Showing posts with label artifact. Show all posts
Showing posts with label artifact. Show all posts

Thursday, August 20, 2015

'Regeneration', Gallifrey Style

 “Regeneration is a biological ability exhibited by Time Lords, a race of fictional humanoids originating on the planet Gallifrey, in the long running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. This process allows a Time Lord who is old or mortally wounded to undergo a transformation into a new physical form and a somewhat different personality.” - Wikipedia

As well as being an ingenious way to script-in a new actor for the lead role in the longest running SciFi franchise in history, 'Regeneration', Gallifrey style, could be a fun option/item for RPG gaming.  In the series, Regeneration is an innate ability of the Time Lords, but it could also be introduced in the form of an artifact, spell, potion...  However it enters the game, the effect appears to engulf the recipient in a fiery yellow mist, which causes a transformation into an entirely new body.  Memory is retained, although the personality may be altered, to some degree.

In game terms, exposure to Regeneration mist while 'at death's door' (or possibly within 10 rounds of death?), causes a character to be completely reborn:
- XP Level and XP points are retained, but there is a chance that Class is altered
- Ability Scores may be retained, but possibly shuffled, if Class changes, or completely re-rolled
- HP total is re-rolled, as per Class
- Outward appearance, apparent age, possibly even gender is changed
- Alignment is unaffected
-A period of 'adjustment' is needed, possibly expressed as a 'minus' or 'disadvantage' to action rolls, Saves, etc, until the recipient is once again 'comfortable in their own skin'

...Alas, 'Algar the Barbarian' is no longer with The Party, but hey, adventuring with Algar the Wizard might be a hoot!

Friday, April 6, 2012

the Ogre Magi's Ring

Ogre Magi get all the cool magical powers:
  1. Fly (12trns)
  2. Invisibility
  3. Darkness (1"rad)
  4. Polymorph (humanoid, 4-12')
  5. Regenerate (1HP/r)
  6. Charm Person
  7. Sleep
  8. Gaseous Form
  9. Cone o' Cold (8d8)
  10. (Ogre Strength; 18/00)
What if there were a Magic Item, maybe a Ring, that would grant all the abilities & powers of an Ogre Magi? Quite a powerful item... brought to mind the 'Ring of Gaxx', with the "randomly resetting" rotating gemstone, so how about:

The Ring of the Ogre Magi is set with a white gem of nine (or ten, if you incl Ogre STR) facets, each keyed to one of the magical functions, each usable 1/day, but here's the kicker; only one function may be in effect at any time. If the gem is set to Charm Person, the Charm ends when another function is selected, and the gem is turned until a different facet faces the tiny ruby triangle set into the band... if you encounter a barred passage, do you forgo your Polymorph disguise for Ogre Strength, and try to Bend Bars, or do you switch to Gaseous Form to slip through, and save the STR for later combat?...

Somebody's PC just acquired a major arsenal of a Magic Item, so of course there's a catch, right?

Immediately upon putting it on, it permanently drains 1d4 HP, and grafts to the digit for life

Changes to the physiology occur:
-Eyes change color (the MM reads, "Their eyes are dark pupiled with a white center." Does this mean a dark iris and a white pupil? You decide. Maybe throw in Infravision as a full-time bonus)
- Sure you Regenerate, but Magical Healing no longer works on you; no Cure Spells, no Healing Potions, just natural rest and the ring, baby. You're gonna have to set aside some time for your Precious ea day! (And remember - you can Regenerate for as long as you want, but once you switch facets, no more healing for 24hrs!)

Since this gimcrack does damn near everything, no other Magic Rings for you. In fact, I'd even say that any Item under 'Misc. Magic' simply would no longer work for the ring-bearer, or perhaps only those the DM allows.

Other "side-effects" occur: Ogres tend to like/hate you, an Ogre Magi is searching for the Ring, which contains the spirit of his father, must defeat him in single combat (I don't know... somehow or other!), maybe use of the Ring gradually adds further Ogrish physical attributes...

I love the idea of this Item being found as per The Hobbit; just lying there on the ground in an untraveled area, no guards, no Big Boss Battle, not even a locked chest - just right there on the floor, in a dark corridor. And so are destinies made and fortunes assured.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Doesn't really have anything to do with this post

PYRAMID OF RESURRECTION Gnartian Artifact in form of smoky crystal pyramid, approx 6" along the edges, a construct of the Elder Serpent Folk.

