Monday, December 14, 2020

Campaign Design - Prestige Class: Servant of Kivutar

Servant of Kivutar (adapted from Dragon Magazine #353)

Kivutar often refers to her servants almost lovingly as her favored children. They are seducers and hedonists who have given their entire lives over to the fulfilment of pleasure and pain. Only when working to subvert the values and morals of the innocent do they turn from this consuming need, and it is said that such lust is felt in turn by their lascivious mistress deep in her icy palace in the Hells. Servants of Kivutar often lead her cults in the Three Worlds, but just as often work in secret in the employ of dockside brothels or in the harems of powerful kings. Kivutar only allows women to become her servants, for only they can properly transmit the particular thrills and rewards the Rotted Temptress seeks to harvest from the mortal world.

This prestige class is primarily suited for spellcasters, but fighters and rogues have been known to become servants of Kivutar as well. Monks who have turned away from law can make particularly devastating thralls. Typically, a monk, fighter, or rogue takes a level of favored soul or sorcerer before entering this prestige class so they can gain the full advantages the class has to offer.

Hit Die: d6.
Luck Die: d6.

To become a servant of Kivutar, one must meet the following criteria:
  • Alignment: Chaotic evil.
  • Gender: Female.
  • Skills: Bluff 9+ ranks, Diplomacy 9+ ranks, Perform: Any Two 5+ ranks.
  • Feats: Servant of Darkness, Skill Augmentation (Bluff and Intimidate), Spell Focus (Enchantment).
  • Special: Must have Kivutar as their patron deity.
  • Special: Must willingly murder someone who loves you.
  • Special: Must have permanently lost at least one experience level from a succubus's energy drain attack. Once a servant gains her first level in this prestige class, restoring this lost level via greater restoration does not adversely affect the character's qualification for this prestige class. Most who seek entry to this prestige class wait until the last possible moment to meet this requirement, so they have enough time to restore the lost level while greater restoration can still help.
Class Skills
  • The servant of Kivutar's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge: Nobility and Royalty: Religion (Int), Knowledge: Religion (Int), Knowledge: the Planes (Int), Perform: Any (all skills taken individually) (Cha), Profession: Any (all skills taken individually) (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (NA), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).
  • Note: Because the Three Worlds campaign uses the Skills by Character house rule, the list of class skills given here is only included for the sake of completeness, and is not used by characters in the campaign setting.
  • Skill Points at each level: 6 + Intelligence modifier.
Class Features
All of the following are class features of the servant of Kivutar prestige class.
  • Base Attack Bonus: Poor. A servant of Kivutar gains +½ base attack bonus per class level.

  • Base Fortitude Save Bonus: Poor. A servant of Kivutar gains +13 base Fortitude save bonus per class level.

  • Base Reflex Save Bonus: Poor. A servant of Kivutar gains +13 base Reflex save bonus per class level.

  • Base Will Save Bonus: Good. A servant of Kivutar gains a +½ base Will save bonus per class level.

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Servants of Kivutar gain Martial Weapon Proficiency (Kukri) and Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Scourge) as bonus feats.

  • Spellcasting: At every level save for 1st, 5th, and 9th, a servant of Kivutar gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit of a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that she adds the level of servant of Kivutar to the level of whatever other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per and caster level accordingly. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before she became a servant of Kivutar, she must decide to which spellcasting class she adds each level of servant of Kivutar for the purpose of determining spells per day.

  • Profane Beauty (Su): As long as a servant of Kivutar wears no armor and wields no shield, she gains a deflection bonus to her Armor Class equal to her Charisma bonus, to a maximum bonus equal to her servant of Kivutar level.

  • Telepathic Gaze (Ex): A servant of Kivutar can communicate via telepathy with any creature within 100 feet that meets her gaze. While communicating with a creature in this manner, she can read his surface thoughts as if she had cast detect thoughts and concentrated on the target for 3 rounds. The target can attempt to resist this gaze by making a Will save (DC 10 + the servant's class level + her Charisma modifier). If she can red the target's surface thoughts, she gains a +5 circumstance bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate checks made against that opponent.

  • Betrayal (Su): At 2ndrd level, a servant of Kivutar's attacks are particularly devastating to those who believe her to be an ally. If she ever deals damage to an ally with a weapon or spell, the ally must make a Will saving throw (DC 10 + the servant's class level + her Charisma modifier) or be stunned for 1d4 rounds.

  • Sneak Attack: If a servant of Kivutar of 3rd level of higher can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

    The servant’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the servant flanks her target. This extra damage is +1d6 at 3rd level, and it increases by +1d6 every three servant levels thereafter. Should the servant score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

    Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

    With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a servant can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.

    A servant can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies - undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The servant must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A servant cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

    If a servant of Kivutar gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as rogue levels) the bonuses to damage stack.

  • Charming Voice (Su): At 4th level, the servant's voice becomes beguiling. She gains a +4 competence bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks, and the save DC for any language-dependent spells she casts gain a +1 profane bonus. Once per day, she may attempt to charm a creature of the same type as a spell-like ability, provided that creature can hear and understand her voice. This otherwise duplicates the effects of charm monster. Her caster level for this ability equals the servant;s class level.

  • Sinner's Beauty (Su): When a servant of Kivutar reaches 5th level, her appearance takes on an otherworldly and arousing beauty. Her charisma increases by 2 points. At 10th level, her beauty increases even more, increasing her Charisma score by another 2 points.

  • Draining Kiss (Su): When she becomes 5th level, a servant of Kivutar can drain energy from a creature she lures into some act of passion or by simply planting a kiss on the victim. If the target is not willing, she must successfully grapple him first. The kiss bestows 1 negative level. The victim must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the servant's class level + her Charisma modifier) to remove this negative level. This ability may be used up to three times per day.

  • Reflect Enchantment (Ex): At 7th level, a servant of Kivutar can reflexively reflect enchantment spells that target her and fail to affect her. Up to three times per day, as an immediate action, a servant of Kivutar who makes her saving throw to resist any spell of the school of enchantment may immediately reflect that spell back at its source, as if she had cast the spell on the target. This defense works only against enchantment spells negated by successful saving throws.

  • Dominating Voice (Su): A 8th level, the servant's charming voice becomes more potent. She gains a +8 competence bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks, and the save DC for any language-dependent spel she casts gains a +2 profane bonus. Once per day, she may attempt to dominate a creature of her type as a spell-like ability, provided the creature can hear and understand her voice. This otherwise duplicates the effects of dominate monster. Her caster level for this ability equals the servant's class level.

  • Succubus Form (Ex): At 10th level, a servant of Kivutar gains the supernatural ability to transform into a succubus-like creature once per day. This transformation requires a full-round action and lasts for 1 hour. During this time, the servant gains the following benefits:

    • +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +6 Intelligence, +4 wisdom, and +16 Charisma.

