Generational Blessings – Do-it-yourself Charms and Talismans III

Today it’s an optional world law and some more homebrew Charms…

Generational Blessings World Law:

The Eldest is always special. He or she is a living piece of history, a link to the ancestors, and a bridge to the wonders of the past. Their wisdom is deep. If this rule is in play in a setting, a dying Elder may assign his or her Charm and Talisman slots to others as specific Charm and Talisman effects – permanently blessing them. A given character can only be blessed with one Charm and one Talisman effect in this fashion, but such blessings may be handed on to future generations.

Thus Samiel, a dying elder with three Charm and two Talisman slots of his own, may elect to…

  • Bless his eldest grandson, a knight in the service of the local lord, with a Helm of War Talisman effect.
  • Bless his daughter, a weaver, with an Ironcloth Loom Talisman effect.
  • Bless his younger grandson, a caravan master, with an All-Weather Cloak Charm effect.
  • Bless his eldest granddaughter, who has small children of her own, with a Sweatstone Charm effect. For good measure he blesses her husband, a smith, with an Industrious Tool Charm effect.
  • Samiel also has two Generational Blessings of his own to pass on – a Spell Catalyst Talisman effect (Lesser Unicorns Horn, 3/Day reduces Cure Moderate Wounds to a first level spell) and a Sunstone Charm effect. He passes both of those on to his eldest great-grandson, a youthful – but somewhat adventurous – cleric who will probably find them far more useful than he did.

If you feel a need to keep this sort of thing under control – which isn’t too necessary, Charms and Talismans are pretty much self-limiting anyway – simply note that not EVERY elder gets to pass on anything beyond his or her own Generational Blessings (if any). If you don’t note that… well, most kids are likely to wind up with an inherent Charm and/or Talisman.

Hand Spinnerets: Gives webbing uses as Chitine race from Underdark and the web strand cantrip. -Brett

The Chitine ability to use webbing provides them with raw materials for making Chitine Web Armor, Traps, and Houses. It’s not listed in their racial traits, so it likely doesn’t have more direct uses. They have Craft (Trapmaking) as a racial skill, so webbing doesn’t bypass the skill requirements for traps – and there’s no note about it bypassing the usual costs. Similarly, there’s no note about it bypassing skills requirements or costs for making houses. That’s actually quite reasonable; it costs spiders lots of energy to make webs, and bees lots of energy to make wax, so that cost probably re-appears as a need for huge amounts of food.

The note on Chitine Web Armor states that “Any Chitine can equip himself with chitine web armor at no cost and maintain it indefinitely”. Whether or not this can be done for other people is not specified, although it seems likely – but Chitine Web Armor is basically leather armor with a +1 on the AC and a -1 Armor Check. Not too impressive. (Personally, if someone wanted that… I’d call it “reinforced leather” at about 15 GP instead of 10 GP).

Personal-only is pretty reasonable, but being able to provide armor for entire groups is a bit much for a Charm or Talisman. For that you want something like the Ironcloth Loom Talisman – which produces cloth that can provide a +1 AC bonus.

I’m not sure which version of “web strand” is being referred to – but the usual seems to run something like “shoots a strand of webbing up to 60′ as a ranged touch attack. The strand can be retracted, and can exert a force of up to five pounds before pulling loose”. Presuming that that’s pretty much what you had in mind…

(Replacement) Silken Favor (Charm): These simple cloth tokens grant their bearer’s clothing the properties of light armor (+3 Armor Bonus, +6 Max Dex Bonus, -1 Armor Check Penalty, 10% Arcane Spell Failure, no effect on movement). If the user wears actual armor, he or she may increase it’s maximum dexterity bonus by one and reduce it’s armor check penalty by one. A Silken Favor given to another character will remain active for up to twenty-one days, but counts against the givers charm slots until then.

