Boys DO Make Passes, A Heckuva Graduation Robe, and a Hard Won Grapple…

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Valorious Brille

“Do it again, Teller”, Savien Manyfold’s rich and upbeat tenor sang out in contrast to the otherwise dreary and cloud-smothered day. The fat drops of rain that slipped and slopped through the trees had long ago soaked them all to the bone. Everyone was surly save the barbarian and the Manyfold. They played at wooden swords as the group stumbled up the narrow road, joking in Seriak to the consternation of the rest.

“Like this? With both hands? Or like we did before?”, Teller’s long hair was plastered to her head and shoulders and her boots squelched as they walked along, but to look at her, you’d think she was as happy as a pig in a mud-puddle—joking and dancing back and forth with her long wooden creft, play-acting a fight with the bard.

Meilla watched them chatter on back and forth in that savage tongue—more than a little frustrated at having no idea what they were saying. They’d done the same two maneuvers over and over. Over and over. If the rain hadn’t pissed her off enough, and their buoyancy hadn’t pissed her off enough, it was the two hours of the same theatrical sword moves over and over that did.

If yesterday was any indication, they’d be at this for hours yet. Teller was easily twice Savien’s size, and Meilla couldn’t figure what the purpose for any of this was. Artists… what /was/ the point of them?

System: The College of Valor has two faces—the one most of the world sees most of the time, that of a scholam dedicated to the rooting out of secrets in the world. Some bards and explorers to come from there are robust and noble figures, but most appear to be little more than scribes and well-to-do nitwits who run off to play treasure-hunter; the other, however, is more secretive.

The Six-Point circle, hidden in the corner of their heraldry and most of their tomes, represent the many dangers of the world: the warlord, the witch, the alien, the beast, the ethereal, and the darkness. Initiates into the inner mysteries of the college are taken through careful education, folklore, and fear of the danger represented by these incarnations and dedicate their lives to keeping them at bay.

The Brille are one of their wonderous weapons of destiny, and a closely guarded secret.

The Brille are a pair of eyeglasses, the lenses made of a polished, thin, transparent and flawless disc of diamond—clear and hard. They’re set into a frame of dull steel and silkweave. By themselves, to those unaware of their magical properties, they’d be worth a small fortune (though finding anyone wealthy enough and willing to pay for such a lavish item, usually only afforded by those in the highest echelon of society, is so hard as to make them nearly worthless). Attuning to them requires memorizing the ten forms martial combat from Master Requis Treatise on the Purest Form, a rare book available only through the College of Valor or those with extraordinarily close ties to them. Memorization takes one week per form, each week the wearer gets one Intelligence Check DC 6 plus the week number in question (1st week is a DC 7, 10th week is a DC 16) that cannot be magically assisted.

Once attuned, the Brille allow the wearer to spend an action focusing on a creature within sight. If that creature makes a melee attack, on the wearer’s next turn they may use their action to perfectly mimic and replicate the martial form and follow-through aided by the glasses. What the glasses reveal to the mind of the wearer is the perfect knowledge, for a flash moment, of the lay of the ground, the weight of the weapon, the pattern of weaving and dodging by the target, the way the muscles in the observed attacker’s arms moved, etc. For a brief moment, they know all the hidden truth in the world and the real and true name of that one moment—and may call upon it themselves. The mimicked attack must use the same damage type (at least one shared, if more than one available) and must be of the same origination (if unarmed, must be unarmed; if a weapon, must be a weapon).

Using one’s action to replicate the attack means the wearer foregoes rolling (using the roll of the observed person) and does as much damage with their attack at the original attack did up to a maximum of what the mimicked attack could have done. This means if the original attack did 12 damage and the max damage the mimicked attack (given the weapon and stats of the wearer) would have been 10, then the mimicked attack does 10. If the original attack did 2, in that case, the mimicked attack would still do 2.

Note that taking the mimicked attack is an option, one may (round over round) keep spending their action waiting for the “perfect” attack to mimic on their next.

Kaftan of Knowing

Knowledge is power. That’s what Meilla had said last week when they stopped at that small farmhouse. She’d spent half the night and two candles from the pack scribbling and scribing words of power onto paper and organizing little bits of this and that and other. Danesh pitied her. She thought the world was a puzzlebox to be solved.

In their late-night debates (she would call them “arguments” no doubt, but then she thought of them as an activity that required winning and losing), she would explain how this guttural utterance in Renish brought the elemental fire and this other utterance would focus it outward. It was all very boring.

For his part, Danesh would try and tell her that the secrets of the world—the powers of the world—were as often as not found in the children’s books and filthy poetry tomes and diaries of long lost and forgotten people and places. Knowing wasn’t a science. It was a passion.

