Monday, October 9, 2017

d12 Semi-Magical Items For Sale at the Local Market

These are the kinds of items that aren't quite controlled by sages' or magic-users' guilds. They don't require a Wizard or Wizard-Lord to create, or they can be found/uncovered locally, or they're the kind of thing that adventurers might sell in local markets to be resold to other adventurers. There are no set "market prices" for these goods because they're too rare for any kind of "secure" price/profit. Rather, they must be haggled over (whether that be offer a price and roll a reactions roll, OR actually going through the motions of haggling with price/counter-price until both parties are satisfied or mutually incompatible). I would definitely not allow offers below 100 gp for any of these things, however (unless, perhaps, they're counterfeit ...)

Because these are being sold by free yeomen, traveling men, hunters, etc. at the local market--and not vetted by any sage or magic-users' guild--there is no guarantee that any particular item is actually what it's advertised as. The root of bryony, for instance, might actually be a human-like root of ginger; or it might even be an insidious imp, hoping to tempt some poor buyer down the path to Evil. Likewise, the memory moss might be exactly as advertised, or in fact be some kind of dark moss that is deadly-poisonous when eaten. Once acquired, they may, of course, be taken to a sage to be certainly identified--but the sage will likely charge the usual rate of 2000 gp/month of investigation!

1 - a giant-killer-bee honeycomb, which, if eaten all at once, cures 1-4 hit points; regardless of whether this is the promised killer bee honey, there is a 25% chance that the honey was made by bees with access to opium, lotus, or another like drug, and that it causes mild hallucinations when ingested

2 - part of a dragon's heart; normally dragon hearts are things of power that, when eaten by mortals, imbue the eater with something of the dragon's majesty (like the speech of birds or snakes, access to a single spell, or improved attributes, etc.). This particular item, being only a part, will grant the ability to comprehend languages for 2-12 turns (e.g. Siegfried sucking his thumb, burned on Fafnir's heart, which grants him comprehension of birdsong)

3 - keeping with dragons for a moment, a vial of dragon's blood is being hawked here. Everyone knows that dragon's blood is deadly poisonous, so that merely touching it can kill a man (or is that just a legend?); regardless, this vial, if poured over a weapon, should allow a single hit to poison an enemy so that they die immediately if they fail a save vs. poison. Where this vial really contains dragon's blood or not, there is a 10% chance that when applying it to a weapon, a character accidentally poisons him/herself (unless the character is an Assassin, or in some other way a qualified poisoner)--moreover, the sale of this deadly poison is, naturally, very illegal, and its price will be higher than other items, and its sale and possession must be kept in strictest secrecy

4 - a quill pen cut from the feather of an ancient raven; the magic inherent in the raven and crow tribes is such that a spellcaster (magic-user, elf, cleric, etc.) may use this quill to pen one scroll of one spell from first to third level, spending only 100 gp per level of the spell--and may do so without being the minimum level normally needed to scribe scrolls (e.g. 5th for ACKS, 9th for B/X, etc.)

5 - a handful of memory moss ("obliviax"); assuming this really is what is being sold, a character who eats it entirely will be granted a single use of a random spell from first through fourth level (regardless of being a magic-user or not), but will also be inflicted with some of the memories of the individual brain-drained by the moss. Such memories may be traumatic, or a kind of treasure map, or anything, really.

6 - a lantern with treated fire beetle glands which, if shaken, will shine as a lantern for 24 turns (duration of a lantern) because of the alchemical processes used to preserve the fire beetle glands' light-emitting properties. Assuming this is not a huckster selling you an accidental shake-em-up alchemists' fire bomb, it will have from 2 to 8 "charges" before the reagents within cease to react.

7 - a bottle of Laurantha's Enchanted Mead (or some imitator's knock-off); the bottle contains enough mead or wine to pour four goblets-worth of drink. Drinking any one goblet is enough to knock a sober man to drunkenness (save vs. poison to negate, -1 cumulative penalty and a new save per goblet drunk). A bad knock-off might leave a man blind for drinking it ...
a bottle of the Mead of Poetry--if drunk in its entirety by one character, that character gains a +1 Charisma (even beyond 18), has a knack for verse forevermore (regardless of the player's ability, the character may speak poetically whenever they wish), and once over the next year may utter a doom (this can be a geas, a prophecy, some kind of unique boon tied to a nickname, etc., along the lines of what a skald or bard might proclaim)

8 - not done with dragons, apparently, a dragon's tooth which, if planted, will sprout a fully armed warrior which will either (on a good reactions roll) swear loyalty to the planting character, or (on a bad reactions roll) go berserk and attack the nearest creature. Legends tell that throwing a stone at a creature near it will force the earth-sprung warrior to attack that creature--but such tales are garbled things of old wives' tales and half-remembered epics from an earlier age

9 - a unicorn's horn, which will act as a wand of poison detection with 3-10 (d8+2) charges; OR, using up 3 charges by grinding up part of the horn and dissolving it in water or wine, one may make a potion of neutralize poison that most assuredly neutralizes all poisons. Given the unicorn's status as a symbol of innocence and purity, a Good character may not participate in the commodification of a unicorn without the express purpose of putting the horn to rest, without any benefit from its uses as a panacea.

10 - a root of bryony, properly harvested and trimmed on the days of the moon; the sages say that if it is buried in a graveyard and fed milk for 30 days, and then dug up and wound with a dead man's winding sheet, the root should become a Mandragora (a kind of familiar spirit); this root-spirit must be kept at the side of its creator. Whenever the creator is affected by something requiring a saving throw, he may choose to succeed automatically in a process that destroys the Mandragora. Furthermore, if the Mandragora is separated from its creator by more than 60 feet, it utters a death shriek forcing everyone within 60 feet to save vs. death or die, the creator included.

11 - a sprig of nightshade, properly harvested; the ancient Masters of Magic assure us of nightshade's use as a protection against enchantments, and so wearing a sprig of its flowers grants a +1 on all saves against hostile magic--assuming the blooms really are nightshade. The flowers last 1-4 weeks before crumbling into dust.

12 - a vial of water from the Well of Forgetfulness, of from the Well of Memory (50% chance for either, no guarantee the seller remembers which it is); one erases memories, leaving a character "catatonic" and inactive for 1-3 turns, and erasing one random spell from memory for the day if the drinker is a spellcaster; the other causes memories to surge forth, leaving a character overwhelmed by memory and confused (as the spell) for 2-7 rounds, though it does "re-memorize" one random spell for a spellcaster, from those already cast for the day. Other things beyond spells may be "forgotten" or "remembered" per referee fiat, though it should only be one "item" per vial.

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