It's a little bit of a hodgepodge today, with three new treasure items and a feat that goes along with one of them. At the same time, I'm hard at work on the next adventure in the Come Hell and High Water campaign, "Trial by Fire."
The Diamond Cross
Of the many treasures sent from the new world back to the powers that be in Spain, perhaps none was more spectacular than a diamond-studded cross intended for the Pope. It was crafted by a jeweler in New Spain, using gold and diamonds taken from the mine there, and sent aboard a ship bound for Europe. That galleon never made it there, however; instead it was intercepted by pirates. As the many treasures aboard it were disbursed, the cross ended up in the possession of Bartholomew Roberts. He wore it as a symbol of his influence and command, and it was believed to be still on his body when it was thrown overboard following a naval battle not far from Cape Coast Castle in western Africa.
In game terms, the diamond cross gives its wearer a +5 enhancement bonus to all Charisma-related skill checks, attempts to turn undead and Sway efforts.
Given the scope and influence of the various European powers, one might be tempted to think that its scholars could have little to learn from the seemingly more primitive cultures of the New World. That notion is, of course, wrong. The Pharmacopeia is a codex containing depictions of many different kinds of plants and even some animals, along with descriptions of how they can be used for medicinal purposes.
Using the pharmacopeia grants a person the benefits of the Herbalist feat. Characters who already possess that feat receive +2 equipment bonuses to their Heal and Survival checks.
Phylactery Proof against Drowning
This small leather pouch is fastened to a cord with which he can be tied around the head, usually worn on one's brow. (It works just as well fastened around an arm, however.) Inside is a small, aged scrap of parchment engraved in Latin with verses from the Bible:
“And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”
Anyone who wears the phylactery automatically succeeds at any Swim checks made to avoid drowning. Note that this doesn't prevent drowning due to more violent circumstances, such as being lashed to a cannon and thrown overboard.
New Feat: Herbalist
You are knowledgeable concerning the medicinal values of plants, and can use them in your practice as a healer.
Prerequisites: Heal skill 4 ranks; Survival skill 4 ranks
Benefit: When making a Heal check, you can aid yourself or another with a successful Survival check. This represents gathering plant materials to use in the effort.
Normal: You cannot use a Survival check to aid a Heal effort.