    • +9 natural armor bonus to her Armor Class.

    • Wings that grant a fly speed of 50 feet with average maneuverability.

    • Damage reduction 10/cold iron or good.

    • Darkvision 60 feet.

    • Immunity to electricity and poison.

    • Resistance to acid 10, cold 10, and fire 10.

    • Spell resistance 18.

    • She can use her draining kiss ability at will as long as she remains in this form; uses do not count against her regular limit of three times per day.
Servant of Kivutar

LevelSpecialSpells per Day
1stProfane beauty, telepathic gaze-
2ndBetrayal+1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rdSneak attack +1d6+1 level of existing spellcasting class
4thCharming voice+1 level of existing spellcasting class
5thDraining kiss, sinner's beauty-
6thSneak attack +2d6+1 level of existing spellcasting class
7thReflect enchantment+1 level of existing spellcasting class
8thDominating voice+1 level of existing spellcasting class
9thSneak attack +3d6-
10thSinner's beauty +4, succubus form+1 level of existing spellcasting class

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The History of Cadfor: An Account of the Years from the Fall of House Llud to the Present

The History of Cadfor: An Account of the Years from the Fall of House Llud to the Present
by Wulfsige sé Stærtractere
(Published 540 IR)

Most of the misfortunes of Cadfor over the last century can be traced to the whelming of Llydaw in 451 IR and the subsequent failure in 455 IR of the Great Houses to agree upon a new Emperor for the Naceadan-Rhadynnic Dual Empire. Once the Great Houses fell into war amongst themselves, the Freeholds were left to fend for themselves without the protective shield provided by the Sky Empire. During this time of chaos, all of the Freeholds suffered to some extent, from the persistent raids launched tribes of giants against Ersav and Melin, to the depredations of the Dark Prince endured by Ceniþ in the 530s, to the extended occupation of Nuþralia by Kivutar’s Polþian armies that was only ended a few scant years ago. Save for Loring, which still labors under the rule of the White Hand, few of the Freeholds suffered as much as Cadfor did under the heel of the Crimson Duke.

Though his origins are shrouded in such obscurity that his true name is unknown to history, the overlord known only as the Crimson Duke arrived in Cadfor in 469 IR with an army of giants, orcs, and ratmen raised from tribes in Elizon, the Hills of Brann-Galedd, and Crespor Mountains. Utterly devoted to Ishi, and wielding mighty arcane powers, the Crimson Duke treated the Ruby Sorcerer as his personal patron, and naturally he sought to emulate his demonic master. Emulating Ishi himself, the Crimson Duke enticed a myriad of evil creatures to his side by forging an alliance of the elemental deities Halpas, Iku-Tyrma, Khil, and Surtan as his following, even including the worshipper of Bål and Lug among the ranks of his armies. In an odd twist for a coalition that was so laden with giants and giant-friendly allies, Abonde’s priestesses were strangely absent from the Crimson Duke’s followers.

Some sages have speculated that Abonde’s absence was the result of jealousy expressed by the Crimson Duke’s consort Nakhtmoy, a dark and shadowy spider-demoness who served as his mistress of assassins. Some assert that the Crimson Duke simply did not recruit any of Abonde’s disciples into his armies out of deference for his fearsome consort, while others have expressed the belief that Nakhtmoy must have arranged for all of Abonde’s followers in the invading army to be murdered, while still others maintain that Abonde’s priestesses simply refused to rally to the Crimson Duke’s banner. No matter the reason, all agree that Nakhtmoy would brook no rivals to her mistress Gangyn, and not only was Abonde’s influence absent from the Crimson Duke’s armies, also apparently banned from his retinue were the followers of Kivutar, Ninkurra, Seþra, and even Tunar.

After a mere three years of war, the Crimson Duke had exhausted the armies of the wily and resourceful King Emyr Bane Tan of Cadfor, but only at the cost of extending his own forces dangerously close to the breaking point. That all changed in 472 IR when King Emyr was assassinated in his sleep, most likely by Nakhtmoy. Soon thereafter, a wave of assassinations resulted in the deaths of every one of King Emyr’s family, ending House Bane Tan. The Crimson Duke’s army soon crushed the remaining feeble forces of resistance in Cadfor and nearly forty years of brutal, iron-fisted rule began.

Befitting a devoted follower of the Soulblighter, the Crimson Duke was not content to merely conquer Cadfor. With one hand the Red Tyrant crushed the people of Cadfor, and with the other he waged war upon his neighbors. Almost as soon as he established his control over the kingdom, the Crimson Duke led his armies to war against Melin and Gwenarþ and when those campaigns went awry, he pushed into Elizon and tried to seize control of Loring in an effort to expand his dominions northwards. In Cadfor itself, the countryside was stripped bare and its industry and populace put to work fueling the Crimson Duke’s war machine. The youth of the nation were drafted into the Duke’s armies, or forced into labor battalions to craft and construct the materials of warfare to supply them. Many daughters were forced into a life as camp followers, servicing the needs of the Duke’s favored soldiers.

Those denizens of Cadfor who refused the Duke’s demands were killed. Some slaughtered outright by the partols of orcs and giants who roamed the land, others were simply found dead in their beds with their throats cut, killed by Nakhtmoy’s omnipresent network of spies and assassins. Fear ruled the land, as no one could be sure that their neighbor wasn’t secretly an agent working for the Crimson Duke who would turn you in for shirking your work or failing to pay your taxes or expressing disloyalty or even dissatisfaction. Though he was not the sole reason for the creation of the Freeholder’s Council, in 492 IR, the Crimson Duke’s depredations were certainly a significant motivating factor in convincing many of the Freehold kings to join.

After years of war and destruction, the first glimmers of hope for Cadfor shone through in 508 IR, although almost no one knew it at the time. The small village of Laragh in the foothills of the Crespor Mountains was the site of a minor dispute over tax collection that set a rebellion into motion. When four black orcs sought to collect what they claimed were unpaid taxes owed by the village blacksmith Osian, the exchange turned violent, and they killed him. According to legend, Osian’s apprentice Girion killed all four of the Duke’s tax collectors with his blacksmith’s hammer, and then fled into the wilderness as an outlaw.

For two years Girion lived in the mountains, coming down from the high passes to raid the Crimson Duke’s camps and strongholds. For two years Girion was able to confound and evade the Red Tyrant’s forces, and the tales of his exploits caused others to rally to his cause. In 510 IR, however, Nakhtmoy’s spies discovered that Girion had been secretly meeting with a farmer’s daughter named Siân, and soon the order was given to kill her family and capture her as bait. Even though Girion knew it was a trap, he could not leave his beloved in the hands of the crimson Duke, and he mounted a rescue of such epic daring that it is now recounted in song. Realizing that his presence in Cadfor was endangering those he cared for, Giron fled the country with Siân at his side, vowing to return one day.

