Wednesday, February 12, 2014

OSR Superstar contest

Erik Tenkar is running a multiple-round "OSR Superstar" contest  - Round One: Magic Items

Rustled through the notebooks for the first two, and came up with the third in a fit of creativity, because I like the idea that a great boon should come at a cost...

Skin Horse

A construct developed as a beast of burden in areas that are either resource-starved or inappropriate for a living creature.

Components: Willow or yew switches and brass hinges and tacks, complete hide of pony, mule, or horse. Due to the components used and fragile character of the magics, a Skin Horse is typically not capable of carrying a rider (although some sturdier versions can carry halfling-sized humanoids)

Carrying Capacity:
Small: 50# (pony)
Medium: 50-100# (mule)
Large: 101-150# (horse)
If pulling, triple the potential load.

Although they do not have the carrying capacity of their equivalent living animals, the Skin Horses require no food or water, and are reasonably sure-footed, even in unlit environments. These reanimated hides do not spook to noises, fire, etc, as their living source-animals may. The small, medium and large Skin Horses are 1-1 HD, 1+1 HD, and 2 HD constructs.

Skin Horses retain the animal intelligence of the original animal, and can generally follow a few simple one-word commands, and follow the owner. Skin Horses that have been commanded to 'wait' will occasionally be found in some remote area, moss-covered and still awaiting return of a doomed party...


A mechanism utilized by the Grand Inquisitor's Necro-priests upon the condemned in order to compensate for especially heinous crimes or debts.

The condemned may be executed by traditional ritual strangling, or may expire due to natural causes, such as disease or old age. At the moment of death of the condemned, the Soul Jar (which appears to be an evacuated bell jar) captures the last breath and soul. The Soul Jar is then mounted to a construct referred to as a HalfLiving. The HalfLiving continues the condemned's sentence in servitude, penance, and agony until the retribution for their crimes have been paid.

HalfLiving mounts are typically a 2HD construct, a composite of wood, flesh, wire and metal, fabricated to be awkward and repellent.

While the condemned soul has consciousness, it has been stripped of free will in the transferal, leaving the consciousness as an unwilling passenger bonded to its HalfLiving mount. The condemned no longer can communicate directly with the living, however, specialist Necro-priest mediums are employed to speak with the imprisoned souls. However, few care to hear the thoughts and complaints of the doomed as they lurch about, awkward and in agony, bearing whatever punitive tasks or punishments doled out to them until their true debts have been paid.

Corrupt Necro-priests have been known to capture souls for purposes of petty revenge on behalf of the dead person's rivals. They will also make extra coin by capturing those souls of normal criminals, selling their captured essences for nefarious uses or incorporation into HalfLiving slaves that are shipped under cover of darkness to distant mines and plantations...

Nephelem's Mace of Just Rewards

Nephelem was a holy warrior of some renown and somewhat greater ego. Fancying himself a great crusader against the undead, he commissioned a mace worthy of his 'prowess' from the dwarven sorcerer-smith Frugretor Battlebeard. Through numerous journeys and negotiations with the hermetical craftsman, Nephelem was able to secure fabrication a mace capable of dealing great damage to the legions of undead. Frugretor, true to his craft, forged a brutal and terrible weapon for his client. Upon first viewing the ragged bonecrushing flutes of the mace, Nephelem was said to have stormed off, claiming the weapon looked more like a troll's club than an elegant crusader's weapon. Frugretor, glowering, returned with his weapon to the forge...

Some months later, Nephelem received a polite missive from the dwarf, saying that the weapon had been reforged in a manner more appropriate to Nephelem's taste.

True to his word, the mace shone with a holy light, elegant flutings along the head and upper shaft, and a warmly glowing emerald at the base of the handle. Nephelem thanked the dwarf for his work and took his commission, unsuspecting the curse that the slighted sorcerer had bestowed upon him.

True to his contract, the weapon, indeed, was a terrible thing to behold for an undead.

But it held a strange attraction to trolls... So much so that Nephelem, in his later days, was referred to as the Troll-Priest, and campaigners shied away from joining him, or stocked extra oil for the inevitable troll attack....

+1 mace; +3 to hit/damage vs undead.
Cursed -1 vs trolls. Any troll in lair in a dungeon will seek out the bearer, if on the same level. Increase chance of wandering troll encounters by 15%.
The troll curse is housed within the gem at the base of the haft. Discerning the curse versus the overall magic of the weapon will be exceptionally difficult, but removal of the gem, coupled with a remove curse will cause the mace to revert to its original +1/+3 designation.

Content released under the OGL

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