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Three Things I Plan To Use in My PF2 Campaign, “Gatekeepers”

While I try hard not to plan out 20 levels of adventuring in advance when I start a homebrew campaign such as my upcoming Gatekeepers PF2 game, I do like to think about what kinds of things I want to put into a world and use to set up specific kinds of stories and themes.

So, here are three ideas I plan to use in Gatekeepers… at some point.

Caliburn: Masterfully crafted objects from the World Before, about which almost nothing is known. Caliburn are usually durable items made of stone or metal, as they have survived for thousands of years (and perhaps even since before time itself), though very rare examples of Caliburn made of cloth, leather, and even glass are known. Caliburn are always some kind of personal item, such as a comb, broach, ring, or dagger. They are not magical in the classic sense (and do not detect as, or follow the rules of, magic items), but their very age and perfect crafting make them things that bend destiny slightly in favor of the possessor. Every Caliburn gives its possessor one additional Hero Point per day, and more potent ones have similar effects that aid those who carry them in ways that are hard to define.

However, the more potent a Caliburn, the more it inspires envy in others that see it, and the more it places dangerous paths in front of its bearer. Such paths can be resisted, but doing so creates a mental pressure that mortals often handle by turning to their worse natures, engaging more in avarice, gluttony, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath. Caliburn are the stuff of legends, but are also accepted as being very real.

(You can carry more than one Caliburn, but there are… risks… Art by warmtail.)

Gollusks: There are dark forces in the world that are constantly whispering to mortals, but do so in a whisper of concepts so depraved, most living things are truly incapable of hearing them, or comprehending them if they do catch a whisper. But when someone craves something strongly enough, and is willing to do anything to get it, sometimes they hear the fel whispers. If they do, they are given immoral, dreadful advice on how to fulfill their desires through actions that cause harm and misery to others. There is no compulsion, just an opportunity. And if a mortal seizes that opportunity, the whispers become a bit more clear… and the mortal has set foot on a terrible path. Such paths are often not great evils, but petty things — opportunities to hurt those you dislike, or finally win a festival prize, or to sleep in a bigger home than your neighbors. If a mortal embraces these prosaic crimes for their own benefit they transform slowly into Gollusks, still their original ancestry but with various external signs of the evils they have decided to undertake, and benefits of strength and resilience from the dark powers they now serve, but also are driven to claim more and break the cycle of foul returns they blame others for. A Gollusk looks different than they did before their fall, but the change can be anything. Some take on flabby, fat long arms and legs, but have lean, emaciated torsos and necks. Others gain a cold beauty, some long fingers, others a third eye some random place on their body.

Gollusks often seek out other Gollusks as the only entities they don’t feel hidden shame to be near. A Gollusk can reverse the process of their transformation and fate, but doing so requires true repentance and working to undo that harm they have caused.

Fire Mud: A thick, viscous slurry of clay, earth, and liquid heat, fire mud is a red-orange, gives off considerable light and heat, and can be found in regions with links to the elemental planes of earth, fire, and water. This paraelemental substance has useful alchemical properties, and can be used as near-permanent sources of light and warmth. It looks a lot like less-intense lava.


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New Magic Weapon Special Abilities for Pathfinder 1st ed

So, let’s more-than-triple the number of magic weapon special abilities costing a +1 bonus you can have in your 1st-edition Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

And it all starts with Cleave.

Well, not the feat Cleave (at least not exactly). But instead, the magic weapon special ability mighty cleaving. And, when referring to a combat feat magic special ability by name, this article italicizes the property, but does not capitalize it. In other words, the power attack magic special ability lets you use the Power Attack feat with your weapon. (Alternatively you could place “mighty” in front of everything and use the gerund form of any feat name, so the mighty power attacking special ability lets you use Power Attack with that weapon… but that feels awkward to me, so I’m not doing it. What’s your preference?)

Mighty cleaving requires you to have the Cleave feat, but it then does as much as Cleave does (give you one additional cleaving attack a round)… but not as much as Great Cleave does (the normal next step in the Cleave feat chain). The existence of the mighty cleaving special ability tells us there is a range of combat feats that gaining access to through a weapon is worth a +1 bonus equivalent magic weapon special ability — but that it’s not all combat feats. That means if we can figure out a set of rules for what combat feats are appropriate for use as magic special ability, we potentially add a vast number of new magic options a GM can use to create fun, interesting, useful, balanced magic weapons. It also opens up some martial options for character’s who can’t manage to take those feats in the same way metamagic rods opened up metamagic feats even for spellcasters who don’t take the feats.