In 520 IR, Girion made good upon his vow. In the intervening years, Girion and Siân had made names for themselves as sellswords and privateers and returned to their homeland as seasoned, battle-hardened veterans skilled in both physical and mystical combat. In their travels they had acquired several allies whose names have become famous: Wulfric, Elena, Heinrich, and Colwyn, all of whom joined the pair in their return to Cadfor. Leading this small band of allies and supported by a devoted retinue of followers, Girion launched a war to liberate his nation from the heel of the Crimson Duke.

Over the succeeding years, Giron’s rebellion grew from this tiny kernel to a full-fledged popular movement. Inspired by this former blacksmith’s apprentice and farmer’s daughter, the common-folk rallied to their cause. Girion forged alliances with the dwarves of the Haearn Hills, obtained support and troops from Melin and Gwenarth, and even recruited the aid of tribes of khulen from Elizon who had grown weary of the Crimson Duke’s attempts to bring them under his power.

The war was long and hard, and Girion’s forces suffered many setbacks and scored many victories, but they ever pushed the Crimson Duke’s forces back, liberating towns and villages one by one. These triumphs were not without cost- Girion suffered a personal loss in 529 IR when his eldest son Liam was killed at the Battle of Féarach Hill. In 531 IR, Girion seized Celliwig, wresting control of the city from the Crimson Duke after an eleven month siege, forcing his foe entirely out of the eastern and central parts of Cadfor.

Finally, in 533 IR, Girion scraped together every soldier he could muster and led his troops against the Crimson Duke’s amassed forces at the Battle of Bythwrdd Meadows. For this titanic battle, both Melin and Gwenarþ sent their own armies to aid Girion, and even Girion’s remaining son Padraig took to the field at his father’s side. The battle went badly for the allied army, and just when it seemed that the Crimson Duke’s companies of giants would overwhelm them, Ådon, Dallen, Mannan and the rest of the Conclave of Eight came to once and for all deal with the threat posed by the Crimson Duke and Nakhtmoy and turned the tide of battle and the Duke’s forces were scattered. Despite the victory, this was a day of sadness as Siân, Girion’s faithful spouse of more than two decades, was slain in the battle. Though his body was never found, the Crimson Duke was never seen after this day, and he presumably died on the field with his troops.

After his victory at the Battle of Bythwrdd Meadows, Girion laid siege to the Crimson Duke’s stronghold of Cær Colur, now the refuge of the vile Nakhtmoy. Within a year, the dread fortress fell and though they could not locate the demoness to banish her, the Conclave of Eight was able to trap her inside the network of tunnels that honeycombed the earth beneath its ruined walls. Seals of mystical power were placed on the place, imprisoning the elusive spider-demon within the complex.

Having driven the Crimson Duke and his armies from Cadfor, Girion was declared king of that nation in 534 IR. In that same year, King OEngus Lairdsonne of Melin and King Brann of Gwenarth sponsored Girion’s membership in the Freeholder’s Council, and he was admitted to that body in that same year. Girion chose a black crossed hammer and sickle on a silver field with a red border as the symbol of his house, and chose Lámh Casúr as his House name, becoming King Girion Lámh Casúr.

King Girion is closely allied with King Œngus Lairdsonne of the neighboring kingdom of Melin, and Girion's only living son Padraig was betrothed to Œngus' daughter Iarfhlaith in 535 IR , a union that would have united the two kingdoms in a mutually beneficial alliance. Unfortunately, in a sad turn of events Padraig vanished while campaigning against a goblinoid incursion in the Lloftmelin Mountains in 538 IR, and he is presumed dead. Girion’s only remaining heir is his thirteen year old daughter Andrella.

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Monday, September 21, 2020

A Brief History of Sakaþa, the Great King of the Lizardfolk

Excerpts from Brief History of Sakaþa, the Great King of the Lizardfolk
by Demetrios ap Varin
(Published 536 IR)

The Great King Sakaþa is an enigma, shrouded in myth and legend. Venerated by the lizardfolk of the Great Southern Swamp as their true and eternal leader and feared as a demonic figure of terror by all of the civilized peoples of Nuþralia, it is almost impossible to disinguish between fact and fiction concerning this creature. Among the lizardfolk, the legend of Sakaþa has taken on such epic proportions that virtually any deed one can conceive of has been attributed to him. Among the non-lizardfolk that live in Eor, the folk tales and stories told about him paint Sakaþa alternatively as a figure of ineffable terror who name should only be spoken in hushed whispers and a comical buffoon whose ineptitude is a suitable subject for mockery.

No one knows for certain where or when the dread creature known as Sakaþa was born, but it is reasonable to assume that it took place in the early part of the 4th century IR, presumably somewhere in the depths of the Great Southern Swamp. With the strength and stamina of the lizardfolk, but intelligence that rivaled even the most brilliant of men, Sakaþa quickly rose to a position of power and leadership among the tribes of the marshes, gaining such renown that his name appears in texts as early as 348 IR. Sakaþa proved to be a skilled arcanist, and he used his magical prowess to great effect, defeating his enemies with both the physical prowess of his troops and the arcane power of his wizardly abilities. In short order, Sakaþa ruled over a vast nation of scaled folk. Despite his success in taming his fellows, Sakaþa was clearly unsatisfied, and all accounts provide the same reasons why: He had a larger than normal share of the greed, rapacity, and evil found among both the lizardfolk and men.

Sakaþa's ambitions likely would have gone unfulfilled had the lizardman not formed an alliance with a powerful sect of Belial’s church called the Cult of the Black Flame. The power wielded by the Cult's priests and the dark mysteries of Belial's power they commanded gave Sakaþa's armies a strength and vigor that was nigh-unstoppable. Within just a few years, Sakaþa came to be the supreme ruler of the lizardfolk and other denizens of the Great Southern Swamp, extending his hegemony over all who dwelled there and becoming a constant thorn in the side of his neighbors as raiding parties were frequently sent forth to plunder all those on his borders.

Following his conquest of the denizens of the swamp, Sakaþa decided that plundering his neighbors was not sufficient, and launched an invasion of Eor in 351 IR, and completing his conquest of the region by 356 IR, defeating King Comyn of Nuþralia’s army and killing the king in the process at the Battle of Ongal Hill. Once he seized control of Eor, Sakaþa enslaved the population and carried away vast riches to the Great Southern Swamp. In addition to his loyal lizardfolk and vast army of slaves, Sakaþa’s overflowing treasury enabled him to employ many powerful mercenaries in his service, further cementing his position as unquestioned ruler of both the Great Southern Swamp and Western Nuþralia.