So when the fair maiden hangs her handkerchief on you, it may actually mean something…

(Replacement) Spider Glove (Charm): This silk glove has a spider-in-its-web pattern woven into the cloth. It’s user may “fire” a sticky strand of webbing up to 60′ as a ranged touch attack up to once per round. The strand can be retracted, and can exert a force of up to five pounds before pulling loose.

Phantom Hands: Allows the user to use a hand range telekinetic field, requires not using hands. -Brett

This one is kind of ill-defined; how strong is the telekinetic field? Can it manipulate objects or just move them? Does it require concentration? Does it require line-of-sight, or can you “reach out and touch” the insides of things or something behind you? At it’s most basic… a charm that lets you use a version of “Mage Hand” on things within arms reach is pretty reasonable. Replacing the user’s hands is considerably harder – thus the classic Arms of the Naga, at 56,000 GP. The Practical Enchanter offers the Amulet of Hands for a mere 4000 GP – but it suffers from some serious limitations. Ergo…

(Replacement) Eye of the Mountebank (Charm): This amulet allows the user to employ a Mage Hand effect with a moments concentration – but the target must already be within arms reach. While this is occasionally useful (for example, fishing a visible item out of a drain through a grate), it also provides a +4 bonus on stage magic sleight-of-hand tricks.

(Replacement) Prosthetic (Charm or Talisman): These Charms and Talismans are individual replacements for various body parts – or supplements for failing ones. Regardless of their actual construction, they’re functionally identical to the part they’re replacing. Replacing or supplementing a limb (or any other simple structural or muscular body system, such as a hip or the heart) requires a charm, but replacing more complex organs requires a Talisman. Interestingly, such items can be further enchanted – or have items put inside them – without altering their function.

Honestly, this rarely matters in d20 – but if you want to note that the old man with the failing heart relies on a Charm to strengthen it, or that the chief of the thieves guild has a prosthetic hand (perhaps with a pop-out blade), or that the old woman with a bad hip has a charm that lets her walk normally, or even if some character wants to have one eye replaced with a functional prosthetic with a secret compartment or some such, well here you are. Allowing characters to add extra body parts is trickier – but as long as they’re basically cosmetic, a charm can certainly make you look weird. If you really must pin on a tail that you can lash back and forth, or a crest on your bald head, or some such, that works. Talismans can provide several such features – such as a costume that provides a full-body cat-person look – but adding new body parts that actually do something is generally beyond the magic of Charms and Talismans.

Imperial Seal and Ledger: Magically notarizes a document and files a copy in the matched ledger. Makes it incredibly difficult to forge alterations onto the document (@-15) and also gives a notice in the ledger if the agreement is broken. -Brett

Making a document hard to alter is relatively simple; the Greater Seal spell in The Practical Enchanter does that – but being a sixth level spell it does a lot of other things too. The simple “this document falls to dust if anyone tries to tamper with it” effect is probably only level two or so by itself, so a mere penalty is probably only level one. Unfortunately, such an effect isn’t all that useful; after all, if a given document is difficult to alter but otherwise mundane, you can simply put it to one side and forge the entire thing. (That’s one reason why the Greater Seal spell includes several other effects; that way you need some fairly formidable magic to make an entire false document). A charmed seal can quite reasonably accomplish that though.

Simply making a copy is an established level zero effect – and uses an existing Charm; Copy Paper.

It’s the “gives a notice if the agreement is broken” part that’s problematic. Even disregarding things like “letter or spirit”, delays, and similar problems of interpretation (likely requiring some sort of legalistic intelligence), how does it know? Even if the contract is magical (opening up the possibility of dispelling and antimagic) is the book monitoring it at nigh-unlimited ranges? Can you use it for legalistic divination? “I agree to not be gravely wounded”?. “I agree to remain in this dimension”?, “I agree to notify you within five minutes if I’m in serious trouble and need help”?. You could even go for “I agree to give you a gold piece as soon as Dark Lord Ralthen is ready to strike” and NOT give the person a gold piece. Contract not broken? The Dark Lord is not yet ready to strike. When it breaks, he is. Admittedly, that’s a bit tongue-in-cheek and quite blatantly abusive – but as written its perfectly valid.

