Eclipse – Sample Relics, Part III

   Here we have another couple of sample Relics for Eclipse: The Codex Persona. In this case, we have one reasonable, relatively subtle, and very useful one and one quite outrageous holy weapon that starts off strong and winds up as an atrocity of raw power.

   The Seals of Seigrun:

   Seigrun, a clever shaman, once won a boon from the Trickster, and – being wise in the ways of that cunning spirit – asked merely to be permitted to gather more knowledge on the nature of the Runes, that she might more readily make her own way in the high arts.

   Such was granted to her – although the insights she gathered with the Trickster’s blessing showed a distressing tendency to fade when she turned her attention elsewhere. Still, as catches went, that could have been a lot worse.

   Years later, Seigrun would engrave runic rings for each of her six children – passing on a modest portion of her power and the Trickster’s gift. If they used the seals she had created cleverly and with forethought – as she had taught them – they would find them a priceless aid.

  • The powers of the Seals of Seigrun are all Corrupted/the user must invest his or her own CP into the relic to activate it.
  • Mana, 2d6, Specialized: only usable for Runecasting, provides no natural magic (4 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses. Specialized: Requires an hour of meditation in a magic circle to perform (4 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus/may add Dex Mod to Int Mod for the purposes of determining the rank of Int-based skills, Specialized in enhancing Rune Magic skills only (2 CP).
  • Enthusiast with Adaption, Specialized in Rune Magic Skills for Double Effect (2 SP), (2 CP).
  • With a net cost of 12 CP, the Seals are 2 CP relics.

   The Seals of Seigrun are at their best in the hands of a high-Int and High-Dex character who likes to plan ahead. Given a few hours to meditate on the Runes, such an individual can use them to pick up effective scores of (Int Mod + Dex Mod +1) in any one pair of Rune Casting and Rune Mastery skills – allowing them to tap into a little bit of almost any kind of magic. If you can figure out what you’re going to need in advance, this can be extremely effective. If the user has invested a few points in Rune Magic and Mana already, a Seal will upgrade their abilities quite noticeably.

   Next up, we have a blatant atrocity…

   Lawgiver:

   Lawgiver is fairly straightforward: it’s a minor celestial spirit, assigned to inhabit and bless a blade so as to accompany and aid heroes of the light in their tasks. Unfortunately, as seems inevitable, such spirits invariably try to reform everyone about them, steer events in the way that they want them to go, and insist that their bearers confront every evil they run across.

   Of course, the fact that such blades are reasonably powerful at first and tremendously powerful later on makes many qualified characters willing to put up with a lot of that sort of thing.

  • Lawgiver’s powers are all Corrupted/the user must invest his or her own CP into it to activate it.
  • Imbuement with the Focused Modifier (8 CP), Specialized for double effect/the bonuses provided by the blade can only affect itself rather than any similar blade the possessor carries, are limited by how well the bearer is living up to it’s noble ideals, and appear in a fixed order: L2/+1, L4/+2, L6/+1 Holy, L8/+1 Holy, Flaming, L10/+2 Holy, Flaming, L12/+3 Holy, Flaming, L14/+1 Holy, Flaming, Speed, L16/+2 Holy, Flaming, Speed, L18/+2 Holy, Flaming, Speed, Ghost Touch, and L20/+3 Holy, Flaming, Speed, Ghost Touch. No one has recorded what happens beyond level 20.
  • Companion (4 CP): Use the Animated Object base – although Lawgiver rarely moves on it’s own other than to block. Lawgiver grants his chosen companion the Grant of Aid ability with +4 Bonus Uses, although this will only work while the user is upholding the noble ideals of the blade (and thus is effectively Specialized. This is the usual 6-CP granted companion bonus).
  • Template (4 CP): +4 Int and the 3.5 Half-Celestial Spellcasting abilities (94 CP in total. As usual for a companion, the spell effects which can be accessed depend on the level of the user).
  • Transference (4 CP): Provides the sword with 12 CP worth of additional abilities: in this case
    • Returning (6 CP): Lawgiver is essentially indestructible by normal means, although it can be melted down in a forge burning with unholy fire.
    • Block/Melee (6 CP): Once per round Lawgiver will use it’s own Attack of Opportunity (and, of course, the bearer’s reflex save) to attempt to block a melee attack on it’s bearer with a DC 20 reflex check.

