Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Innate Magic People Part 2

Also, another moment to highlight one of my favorite character artists!
In Ahneria, nearly everyone can cast a little bit of magic, but some people can cast full-on spells. I decided it would be fun to detail out a set of NPCs based on the first level spells. As I said in the previous article, these are people who are somewhat common, but might have gained notoriety or fame based on their abilities.

This is the second in this series, and we're starting to hit the second-level spells. Even these low-level abilities can set a person apart if they use it well, so you'll see more notorious and important NPCs on this list!

Lenora Binx
Spell: Longstrider (PHB pg. 256)
Lenora Binx, a young woman with straw-colored hair, runs a small orphanage in the town of Thistleby. She is much beloved by the children there, and they always ask her to join in their games of tag. Anytime she is nearby the children, they almost magically speed up. The kids love it, but Lenora has trouble when it comes time to corral them for meals and bedtime. She could use an assistant, or someone to help catch the kids for the day.

Malaric Underhill
Spell: Mage Armor (PHB pg. 256)
In the city of Lovale, the latest gossip is all about Malaric Underhill, a well-muscled and handsome man who beat the king’s champion fighter, Vex Ozra, while completely naked. Using only his fists, Malaric has become the talk of the town. However, since then, he has been receiving mysterious threatening letters which he assumes are from Vex Ozra. He can defend himself within the regulated confines of the arena, but he is looking for guards to protect him while he sleeps, or someone to put a stop to these threats. He can certainly pay for such services, thanks to his fame.

Whisp Adams
Spell: Magic Missile (PHB pg. 257)
In the small mining town of Nowood, Whisp Adams is a local legend. They say he can’t miss when it comes to spitting tobacco, and he’s always got a cheekful ready to show off his talents. He used to compete in contests, but once he won every competition in the valley, he hung up his hat and retired in fame. But time wasn’t kind to Whisp, becoming more weathered and slight in his later years, and much of his earnings have gone to his children and cousins. And just a few days ago, in a heated argument with town butcher Killian Monroe, he got so angry that he spit right in Killian’s eye, partially blinding him. Now, Whisp needs money to pay for Killian’s healing, and will gladly share his knowledge of the valley to adventurers looking for dungeons to explore.

Not a wizard - just spooky adjacent
Edna Jacobs
Spell: Protection from Evil and Good (PHB pg. 270)
Although most would call her an amateur exorcist, Edna Jacobs, age 62 with flowing dark hair with a few sprigs of grey/white sprinkled through it, considers herself to be an Afterlife Therapist. Unable to be possessed by ghosts and spirits, she has built her career out of convincing the not-so-dearly departed to finish their business in the material plane and move on. However, an extremely stubborn spirit has been completely resistant to her wiles. She isn’t quite willing to admit that she doesn’t have any other powers, but she will certainly take help if she can find it.

Prince Fitzwilliam of Keles
Spell: Purify Food and Drink (PHB pg. 270)
The prince of the small kingdom of Keles, Prince Fitzwilliam has an ability that his family prefers was kept a secret. Any food that passes his lips is cleaned of poisons and diseases, and any cut or wound never becomes infected. He has become a beloved friend of the homeless and infirm, and the first choice of nobility when on tense diplomatic missions. His people think him quite handsome, with his dark hair and green eyes that look kindly towards them. However, someone must have learned the secret, because on a recent visit to a rival country, his food was poisoned with a magical toxin. Now, adventurers are needed to find a cure for the ailing prince, and cooperation in keeping his ability secret will be highly rewarded.

Hunter Lovett
Spell: Ray of Sickness (PHB pg. 271)
Hunter Lovett has always been a sickly young boy, ghastly pale under a mop of black hair, and his parents Logan and Harper have always taken great care to avoid becoming infected. But now the illness seems to be getting even more deadly to the doctors and nurses that attend to Hunter, though he isn’t feeling any worse. After the death of a beloved family doctor, Logan and Harper are looking for someone to cure their son, or at least explain why he seems to be recovering while becoming more contagious.

Sophia Wakefield
Spell: Sanctuary (PHB pg. 272)
Of all the students at Esoterra Arcane Institute, Sophia Wakefield is the least popular. Dirty blonde hair with brown eyes, ruffled clothing, and shoes that never fit quite right, it's no surprise she's left behind socially. But it’s not entirely her fault, since every time someone goes to make fun of her, their insults are magically redirected to someone else. She has a reputation for being divisive, starting fights, and being a loner. She doesn’t mind it entirely, but she does wish she could make at least one friend.

Cedric MacMillan
Spell: Searing Smite (PHB pg. 274)
Cedric MacMillan, with his light brown hair and strikingly grey eyes, is a well-known traveling salesman who offers a wondrous delicacy: instantly toasted bread! With his magically-heated bread knife, he can whip up a toasty treat in an instant. He’s a big hit in most places, but when he arrived in the town of Valeflower, he found his audience completely uninterested. The town’s Bakers’ Guild had convinced the locals to avoid this “charlatan”, leaving Cedric without enough money to gain passage to the next village over. He needs help getting out of town, before the Bakers’ Guild takes further action against him.

Nora Landon
Spell: Shield (PHB pg. 275)
Only a few moments after her birth, Nora, daughter of Bree and Hugo Landon had something unusual happen. The otherwise healthy child encased herself in a magical bubble, unable to be touched, to eat, or drink. The parents are extremely upset, and nurse Quinn has been running through the streets, looking for someone who can break the bubble before the silver-eyed baby Nora starves.

Gentle Devotion
Spell: Shield of Faith (PHB pg. 275)
When Gentle Devotion was a child, he was often teased and beaten, an unfortunate reality for those born as tieflings. But one day, he began to pray to Pelor, and found himself surrounded by a magical barrier that stopped the attack he was under. Now that he has grown up and devoted himself, he hopes to become a cleric of Pelor, but the church in his hometown of Cipri does not accept tieflings as members, especially those with pitch-black hair and eyes like Gentle. He needs money to get to another city, or someone to help him convince Father Fernleaf to give him a chance.

Georgie Farrafay
Spell: Silent Image (PHB pg. 276)
Growing up, Georgie Farrafay was always an artistic child. They covered their bedroom walls with illusory images of their favorite animals, fables, and landscapes, often in colors that matched their brown hair and green eyes. But now, Georgie is beginning to become an adult, and the images are becoming strange and explicit. Their mother, Imogen, is looking for someone that will help Georgie control their powers to keep the walls free of embarrassing and complicated subject matter.

Mayor Bishop Greaves
Spell: Sleep (PHB pg. 276)
In the little town of Skalfell, the mayor has a problem. Mayor Greaves, a short man with greyish-blonde hair and a crooked nose, can’t figure out why everyone in the village is slowly becoming afflicted with narcolepsy. It’s becoming more and more of a problem for the citizens, and they are sleepily demanding action. He needs help figuring out what sort of curse or spell is causing this!

Effie Holt
Spell: Snare (XGtE pg. 165)
Awkward conversations are a real chore, especially for the sly and shrewish Effie Holt. She hates people talking to her, but she has a special trick to help her get out of such situations. She can instantly fly 50 feet straight upwards, removing herself from conversations and forcing the other person to leave. She then uses a special umbrella enchanted with Feather Fall to get back down to the ground when the coast is clear. But recently, she misplaced her umbrella, and wants it back. She’ll gladly pay for its return, as long as the returner doesn’t try to thank her for the reward.

Sterling Danvers
Spell: Speak with Animals (PHB pg. 277)
In the western neighborhood of the city of Qia, silver-haired resident Sterling Danvers is well-known for having a large collection of cats and speaking to them in odd meows. His cats are very well-behaved, and he enjoys letting the local children play with them. But he recently got into an “argument” with one of his cats, Basil, and the feline has ran away from home. His neighbors tell him the cat will come back, but Sterling believes Basil might be in real danger. He’s looking for a young, spry person to help him find his beloved pet.

Baden Quince
Spell: Tasha's Hideous Laughter (PHB pg. 280)
Baden Quince, fair skin, dashing blonde hair, is a notorious con artist and comedian in the city of Redgate, and he has finally been captured. However, the trial has been repeatedly suspended, since Judge Marin Chesterman can’t help but break down laughing in court. He needs the assistance of someone without a sense of humor, or someone to help him deliver a verdict through his laughter.

