Wednesday, June 18, 2014

[Wondrous Wednesday] Mageglobe, Magewand, and Ring of Defense

These solid metal orbs, a heterogeneous composite of silver, gold, and platinum, glittering with gem-dust, are between two and four inches in diameter and are incised with tiny runes, sigils, and formulae in eldritch tongues. Developed during the height of the Second Caliphate, the magi of that realm used these devices to better target their area of effect spells such as sleep, stinking cloud, and fireball.

When held in hand prominently during the casting of such a spell, any allies caught in the area of effect receive a +2 bonus to save against the effect of the spell. Conversely, when there are no allies caught in the area of effect, and the caster can concentrate solely on targeting enemies, the enemies get a -2 penalty to save against the spell effect. The globe is useless if used on a target of a spell that only targets a specific individual or individuals, rather than a broad area of effect.

The globes are rated based on the maximum spell level at which they are efficacious. This also determines their cost to manufacture:

Least: 1st level, 250 gp
Lesser: 2nd level, 500 gp
Minor: 3rd level, 1000 gp
Major: 4th level, 2500 gp
Greater: 5th level, 5000 gp

If at any time an ally critically fails with a “Natural 1” a save instigated by a spell modified by the globe, or similarly if an enemy makes a saving throw with a “Natural 20,” the globe temporarily loses its magical calibration and becomes non-functional until the wizard spends one hour plus 1/10th the cost of making the globe in a ritual to re-calibrate the globe.

The art of creating these devices was spread far and wide following the flight of the magi at the fall of the Caliphate, though their creation is beyond the simple arts of the typical hedge mage. Any wizard schooled at the better colleges of magic in Itlania, Elysion, the Septarchy, Gyrax, Alspadia, or the South has a chance equal to their chance to learn a new spell to have the knowledge of how to manufacture one at character creation. Otherwise the formulae and rituals can be found in various tomes and grimoires.

A wizard can create a Mageglobe of any rank equal to any spell level they can cast. Creation of a Mageglobe requires silver, gold, platinum, gem dust, and a pint of blood or ichor from an aberration or cosmic entity with HD equal to the level of the highest-level spell that will be able to be cast using the Mageglobe. If the wizard obtained the blood or ichor himself, he gains a +10% chance on his roll to successfully enchant the device (equal to his chance to learn a new spell less 5% per level of the device). Time required is one week per spell level.

Few wizards, once they have manufactured a Mageglobe, sell them, as a weaker globe can be enchanted to a stronger globe over time with further enchantment and cost (simply subtract that already expended from the new cost). However, adventurers who have found these in treasure hoards have been known to sell them at two to five times the cost of enchantment.

Note that the Gregorian Church is leery of the manufacture and use of these devices, as the formula requires the use of blood or ichor of questionable provenance.

These simple wands, also known as dueling wands, are a basic enchanted item that can be created by even a 1st level wizard. In fact, in the Olden Lands, one is not considered a true wizard in magical circles until one has a self-made Magewand ready at hand. These wands are enchanted to provide the wizard with a basic magical weapon, something flashy to impress and threaten the yokels and something that civilized wizards can use to resolve simple, petty feuds.

The wand is pointed at the target and the wizard utters the magic word – unique to each wizard and her wand – that sends off the bolt of magical force. The range of the bolt in feet depends on the level of the wizard:

1st to 3rd: 10/20/30
4th to 6th: 15/30/45
7th to 9th: 20/40/60
10th to 12th: 25/50/75
13th to 15th: 30/60/90
16 to 18th: 40/80/120
19th plus:  50/100/150

The wizard must roll to hit as per a normal attack, as, though the bolt is magical, it is still a normal physical attack. If hit the target does not get a saving throw. Note that though it is magical, it has no bonus to hit, thus the bolt cannot hit creatures that require +1 or better magical weapons to be hit, though it can hit any creature that merely requires any magical weapon to be hit.

The bolt, which has the color and appearance and generates a sound as the wizard who made the Magewand so dictated at the Magewand’s creation, deals 1d4 points of damage plus the highest spell level the wizard can memorize; thus the bolt of a 1st level wizard deals 1d4+1 points of damage, the bolt of a 7th level caster deals 1d4+4 points of damage, and the bolt of an 18th level wizard deals 1d4+9 points of damage. The wizard can, at the time of shooting, decide whether the damage is lethal or subdual damage. Most duels are performed with subdual damage… most.

A wizard can use another’s Magewand, and the Magewand’s range and damage is based on that of the creator (if the creator is dead, it is based on his level at the time of death). However, using another, more powerful wizard’s Magewand causes the user to suffer a penalty to hit equal to half the difference between the maximum spell levels useable by the wielder and the creator, rounded up. Thus, a 1st level wizard using a 7th level wizard’s Magewand would suffer a -2 penalty to hit ((4-1)/2).

A wizard trained to use a Magewand possesses a number of power points equal to his Intelligence score plus his current level as a wizard. Only one charge may be used per attack. These power points, which are separate from and unrelated to spells known or memorized, are regenerated at a rate of one point per 10 minutes spent exclusively in meditation for the purpose. All points are regained after a full night’s restful sleep.

Any properly trained wizard can make a Magewand in one day’s time and by expending 100 gp in petty magical materials (eye of newt, wing of bat, nose of goblin, etc.) and a successful roll against his chance to learn a new spell. The appearance of a Magewand can vary greatly; most are simple wood, others are of metal, the more ostentatious are crystalline rods or gem-encrusted. A Magewand can take the form of a wand or even a rod, scepter, or staff. Many of the more potent magical wands, rods, and staffs known today began as a Magewand, with the wizard further enchanting his personal wand as he grew in power and knowledge.

A wizard can have more than one Magewand of his own creation in existence at one time; however, for each such Magewand in existence beyond the first, the wielder of any of the wizard’s Magewands suffers a -1 penalty to hit, cumulative.

Another mainstay of wizards above the hedge-wizard level is the ring of defense, a simple enchantment that even a 1st level wizard can readily manage. These devices are purely personal; no one else can ever benefit from a wizard’s ring of defense, though such items often evolve, of their own accord and through eldritch means, into proper magical rings of protection.

The enchantment on these rings grants the wizard a bonus to his Armor Class. The bonus is equal to the highest level spell he can memorize or his Intelligence bonus, whichever is higher.

The bonus can be used a number of times per day, defending against a single attack roll per use, equal to the level of the wizard plus his Intelligence bonus. The number of uses per day resets at dawn, noon, sundown, or midnight, as determined by the wizard when he creates the ring.

When attacked, provided the wizard is not caught surprised, he can assign the bonus to his AC instantly, before the attack roll is made. If an attacker has multiple attacks, the wizard must declare which one he is using the bonus on, though if he has enough daily uses remaining he can use one charge per attack.

If the ring’s bonus successfully provides a defense, there is a scintillating flash from the ring that interposes itself between the attack and the wizard; otherwise, if the bonus did not help in defense, there is no physical effect.

If the wizard is ever hit by a “Natural 20” in an attack in which he used the bonus from the ring, the ring’s magic is destroyed, and the ring itself melts, shatters, or dissolves, as is appropriate for the material used.

A wizard can create a ring of defense in one day’s time and at a cost of 50 gp in minor magical components per point of bonus to AC the ring provides.

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