Obol Mastery

And for a minor request for the current game… some of the players wanted to know a bit more about how to obtain Obols – so here are a couple of power packages for doing just that.

Obol Broker (14 CP):

The Obol Broker can tap into the inter-dimensional flux to “pull out” an occasional Obol, making them, in effect, highly versatile mages – even if they are only capable of using a couple of spells per week. Still, for a comparative handful of points you can pull out the occasional healing spell, or benign transposition, or summon something to block a corridor for a bit, or any of a thousand other tricks. Even better, since Obols can be saved (and spent in groups to buy higher level spells), you can collect a pouch full of Obols for use when you have a serious emergency.  Sure, it will cost you 25 Obols to purchase a fifth level effect – but having a Teleport spell available when you really need to escape, or the ability to use Raise Dead on the party cleric, can be invaluable.

  • Create Item, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only as a prerequisite (2 CP).
  • Harvest of Artifice, Specialized for Reduced Cost / only for use with Transmutation to provide funds, funds are automatically spent on Purchasing Obols (3 CP).
  • Transmutation, Specialized for Reducd Cost / only to transform XP from Harvest of Artifice into generic cash, all such cash is automatically spent on buying Obols (3 CP).
  • Equipage with Purchasing, Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effect (no availability rolls are required to purchase Obols) / only to obtain Obols, only using “money” from Harvest of Artifice, only happens during downtime (6 CP).

While this package only provides two Obols of choice per week to work with that can still be quite convenient – and it’s hard to get much more versatile. You can either spend your obols (at 25 GP per Obol, and acceptable pretty much anywhere), use them for magic, or save them up. If you really want to be effective with them you’ll want a high base will save as well, but many characters find a high base will save useful anyway.

The Obol Priest from the original article usually gets four Obols per week – but only of a particular type.

Obol Smith (20 CP):

The Obol Smith still doesn’t get a LOT of magic – only one Obol / first level spell per day – but it only costs 3 Obols to get a second level spell and five for a third level effect. With an effective caster level equal to their (Base Will Save + Wisdom Modifier) that means that even a low-level Obol Smith will be able to pull out the occasional Fireball or similar spell – which can be pretty effective when a second or third level party is backed into a corner. Even better, a regular income can be very handy indeed in the days before characters inevitably achieve vast wealth.

  • Create Item, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only as a prerequisite (2 CP).
  • Harvest of Artifice, Specialized for Increased Effect (200 XP/Month) / only for use with Transmutation to provide funds. funds are automatically spent purchasing Obols (6 CP).
  • Transmutation, Specialized for Increased Effect / only to transform XP from Harvest of Artifice into generic cash, all such funds are automatically spent on buying Obols (6 CP).
  • Equipage with Purchasing, Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effect (no rolls are required to obtain Obols) / only to obtain Obols, only using “money” from Harvest of Artifice, only happens during downtime (6 CP).

This basically provides 1 Obol of choice per day. Each additional +6 CP spent on Harvest of Artifice provides an additional Obol per day.

Serious Obol Users will probably also want…

  • A very high Base Will Save – generally at least +1 per level (at 3 CP per +1).
  • Some method – often a Handy Haversack Innate Enchantment (possibly only for storing Obols)) to carry their Obols around securely.

And some or all of…

  • Obol Banker: Immunity / The untoward side effects of carrying too many Obols (Common, Severe, either Trivial (3 CP) or Minor (6 CP) to reduce the negative side effects of carrying too many Obols by one or two levels.
  • Obol Manipulation: Minor Privilege; the character may easily combine, separate, and reshape Obols, rather than the process requiring hours (3 CP).
  • Emergency Spending: Reflex Training (Extra Action Variant) with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Reduced Cost / only for spending Obols. This will allow the character to spend Obols on an emergency basis, on or off initiative, without it counting as an action, seven times per day (6 CP).
  • Secondary Purchase: Reflex Training (Extra Action Variant) with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only for using Obols, only usable once per encounter (4 CP). This allows the user to use Obols twice as a standard action once per “encounter”. It may be purchased repeatedly up to a maximum of three times per encounter.
  • Major Purchases: Immunity / the normal limits of spending Obols (Common, Major, Trivial+). This allows the user to bypass the normal limit of spending Obols – twenty-five for a fifth level effect – to purchase even higher level effects. Sadly, while the character point cost (3/6/9/18 CP) is minor since you can get +1 spell level per level of immunity purchased, the cost in Obols rapidly becomes insupportable. It costs 60 Obols to purchase a sixth level effect, 125 to get a seventh level effect, 270 to get an eighth level effect, and 600 to get a ninth level effect. It generally isn’t worth it.
  • A secondary set of abilities to work with. Obols are too valuable, and are obtained too slowly, to spend on trivia.

An Obol-user has an automatic dilemma – spend Obols for magic NOW or save them to buy stuff with LATER – and simply cannot keep up once conventional casters start bringing high-level spells into play, despite their ability to save magic from day to day for emergencies. On the other hand, they are quite formidable at lower levels when their stockpile of effectively freeform magic can easily exceed the abilities of a low-level spellcaster. Characters who can afford to invest a level or two worth of points in using Obols before moving on to something else may find the project well worthwhile however.

“Automated” Production of Obols is difficult since they rely on active magical effects. Still, you could create a bush that grew them or something, as shown here:

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One Response

  1. […] Obol Mastery – Various methods of generating Obols for fun and profit […]

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