After Sakaþa’s invasion of Eor, Nuþralia was in disarray, with the newly crowned King Cadwalandr unable to respond right away due to incursions by Ahaliat tribesmen and yet another invasion by seafaring raiders from Kysthjem and Langjord that not only overran much of the eastern half of the realm but also kept most of the Imperial fleet occupied for years. Fortunately for the young king, Sakaþa was strangely quiescent during this period, giving both the Nuþralian royal house and the Imperial Throne the time they needed to marshal their forces for a campaign to liberate the lands the Grat King of the Lizardfolk had seized.

In 364 IR, Cadwalandr’s pleas for Imperial aid were finally answered, and High King Ghilchrist IV assembled a host that included knights from the Order of the Gauntlet, and forces contributed by House Gilfaethwy and House Llefelys. In an unexpected turn, King Cadwalandr was able to turn Håkon, one of the chieftains of the invading northmen, by promising him lands for Håkon's followers to settle upon, and thus was able to swell his own forces for the campaign. Over the next three years, the King Cadwalandr aided by the Imperial forces was able to reconquer most of what Sakaþa had seized a decade before.

Sakaþa was not a particularly wise or judicious ruler. It was this weakness that caused him to ride into battle at the head of his lizardfolk in the Battle of Vendare, where he was mortally wounded. Legend holds that it was Håkon himself who dealt the fatal blow upon the Lizard King, a story many consider dubious, but which Håkon's descendants consider to be iron clad fact. What is known is that Håkon was made Æorldorman of Vendare for the services he rendered to King Caldwalandr during the war. As for Sakaþa, his shattered army was scattered, but stories tell that a few loyal servants carried his dead and broken body from the field of battle and off into the Great Southern Swamp to a locale unknown to his enemies.

Since that day, Sakaþa’s name became a talisman of power among the lizardfolk of the Great Southern Swamp. Powerful tribal leaders often style themselves as the “New Sakaþa’, but none has ever been able to match his combination of power and cunning, and none was ever able to equal his glorious career. In time, it became de rigeur for the lizardfolk of the Great Southern Swamp to claim they were acting in Great King Sakaþa’s name, and invoking his name in their battle cries and curses. Fact turned to legend, and legend turned to myth, and over the years it became impossible to distinguish between the reality of Sakaþa’s life and the array of stories concerning heroic feats and exploits that were attributed to him in tall tales. Stories about Sakaþa’s acts have become a staple of tavern tales and songs even among the men living in the regions bordering the Great Southern Swamp, although he was almost always depicted as a villain in them.

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Monday, September 14, 2020

General Rules: Feats - Leadership

Leadership is a somewhat unique feat that allows a character to recruit a cohort and followers. This page details how I handle this feat.

Leadership [General] (from the Player's Handbook)
You are the sort of person others want to follow, and you have done some work attempting to recruit cohorts and followers.
  Prerequisite: Character level 6th+
  Benefit: You can attract loyal companions and devoted followers, subordinates who assist you. The level of your cohort and the number and level of your followers is determined by your leadership score. Note that there are different modifiers for your Leadership score with respect to cohorts and followers, so your Leadership score might be different for your cohort than it is for your followers.

Your cohorts and followers are generally loyal and reliable retainers. Unlike ordinary NPCs, who have their own agendas and objectives, cohorts and followers look to the character for direction and guidance. As a general rule, they will not betray you or deceive you unless they are severely mistreated, although in such cases they will usually simply abandon your service.

Cohorts and followers will expect that the character will provide for their basic needs including room, board, and any workspace, tools, or other specialized equipment needed to undertake the tasks you assign to them (this is, after all, one of the major reasons they have sought you out to serve as your retainers). So, for example, if you recruit a follower who is a blacksmith and ask him to craft materials for you, he will expect you to provide a forge with appropriate blacksmithing tools and raw materials needed to undertake the work. Failure to appropriately provide for your cohort and followers will be likely to negatively affect your Leadership Score.

Cohort: A character with Leadership may have a single cohort. In general, a player may design their desired cohort, subject to my approval. Cohorts should be built using the elite array of ability scores (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8), subject to applicable racial modifiers. The cohort may be any playable race and any allowable class. The cohort may be a multi-classed character if the player desires, and may take advantage of any of the options available to player characters. When the cohort enters the character's service, they will be equipped with equipment with a total value appropriate to an NPC of the cohort's level (see Table 4-23: NPC Gear Value on page 127 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). Any additional equipment must be provided by the player.

Under certain circumstances, I may allow a cohort to be a nonstandard race, or even an intelligent monstrous creature, such as a sphinx or a dragon. In those cases, apply the appropriate Level Adjustment to the cohorts class levels, or, if the cohort is a type of creature that does not have a listed Level Adjustment, the cohort's initial "level" will be their Challenge Rating. All such nonstandard cohorts must be approved by me in advance.

Your cohort is a loyal companion who will accompany your character on adventures. In general, you can control your cohort, although they will not undertake obviously suicidal or self-destructive actions. I reserve the right to assume control of the cohort if that becomes necessary.

Your cohort does not gain "experience". As your Leadership score goes up as you rise in level, your cohort will gain levels to match that allowed by your new Leadership score, although this is subject to the usual limitation that your cohort can never be higher level than two levels lower than your current character level.

Followers: A character with Leadership is able to attract followers if his Leadership Score is at least 10. Followers, like your cohort, may be designed by the player, subject to my approval. Followers should be built using the standard array of ability scores (11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10) or the nonelite array of ability scores (13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8) at your option. You may, if you wish switch back and forth between these two arrays for different followers. Followers can be any standard playable race, and may be adepts, adherents, commoners, experts, or warriors. When a follower enters the character's service, they will be equipped with equipment with a total value equal to the starting gear for a character of their class. Any additional equipment must be provided by the player.

Under certain circumstances, a follower may be of a nonstandard race if there is an appropriate character-driven reason for such followers to be attracted to the player character. All such followers will be typical members of their race and must be approved by me in advance.

Your followers are loyal aides, but generally will not be willing to accompany the character on adventures. Followers will be willing to work as craftsmen, work as personal aides, handle business tasks, act as couriers, travel with caravans and take care of your animals and wagons, and even defend your stronghold or, if necessary, go to war alongside you, but they will not delve into dungeons, enter a dragon's lair, or help you sack an evil temple. In general, a character may direct the actions of their followers, but they will not be willing to undertake unnecessarily dangerous, suicidal, or self-destructive actions. As with cohorts, I reserve the right to assume control of followers if necessary.