(Replacement) Seal Ring (Charm): when used on a document, this seal produces an extremely detailed personalized seal, and fills the document with intricate colored patterns. Documents so sealed are difficult to forge or modify; a would-be forger suffers a -10 penalty when attempting to do so.

Mule Cords: Gives the user an enhanced Strength for encumbrance purposes, Str score is doubled with a minimum of 20. -Brett

This is another item with the “no upper limit problem”. Take a fighter with Str 22; he or she can carry 346 pounds as a medium load. This “charm” would jump that up to 7456 pounds – nearly four tons. That’s a bit much to ask of a Charm or Talisman. On the other hand, the classical rule for a proper pack read something like “reduce the total encumbrance of items in a proper pack by 50%, up to a maximum of -10 pounds”. Third edition dropped considerations of bulk and weight distribution in favor of a simple weight total (which certainly has it’s points) – but Charms and Talismans give us an easy route to bring that sort of thing back.

(Replacement) Traveling Pack (Charm): This well-designed pack or bag is nicely waterproof, comfortable to wear or carry, goes stylishly with any outfit, and has negligible weight. It reduces the effective encumbrance of whatever is packed inside by up to twenty pounds, albeit not below zero. Talismanic versions can either reduce effective encumbrance by up to forty pounds or add a convenient sorting effect, ensuring that anything the user wants to get out of the pack will be right on top – reducing getting something out to a move action. Of course settings using Charms and Talismans usually have far fewer items that you’re in a rush to get out when seconds count anyway.

(Replacement) Weight Belt (Charm): This broad leather belt increases the user’s strength by a +2 enhancement bonus for the purposes of calculating encumbrance only. Talismanic versions provide a +4 enhancement bonus.

This is still a bit dubious; attribute boosters start drifting back towards the “must have” item category instead of staying in the “interesting stuff” category – and, more importantly, are boring – but encumbrance is a relatively rare problem in most games.

Catfall Boots: Land on feet after fall and take 1 damage per 10′ fall, and DR3/- for falling only. -Brett

This is far superior to the Boots of Safe Landing in the SRD (1000 GP, land on your feet and reduce falling damage by 2d6 once per day), and is slightly better than Pathfinder’s Boots of the Cat (always land on your feet, take minimum possible falling damage, also 1000 GP). While there are plenty of ways to get Feather Fall on the cheap, a Charm or Talisman that can routinely reduce the damage a character takes by fifty or more points is rather over the top. I’m tempted to create a Paraglider Talisman, but a really effective one takes us into “YOU MUST TAKE THIS” territory again; even limited flight is just too useful.

(Replacement) Roofer’s Boots (Charm): If the wearer of these boots falls 10′ or more (so yes, they can still be tripped) he or she will always land on his or her feet, negating the first die of falling damage and converting the next two to nonlethal damage.

(Suggested) Water Shoes (Talisman): These shoes spread the wearer’s weight out over a three-foot radius; this allows easy movement over snow and mud, walking on thin ice, and even brief dashes over water – although this is equivalent to sprinting uphill as the wearer is actively supporting himself by shoving an area of water downwards with each step.

(Suggested) Windspider Pouch (Talisman): This modest pouch can hold up to fifty pounds of silk (whether in the form of a tent, an elaborate pavilion, a net, a parachute, or – for that matter – a paraglider) and can deploy or repack it at a moments notice. Unfortunately, it does not reduce the weight or cost of such an item – merely it’s bulk when carried and the time required to set it up or pack it away again. If used as an attack – such as dropping a net over someone – the target must be within fifteen feet and gets a DC 12 reflex check to avoid the “attack”.

