Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Magical War-Artifacts of the Mother Empire

"In the Capital City of Golgotha the Messiah sometimes leads a Grand Mass. Oh, it is worth a pilgrimage to Golgotha to experience. Thousands of Faithful gather upon the Holy Site and the Messiah, may Sophia Bless Her, delivers the Mass with a booming voice that can be heard throughout the City -- a Power only The Daughter of God could display!"
-"The Faithful Beggar," Regular at The Red Room in Nein

The Magic-users of the World know that ancient artifacts exist that can enhance the power of their Spell-Magic. They are known by many names and come in various forms, but the Historians among them classify two broad categories: Rods and Gauntlets.

These devices were known to have been common during the Great War over 2,000 years ago, wielded by the Magic-users of that time and also by the Mage-Knights. They are supposed to have greatly increased the power of all the Spells channeled through them and also allowed the user to treat the Weapon as their "free hand" for Castings.

These Rods and Gauntlets sometimes had inherent Spell-Magic within them that could be conjured through the device's Charge and wielder's Willpower (Action Points). Such is the power of these War-Artifacts that any user, if of enough Intellect and Courage, could wield the Spell-Magic within them. Lastly, the most powerful of these devices had flourishing effects that would be conferred upon all attacks made by the device itself in addition to the Spells channeled through it.

Game Mechanics

All Gauntlets and Rods have an Intellect Requirement. Unlike Mundane Weapons, having less than this Intellect Requirement prevents the use of the Artifact entirely -- the device will not function as the user's Will is inadequate to power the device.

These devices function as Supernatural Weapons in that any attacks made with them will do Critical Hits on rolls of Natural-10s (as well as Natural-20s). Both devices use Intellect for their Damage Scaling. As a result, using these Weapons will kill and hurt Monsters with their Basic Attacks who can only be affected by Supernatural Weapons.

The Torch
Gauntlets are Melee Weapons and are one-handed. Its form makes it impossible to use in two hands -- though a audacious user could dual-wield Gauntlets if he managed to acquire more than one! Rods are Ranged Weapons and while they can be carried in one hand, they can only properly be used to channel Spell-Magic or be used to attack while wielding it in both hands.

Each of these devices are unique and the form of its Basic Attack and the Spell-Magic contained within them varies a great deal. Here are two examples of devices documented to exist:

Dog-Mouth: This Gauntlet, when empowered by a user of Great Will, will open its one monstrous eye and begin to drool from its mouth that makes up the palm of the Gauntlet. When used to attack the Dog-Mouth will rip and tear chunks from its targets. (Requires: Intellect 2)
Basic Attack: Strength +2 vs. AC. Melee only. (Critical Hit on 10s)
Damage: 2d6 + (Intellect * 1.5)
Charge: 4 / 4 Maximum

The Torch: This Rod resembles a steel pole embellished with all sorts of dials, levers and gizmos. The "business" end of The Torch is an opening into the center of the device. When wielded by a Willful user, heat, fire and smoke radiates out from this hole. When used to make Basic Attacks, the user can summon bursts of fire-magic from the Rod that propels pellets of blackened eldritch matter at its targets. (Requires: Intellect 2)
Basic Attack: Agility +1 vs. AC. Ranged only. (Critical Hit on 10s)
Damage: 2d6 + (Intellect * 1.5) +2
Charge: 5 / 5 Maximum
The Ancient Magic-users harnessed destructive technologies from the Ancient Cities during The Great War. . .
Rods and Gauntlets may be imbued with further Minor or Major Spell-Magic. A Minor Spell is equivalent to a Lesser Incantation and only requires the Spending of an Action Point by the user -- but requires not major investment of Charge by the device. A Major Spell within the device is equivalent to a Full Incantation and requires BOTH the Burning of an Action Point by the user, as well as the immediate deduction of one point of Charge from the Gauntlet or Rod.

This Spell-Magic is fueled by the device itself, and acquires the strength of its Casting based on the power of the device, not the Tuning of the user if a wielder of magic themselves. Some examples, utilizing Spell-Magic previously discussed for Pyromancers.

This Lesser Torch is capable of issuing forth Fireballs as per the Lesser Incantation of Lorre's Expanding Conflagration. This is a Minor Ability, requiring the Spending of 1 Action Point by the user.
Attack: Agility vs. SR (Critical Hits on 10s)
Targets: 2, must be Close
Damage: 3d6 + (Intellect * 1.5) + 2

This Grand Torch can shoot great Fireballs as per the Full Incantation of Lorre's Expanding Conflagration. This is a Major Ability, requiring the Burning of 1 Action Point by the user. This also immediately spends 1 Charge on the Rod.
Attack: Agility+1 vs. SR (Critical Hits on 10s)
Targets: 2, must be Close
Damage: [2d6 + (Intellect * 1.5) + 2] x2 on HIT / x1 on MISS.


Trey said...

I've always thought the idea of "more powerful magic in the previous age" was never played up as much as most D&D settings as it might be, even though it's a standard setting trope.

Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

My inspiration for this aspect of my setting is actually the concepts behind the original Chainmail Wargame -- in that Magic-users / Wizards are living Siege Engines / Artillery. I started with, why not stretch that all the way out to its logical conclusion?