(There are also the training special ability, that gives you a feat but you still need to meet its prerequisites to use it, and the sylvan scimitar that give you “use of the Cleave feat” along with some other abilities under specific circumstances, so magic weapons granting some combat feats is clearly within a special ability power range.)

So, let’s look at defining a combat feat magic weapon special ability.

(Art by 2dmolier)

Combat Feat

Price +1 bonus; Aura moderate transmutation; CL 8th; Weight —


This special ability grants the use of one specific combat feat, selected when the weapon is created. What feat can be selected and how it can be used are subject to the Rules, outlined below.


Craft Magic Arms and Armor; Spells tactical adaptationCost +1 bonus

The Rules

The feat selected cannot be one that adds to all attacks or all damage (such as Weapon Focus or Weapon Specialization), or a flat bonus to AC (such as Dodge), and it must be a Combat feat. Its prerequisites can include no more than a single ability score, which cannot require greater than a 13 in the ability, no more than a single feat (which must also be a combat feat), no more than a single rank of a single skill, and nor more than a +1 base attack bonus minimum. It cannot include any other prerequisite (such as not having levels in a class with specific class features, or being of a specific species).

Thus, you could have improved grapple as a +1 bonus melee weapon magic weapon special ability, but not Greater Grapple (which both has two feat prerequisites and requires a +6 base attack bonus).

The feat benefit granted by a combat feat special ability only applies when you are wielding the weapon it is part of. If the feat modifies an attack, it only modifies attacks made with the weapon it is applied to. For example, a short sword with agile maneuvers only gives you Agile Maneuvers when you are actually wielding the short sword. Also, can only be applied to a weapon that can be used in the activity modified or allowed by the feat. For example, you can’t put the power attack combat feat special ability on a longbow.

While you can use the feat in a combat feat special ability without meeting the prerequisites to take the feat, you still have to meet any conditions listed in its benefit. For example, if you have a +1 distracting charge lance, you still only gain the benefit if an ally that also has the feat charges and hits a foe. This obviously suggests that combat feat magic weapon special ability built on teamwork feats are likely to be most popular in sets of multiple weapons to pass out to multiple users.

I did not have time to go through EVERY official combat feat to see which ones fit these rules, but here’ a hyperlinked list up through “F” anyway. 🙂

Agile Maneuvers, Aquadynamic Focus, Aquatic Combatant, Ascetic Style, Beast Hunter, Befuddling Initiative, Blind-Fight, Blinding Flash, Bloody Mess, Bludgeoner, Bodyguard, Call Out, Caster’s Champion, Cavalry Formation, Charging Hurler, Choir of Blades, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Combat Stamina, Combat Vigor, Coordinated Capture, Coordinated Defense, Coordinated Distraction, Coordinated Maneuvers, Coordinated Shot, Cornugon Stun, Covering Fire, Cracking the Shell, Cudgeler Style, Dazzling Display, Deadly Aim, Death from Above, Deceitful Incompetence, Defensive Combat Training, Demonic Style, Desperate Battler, Destructive Persuasion, Dirty Fighting, Disarm Partner, Distance Thrower, Distracting Charge, Diva Style, Double Slice, Empty Quiver Style, Enforcer, Eroding Strikes, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Far Shot, Feint Partner, Flanking Foil,  Focused Discipline, Following Step, Footslasher, Fox Insight, Fox Style, Frightening Ambush, Furious Focus, Fury’s Fall, Gang Up, Giant-Killer Stance,

ShadowFinder Magic Item Sketches

Yep, I’m still working on ShadowFinder. Here are some ides I’m working on for magic items in that modern play mode for Starfinder. I haven’t worried about things like bulk, cost, or item level yet. I want to get the cool ideas nailed down a bit, then I’ll fill in game stats as appropriate for what the items do.

Floating Flashlight

(Art by Oleksandr)

A floating flashlight acts as a normal flashlight, but floats at your command. It can even draw itself and put itself away, which takes normal time but does not require you to have a hand free. It can float along with you, moving as you do and facing wherever you look, or as a move action you can direct it to go up to 60 feet from you. When moving with you, attacks against it are sunder combat maneuvers based on your KAC, as if you held it. When moving independently of you, it has an EAC and KAC of 12.