When first handled, the PC doing so must Save vs Death once, or be drained of one XP lvl. Thereafter, the item will no longer drain that person (whether or not the attempt succeeded), and only that person may employ its power. Another may attempt to use the item once they also Save (or fail!), but only one person may command the Pyramid at any time.

Total # Charges/Uses is something I call "Level Variable"; meaning a base #, plus 1ch/lvl of the bearer. So, as charges are subtracted by one per use, they are also increased by one per lvl of XP gained. This Artifact has 1d4+XP lvl charges when first found, to be redetermined if it changes hands.(possibly it "starts over" at 1d4+lvl each time it changes hands)

Operates by "scanning" whatever scraps of the deceased (no pun intended) remain, and reconstructing a new body in perfect condition; full HP, all memories, personality, etc intact. Side effect: all Bad Mutations are removed, and any Good Mutations must ea make a save vs Spells/Mutations to be retained, any missing or ruined limbs, organs, etc are restored as well, all scars are gone

The Pyramid automatically restores any PC the first time it is used upon them, without penalty. If used a second time, a Resurrect Survival roll must be made, and each time thereafter this % is reduced by half, failure dissolves the remains into goo. Any PC resurrected more than once also loses an XP lvl each time the device is used upon them thereafter.

There is a 1in8 chance/use that the Pyramid does not Resurrect, but rather Reincarnates the deceased by creating a new, but different body, possibly from bits of other persons lying about, or floating on the breeze... maybe the "psychic residue" of a forgotten death.... I have a table of bodies for this, but its too specifically Gnartian to be much use to anyone else, and one can always use the Spell version. I think I'm going to allow them to retain Mental Ability Scores, HP, etc, because I have other trauma in mind:

Collateral Reincarnation Weirdness (d10/d12) (Gonzo version d12)
1. New body is very young; teenager, or even small child
2. PC retains all Class abilities as before, but has no other memories
3. PC's new brain seems to contain scraps of another personality, or repressed memories ("whispers")
4. Tragic mishap places PC into nearby corpse (of type as rolled), which claws to surface howling in agony, and attacks Party for their gross misdeed. Zombie PC retains HP & HD/lvl, but is otherwise slow and sloppy
5. New body exhibits Mutation(s), possibly even Good Ones! (or is oddly marked; tattoo, birthmark, runic brand)
6. PC is reincarnated into body which already has a soul/personality, and the two must share the same skull until the other personality "finishes its Gnarthly business" and moves on (seeks justice, revenge, completion, etc)
7. New body is of different gender than original
8. PC is driven a wee bit mad by the whole experience; roll on your fave table or just assign a weird mania
9, 10. Just your average reincarnation
(11, 12.) (same as 9, 10 above) or
(11, 12.) Check Out this awesome Random Reincarnator! You can adjust the circumstances with cool modifiers like "Who cares? The Crawling Chaos smiles upon me!"

The Pyramid also bears a Curse; whenever it is used, a Byakhee is Summoned and arrives w/in 2d4 rnds, and attempts to carry the user off to Hastur (dead or alive), unless slain. Perhaps this only occurs the first few times the Pyramid is used, or perhaps the Curse can be lifted... with the blood of a Serpent Folk Wizard...

...I once introduced the Rod of Reincarnation, which is exactly like the Rod of Resurrection from the DMG, but Reincarnates the deceased on either the MU spell table (75%) or the Druid version (25%), and that was fun, too. Congratulations! You're a Kobold! Badgers? We don't need no stinking Badgers!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Temple o' the Toad pt 4

The Party had some odd events befall...

A pit in a natural cavern appeared to be a well of some sort. Four equidistant metal rings were secured to the floor along the rim of the 10' diam shaft. From these, a set of four slimy metal chains dangled into dark water 50' below, and a quick Levitating Recon by Borune revealed nothing else. The party debated hauling up one or all of these, separately or simultaneously, and decided to drag on one of the chains, bringing up a metal bucket of blackish water. I was surprised when they left it at that, and went to explore the stairs to lvl III! They didn't even examine or dump out the bucket! It was unremarkable, but that only meant that one of the remaining three buckets was the one which held "a (very) Minor Random Magic, Tech, or useful Mundane Item", which I decided I'd determine on the fly, sunken to the bottom of the bucket... and so they passed on the only piece of unguarded treasure in the place!

