View Full Version : Ward Charms [Magic Item]

2007-11-07, 04:29 PM
Ward Charms are are items that attempt to auto-pseudo-dispel an incoming spell or effect. When a Ward Charm wins the caster level contest, the incoming spell simply does not affect the Warded person.

When a Ward Charm is triggered by an incoming effect, the first thing that happens is the Charm burns the user. It does Caster Level damage to the wearer of the Ward Charm. Any damage prevented from this reduces the effectiveness of the Ward Charm on this use (the effective caster level of the item on this use is the actual damage done to the wearer, or the base caster level, whichever is less).

Roll a caster level contest between the Ward Charm and the caster of the spell. If the Ward Charm wins, the spell does not effect the Warded individual, but continues to function otherwise. As an example, a Ward Charm of Fireball would prevent the wearer (and the wearer's gear) from being burnt by the Fireball, but would not stop the fireball spell itself.

Finally, the Ward Charm loses 1d6*5 Caster Levels after each use. When the Ward Charm is reduced to 0 Caster Levels, it ceases to function.

The cost of a Ward Charm is:
25 * Spell Level * Caster Level.

A caster can create a Ward Charm with a caster level equal to twice their caster level or less. You cannot create a Ward Charm of a level less than that required to cast the spell from your list, and you must be able to cast the spell you are building the Ward Charm around.

Multiple Ward Charms interfere with each other. For each Ward Charm beyond the first attuned to an individual, all of your Ward Charms take a -5 penalty to their Caster Level checks. If a given character is protected by more than one Ward Charm against a given attack, only the strongest is defends against a given attack, but all of the Ward Charms take the damage to their Caster Level.

Attuning a Ward Charm requires that you wear it and place it against your skin for 1 minute before it starts protecting you. Removal of the Ward Charm from contact with your skin breaks the connection. Ward Charms can also be imprinted into tattoos during tattoo creation.

A Ward Charm can be designed to protect against a single spell (such as a Ward Charm of Disintegrate), or against a class of spells (such as a Ward Charm of Protection from Evil, or a Ward Charm of Freedom of Movement).

Some example Ward Charms:
Ward Charm of Protection from Evil: +5/+10/+20/+40: Costs 125/250/500/1000 gp.
Defends against mind-control spells.

Ward Charm of Freedom of Movement: +10/+20/+40: Costs 1000/2000/4000 gp
Defends against grappling/entangling/immobilizing/hindering spells.

Ward Charm of Death Ward: +10/+20/+40: Costs 1000/2000/4000 gp
Defends against death spells, energy drain spells, and any negative energy spells.

Ward Charm of Disintegrate: +10/+20/+40: Costs 1250/2500/5000 gp
Defends against Disintegrate spells.

Variant Ward Charms can be created that do other kinds of elemental damage. Ward Charms that do Sonic damage cost 50% more. Ward Charms that do Force damage cost double. In all cases, the damage done by the Ward Charm is easily detected by those near the user of the Ward Charm.


The goal of this is a few fold. First, players can purchase these as cheaper one-shot protection against combat-ending effects. Second, NPCs can use these to make player one-shot kills less effective.

They look good?

I tidied up the "wearing out of the charm" rules and the "charm does damage". It was too complex as first written.

I prevented "infinite Ward Charm" cheese by making them interfere with each other more.

2007-11-07, 08:16 PM
That's actually a really cool idea.

I am fascinated by magical wards and sigils. And this is a really cool way to use them. It doesn't even seem overpowered... you might want to limit the number of body slots a person has, though. A way to do it might even be to say that you have to draw the rune on your skin. Craft check, and you have to be a wizard? Maybe? That way, it doesn't take up a body slot, but you can only have so many. Take it or leave it...

Awesome idea, though. Maybe I'll adapt it for my own campaign.

2007-11-08, 12:52 AM
Practically, you can only have one Ward Charm against a given attack activated at any one time. Having more is wasteful.

It means that a given attack is likely to bounce the first time, but it still does a bunch of damage to you even when it bounces. For most effects (like death ward), it is cheaper and more effective to buy a death ward scroll: except death ward scrolls mean you need to know ahead of time that you will need the ward.

I could add a sentence "for each Ward you have attuned, all other Wards have a -5 penalty on their caster level checks"? ... added.

Also tidied up some other holes in the crunch.

In general, these make a decent item for a melee boss-type NPC. It reduces the number of "one hit kills" you are likely to see in a game.

The lowest end wards -- Protection from Evil -- are, at 25 gp, cheap enough for non-adventurers to purchase. An attempt to mind-control or influence the target results in the target being burnt for 1 point of damage, even if the ward doesn't hold up!

Cheap knock-offs can also be common. ;)