Tuesday, August 7, 2018

d20 Magic Artifacts

1. The ichor of Ectalion.  An incredibly dense orange fluid in a copper vial.  It turns freshly-killed creatures into weapons.  Melee or ranged (50% chance each).  Ranged weapons are usually similar to organic harpoon guns unless you can think of a better one.  They deal the same damage as the living creature would have and only have 6 shots before they become useless forever.

2. A mirror that will makes you younger the longer you stare at it.  You lose XP, but mutations and mutilations will also be undone.  Make Saves to avoid forgetting major things.  Minor things are all forgotten.  About one year every hour spent staring.  You will always appear to be your true age in the mirror.  If the mirror is ever broken, all of its effects are undone.

3. A soft blue humanoid.  They are boneless and crawl, roll, slither across the ground.  They will mewl like newborn goats and seek to touch your face gently.  If allowed to do so, their faces will crumple with sadness and their bodies will writhe as they convert themselves into a replica of your most valued lost possession (including, possibly, a living creature).  The object is created from your memories of it.  They have some magic, but it cannot imitate everything.

4. The Arm of Lukashane, the famous swordswoman.  It is intact inside it's golden case, and the gold thread stitching has already been started.  The Arm will allow you to wield a sword as if you were a fifth-level fighter.  It will not perform any other task.  It will not perform if it is insulted.  It will only wield swords, and only one-handed.

5. Dancing bananas.  They bifurcate like a pair of legs.  When music is played, they dance.  When they are eaten, you dance.  After every minute, you may Save to resist dancing, if you wish.

6. Oil of Time Trap.  Can be applied to basically any noun to freeze it into place.  Small, non-living things can basically be frozen permanently.  For example, a rope can be turned into a pole, or a waterfall could be turned into something climbable.  Creatures and large objects have a 1d12 round duration.  Large creatures have a 1d6 round duration.

7. Orb of Vanderost.  Looks like a black Christmas ornament.  When shattered, creates a cloud of black dust.  Lasts 1d6+1 rounds.  All objects that remain in the cloud age 10 years for every round they remain in the cloud.

8. Music box ballerina.  Once wound, goes faster and faster until suddenly it stops (takes 1d6 rounds).  One random creature nearby explodes into a shower of gore (save negates).  If the creature makes its save, the effect instantly jumps to another adjacent creature.  Someone's gotta explode.

If at least 3 creatures make their save, the ballerina's enchantment breaks and she returns to full, living size.  She is Radiant Basheen, the world's most famous dancer, imprisoned by her father's wizard so that she would never fall in love with one of her suitors (who are now all long dead).

9. The Skull of Angorogon.  A black skull with no eyeholes or lower jaw.  All sunlight within 1000' becomes invisible.  All creatures within that range must save or be compelled to immediately consume any corpse they come across.  (You can still see during the day, you'll just need a torch.)

10. A small metal top.  When spun, a horrible grinding noise comes from deep underground.  Flight is impossible within 100'.  Living creatures believe that they are in an earthquake (and they fall over if they fail a Dex check), but there is no earthquake.

by Finnian MacManus

11. A hungry hole.  Capable of moving over solid stone.  The interior looks like a kaleidoscope of teeth and gullet, spiraling away into fractal depth.  Hungry and dangerous, but also semi-trainable.  Doglike.  Likes round objects, both to chase and to eat.

12. A black nail.  If hammered into someone's shadow, it immobilizes that shadow and that person.   If the shadow vanishes (either from too much or too little light), the creature is freed.

13. The Yawroo Doorway.  A mirror inside a doorway.  Anything that passes through it is reversed, like a mirror image.  (If you want to be a dick about it, mirror-reversed people will starve to death, as most proteins and sugars will have the wrong chirality to be digestible.)  Useful to make foods with no nutritional value.  Magic objects that are also chiral (such as a unicorn's horn) will have their effects reversed by the Doorway.

14. Iron spikes.  When hammered into the eyes of a corpse, it will reanimate and pursue its killer.  If it does not know its killer, it will just go after the next best thing.  It will be unable to communicate this or do any other task.  It will use weapons, though.  Lasts 10 minutes.

15. A murky tank.  When touched, a red glow suffuses the filth, and an disembodied brain is revealed inside, attached to an articulated set of limbs, with small hoses travelling from its brain stem up to the apex of the tank.  It has a pair of eyeballs.  The brain is a duplicate of whoever activated it.  It is capable of speech and has a sense of both sight and hearing.  It has no ability to move the tank or do anything besides talk, honestly.

It will probably be resentful of it's able-bodied copy.  ("Why do you get to be out there?  We're the same.")  Decent chance it quickly goes insane.  If not fed (about a liter of blood per day), it will fall inert, and may be reactivated anew by another person touching the tank.

16. Vorpal Curse Collar.  When worn, all slashing weapons that are used against you are treated as if they were vorpal.  If you are killed this way, the collar appears on your killer's neck.

17. The Targlass.  Must be eaten (this is difficult).  All damage that you take is reduced by 50%.  You cannot regain HP by any means.  This lasts for 1d6 days (exploding).

18. Diamond of Death.  As soon as you hold it, you learn the rules.  If you ever go a minute without holding the diamond, you will die.  The diamond will then turn into a ruby for the next day as it feeds on the soul it has just captured.  During this time it is safe to let go of the ruby, as the ruby has released its hold on all other victims  If the ruby is ever broken, a powerful demon will be released.

If you get trapped by the ruby, the best scheme it to get some poor goblin to hold it for a while, then take it away.

19. The False Guillotine.  It lacks a blade, and there is no place to attach one.  Nevertheless, if you put your head into the notch, there is the sound of a blade falling, the dull thunk of metal biting into wood, and a brief moment of unmitigated pain and horror.  Afterwards, nothing seems to be different, except for a vague sense of loss and the notion that the world seems somehow flatter than it was a minute ago.

Thereafter, you have no soul.  You are immune to all magic that affects your mind except for possession (which automatically succeeds on you).  You are immune to level drain (and similar forms of XP loss).  You lose all connection to the divine (you cannot cast cleric spells).  And lastly, all XP gain is reduced by 50%.

20. The Apparatus of Balanax.  A cross between a snail shell and a tuba.  A full 30 across, a maze of leather-coated bronze.  An oily tunnel that only narrows as it grows deeper.  At the very back is a voice that will answer any question, but only if you can tell it a significant secret that you alone know, and that is not recorded anywhere else in the world.  Once you speak the secret, it vanishes from your memory.

This post has a sequel and it is located here.


  1. That last one has some real Brian Evenson stuff going on

  2. Lord have mercy, another post or two like this and you'd have a whole campaign's worth of magic without ever seeing a +1 anything.

  3. Th black nail is pretty much perfect.