A stone table in the center of a large, seemingly empty domed chamber was lit by a feeble "spotlight" from above. This pedestal was inscribed with a Glyph of the Unseen Object, which caused all to Save upon viewing, so that only Borune was able to perceive that their were items of possible interest arranged upon it. As I like surprises, these were also determined when they entered; a Crystal Flask w/stopper (Endless Water), a "faceted metallic egg" (Tech Grenade, "irritant" - like mace), and a shiny aluminum canister (of Scoobies). This proved enough to entice the party to send the unwounded fighters in to examine the table, while the others remained tightly packed in the hallway outside. A few Chupacabra scuttled forth from narrow side tunnels, and were soon dispatched, and then the Duodon* extended its snaky necks through two of the rat-holes, and attacked with two of its most powerful Spells, a Fireball for the majority of the party huddled "safely" in the hall outside, and a Lightning Bolt for Tarkas, who had shown himself to be a powerhouse against the Chupes. Total confusion ensued... were more giant snakes coming out of all the side tunnels, where were spells coming from, should we retreat down the hall and up the ladder, what about the loot on the table (maybe its not even real!), ...and on the following rnd... the Duodon heads, now exposed, revealed that they were the source of the spells by casting Web to block off all retreat, then Magic Missiles to disrupt spell casting. As the fighters took cover behind the table and fired ranged weapons, Rose managed a Silence Spell, which effectively robbed the Duodon of its spells, and so it withdrew its heads into the secret vault which was its lair, but the secret entrance was discovered, and the party either wisely pressed what little advantage they had, or foolishly charged onward despite injuries... anyway, they pursued and slaughtered the beast, which couldn't seem to score any decent damage or catch a break with any of its remaining spells. Such are the dice. The Party discovered a pile of bones and debris which also held assorted coins and jewelry, and also a personal Energy Field Generator harness, the power pack readout revealing 14 charges remaining (determined to be a Displacer emitter, acting as the Cloak)

Also in the Duodon's secret vault was a statue of Hastur, squatting and contemplating his palms. After a few rnds, a sphere of faint grayish radiance appeared in its lap, the party became inexplicably FREAKED OUT by this, snatched up everything, and made their way back upstairs. OK, I'll admit there was a nasty Glyph on the statue which would have affected any approaching it, and the party was depleted, but the radiance was obscuring a Gnartian Artifact, a very powerful legacy of the Elder Races. Once again, I hadn't determined exactly what is was, but it was an Artifact! All they had to do was grab it and pull it out of the radiance! (If they had, I had a scary earth-tremor planned, which would crack the ceiling and dislodge some debris, but not collapse the place) There were NO MORE Wandering Monsters left in the place! This was THE PRIZE from the entire dungeon! I dunno. The "radiance" may appear again, if they go back, or maybe not! Oh, and just so ya know, although powerful, a Gnartian Artifact is not of the caliber of an AD&D Artifact, and often has a limited # of uses, and this particular one was Cursed to summon an angry Byakhee to carry the bearer off when used. I'm not running a "give away"!

Monday, February 7, 2011


In my Carcosa/Algol-influenced world of Gnarth, the term "Artifact" is used specifically to refer to polyhedral, psychically controlled magic items. Most need further detailing.


Exceptionally powerful magic items of the Elder Species, always in the form of a sphere,
cube, or other polyhedron, though of varying material. Some contain charges, some usable only
by Spellcasters, possible side effects, all very rare. Often hover/float as GNARN stones (many
operate while levitating), and may in fact be large GNARNS. Some Artifacts "bond" with a specific
user, some charged items are Level Variable; # charges = to user's lvl (subtract 1 ch per use,
gain one ch per XP lvl advance), plus 1d10 ch.

1. CUBE O' FORCE Hematite, Projects Energy Fields, 6ch/day, 1 trn dur, Type &
Cost/Trn: 1. Cloak, 2. Hologram/Illusion, 3. Anti-grav, 4. Kinetic (20 HP/r), 5. Force, 6. Nullfield

2. SPHERE O' ANNIHILATION Ultrablack metallic sphere, creates Antimatter copy which auto
interposes between user and any one attacker, and attacks 1/rnd as user, save vs. Disintegration.
User must save vs INT on d20 ea time used, or Orb floats 10'/rnd random direction for 10+1d10 rnds

3. PYRAMID O' RESURRECTION Smoky crystal "scans" corpse, restores life, removing all BM,
as well as 1d4 GM, no loss of XP, Save vs 1 lvl Drain when first grasped, thereafter has level-
variable ch

4. CUBIC GATE Bronze cube composed of 27 smaller cubes, Allows instantaneous access to
predeterm or previsited site, 1/wk (d6): 1. on Klaatu, 2. on Verrada, 3. on Nikto,* 4. 1000'
Teleport, 5. predeclared Recall Point, 6. Random Location (useable anytime)

