Friday, January 23, 2015

Lost Tomes 2

More Lost and Found Books


Twelve more (hopefully) interesting documents to find in a library or trove....

1. Urnell's Screaming Spellbook
Urnell Oughaughen was a right bastard of a wizard, and highly protective of his spellbook from the prying eyes of his ne'er do-well acolytes. Not satisfied with a mere Wizard Lock, he enchanted his spellbook to be noisome and insulting to anyone attempting to use it besides the rightful owner.

A face appears on any opened page, eyes and mouth formed as hole in the page. Text flows around the face as it wanders about the page, shouting and insulting the user.  The yelling and movement has the following possible affects:

1) Negates surprise or attempts at silence if opened.
2) The face is immune to magic, esp. charm, silence, sleep, etc.
3) Movement and disturbance of text increases chance of spell failure, particularly catastrophic failure.
4) Increases save potential of a target, where applicable.
5) If a new spell is recorded in the book, there is a 1d6 chance per day that the face will 'eat' the new spell.
6)  Unnerves any familiar, and the magic user will not be able to benefit from any familiar abilities while in possession of the book.

(May be used as a 4th-level magic user spell. Requires Remove Curse to negate.)

The book will contain 1d6 random spells each of 1d4+2 levels.


2. Stokwar's Smithy Grimoire
A manual bound in dragon-scale with fire-resistant parchment pages. The book holds Dwarven trade secrets for the creation of especially resilient blades. Benefits include:
1) Eversharp - will not dull, does not require honing
2) Tough - will not break on critical fails or if used for improvised prybar
3) Keenedge - +1 damage due to sharpness
4) Demagnetized - not affected by magnetic or electrical effects (e.g. iron golems)
5) Subtly magnetic - will point northward if hung or floated
6) Incredibly well-balanced - +1 to hit in melee or thrown
7) Stainless - unaffected by rust monsters
8) Blood-groove - causes additional 1 hp/turn bleeding damage after successful hit
These strongly held secrets will not be released, and if looted or stolen, the book-thieves will be aggressively pursued for recovery

3. The Seineos
A gilded scroll, smelling slightly of sulfur.  Summons and controls an Erinyes demon named Cholis. She was bound through some complex machinations by the original book-holder (now long gone...). However, due to the powerful binding enchantment, each summoning requires a bit of the user's soul (Points/uses available are equivalent to the user's WIS score). At 0 points equivalent, the user will be dragged to the infernal depths. Alternatively, Cholis will attempt to influence the destruction of the scroll through some subterfuge.

4. Stoneham's Basilistic Registry:
The care and breeding of basilisks for show or the fighting ring.  Includes tables of several breeding lineages and sub-breeds. The book comes with a well-made wooden case holding a set of prismatic, mirrored spectacles for safely viewing the animals.

5. Tinwizzle's Follicular Folio
A gnome-authored book of hair care products and styles, which, to no one's surprise, is filled with trickery, as well. The formulas and concoctions spelled out within, when used on hair, may impart upon users the following qualities:

1) Camo-Fauxhawk  - This dye allows the user to hide 5 in 6 in current terrain.
2) Compensatory Coif - Hair ointment, when applied, makes the owner appear 2x as tall. Lasts 1d4 hours.
3) Displacing Dreadlocks - Penalizes foes -2 to-hit while this hair-wax is used (up to one day per use), reeks of patchouli.
4) Mighty Mullet - This mousse allows +1 to-hit/damage against larger than man-sized foes for one day, causes user to become belligerent and aggressive.
5) AbFabulous - A cleansing soap that causes the hair to remain lustrous, even under the most strenuous or filthy conditions (1d4+1 days), may cause envy among more scruffy peers.
6) The Rapunzel - Fragrant oil allows hair to spontaneously grow and be mentally commanded to act as a whip (1d3) or grapple with 15' reach for one day.
7) Helmet-Hair: Gel smelling of iron and leather, hair stiffens and hardens, imparting a helmet-like quality, and protecting the head from blows or other harm (AC 5/14 equivalent).
8) Impressive Pompadour - Pomade adds +1 to morale (ally) or intimidation (foe) rolls. Also referred to as the 'Ol' taller-the-hair-the-closer-to-the-gods'
9) Hypnotic Highlights - Frosting allows Hypnosis of 1d4 HD of creatures, once per day of use.
10) Charming Comb-over - This creme, when applied, allows the user Charm effect on one person or monster, once per day of use.