Truly, the wizardly are men and women of “one book”. Which is sad. As the world is filled with a feast of truth.

System: The College of Lore is made of riff-raff, rabble, rebels, and raconteurs. It has a reputation for frivolousness that has seemingly hampered its respectability in the broader world. But theirs is a secretive order and where there is laughter and the pursuit of legend at the fore of their public appearance, there are a thousand keys being turned in the minds and hands and explorations of its adepts that are unlocking the hidden mysteries of the universe.

The Kaftan is a broadcloth robe, almost scholarly in look were it not for the robust stitching and the leathern cuffs. It is the sort of garment a traveling priest might wear or a particularly adventurous naturalist. Attunement requires a constant reading of new volumes. Books. At least a half hour of reading each day, and at least one new book every three days. A book, in this case, must be defined by the DM but may include virtually anything written at length about any subject in any style (for titles and examples of interesting books, see the Many sided Tool for Tome Names at manysideddice.com) . The kaftan is hungry for knowledge and as such, has only ever been successfully worn by a handful of bards and travellers over the years. Should attunement ever drop, due to a failure to keep up the requirement, the garment cannot be reattuned by the same person.

While attuned, once per day, upon interacting with a specific creature (considered unique given its creature name, CR, and relevent subtype or species–so orcs and orc chiefs may be considered “different” from each other, but orcs would be considered the same), the wearer may recall an interesting bit of information about that creature from the legends and stories and deep secrets of the collected knowledge of the world they’ve been exposed to.

First, roll 1d4 to pick the source:

  1. A poem, song, or folktale (conditions)
  2. A history, travelogue, or memoir (resistances)
  3. A scholarly treatise, dissertation, or reference (ability scores)
  4. A religious text or faction book (experience points)

Given the source, the player must come up with an appropriate title and some words about what they had read (minimum one sentence, coherance of this sentence is up to the DM, but reward more creative descriptions and unforeseen results) that changes the property the source allows.

If a poem, song, or folktale they may change one condition immunity the creature has to another. If a history, travelogue, or memoir they may change one resistance a creature has to another. If a scholarly treatise, dissertation, or reference they may change the modifier on one of their ability scores by 1 either up or down. If a religious text or faction book they may increase or decrease the XP earned by 10% from an encounter with it.

Once they do this for a creature, they may never again do it for that creature.

Trapper’s Bowcrook

The creature hissed and wailed, angrily roaring out curses in a language everyone seemed more than happy to not know. It was strong, ten devils but was it strong, it was all Hax could do to keep it pinned to the tree. It flailed its arms about, hoping to snatching ahold of someone, anyone, with whom it might use to bargain for freedom or murder for one last dark pleasure before being cut down.

It wasn’t stupid, but it was mad as seven angry cats in a bag.

Hax leaned into the polearm, keeping the damned thing from moving. He was waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Once Krup was done trying to calm it down, to make it easier to manacle it and get it into the wagon to return to the town (and a fat pile of reward), Broadways picked up a treft of firewood, twenty pounds of split timber, and struck it twice over the head like a schoolmarm punishing a naughty student with a rolled parchment.

The thing slumped. Hax fell to his knees, exhausted, twenty yards away.

Pay day.

System: The Trapper’s Bowcrook is a versatile tool and weapon made for the Bounty Hunters of the Southern jungles. Six feeet of turned ash with regular iron bands every few inches along the haft. The head was a strange combination of a large upturned bladed hook and a heavy hemisphere of steel on the back of that. Attunement requires earning weapon proficiency with the instrument, which will require a number of weeks of study and training equal to 10 minus one’s intelligence modifier.

Once attuned, however, the normally off-balance and heavy weapon feels impossibly light in one’s hands. With a successful Grapple Action using the weapon (hooking them around a body part—most likely their neck), one may focus on holding the tangle for one full round. During this time, all attacks have advantage on the wielder, as one is full committed to focusing on channeling the bowcrook’s power and standing braced and defenseless.

With an action, on their next turn, if the grapple condition is still in place, the bowcrook flies away from the wielder (in the direction the target is) up to 30 ft. while still grappling the creature. If there is a wall within that distance, the bowcrook magically hovers, grappling them to the wall without being held (they take 1d6 for every 10 ft of travel upon hitting a wall). If there is no wall, at 30ft. the bowcrook falls away from the target and the grapple is ended.

Keeping the grapple up, magically, each round costs 1 exhaustion. or 10% (rounded up) of the wielder’s maximum HP (their choice, each round).

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