Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two Arcane Items

To go along with the previous post, with rules for arcane spellcasters, I have for today two magical items drawn from popular folklore.

Also, assuming I don't post tomorrow, I'd like to wish everybody a happy new year!


There's an ancient tradition in folk magic which holds that a small image of a person, one that contains actual material from that person's body, is mystically linked to that person. What is more, it can be used to deliver harm to said victim. The specific effectiveness of the poppet depends on how well it is crafted, by comparing the results of a Craft (sewing) or (woodcarving) check to the table below. This determines both the DC for the Fortitude save that the victim receives, as well as the maximum amount of damage that one item can cause to its subject.

Check    Max. Damage
Result / and Save DC
0-4 / 5 hp; DC 6
5-9 / 10 hp; DC 9
1-14 / 15 hp; DC 12
15-19 / 20 hp; DC 15
20-24 / 30 hp; DC 18
25-29 / 40 hp; DC 21
30-34 / 50 hp; DC 24
35-39 / 75 hp; DC 27
40+ / 100 hp; DC 30

Note that a character must possess the Craft Poppet feat in order to attempt the process. Furthermore, failing to provide a bit of material—a lock of hair, a bit of blood or even nail pairings—causes a -10 circumstance penalty to this effort. Additionally, crafting the poppet requires special materials that cost 5 poe multiplied by the level of the victim squared. For example, if an enemy wanted to make a poppet depicting Captain Ned Carstens, a fifth-level Expert, it would cost 125 (5 x 5 x 5) poe.

New Feat: Craft Poppet
This feat functions like other item creation feats, and allows you to make poppets.
Prerequisites: Caster level 3rd.

Tarot Cards
Each of these iconic cards has certain ideas associated with it; these images, then, are the sources for meanings and messages interpreted from them.

Magician—A powerful wizard, or the use of strong magic
High Priestess—A female cleric or oracle, or a religious organization
Empress—A powerful female sovereign, or the country itself
Emperor—An influential male monarch, or the realm
Hierophant—A male cleric or oracle, or a congregation
Lovers—The possibility of romance, or a specific couple
Chariot—Upcoming travel, or a battle
Strength—A symbol of virility and power, physical or otherwise
Hermit—A mysterious figure, but perhaps one who can be of assistance
Wheel of Fortune—Luck, for good or bad; an approaching gain or loss
Justice—The law and enforcement of it, or those who do so
Hanged Man—Someone who has broken the law, or was accused of doing so
Death—Just what it seems
Temperance—Upright living, moderation and harmony
Devil—A powerful force for evil, such as a vampire or a dragon
Tower—A stronghold or other such important place
Star—Hope in times of darkness; inspiration
Moon—Things of the night, and perhaps the sea
Sun—Enlightenment and beauty
Judgment—An important decision to be made
World—Tremendous accomplishment or success; wholeness
Fool—A trickster or a deception

The cards can be used for a number of different layouts—the process through which they are read. One of the more simple ones, referred to as “the Norns,” has cards representing the past (first), present (second) and future (third). Another is the “horseshoe.” For it, the cards represent 1) the past, 2) the present, 3) influences, 4) obstacles, 5) expectations, 6) the best course of action and 7) likely outcomes. As mentioned above, the GM can use an actual draw of cards and interpret them as fits the situation, or choose ahead of time and tailor them to the circumstances.

In game terms, using a deck of Tarot cards could provide insight into an upcoming situation, provided that the reader succeeds at a DC 15 Knowledge (arcane) check. Success allows the subject to gain the benefits of the good fortune associated with the Luck cleric domain. Once per day said character can choose to reroll the result of one check, and even gains a +2 insight bonus to the new roll. As always, the character must abide by the new result, for better or for worse. At the GM's discretion, failing the check by more than five could result in misinformation, such as by leading a character in the wrong direction or misidentifying an innocent person as an enemy.

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