Magic gives you a +1 bonus to mysteriousness
Aphra Kilgore
Spell: Tenser's Floating Disk (PHB pg. 282)
The city of Autumnwood is known for its beauty, and Aphra Kilgore is a tour guide who gives the most wonderful guided tours to any who wish to learn more about the history and architecture of the city. She has a floating platform that she decorates with rugs and food, to allow her guests to relax as they slowly follow her around the streets of Autumnwood. But recently, a guest of hers named Eliab Foster has become obsessed with her intelligence, charm and long, auburn hair, and started stalking her. She would handle it herself, but he always appears in the middle of her tours, and she can’t risk losing business. She needs someone to watch her back on her next tour.

Spell: Thunderous Smite (PHB pg. 282)
Kiramar is a female half-orc gladiator with green eyes and blonde hair in tight braids that is hoping to make it big in the arenas of Peltraglow. She delivers powerful punches that ring like a gong when she strikes her opponents, ensuring many victories in the smaller rings. But she’s been barred from competing in the Grand Arena, which uses gongs to signal the start and end of matches. She needs someone to help her suppress her ability, or to help her convince the Arena Master Fester Tunstead to give her a chance.

Maxie Evans
Spell: Thunderwave (PHB pg. 282)
Maxie Evans, a sprightly twenty-seven year old man, has a big problem. He keeps passing such explosive gas that his pants go flying off. He needs help as soon as possible, and his only idea is some sort of magical extra-strong pants. Something to muffle the sound would help as well.

Just a normal dude... with magic powers
Ally Ellis
Spell: Unseen Servant (PHB pg. 284)
In the Weaver’s School of Isarose, nobody disobeys Headmistress Dovie Sabilline. That is, until the red-haired Ally Ellis came along. She uses her magic to cause all sorts of mischief, upsetting Headmistress Sabilline and causing quite a lot of fun for herself and her classmates. But after yet another child was punished for her misdeeds, Ally decided that she needs to strike at the root of the problem: getting rid of Headmistress Sabilline. She needs some help setting it up, but once she finds some extra hands, it will be a prank worthy of the Trickster Gods themselves.

Gregory Velutus
Spell: Witch Bolt (PHB pg. 289)
Gregory Velutus is whip-thin and has an overbearing presence, and claims to be a doctor, but he turns away most of the patients that come to his practice. He uses a special brand of medicine that involves restarting a patient’s heart using his electrically-charged hands. This wild conjecture has lead him to be rejected by his fellow physicians. Dr. Velutus believes his theories are sound, but he needs someone to help him prove them. He is looking for a test patient, or someone to bring him a person suffering a heart condition.

Cyrus Whiting
Spell: Wrathful Smite (PHB pg. 289)
If you’ve lived in Kruva long enough, you’d know that Cyrus Whiting, with his scarred left cheek and grey eyes, is a stand-up person and a great addition to the city watch. However, he is extremely intimidating in combat, and most people who visit the city get an incredibly uneasy feeling around him. He does good work, though, and has just been handed a promotion - to guard a newborn duchess! He’s worried he will scare the child, and he needs help learning how to care for children.

Okamura Kioko
Spell: Zephyr Strike (XGtE pg. 171)
Okamura Kioko has white hair, dark eyes, a slim build, and is a ninja-in-training. But she has a particular problem, and his name is Uramoto Kaisashi. Uramoto is her master, and Kioko is frustrated that she can outspeed her teacher but still can’t gain his respect or validation. Uramoto says she needs to learn discipline and humility before he will ever respect her, and his stubbornness has put the two warriors at each other’s throats. They need some help finding peaceful resolution before they reach bloodshed.

Mo' ninjas, mo' problems
Ray Krim
Spell: Aganazzar's Scorcher (XGtE pg. 150)
People come from miles around to see the magical fire whip of Ray Krim, ringmaster of Krim’s Crazy Curiosities. He puts on quite the dazzling spectacle, taming creatures of all kinds before a live audience while wearing long red tails and a dashing top hat atop his dyed orange hair. However, at his last show, he accidentally burnt one of his prized lions. He’s looking for a Ranger or Druid to re-tame the beast, since it was already a difficult creature and now it doesn’t trust the handlers at all.

Jin Zhi
Spell: Aid (PHB pg. 211)
Jin Zhi has dark hair, a large build, and slim eyes, and is a no-nonsense commander in change of training new recruits in the Elven Army of Ciphia. She has an excellent track record of cadets completing her training, but once they get out into the field they invariably perform worse. She is looking for someone to follow her former trainees and investigate why, or help her come up with a better training plan.

Walte Dobezo
Spell: Alter Self (PHB pg. 211)
Judge Walte Dobezo is widely considered a wise and fair mediator, because he is easily able to conceal his emotions and practice impartiality. This is partly due to his eyes - at a young age, he noticed his eyes changed color with his emotions, which his beloved but now-deceased father helped him control. Though his hair is now streaked with grey, his eyes have remained passive and unchanging despite the most disturbing of cases. But, a new case has come across Walte’s desk, the case of a man who murdered his own family. Judge Dobezo is already having difficulty controlling his anger towards the man, and needs help suppressing the effect of his eyes, or he will lose his reputation of impartiality.

Hilani Dansa
Spell: Animal Messenger (PHB pg. 212)
In the city of Tarorn, everyone receives their mail by crow, and no, they don’t think it’s odd. The postmaster, Hilani Dansa, a lanky man with mussy black hair, has a large collection of crows, and he sends the intelligent birds unerringly to the citizenry with their mail in tow. But recently, someone has begun to attack the crows, and Hilani needs help investigating who would do such a thing, and why.

Oh come on, don't you trust me?
Senator Rosalin Archibald
Spell: Arcane Lock (PHB pg. 215)
Senator Rosalin Archibald has blonde hair, brown eyes, and a wide, smiling face, and is a very cautious person. Unfortunately she is often forgetful of the activation words to bypass her own locks. This time, she has locked away some scrolls necessary to a new law to regulate local merchants, and needs help remembering her password. That, or someone who can break past the magical lock she has cast on the cabinet.

Diomora of the Clear Eye
Spell: Augury (PHB pg. 215)
It’s well known that Diomora of the Clear Eye is not a charlatan or hack when it comes to telling fortunes. She has short white hair, gold eyes, and is always able to guide her customers to avoid misfortune and do the right thing. So it’s no surprise when King Egon’s third son, Gerolf, came to visit her. But he asked her such mundane questions, that she wasn’t able to really reveal anything to him! He didn’t understand and got upset, demanding Diomora be arrested and beheaded. Diomora is now looking for someone to plead her case, and not make jokes about how she should have seen this coming.

Gabriel Vérany
Spell: Barkskin (PHB pg. 217)
Gabriel Vérany has dark brown hair, a stubborn chin, grew up without a father, and has the ability to grow bark-like armor from his skin. He had heard the awful rumors that his mother had been seduced by a Dryad, but she assured him it wasn’t true. Now, Gabriel wants to travel and find his father, to set the record straight about his powers and chew him out for leaving them behind.

Sir Kaholo Kekoa
Spell: Beast Sense (PHB pg. 217)
The Lord of Sailoa, Sir Kaholo Kekoa, has a closely trimmed beard and warm brown eyes, and has been getting fitful sleep at best. Each night, he dreams of crawling in tunnels, darkness, slavishly obeying the whims of a massive queen. He needs help stopping these nightmares, as they have begun to affect his diplomatic work. He even fell asleep in his pudding during a royal dinner!

He might be magic, but he dies just like anyone else...
Solomé de Freitas
Spell: Blur (PHB pg. 219)
Though she is a fantastic sculptor, Solomé de Freitas has a reputation of being shy. She isn’t really, though! People simply have trouble hearing her when she speaks. She's a sight to behold ,with her small stature and bits of dried clay stuck to her skin and hair, but no matter how loudly she shouts, others always hear her only faintly. Now, because of her artistic talent and a meddling instructor, she’s been asked to give a presentation on her work. Solomé needs help dispelling the magical effect she has on people, or perhaps someone to speak on her behalf at the show.

Erato Muthoni
Spell: Blur (PHB pg. 219)
The people of Yatori are privy to a terrible rumor: that a mysterious beast stalks the woods surrounding their sleepy mountain town. Whenever someone sees it, the story changes slightly, but it’s always apparent that the beast is not-quite-in-focus. Something dark is obscuring the monster, making it more akin to a devil than to a human. But if they ever were to capture the creature, they’d discover that it was actually a druid with green robes and long brown hair named Erato Muthoni, and quite a friendly guy at that.