Warrior’s Spirit: Gives seasoned status making a L0 character into a L1 character. Mostly meant as an NPC charm, frequently is the end product of whatever is the local coming of age ceremony and helps ‘push’ an adolescent or youth L0, into their adult L1 self. This boost is eventually no longer needed as the character naturally grows into their adult (L1) self at which point it provides 1d6 CP in a culturally appropriate boon. -Brett

Going from level zero to level one seems more like a job for natural growth, ritual magic, or the transforming power of “experience points” than a Charm or Talisman – and abilities that bestow extra character points tend to be very high level. Restricting the effect to level zero kids does make things a great deal easier though…

(Replacement) Whisper of the Elders (Charm, Eclipse-Specific): It is the duty of the old to pass on the wisdom of their years to the young. When attuned by an Old or Venerable character and given to a L(-1) or L0 character it provides +1 “virtual” level – although the character points and skill points for that level must be spent on things that the sponsoring character has. If the charm is retained until the user gains L0 and/or L1 naturally, the user will gain a +3 CP “Unique Training” bonus at each of the two levels. Almost uniquely the death of the “sponsor” does not cause these charms to de-attune.

And if the game master wishes to hand out an extra bonus feat at first level, this will account for it nicely.

Next time on this topic, on to the homebrew Talismans.

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3 Responses

  1. Hand Spinnerets, first the web strand spell I didn’t link to.
    Web Strand
    Conjuration (Creation)
    Level: Sor/Wiz 0
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: Standard action
    Range: Close (25 feet + 5 feet/two levels) or Medium (100′ +10’/lvl)
    Effect: A 1-inch-thick strand which can be fired 1/round.
    Duration: 10 min/level
    Saving Throw: Reflex negates
    Spell Resistance: Yes
    You create a single ropelike strand of spiderweb that possesses the strength of an above-average person. One end of the strand is adhesive, the rest is not. You can use the sticky end to shoot the strand to the ceiling of a cave and swing across a chasm on it. The web strand can support the weight of about 200 lbs + 10lbs/lvl. It can also be used as rope (tying it to something rather than relying on the adhesive) it proves about twice as strong as a normal rope. The previous options use the Medium Range the following use the Close Range. You could even attempt to stick one end to a creature so it could not get away. In this case make a ranged touch attack, after a sucessful touch attack the creature is partially entangled, taking a -2 on attack rolls and a -4 penalty on effective Dexterity. The creature’s speed is not reduced, and it can still charge or run, but if you control the trailing strand by succeeding at an opposed Strength check while holding it, the creature can only move within the limits that the strand allows. If the creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed on a DC 15 Concentration check or be unable to cast the spell. The creature can escape with a DC 20 Escape Artist check as a Full-Round action OR take a Full-Round action to attempt a Strength check (DC 23) to tear the strand away. Alternatively, you can use the strand to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the strand to avoid being tripped. The web strand can be destroyed in 1 round by fire. The strand has a hardness of 2 and 5 hit points and an AC of 10 for melee attacks 22 for ranged attacks.

    Basically the first use of the spell allows for a grappling line the second just replicates the effect of having a lasso and being proficient with it, but allowing a Reflex save. (rules for Lasso as a weapon in Book of Exalted Deeds).

    The intent of the wording was to allow the user of the charm to be able to just claim to take afew moments to create something that could reasonably made out of webbing, if they want rope, tarp etc. As for providing armor for everyone I had meant to put down that the rope all decayed in ~8hrs without the user keeping it oiled, basically if the group desperately needed the armor it was doable, but took more time per day and required the group to stay together than it was really worth, given the overall cheapness of leather and studded leather.

    Phantom Hands
    The intent here was to allow a character that elected to not use their arms, or was unable to for any reason, to have a telekinetic aura around themselves that functionally let them use their hands. The major uses I was thinking of is having someone who is impaired either due to being tied or disabled function normally. There was also a benefit in not having to touch an object to manipulate it. The Strength of the field was meant to just be the users normal Strength. No concentration, yes Line of Sight. It is meant to not allow the extra arms tricks that the Arms of the Nagga do allow.

