Strangefinder Modern: Strange Objects
Strangefinder Modern are modern ideas for a strange urban fantasy world that could be played using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Anachronistic Adventures.
Strange Objects are, well, strange. They do things that don’t make any logical sense. It is known they are not the result of a resolved Alterniversal Incursion, since all evidence of such incursions fades. They also aren’t “magic items” both because they don’t detect as magic, and they function even when no Strangefinder with mystic attunement is present.
The two most popular theories are that they all Strange Objects are the result of a single ongoing Alterniversal Overlap (and many Strangefinders spend their lives trying to find the source of that overlap and end it), or they are “glitches” in our home Alterniverse — examples of things native to our reality but mis-attuned at a sub-quantum level.
Whatever they are, they can be useful. And dangerous. Entire societies exist to seek them out and either sequester them or use them to change the world.
There are known to be at least 157 of them, Here are 20.
01. Weathered copy of a leather-bound book titled “A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.” It has hardness 20, 20 hp, and can be used as a light simple melee weapon dealing 1d4 nonlethal damage. You can’t add your Strength or Dexterity modifiers to damage dealt, but do add you ranks in Linguistics.
02. Corkscrew. When screwed into people (normally a full round action that requires they be restrained and which deals 1-2 hp) it forces them to reveal their name, even if they don’t know it themselves.
03. Mechanical 1 hour kitchen timer in the shape of a plastic cook with a big head (which is twisted to set the timer). If set for 1 hour and allowed to run normally, when it goes off it casts a random summon swarm, which you have no control over.
04. Single old sweat sock, with bluish stain near top. Does not conduct heat, thus can be used as perfect oven mitt.
05. Small flashlight with image of a Speedo-clad male diver enameled on the side. If used to illuminate a digital storage medium (thumb drive, DVD, floppy disk), the raw code on the device slowly scrolls by in the shadow created by the flashlight.
06. Wire-frame glasses. If kept tucked in a pocket, halves falling damage for possessor.
07. Stained paper map of Terre Haute, Indiana, from 1913. If mis-folded and then opened, it creates a gust of wind (as the spell). The map itself is always torn free by the gust, and normally takes (4d4 – 1d4) x 10 minutes to find.
08. Ball point pen with green ink. Rapidly clicking the pen gives a +5 bonus to Perception checks, but only against people using Stealth.
09. Small box of safety matches. If thrown at someone within 15 feet they must make a Will save (DC equal to the touch attack roll to hit them) or spend 1 round picking up the matches.
10. String of Christmas Lights which, when strung up over a series of letters, can be used as a diving device. It may act as augury, divination, or commune, as randomly determined by the GM. Whoever uses it will then have an encounter within 1 week of a high enough CR that average treasure for that encounter would pay for a scroll of the divination spell gained. The lights don’t work again until the creature using them has had this encounter, which doesn’t have any actual treasure associated with it.
11. Tortoiseshell make-up compact. Anyone who has the powder from the compact blown on them is slowed (as the spell) for 1 minute. Only one creature can be affected at a time.
12. Dried pea. If placed up your nose, it grants a +4 bonus to saving throws against poison, and a successful save always ends the poison. Someone who knows you have it up there can get you to shoot it out with a successful dirty trick maneuver (replacing the normal options for dirty trick).
13. Cork table coaster. Anything placed on it doesn’t experience any passage of time as long nothing else is touching it but air. This DOES keep drinks cold (or hot) much longer, but it also prevents fruit from spoiling, grenades from exploding, radioactive isotopes from decaying, and so on.
14. Electronic car key that, when pointed at an animal and the “open” button on it is pushed, causes the animal to talk randomly in French for 1 round. There is a 10% chance it says something useful and relevant to the key holder.
15. Worn leather coin purse. As long as nothing but coins are stuffed into it there does not seem to be a limit how many fit in, but they can only be added or removed at a rate of 4 per round.
16. Laminated complex wiring diagram for an unidentified vehicle. If placed on a stationary, prone creature the wiring diagram changes to represent the organs (and injuries) or that creature, granting a +5 bonus to Heal checks with that creature.
17. Old-style iron key. Fits in any lock. Can’t unlock a lock, but can lock it. If it was already locked, the next person to touch it takes 1 point of electricity damage.
18. Glossy black lipstick. Never runs out. The first time each day someone wearing the lipstick is damaged by an attacker the wearer has not ever damaged, the wearer may kiss a weapon. That weapon is bane against that attacker until it successfully hits and damages the attacker.
19. A die with 20 sides, numbered 7-26. Anyone with this on their person is lucky (gain one reroll each day, rerolling after you see the result of a reroll and taking the better of the two results) except in games of chance (roll twice and take the worst result for all games of chance).
20. An air horn which can be heard (under normal conditions) for 10 miles. If blown directly in someone’s ear is heals them for 1d8+1 hp, and they are deafened for 1 hour per hp healed. If the deafness is removed early, the healing is also removed. It cannot heal someone temporarily deaf from this effect. The healing appears to be the revelation the wound wasn’t that bad to begin with — there’s never any actual sign of improved health.