Rayne Alrama
Spell: Branding Smite (PHB pg. 219)
Demon Hunters tend to have different specialties. Rayne Alrama is a Demon Hunter adept at dealing with quastis and shadow demons, those that are difficult to see in darkness. He’s well-known for his skills and his white-blonde hair, but recently his actions have been receiving unwanted attention. He has caught the eye of Zilgrok, a minor demon lord in service to Graz'zt, who is interested in claiming him as her own. He isn’t equipped to handle such a challenge, and is looking for assistance.

Sajjra Mundi
Spell: Calm Emotions (PHB pg. 221)
Sajjra Mundi is the publicly elected leader of the town of Darsmith, a kind and quiet place with happy people. She has long black hair and a kind face, and is known for being stoic and reasonable, which allows her to act as a peaceful mediator in many small disputes. However, rumors of orc attacks in the neighboring villages have set the population on edge. They are looking to Sajjra for fury or sadness, but she seems unable to provide either. Sajjra is looking for mercenaries to deal with the orc problem quickly, as well as someone to help her regain her image among her people.

Just because you're magic doesn't mean you have ambition...
Enoch “Flying Dagger” Tremayne
Spell: Cloud of Daggers (PHB pg. 222)
In the slums of Sheya, Enoch “Flying Dagger” Tremayne is the baddest boss around. He has his blakc hair set into a mohawk, and runs the Wolverine gang. His brutal tendency to “interrogate” victims with his flying daggers has given him quite the reputation in Sheya. However, he recently interrogated a spy working for a rival gang, the Disciples, which has caused tensions to rise between the two groups. Not interested in risking an all-out gang war, he’s looking for a neutral negotiator to meet with him and Tasha “The Saint” Gregoria, the boss of the Disciples.

Cole Renatus
Spell: Continual Flame (PHB pg. 227)
Cole Renatus was born with a little tuft of flame on his head, and since then his “hair” has only grown larger and brighter. He grew up kind and gentle to ensure people he meant them no harm, and much of the town of Wayren loved him for it. But recently, a wild Efreeti appeared in Wayren, claiming that Cole was a fire genasi and should be returned to the Plane of Elemental Fire. Cole was whisked away, and the town is looking for someone strong to bring back their dear friend.

Brya Delmont
Spell: Cordon of Arrows (PHB pg. 228)
Whenever Brya Delmont's feet touch the earth, small objects near her fly at the other people around her. It was quite the difficult problem to deal with, until Brya realized that it didn’t occur while she was on a ship. Thus began a life of sailing, hardly ever leaving the confines of her precious boat. She loves the freedom of being on the ocean, and the feeling of the wind whipping through her long brown hair streaked with tinges of blue. However, her reputation as a trader has become known enough that the King of Parinsi has summoned her for an audience. She can’t turn down such a request, and needs help holding small objects down as she approaches the throne.

Domnin Comeau
Spell: Crown of Madness (PHB pg. 229)
Domnin Comeau has dark eyes and many scars, and is well known and slightly feared in the city of Rahun, as he runs the local asylum for criminals and lunatics. He has the frightening ability to take command of the bodies of his inmates, corralling them into their cells if they get out of line. But while giving a tour of the asylum to visiting adventurers, a riot has broken out! Domnin can only control one inmate at a time, and needs immediate help keeping the riot contained.

The Shadow
Spell: Darkness (PHB pg. 230)
In the city of Pocazu, there have been multiple reports of a mugger attacking random civilians and stealing their gold. But this is no ordinary attack: the mugger casts a sphere of pitch-black darkness, then uses some sort of blindsight to relieve them from their valuables. Commissioner Félicie Lebasque needs assistance finding the mugger, known as The Shadow, despite the fact that nobody knows what this person looks like.

Vinzu Bumblefoot
Spell: Darkvision (PHB pg. 230)
Vinzu Bumblefoot has always been tall for a halfling, and possessed with a strange knack for seeing in the dark. He has recently been recruited by a dwarven king to go undercover and bust a coal-laundering ring within the mines of Omehr. Vinzu is eager to take the job, but needs help getting in with the smugglers. Also, he needs some help growing a beard of dwarven proportions: despite his round face and dwarven statue, he is painfully beardless.

"My magic just makes my hair flow around me really cool."
Algernone Lockleer
Spell: Detect Thoughts (PHB pg. 231)
For many, many years, Algernone Lockleer served as the adviser to King Conwyn. His perfectly polished shoes, trim clothing, and pointed visage was a regular sight in the court of the King. He used his ability to read thoughts in secret, but always gave the most insightful and pointed advice to his liege. The kingdom prospered, and King Conwyn grew prideful. Not realizing that it was Algernone who he depended on, the King fired his adviser and brought in a much younger, more attractive steward. Algernone was enraged, and decided to begin to sell the secrets he had learned to the highest bidder. He needs protection, however, and is looking for mercenaries to keep him safe from the royal eye.

Spell: Dragon's Breath (PHB pg. 154)
Kirugu is a half-orc with black hair and large tusks who is known throughout the undercity of Miranchu. Not only is she one of the most skilled poisoners around, she has the ability to breathe noxious fumes as well, meaning she is truly never without her work. However, a recent job she was assigned to went poorly, and she is on the run from the law. Kirugu is looking for a good hideout, since she fears her old one might be compromised.

Aurelia Barbaro
Spell: Dust Devil (PHB pg. 154)
Aurelia Barbaro, a skilled fighter in the Chimera Ring Fighting Pits of Zrozzu, was already known as “the Dervish” before she lost her legs in a tragic accident. Now, her powers of sand are the only thing she has going for her, aside from her long dark hair she keeps in a tight braid. She hopes to use the whirling winds to transport herself around, but she needs something to keep herself from spinning around wildly. She will pay for a magical or mechanical device to keep her upper body steady while she is being carried by the dust devil.

Akiya Mursilis
Spell: Earthbind (PHB pg. 154)
If you visit Vangue, you must see the Griffons of Mursilis’s Emporium. Akiya Mursilis has a slightly hooked nose below sharp blue eyes, and is a skilled trainer; even the most reticent of beasts will be brought down by his magic. He teaches them to be mounts, to do tricks, and to be tame around children and smaller animals. However, recently his Griffons have been coming down with a terrible illness, and he is looking for someone who knows a cure. He’s become quite desperate.

Howi of True Bones
Spell: Enhance Ability (PHB pg. 237)
In the True Bones tribe, Howi is an old and wise shaman with long dark braided hair and many wrinkles around her quick eyes. She has guided the warriors of the tribe her entire life, granting them the power of the animal spirits to ensure their victory. But now, a famine has come upon the valley of Moath, and Howi is unsure what to do. She believes that the tribe may have angered Rayth, the Great Wolf Spirit. Hototo, a young warrior, thinks they should kill the Spirit and live without its blessing, but Howi knows this is foolish. Howi needs help convincing the tribe that Hototo’s ideas will only bring further destruction to the ways of their people.

By the way - this is the artist. Really good stuff, check him out!
Bastin Brahmani
Spell: Enlarge/Reduce (PHB pg. 237)
Of all the physicians in Tel Kesul, Bastin Brahmani is considered the most skilled. He has quick eyes, long dark hair, and the ability to shrink and grow his hands at will, allowing him to perform the most delicate of operations. Many a soldier stricken by an arrow has been saved at the hands of this fine doctor. However, a recent surgery did not go as well. Duke Kaalim, a well-respected hunter, had been gored by an elephant on their latest hunt. Bastin had gone to work stitching him up, but the pressure of working on nobility was too much for him and his hands enlarged while still in the wound. Now, the Duke has lapsed into a coma, and Duchess Azeeza wants Bastin’s head. He needs help convincing her that he didn’t intend to hurt her husband.

Deirdre Drema
Spell: Enthrall (PHB pg. 238)
Deirdre and Dom are partners in crime, taking on the big city of Queenscove. Their favorite con involves Deirdre standing on the street corner, weaving a magical speech that absolutely enthralls those who hear it. Meanwhile, Dom slips through the crowds and picks their pockets. But recently, Dom has been getting a little greedy, and keeping a bit more of his pickings for himself. Deirdre found out about this, and the two split after much arguing and anger. Now, Deirdre, still a fresh-faced teenager, needs a new pickpocket to be her partner, hopefully one that isn’t dumb enough to try and cross her.