As with cohorts, your followers don't gain "experience". As your Leadership Score increases, you attract new followers and are eligible to retain higher level followers. When you become eligible for higher level followers, you may either advance a current follower to a higher level or recruit a new follower of the appropriate level.

Leadership Modifiers: A character's base leadership score is their character level + their Charisma modifier. Several factors can affect a character's Leadership score, causing it to vary from this base score. Your reputation from the point of view of the cohort or follower you are trying to attract raises of lowers your Leadership score.

Leader's ReputationModifier
Great renown+2
Fairness and generosity+1
Special power+1

Other modifiers may apply when the character tries to attract a cohort.

The Leader . . .Modifier
Has a familiar, special mount, or animal companion-2
Recruits a cohort of a different alignment-1
Caused the death of a cohort-2 1
1 Cumulative per cohort killed

Followers have different priorities from cohorts. When the character tries to attract a new follower, use any of the following modifiers that apply.

The Leader . . .Modifier
Has a stronghold, base of operations, guildhouse, or the like+2
Moves around a lot-1
Caused the death of other followers-1

Cohorts and Followers: Once a character's Leadership score is determined, the level of their cohort and the number of followers they can attract is determined according to the following table. If a character's Leadership score changes, their cohort and number of followers may be affected. As a character's Leadership score rises, their cohort will advance in level and more followers will come into their service. If a character's Leadership score falls, their cohort's advancement will stagnate, and followers may abandon the character.

LeadershipCohortNumber of Followers by Level
1 or lower-------
24 or higher17th135137422
Leadership Score: A character's base Leadership score equals his level plus any Charisma modifier. In order to take into account negative Charisma modifiers, this table allows for very low Leadership scores, but the character must still be 6th level or higher in order to gain the Leadership feat. Outside factors can affect a character's Leadership score, as detailed above.
Cohort Level: The character can attract a cohort of up to this level. Regardless of a character's Leadership score, he can only recruit a cohort who is two or more levels lower than himself. A 6th-level character with a +3 Charisma bonus, for example, can still only recruit a cohort of 4th level or lower. The cohort should be equipped with gear appropriate for its level.
Number of Followers by Level: The character can lead up to the indicated number of characters of each level.For example, a character with a Leadership score of 14 can lead up to fifteen 1st-level followers and one 2nd-level follower.

Replacing Cohorts and Followers: If you lose a cohort or followers, you can generally replace thrm, according to your current Leadership Score. I takes 1d4 months to recruit replacements. If you are to blame for the deaths of the cohort or followers, it takes extra time to replace them, up to a full year. Losing a cohort or followers can give you a reputation for failure, which would affect your Leadership score.

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Monday, August 31, 2020

House Rules - New Magic Rings

This is a listing of magic rings that may appear in my campaigns.

This list may use abbreviations to show what sourcebook the entries were drawn from. For guidance as to what sourcebooks these abbreviations reference, see my key to Sourcebook Abbreviations.

All of the material contained on this page and other pages of this blog is presented in accordance with the terms of the Open Game License.

Angel's Ring: (Book of Eldritch Might II) This ring is a special creation of the arcane angels, although it has since been copied. it is a simple silver band with no markings. When wearing it, a character can call upon a valiance angel once per week as if brought by a summon monster spell. The valiance angel gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and skill checks if the ring's wearer is an arcane spellcaster, for it struggles harder on an arcanist's behalf.
  Aura: Strong conjuration; Caster Level: 15th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, summon monster VIII; Cost: 10,000 shillings; Cost to Create: 5,000 shillings + 400 experience points. Weight: -.

Ring of Brief Blessing: (Magic Item Compendium) This silver ring has a clear crystal set into it which glows faintly with a holy light. A ring of brief blessing, which functions only if you are good-aligned, allows your attacks to pierce the defenses of evil foes. When you activate this ring as a swift action, choose a single melee weapon you hold (or your unarmed strike). Until the end of your turn, that weapon is considered both magic and good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming the damage reduction of an evil creature, as well as for the purpose of affecting incorporeal evil creatures. A ring of brief blessing functions once per day. Once it is activated, its glow fades. While wearing the ring you can expend a turn undead attempt as a standard action to recharge it, which restores its glow.
  Aura: Faint transmutation; Caster Level: 3rd; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, bless weapon; Cost: 1,000 shillings; Cost to Create: 500 shillings + 40 experience points. Weight: -.

Ring of the Scorched Mind: (Book of Eldritch Might II) This corroded silver ring looks like trash rather than treasure. When worn, for the purposes of all spells and magical effects, the wearer is treated as mindless, like a vermin, an undead, or someone drained of all Intelligence. The wearer becomes immune to all mind-affecting magic and can (if he chooses to) appear to be a mindless shell to all divinations that can detect him.
  Aura: Strong abjuration; Caster Level: 15th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, mind blank; Cost: 150,000 shillings; Cost to Create: 75,000 shillings + 6,000 experience points. Weight: -.

Ring of Swimming: (Dungeon Master's Guide) This silver ring has a wave pattern etched into the band. It continually grants the wearer a +5 competence bonus on Swim checks.
  Aura: Faint transmutation; Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, creator must have 5 ranks in the Swim skill; Cost: 2,500 shillings; Cost to Create: 1,250 shillings + 100 experience points. Weight: -.

Stormfire Ring: (Magic Item Compendium) When you activate a stormfire ring, using a standard action to do so, it creates a færie fire effect of crackling lightning that lasts for 5 rounds. This effect functions as the spell, except that each creature affected takes 1d6 points of electricity damage each round for the duration. Using the ring on a creature that is already affected doesn't increase the damage dealt, bit it does extend the effect's duration. A stormfire ring functions five times per day. A druid can activate this item even while in wild shape.
  Aura: Strong evocation; Caster Level: 12th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, færie fire, possession of a piece of the Raiment of the Stormwalker; Cost: 4,000 shillings; Cost to Create: 2,000 shillings + 160 experience points. Weight: -.

X-Ray Vision: (Book of Eldritch Might II and Dungeon Master's Guide) On command, this ring gives its possessor the ability to see into and through solid matter. Vision range is 20 feet, with the viewer seeing as if he were looking at something in normal light even if there is no illumination. X-ray vision can penetrate 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, or up to 3 feet of wood or dirt. Thicker substances or a thin sheet of lead blocks the vision. Using the ring is physically exhausting, causing the wearer 1 point of Constitution damage per minute after the first 10 minutes of use in a single day.
  Aura: Moderate divination; Caster Level: 6th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, x-ray vision; Cost: 25,000 shillings; Cost to Create: 12,500 shillings + 1,000 experience points. Weight: -.