    Imperial Seal and Ledger
    The bit about the difficulty in forging it that I neglected to say is that it is meant to be used in an area like Eberron and FR that commonly uses the Arcane Mark’s unique signature effect. So while you could forge the entire document, it was borderline impossible or very difficult to forge another person’s Mark signature. The “give notice if it is broken” was meant to be a function of the Lawful outer plane of choice. In the same way that Inevitables are enforces of abstract order and rules I posited that there are similar entities that can be informed of the contract via the charm, and they then keep track of such however it is that the Inevitable and general forces of Law do so.

    Catfall Boots are meant to balance against the boots of landing in the magic item compendium, 500GP ignore 2d6 falling and always land on feet, constant effect. My intent there was to increase on that slightly, my logic being that if a L1 effect can do that for 1 target per level, or be used on falling debris, a L0 personal only version should almost eliminate falling as a problem altogether. To explicitly state it this is not meant to interact with tripping as a combat action at all, just falls from a height such as covered by Jump and Tumble.

    • And this one got long again, and hence rather delayed… I may compile these into longer articles, since the discussion gets rather involved in some spots.

      Hand Spinnerets:

      It looks like the first part of the Web Strand spell description is from Monte Cook’s Arcane Unearthed Spell Treasury – although there it’s listed as a First Level Spell, has only close range, only fires one strand which lasts only one round per level, and requires only a DC 15 check to escape if it’s stuck to someone.

      “101 0-level spells” reprinted Monte Cook’s spell as a level zero spell called “Spider’s Thread” with a two-round duration – but added the ability to catch someone so that they “can’t get away” (albeit without inflicting any further penalty and with only a DC 15 Str check to escape).

      Using it as a Lasso (Book of Exalted Deeds, Pg 34) is problematic; the spell fires a web strand with a sticky end – which is going to be awkward and time-consuming when you want to reel it in, tie a knot in it, and expect the remainder of the strand to slide through a slip knot. I suppose this could be taken as a secondary function of the spell – but now the spell is required to offer a choice between firing a web strand and tying itself into a functional lasso around someone.

      Making the spell last one hundred times as long (and capable of firing hundreds of strands instead of one), with strands that last for hours rather than rounds, a better range, and adding a self-tying function, is quite a set of upgrades. The base effect is still relatively limited – but I’d say that we’re looking at level four. After all, this is basically “get spider-mans web-shooters with unlimited shots” – not really something that can be crammed into a Talisman.

      Similarly, even given a nigh-limitless supply of fibers, being able to create ropes, sails, tarps, tents, clothing, hammocks, suspension bridges, armor, nets, parachutes, or “anything else that could reasonably be made out of webbing” (Silk) in “a few moments” calls for a craft check and a specialized version of the the Fabricate spell – at level three to four.

      For comparison with other Talismans, we have the Endless Rope (which can supply several hundred feet of plain rope per day but does nothing else at all), the Ironcloth Loom (which makes cloth woven on it stronger but does nothing to speed up the process or to provide the raw materials), the Industrious Tool (which speeds up the rate at which work can be done, rather than doing it near-instantly), and the Conjurers Tattoo (which must be powered with 2d4 hit points each time to produce a specific finished item of average quality that only lasts an hour or). We also have the Weave of the Spider King metaspell in Eclipse (found under the Domain/Path entry) – a spell which does much the same thing but costs 6 CP / one Feat to master and still needs to be powered with appropriate spell slots.

      Phantom Hands:

      Most of the answer here comes from a bit of d20 metaphysics. Conventional d20 tells us that…

    • Spontaneous spellcasters can acquire established spells with no problem, but must research original spells. Evidently having an established pattern is vitally important.

      Transformation effects result in “average” members of a species – and yet creatures return to their non-average base forms when a transformation effect is removed. Just as importantly, you can’t turn something into a creature that doesn’t yet exist in the setting with anything approaching the same ease that you can turn it into something that does. Again, having an established pattern seems to make a major difference.