General Fiona Reichenbach
Spell: Find Steed (PHB pg. 240)
In the army of Xyja, General Fiona Reichenbach is known for her sharp wit, keen grey eyes, and magnificent steed. And she’ll be the first to tell you that only the last of those is magic! Recently, Xyja has been attacked by troops from the neighboring nation of Nolar, but General Reichenbach thinks something isn’t quite right. She needs help convincing her fellow generals, or the Queen herself, to call off any retaliation before it’s too late.

Bartolommeo Moran
Spell: Find Traps (PHB pg. 241)
Bartolommeo Moran, with his bright eyes and smiling bearded face, is a well-traveled and kindly guide through the jungles of Toira. He is adept at noticing the traps laid by local tribal hunters, and leads his patrons around such hazards. But as of late, the warriors of the Wet Stone tribe have noticed their traps are being evaded, and have begun to hunt Bartolommeo and his customers actively. He needs additional bodyguards to help defend him against the now-hostile forces of the Wet Stone tribe!

Queen Rosa of Anthia
Spell: Flame Blade (PHB pg. 242)
The Queen of Anthia has always inspired her troops with a flaming sword, which complimented her bright red hair and fierce personality. But it wasn’t commonly known that the sword itself was a part of her innate magical ability, not a magic item in and of itself. And now that she wishes to pass along the crown to her daughter, she needs something to take its place. A real Flametongue Longsword would be perfect. She will pay a good price for such a weapon, as well as for the discretion of those who find it.

Until next time, when we finish second level spells and start the third level spells!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Old News: The Commoner Class

What a dreamboat!
A while back, I wrote about which background you should choose as a player. Well, I also wrote about a Commoner Class that essentially allows you to make your own background. I figured it might be fun to let the players really get into the shoes of the peasantry.

I haven't had a chance to playtest this yet, but it's not too complicated. Here's the link! Let me know if you find typos or have suggestions.

The Commoner Class

More recaps coming soon, I promise! The games should pick again here in a few weeks.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Failed Magic Items: Dungeon Master's Guide Part 4 (D)

+1 Poisoning-Sword-Morning Star-Spear of Meta-Humor...very effective against Dragons apparently.

Greetings! Will here, back in the saddle again for this week's Failed Magic Items.

Y'all know the drill, let's do this!

Note: Demon Armor has been omitted because of its already cursed status.


Dagger of Syrup
Weapon (dagger), rare

You can use an action to cause thick, brown syrup to coat the blade. The syrup remains for 1 minute or until an attack using this weapon hits a creature. The syrup tastes sweet and perhaps makes any wound it causes to sting a bit, but otherwise doesn't have any additional effects. The dagger can’t be used this way again until the next dawn.

Break-Dancing Sword
Weapon (any sword), very rare (requires attunement)

You can use a bonus action to toss this magic sword into the air and speak the command word. When you do so, the sword clatters to the floor and remains motionless until it is exposed to a jaunty and high-energy tune. The sword then begins to rhythmically spin and gyrate in place at blinding speed. Any creature that comes within 5 feet of the sword is subjected to four melee weapon attacks at +5 to hit. The sword deals damage based on the type of sword it is and has no modifiers to its damage rolls. The sword stops spinning once the music stops and it can then be picked up.

Decanter of Endless Mustard
"Wondrous" item, uncommon

This stoppered flask heavily sloughs around when shaken, as if it contains a viscous sauce. The decanter weighs 2 pounds.

You can use an action to remove the stopper and speak one of three command words, whereupon an amount of mustard pours out of the flask. The mustard stops pouring out at the start of your next turn.
Choose from the following options:

“Yellow” produces 1 cup of regular yellow mustard.
“Dijon” produces 1/2 cup of a spicy Dijon mustard.
“Stone Ground” produces 1/4 cup of gourmet stone-ground mustard

The mustard itself doesn't do anything special, but it could make a nice addition to a meal.

Deck of Delusions
"Wondrous" item, uncommon

This box contains a set of parchment cards. A full deck has 14 cards. A deck found as treasure is usually missing 1d8-1 cards.

The magic of the deck functions only if cards are drawn at random (you can use an altered deck of playing cards to simulate the deck). You can use an action to draw a card at random from the deck.

The creature that drew the card must make a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw or be afflicted with a corresponding delusion from the Delusions Table below. Whether it is true or not (probably not), the creature is utterly convinced it's real even, and especially, in the face of competing evidence.

The delusion lasts for 24 hours. When the delusion ends, the image on its card disappears, and that card can’t be used again.

Delusions Table
  • Jack of Hearts: "I'm fabulously wealthy"
  • Queen of Hearts: "Everyone loves me and enjoys my company"
  • King of Hearts: "I'm immensely popular, everyone recognizes me"
  • Ace of Hearts: "I can lift anything, even mountains"
  • Jack of Spades: "I can outrun anything, nothing can catch me."
  • Queen of Spades: "Everyone is a dullard compared to me"
  • King of Spades: "No disease can infect me"
  • Ace of Spades: "I can drink anyone under the table"
  • Jack of Clubs: "I can jump higher than anything else"
  • Queen of Clubs: "I'm tallest among everything here"
  • King of Clubs: "I have the face of a Solar, no one can resist my charms"
  • Ace of Clubs: "I'm the greatest warrior that has ever lived"
  • Jack of Diamonds: "My stomach might as well be a Bag of Holding"
  • Queen of Diamonds: "I'm the greatest chef alive"
  • King of Diamonds: "I'm impervious to any weapon made by mortal hands"
  • Ace of Diamonds: "I'm a Legendary Ancient Dragon in disguise"
  • Joker (2): "I died a while ago, my body is merely a spectral projection"

Deck of One Thing
"Wondrous" item, legendary

Usually found by itself, not contained in any vessel, this is a card made of somewhat sturdy parchment with a poorly drawn picture of an obscene gesture on one side. When you "draw" this card a Human man in his early 30s appears in front of you. For the next hour the man ceaselessly spouts every reason that this item's counterpart, the Deck of Many Things, is unnecessarily obtuse in its design and admonishes the wizard that conceived it.

The man then disappears. The card can be "drawn" again after 24 hours.

Weapon (any sword), legendary (requires attunement)

You have the option to gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this magic weapon.

However, if you use this bonus on any attack a voice resonates from the sword and brutally insults every creature (including yourself) within 60 feet of it. Every creature in the effected area must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or take 2d4 Psychic damage and have disadvantage on the next attack roll it makes before the end of its next turn. The voice leaves its most cutting insult for you and you take 4d4 Psychic damage if you fail the save.

One-Dimensional Shackles
"Wondrous" item, rare

You can use an action to places these shackles on an Incapacitated creature. The shackles adjust to fit a creature of Small to Large size. In addition to serving as mundane manacles, the shackles reduce the creature to its primary Personality Trait. Any other semblance of depth to the creature's identity is suppressed so long as the shackles remain.

You and any creature you designate when you use the shackles can use an action to remove them. Once every 30 days, the bound creature can make a DC 30 Strength (Athletics) check. On a success, the creature breaks free and destroys the shackles, regaining the rest of their personality.

Fish Scale Mail
Armor (scale mail), very rare (requires attunement)

Fish scale mail is made of the scales of a fish. Sometimes a fish loses it's scales by bumping into something while swimming. Other times, fishermen carefully skin and preserve the hide of a dead fish. In either case, fish scale mail is very odd and makes one wonder what madman went through the trouble of making it.

While wearing this armor, you gain a -2 penalty to AC but have advantage on weapon attacks against aquatic creatures.

Additionally, you can focus your senses as an action to magically discern the distance and direction to the closest fish within 30 miles of you. This special action can’t be used again until the next dawn.

Rodent Slayer
Weapon (any sword), rare

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon against rodents.

When you hit a rodent with this weapon, the rodent takes an extra 10d6 damage of the weapon’s type. For the purpose of this weapon, “rodent” refers creatures like rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, beavers, voles, chinchillas, and capybaras...oh, and also Wererats.

Dust of Dull Appearance
"Wondrous" item, uncommon

Found in a small packet, this powder resembles very fine sand. There is enough of it for one use. When you use an action to throw the dust into the air, you and each creature and object within 10 feet of you become incredibly dull looking for 2d4 minutes. Any armor or clothing transforms into beige linen, weapons become wooden and useless, and the color in the effected area becomes desaturated. The duration is the same for all subjects, and the dust is consumed when its magic takes effect. If a creature affected by the dust attacks or casts a spell, it is done in an incredibly lackluster manner.