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

The History of the Rhadynnic-Naceadan Dual Empire

Excerpts from The History of the Rhadynnic-Naceadan Dual Empire
by Dillion pen’Llefelys
(Published 512 IR)

On the Founding of the Great Houses:

The records detailing the origins of the Great Houses, and their kingdoms they now rule are lost to us, destroyed by the ravages of time and the depredations of our enemies. Our legends hold that more than a thousand years before the founding of the Rhadynnic Sky Empire, Llud pen’Beli founded Great House Llud and assumed rule of Llydaw as gor'Brenin, a kingdom legends hold was established by his father Beli Mawr, the great legendary warrior-king and first Brenin-Mawr of the Rhadynn. As told in The Chronicles of the High Kings, authored by the historian Ymerawdwr Conall III, nine of Llud's ten siblings left Llydaw with their followers to establish their own Great Houses and becoming gor'Brenin of their own kingdoms. The ten Great Houses sometimes fought each other, and sometimes banded together. Legends speak of great wars against the fomor, partholan, and seelie, with the warriors of the ten houses emerging victorious.

The ancient tales speak of many dangers facing the splintered kingdoms of our forefathers, but none so terrible as the dread Hallitsijainen, whose power and evil still plague the free people of the world. For hundreds of years, the Kansattu sent their black-sailed ships throughout all of the Three Worlds, demanding tribute and any who refused to offer wealth and slaves to the Cold Lords were destroyed. Imperial records maintain that the first signs of true unity among the Great Houses came in 1109 YE when Brion, Dewintir, Dyved, Gwydon, and Llydaw banded together to form the Rhadynnic Confederation and together refused Hallitsijainen demands for tribute, a decision that was timed almost perfectly as the Cold Lords were weakened by the Leucadian struggle detailed in the epic poem Epikotos Leucadian1 and the subsequent exploits of the Geureciman General-King Rafaele as detailed in the Song of Rafaele2. Many ships and warbands were sent by the Hallitsijainen to punish the recalcitrant kingdoms, but they were defeated as the Great Houses allied against the common foe under the banner of the Golden Hawk. Within fifty years all of the Great Houses joined the Rhadynnic Confederation, and in 1161 the gor’Brenin of Llydaw was elected to be ruler of the Rhadynn as the first Brenin-Mawr since Beli Mawr. The High Kings set about using their mighty sky ships in coordination with the drake-empowered armies of the Great Houses to resist the Hallitisijainen, marshal great fleets against the Dekkulde islanders, and send their armies against the jattilainen and euroz of Elizon and elsewhere, even against the wild nomads of the At'viras Steppes.

On the Founding of the Rhadynnic-Naceadan Dual Sky Empire:

Although the records I have found do not give a complete picture, as closely as I have been able to determine, finding themselves both under threat from the Cold Lords, Brenin-Mawr Ghilchrist pen’Llud and Christobal Santiago, the Amparar of Oropais, formed an alliance in 1193 YE to unify their domains against this common foe. According to imperial records stored in the Council archives, in 1209 YE, Ghilchrist cemented this relationship by marrying Christobal’s only daughter Alejandra, and when Christobal died in 1211 YE he ascended to the throne of Oropais and was crowned Ymerawdwr Ghilchrist I. Ever after this, the standard of the empire was a two-headed golden hawk on a field of green, showing the union between the two great empires of the Rhadynn and the Naceadans. Ghilchrist I declared the year of his ascension to the throne of the dual monarchy to be a holiday year, and founded a new counting of years to be counted starting with that year as the “0” year and named the “Imperial Reckoning” or “IR”. In 2 IR, Ghilchrist issued his Atal Proclamation, or Prohibition Proclamation, a copy of which signed by the Ymerawdwr’s own hand can be found in the House Llefelys’ collection, in which he ordered all of his subject domains to cease paying tribute of any kind to the infernal and depraved Cold Lords.

On House Llud and the Imperial Faith:3

In their realm, House Llud promoted the holy faith the Lords of Heaven, and made it the faith of the nation, elevating the priests of the Holy Faiths to an honored place in their lands. In 1158 YE Brenin-Mawr Iain I founded the holy order devoted to Yng named the Milwr Awyr, also called the Warriors of the Sky, to guard the ten kingdoms from the depredations of the heathen Rodhar dragon raiders and godless Sjorover island pirates4. In 15 IR, Ymerawdwr Ghilchrist II granted the Milwr Tarian an Imperial Charter, an order of holy warriors devoted to Heim intended to serve as guardians for sacred places, monasteries, and temples. Upon his ascension to the throne in 126 IR, Ymerawdwr Kunagnos II issued his Eithrio Proclamation or the Exclusionary Proclamation in which he declared the worship of the Lords of Heaven the true faith of the Sky Empire, and specifically outlawed a list of cults condemned as demonic in nature5 and the worship of the vile power of the Ilkeastasisin. Those heathen faiths not mentioned in the document were still tolerated, but quite properly looked upon with disfavor.

In his first act upon ascending to the throne in 135 IR, Ymerawdwr Kunagnos III gave Imperial sanction to the Milwr Dwrn, a sect devoted to the Celestial Lord Forseti, to rule over and guard the land provinces of the Sky Empire. In that same year, Kunagnos III ceded Ranska to this order or holy warriors who henceforth directly ruled that land in the Ymerawdwr’s name, and under the laws of Heaven, until it was lost to the Hallitsijainen in 418 IR.

On the Crusades:

Few things more defined the reign of the Ymerawdwr’s than their enmity towards the cruel and unholy Kansattu Empire, a hatred driven to a crusading zeal by their alliance with the holy faiths of the Lords of Heaven. In 42 IR. Ymerawdwr Tamnais II launched the first Imperial crusade and conquered Saksa, claiming it as a foothold that he claimed would allow the conquest of all Ilkeas. Ymerawdwr Artur II continued these just and holy wars, seizing most of Ranska in 73 IR, and launching attacks into Kreikka before dying in glorious service to the gods on the field of battle, while Ymerawdwr Seain II completed the conquest, having assumed complete control of Ranska by 105 IR. After many more wars, Ymerawdwr Seain III conquered the province of Kreikka in 122 IR. The Ymerawdwrs built armies, fought great just and holy wars to press the Hallitsijainen, and the Sky Empire prospered for many years under the benevolent and protective eyes of Heaven, but the evils of the world, as is their nature, tirelessly worked to undo the work of the faithful and righteous.