      Despite practically everything being able to interbreed, there are still distinct races – and yet no chance at all of two half-dragons throwing up a near-full dragon. Creatures just… do not show odd traces of strange ancestors; An Elf with 1/8’th dragon ancestry, 1/16 ghost ancestry, 1/4’th elf ancestry, 1/16’th demon ancestry, and 1/2 human ancestry MIGHT be considered “planetouched” or attribute their sorcerous powers to their draconic ancestry – but if that is true, why isn’t EVERYONE a planetouched sorcerer after a few millennia of interbreeding? Go back a few generations and people can have a LOT of ancestors. Yet, in most d20 worlds, such a character is simply… human.

    • There are other lines of reasoning – but what you wind up with is essentially the theory of Morphic Resonance; small deviations from the local norms tend to be suppressed as creatures drift back towards the established species pattern. In reality, that’s pseudoscience at best. In d20 universes… it appears to be natural law.

      Ergo, the prosthetic charms fill an empty spot in their user’s pattern; they’re just magically sensitized to the morphic field and so effectively replace the normal tissue that should be there. The augmenting charms are even simpler; they’re boosting the morphic field that keeps an organ functioning as it should.

      Adding a new ability doesn’t get that kind of support – so we’re back to raw magic. Now… there are some low-level telekinetic spells. There’s Mage Hand (L0) and Unseen Servant (L1). I’ve tossed in Mageshot (fires an arrow or bolt without a bow or crossbow) and Toss (lets you throw a small item a long way) at L0 and Phantom Hands at L2 (provides rather weak and clumsy telekinetic “hands”).

      The SRD also gives us Ranged Legerdemain (an arcane trickster can perform one of the following class skills at a range of 30 feet: Disable Device, Open Lock, or Sleight of Hand. Working at a distance increases the normal skill check DC by 5, and an arcane trickster cannot take 10 on this check. Any object to be manipulated must weigh 5 pounds or less) and Improved Legerdemain (a perfect wight can perform the following class skills at a range of 30 feet: Disable Device, Open Lock, Sleight Of Hand, and Search. If desired, the perfect wight can take 10 on the check. Any object manipulated during the skill check must weigh 100 pounds or less. Alternatively, the perfect wight can use improved legerdemain to make one melee sneak attack against any creature within 30 feet. The perfect wight executes the sneak attack (or death attack, if applicable) as if attacking from a flanking position. If the attack is successful, the victim is dealt the appropriate sneak attack damage despite the fact that the perfect wight and his or her weapon do not physically cross the intervening distance. A perfect wight can use improved legerdemain once per day at 2nd level, plus one additional time per day every five levels thereafter) – both fairly obviously innate spells.

      Personally, I’d rate Ranged Legerdemain at L1 and Improved Legerdemain at L3 due to that “automatic sneak attack” effect – and both of them are only good for a single action.

      The major point there is that using skills and combat abilities at range with no penalty is fairly tricky; you need to duplicate the dexterity ability to apply pressure from multiple angles at once of the hand, to provide tactile and kinesthetic feedback, interface with the neural networks that normally translate conscious commands into muscule-control impulses, and more. That’s… kind of complicated, which is why we don’t have cybernetic limbs yet. A spell that allows you to use a single skill at very limited range is L1, and a spell that allows the use of three specific skills at a penalty at very limited range is L1 – and both of them are good for only a single action. A spell that would permit the use of every skill and combat ability you’ve got at even very very limited range and for a single action without penalty is at least level two. Giving it a reasonably long duration… is going to make it level four or so.

      On the other hand, a Talisman that maintains an Unseen Servant effect limited to five feet or so of the bearer is probably possible. So are Distant Gloves – a set of four gloves, two to wear and two which basically function like a pair of short-range waldos. (Those are a lot less helpful than you’d think; you can’t see what you’re doing, you ARE wearing a heavy pair of gloves, the range is only ten feet or so, and you have to place them on the think to be manipulated before stepping back and activating them – but adventurers are notorious for finding uses for fairly useless things.