Temporary Hand Tattoos

Temporary hand tattoos look like small, innocuous items of 0 bulk you can hold in one hand. When picked up, they become tiny tattoos in the palm of your hand. You can have only one temporary tattoo in the palm of each hand, though artificial limbs and limbs you can use to carry more equipment (such as prehensile tails) also count for this purpose. You can activate a temporary tattoo as a standard action, which creates a magic effect. The tattoo is then discharged and no longer exists. You can “put down” a temporary tattoo, causing it to remove itself and go back to looking like a 0 bulk item.

Unless stated otherwise, activating a temporary tattoo is a standard action, which also triggers whatever ability it grants For example, if a temporary tattoo allows you to make an attack, the attack is part of the action to activate the tattoo.

(List to follow)

Door, Slammable

(Art by 3Dmavr)

A slammable door appears to be just a doorknob until picked up. You can make a single melee attack as part of activating the tattoo, causing a full-sized door to briefly appear, which you slam on a foe as if they were standing in a doorway. If it hits, the unarmed attack does 1d10 more damage than normal, and it does not count as nonlethal or archaic. The item is then expended.

This same magic item sometimes takes other forms, such as a giant wooden mallet that appears just in time for you to hit a foe and then fades away, an anvil that drops on the target, or a gun that, when fired, has an enormous boxing glove extend out of it to punch your target.

Gun Slide, Instant

(Art by Kamiya Ichiro)

Also known as a “ka-chunk-chunk,” an instant gun slide looks like the slide of a typcial pistol (such as a 1911a Colt .45) until picked up. Triggering an instant gun slide is a move action, which allows you to boost a ranged weapon (as the boost special weapon quality) for an additional 1d10 damage. This looks like you are working the slide of an automatic weapon, racking a pump-action shotgun, cocking the hammer of a firearm, or otherwise getting ready to fire. This is a magical action–it doesn’t matter if your weapon is already fully ready to fire (it still looks and sounds as if you racked it again), and this does not expend or eject extra ammunition.

Vest, Surprise Concealed

This item looks like an extremely thin, barely noticeable armored vest that can easily be worn under even the flimsiest of shirts. Normally it cannot be detected when worn, unless you choose to show it to someone. However, if you are attacked while at 0 HP by an attack that would require you to spend Resolve Points to not die, the surprise concealed vest automatically negates that one attack, revealing itself in the process as if you had always worn it. It is then expended and useless.

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Cantrip-Based Items for PF1

Yes, these are yet more inexpensive, nonconsumable items for 1st edition Pathfinder, but these are all united by being based on cantrips. The idea is to create items that boost the utility and functionality of low-level spellcasters in a different way that giving them minor scrolls or wands. These items popped into my head over the past few days, inspired by a conversation I had with longtime (37+ years) gaming friends earlier this week. (I’m also making them available to my wife, who is running a currently-5th-level PF1 campaign, in case she wants to pass them out as loot).

Blooddrop Pin
faint necromancy; CL 3rd; Slot head or shoulders; Price 1,500 gp; Weight
This long silver pin has a bright, blood-colored, teardrop-shaped garnet in the handle. It can be worn as a hairpin (taking the head item slot) or as a cloakpin (taking the shoulder item slot). It can also be used as a Small or Medium dagger without being considered an improvised weapon, but its base damage is 1, rather than 1d4. A spellcaster who has the bleed cantrip on their class list can learn it from the blooddrop pin as if the pin was a scroll, without damaging the item. The pin also allows the spell bleed to be targeted on a creature with a positive hp total, causing them on a failed save to take 1 hp and gain a 1 hp bleed effect. Multiple bleed spells cast on a target in this manner do not increase the bleed effect to more than 1 hp/round.
Craft Wondrous Item, bleed; Cost 750 gp

strong (no school); CL 17th; Slot —; Price 250 gp; Weight
A brightstrap is a silvery silk-and-leather strap roughly 6 inches long that can easily be tied to a weapon, torch, holy symbol, belt, glove, or most other common adventuring equipment. A spellcaster who has the light cantrip on their class list can learn it from the brightstrap as if the strap was a scroll, without damaging the item. When a spellcaster casts the light cantrip on a brightstrap, it does not count against their maximum of 1 active light spell at a time.  This item does not grant the ability to cast light, just to modify the spell if the caster already has access to it.
Craft Wondrous Item, continual flame, light; Cost 125 gp