In 391 IR, after years of war, the province of Kreikka was overwhelmed by heathen nomads, and was lost. Beginning in 402 IR. the Hallitsijainen began a campaign of corruption and depravity against the province of Ranska, engaging in a series of small wars, the records of which speak of terrible cruelty visited upon the good people of that land by the invading armies. By 412 IR, the weak-minded Ahaliat tribesmen in Kreikka were subverted by the corruption of the Hallitsijainen, and became subservient to the Kansattu Empire, allowing the terrible Verijuoma to rule over them, slavishly worshiping his power. Saksa soon fell apart into small territories ruled by disloyal Lesser Houses, who turned away from the just rule of the Ymerawdwrs and sought unholy alliances with the Cold Lords. Saksa completely disintegrated by 427 IR. Finally, in 418 IR. Ranska was invaded and conquered by the depraved Kreikkans and the cruel Hallitsijainen, the Milwr Dwrn were smashed, and Miesurmata and Herranoita became the lords of this realm. Proud and loyal subjects of the Ymerawdwrs and the remnants of the Milwr Dwrn fought on desperately against the invaders, some holding out for years, but eventually all were hunted down and destroyed.

On the Last Crusade and the Fall of House Llud:

In 427 IR. Ymerawdwr Cearnach VI was killed in battle during his failed campaign to try to retake Ranska. His son was crowned Ymerawdwr Cearnach VII, the boy-emperor, even though he was only eight years old at the time of his ascension. In this time of need, the Lords of Heaven sent the Arwr to the aid of the recently crowned Ymerawdwr bearing with him mystical artifacts of great power. In 434 IR. accompanied only by Nyniaw pen’Beli, the Arwr journeyed into the Kansattu Empire, and over the next several years stole or destroyed many objects of power that the Hallitsijainen valued greatly, and used the blade Kersyti to destroy the Hallitsijainen Susiherra and Sarviherttua and several of their most powerful and vile servants. Emboldened by the Arwr’s successes, Cearnach VII launched a great and holy crusade in 441 IR, seizing Pisekost and Varoastrov in 444 IR.

Heartened by the success granted by the Lords of Heaven, Cearnach VII landed his fleets on Jaotuli Island in 446 IR. quickly destroying its garrison, and laid siege to Pelkonnoitus in the same year. Not content with these successes, in 449 IR, filled with the might of the Lords of Heaven, Cearnach VII moved his grand imperial army from Pelkonnoitus up the Taikajulma River to directly attack Iltorni. In the siege of the dark tower, the Arwr was killed in combat with Murskilta who was destroyed at the same instant. After a year of siege, Ymerawdwr Cearnach VII, the last member of House Llud, was killed on the field of battle before the gates of Iltorni, leaving no heir. The Kansattu forces attacked the ring of besiegers around Iltorni during the depths of winter from within and without, crushing them in battle. The once proud armies of the Sky Empire were smashed by the Kansattu legions and their ships burned on the cold beaches of Ilkeas.

On the Whelming of Llydaw and the Fall of the Rhadynnic-Naceadan Dual Empire:

After Cearnach VII’s death, the infernal Hallitsijainen summoned their vile powers in a great enchantment to smash Llydaw, which they whelmed under the sea, leaving scattered islets where the landmass of the great island of the Ymerawdwrs once stood. From that point forward, Llydaw has been known as Llœgyr, the Lost Land. In 455 IR the remaining Great Houses met to elect a new Brenin-Mawr to lead them, but the just claim made by House Llefelys of Alwyr, was contested by demands made by House Amæthon of Brion, and House Arianrhod of Crœsfan, which prevented the Houses from agreeing upon a single successor. In a great parallel tragedy, the death of Cearnach VII, ended the dynastic succession of the Amparars, throwing the Naceadan nation of Oropais into chaos. Because of the treachery of Houses Amæthon and Arianrhod, wars have begun as those false claimants have sought to displace the valid claim of House Llefelys.

To the dismay of all righteous men everywhere, after the fall of the Ymerawdwrs the churches of the Lords of Heaven have found the holy message of the true Gods difficult to spread, as many lacking in stoutness of heart attributed the extinction of their most ardent mortal advocates as a sign of their disfavor, or, more heretically, their impotence. In Oropais, many of the weak in spirit have turned to the infernal treason of Arrioism as the advocates of that heresy postulate the destruction of Llydaw to be a sign of the disfavor of heaven. In 487 IR the Arrioist church illegally seized the imperial holdings of the Amparar of Oropais, trumping up the Writ of Oropais as a justification. Many others turn away from Heaven’s path and take refuge in the long-discarded faith of the y’Grym, a heathen faith foolishly and readily embraced by House Amæthon and House Gwydion.

Cursed by the infernal powers, our people suffered a further insult, when in 494 IR, the great dragon sire Mahthildin descended upon Carmathen and destroyed all those remaining there to claim as his own the holy treasures of the Sky Empire and the holy relics of the Lords of Heaven. In 504 IR, calling the sinking of Llydaw and the assault of Mahthildin signs of the displeasure of Heaven, the Fielidor of Arrio publicly called upon our people to set aside the true faith in the Lords of Heaven and embrace his apostasy, a plea all right thinking people rejected as obviously heretical.

1 A detailed review of records from the remaining Imperial archives now located in the Council libraries leads me to the conclusion that the events detailed in the Epikotos Leucadian took place during the reign of gor’Brenin Fionn I of House Alwyr at some point between the years 995 YE and 1005 YE.

2 Although the Song of Rafaele is somewhat vague in its attention to details such as exact dates, correlating the poem with other sources leads me to conclude that Rafaele’s exploits took place at some point between 1050 YE and 1150 YE.

3 No record exists of an Imperial charter being granted to the Milwr Llwon, also known as the Order of Oaths. Scholars have speculated that the founding of and sanction granted to the holy order of warriors devoted to Tiwas predates the Sky Empire, and may have been instrumental in legitimizing the ascension of the Ymerawdwrs.

4 In 492 IR House Llefelys ceded the island of Lleyn to the Milwr Awyr to replace the ports lost to them when Llydaw was destroyed.

5 The cults listed include cults devoted to (among others) Abonde, Bål, Belial, Darmas, Gangyn, Halpas, Iku-Tyrma, Ishi, Kalma, Khil, Kivutar, Lug, Ninkurra, Oxoßi, Seþra, Sirchade, Surtan, Tunar, Tuni, and Vaßatar. In addition, the document banned worship of the faiths promoted by the Hallitsijainen, specifically banning the Verituska cult. These denominations are known as the Eithrio Cults.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

House Rules - Exotic Armor

Exotic Armor

This is a list of exotic armors that do not appear in the Player's Handbook, but that I use in my campaigns. All of these armors and shields require the user to take either the Exotic Armor Proficiency or Exotic Shield Proficiency feat to gain the full benefit of these armors and shields. As exotic armors get added to my ongoing campaigns, I will add more to this listing. These armors have been adapted from Dawnforge: Crucible of Legend, and Hammer & Helm: A Guidebook to Dwarves.

This list uses several abbreviations to show what sourcebook the entries were drawn from. For guidance as to what sourcebooks these abbreviations reference, see my key to Sourcebook Abbreviations.