      Imperial Seal and Ledger:

      There is a note in the Eberron book that “A character who can use Arcane Mark can attempt to forge someone else’s mark using the forgery skill… taking a -10 penalty on the check”. That’s hardly surprising really; trying to use a spell designed to create a reasonably unique personal mark to create a different mark would be hard enough; trying to use it to copy a particular mark is extremely difficult.

      Of course, that only matters if you want your forgery to appear to have been issued by a specific magic-using individual who normally signs things with an Arcane Mark and the people whom you’re trying to fool actually know that particular individuals mark. Even on Eberron, how often is that going to be a problem? Cities and governments have LOTS of clerks, and will lose old ones and hire new ones all the time. That’s probably why there are lots of other mentions of the Forgery skill, and characters with it, in the Eberron books – but this is pretty much never mentioned as a problem.

      Not to mention that you could easily obtain – say – a spell made to copy a mark, or a spell to erase the rest of an existing document so that you can put anything you want above a perfectly valid mark, or a first level version of Arcane Mark that evades the penalty by making any kind of mark you like, or a boosting spell that greatly increases your forgery skill. If you really want to be a good forger… put two skill points into “Forgery (Rune) Magic” and get a bit of Mana (it’s useful in many other ways anyway) and you’ll gain access to any first (or zero) level forgery spell that you might need. Make a copy, add the magical effect that makes it hard to alter – and there you are. For that matter, invest one character point in the “Cursed Quill of Antileus” (Eclipse II, page 124) and you can start forging spell scrolls.

      Notifying a group of outer-planer beings of something doesn’t call for any major magic. After all, an unaided prayer can do it. You don’t need a Charm or Talisman for that unless you just want to make your “voice” a little louder (and shouting at outer-planar beings may or may not be wise). It is fairly traditional for there to be beings or forces that keep an eye on, and enforce, oaths, deals, bargains, and contracts – but once you admit them to a game you can bet that pretty much any formal agreement will call on them to witness it. Even more bothersomely… what will and won’t such powers enforce? How do they feel about creative interpretations of clauses? Agreements made under duress? Trick wording? Can you infiltrate organizations when supernatural powers will smite anyone who breaks an agreement? Are there opposing beings that run around breaking or otherwise nullifying contracts? If not, why not?

      You can certainly put such entities into your setting – but personally I’d hesitate before adding a set of supernatural contract lawyers to one of my worlds. I suspect that it would lead to a lot of headaches for relatively little gain.

      Catfall Boots

      Well, to compare things… the Landing armor property (MIC) negates damage from the first sixty feet of a fall and lets you always land on your feet for 4000 GP. The Magic Item Compendium’s Boots of Landing are greatly upgraded from the SRD version and cheaper (as you note, 500 GP, reduce falling damage by 2d6 and always land your feet).

      Of course, those are full scale enchantments – items that generate their own power, don’t need to be attuned (and so work the moment you put them on), and that adjust automatically to their wearer both blatantly (“one size fits all”) and more subtly (activating when needed). When it comes to “balancing” Charms and Talismans against an actual Enchantment… Enchantments are far more expensive because they’re far more effective.

      You might indeed be able to make a Talisman that greatly reduced falling damage – perhaps (like the Feather Fall spell) by negating much of the target’s weight. It wouldn’t be nearly as effective as Feather Fall since it would effectively be spreading a few spell levels worth of magical power out across a day instead of minutes. It would also have strange side effects, such as making the user a lot easier to knock off their feet, allowing them to be blown around as if they were a size smaller, having a hard time balancing or swinging heavy weapons, and so on. Such an effect wouldn’t help you land on your feet either.

      Thus the Roofer’s Boots basically simply pull your feet under you when you fall and provide some support for your legs – which is why you have to drop at least ten feet before they have a chance to work.

  • […] =-it-yourself Charms and Talismans: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, and Part VIII. Exotic proposals for more Charms and […]

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