Dust of Shyness
"Wondrous" item, uncommon

This small packet contains 1d6+4 pinches of dust. You can use an action to sprinkle a pinch of it over a creature, however in doing so the dust also touches you and you are effected by it. Both you and the creature become debilitatingly shy of one another for 10 minutes. During this time, neither of you can speak, look at, interact, or target the other with an attack or spell of any kind. At most you can make sheepish giggling or whimpering noises at one another.

Dust of Itching and Scratching
"Wondrous" item, uncommon

Found in a small container, this powder resembles very fine sand. There is enough of it for one use.

When you use an action to throw a handful of the dust into the air, you and each creature that has skin within 30 feet of you must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become horrifically itchy. A creature affected in this way is Incapacitated and spends it's turns hopelessly scratching at its skin. As long as it is conscious, a creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on it on a success. After the first failed save, the creature's scratching begins to cause open wounds, dealing 1d4 Piercing damage on the second failed save. This damage increases by 1d4 for each subsequent failed save after the second. The Lesser Restoration spell can also end the effect on a creature.

Dwarven Plate
Object (plate), very rare

This large, ornate, and nigh-indestructible plate can be used to eat off of or perhaps decorate part of a wall. It can be used a shield.

Dwarf Driver
Weapon (warhammer), very rare (requires attunement by any creature other than a dwarf)

This warhammer of exotic construction features a particularly long and thin haft with a bulbous head on one end. Against any creature that is not a dwarf, it behaves as if it were a normal warhammer. However, if you succeed in making a two-handed melee attack against a dwarf, the dwarf must then make a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be launched 30 feet backwards.

If you use a bonus action to speak the command word "Four!" before making this attack the distance increases to 60 feet.


All for now, 'til next time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Let's Get Crafty

D&D: Arts and Crafts Edition
So, I've been talking a long time about magic item crafting. I wrote a whole series on crafting items from monsters (even included a crafting index!), I've written about using magic conceptually, how it works in my homebrew world, and and the innate power within magical materials.

It's about time I made a guide to actually crafting magic items.

I'm basing the outline of this on the numbers from Xanathar's Guide, pages 128-130. However, I think they missed a big draw of crafting an item: making your own custom gear. Yeah, it's cool that you could save up and craft a Holy Avenger, but let's be honest. You'd rather figure out how to make a Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword of Doom, right?

The Process of Crafting

To craft an item, you need three things: a base item, one or more spells you wish to infuse into that item, and any additional modification resources you wish to apply to the item. All of these will cost gold, and the crafting of the item will cost time.

Additionally, you need to have proficiency in the tools or skills needed to create an item. The base item determines which set of tools you will need. Your crafting bonus determines the amount of skill you have with your tools, and is determined by adding your proficiency bonus (double if you have expertise in that tool) to the default ability modifier for that tool.

For the purposes of crafting, Bards, Rogues, and those who take the Prodigy feat (XGtE pg. 75) may apply their expertise bonus to a set of tools.

The default ability modifiers for each set of tools are as follows:
  • Alchemist's Supplies: Wisdom
  • Brewer's Supplies: Wisdom
  • Calligrapher's Supplies: Dexterity
  • Carpenter's Tools: Strength
  • Cartographer's Tools: Dexterity
  • Cobbler's Tools: Strength
  • Cook's Utensils: Wisdom
  • Glassblower's Tools: Dexterity
  • Jeweler's Tools: Dexterity
  • Leatherworker's Tools: Strength
  • Mason's Tools: Strength
  • Painter's Supplies: Dexterity
  • Potter's Tools: Dexterity
  • Smith's Tools: Strength
  • Tinker's Tools: Dexterity
  • Weaver's Tools: Dexterity
  • Woodcarver's Tools: Strength
  • Disguise Kit: Wisdom
  • Forgery Kit: Dexterity
  • Gaming Set (any): Wisdom
  • Herbalism Kit: Wisdom
  • Musical Instrument: Dexterity
  • Navigator's Tools: Wisdom
  • Poisoner's Kit: Wisdom
  • Thieves' Tools: Dexterity
  • Vehicles (animal-drawn): Strength
  • Vehicles (wind/water borne): Wisdom

Once you have calculated your crafting bonus, you can determine the maximum level of magic item you can create. The total spell level of an item is determined by adding together the spell level of all spells the item is infused with. If an item is listed in the Dungeon Master's Guide, you may craft it only when you are able to craft items of the appropriate rarity, no matter what the spell levels would be needed to craft it.

  • If your crafting bonus is at least +3, you can craft mundane items using your tools. This can be useful for making your own base items for infusing with magic.
  • If your crafting bonus is at least +5, you can craft common magic items, or items that have a total spell level of 1 or less.
  • If your crafting bonus is at least +9, you can craft uncommon magic items, or items that have a total spell level of 4 or less.
  • If your crafting bonus is at least +11, you can craft rare magic items, or items that have a total spell level of 9 or less.
  • If your crafting bonus is at least +15, you can craft very rare magic items, or items that have a total spell level of 15 or less.
  • If your crafting bonus is at least +17, you can craft legendary magic items, or items that have a total spell level of 21 or less.
  • If your crafting bonus is at least +19, you can craft artifacts, and you have no limit on the amount of spell levels you can craft into an object.

Once you have determined the maximum rarity and spell level of the item you can create, you must set about finding the components of the magic item: a Base Item, a Spell, and Modifiers.

Base Items

Make your own plot device!
All magic items start with a base item. These are mundane items that will be enchanted during the creation process. You will need to craft this item, pay the full cost for it, or obtain it over the course of your adventures.

A magic item will usually clearly require a certain type of item. A Longsword +1 will require a longsword. An Elemental Gem will require the appropriate gemstone. Potions merely require water, making them the simplest of the base items to obtain.

The base item determines which set of tools you will need.

  • Potions: Herbalism Kit, Poisoner's Kit, or Alchemist's Supplies
  • Leather Armor, Boots, Some Cloaks: Leatherwoker's Kit
  • Metal Armor, Weapons: Smith's Tools
  • Robes, Clothing: Weaver's Tools
  • Spell Scrolls, Wands: Arcana
  • Etc.

Work with your DM to determine which set of tools is appropriate for your item. If you are crafting an Elemental Gem, you may need proficiency in Jeweler's Tools. 

The major exception to this is wizards. A character in the Wizard class may use their Arcana skill in place of a tool proficiency. However, the wizard will only be able to create items associated with their chosen school of magic, and they do not have the option to craft their own base items.

The base item required to create a magic item may not be available in the Player's Handbook. If you are looking to craft a certain item, talk to your DM about what might be used as a base for that item. More powerful items require more difficult to obtain base items. The DM is encouraged to use the Trade Goods table (PHB pg. 157) and the Gemstones and Art Objects tables (DMG pg. 134-5) to determine the value of the item you need to find.

If you find an item that is particularly attuned to becoming a certain magic item (such as many kinds of creature loot), the total gold cost of crafting the item is halved. However, the time required to craft the item remains the same. The DM decides if an item is meant to be crafted into a certain magic item.

The cost of the item can also be halved or affected by the forge, tools, or location it is crafted in. A magic forge might reduce the cost or time required to finish an item.

The base item also determines the attunement requirements of an item. If the item is something that is worn or can be used multiple times, it will likely require attunement. Work with your DM to determine if the item you wish to create will use an attunement slot.

Seems like a fun place to make a weapon
A magic item is simply an item imbued with one or more spells. A Longsword +3 is simply a longsword with a permanent 6th-level Magic Weapon spell cast upon it.

To imbue an object with a spell, you need a copy of that spell. You can use your spellbook, your known spells, or a spell scroll as reference. You don't need to be able to cast the spell yourself, but you do have to provide all material components for the spell when you craft it.

The most basic magic item is a spell scroll. Essentially, it is just paper with a magical effect. Thus, the cost of a spell scroll is used as the basis for determining the cost and time needed to create your magic item. Here is the list of spell scroll crafting requirements from Xanathar's Guide:
  • Cantrip: 1 day, 15 GP (DC 13/+5 to hit)
  • 1st level: 1 day, 25 GP (DC 13/+5 to hit)
  • 2nd level: 3 days, 250 GP (DC 13/+5 to hit)
  • 3rd level: 1 week, 500 GP (DC 15/+7 to hit)
  • 4th level: 2 weeks, 2500 GP (DC 15/+7 to hit)
  • 5th level: 4 weeks, 5000 GP (DC 17/+9 to hit)
  • 6th level: 8 weeks, 15000 GP (DC 17/+9 to hit)
  • 7th level: 16 weeks, 25000 GP (DC 18/+10 to hit)
  • 8th level: 32 weeks, 50000 GP (DC 18/+10 to hit)
  • 9th level: 48 weeks, 250000 GP (DC 19/+11 to hit)

As in Xanathar's Guide, there are 5 workdays in a week. Spending more time per week on a laborious task can incur Constitution saving throws by the DM to avoid becoming exhausted.