Charcoal Cord
strong (no school); CL 17th; Slot —; Price 1,500 gp; Weight —The charcoal cord is a short length of dark gray cording that appears to be covered in charcoal, though it leaves no powder or mark behind. The cord can be worn nearly anywhere on the body (wrapped around the wrist, tied to a belt, used to hold back hair, etc), and does not take up a magic item slot. A spellcaster who has the detect poison cantrip on their class list can learn it from the cord as if the cord was a scroll, without damaging the item. Three times per day, the charcoal cord allows a character casting detect poison to do so as a move action. This item does not grant the ability to cast detect poison, just to modify the spell if the caster already has access to it.
Craft Rod, Craft Wondrous Item, Quicken Spell; Cost 750 gp

Guiding Star
strong (no school); CL 17th; Slot belt, body, chest, or shoulders; Price 1,500 gp; Weight
The guiding star is a fine cloth sash with small patterns matching constellations sewn into it. It can be worn as a belt, shoulder sash, chest wrap, or numerous other ways that allow it to take one of a number of magic items slots (see above) and still function. A spellcaster who has the guidance cantrip on their class list can learn it from the sash as if the sash was a scroll, without damaging the item. Three times per day, the guiding star allows a character casting guidance to have the spell last up to 10 minute pers level (until discharged). This item does not grant the ability to cast guidance, just to modify the spell if the caster already has access to it.
Craft Rod, Craft Wondrous Item, Extend Spell; Cost 750 gp

Ring of Trifles
feint transmutation; CL 7th; Slot ring; Price 500 gp; Weight
A character able to prepare cantrips can prepare one additional cantrip when wearing this ring. The ring must be worn or 24 hours before it can be used.
Forge Ring; Special creator must be able to prepare cantrips from at least 2 different class spell lists; Cost 250 gp (1st)

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More Minor PF1 Magic Items

More minor magic items for 1st edition Pathfinder.

Beneficial Beltpouch
minor conjuration; CL 5th; Slot —; Price 500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This appears to be a typical beltpouch, appearing large enough to hold about a quart of material. In fact, it is like a bag of holding and can actually hold material of as much as 2 cubic feet in volume or 20 pounds in weight.
While such storage is useful enough, the purse has an even greater power. When the wearer reaches into it for a specific item, that item is always on top. Thus, no digging around and fumbling is ever necessary to find what the beltpouch contains. Retrieving any specific item from a beneficial beltpouch is a move action, but it does not provoke the attacks of opportunity that retrieving a stored item usually does.
Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest; Cost 250 gp

Eldritch Brazier of Focus (1st-Level Spell)
Aura strong transmutation; CL 17th; Slot —; Price 1,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Once per day a character able to prepare spells of at least 1st level can burn this brazier while making their preparations, allowing them to prepare one additional 1st level spell. A character can only benefit from a single eldritch brazier per day.
Craft Wondrous Item; Special creator must be able to prepare 1st-level spells; Cost 500 gp (1st)

Ring of Escape
Aura moderate illusion; CL 8th; Slot ring; Price 2,000 gp; Weight
Once per day as a reaction when the wearer takes damage or fails a saving throw, they can become invisible as if they had cast vanish, using their character level as the caster level.
Forge Ring, Improved Initiative, vanish; Cost 1,000 gp

Satchel of Endless Bandages
faint conjuration; CL 8th; Slot —; Price 250 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This shoulder satchel has a faintly pleasant, herbal smell to it, and has a clasp in the form of a snake woven around a small staff. It functions as a healer’s kit, but never runs out of charges.
Craft Wondrous Item; goodberry; Cost 250 gp

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“Loot 4 Less” for Pathfinder 1e

In 1st edition Pathfinder, it can be tricky to give players interesting, useful, nonconsumable treasure at low levels. I did a whole line of Loot 4 Less books to extend the options available, but it’s often still useful to come up with new inexpensive-but-nice items for characters under 6th-7th level.

Here are some I have written up.

Boots of Quick Pace
Aura: faint Transmutation           Slot: feet              CL: 1st    Price: 1,000 gp  Weight: 1 lb.
These boots increase the wearer’s base land speed by 5 feet.
Feats Craft Wondrous Item; Spells longstrider; Cost 500 gp

