Monday, August 20, 2018

DIY 30 #14: Three Staves

Yes "staves" is a correct plural for more than one staff, i.e. walking stick, and the one that I prefer. For multiple groups of employees, "staffs" is correct.

Anyway, these could be staves or rods; but the idea was that I tend to focus on magic rings, magic swords, and miscellaneous magic when I devise new items, and so I should begin expanding my horizon.

Rod of the Gerontes
A short walking-stick, shod in iron, usually topped with a disc bearing the seal of the office the rod was dedicated to (i.e. the mayor of the palace, the high priest of the city-cult, or the head of a particular guild).

This rod grants +1 to all reactions, +3 to reactions with those specifically associated with whatever office it was originally dedicated to (e.g. a harbormaster's rod would grant +3 reactions when dealing with ship captains, rowers, or other seafarers). It may furthermore be used to cast a charm person spell, each use costing 1 charge (and the rod will be found with but 3-30 charges).

Unfortunately, for those who take up this rod, it is a walking stick meant for old oligarchs; merely handling it permanently ages a character 1 year. Bearing it as an item temporarily ages the bearer a further 10 years, thus reducing strength, dexterity, and constitution each by 1-3 points ... one week of rest apart from the staff will restore one ability score back to its "prime/original" score, but no amount of rest will restore the 1 full year first lost when handling the rod--only a wish or similarly powerful spell might restore lost youth.

Flowering Staff
A staff of dead wood that has since sprung into new life, bearing green shoots of new growth and a flower (or more) miraculously blooming at the top. Perhaps the gods themselves have caused it to flower as a sign of forgiveness that was thought impossible (the Pope's staff at the end of the Tannhauser legend); perhaps the life-blood of a god of life and death has washed over it (Jigo's staff at the end of Princess Mononoke).

The staff now has the following powers (and from 3-30 charges):
-- entangle per the spell, costing 1 charge
-- control plant per the ring, costing 2 charges and lasting as long as the user concentrates on the magic
-- animate tree (or similar plant) per the treant ability, costing 3 charges and lasting 7-12 rounds
-- and lastly, the power to absolve a character of major transgressions, per an attonement spell, or to reinvigorate a character of one lost life-energy level, per a restoration spell; use of this power exhausts all remaining charges

A flowering staff may not be recharged, but if one of its green shoots is planted and cared for over the course of a year ,with proper blessings, a new staff of the same type might be grown ...

Thyrsus and Tambor
Staves of this type are long ceremonial staves topped with a pine cone (or representation of one), with tambors that hang down on either side of the pine cone. When shaken, they produce a rattle and a clash of tiny cymbals.

Combined with prayers to the right (Chaotic) gods, the sounding of these staves and their tambors serve as a call to revelry. All creatures within 30' of the chanting must save v. spells or join in the chanting and the enthusiasmus, being essentially charmed by the staff-bearer. If the staff-bearer or her associates are carrying wine, it may be offered out to incur a -2 penalty on the save against the magic of the thyrsus.

This charm is not as powerful as the spell; it lasts for 1-3 hours, and those charmed are generally unwilling to join any combat, preferring revelry, song, and the drinking of wine. Calls to fight will be ignored at best (or allow a second saving throw at +2 to throw off the charm!). The bearer of the thyrsus must also remain in the midst of the revelry, egging the party on and indulging in excesses herself, to keep the charm going.

It is of course eminently reasonable that charmed creatures should offer intelligence about the dungeon or situation to the staff-bearer, or be otherwise helpful without directly engaging in combat. Perhaps they have treasure they should wish to share, magical or otherwise; or perhaps they have advice that they can offer. The possibilities should be extensive.

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