All of the material contained on this page and other pages of this blog is presented in accordance with the terms of the Open Game License.

Light Armor
Max Dex
Armor Check
Arcane Spell
Medium Armor
Max Dex
Armor Check
Arcane Spell
Heavy Armor
Max Dex
Armor Check
Arcane Spell
Max Dex
Armor Check
Arcane Spell
Breaker Shield
20 shillings
15 lbs.
20 shillings
15 lbs.

Armor Descriptions

Breaker Shield: A breaker shield is a devious invention favored by orcs that causes their opponent;s weapons to shatter or snap when they hit it. This large shield is covered with jagged metal or specially carved wooden fins that can trap and break weapons. Any time a character using a breaker shield takes a total defense action, he can attempt to sunder an attacking opponent's weapon as an attack of opportunity. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the opponent's attack misses by less than the total Armor Class bonus provided by the total defense action and the breaker shield, then the character may attempt to sunder their opponent's weapon.

Only Medium and smaller weapons can be sundered by a breaker shield. Only proficient users can use the special ability of a breaker shield, which requires the Exotic Shield Proficiency.

Flankshield: A flankshield is a specially designed shield used by mounted defenders to ward off attacks against both them and their mounts. It is a small buckler that has an extension with another, oval-shaped shield to protect a horse's flank. It provides a +1 shield bonus to its wielder, and a +2 shield bonus to his mount.

Only proficient users can gain the benefit of a flankshield while mounted, which requires the Exotic Shield Proficiency feat.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

House Rules - New Magic Armor and Shield Special Abilities

Armor and shields may have special abilities, such as acid resistance or fortification. Special abilities count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of the item, but do not modify defensive bonuses (except where specifically noted). A single shield or suit of armor cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalent) higher than +10. A suit of armor or shield with a special ability must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

This list uses several abbreviations to show what sourcebook the entries were drawn from. For guidance as to what sourcebooks these abbreviations reference, see my key to Sourcebook Abbreviations.

All of the material contained on this page and other pages of this blog is presented in accordance with the terms of the Open Game License.

Daylight Ward: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Armor and shields with this special ability grant creatures with light sensitivity the ability to ignore the negative effects of sunlight and daylight spells.
  Aura: Moderate abjuration; Caster Level: 2nd; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, endure sunlight; Cost: +1 bonus.

Fleet: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Fleet armor is built using the very lightest materials and processes available. It also incorporates ingenious springs and roller to move the wearer quickly along the ground. A creature in fleet armor increases its base speed by +10 feet. Only light armor may be imbued with this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, expeditious retreat; Cost: +1 bonus.

Grace: (Book of Eldritch Might II) This armor is flexible and easier than normal to move and stretch within. It has no maximum Dexterity bonus.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cat's grace; Cost: +1 bonus.

Greater Maneuvering: (Book of Eldritch Might II) The lightness and ease-of-use of a suit of armor or a shield with this ability reduces the associated armor check penalty to 0.
  Aura: Strong transmutation; Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, freedom of movement, haste; Cost: +2 bonus.

Grudge: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Grudge armor and shields excel at defending against one type of creature. Against the designated foe, their effective enhancement bonus is +3 better than normal. To randomly determine a designated foe, roll on the following table:

d%Designated Foe
01 - 05Aberrations
06 - 13Animals
14 - 20Constructs
21 - 25Dragons
26 - 30Elementals
31 - 35Fæy
36 - 40Giants
41 - 45Magical Beasts
46 - 50Monstrous Humanoids
51 - 53Oozes
54 - 58Outsiders, Chaotic
59 - 65Outsiders, Evil
66 - 70Outsiders, Good
71 - 75Outsiders, Lawful
76 - 77Plants
78 - 85Shapechangers
86 - 92Undead
93 - 94Vermin
95 - 00Humanoid (choose subtype)

  Aura: Moderate conjuration; Caster Level: 11th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, summon monster I; Cost: +2 bonus.

Horselord: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) This armor is built for mounted combat and includes spurs and intricate systems of rings to tie the wearer to a mount. It grants a +10 circumstance bonus on Ride checks. Only light and medium armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 2nd; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must have at least 8 ranks in Ride; Cost: +1 bonus.

Maneuvering: (Book of Eldritch Might II) Armor or shields with this ability reduce their associated armor check penalty by 2. Items with this ability are light and magically maneuverable - and in the case of armor, extemely limber.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, freedom of movement; Cost: +1 bonus.

Pack Mule: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Armor with this special ability is designed balance as much weight as possible on the hips, allowing its wearer to carry far more weight than normal. A wearer of pack mule armor suffers no encumbrance penalty for carrying a medium load, and incurs only the normal penalty for a medium load while carrying a heavy load. The wearer's maximum load is unchanged. Only armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate evocation; Caster Level: 8th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, divine power; Market Price: +2 bonus.

Ram: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Ram armor is specially reinforced along the joints and buttressed with heavy struts that run along the wearer's back and shoulders. It also includes various handles and grips on the back. The wearer gains a +8 competence bonus on Strength checks made to break open doors and the armor's construction allows a second person to aid the attempt, adding another +2 circumstance bonus to the check if successful. Opponents who attempt to grapple the wearer also gain a +2 circumstance bonus on the grapple check from the many handholds on this armor. Only medium or heavy armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate evocation; Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, force ram; Market Price: +1 bonus.

Seeming: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Armor of seeming is a favorite of assassins and burglars alike. Once per day, with a command word, the wearer can instantly disguise himself as with the spell alter self as if cast by a 6th level caster (1 hour duration). Only armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, alter self; Market Price: +2 bonus.

Spellcasting: (Book of Eldritch Might II) This armor or shield bears a special ensorcellment to make it easier to use while casting arcane spells. Reduce arcane spell failure chances by 15 percent when using this armor or shield.
  Aura: Strong transmutation; Caster Level: 13th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, limited wish, mage armor; Cost: +2 bonus.

Superior Spellcasting: (Book of Eldritch Might II) The magic within this armor or shield is so potent, arcane spellcasters can use it with no spell-failure chance.
  Aura: Strong transmutation; Caster Level: 17th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, mage armor, wish; Cost: +4 bonus.

Tailored: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Tailored armor must be built for a particular creature. When worn by the intended wearer, its armor check penalty is 1 better than that of masterwork armor (thus, +1 tailored hide would have an armor check penalty of -1). A suit of tailored armor worn by anyone other than its intended wearer does not confer this benefit, and actually worsens the armor check penalty by 1 - just as if the armor were not masterwork. Only armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must have at least 8 ranks in Craft (Armorsmithing); Market Price: +1 bonus.

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