If you make an item using the above cost and time, the spell will be cast with the listed Save DC or Spell Attack Bonus. The item will be able to cast the spell or gain its effect once, without requiring material components, and then the object will become nonmagical. This is the equivalent of making a spell scroll or potion.

If you want your item to be able to use its spell more than once, then you must have a base item that will last through multiple castings, meaning a scroll or potion will not suffice. Additionally, you must apply one of the following modifiers:
  • To cast the spell 3 times before the object becomes nonmagical, the item will cost 3 times as much and 3 times as long to craft. The same is true for any number of charges.
  • To cast the spell once per day, the item will cost 5 times as much and take twice as long to craft. The item regains the ability to cast the spell at a time of day you specify, such as dawn or dusk.
  • To cast the spell 3 times per day, the item will cost 10 times as much and take 5 times as long to craft. The item regains the ability to cast the spell at a time of day you specify, such as dawn or dusk.
  • For the spell's effect to be constant, at will, or permanent, the item will cost 25 times as much and take 10 times as long to craft.
  • If the item can cast spells using charges, you must pay the cost and time for each spell. Each spell uses up a number of charges equal to its spell level. The item begins with 3 charges, and regains 1d3 charges at the time of day you specify. If you wish for the item to have more charges, use the modifiers below. Finally, it gains the property: If you expend the last charge of this item, roll a d20. On a 1, the item is destroyed.
    • 10 charges, regain 1d6+4 per day: The cost and time of the highest-level spell is multiplied by 5
    • 20 charges, regain 2d8+4 per day: The cost and time of the highest-level spell is multiplied by 10
    • 50 charges, regain 4d6+2 per day: The cost and time of the highest-level spell is multiplied by 25

As long as the effect of the spell is not changed, the spell can be flavored to fit the theme of your item. For example, the Staff of Swarming Insects allows its user to expend 1 charge to cast Fog Cloud, but it appears as a swarm of insects instead of smoke. No other effect of the spell is changed.

Axegun? Axegun.
Finally, you can add materials during the crafting process to modify a magic item.

Some modifiers apply to the overall magic item, others only to the spells the item can cast. More powerful magic requires more material to be infused for a modification to take place. To determine the cost of modifiers, take the highest-level spell you wish to infuse the item with. The cost of the materials needed to affect your item is given below.
  • Cantrip: 10 GP
  • 1st level: 25 GP
  • 2nd level: 25 GP
  • 3rd level: 50 GP
  • 4th level: 50 GP
  • 5th level: 100 GP
  • 6th level: 100 GP
  • 7th level: 500 GP
  • 8th level: 1000 GP
  • 9th level: 5000 GP

The materials are listed below, and have the following effects.
  • Adamantine: The item cannot be broken. An armor item reinforced with Adamantine becomes Adamantine armor in addition to its other properties. Due to the value of this material, the minimum cost to modify the item is 500 GP.
  • Agate: The item sheds bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet. The creature holding the item can use a bonus action to shed or extinguish the light. Alternatively, if the item is sentient or contains a soul, 500 GP of agate grants it darkvision within the range of its sight.
  • Amber: The item never gets dirty.
  • Black Onyx: If the item requires attunement, the attuned creature begins to decay and take on the appearance of an undead zombie. This process is painless as long as the creature remains attuned, but if the attunement ends, the creature immediately takes 1d10 necrotic damage per level of the spell within the item.
  • Black Pearl: When the bearer is presented with an opportunity to act in a selfish or malevolent way, the item heightens the bearer's urge to do so.
  • Blood: If the casts a spell that deals damage, that damage can be changed to Poison damage. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical creature.
  • Bone: If the item casts a spell that deals damage, that damage can be changed to Necrotic damage. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical creature.
  • Clay: While underground, the bearer of this item always knows  the item's depth below the surface and the direction to the nearest path leading upwards. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical location.
  • Chrysolite: The item makes no sound when it casts its spell.
  • Coal: The item is constantly covered in a thin layer of soot and grime.
  • Copper: If the item casts a spell that deals damage, that damage can be changed to Psychic damage. Alternatively, if the item is sentient or contains a soul, 500 GP of copper grants it the ability to speak, read, and understand one or more languages.
  • Crystal: The item uses the spell save of its wielder, rather than the save dictated by the spell. The item can only be used by creatures who have the item's spell on their class spell list.
  • Diamond: The item is affected as if by the Awaken spell. It cannot move on its own, communicates by transmitting emotions to its wielder, can see and hear out to a distance of 30 feet, and is charmed by its creator as in the spell's description. It gains the ability to withhold its magical properties at will. Due to the value of this material, the minimum cost to modify the item is 1000 GP.
  • Dirt: While underground, the bearer of this item always knows  the item's depth below the surface and the direction to the nearest path leading upwards. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical location.
  • Glass: If the item casts a spell that deals damage, that damage can be changed to Lightning damage. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical location.
  • Gold: If the item requires attunement, attuning to the item only takes 1 minute.
  • Incense: By using a particular scent of incense, the item may be linked to a particular deity during its creation. The deity must approve of any creature that uses or attunes to the item. If a creature opposed to the deity attempts to wield the weapon, it loses its magical properties until it is wielded by a creature the deity approves of.
  • Iron: The bearer of the item can use an action to determine which way is north. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical location.
  • Ivory: The item whispers warnings to its bearer, granting a +2 bonus to initiative if the bearer isn't incapacitated. This effect is separate from the item's sentience or soul, if it has one.
  • Jacinth: The bearer can speak and understand one language of the creator's choice while the item is on the bearer's person. The language must be one listed in the Player's Handbook.
  • Jade: The item produces a fragment of an ancient song when used.
  • Lead: If the item is targeted by a Detect Magic or Identify spell, the spell fails and the spell slot is wasted. If at least 500 GP of lead is used in the creation of the item, the item is permanently under the effect of a Nystul's Magic Aura spell, the effects of which are chosen by the creator at the item's creation. If at least 5000 GP of lead is used in the creation of the item, the item and its bearer act as if they are under a Nondetection spell.
  • Lodestone: If the item casts a spell that takes more than 1 round to cast, that spell can be cast in half the listed time instead.
  • Mercury: If the item casts a spell with a duration longer than instantaneous, the spell lasts twice as long as it normally would, to a maximum of 24 hours.
  • Mica: If the item casts a spell that deals damage, that damage can be changed to Thunder damage.
  • Mithril: The item weighs half its normal weight, while maintaining its durability. An armor item reinforced with Mithril becomes Mithril armor in addition to its other properties. Due to the value of this material, the minimum cost to modify the item is 800 GP.
  • Opal: The item is imbued with illusion magic, allowing the bearer to alter the item's appearance in minor ways. These changes are entirely cosmetic and don't affect the weapon's properties. It reverts to its true appearance when no one is carrying or wielding it.
  • Pearl: When the bearer of the item contemplates or undertakes a malevolent act, the item enhances pangs of conscience.
  • Peridot: The bearer of the item can use an action to cause their voice to be heard clearly for up to 300 feet until the end of the bearer's next turn.
  • Pitch: If the item casts a spell that deals damage, that damage can be changed to Acid damage. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical location.
  • Platinum: The item can have a soul stored within it, becoming sentient. The soul cannot move the item on its own, communicates by transmitting emotions to its wielder, and can hear and see within 30 feet of the item. It gains the ability to withhold the magical properties of the item at will. Due to the value of this material, the minimum cost to modify the item is 5000 GP.
  • Quartz: If the item casts a spell that deals damage, that damage can be changed to Cold damage.
  • Ruby: The item glows faintly when a certain kind of creature is within 120 feet of it. The kind of creature it detects is chosen by the item's creator.
  • Salt: If the item is a potion with a duration of 1 hour, the duration extends to 1d4 hours. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical location.
  • Sand: The item floats on water and other liquids. Its bearer has advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks made to swim. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical location.
  • Sapphire: If the item is sentient or contains a soul, the range of its hearing and vision increases by 30 feet for each 500 GP of sapphire used in the item's creation, to a maximum of 120 feet. Because of its unique property, any amount of Sapphire can be used in a magic item creation, regardless of the highest level spell associated with the item.
  • Silver: A weapon item modified with silver counts as a silvered weapon. Alternatively, if the item is sentient or contains a soul, 5000 GP of silver grants it the ability to communicate telepathically with any creature that carries or wields it.
  • Stone: While underground, the bearer of this item always knows  the item's depth below the surface and the direction to the nearest path leading upwards. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical location.
  • Sulfer: If the item casts a spell that deals damage, that damage can be changed to Fire damage.
  • Sunstone: If the item casts a spell that deals damage, that damage can be changed to Radiant damage.
  • Water: The bearer of the item suffers to harm in temperatures as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit or as warm as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. To gain this effect, the material must be obtained from a magical location.

Note that these materials will be used in different ways during the process. A ring that is infused with sapphire doesn't need a sapphire set into it, but would have powdered sapphire added to the metal during the forging process.

Again, the DM is encouraged to use the Trade Goods table (PHB pg. 157) and the Gemstones and Art Objects tables (DMG pg. 134-5) to determine the value of the materials needed for modification.

The Crafting Process

Oh boy, here we go...
When a player wishes to craft a magic item, the first thing they must do is determine the total gold and time cost to create the magic item. They need to pay for the base item, a copy of the spells and their material components, the cost of infusing the spell into the item, and any modifiers the item might use. Remember, if they have a base item that lends itself to magic item creation, the gold cost is halved.

When they have saved up the gold required to create the magic item, they can spend it all at once to begin the creation process. This constitutes them buying all the materials they need to create the item. Because of the necessity of applying different parts of the material components at different times of the crafting process, they must spend all the gold up front.

Then, they need downtime equal to the time required to make an item. They don't need to spend it all at once, but the item will not be completed until they devote enough time to the item. When they spend their last downtime day, the item is completed. As part of the crafting process, they can choose to immediately attune to the item.

Let's take an example.

A character wishes to craft a Hat of Disguise. They found a Couatl Feather that their DM said would be an excellent base item for this endeavor. They already have the hat they wish to use as their base item. The DM determines the item, when crafted, will require attunement. Because this is an uncommon magic item, the character has a weaver's tools bonus of +9, or they are a Wizard specializing in Illusion magic with an Arcana bonus of +9.

The character will need 1 day and 25 gold to infuse the object with a 1st level spell. Since they wish to make the effect at will, these amounts are multiplied by 25. The Disguise Self spell has no material components, but they will need a copy of the spell in order to create the item. Fortunately, they already know the spell.

Let's suppose the character also wishes to use Gold to modify the item, to give it a shorter attunement time. Since the highest spell the item can cast is 1st level, the player must provide 25 GP worth of gold.

The character pays the gold required to make the item. This is the spell's 25 gold cost, multiplied by 25 to make it at will, plus 25 GP for the modification, divided by half because of the Couatl Feather. The total cost is 325 gold.

Then, the character must devote 25 downtime days to the creation of the item. After the last day, the Hat of Disguise is complete, and can be immediately attuned to by the character.

Here's an example of a custom item.

A character wishes to make a cloning machine. They are going to use the Simulacrum spell to do so, which makes the total spell level required 7. The DM determines that they will need a Tinker's Tools or Arcana (Illusion) bonus of +11 or higher, and will have to acquire a large metal container as the base item. Using the Trade goods table (and some googling), the DM determines the container weighs 500 pounds and costs 100 GP to craft. The DM determines this item will not require attunement.

The character will need 16 weeks and 25,000 GP to infuse the object with a 7th-level spell. They want to create 3 clones a day, so they must multiply the gold cost by 10 and the time cost by 5. The Simulacrum spell requires 1,500 GP of material components, which they must provide. Finally, they supply 500 GP of Adamantine to make the machine unbreakable, and 500 GP of Lodestone to cut the 12-hour casting time of the spell in half. The character doesn't know the Simulacrum spell, but found a spell scroll on their journey that they plan to copy it from.

The character pays the gold required to craft the item, totaling 252,500 GP. They must then devote 80 workweeks to the creation of the cloning machine, or approximately 1.5 years in Ahnerian time. After the last day, the machine is functional and can spit out a clone of a creature within it every 6 hours, to a maximum of 3 times per day. At the DM's discretion, the machine may have a maximum number of clones it can have active at a given time.

As a DM, the prospect of a cloning machine may be scary or world-breaking for you. I personally think there are a lot of good reason to do it (such as making the world more fantastic, giving players a goal for their gold, and stocking your magic item shops), but if you disagree, that's okay! There are plenty of points in the process where you can stop this endeavor. Tell them there's no tools sufficient to create such an item, that the base item they need doesn't exist yet, or even just limit their cloning to one clone at a time like in the original spell.

The point of this is to give a crafting process with simple costs and choices, flexibility, and creative effects. Overall, I feel pretty comfortable with the result. The process is also fairly balanced, since we are using the existing spell lists to build our costs.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday Recap: A Grave Situation

Such friendly faces
We got together for a little pick-up game this weekend, and just happened to have everyone that was in the game with Kaim'ango the edgelord. So, I figured we could carry on an adventure with these plucky young heroes!

By the way, this dungeon was inspired by this reddit post. When all else fails, use the resources on the internet!

Monday Recap: A Grave Situation

Cast of Characters
Jon: Dungeon Master
Megan: Gemma Ashton, Human Rogue, talks a lot, designs clothes, trying to rebel against her mom
Shannon: Ryn Darkiron, Human Bard, in a band, hair color changes daily, now touring in a tavern near you
Quinn: Chaz Greymoon, Human Barbarian, unaccomplished junkie, selling drugs for kicks
Makayla: Karen Iona, Human Wizard, quiet and awkward, learning magic from the mopiest guy in Garton

We began our story by figuring out what had been going on for the past month in each of the character's lives. Gemma had been begrudgingly taking her lady training, Ryn was now touring around and hoping to invent some sort of huge Sending Stone that could amplify her music (thus causing it to be "rock" music). Chaz had tried to get into running the underworld but found out that it was way herder than he expected, and had resorted to simply selling illegal drugs on the streets.

Karen, however, had begun her training with the guard leader Kaim'Ango, a man for whom the word drama was not nearly dramatic enough. In his forested tower, he spoke briefly of the lack of guards in the city, since they had been drawn away for other missions. He gave Karen a letter, which contained a mission he believed only she and her friends could handle. Karen left the tower, emerging in the middle of the city of Garton.

She decided to gather her friends starting where she knew one would be: Gemma's home in the High District of Garton. Gemma agreed to help on the quest (though they didn't actually know what it was yet), and asked her butler if he could track down Ryn or Chaz. The shifty butler Jared told them that he actually knew Chaz, and could ask to meet up with him that night. After a bit of sleuthing, they found out that Ryn would be playing at the Coldiron Inn that night, and Jared coordinated Chaz to be there as well.

They met again at the Inn that night, where Ryn had set up her band (featuring tons of percussion for extra loudness). Sure enough, Chaz was in the back of the tavern, ready to make a deal with Jared. The girls roped him in, and once Ryn's set was over she joined as well. They all agreed to go on the adventure, and Karen finally opened the letter containing their task.

As it turned out, they were just being asked to kill some rats in a basement. The group was underwhelmed, but apparently there would be payment in gold and alcohol. Gemma insisted they do the job quickly and get it over with, since her mother would probably become suspicious if she were out for more than one night.

Something strange is afoot at the Shining Whale!
They made their way to The Shining Whale, a lovely two-story tavern owned by a grumpy old dwarf named Grador Bottlebringer. His eyesight was going but his hearing was great, and he wanted the group to take care of all the rats in the basement so the noise would stop. His barkeep, a dark-skinned young man named Samuel, seemed nervous about the group. Ryn gave him her information so she could perform here later.

The heroes headed downstairs and started investigating the cellar. It seemed to be a standard wine cellar, with racks of wine bottles and barrels, and a set of torches dimly lighting the place. Karen took down one of the torches and began to swing it beneath the shelving, looking for signs of rats.

What she got instead was a glimpse of a disembodied hand crawling beneath the wines. After shaking off the shock of the scene, Karen reached out to grab the thing with her Mage Hand spell. However, it quickly skittered away before she could catch it.

The hand popped out into the open on the other side of the room, cautiously "looking" at the group. Gemma though it was moving in a slightly cute way, despite its pallid skin and broken fingernails. She and Ryn slowly approached it, whispering words of encouragement. Chaz, on the other hand, decided to just chuck a wine bottle at it.

The bottle hit the little hand and it stopped moving. Gemma rushed over, and fixed it up as best she could with a wrap made from her spare cloth. It seemed grateful, but wary of Chaz. Gemma decided to give it a glove of its own, so it looked fancy despite being just a hand. The hand "thanked" her, then scuttled underneath the wine shelves again.

Karen searched for it again with the torch, but it had seemingly disappeared. Ryn inspected the shelf it had crawled under, and found a single empty wine bottle among the many full ones. she realized it was attached to the shelf, and pulled on it. The entire shelf lifted up and swung easily, and the group revealed a secret passage underneath the cellar! Unfortunately, the crawling hand was nowhere to be seen.

They walked down a short passage and came upon a room filled with crates, with straw littering the floor. Karen noticed the shape of a person behind some of the crates, the top of his head visible by torchlight. She called out to him, and then watched in horror as the head hopped up onto a crate of its own volition, with no body attached to it.

The head introduced itself as Kyle, a zombie who lived down below the tavern. The group was suspicious, but Gemma believed he didn't mean to hurt them. Rather, he seemed to need help: the crates around him contained his other body parts, and he couldn't exactly open them with just his head.

What's up, dude?
Ryn recalled that certain types of undead imbued with Shadowfell magic could be divided up into their parts and still survive. Kyle wasn't too willing to discuss where he came from until he was back together, but he did say he had been packed into crates in order to covertly arrive in the tavern basement. Undead weren't really accepted elsewhere in the city.

Ryn also realized it was odd for an undead to be so talkative and intelligent, and convinced the group to help Kyle so they could get more information about him. Also, he said he could help them with the "rat" noises the tavern owner was complaining about. Chaz seemed interested in Kyle's demeanor, since Kyle seemed like the type of guy who would partake in illegal substances.

The group began to pop open the tops of the crates, finding some limbs, some random items, and plenty of biting insects that disliked their homes being disturbed. The search was eased a bit when Karen had the excellent idea to make Kyle move his limbs around inside the crates, but they managed to find a few more bug nests before finishing the job.

As black tendrils of necromantic energy sewed Kyle back together, he began to explain his situation to them. This basement was a bit of a sanctuary for undead, where they could live and be free from the scrutiny of the living world. The little hand, whose name was revealed to be Alehandro, was such an undead. The "rat noises" were actually coming from a group of skeletons called the Bone Brothers, who loved to roughhouse and make a racket.

The party thanked Kyle, and headed deeper into the basement. Gemma found Alehandro again and he joined her as they walked. They came across a fine dining room, where a gaunt, grey-skinned man was siting before a plate of bones picked clean.

He introduced himself as Reginald (or, as Kyle put it, Reggie), and politely asked if any of the group members would have a hand or foot they would be willing to give up. He was a terribly hungry ghoul, and was hoping to get a taste of living flesh once again. He wasn't completely unreasonable, though, and offered an Amulet of Health in exchange for the limb.

Slightly disturbed but grateful for the politeness of the offer, the party declined and pressed onward. They finally reached a huge bedroom, adorned with dusty furnishings and dark tapestries. A large weapon rack holding several scimitars was set into the wall. Piles of bones lay around the room, which began to tremble and roll together as they entered. Soon, they were face-to-face with eight shambling skeletons!

The skeletons introduced themselves, all of them with frightfully bad pun names. (You, dear reader, I will spare the pain of these names. Just look up some good skeleton puns if you've got an itch to scratch.) They said they were placed in this room by a creature called Kyeran, and were meant to guard something. The party managed to convince them they wouldn't need to resort to violence, but the skeletons seemed a bit disappointed in that. They said they would only stop making noise if Kyeran commanded it, and they would only lead the group to Kyeran if they got to roughhouse a bit with their new guests.

The best one was probably Howard Sternum
The party agreed, and the skeletons drew scimitars, claiming it was no fun if only they were able to lose limbs. The skeletons attacked, startling Ryn and Karen with their ferocity. Chaz downed a vial of buff-up drugs and drove to the front of the party, but the skeletons had already descended on the group. Karen unleashed a powerful Thunderwave spell, sending some of the skeletons flying, but it was too late. Gemma fell unconscious from her wounds, followed by Karen, Ryn, and finally Chaz.

They woke up some time later, with the blank-faced skeletons standing over them. Karen checked her limbs, relieved to find they were still attached. The group sat up, and the skeletons apologized for being so rough. Apparently, unconscious friends were not nearly as fun to play with. The group healed their wounds and asked to see Kyeran.

One of the skeletons opened a secret door behind the nightstand, and the party approached slowly. Inside the dusty chamber were piles of valuables, art, weapons, and a table with a wilting purple rose on it. Sitting next to the table was a white-skinned man wearing armor and wielding a longsword. He looked up as they entered, his eyes merely red pinpricks in the darkness.

He introduced himself as Kyeran, a former servant of the Mage's Guild during the War of Fools. The mages had been using this flower, the Midnight Blossom, to grant undead a level of intelligence and servitude. Kyeran had escaped after the fall of the guild, taking the blossom with him, and started this sanctuary for undead. Samuel helped him ferry the wayward dead into the basement. The Midnight Blossom was waning, however, and Kyeran had ordered Reginald to bring Kyle here to help revive the flower, but it turned out that Kyle had a different set of gardening skills.

The party first made sure that the skeletons wouldn't roughhouse as much, but after that they decided to make sure the midnight blossom was properly taken care of. Gemma said she would even pad the bedroom with cloth so the Bone brothers could have fun once again.

On their way out, Chaz, who was still a bit woozy from the drugs he had taken, decided to let Reginald have one of his hands in exchange for the amulet. The others decided to leave, and go talk to Samuel upstairs.

Samuel was nervous to talk to the party, but they covered for him when it came to confronting Grador about the "rats" in the basement. It turned out, Samuel was actually a poltergeist disguised as a corporeal human. It was only thanks to Grador's poor eyesight that he hadn't caught on yet. The group promised to help Samuel and Kyeran restore the flower, and Samuel expressed his gratitude.

Meanwhile, Chaz woke up a few hours later, down a hand but with a cool prosthetic. Reginald had already finished his meal, and gave up the Amulet of Health as promised. Kyle was there too, and offered Chaz some Shadowfell-infused drugs as thanks for helping the undead refugees. Chaz also happened to wander upstairs just as Grador remembered the gold reward he was supposed to give to the now-absent party, so Chaz happily accepted the hundred gold for himself.

Over the next week, Gemma and Karen researched exactly how to care for a magical plant such as the Midnight Blossom. They went to the Mage's Guild and discovered that magical soil for a plant of that nature would prove very expensive. Fortunately, Ryn had a great idea: a Benefit Concert! (Or Bone-fit concert if you prefer.)

It's time to party!
Ryn, Gemma, and Karen all got started with organizing the concert. Gemma's mother rented out a huge ballroom, Ryn amped up her band, and Karen made sure the city guard would be there to make everything go smoothly. Meanwhile, Chaz got a job at a morgue, stealing extra body parts to help Reginald out. In return, Kyle started supplying him with more magically-infused drugs, which Chaz started selling for good money.

After about a week, the "Benefit Concert for Local Homeless" was prepared, and Gemma had added a bit of a twist: everyone was to wear a costume! She helped sew masks and such for the local population, but the real reason was to allow the undead to join in the fun.

Once the party had gotten underway, Gemma and Karen slipped away to the Shining Whale, where they began to line the basement with fabric to muffle the Bone Brothers' sound. Grador had been invited to the gala, so Samuel let them in.

At the party, Ryn set up her band, and was excited to see the Bone Brothers themselves had arrived the help play drums for the concert. Kyle had also come, and was happily smoking with Chaz backstage. as Ryn kicked off the song, another spirit from the sanctuary flew up through the stage and began to sing. It was quite the show!

The dancing had just kicked off when the party heard a terrible rumbling. They looked up to see the entire roof lifting off the ballroom, and a huge armored giant looking into the room. It said, "Oh, wow! I love parties!"

The room broke out into chaos.

(Chuckles) I'm in danger.
We stopped there for the week. That last bit was a setup for my next Chaos Quest game, which hopefully will shake up the city of Garton quite a bit. Stay tuned for that recap!

I really like this crew. It's fun to play simple characters solving mysteries or exploring. I hope I can keep that feeling when we start up the exploration campaign I have in mind!

Thanks for reading!