stealth checks, as it softly ticks and tinks against itself and catches (softly) the light.

However, once attuned (requiring a day and night spent within the domain of a dragon), it calms and severs the ghastly connections between the great beings of the world and their lairs.

So long as its attuned and worn, the wearer may ignore the effects of a lair action that effects her. When a lair action begins, the player rolls a d20–on a 10 through 20 the effect (whatever the effect) simply does not effect her. Note that any effect that does not target her and instead effects the overall landscape (earthquakes, floods, etc.) may still impact the character–but they are advantaged in saves against their effects.


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