Oil of Reforging
Aura: faint Transmutation           Slot: —   CL: 1st    Price: 450 gp      Weight: —
When applied to a weapon, this oil turns the weapon into a shiny mass of claylike material. If the claylike material is then applied to a second weapon, that weapon gains any masterwork, special material, or magical property of the first weapon that can apply to the second. The first weapon is destroyed, and the duration of this change is instantaneous. If for some reason granting the second weapon the appropriate properties would cost more than forging the first weapon, the difference between the two must be added to the oil bottle prior to adding it to the first weapon. If the oil is applied to a weapon to make it claylike, and that clay is not applied to a second weapon within an hour, the claylike material returns to its original weapon state, and the oil is expended.
Feats Brew Potion, Craft Magic Arms and Armor; Spells polymorph any object; Cost 225 gp

Resistant Mantle
Aura: faint Abjuration    Slot: Shoulder    CL: 1st    Price: 340 gp      Weight: —
Once you have worn this mantle for 24 hours, you gain a +1 resistance bonus to your lowest saving throw category (Fort, Ref, or Will) while wearing it.
Feats Craft Wondrous Item; Spells resistance; Cost 170 gp

Rod of Cantrips
Aura: faint Transmutation           Slot: Held             CL: 1st    Price: 650 gp      Weight: 1 lb.
While holding the rod, when you deal damage with a cantrip that has no other enhancement to its damage and has not been augmented by any form of metamagic, you add your caster level to the damage dealt (maximum +5 damage).
Feats Craft Rod; Spells spiritual weapon; Cost 325 gp

Weapon Talisman of Eldritch Blows
Aura: faint Transmutation           Slot: —   CL: 1st    Price: 400 gp      Weight: —
This silken ribbon is roughly a foot long, with an apparently wax seal bearing a sigil of crossed staff and scimitar. It can be wrapped around any nonmagic weapon, the wax seal affixing it in place, at which point it changes coloration and symbols to match the patronage, deity, order, or personal mark of the weapon’s bearer.
Once per day when an attack is made with a weapon it is attached to, as part of the attack the wielder can activate the talisman, causing the attack to be affected as by magic weapon (+1 enhancement bonus to attacks and damage for 1 minute).
A weapon can only benefit from a single weapon talisman each day.
Feats Craft Magic Arms and Armor; Spells magic weapon; Cost 200 gp
Like a +1 magic weapon can be upgraded to a +2 magic weapon, a weapon talisman of eldritch blows can be augmented to work more often, with its total cost increased as noted below
2/day    800 gp
3/day    1200 gp
4/day    1600 gp
Permanent         2300 gp

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Some Custom PF1 Items for Witches

Just a few magic items I designed at request, to add to a haord that was supposed to include multiple witchy things.

Doomblood Athame
Aura necromancy; CL 8th
Slot none; Price 18,000 gp; Weight 0.1 lbs.
While this cold iron dagger is on your person or in your possession (it need not be welded), the first time each round a target makes a saving throw against a hex of yours, you may choose to take damage equal to half your hexcaster level (all levels in classes that give you access to hexes, or half your character level, whichever is higher) to create a blood curse. This damage bypasses any defenses you have, and cannot be recovered through spells or channeling (though hexes and other spell-like abilities, potions, and natural healing, work normally).
If you are affected by this damage, the target is sickened for 1 round. This duration can be extended with the cackle hex. This effect can be removed with a remove curse or remove disease, but requires a caster level check against a DC equal to 10 + your caster level. Once you have used the doomblood athame’s blood curse against a target, you cannot use it against that target again for 24 hours.
Additionally, when you use either the doomblood athame or a natural weapon or unarmed attack to attack a target that has failed a save against one of your hexes within the past 24 hours, you may use your hexcaster level as your bonus to attack (in place of your base attack bonus and any ability score bonus you would normally add to the attack), and your attack is considered bane against that target (an additional +2 to your attack roll, and +2d6 damage).
Requirements Craft Arms and Armor, must know a greater hex; Cost 9,000 gp

Slippers of the Glacier
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 8th
Slot feet; Price 6,000 gp; Weight 0.1 lbs.
You ignore all movement reductions and skill check penalties from ice, cold, snow, and other winter hazards (mundane or magical). Additionally, if you have hexcaster levels (levels in a class that give you access to hexes), once per day you can cause a whirlwind of snow and ice to surround and support you as if you were using the flight hex. (If you have the flight hex, instead double the number of times you can use levitate, or the number of minutes of fly you receive).
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, flight hex; CL 5th; Cost 3,000 gp

Ring of Favor
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 8th
Slot ring; Price 7,500 gp; Weight
This ring appears to be a tiny silver chain with a thorny rose vine intertwined among the links. However, when worn by a character who has the hex class feature, it changes form to look like their personal symbol of heraldry (or a thematically appropriate appearance if the character has no heraldry). When the witch casts a hex on an ally, they can choose to have this symbol appear briefly over the ally, as a sign of the witch’s favor.
When word by a character who has 3 or more hexes gained from classes or feats, this ring grants one bonus hex known while worn. If the wearer has 6 or more hexes, it grants 2 bonus hexes. If the wearer has 12 or more hexes, the ring grants 3 bonus hexes.
The bonus hexes must be selected from the following list: Ameliorating, Aura of Purity, Fortune, Healing, Protective Luck, Ward.
Once made, the selection of bonuses hexes cannot be easily changed. Each time a character gains a new level in a class that grants hexes, they may change what bonus hexes they gain from the ring.
Requirements Forge Ring, must have patron class feature, CL 8th; Cost 3,750 gp

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Loot 4 Less for Pathfinder 2nd Edition?

I’ve been considering what a Loot 4 Less line of books for the 2nd edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game would look like. Of course the price point would be insanely different– 2,000 gp is a LOT more money is 2nd ed than 1st ed. But if I decided to limit myself to 200 gp, is that too high and easy, or about right?

Anyway, here are a couple of items that evolved just from the thought experiment.

Able Armor Seal Item 6
Abjuration Invested Magical
Price 200 gp
Usage affixed to armor
Activate Single Action; Bulk L
This cast iron seal has a depiction of two hands clasped in friendship. Armor with this affixed can be donned in half the normal time. With a successfully use of the Armor Assist feat, it takes only 1/3 the normal time.

Silver Serpent Item 5
Divination Invested Magical
Price 175 gp
Usage worn earing; Bulk L

This small silver serpent is a piece of jewelry that sits wrapped around your ear, molding itself to match the size and shape of your ear and holding itself firmly in place until intentionally removed. Each silver serpent is attuned to a single Lore skill, and whisper information about that Lore in your ear as it become relevant. You treat your proficiency rank in the related Lore skill as one degree better while wearing the silver serpent. If you are already Legendary in that Lore, you instead gain Assurance with that Lore.

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Role Relics, Pt. 2

Role relics are magic items designed to encourage specific roles or playstyles (perhaps given to children who enter a fantasy world on a roller coaster and each are given a single relic to help them out). I did two already in Part One.

Since these are designed to be character-defining relics that stand outside normal rules, I’ve written only sketches of how they work, so they are compatible with most d20-evolved RPGs. A GM who wants to fill out details like item level and school of magic are free to do so, but the core idea here is to offer legendary items that make it easier for a character to fulfill one classic heroic role.

Cloak of Stealth
Once activated (which can be done as part of any other action taken on the wearer’s turn), as long as the character wearing the cloak takes no actions other than movement, they can make a Stealth check against all senses and detection abilities of any creature. For these Stealth checks, the wearer rolls twice and takes the best result. Each activation lasts no more than one minute, and the cloak then cannot be used again for ten minutes.

(Art by Grandfailure)

Energy Bow
The energy bow automatically creates magic arrows when used for attacks, and does not require any ammunition. These arrows are Force effects, and do untyped pure magic damage. They ignore false images of a target, and any magic or technological effect that creates a flat chance of missing even if a an attack roll is successful.

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Role Relics, Pt. 1

I’ve just been thinking about what magic items designed to encourage specific roles or playstyles (perhaps given to children who enter a fantasy world on a roller coaster and each are given a single relic to help them out) might look like.

Two came to mind immediately. I’m vague on details like cost and such, because these are designed to be character-defining relics that stand outside normal rules. And these should work for most d20-evolved RPGs.

(Art by Андрей Трубицын)

Shield of Tanking

While you have this shield equipped, any foe that can see you and has line of effect to you, but has not attacked you in this combat or forced you to make a saving throw, takes a -2 penalty to attacks and against anyone else and the save DC of effects against others is reduced by 2. The first time a foe attacks you, if they do damage, you take half damage. If a foe’s first attack against you also attacks other targets or forces them to make saving throws, the foe does not take the shield of tanking’s penalties against those targets.

Staff of Acrobatics

Any round in which you make no attack rolls and do not force anyone to make a saving throw, you roll twice and take the better result on all Strength- and Dexterity-based skills based on movement or maneuvering (such as Acrobatics, Athletics, Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Swim, and so on), and gain a +4 bonus to your AC and all saving throws. If you fail such a check, and it was to get you to some location you could have arrived at through flight, the check is treated as a success, but your turn ends.

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