   With a base cost of 20 CP, Lawgiver is a 3 CP Relic – and a truly major weapon of the light. Sadly, Lawgiver’s power depends on the power and purity of it’s wielder; it starts off with no bonus, but at level twenty – at least in the hands of a worthy bearer – it’s a +3 Holy, Flaming, Speed, Ghost Touch weapon. It starts off with the ability to cast Sunlight, Protection from Evil, and Bless every so often, and winds up with Resurrection, Holy Aura, and Summon Monster IX.

   On the other hand, while it’s ability to heal a worthy wielder, and to block occasional melee attacks on him or her, does improve with it’s bearer’s level, both of those powers are reasonably effective to start off with. Once the blade FINDS a worthy bearer there’s no use letting him or her get killed before he or she can perform some truly heroic deeds.

   Of course, Lawgiver is also a splendid example of an over-built relic: powers like Companion – especially with the Template and Transference modifiers – are already multiplier-abilities that allow the user to have fairly powerful companions on his or her adventures. Taking those powers through the cost-multiplier of a Relic makes them rather outrageous. If you let someone have such a blade, it may well be the only item they’ll ever really need. It’s equivalent value is probably at least equal to their normal level-based treasure allowance anyway.

   Fortunately for the game master the forces of darkness will desperately want to keep anyone who possesses such a weapon from making it to a high enough level to really use it effectively. A perfect justification for an endless string of assaults and plots targeting the bearer.

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Eclipse – Sample Relics Part II

   Here we have the next few entries on the sample relics list. All of these are both quite complex and reasonably powerful. Simple, quick, easy relics are boring – and there’s a sample page of them already.

   The Gossamer Shroud:

   The Gossamer Shroud is said to have been woven from the final breaths of dying children, dyed or cursed with a drop of blood from a fallen god, stitched together with the ectoplasm of an imprisoned ghost, and sewn with a needle made from a shard of it’s creator’s blackened soul.

   Of course, that kind of thing falls more under the “Create Artifact” procedures than under “Create Relic” – and the Shroud is definitely a relic. It probably is the creation of someone who was unhealthily obsessed with death however, and has been reported to exaggerate any such obsession in those who attune it. It’s hard to tell though; no one who isn’t already more interested in the realms of death than is strictly healthy would ever try to use it in the first place.

   Regardless of it’s origins, it appears to be a simple veil of near-invisible pale gray cloth, which can be readily drawn about the user – although anyone who so much as handles it will feel an icy chill.

  • All abilities Specialized/the user must commit his own Character Points to the Shroud to attune it; once he or she does so he or she will radiate an unnatural aura of death which frightens animals and disturbs humans (-2 on all relevant rolls), makes him or her easily magically detectable, and halves the effect of all healing magic which is used upon him or her.
  • Mindspeech, Mindlink, Outreach, and Spirit Speech. Corrupted/only for communicating with the dead, 7 CP)
  • Occult Sense/Spirit Sight (3 CP).
  • Accursed Touch (the reversed form of Healing Touch), with Improved, Switch, Empower and +6 Bonus Uses (two for the touch damage and four for the various spells), all Corrupted; this is a blatant display of black magic and inflicts 1d6 points of damage on the user whenever used (11 CP). This allows the user to inflict (Cha Mod x Level) points of damage three times per day by touch, and to use any spell from among Cause Disease, Vampiric Touch, Cause Blindness or Deafness, Inflict Serious Wounds, Bestow Curse, Poison, and Enervation by touch (Level/3) +4 times per week with a base caster level equal to his or her hit dice or purchased base caster level, whichever is higher.
  • Cloaking. The wearer has no detectable life force, and will be accepted by Undead as an Undead (3 CP).
  • Immunity/Negative Energy (Common, Major, Minor – +4 on saves or reduce the damage – of whatever type – by twelve points, as appropriate, 3 CP).

   The Gossamer Shroud has a base cost of 24 CP, making it a 4 CP Relic – and a very powerful item indeed. Rumors claim that there is a black gauntlet that goes with the Shroud, and which can be used to briefly bring back the dead, or to create and command undead – but if that’s true, no one knows where it is. The Gossamer Shroud itself may or may not be inherently evil, but it certainly isn’t pleasant.

