Saturday, December 18, 2010

Monster: Musillyc

Because I can never resist these kinds of suggestions ...

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 1+3*
Move: None
Attacks: 1 clamp
Damage: 1-6
No. Appearing: 1-100
Save As: C2
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Special
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 15

Strange and oddly beautiful molluscs, musillyc are believed by some to have been magically modified from the jekti. Unlike the cave clams, however, musillyc are immobile and hang in clusters from delicate-looking strands of golden byssus, and their shining shells are long, fluted, and edged with rippling edged pierced through with uncountable holes. Each musillyc is surrounded by a globe of aetherous water, its multicoloured gills trailing through the globe and its shell relaxed and open; and the sound of the surrounding air passing through the water and the piercings of their shells creates an inhuman yet soothing music.

Musillyc do not enter combat, though if disturbed one will snap its shell closed on the irritant and inflict 1-6 hit points of damage. The musillyc's music has a magical, hypnotic effect however -- all who hear it find themselves unwilling to be aggressive or willful, receiving a -3 penalty to all aggressive actions and saving throws vs. charm or spell.

There is a 2-in-6 chance that a musillyc will carry 1-8 transparent pearls of rainbow hues, valued at anything from 50 to 500gp. Musillyc pearls are more valuable sold in groups, as they chime together musically.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Magic Item: The Burning Road

Under the brilliant noonday sun Jie Chue laboured at the forge; a tremor signaled another's presence, and he paused his work.

A brash and stubborn princeling stood before him, his temper quenched as he detailed his desire. Strength and brilliance forged as one, though without the touch of iron; no dainty graces, only the power and the will.

Jie Chue sent the princeling to the south as he turned back to his forge.

At the fall of night, he gave the gift of the earth's own fire.

The Burning Road: A massive two-handed sword, almost too heavy to lift, the Burning Road bears an unnaturally broad blade and a chisel tip. Forged not from any metal but from black basalt, the sword's blade is shot through with glowing veins of red-hot magma; despite this the sword's edge is honed as fine as an obsidian razor. Burning Road's grip is wrapped with rough red leather braiding, and its pommel is decorated with tassels of fire opals and red silk.

The Burning Road is a two-handed sword +1. With each successful strike, the blade stores one "point" and its veins glow even more firey; when four points have been stored they may be expended to fuel the blade as it is used to destroy a single enchantment or similar magical or mental influence. Alternately, the points may be expended to create a firepath -- a focused beam of flame from the blade that unerringly points towards a desired location known to its bearer. The beam lingers for four rounds.

This blade does not approve of those without the will to fight fairly for its gifts; damaging allies or oneself in order to accumulate power results in a backlash of 1-6 points of damage per point in the blade as phantom magma lashes the offender.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Dozen Dungeon Diversions

Sometimes, you just need a bit of "dungeon dressing" or an oddity to leave your players scratching their heads ...

- A stone statue of a goblin, paper-thin and hollow. If the statue is broken, goblin bones tumble out.

- Seven mushrooms growing from a rotted leather satchel, each one's cap being a different colour of the visible spectrum.

- An intricate set of gears and levers set into a hollowed-out panel in the ceiling or wall. The clockworks move continuously but have no obvious purpose.

- A small, white and friendly kitten with glowing eyes. The kitten will follow the party everywhere; if it is killed, the next night there are two kittens.

- Shattered and freshly bloody chains left in a haphazard pile in an otherwise empty room or corridor.

- A white marble doorframe replacing a normal dungeon door. A hour after the doorframe is passed through, the party's shadows turn white for a day.

- Leaning against a wall, a pyramid made from fourteen dead tarantulas.

- Fifteen knucklebones laid out in the shape of an arrow (perhaps pointing at a secret door, perhaps at nothing at all) on the floor.

- A pool of phosphorescent water seeping in through the dungeon walls. The water is safe to drink (tastes fruity!) and detects as magical, but has no special properties other than its glow.

- A sudden breeze carries the scent of marigolds, scorched metal and blood.

- At head-height, a rusty dagger is thrust into a wall; from the pommel-nut dangles a leather thong strung with teeth and walnut shells.

- Sprawled against a wall, an elven skeleton wearing the tattered remains of a kobold hide as a mantle. The fingerbones appear to have been sharpened.