Eclipse – Sample Relics Part V

   Here we have a few more Relics for Eclipse: The Codex Persona (available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE) – in this case a couple of more subtle items, one that falls in the middle of the range – and then one of the most blatant superhero-styled items possible.

   The Cursed Quill of Antilleus:

   Antilleus was a subtle and manipulative man, who liked – if possible – to arrange for his enemies to take care of themselves. He created several tools to use to that end, and the black peacock quill that bears his name was one of his more creative efforts along those lines.

  • All the powers of the Cursed Quill are Corrupted: the user must invest his own character points in the Quill to activate it.
  • +6 to Forgery (4 CP)
  • Immunity/the restrictions on using Forgery in conjunction with creating Scrolls (Uncommon, Minor, Major, 2 CP). Anyone using the Quill to write a scroll may make a DC 15 Forgery check to warp the spell – creating a scroll that will affect the user instead of the designated target, causing a summoned monster to attack the spellcaster and his allies rather than obeying orders, or any similar twist. With a DC 20 check the user can conceal the nature of the spell entirely, or cause it to trigger when anyone who doesn’t know the trick to doing it safely merely attempts to check the contents of the scroll. With a DC 25 check the user can trick the universe – writing a scroll of a spell that he or she does not even know – if at double the usual experience point cost.
  • With a total cost of 6 CP, the Quill is a 1 CP Relic.

   The Quill is a very subtle tool indeed – but it’s always fun to deliver a disguised scroll of Disintegrate instead of that scroll of Heal that was ordered to help out that ailing prince or (for the not quite so unpleasantly-inclined), to drop a trapped scroll while fleeing your enemies – and the utility of being able to scribe scrolls of spells you do not even know should be quite obvious, especially if you need something extremely specialized. It’s best to wait until your base Forgery skill is quite high before trying that sort of thing though.

   The Sigil of Yamanu:

   Three hundred years ago, a very successful bandit leader took the name “Yamanu” – “The Hidden One” – and rounded up a band of bandits, renegades, and thieves sworn to his service. He swore his men to him with mighty blood oaths, requiring each of them to kill some unfortunate traveler or defiant villager as a part of his initiation – thus ensuring that, if captured, they had little to gain by informing; they would hang for the murder regardless.

   His signet ring, used to stamp each new initiate with the blood of his or her dying victim, grew to possess certain powers.

   Yamanu was trapped at last during a raid and slain. Such of his men as survived were slain or scattered as well – but found themselves bound by their oaths, cursed to haunt the various sites of their (eventual) deaths and to guard their ill-gotten goods until Yamanu – or his rightful heir – should call them to service once again.

  • All powers of the Sigil are corrupted, the user must invest his or her own character points into the ring to activate it.
  • Innate Enchantment, all powers unlimited use activated, caster level one, personal-only (x.7 cost) where relevant (4 CP / 5000 GP net value): +2 Competence Bonus to a group of skills (Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Slight of Hand, and Survival, 1400 GP value), Expeditious Retreat (2000 GP value), and +2 Dex (1400 GP value).
  • Leadership (2 CP) of a group of Undead (+1 CP), Specialized for reduced cost/the user must actually seek out the various undead and defeat them – demonstrating that he or she is indeed a worthy heir to Yamanu and re-invoking their blood oaths with their own dust; such defeated undead will return in the wearer’s service in the usual 2d6 months each – and will continue to do so if destroyed as long as the wearer survives.
  • Specific Knowledge: The Yamanu Bandit Gang/+15 to know about things like the whereabouts of their undead remnants, their general powers, the general location of their base (which has never been found, and is now haunted by many of the bandits who died on his last raid), and so on (1 CP).
  • With a total cost of 8 CP, the Sigil of Yamanu is a 1 CP Relic.

   This little toy is, of course, the key to an entire sub-campaign – clearing up the scattered undead, then the main base – and then finding some target to point them at or a way to lay them permanently to rest at last.

   The Philosopher’s Stone:

   Actually, there are a lot of versions of this thing out there. Most of the usual descriptions involve creating gold. Others see the Stone as an ultimate alchemical catalyst, as a device that grants longevity and has healing abilities, as an item that grants near-godlike understanding of the cosmos and the various mystical abilities, as a metaphor for spiritual development or transformation, as a project that simply forces the would-be creator into learning the deep secrets of the cosmos and undergoing spiritual development and transformation, or as a device that allows the easy creation of minor alchemical and mystical devices. That last option – and maybe a bit of the option before that – is the version we have here.

   The Philosopher’s Stone is more of a test than anything else. Creating one requires an expensive alchemical laboratory, the reliable aid of apprentices or constructs, an extensive knowledge of both Arcane and Divine magic (required to produce the Greater Invocation effect), months of labor, and a certain amount of the creators life force – something which the benefits of the Stone itself will not pay back for many years, if ever. After all, there are many more useful Relics to be attuned.

   But demonstrating to your peers that you have the skill, the patience, the subtle lore, and the raw power needed to produce such a Stone – ah, now that is something of REAL value. The creation of a true Philosopher’s Stone is a passport to the councils of the master mages, a tangible testimonial that certifies your skill and power.

   Of course, even master mages die – and then such stones go to some apprentice, relative, looting adventurer, or wandering monster. Many of them will simply see the stone – whatever the color and clarity (which varies wildly) – as a minor gem, nicely polished and often set, but unsuited for cutting or for any further work. Other’s will be aware of it’s value – which is substantial for a beginning adventurer or those without great power of their own. Many a healthy, comfortable, family lifestyle and lifelong career have been built upon the stone bequeathed to a master mage’s most untalented child.

  • All the powers of the Philosopher’s Stone are Corrupted: the user must invest his own character points in the Stone to activate it.
  • Spell Storing/Scrolls option. All Spell Storing functions Specialized/capped at spell level two and caster level three (2 CP)
    • Spell Storing/Improved Activation Methods: Magical Lore, Minor ritual, and Simple Action (Drink Potion), (3 CP)
    • Spell Storing/Additional Media/Compounds (1 CP)
    • Spell Storing/Artificer: 50% off the XP cost of making items or using Transmutation (4 CP)
    • Harvest of Artifice IV/provides 250 XP per Month with which to create items or power Transmutations (5 CP)
    • Transmutation (2 CP): May expend 1 XP to produce 2 (4 with Artificer) GP worth of materials.
    • With this – at least presuming you stick to caster level one – it costs 2 XP to make a L0 spell scroll, 4 XP to make a L1 Spell Scroll or a L0 Potion, and 8 XP to make a L1 Potion.
  • Inherent Spell with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized/only usable in conjunction with Spell Storing, Corrupted for Increased Effect (level four Greater Invocation, creates any level one spell effect) (4 CP).
  • Immunity/the usual time requirements to create magical items (Common, Minor, Trivial/reduces the time required by one day, to a minimum of a few minutes, 1 CP).
  • Immunity/aging (Uncommon, Major, Minor/roughly triples the user’s expected lifespan – a result derived from making small, specialized, potions and charms designed to maintain health and deal with whatever happens to be bothering you, 2 CP).
  • That’s a total cost of 24 CP, making this a 4 CP Relic.

   In almost every classic d20 game, there is someone in town who sells cheap, first level, potions and scrolls. Did you ever wonder where he or she gets all this stuff? And how he or she guards his or her presumably-massive inventory? Well, now you know: they’ve got one of these things, and can maintain a quite comfortable lifestyle. They sell potions and scrolls when they can – because the profit margin is better – and simply transmute supplies for themselves and their families when nobody is buying cheap magical trinkets.

   If they’re wise, they’ll maintain good relationships with the local villagers – probably by making sure that there are a few Cure Light Wounds, “Soothe Illness”, and similar potions tucked away in convenient locations for emergencies – and have someone else fronting for them. A guy with a long beard or minor acolyte is best. That’s a pretty good job in itself.

   In theory, you could dump the ability to make Potions (Spell Storing/Improved Activation Methods and /Additional Media) in favor of halving the XP cost again, and thus doubling your base income, but that isn’t the “perfect” design of the Stone and it actually makes it a lot less useful overall. Money is good, but when a cleric powerful enough to use advanced curative spells is not available, a potion designed to mend your kids fractured leg or bring down his or her life-threatening fever is worth a lot more than money.

   The Dragon Crown:

   “The” Dragon Crown has been used by heroes, by villains, by archmagi, and by non-entities – at least apparently, sometimes at the same time. There’s either more than one of the things floating around the multiverse (a few mystics say there are nine), or the powers of the Crown extend to traveling through time – and most sages don’t think that even a – or the – Dragon Crown can amplify someone’s power that much.

   Whether the creation of some elder cosmic being, a natural expression of cosmic energy, or merely the will to power given form, the Dragon Crown(s) amplify their user’s ability to generate and channel raw magical energy – the so-called Path of the Dragon. Exactly what use they make of that gift of raw power is up to them.

  • Enthusiast: Specialized in Path of the Dragon abilities, Corrupted (cannot be changed until the user actually buys the relevant powers). With this setup, each point spend on Enthusiast allows the user to buy one point worth of Path of the Dragon abilities, up to a maximum of six points per ability. Such flexibility has it’s price: it would be severely stretching things to allow a character to Corrupt or Specialize the abilities they purchase with those points. I, personally, wouldn’t let a player get away with it, but it’s your game.
  • With a total cost of 24 CP, “the” Dragon Crown is a 4 CP Relic.

   Most wielders will have at least the Shaping ability – and the most common sequence that they acquire is Path of the Dragon/The Way of the Wings of Fire (Kinetic Master, Will of the Dragon, Scales of the Dragon, and Flight of the Dragon) – allowing them to shove small objects things around by sheer force of will, to resist modest amounts of damage, and to fly around. A glowing aura of primal cosmic power is an optional extra.

   As written, the Dragon Crown(s) don’t require any investment of the user’s personal character points – and so can be freely stacked if you can somehow manage to obtain more than one of the things. While even nine crowns (presuming that that is the right number and that all nine take the same form) would not suffice to exhaust the possibilities of the Path of the Dragon, it is a big enough power boost – especially considering the raw power of the Path – to promote a minor villain to major status and a major villain to a monstrous threat.

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3 Responses

  1. […] Magic Items and Sample Relics: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, and Part VII (with Index and Summary). The Tongues of Heaven: Combined enchantment-relics […]

  2. […] if using Eclipse and Relics, you can just note that someone in town possesses a Philosopher’s Stone – which covers the basic potions and scrolls […]

  3. […] Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only for making a Philosophers Stone (2 […]

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