View Full Version : (Magic Items) Living Arcana

2005-02-15, 08:26 AM
My first post. It goes from cool to meh to silly pretty fast.

These are all items given a very limited form of sentience by their creators or magical accident or whatever. Not so robotic or plain as simple dancing or animated weaponry, they are not nearly as sophisticated as actual intelligent items. They are sort of arcane item "animals". Most are not so proficient at intelligence to have genuine thoughts, but they all have idiosyncracies that separate themselves from like items. Think (from Aladdin) Carpet's unfortunate little brother who rode the short bus to school. They rarely take actions on their own when not in someone's direct possesion, if they can even at all.

Living Cape
An arcane living cape can act as a parachute or extra set of hands for its wearer. It grants a +4 bonus to climb checks and can give a small bonus (+1-2) to any situation where an extra pair of (one-fingered and one-thumbed) hands could help, but for either bonus it must not be holding anything to begin with. They can't really work without explicit orders and aren't intelligent, so that small bonus would not apply to Alchemy but could for Craft checks involving building large scaffolding or other simple, non-creative things. It allows its bearer to cast feather fall on himself at will.

Besides the benign uses of the living cape it can bear arms. It can only use weapons the wearer is proficient in and only light weapons. Every attack by the cape is made at its bearer's highest BAB with a -10 penalty and it penalizes its owner's main attack by -6 and offhand (if there is one) by -10, just as fighting with multiple weapons. These penalties are not accrued in addition to the ones for fighting with two weapons. The penalties may be offset with the Multi-Weapon Fighting feat, to a -4 each, but no lower for the cape. The penalties applied to the weapons wielded in the hands of the wearer may be lessened normally, but the Two-Weapon Fighting and Ambidexterity feats do not apply to the cape and these feats can never turn a penalty into a bonus. If the wearer uses only the cape to fight, one weapon gets a -6, the other -10 (-4,-4 with Two-Weapon Fighting or Multi-Weapon Fighting). If the wearer only uses one weapon with the cape and no other weapons, there is no penalty. When fighting defensively, the wearer gets an extra +1 to AC per weapon wielded by the cape.

In all cases, the living cape's reach is 10' and threatens no squares. It has a Strength of 10 and the wearer may choose to make a grapple attack with it if it is unarmed, but no more than one per round. It may be used to make attacks of opportunity. It can instead be used to wield one or two bucklers if its owner is proficient with them, granting cumulative bonuses and ACP and a -2 to BAB for all attacks by the wielder and cape per shield because the finicky nature of the cape makes it jumpy on defense and hard to get around.

Living capes tend to be the most likely to develop emotions and protective feelings for their owners, often becoming agitated when battle brews or flaring dramatically when the owner casts a spell. Note that it cannot readily differentiate between a subtly cast simple spell and a huge meteor swarmer without some training.

Living Scabbard

This scabbard of an ancient duelist carries all his knowledge of stategy and guile. After the first round of combat the blade the scabbard holds is used, the wearer may use an MEA to "consult" with the scabbard to gain a +1 insight bonus to his attack or AC. He may do this a number of times equal to his intelligence bonus (minimum 0) and never more than once per round. After acquiring at least one bonus this way, he may use an MEA to switch one +1 granted by the scabbard to the other stat (i.e., move a +1 granted the last round to AC to attack). He may also (after accruing at least one bonus from the scabbard) sacrifice all bonuses accrued from the scabbard to make a feint maneuver using his Intelligence bonus instead of Charisma as a free action.

Drawing or sheathing a weapon from the scabbard is always a free action and if the weapon the scabbard holds is within five feet but not in the wearer's grasp (such as when disarmed), the wearer may cause the blade to "jump" back into the scabbard as an MEA without causing AoO. This only works for the last weapon sheathed by the scabbard.

It is a large scabbard that can comfortably hold any non-bashing two-handed or one-handed weapon. It refuses to sheathe light weapons.

Wizard's Apprentice

This is a 2-foot diameter crystal ball that looks just like any other murky blu-ish crystal ball. When put in a stand worth at least 3,000 on top of a bookshelf with at least two dozen books with enough knowledge (DM's call) the bookcase will automatically sort the books alphabetically and keep them in mint condition, protecting them from all non-magical predators and giving the entire bookcase an SR of 30. As long as the owner is within 100' of the orb, he can telekinetically send and recieve any book from the bookcase, even when not in line-of-sight. The Wizard's Apprentice will also magically animate any cleaning materials to keep every inanimate thing within 100' conspicuously clean and vermin free. The owner must keep these supplies availiable for it to work.

They tend to be the smartest and most intuitive living arcane items and a few grow so smart that they may actually "suggest" books to the owner by floating them to him without being asked. Note that they aren't ever really smart enough to get it right 100% of the time; if the owner were to call a friend a "stupid orcish turd", the orb would send him a book about the comparitive values of different humanoids' feces as fertilizer, the dung-burying rituals of the least intelligent orcish tribes, or even "What I Ate: The Memoirs of a Gelatinous Cube", for example.

Darkling Razor

This dancing, female-humanoid bane dagger will, with a command word not necessarily given by the one holding it, begin shaving its bearer. Unless another command word is spoken the dagger will then go on to shaving the bearer's head, then shave of all his clothes (making sunder attacks against armor as if it had the bearer's Strength score and the Improved Sunder feat), then bodily hair. It can be grappled and pinned as if it had the bearer's Strength. After it shaves off the body hair of the bearer, it stops and drops to the ground. Users get a +1 smartness bonus to all Charisma checks and skill checks where style and physical impressiveness could be handy; it lasts for 1-3 days.

These are the most joyful and stubborn living arcane items, jumping to duty and refusing to be sheathed in the presence of hostile females. Its shaving property will not function on the pre-adolescent or those with unworthy hair and its dancing function will not perform for elves or non-bald women. It was named by dwarves, whom it practically lusts after.

Staff of Trap-Seeking and Puzzle-Solving

This is a well-carved staff bearing many strange and foreign runes. The runes are actually gibberish, but the trapped Riddle-spirit doesn't know this and convincing it that the runes aren't real (and thus it is not really trapped at all) would be a rather Herculean task. It gives its bearer a +4 bonus to Search checks, but denies him any bonus to saves or AC vs traps (except those granted by ability score modifiers and armor and shield bonuses) because everyone who can't see what's coming deserves what they get. It may also once a day grant anyone a +4 insight bonus to Decipher Script skill checks for one hour skill by conking them on the head (no damage unless particularly vicious, then 1d2) and can be used once a session to coerce the DM to drop a not-too-obvious hint about any riddle or puzzling vexing the party. The DM then gets to conk the player on the head with whatever is nearby (Cardboard Tube Samurai).

The staff disdains being taken into battle and if used against a creature that could effectively solve a riddle (generally giants and humanoids, some orcs and goblinoids are iffy, rampaging, foaming-at-the-mouth orcs and goblinoids are not; maybe anyone with an Intelligence of 10 or more would qualify for lazy DMs) it will cease its functions for the rest of the day, except its Decipher Script bonus granting which it will perform as many times as necessary upon whoever was gauche enough to bear it in the shameful combat, though the total bonus remains at +4 no matter what. Once it decides that a combat was not worthy nothing will change its mind.

These are haughty and dismissive items and often do not form any lasting bond with an owner. (It's just seen too many good ones go...)
All the magic item pricing tables and such are Greek to me and none of these fit exactly from what I can figure, so throw out some prices for me if you wanna help.