5. ORB O' IMPRISONMENT Dull gray stone sphere, effect as Spell, # ch lvl variable, Save for no
effect/no loss of ch, 1/day

6. PRISMATIC PYRAMID Multicolored crystal, Prismatic Sphere 1/wk, Prismatic Spray #ch lvl
variable, Color Spray 1/day

7. SHINING TRAPEZOHEDRON Metallic, Doubles first level spells, increases Spell effects as
if +4 XP lvls, can recall Spells cast, total # Spell lvls/day recalled = to XP lvl

8. ORB O' NULLIFICATION Deep purple stone, No Magic, Mutations, or Energy Devices will
work w/in 100' rad of user, duration/day 1trn/XP lvl

9. OMNISCIENT OCTAHEDRON Pale blue dbl pyramid Answers any question fully, 1/wk, and
allows consult table 1/day/XP lvl with ANY question, will be answered as best as possible from
following possibilities, 1 in 8 uses results in completely random response (d8): 1. As I see it, Yes
2. Signs point to Yes 3. You may Rely on it 4. Ask Again Later (24 hrs) 5. Concentrate and Ask
Again 6. Don't Count on It 7. Sources say No 8. Outlook Bad

10. CELESTIAL STAR Translucent diamond-like twelve-pointed crystal, "Turns" Undead as Cleric
of XP lvl +2, sheds light causing 1d6 dam/rnd to Undead w/in 10', 1 trn/day, 1/day Undead
Disruption beam, 100', save vs Spells

11. CUBIC KEEP Rough, dull white stone, enlarges to impervious 10' cube, Phasedoor 5'x5'
only bearer can activate, 20 cubic foot interior; load it up!

12. ORB of the ALL-SEEING EYE White crystal with floating "eye", total of 3 uses/day, any
effect(s), dur 1 trn; Clairvoyance 100', Find Traps, Detect Magic, Secret/Concealed/Hidden,
Invisibility, Illusion

13. ICOSAHEDRON O' INFLUENCE Multi-colored ceramic, allows "re-roll" of any d20, #ch/day=
to lvl

14. DECAHEDRON O' HEALING White metal, Completely Heals all wounds, 1/day(?)

15. OCTAPLEX O' SUCCESS 24-sided flat yellow stone, allows substitution of d24 for d20 for
self or others w/in 60, 1 ch/day/XP level, max 12/day

16. HYPERCUBIC MAZE Dolm Tesseract, Hypnotizes, and if successful, target can be
commanded to enter extra-dimensional Maze for 1d4 trns

17. GLOBE O' INVULNERABILITY Orange crystal grants constant Minor Globe (unaffected by
spells lvls 1-3) 1/day, Anti-Magic Shell (5' rad) 1/wk

18. DODECAHEDRON O' DOOM Black stone riven with random crimson "cracks", can call down
a Meteor Strike doing 10d10 dam, roll for ea w/100' diam area, 1 use/month,ea drains 1,000 XP

19. THE GRAND RHOMBIC TRIACONTAHEDRON none living know the exact nature/powers of
this 30-sided golden Artifact... some postulate that it is a weapon of inconceivable might,
possibly a Doomsday device designed to extinguish the sun, while others believe it to be an
Omega-13 device which alters/amends the flow of time itself...

20. PYRAMID O' PLAGUES Calls forth the Creeping Doom, a swarm of 101-500 biting/stinging
creepy-crawlies (determ total by 1d4 for # of hundreds, +1d% additional), ea does 1 HP auto
damage, once ea attacks, it dies, first use summons an uncontrolled swarm, attack all w/in 10",
ch = to lvl (w/o addit 1d10ch)

21. RUNIC CUBE Mottled, rough stone, each face can project a Symbol (Discord, Fear, Insanity,
Hopelessness, Pain, Sleep), two uses/day, total

22. DEATH STAR Dark gray six-pointed star, control Undead as Cleric of same XP lvl, beam
drains 1d4 XP lvls, and when these equal 2x bearer's lvl, he transforms into an Undead himself

23. ASTRAL OCTAHEDRON "Appears as a piece of the night sky", allows out-of-body,
"Silver Cord"-style Astral travel, 1/day

24. HENAGONAL SINGULARITY The first person to view this impossible 1-sided thing must
save vs INT (minus 1d4) on a d20, or thereafter be afflicted with a drooling, gibbering form of
Feeblemind, if successful, can call upon the HS to fulfill one Wish, whereupon it collapses in upon
itself and disappears from normal space
* the three Moons of Gnarth