   The Clasp of the Mandarin:

   This elaborate gold cloak-clasp was the creation of an enterprising thief-mage some decades ago. Eventually, of course, word gets around in any one city – especially if the user goes around killing people or committing major thefts – and the “Privilege” begins to fail. Either the user clears out while the going is good, or he or she winds up in deep trouble. The Clasp of the Mandarin is, however, too useful a tool to allow to languish. If it isn’t passed on voluntarily, someone always steals it eventually, takes it to another city, and starts the cycle all over again…

   The Clasp simply raises the user’s apparent social position, providing a convincing facade of the wearer being a well-bred aristocrat, polished and tended by a swarm of servants.

  • Both the powers of the Clasp of the Mandarin are Corrupted/the user must invest his own CP in the clasp to activate it.
  • Shaping (Specialized in vanity and social effects to allow L0 effects, 4 CP): Whoever wears the Clasp of the Mandarin will look good at all times, with impeccable hair, grooming, and makeup, clean and perfumed skin, and resplendent clothing. He or she can communicate clearly with a mere glance (Mending, Prestidigitation, Message, +2 Luck bonus to Social Checks).
  • Privilege, Major (2 CP): The user will be seen as a member of the upper crust, entitled to run up a tab, to be invited to all the best parties, and to blithely dismiss small social and legal offences. He or she will not become an object of official suspicion or scrutiny for anything save the most blatantly illegal or immoral acts. Sadly, this is specialized; to help support this facade, the user must spend a good deal of time on freewheeling socializing and going to parties, and must spend a fair amount of money on pointless frivolity.

   With a net cost of 6 CP, the Clasp of the Mandarin is a mere 1 CP relic.

   Grimfang, the Heroes Blade:

   Grimfang is a simple blade of dark steel, nicked and worn with long use. A scattering of simple runes – the sort of charms that any minor magician might seek to lay upon a blade – are traced on the metal, but are near worn away with the passage of time. Across the centuries it has been the weapon of several heroes, has been carried on many quests – and has been borne into many hopeless final battles. The grim determination of those who have decided that – if they cannot win – they will at least cost their enemies dearly has imbued the blade with an ominous aura and with the strength of many, which the bearer may draw upon if he wishes to make a similar solemn commitment.

  • The powers of Grimfang are Corrupted/the user must invest his own CP in the blade to activate it.
  • Inherent Spell: Specialized, spells can only be used on the blade itself or for attacks with it. Corrupted for Increased Effect (3x L1 spells, usable 2/day each): Magic Weapon, Adamantine Blade, and True Strike (3 CP).
  • Reflex Training/Extra Actions variant. Specialized for double effect (six actions per day)/the additional actions may only be used to invoke Grimfang’s Inherent Spells, Corrupted for reduced cost (4 CP).
  • Inherent Spell/Oath of Valor (uses the Malediction spell template from The Practical Enchanter). Specialized/only usable on the caster, Corrupted/only intervenes seven times, both to increase the effect for a level nine spell. The bearer may swear on the blade to complete some task, such as holding a position, carrying a message, or defending someone from a monster, as long as the task will take less than a month and a day to complete. For the duration of the task, the user will need no food, drink, or sleep and will be assisted by a level four or less spell effect of the GM’s choice up to seven times. Sadly, the oath will, if necessary, “assist” by compelling the user to fulfill said oath – going so far as to re-animate his or her corpse if necessary. The bearer may only be subject to a single oath at a time, and must wait at least twenty-four hours after completing the task – or exhausting the oath and still failing – before he or she can swear another oath. (6 CP).

   Grimfang costs a total of 13 CP, or 2 CP as a Relic. Please note that the Oath of Valor is monstrously powerful – as well as extremely risky to use. The game master should feel free to limit it to serious situations and oaths; after all, it arguably requires a minimum of five – or even seventeen – hit dice to invoke it normally and the use of the Specialized and Corrupted modifiers to increase the spell level is ALWAYS a serious warning flag. Still, in this case, the atmosphere is probably worth it, at least with a mid-level party.