Open Hand Slap, Backroom Deals, and Powertools…

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

Ring of Forgiveness

The first cut opened the creature’s thigh, the second dropped it to its knees. It howled in pain and blew fetid gales of poison at its persecutor.

Wilkinson spun left, darted right and stabbed it deeply in its shoulder while the creature stumbled. Nearly there. His own visor cracked open, his armor a tatter of mail and leather, he could feel his left boot filling with blood from the battle and he knew he had little left in him.

Sweeping under the monster’s lunge, he moved quick as the wind, and thundered a backhand with his bare fist across the thing’s irregular and toothy maw. Dagger-like teeth snapped and a deep crack resounded through the chamber. The beast tottered, mewled, and settled over–slowly nudging away from the champion.

The crowd cheered, and his hand felt numb from where he’d broken it–the last two knuckles pushed in and flat, the whole area a dark purple.

System: The Ring was fashioned by Luaddin of the Al’Ahara Vast, for his servant-champions to wear in the Arena. It was given to those who had nearly earned their freedom and nearly paid for their crimes by risking their lives in the pits for the amusement of the lawful and the prosperity of the city through the many travellers that would come to see the fights.

A wide band of an enchanted, hard leather–an inch and a half wide and perpetually well oiled and soft–the ring was made to give the champions their greatest victories while humbling them to their limitations.

To attune to the ring, one must defeat a large creature in combat unassisted by any weapon or armor or magic. Upon submitting the creature (one may not kill it), the ring grows or shrinks a touch to best fit the wearer.

From there, so long as its worn, the ringwearer may strike a creature it has just successfully attacked with the other hand (either unarmed or with a weapon) so long as the offhand is unequipped and available. This strike never counts as a critical hit on a roll of 20, 20 is considered just a number for to hit math. This strike is considered a +0 magic weapon that does 1d4+STR bludgeoning damage, if the damage roll is a 4 the dice explode and the ringbearer must roll again and add the two results together. Should both rolls be a 4 (total 8 damage from dice), the ringbearer takes 1 bludgeoning damage (that may not be resisted) and 1 point of exhaustion when using that hand (representing breaking something in it).

Additional exhaustion to that hand should be represented as localized to it (movement penalties would come to bear when swimming or climbing, for instance; six exhaustion would represent an irreparable mangled fist). This damage will never kill any living creature (note, undead do not count as living; not constructs–for this purpose), instead only knocking them out if it takes them to 0 hp.

This exhaustion may be removed only when all damage is healed, and then with restorations or rest as per normal. When removed, the ring becomes unattuned.

Rod of Divine Favor

There was, truly, nothing left. No other option. No other way. They were going to certainly die when this ship went down–Sophia knew it. The storm threw them from fore to aft and the saltwater flooded their nostrils and drenched them again and again as the waves crashed high over the deck.

There had not been sight of land for weeks. There was no luck to save them. And, heaven help her, but her God has quieted and silenced herself to Sophia’s pleas and demands. Mysterious ways. But, it wasn’t just her she worried for, but the rest–who had travelled so far and had only begun to see the more righteous path.

She held fast to the borline–the wet rope was thick and coarse, but offered her an anchor in the great swaying of the ship. If the Lantern could not hear her here, she thought, as she pulled the heavy slipsteel rod from her pack, she would know who else might be listening.

System: In the Times Before, when the world was a mass of conflicting principles and dissonant assertions by great beings finding their purpose and projecting it on the malleable clay of the Expanse, there were wars unlike anything mortals have ever seen. Universes blinked into and out of existence like bombs blown apart on a bloody field of battle.

And when it settled, and this great compromised scrap was left that we call the world, the gods and powers came together and made a pledge–evil and good, order and chaos, elemental fury and philosophical demand, purpose and conservation… they agreed that their conflicts must always be kept above the realm of mortals, lest they ruin this scrap of existence as well.

That accord was written on the shifting substance of the Mountain of Creation–a sliver of which, chiseled from its enormous face in the scribing of the deal, fell to the world and was crafted by devouts of the Host into a rod that holds the godhead to their promise.

The rod is a black steel haft, capped on either side with an irregular block of chalky white granite, weighing nearly thirty pounds. It must be blessed by divines of every faith to attune it, but once done, it allows the bearer to seek favors from deities and great creatures in the heavenly and infernal pantheons (and all between) in times of need. The rod grants an extra use of “Divine Intervention” at twice the normal range, however calling on other gods for favor may bring spiritual consequences depending on who responds.

Roll 1d12, the result is who responds with intervention.

  1. Great Old One
  2. Arch-Fey
  3. Fiend
  4. CE god
  5. NE god
  6. LE god
  7. LG god
  8. NG god
  9. CG god
  10. Spirits of the Wild
  11. Totemic Guardians
  12. Aberrant Planar Creature (the truly alien powers)

DM’s are encouraged to have these greater beings respond very conditionally, as opposed to the PC’s actual deity, and possibly venomously depending on the PC or their allies.

The Blessed Many

“I said, maybe I come over there and whip your ass, how about that?!?”

The young pups were barking, again–new day, new batch of passers-on-through, and the inevitable moment over lunch at the Blackstone Inn when someone would test their mettle against the Stalker. Stupid name, “Stalker”, he never stalked anything–he was just a killer. One very much gifted with and gifted for the killing.

As Wes ate his mutton, he tried to ignore the howling of the adventurous and arrogant.

“Old man! I’m talking to you! You know, you’re not half so scary as they say back in Tendale! Just an old bastard without so much as a sword on his hip. I bet I could come over there and thump some reputation out of you, how about it?”

Sighing, and pushing his bowl slowly out-of-the-way, Wes took to his feet like every bit the grey-haired bastard he was. Slid his stick from the table and began holy murder.

System: The Many is a solemn creation from the monastic Order of Time. A rod one foot long and broomhandle thick, wrapped in dark brown leather and flared at the end, it looks almost as though a hilt without a sword were it not for the fine silverwork across the exposed surfaces.

The Many was imbued with the anima of weapons and combat. Master-crafted and ancient weapons of nearly all variety were sacrificed to it for its making and it hums in the hand with a desire for violence.

It can only be attuned to those who excel at formal combat, who dedicate themselved primarily to the way of violence. But, after a long rest and handling of the rod, it comes alive with power.

With a bonus action, the rod’s end produces an audible hum as a ghostly weapon of any martial variety the rodbearer desires appears from the flared end. The rod itself serves as the hilt. The rod-bearer may change the type of the weapon with another bonus action whenever they want. Longsword, mace, flail, etc. So long as it is a one or two-handed melee weapon, the rod can produce a shimmering, airy, ghostly version. These count as +0 magic weapons. One must have the appropriate proficiency to use whatever weapon is conjured.

Any roll of 20 to attack does 3x the damage dice, as opposed to the normal x2. However, any natural roll of 1 causes the rod to quiet itself for 1d4 turns. One may negate the quieting duration by spending all of one’s Hit Dice immediately as a free action.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: