Posts Tagged With: gear

Clothing Maketh The Man

So, no posts for awhile. My apologies, I was caught up in moving into a solo office of my own and it was quite the busy June and July as a result…

Todays post comes from a set of rules that I’ve had for my fantasy game for awhile now, basically how to cost out clothing for the different social classes – along with a basic description of what comes in a basic outfit from the Heartlands. This came up in the last session because Baron Devin Tresendar managed to loose all of his clothing when they were ambushed by one of the dreaded Knights of the Dearth (aka Death Knight) and was wandering around dressed in peasant garb for awhile. They recently arrived at the capitol, and he finally had the time and place to go properly clothes shopping. This was especially important because there is some significant social combat coming up as they try to figure out if the King’s Champion is actually working with the Ebon Triad is being framed by them…

MS, Devin’s player, was quite shocked what it cost to buy a set of brand-new clothing – especially since it made sense to buy three outfits (two “everyday” and one “good suit”)

I simplified this in deciding that any particular piece of clothing costs the same number of coins, it’s merely the a different type and thus different value of coin. The basic idea is that each of the six social classes clothing costs directly correlates to the six basic coin types. So Beggar’s clothing costs Bronze, Commoner’s Copper, Merchant’s Silver, Gentlefolk Electrum, Noble’s Gold, and High Court garb cost’s Platinum.

But, for those that are interested, here is a description of what each social tends to wear both in terms of items, as well as in terms of materials, colors and decoration. It is also worth nothing a couple of potential price modifiers. Out of Fashion clothing (only applicable to Merchant, Gentlefolk, Noble, and High Court garb) is half-price but may impose Disadvantage in some social situations, and similarly Cheap or Poor Quality clothing has the same price modifier and the same potential detriment. New Fashion costs double the normal amount and may grant Advantage in some situations, and Exotic Fashion (either truly haute couture)  costs triple the normal cost and has a greater chance to grant Advantage (though it may also impose Disadvantage in some cases as well, some plebeians are unable to appreciate true genius after all… Clothing of Superior Quality costs five-times normal, but grants a +1 bonus to applicable rolls, and Masterwork clothing costs ten-times normal and grants a +2 to similar rolls.

Often times there are some various sumptuary laws in effect, but they are often there to be flouted to a degree.

Clothing is expensive enough that it is often handed down for as long as it can be worn, patched and mended as often as needed.

It is also worth noting that weapons and armor are also be subjected to the same price modifiers. For example, while a normal, serviceable broadsword costs 30 Silver, one suitable for Gentlefolk would cost 30 Electrum (with chasing of precious metals, engraving, etc), and one suitable for a Noble would cost 30 Gold. This doesn’t include the potential of gems or jewels being mounted in them either which would of course raise the value and the status of the bearer.

For those who wish to be truly extravagant, there are also a whole series of minor enchantments for clothing that can be purchased in the proper places to ensure proper fit, self-repair, always dry, etc.



So Beggars tend to wear the threadbare and patchworked cast-offs of the higher social classes, most commonly that of Commoners and Merchants. Often undyed (beige and off-white), when they are colored it is in the more basic and drab hues (dun, browns, mustard, muddy blues and greens, etc), often quite faded and invariably stained. Mostly commonly of coarse wool, leathers, and cast-off linen and are often relatively ill-fitting. Beggar’s often only own the clothes on their back.

Men– Tunic (8), Pants (6), Bandanna (1), Belt (1) – 16 Bronze

  • Outerwear: Cap (3), Mittens (1) – 4 Bronze
  • Riding Wear: None
  • Sleepwear: None
  • Accessories: Beltpouch (2) – 2 Bronze

Women– Blouse (6), Long Skirt (6), Headscarf (1), Girdle (4)- 17 Bronze

  • Outerwear: Cap (3), Mittens (1) – 4 Bronze
  • Riding Wear: None
  • Sleepwear: None
  • Accessories: Beltpouch (2) – 2 Bronze



Commoners can generally afford their own clothes, but will also wear the cast-offs of the higher social classes, most commonly that of Merchants and occasionally Gentlefolk. Those commoners that are direct servants of Nobles will occasionally be gifted with an old piece of lesser clothing to wear. Often undyed (beige and off-white) or blue (from woad), when they are colored it is in the most basic hues (dun, browns, mustard, greens, dull red, etc).  Commonly of wool, leathers, linen, and occasionally hemp, furs are reserved for cold-weather clothing and not common at all save among rural folk. Superior Quality tends to include elaborate embroidery around the hems and the buttons tend to be copper or bronze. Clothing for Commoners tends to be less than social statement and is more utilitarian in nature, though most commoner’s own not just the clothes on their back, but a set of “festival clothes” that they wear to celebrations and religious observances.

Men– Shirt (6) with Two Cufflinks (1 each), Vest (4) with Five Buttons (1 each), Breeches (6) with three Buttons (1 Each), Leggings (4), Socks (1), Shoes (1), Belt (1) – 27 Copper

  • Outerwear: Cloak (8) with Pin (3), Cap (3), Mittens (1) – 15 Copper
  • Riding Wear: None
  • Sleepwear: None
  • Accessories: Beltpouch (2), Coinpurse (1) – 3 Copper

Women– Blouse (6) with One Button (1), Long Skirt (6), Hairpin (3), Shoes (1), Hose (8), Hosiery Belt (2) Bodice (4), Belt (1), Chemise (3) – 35 Copper

  • =Outerwear: Cloak (8) with Pin (3), Cap (3), Mittens (1) – 15 Copper
  • =Riding Wear: None
  • =Sleepwear: None
  • =Accessories: Beltpouch (2), Coinpurse (1) – 3 Copper



As a point of pride many Merchant refuse to wear cast-offs from Gentlefolk or Nobles, unless of course the fabric can repurposed in such as way as to obscure that fact. Similarly, Merchant garb is often dyed in a variety of colors with several gradients of shades evident from across the spectrum. Commonly of finer wools and linens, you will see cotton garments as well, along with leathers and some furs among those that travel regularly. Superior Quality tends to include elaborate embroidery, fine furs and leather around the hems, as well as more elaborate dyes and patterns – among the richest you will very occasionally see Cloth-of-Silver. The buttons tend to be silver, though these are expensive enough that one set of buttons is often owned and transferred between sets of clothing as needed. Clothing for Merchants tends to be both utilitarian in nature but also a social statement, especially the richer the merchant. Merchant’s tend to own three or more sets of clothing, two sets for everyday wear and a set of “festival clothes.” Some guilds may require a special set of clothing (or outerwear) for use in special guild functions and those Merchant’s who ride extensively will also own a set of Riding Wear.

Men– Shirt (6) with Two Cufflinks (1 each) and Two Buttons (1 Each), Vest (4) with Five Buttons (1 each), Breeches (6) with three Buttons (1 each), Leggings (4), Socks (1), Shoes (1), Broadbelt (4) with Buckle (3) , Codpiece (2) – 43 Silver

  • =Outerwear: Cloak (8) with Pin (3), Hat (4), Gloves (2), Gaiters (2) – 19 Silver
  • =Sleepwear: Nightshirt (6) – 6 Silver
  • =Riding Wear: None or High Boots (6), Gauntlets (4) – 10 Silver
  • =Accessories: Beltpouch (2), Coinpurse (1) – 3 Silver

Women– Full Dress (10), Hairpin (3), Shoes (1), Hose (8), Hosiery Belt (2), Bodice (4), Belt (1) with Buckle (3), Brassiere (4), Chemise (3), Petticoats (4) – 40 Silver

  • =Outerwear: Cloak (8) with Pin (3), Hat (4), Gloves (2) – 17 Silver
  • =Sleepwear: Nightshirt (6) – 6 Silver
  • =Riding Wear: None or Soft Boots (2), Riding Skirt with Six Buttons (14), Gloves (2) – 18 Silver
  • =Accessories: Beltpouch (2), Coinpurse (1) – 3 Silver



Gentlefolk as a social class covers a certain level of semi-idle wealth that comes a variety of sources. Many Gentlefolk are minor nobles or very rich merchants and guildsmen, but it also covers wealthy adventurers, bards and skalds, courtesans and tantrics, and those who rub elbows with the most powerful. Generally made of fine wools, linens, cottons, leathers, etc. you will occasionally see some silk, velvet, and velour in the most expensive garb, along with elaborate embroidery, fines furs and leathers, and truly amazing dyes and patterns as well as Cloth-of-Electrum. The structural design still tends to wards the practical, though more layers and additional accoutrements and accessories are common. As with merchants, buttons are traded between sets of clothing to reduce costs. Gentlefolk often own at least three sets of clothing, two sets of everyday wear and an additional set of festival garb for special occasions. Those who travel considerably will often own an additional set of clothing for travel. Those who are going to attend court regularly will often invest in either an outfit of Noble’s garb (if they are a Noble) or Superior or Masterwork Gentlefolk garb. This is often the everyday wear of nobles from the countryside who nonetheless wish to remain fashionable and dress as befits their station.

Men– Shirt (6) with Four Cufflinks (1 each) and Two Buttons (1 Each), Doublet (12) with Five Buttons (1 each) and Sleeves (4), Breeches (6) with 3 Buttons (1 Each), Codpiece (2), Leggings (4), Socks (1), Shoes (1), Broadbelt (4) with Buckle (3), Collar (4) – 61 Electrum

  • =Outerwear: Cloak (8) with Pin (3), Hat (4), Gloves (2), Gaiters (2) – 19 Electrum
  • =Riding Wear: High Boots (6), Gauntlets (4) – 10 Electrum
  • =Sleepwear: Nightshirt (6), Robe (12) – 18 Electrum
  • =Accessories: Beltpouch (2), Coinpurse (1), Pomander (3) – 6 Electrum

Women– Full Dress (10) with 4 Cufflinks (1 Each) and 10 Buttons (1 Each), Hairpin (3), Shoes (1), Hose (8), Hosiery Belt (2), Corset (8), Bodice (4), Belt (1) with Buckle (3), Chemise (3), Petticoats (4) – 61 Electrum

  • =Outerwear: Cloak (8) with Pin (3), Hat (4), Gloves (2) – 17 Electrum
  • = Sleepwear: Nightshirt (8), Robe (12) – 18 Electrum
  • =Riding Wear: Soft Boots (2), Riding Skirt with Six Buttons (14), Gauntlets (4) – 20 Electrum
  • =Accessories: Beltpouch (2), Coinpurse (1), Pomander (3) – 6 Electrum



Noble Garb is less about practicality and more about the display or power, wealth, and privilege (it is also generally about one-and-half times more encumbering than other clothing dues to it’s extravagant nature). Suitable for wear at court functions it is made of the finest wools, linens, cottons, leathers. Silks, velvets, velours, damasks are also found in the most expensive garb, along with elaborate embroidery, fines furs and leathers, and truly amazing dyes and patterns as well as Cloth-of-Gold. As with merchants and gentlefolk, buttons are often traded between sets of clothing, though many nobles do have multiple sets of buttons for different occasions. Nobles often own at least three sets of clothing, two sets of everyday wear and an additional set of festival garb for special occasions. Those who travel considerably will often own an additional set of clothing for travel, though save for the richest nobles this is commonly Gentlefolk Garb.

Men– Shirt (6) with Six Cufflinks (1 each) and Three Buttons (1 Each), Doublet (12) with Five Buttons (1 each) and Sleeves (4), Breeches (6) with 5 Buttons (1 Each), Codpiece (2), Leggings (4), Socks (1), Shoes (1), Broadbelt (4) with Buckle (3), Collar (4) – 67 Gold

  • =Outerwear: Cloak (8) with Pin (3), Hat (4), Fine Gloves (8), Gaiters (2) – 25 Gold
  • =Sleepwear: Nightshirt (6), Robe (12) – 18 Gold
  • =Riding Wear: Soft Boots (2), Gauntlets (4) – 6 Gold
  • =Accessories: Beltpouch (2), Coinpurse (1), Pomander (3) – 6 Gold

Women– Full Dress (10) with 8 Cufflinks (1 Each) and 15 Buttons (1 Each), Hairpin (3), Shoes (1), Hose (8), Hosiery Belt (2), Corset (8), Bodice (4), Belt (1) with Buckle (3), Chemise (3), Petticoats (4) – 70 Gold

  • =Outerwear: Cloak (8) with Pin (3), Hat (4), Fine Gloves (8), Gaiters (2) – 25 Gold
  • =Sleepwear: Nightshirt (6), Robe (12) – 18 Gold
  • =Riding Wear: Soft Boots (2), Riding Skirt with Ten Buttons (18), Gauntlets (4) – 24 Gold
  • =Accessories: Beltpouch (2), Coinpurse (1), Pomander (3) – 6 Gold



This sort of clothing is rare, used and generally worn only by the very richest of nobles for the most formal of occasions (the royal court, the highest of religious ceremonies, etc). The clothing is uniformly costly and ostentations, often being twice as bulky as a normal. It is made of the most expensive fabrics and trim, Silk, Velvet, Velour, Damask, Exotic leathers and furs, Cloth-of-Platinum, etc. Save for royalty or the most powerful peers of the realm rarely does anyone own more than one set of this garb. Such nobles would commonly wear Noble’s garb for everyday wear, and New or Exotic fashions for festivals.

Men– Shirt (6) with Eight Cufflinks (1 each) and Three Buttons (1 Each), Doublet (12) with Five Buttons (1 each) and Sleeves (4) with 2 Cufflinks (1 each), Breeches (6) with 7 Buttons (1 Each), Codpiece (2), Leggings (4), Socks (1), Shoes (1), Broadbelt (4) with Buckle (3), Collar (4) – 72 Platinum

  • =Outerwear: Mantle (6) with Pin (3), Cape (8) with Pin (3), Fine Gloves (8) – 28 Platinum

Women– Full Dress (10) with 10 Cufflinks (1 Each) and 20 Buttons (1 Each), Hairpin (3), Shoes (1), Hose (8), Hosiery Belt (2), Corset (8), Bodice (4), Belt (1) with Buckle (3), Chemise (3), Petticoats (4) – 77 Gold

  • =Outerwear: Mantle (6) with Pin (3), Cape (8) with Pin (3), Fine Gloves (8) – 28 Platinum
Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Gift of the Ancients and the Shield of the Faithful

Nanietharil – Gift of the Ancients

A vest of Masterwork Leaf Armor made of overlapping layers of Ironwood carved into the form of tiny leaves. It’s dark hue is broken by a leaf-and-branch pattern of bronze and gold.


  • Proficient in Medium Armor
  • Survival Skill
  • Elven or Half-Elven Blood


  • +2 Ironwood Leaf Armor Vest (AC 13)
  • Resistance to Non-Magical Slashing, Piercing, and Bludgeoning Damage
  • Considered Enchanted
  • Treated as Light Armor
  • May re-roll any Survival skill check, 1/day.
  • When wooded or grassy areas, the leaves shift in shape and hue to match the native flora.

Level Bonuses:

  • 5th: One with the Wild – Characters with the Animal Handling skill may use it with non-domesticated animals.
  • 6th: Walk Unseen – The character has Advantage on Stealth checks in natural surroundings.
  • 7th: Walker in the Wild – The character has Advantage on Survival checks.
  • 8th: +3 Ironwood Leaf Armor Vest (AC 14)
  • 10th: Voice of the Wild – 3/Day – May Speak with Animals as the spell.
  • 12th: Armor of the Wild – A character wearing this while using the Wild Shape class feature gains all the benefits of the armor.
  • 13th: +4 Ironwood Leaf Armor Vest (AC 15)
  • 14th: Predator’s Dash – Base speed increases by 10′ per round.
  • 16th: Shape of the Wild – A character with the Wild Shape class feature gains one additional use of this ability per day.

The Aegis Inviolable – Shield of the Faithful

A Kite Shield of Fine Quality and sized for a Medium creature made of fire-blackened steel. It is bordered in bright sunsteel, with the sunburst symbol of the same metal in the center.


  • Proficiency with Shields
  • Proficiency with Heavy Armor
  • Religion Skill
  • Good Alignment


  • +1 Kite Shield (+3 AC)
  • Considered Enchanted
  • The wielder is considered one level higher for the purposes of Turning and Destroying Undead as long as they already have that class feature.
  • When strapped onto the wielders arm, the sunburst symbol glows brightly. While not bright enough to provide any illumination, it makes it impossible to hide or sneak about unseen.

Level Bonuses:

  • 5th: Light Fortification – 25% to negate Critical Hits or Sneak Attacks
  • 6th: Energy Aegis – 1/Day – Can choose Resistance to a single type of energy as a Reaction, this last 1 round.
  • 8th: Holy Vessel – For Clerics and Paladins of Good Alignment, the Aegis Inviolate functions as their Holy Symbol.
  • 9th: +2 Kite Shield (+4 AC)
  • 10th: Protection of the Gods – 1/Day – The wielder may use the Shield of Faith spell.
  • 11th: Energy Aegis Inviolable – The Resistance (q.v.) becomes Immunity.
  • 12th: Medium Fortification – 50% to negate Critical Hits or Sneak Attacks
  • 13th: +3 Kite Shield (+5 AC)
  • 16th: Divine Ward – 1/Day – The wielder may invoke a Death Ward as a Reaction.
Categories: Magic Item | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Druidic Foci and Tools

Druids as a character class actually cover a wide range of related, even similar but still quite different religions, commonly referred to as the Old Faith. Similar to Priestly Vestments, the tools and instruments of the Druids are a sign of their religious status as well as being regular ritual tools and foci. Of these, only the Torc, Crane Skin Bag, and Cloak are possible to be found used by related classes (such as Rangers or Bards of the College of the Old Faith) and the Druid’s tend to keep their secrets close. All of these items must be attuned, and while Druid’s themselves are not generally punished for losing such items – the uninitiated and thieves are often cursed or worse by the Old Powers.


Druid’s Cloak – Woven to be warm in cold weather and cool in the heat, the Druid’s Robes grant them Advantage on Survival Checks, these robes mark the wearer as a Druid. The robes also grant the Druid Advantage on Stealth Checks when in the wilderness. It also provides Resistance to damage from Beasts, and allows the Druid personal use of Invisibility to Beasts once between rests.

Druids Boline – Druids are steeped in tradition, and the boline is an ancient design – a curved, bronze blade that are used primarily for ritual work (Archdruids often have one made of Orikalkium). Enchanted to be as hard as steel, it is a Bane to Aberrations, Demons, and Lycanthropes. It is also used to harvest herbs and perform sacrifices – it is not to be used against mundane foes or for profane tasks. It can function as a Druidic Focus.

As Druids gain levels, they often increase the magical power of their tools and instruments, as in the following examples:

Druid’s Torc – An often ornate neck ring of bronze or precious metals with a variety of animal motifs worn by women, warriors, and those of higher social station. They are meant to be worn at all times, and are invariably damaged removed. The Druid’s Torc allows them to cast spells while wearing it in animal form during Wild Shape. It also increases the Spell Slots by one of each level. It also allows the use of Animal Friendship once per Long Rest.

Druid’s Crane Skin Bag – Traditionally made of crane skin in the Heartlands, the bag is a small repository of various small items of personal, mystic and spiritual significance for the Druid that must remain secret from all others. Of all the Druid’s Tools, this is the most precious as if it is held by another the Druid has Disadvantage in all things and the bearer has Advantage against the Druid in all things. If opened and scattered, the Druid loses all spell-casting abilities until the next new moon, and creating a new one (which generally does not remove the power of the old one) takes about two months per level of the Druid. It has a number of abilities:

  • It grants the Druid Inspiration, once between Rests.
  • It grants the use of the Guidance cantrip for the sole use of the Druid.
  • It allows the recall of a single Spell Slot, no higher than half the Druid’s level, once between Long Rests.
  • It can function as a Druidic Focus.
  • The Druid always knows where their Crane Skin Bag is.

Druid’s Anguinum – A small construct or occasionally a natural stone or crystal in the shape of an egg containing precious herbs and the essence of serpents, it is an aid to healing and herbalism. It provides Advantage on all skill checks related to healing and medicine (and, poison lore). It also allows the use of the Detect Poison and Disease ritual. It can be used as an Druidic Focus.

Druid’s Cauldron – Sometimes plain but more often ornate, the Druid’s Cauldron is a large container used in various rituals. In addition to these uses, it also has a number of other abilities.

  • It can Purify Water as a Ritual.
  • It can create a refreshing draught that can heal each member of the party once between Long Rests. This heals 2 Hit Dice worth of damage (without costing Hit Dice), removes a single level of Exhaustion, and cures Poison and grant Inspiration.
  • It can cast Scrying as a Ritual.
  • Grants Advantage to Alchemy Checks when used during the process.

Druids Staff – Traditionally two handspans in length taller than the Druid, the Druid’s Staff allows the use of the Shillelagh Cantrip on itself at any time. At its most basic the staff has the following characteristics.

  • Treated as an Enchanted, +1 weapon per five full levels of the character.
  • The staff does additional damage of an elemental type chosen by the Druid equal to their Proficiency bonus.
  • When held and planted on the ground, the Staff provides Advantage on Saving Throws against and Resistance to Arcane damage.
  • It increases their Spell Slots by one of each level.
  • It can function as a Druidic Focus.
  • The Druid always knows where their staff is located.

Archdruid’s rarely have any special items that mark them as being particularly different from lesser Druids. They are far more likely to simply have more puissant magic, and just generally more items at their disposal. Archdruids is less the actual term of strict hierarchical rank in this instance and more a term denoting the higher ranking Druids in their orders.

In the Heartlands, the Old Faith is a relatively structured with matching orders of male and female Druids and related groups of Rangers and Bards – with occasional Paladins and Warlocks in the mix, not to mention the occasional solitary Druid out in the woods, disconnected from any hierarchy. In Kistath there is a similar Old Faith that is focused on the Old Powers of the deserts, and in Ith you can find occasional, isolated shaman who follow their own path based on the spirits of the jungle.

Wood Elves are primarily Druid in spirituality, but like all elven spirituality it is often a more personal matter rather than an organized religion in the way that humans practice – but also with a strong connection to their Berserkers. That said, those E’lin who practice Druidry are highly respected and their Tools are often similar to those of human Druids – suggesting a strong connection. Instead of a Staff that are quite likely to use a Warspear instead.

Gnomes are also highly Druidic, worshipping a Great Mother and a Green Man with a respect for the Old Powers. Their tools are similart though instead of a Staff they common use a Wand of some sort it it’s place. They do not have the highly structured religion of humans, but do have an organized structure along clan lines.

Finally, some Khazan follow the Old Faith as well. Often a more bloody and dire sort, with Hunstman Archtype Rangers in attendance. Again, their Tools and Foci are often quite similar to other Druids, but they do not have an structured hierarchy or an organized religion.

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Priestly Vestments and Foci (5e)

While the details and forms of the foci and instruments of clergy will vary considerably from religion to religion, there have developed a common set of vestments that different priests and priestesses use. These Vestments mark the wearer as clergy or as one of the related professions. Depending upon the religion it will likely even identify specific orders as well as a ranks and roles. Those who wear Vestments can include Paladins, and certainly there is the potential for some Archtypes with Divine magic to use them as well. These items require Attunement – and any divine servant that loses, mistreats, or misuses their vestments suffers Disadvantage at the very least until the wrong is righted, often Curses and other punishments plague such misfortunate priests. The creation of vestments is included in the training of most clergy, though examples abound of them being created simply be strength of faith and devotion itself. Similarly, the vestments of the most devout (or wealthy) priests may have additional abilities beyond those listed here.

All of the items are considered magical and have Advantage on all of their saves.

The Priest’s Holy Text – Most priests carry at least a basic copy of their religions Holy Text. The length and breadth of this can vary considerably from religion to religion, and the beauty and ornateness of the copy or edition can also vary – much like a Holy Symbol. The primary use of the Holy Text is as a teaching aid, and as a source of Inspiration. During a Short or a Long Rest, a any sufficiently devout individual can grant themselves Inspiration by reading and reviewing their Holy Text, a priest can do it for themselves and any other members of the same faith that are present.

The Priest’s Book of Rites – Many priests also keep a copy of their Book of Rites handy, as this is required to cast Ritual Spells. For many religions it also has the information for the proper ceremonies when performing marriages, last rites, naming and dedications, along with the creation of holy water, holy oils, etc. At their most basic, a Book of Rites contains only a handful of Ritual Spells as well as basic community rites, at great temples or seminaries these may be a huge tomes with Ritual Versions of each and every spell that a cleric could cast.

The Priest’s Holy Symbol – The most basic of a priest’s vestments, the Holy Symbol is a cleric’s basic Divine Focus. Some spells may require additional components, but the presence of a Holy Symbol is necessary for all Divine magic. The appearance of a holy symbol can vary considerably depending upon the wealth and social class of the cleric or temple it comes from. Unlike a Wizard’s Wand however, any of the devout may carry a Holy Symbol, and it’s mere presence does not confirm the bearer as a priest. A priest merely openly bearing or presenting a Holy Symbol benefits from Protection vs Good & Evil (and this is a common enchantment on Holy Symbols for the devout). A priest presenting a Holy Symbol and Concentrating, may invoke Sanctuary for themselves.

As Priests gain higher levels it is not uncommon for them to gain increased magical items such as the following:

The Priest’s Robes – The most commonly visible and obvious of the vestments, these come in many different version. From the cassocks of the Church of the Lords of Light, to the robes of the En Khoda Theos Kirk, to the mask of the priest of the Midnight Sun or even the blackened splint mail of Khazan shamans. Aside from clearly marking them as clergy, a priests robes allow the priest the use of the Shield of the Faithful once between Long Rests.

The Priest’s Prayer Beads – A length of beads, usually with a set number according to doctrine and faith, often of particular materials. They may be worn as a necklace, a bracelet, or even simply hanging from the belt or kept in a pouch. The faithful use Prayer Beads to guide their individual worship, both prayers and mediation. Priests may also use their Prayer Beads in two special ways. First, it allows them to maintain Concentration on one additional spell if held in the hand. Second, using it allows them a Divine Recovery after a Short Rest if that is all that they focus on. They may recover spell levels equal to half their level, none of them higher than 6th level.

The Priest’s Girdle – Generally in the form of a belt or cincture or some sort to wear around their Robes, the Priest’s Girdle is another of the Vestments that commonly mark the wearer as a priest – and the absence of which (much like Robes) may cause some to question the authenticity or veracity of the claimant. When worn, the Girdle allows the personal use of the Resistance cantrip if they do not know the it, and also grants them the effect of an Aid spell once between Long Rests.

The term “Archpriest” in this context means that the following items, as Vestments, are often reserved for specific ranks within a religious hierarchy – or that they can only be created and gifted by higher ranks. They are often reflective of the greater divine mandate that these priests have, and are often reserved for Clerics of 10th level or greater. Exceptions have been made in some cases, and for the particularly devout but lower ranked priests, they may find that their “lesser vestments” may take on some or all of these abilities as well. These are the equivalents of Bishops, Cardinals, Abbots, and similarly ranked religious figures.

The Archpriest’s Medallion – Often an ornate piece included in either a set of Prayer Beads, the Archpriest’s Medallion often commemorates some special event or personage. In the Church of the Lords of Light it might be one of the Elect, while in the En Khoda Theos Kirk it might some special crystal or stone from the site of a significant manifestation of one of the Great Dragons. When included as part of a set of Prayer Beads, it does not require separate Attunement. This is the one Archpriest item that is most commonly found in the possession of non-Archpriests – often gifted to favored priests and other members of the Faithful.

  • Can hold Concentration for one spell cast by the Cleric.
  • Can use a Bless once before requiring a Short or Long Rest.
  • Can use an Aid spell once before requiring a Short of Long Rest.
  • The Cleric gains one additional use of their Channel Divinity

The Archpriest’s Cloak – Often a more ornate and elaborate addition to the Priest’s Robes, this is often a short cloak or mantle such as chasuble or alb – though for some religions it can be nothing more that a veil.

  • Provides a bonus to AC equal to +1 per five full levels of the Cleric class.
  • The Cleric may use a Hellish Rebuke, but the damage is Radiant and the Save is Wisdom, once between Rests.

The Archpriest’s Pectoral – A large and ornate Holy Symbol that is worn on the chest as a reminder of the status and power of the Archpriest in question.

  • +2 to Armor Class (it is treated as a Breastplate)
  • Protection vs Good & Evil at all times
  • With Concentration can invoke Sanctuary as desired
  • The Cleric has Divine Favor.
  • The Cleric also radiates a Crusader’s Mantle

The Archpriest’s Signet – Essentially the religious version of a noble’s seal, an Archpriest’s Signet is a worn by those priests that hold high rank within their religious organization. These are commonly destroyed on their death of the priest that they were made for, though some faith’s pass them along to the next holder of the office. Using one without sanction is a guarantee of getting the attention of the church authorities – not top mention the Divine Power who sanctioned the item’s creation in the first place.

  • With members of their Faith, may issue a Command as a Standard Action.
  • Can use Bless as a Standard Action.
  • May use a Guardian of Faith once per day
  • The Cleric gains one additional Spell Slot for each Spell Level.
  • The Cleric gains one additional use of their Channel Divinity.

The Archpriest’s Crown – Like the Archpriest’s Signet (q.v.) the Archpriest’s Crown is a physical symbol of the priests spiritual and temporal might using a familiar secular symbol.

  • Members of the Faithful have Disadvantage on saves against the Clerics magic
  • The Cleric has Advantage when making Charisma check with members if the Faithful
  • Advantage on Saves against Enchantments.
  • The Crown gains one additional Spell Slot for each Spell Level.
  • The Cleric gains one additional use of their Channel Divinity

The Archpriest’s Sceptre – Often a symbol of both divine and temporal power, the Archpriest’s Sceptre is usually an ornate rod of office – though in some more blood-thirsty religions it may be an actual weapon and may then share some characteristics with a Sanctified Weapon (q.v.).

  • Treated as a Holy Symbol for purposes of casting spells.
  • Always treated, at a minimum, as an Enchanted Weapon.
  • Weapon damage can vary from that of a Club to a Warhammer.
  • Treated as a+1 weapon per five full levels of the Cleric class.
  • Does additional Radiant Damage equal to the Proficiency Bonus of the Cleric
  • Weapon Bonus also adds to Spell Strike and Spell Save modifier.

The Sanctified Weapon – Some faiths, as well as most religious orders of warriors (including Paladins), have deities which are closely associated with a particular weapon. These are actually able to be used by any member of the faithful, but holy law often reserves their use to Clerics & Paladins, or a few select others who are deemed the most worthy. Considered a Holy Weapon, these are often relics and highly prized by the Faithful.

  • Always treated, at a minimum, as an Enchanted Weapon.
  • Treated as a+1 weapon per five full levels of the character.
  • Does additional Radiant Damage equal to the Proficiency Bonus of the character.
  • Some are able to Smite as a Bonus action a number of time per day equal to their Channel Divinity (and recovered in a similar manner). Smiting a foe means that the wielder may add their level to the damage done (Radiant). On a Critical, this damage is doubled.

The Church of the Lords of Light uses all of these vestments, their Robes being a simple cassock (often in specific colors and design as guided by Rule and Rite), their Girdle is the typical triple-braided cord worn by all members of the faith, the Holy Symbol being an Argentos, and the Prayer Beads being simply that (and made from a variety if materials). Their Sanctified Weapon, commonly made of sunsteel, is either a fighting knife or a broadsword (less commonly a longsword and very rarely a battlesword or greatsword).

As befits the somewhat disorganized nature of the En Khoda Theos Kirk they are not particularly organized in their use of vestments. Their Holy Symbols, a Scale (usually of a drake, but rarely that of an actual dragon) combines the functions of both the Holy Symbol and the Girdle. Similarly, while some Dorje wear Robes with the standard effects, for others they wear a sash that (confusingly) combines the abilities of the Robes and Girdle (effects do not stack) – this is an ancient style preferred by the Dragonborn. Prayer beads are commonly carried, most commonly made of stone. Sanctified weapons are commonly mainly with the military religious orders of the Kenza, and are not nearly as common within the ranks of the Dorje. They do not, however, have holy texts, and while there are a series of philosophical treatises that can function in the same way as Holy Text there are no Books of Rites.

While the Heptarchy uses all of these vestments, the individual style depends upon the actual deity, few generalizations being able to be made. Holy Symbols are the solar and lunar symbols noted in the specific descriptions, and while Robes are worn by most of the clergy, for the priests of the Midnight Sun this is a Black Mask, while for the Daughter of Blood they a considered Robed if nude and covered with a least some freshly spilled blood. The Sister of Bone only has prayer beads of bone, while Mother of Pearl uses only pearls. Sanctified Weapons are most common among the followers of Sol Invictus (usually sword, spear, or lance), Sister of Bone (bone dagger), and Daughter of Blood (battle axe of some sort).

A Note On Damage: While the damage done is generally Radiant for religions that are Good or Neutral, some Neutral and most Evil will do Necrotic damage instead. For some Deities, especially those with an Elemental or Nature portfolio, the damage may be Fire, Thunder, Lightning, or even Poison. This is determined by the Dungeon Master.

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Kingmaker and Queen’s Brooch

So, just to throw some content out there – here are my conversions for the Legacy Magic items from Barrow of a Forgotten King and The Sinister Spire. It is interesting because of the lack of Feat progression in 5E, so I basically dumped that entire mechanic. I was also not much of a fan of the special ritual “unlocking” mechanic because I think it creates more work for the DM rather than opportunities for the player.

Yeah, there are at least a couple more coming along here once the players aquire them, and I’ll be sure to post those stats as well.

Merthúvial – The Kingmaker

A masterwork longsword made of shining adamant, with the runes of Aleph in spelling out Merthivial (or “Kingmaker”) along the blade. It has a plain hilt set with a single large pearl in the pommel.


  • Good or Neutral Alignment
  • Persuasion Skill
  • Proficiency in Longsword


  • +2 Adamant Longsword
  • Considered Enchanted
  • Has Advantage against all non-Adamant Armor
  • Does double damage dice (2d8, or Versatile for 2d10)
  • Has the Finesse Quality (weighs half normal)
  • When drawn and held, it glows with white light equal to a torch in strength. In combat this light becomes distinctly reddish in hue, though the brightness and intensity stay the same.

Level Bonuses:

  • 5th: Detect Thoughts – 1/Day
  • 7th: Strength of Kings – (+2 Strength while worn)
  • 8th: Loyal Servitor – (Continual Unseen Servant)
  • 10th: Merciful Redress – 3/Day – “Your Strength Shall Return” (Lesser Restoration)
  • 11th: +3 Bonus, Plus Keen (Doubles Chance of Critical)
  • 13th: Lordly Orator – Advantage on Charisma Skill Checks while Targets have Disadvantage to Resist
  • 14th: Expel From The Realm – 1/Day – “Begone!” (Banishment)
  • 16th: Loyal Minions – 1/Day – “To Me!” – (Monster Summoning V)
  • 17th: +4 Bonus, Adds Shocking (+1d10 Electrical Damage, doubled on Critical)
  • 20th: Kings Command – 1/Day – “Hear and Obey!” (Dominate Monster)

Spell Save DC’s are equal to 8 + Proficiency Bonus + Charisma Modifier + Weapon Bonus

Banrhialorg – The Queen’s Brooch

A Masterwork Brooch of unblemished gold, it features a draconic head with sapphire eyes and ruby tongue. Close examination reveals that faint lines and joins in the brooch and it’s chain form a sequence of arcane runes.


  • Arcane spellcaster
  • Arcana skill
  • Female


  • When an arcane spellcaster uses the brooch, the sapphire eyes flash with lightning and the ruby tongue burns with fire, shedding light like a candle. The wielder can suppress this effect with a reaction, but must do so each time the brooch is used.
  • The wielder may also double the duration of up to three spells each day as a Reaction.

Level Bonuses

  • 5th Level: Arcane Cipher – Can use Detect Magic, Read Magic, and Arcane Mark as a normal Action.
  • 6th Level: Arcane Alacrity – The wearer can memorize and prepare spells in a third of the normal amount of time.
  • 10th Level: Arcane Resistance – The wearer has Advantage on saves vs. Spells.
  • 13th Level: Arcane Persistence – The wielder can double the duration on up to an additional three spells that they cast as a Reaction daily.
  • 14th Level: Arcane Repulsion – The wielder has Resistance to magical damage.
  • 16th Level: Arcane Reserve – The wielder can store up to three levels of spells in the brooch.
  • 17th Level: Arcane Acumen – Grants a +6 to Spell Save DC and Spell Attack Modifiers. In the event that the wielder has multiple arcane classes they must pick one class that the bonus applies to.
  • 20th Level: Arcane Empowerment – The wielder can increase the power of up to three spells that they cast per day. This increases the range, damage, area-of-effect, and duration by 50%.
Categories: Campaign, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tools and Instruments of the Wizard (5e)

Humans wizards and those trained by them or in their traditions, have developed a selection of tools and instruments that even beginning wizards start their careers with. This includes Sorcerers and Warlocks, as well as Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters – though only Wizards use Grimoires and Codices or gain any benefit from the spells contained within. Their training represents quite an investment of time and energy on the part of their Master, and the world at large is often even more hostile to wizards than it is to other adventurers. As a result, part of the training of a Wizard involves the creation or attunement to their Foci. This investment has the unfortunate effect that any opponent who holds a Wizard’s Wand, Kris, or Staff (or Orb or Wizard Blade) gains Advantage against that Wizard’s spells and other magical effects. Any Wizard who has their Wand, Kris, or Staff broken or destroyed suffers 1d4 Psychic damage per level – these items have an AC of the appropriate material, Hit Points equal to 2x the Wizard’s level, a Damage Threshold equal to the Wizard’s level, and Resistance to non-magical weapons. A Wizard’s Wand, both Kris, and Staff must be Attuned items. The same is true for Orbs, Wizard Blades, and Wizard Aegis or any other similar or related item.

The Wizard’s Grimoire – All Wizards maintain a Grimoire in which they record their spells and other arcane formula. In appearance it can vary immensely, from a collection of loose papers and scrolls to the most impressive of tomes, bound in dragonskin and with black adamant bindings. Learning a new spell and transcribing it into a Grimoire takes two hours and 50sp per level of the spell, copying a spell you already know into a new Grimoire only takes 1 hour and 10sp per level of the spell. A standard Grimoire has roughly 100 pages, and each spell take up one page per level of the spell.

The Wizard’s Codex – These are the basic instructional manuals of magic, with a selection of easy to understand and basic spells of varying levels depending upon the Codex itself. The spells and other arcane secrets contained within them reveal the beliefs and attitudes of the creator about the proper development or practices of a wizard at the various levels. There are numerous examples of a Codex, from the ponderous and ubiquitous, ten-volume Codex Magic, to the Sefer Ratziel of the Church of the Lords of Light, or even the classic Book of Seven penned by the great mage Dulain. A wizard always begins play with a basic Codex as determined by the DM.

Both the Grimoire and Codices are Resistant to all damage types, and they are Immune to Fire and Arcane damage. They have Advantage to save against all spells or spell-like effects.

The Wizard’s Wand – The Wizard’s Wand is their primary arcane focus (Components are a backup). It can have a variety of appearances, from a simple wooden implement to an ornate creation of adamant and diamond to a solidified creation of elemental fire. In any case, a Wand as an Arcane Focus replaces the need for Components and the possession of one invariably marks the bearer as a Wizard.

The Wizard’s Kris – A wizard’s kris are two double-edged daggers, they could be bodice knives, they could be fighting knives, the style depends upon the wizard in question. There is a white-handled kris and a black-handled kris, the white is for physical and mundane threats, the black is for spiritual and magical threats. They can be used for offense and defense, in combat or otherwise. Each are specifically enchanted against those threats (the white is treated as Coldsilver Enchanted Blade, the black grants the wizard the effects of a Protection vs Good & Evil spell while drawn and held). A Kris is also an Arcane Focus, and can substitute for a Wand if need be. It is quite common for wizards to layer enchantments upon their Kris, increasing them in potency as they advance in level – it also common for a wizard to replace them over the years with more substantial creations.

It is not uncommon for higher level mages to have even more puissant resources such as the following.

The Wizard’s Staff – The Wizard’s Staff is, in some ways, their most puissant instrument aside from their spells themselves. It combines the abilities of the Wand to aid in the casting of spells and those of the Kris to protect the mage and act as a weapon. This potency and utility comes with a price however, a wizard who has created a Wizard’s Staff but does not hold it or another Arcane Focus (other than Components) has Disadvantage when casting spells and saving against magic. The benefits:

  • Allows use of the Light Cantrip.
  • Treated as a+1 weapon per five full levels of the Wizard class.
  • Provides an AC bonus equal to half the Proficiency Bonus of the Wizard.
  • Can hold Concentration for one spell cast by the Wizard.
  • The Wizard gains one additional Spell Slot for each Spell Level.
  • The Staff may be summoned to the Wizard’s hand if the Wizard is 9th Level or greater.
  • The Wizard always knows where their staff is located.

The Wizard’s Orb – Similar to the Staff, the Wizard’s Orb is a puissant magical instrument in its own right. It functions quite similarly to a Staff, and has the same potential problem. A wizard who has created a Wizard’s Orb but does not hold it or another Arcane Focus (other than Components) has Disadvantage when casting spells and saving against magic. The benefits are as follows:

  • Allows use of the Light Cantrip.
  • Act’s as a Crystal Ball.
  • Can hold Concentration for one spell cast by the Wizard.
  • The Wizard gains one additional Spell Slot for each Spell Level.
  • The Orb may be summoned to the Wizard’s hand if the Wizard is 9th Level or greater.
  • The Wizard always knows where their Orb is located.
  • Is always controlled as if under the effects of a Mage Hand cantrip.

A Wizard Blade – A rarer instrument, a Wizard Blade is a combination of a Wand, Kris, and Staff, usually in the form of a Shortsword or Longsword. Much like a Staff or Orb a wizard who has created a Wizard Blade but does not hold it or another Arcane Focus (other than Components) has Disadvantage when casting spells and saving against magic. The benefits of using a Wizard Blade are the following:

  • Allows use of the True Strike Cantrip.
  • Always treated, at a minimum, as a Coldsilver, Enchanted Weapon.
  • Treated as a+1 weapon per five full levels of the Wizard class.
  • Does additional Force Damage equal to the Proficiency Bonus of the Wizard
  • Can hold Concentration for one spell cast by the Wizard.
  • The Wizard gains one additional Spell Slot for each Spell Level.
  • The Wizard Blade may be summoned to the Wizard’s hand if the Wizard is 9th Level or greater.
  • The Wizard always knows where their Wizard Blade is located.

A Wizard’s Aegis – A term for a somewhat ubiquitous magical item that has protective and occasionally offensive properties. The most basic forms consist of a broad gorget, commonly made of precious metals in a serpent- or dragon-scale pattern or motiff with a stylized representation of some fearsome, supernatural beast on the front. More advanced forms of the Aegis also include a cuirass of shining, metallic scales that cover the chest and upper arms of the wearer (AC11). Occasionally an Aegis includes a matching ephaptis (fighting cloak) made of a similar leathery and metallic scales (AC12) that can be used by Wizard.

  • The Wizard is under the Effects of Blade Ward Cantrip at all times.
  • The Wizard has Resistance to Force damage.
  • Provides a bonus to AC equal to +1 per five full levels of the Wizard class.
  • The Wizard has Advantage on saves versus Spells and Magical Effects.
  • The Wizard may use a Hellish Rebuke, but the damage is Psychic and the Save is Wisdom.
  • The Wizard may cast Fear once, with 15’ radius Area, usable again after a Short Rest.

Elves do not use or create Wands, either not needing them or preferring to use a piece of jewelry as an Arcane Focus. Their Wizards have Longknives that operate as both Kris combined, and while some use Staves, others (especially their Eldritch Knights) have a sword or occasionally a spear that functions as a Wizard Blade. Instead of Grimoires they use Crystals that record the formula, and many of their Codices are in similarly strange and wondrous forms.

Sh’dai do use and create Wands but invariably create and use Wizard Blades rather Staves early in their career. Their most powerful Wizards often craft a full complement of instruments and tools, unlike human wizards which often omit a Wizard Blade. Rather than Kris, they create a dark weapon known as a Fellblade that functions as both Kris combined.

Dragonborn have a long history of Arcane study, and live and breath Arcane energies as part of their essential nature. As a result of this, both Sorcerer and Monk levels count for purposes of determining the power of their Staff (and these are commonly used). They use a peculiar tri-bladed form of Kris that are otherwise identical in function (though they are also known to make them in a Shortsword format), and as noted in their description they have no need for an Arcane Focus so they rarely if ever make or use Wands. The Dragonborn record their spells in a variety of idiosyncratic methods (scrolls and tomes, flame sculptures, wind chimes and mobiles, etc), making it difficult to make any statement about Grimoires in specific.

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Codex Magica – Volumes I-X (5e Codex)

One of the most wide-spread of the basic tomes of magic, many mages since the times of the Wars of Binding have their first introduction to the basic principles of magic in this ponderous, weighty tome written in a combination of Istarian and the True Speech – often sprinkled with words, phrases, and sections in other languages as well. The tome is divided into sections covering each of the schools of magic, as well as the various magical effects along with explanations of the various instruments and tools associated with the magical arts. There are ten volumes in the series, each covering one rank of spell, with the tenth discussing lost arts and mighty magics from the past like the Great Veil. It is most common in the Heartlands and Kistath, though some groups have their own preferred instruction tomes such as the Sepher Ratziel and related tomes for the Society of Light, or the older Book of Seven that was much in use before the Codex Magica was penned and is preferred by some traditionalists despite the archaic style of the text.

“Volume I: Magic of the First Rank” In addition to all of the Wizard cantrips listed in the Player’s Handbook, Volume I contains the following spells: Alarm, Arcane Mark, Comprehend Languages, Conjure Fetch (aka Find Familiar), Detect Magic, Erase, Identify. It also adds a +1% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells of 1st Rank if used as part of spell research. Cost: 300sp

There is a relatively common printing of Volume I, the Triple Horn edition, that includes a basic Bestiary and Index that grants Advantage when attempting to identify fantastic creatures (using a basic Intelligence, Survival, or Perception check). While it does no more than give a name and type, but often that is enough to jog the memory, and allow a further check for Arcana, History, or Nature knowledge related to the creature in question. Cost: 1000sp

“Volume II: Magic of the Second Rank” Contains the following spells: Arcane Lock, Detect Illusion, Detect Thoughts, Knock, Magic Weapon, Nystul’s Magic Aura. It also adds a +1% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells of 1st or 2nd Rank if used as part of spell research. Cost: 600sp

Various editions of this Volume II include an “Enchanters Appendix” which discusses the creation and use of D’lanni Stones. Using this volume grants Advantage when examining or attempting to identify D’lanni Stones and their contents. It also covers the creation of Coldsilver and Truesteel. Cost : 1500sp

“Volume III: Magic of the Third Rank” Contains the following spells: Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Glyph of Warding, Magic Circle, Remove Curse, Sending. It also adds a +1% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells of 3rd Rank or lower if used as part of spell research. Cost: 900sp

The very rare and obscure Oriflamme edition, which dates back to the Wars of Binding, includes instructions and formula for creating very basic Wands and Kris with very basic materials. These are far from polished, and casters using them incur Disadvantage – but they are at least able to cast spells! Cost: 2000sp

“Volume IV: Magic of the Fourth Rank” Contains the following spells: Arcane Eye, Leomund’s Secret Chest, Mark of Ownership, Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum, Polymorph. It also adds a +1% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells of 4th Rank or lower if used as part of spell research. Cost: 1200sp

There is a rare edition of Volume IV, the “Red Dragon Binding” that includes an in-depth appendix regarding the creation of Alchemical Powders, Draughts, and Salves, as well as normal Alchemical Preparations, in addition to the normal contents. This volume also grants Advantage to the Arcana Skill if used to attempt to identify such alchemical items, as well as Potions, Elixirs, Dusts, and the like. Cost: 2500sp (All volumes of this edition generally sell for half again the normal price)

“Volume V: Magic of the Fifth Rank” Contains the following spells: Arcane Retribution, Contact Other Plane, Legend Lore, Scrying, Teleportation Circle. It also adds a +1% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells of 5th Rank or lower if used as part of spell research. Cost: 1,500sp

“Volume VI: Magic of the Sixth Rank” Contains the following spells: Arcane Gate, Contingency, Globe of Invulnerability, True Seeing. It also adds a +1% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells of 6th Rank or lower if used as part of spell research. Cost: 2,000sp

Some obscure copies of the Volume VI dating back to the Cult Wars include the spell Spiritbreaker as well. These are known as the Black Tear printings due to their unique binder’s mark. Cost: 5,000sp

“Volume VII: Magic of the Seventh Rank” Contains the following spells: Etherealness, Interdiction, Symbol, Teleport. It also adds a +1% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells of 7th Rank or lower if used as part of spell research. Cost: 2,500sp

“Volume VIII: Magic of the Eight Rank” Contains the following spells: Antimagic Field, Demiplane, Mind Blank, Zone of Metamagic Minimization. It also adds a +1% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells of 8th Rank or lower if used as part of spell research. Cost: 3,000sp

Rarely found but highly valued, there is a stand-alone appendix to Volume VIII that was part of the Grey Temple edition that is known simply as the “Artificer’s Appendix”. It is focused on the creation of magical artifacts and the filled with examples, lessons, and diagrams of how such matters should be handled – as well as including the spell Glass Into Iron. Cost: 10,000sp (Other volumes of this edition generally sell for double the normal price)

Magical Items Covered: +1 Weapons and Armor, Arcane Seal, Blastbracer, Blastbroach, Blastrod, Cloak of Protection, Cloak of Shadows, Driftglobe, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Gem of Brightness, Headband of Intellect, Lantern of Revealing, Necklace of Adaptation, Ring of Mind Shielding, Ring of Protection, Rope of Climbing, Rune of Warning, Scarab of Protection, Sending Stones.

It is important to note that there is a very poor copy with flawed spell copies that can never be successfully learned (but do not impact the ability to learn them if studied elsewhere. It is a Very Difficult Arcane Lore check to tell the difference.

“Volume IX: Magic of the Ninth Rank” Contains the following spells: Arcane Censure, Astral Projection, Foresight, Gate. It also adds a +1% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells of 9th Rank or lower if used as part of spell research. This volume also grants Advantage to Arcana, History, and Religion skill checks as related to Angels (both the Host and the Fallen), Demons and Dearthlords, the Lords of the Maelstrom, and the Delian Council. Cost: 4,000sp

“Volume X: Magic of the Tenth Rank” This volume contains no spells, but possession and use grants Advantage for Arcana checks in general. It also adds a +5% chance to spell research for all arcane (wizard) spells if used as part of spell research. Cost: 5,000sp

Note: Having and using the entire ten-volume set grants Expertise (double proficiency bonus) to Arcana in addition to any other benefits that the individual volumes might bring. In general, using tomes in this manner increases the time increment by one for each tome used. So if the time needed for an Arcana check regarding Angels was ten minutes, then if the use of Volume IX (to gain Advantage) would increase this to 20 minutes, while if the entire ten-volume set was used to gain Expertise then the time spent would be 120 minutes – and gaining both Advantage and Expertise in this example.

Some of these spells are found in the Necromancer Games tome, the Book of Lost Spells (is available at Those spells are as follows: Arcane Censure (9th Level), Arcane Retribution (5th Level), Detect Illusion (2nd Level), Erase (1st Level), Interdiction (7th Level), Mark of Ownership (4th Level) Spiritbreaker (6th Level), Zone of Metamagic Minimization (8th)

Categories: Campaign Development, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sefer Ratziel and the Cherev Enoch (1e)

Continuing in the vein of the Codex Magicus, these are the two most common tomes for those mages from the Society of Light and who study within that tradition:

The Sefer Ratziel: Also known as “The Book of the Lord Sc. Ratziel”  The transcribed words of the Lord Sc. Ratziel, Archangel of the Supreme Mysteries and Preceptor of Enoch, this is considered the most basic and at the same most complete book on magic that is used within the Society of Light. Comprised of seven tractates, the book covers a series of basic instructions on not just magic, but the nature of the Heaven and the organization of the Host, and a variety of other esoteric subjects. Most commonly found as series of scrolls, there are printed versions in books that are often organized differently. (XP: 32,000 – Special)

  • 1st Level Spells: Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic, Find Familiar, Hold Portal, Imbue, Light, Protection from Evil, Read Magic
  • 2nd Level Spells: Detect Evil, Knock, Wizard Lock
  • 3rd Level Spells: Dispel Magic, Protection from Evil 10’r
  • 4th Level Spells: Magic Mirror, Remove Curse
  • 5th Level Spells: Contact Other Plane, Dismissal
  • 6th Level Spells: Enchant an Item, Legend Lore
  • 7th Level Spells: Truename, Banishment

The Cherev Enoch: Also known as the “Sword of Enoch” these is a small but dense text that is available to those mages of the Society of Light that also act as the warriors of the Light (as opposed to more cloistered mages). It is not considered a replacement for but rather a supplement to the Sefer Ratziel. Terse in text, the Cherev Enoch is focused on incantations of personal offense and defense, and almost bereft of the sort of spiritual and ethical guidance that is contained within the Sefer Ratziel, as such it is only granted to those members of the Society who are deemed to be suitable for its teachings.  (XP: 15,000 – Special)

The tomes of the Society of Light are written in complex coded allegory, itself in a mixture of Enochian and either Istarian or Kistathian depending upon the source. As such they also depend upon the mystical and occult revelations that come from advancement in the Society of Light to truly understand. Mages cannot gain the experience from spells until they have a level equal to that of the spell, so for a mage to gain the experience for a 4th level spell they must be at least 4th level. For mages who are not members of the society of Light this is doubled if they are attempting to study the tome to learn it’s secrets (in addition to knowing the correct languages).

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Dwarven Weapons and Equipment (1e)

So, as I talked about for the Elves I also have a collection of equipment and gear that the Dwarves produce.

The Dwarves as a race are a collection of craftsmen and artisans that take a great deal of pride in their accomplishments. Their product is invariably of sturdy construction (gaining a blanket +2 to all saves) and costs roughly five times (5x) the normal cost for an item (even if not granting any other special bonus) – though one notable by-product of the innate dwarven enchantments and forging process is that Dwarven goods don’t rust either.. Dwarven goods, mostly weapons, armour, and other pieces of metal working, are in great demand across the Mortal Realms and can be found in most Great Cities. Dwarven smiths are also one of the few places that Masterwork and even simply enchanted weapons (+1 and +2) and armour can be purchased – though often at astronomical prices.

Dwarven Battleaxe: With the Dwarven Waraxe, the Dwarven Battleaxe is perhaps the quintessential Dwarven weapons. Crafted from fine steels and sturdy wood hafts, the Dwarven Battle is also balanced for throwing (ROF: 1, Ranges: 1″/2″/3″) like those of the Northmen and has a haft usually around two-and-half to three feet long and most commonly single-bitted. Like all axes, it gets a +1 to Hit, but also has the ability to Disarm opponants on a roll to hit AC8. Damage: 2-9/2-9, 75sp

Dwarven Waraxe: A heavy two-handed axe, the Dwarven Waraxe is preminantly a weapon-of-war for the Dwarves. Most commonly double-bitted, some single-bitted “cording style” Waraxes are also found and both types are capable of Cleaving attacks. Like all axes it gets a +1 to Strike, and like all of the Two-Handed weapons it gets an additional +1 to Hit (for a total of +2) and strikes in Post-Rounds. A company of Dwarves armed with four-to-five foot long Waraxes can decimate opposing foes quickly and efficiently. Damage: 3-18/3-18, 150sp

Dwarven Hammer: Perhaps slightly more common than battleaxes for the Dwarves due to their additional utility when it comes to mining. Dwarven Hammers are beautiful and sturdy weapons about two-and-half to three feet in overall length, and are balanced for throwing when they are purpose-built as weapons (ROF1, Ranges: 1″/2″/3″). They most commonly have a single head and like all hammers get a +1 to Hit. Damage: 3-6/2-5, 15sp

Dwarven Warhammer: In the same vein as the Dwarven Waraxe, this is the matching two-handed blunt weapon with a haft length of four-to-five in length. Like all hammers it gets a +1 to Strike, and like all of the Two-Handed weapons it gets an additional +1 to Hit (for a total of +2), Cleaving, and strikes in Post-Rounds. Some examples exist that are single-headed maul styles. Damage: 3-12/4-10, 50sp

Dwarven Knight’s Mace: The idea of a “Dwarven Knights” is a bit odd to human ears, and in truth this mace is styled as such due to its popularity among human knights – though it is equally as popular among many Dwarves as well. Usually around two-and-half feet in length, the Dwarves like them for their ease of use in close quarters and have determined the most advantageous designs for both damage and ease of use. Damage: 2-8/2-7, 75sp

Dwarven Shortsword: A quite common, though not quite so romantic, weapon of the Dwarves. The Dwarven Shortsword is a broad-bladed weapon just over two feet in length that is quite effective. Damage: 1-8/1-8, 125sp

Dwarven Battlesword: Somewhat rare, but often used ceremonially by the Dwarves, the Dwarven Battlesword is a broad-bladed weapon between four-and-half and five feet in length that can only be used with two-hands. Like all Two-Handed weapons it gets a +1 to Hit and has Cleaving – it also strikes in Post-Rounds as is normal for Two-Handed weapons. Despite it’s often ceremonial role, it is a deadly weapon when wielded in combat by a skilled warrior. Damage: 3-12/2-20, 300sp

Dwimmervolk Smallsword: The Dwimmervolk eschew many of the traditional weapons of the Dwarves due to thier above-ground, urban dwelling habits. The Dwimmervolk Smallsword (sometimes called the “Citysword”) is a thin-bladed fencing weapon of great strength and flexibility matched with a light action and ease of use for the skilled duelist. It gets a +1 when used to Parry. Damage: 2-7/2-8, 250sp

Dwarven Doublemail Hauberk: The Dwarves are known not just for their weapons, but their armour as well. The 1-in-8 design of forge-welded links is amazing enough, but the metals used lighted the load more than could be imagined. Bulky, 25 lbs, 9″ Movement, AC4, 600sp

Drakehide Hauberk: A popular style of exotic armour, the Dwarves also made armour out of the hide and scales of Drakes which grants a bonus to saves (+2) against the elemental effects that the Drakes are associated with and reduces the damage taken from such effects (-2 per Die of damage). The common varieties are Fire/Heat (Fire Drakes), Electricity and Lighting (Storm Drakes), Cold and Ice (Frost Drakes), and Acid (Swamp Drakes). Fairly Bulky, 30 lbs, 9″ Movement, AC5, 3000sp.

Dwarven Plate Armour: This complicated set of full plate armour is lighter and stronger than would be expected due to a combination of both alloy and technique. Like other Full Plate, Dwarven Plate absorbs 2HP of damage from each die of damage that hits – though it absorbs 48 HP of damage before worsening to AC2. Non-Dwarven smiths requite double the time and cost to repair the armour. Fairly Bulky, 25 lbs, 9″ Movement, AC1, 20,000sp

Dwarven Waybread: A rich, earthy loaf of dense bread, Dwarven Waybread is an excellent source of nourishment in a very compact form. One loaf of bread will sustain a person for an entire day of very hard labour. 3sp per loaf.

It is also worth noting that Dwarves are often the most common users of Firearms along with Crossbows, the Dwimmervolk are common sources of Dartcasters, and the Dwarves of the Shadowlands (the Dwarrow) have their own weapons and specialties. They are also quite noted for the beers, meads, stouts, and strong spirits.

Categories: Campaign, Campaign Development, Game Design, Game Play, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Elven Weaponry and Equipment (1e)

So, one of the ways that I enjoy making various races seem and feel quite different from each other is to make their equipment different and special – mundane, Masterwork, quasi-magical, as well as the “common” magical items that race creates. So, ignoring the “common magical items” for the moment, here is a listing of a few for the elves.

Now, in the case of the Elves, even their “mundane” items are significantly better than human construction – the result of time out of mind spent on minute refinements of design and technique. Each item made by elves are themselves works of art that a human artisan would weep to produce even one of during their life. In the Mortal Realms these are quite difficult to come across and often command incredible prices. One of the greatest features is that all Elven weapons are treated as if they were either silver or cold iron for the purposes of hitting certain creatures. They aren’t actually made of such materials (many elves being quite susceptible to cold iron) but the inherent enchantments that come from their construction methods and the exotic, non-rusting “Elven Steel” used.

All of these items are rarely available in the Mortal Realms and have Exotic availability. The prices listed are reflective of this and the fact that the elves themselves maintain a primarily gift economy rather than a market or barter-based system. It is also worthwhile noticing that many of those found in the Mortal Realms have been constructed in places like Mistvale or Silverveil – those items with an actual Faerie provenance can command even greater prices to collectors.

Elven Longknife: A long-bladed, single-edged blade of roughly 12″ overall length, the Elven Longknife is balanced for throwing (ROF: 2, Ranges: 1″/2″/3″) and grants an additional +1 to Parry. Due to its size, Surprise attacks can be made in melee combat if it is thrown at an opponent – very few expect such a weapon to balanced for throwing! Damage: 1d6/1d6, 20sp.

Elven Shortsword: While there are multiple styles of Elven Shortsword, they all have a number of similarities; a slightly curved blade, a chisel-point, single-edged, and roughly two-and-half feet in overall length. Their use tends to be limited to warriors and some ritual use. Damage: 1d8/1d10, 250sp.

Elven Longsword: Similar to the Elven Shortsword, there are multiple styles with the same shared profile, save that the overall length is roughly four feet. The Elven Longsword is reserved for warriors, the epitome being the “Wind Blade” of the “Wind and Fire” matched sets of Long and Short swords. Damage: 1d10/2d8, 750sp.

Elven Battlesword: The elven version of the single-edged Hand-and-a-Half Sword, it is an elegant weapon of war that has a typically Elven slightly curved and chisel-pointed blade roughly three-and-half feet in length, often around four-and-half feet on overall length. Like all Battleswords it has Cleaving and +1 to Strike when used two-handed, but due to its balance it merely incurs a -2 Initiative penalty rather than being forced to strike in Post-Rounds. In order to be used single-handed it requires a Strength of 11+ and a Dexterity of 11+. Damage: 1d12/3d6, 600sp.

Elven Greatsword: Roughly six feet in overall length, the slightly curving, single-edged four-foot blade of the Elven Greatsword is amazingly delicate for the damage it deals out. Like all Greatswords it is +1 to Strike, has Cleaving, and must be wielded with two hands. Due to its balance it merely suffers a -4 to Initiative penalty rather than being forced to strike in Post-rounds. Damage: 1d12/2d12, 1000sp.

Elven Spear: Between six and seven feet in length, the Elven Spear is made of strong, resilient silver-white wood with a broad-bladed tip. It may be thrown (ROF1, Ranges: 2″/3″/5″) with such accuracy that it seems to fly through the air, though it’s strength and keen bladed head allow it to almost be used as a polearm in melee combat. Damage: 1d8/1d10, 10sp.

Elven Longbow: Prized by archers of all sorts, the silvery-grey wood of the Elvish Longbow is distinctive from a distance – which is excellent given their increased range (ROF:2, Ranges: 9″/16″/23″). Commonly etched and carved with minute designs, the Elves name their bows and treat them with the same level of honor as Humans view their swords and Dwarves their axes and hammers. In combination with Elven Arrows these bows, and the archers that use them, are deadly. Damage: As Arrow, 600sp

Elven Greatbow: The epitome of the Elven bowers art, the Elven Greatbow is prized by their archers and reserved for the most skilled among them. Like the Elven Longbow, the range is greater than a normal (ROF:2, Ranges: 10″/16″/26″) and many are prized heirlooms of their bearers. Damage: As Arrow, 900sp

Elven Arrows: Finely made and balanced, Elven Arrows grant a +1 to Hit and are most commonly found as Standard, Bodkins, and Broadheads. Damage: +1d4/+1d4, 5sp (Any Type)

Elven Chainmail: Made of a fine mesh of strong chain links, this can be worn and hidden underneath clothing successfully. Non-Bulky, 30lbs, 12″ Move, AC5, 1500sp.

Elven Chain & Plate: Made of fine elven chain as well as delicate plates and exquisitely articulated joints and often etched and inscribed with fantastic designs, to human eyes this almost appears like costume armour. Fairly Bulky, 50lbs, 9″ Move, AC3, 5000sp.

Elven Cloak: A tightly woven, but supple and soft cloak of a neutral greyish-greenish color, the Elven Cloak provides a +2 to Surprise checks in natural surroundings. It also grants a +25% to “Hide in Shadows” attempts for Rogues in the same settings. It is amazingly strong and warm while also allowing the wearing to “breathe” quite easily – it is considered the most favorable form of clothing for either cold climates and the wearer does not suffer any penalties when wearing it in warm ones. 1000sp.

Elven Boots: Finely made and delicately embossed leather, Elven Boots and quite study despite their appearance. They are also quite comfortable and easy to move in, and due to their suppleness provide a +1 to Surprise rolls and a +25% to Move Silently for Rogues. 1000sp.

Elven Cordial: Spicy and strong, with a cleansing finish, this shimmering drink with faint silver and emerald sparkles is one of the most common of elven drinks. Elven Cordial heals 1d4, grants the ability to make an additional save vs. Poison if there is any within their system, and grants an additional save vs Disease and Parasitic Infection. It also provides the drinker halves the need for water for a 24 hour period of time. It commonly comes in leather-wrapped crystal decanters that hold five quaffs. 500sp per quaff.

Elven Waybread: Light and airy, with a honey-sweet and nutty flavour, these crisp wafers are prized by all for their taste, let aloe their nutritional properties. Carefully wrapped in leaves, an unbroken wafer provide all of the nutrition needed for a full day of hard exertion (broken wafers are only half as effective). A weeks worth fits neatly in a beltpouch – when you can find it! 10sp per wafer.

Elven Spellcrystal: While the Fae have always written in formats that humans and other races would recognize, they also record information in crystals that can be accessed by entering the proper meditative state and using the facets and the mystical qualities of the crystal as a staring pattern. When used as a spellbook, a typical spellcrystal can store significantly more information in a much smaller (and more resiliant) package. An Elven Spellcrystal can easily record 500 levels worth of spells. 10,000sp

On a more Dungeon Masterly note, this makes (along with Dwarven, Gnomish, and other racial gear) a great way to hand out quite useful items that aren’t super-magical but still have quite a bit of umami to them.

Categories: Campaign, Campaign Development, Game Design, Game Play, House Rules, Magic Item | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at