Unfortunately, the book is gnome-scaled and very difficult to read.  Misread recipes may lead to disastrous consequences...

6. Bertal's Alchemical Tome
A much-annotated and stained copper-bound manual containing formulae for various alchemical concoctions.  Due to smearing, scratching-out, and burned spots, there is a 20% chance that the selected recipe will be misread and not work and/or have some unpleasant side-effect.
1) Alert - Allows the user to not require sleep (limit of 3 days).  However, its use requires one day of recovery after use (no strenuous activity). Otherwise the user has a temporary hit point reduction (1d3 per day used) until recovery. Spells or potions such as CLW used during this time will only return the character to the max of the penalized HP.
2) Flaming touch - when applied to gloves, causes 1d4 burning damage to a foe, one round.
3) Reactive Armor - This paste, when spread on armor, will allow the armor to absorb the damage from one melee hit by erupting explosively, and instead causing 1d8 damage to the attacker.
4) Rage - Provides +2 to hit, and user gains an extra hit per round (lasts 2d4 rounds, -1 to-hit for same number of rounds after the effect has worn off due to fatigue).
5) Sleeping potion - Save or sleep for 1d8 hrs
6) Freezing bomb - Thrown, causes 1d8 cold damage plus slippery surface (5'x5' area) upon breakage.
7) Invisible ink - requires counter-formula to make visible again.  50% chance that it is missing or incorrect in the book.
8) Contact poison - may be used on clothing, objects, weapons. Save or 2d12 dmg
9) Fools gold - Turns one pound (equivalent) of base metal to 'gold' for one day.  Plenty of time to get out of town.
10) Smoke bomb - Creates an obscuring 10'x10' cloud, plus 1d4 choking damage for 2 rounds.


7. The 'Q'
The cover feels as if it is crawling or oozing in the reader's hands. Each page is filled with unfamiliar texts or creeping, extra-dimensional gaps. These are not quite aligned with the familiar dimensions and opening such a page will invoke vertigo and an ambiguous, yet powerful, dread. Some may be gateways to fabled storehouses, some to nightmare planes. Voices whispering from the alien dimensions or shifting texts will alternately make promises of immortality and threaten with annihilation. Each page opened risks insanity (5%, cumulative) and drawing the attention of 1d6 Hounds of Yith (10%), which will bound out of the book, seeking to dismember the reader.


8. Unnamed
A Scroll torn or burned in half - It depicts a now-incomplete map and partial descriptions of a  dungeon/complex/etc. The partial and truncated descriptions are intriguing yet ambiguous, and may actually contain warnings or notations of hazards. Both the language and incomplete descriptions make these details unclear. Remnant enchantments on the scroll compel the bearer to seek the mapped terrain. The opposite half of the scroll is rumored to exist, but this is highly doubtful.

9. The Imoradana
Elven ritual primer for the transmutation of individuals from male to female/vice versa. Due to their long lifespans (and general boredom), living as the opposite sex is an attractive option after many other diversions have been spent. These transitional events are believed to be a major factor for the androgynous characteristics of modern elves. However, the primer is rumored to have been cursed or altered, such that many transitions have become imperfect or flawed, leading to the general low birthrate and infertility of the elven race.

10. The Rayirdyn
An incomplete etiquette manual for manners and protocol when dealing with githyanki. The manual is in the form of a crystal, requiring that is be placed in a translating node that holographically projects the text. Alternatively, read magic may be successful. Unfortunately, the crystal has been damaged and sections associated with greeting honorifics and high-level trade or border negotiations are missing. Does include the section on which fork to use during banquet courses, though.

11. Phicklyer's Fungal Flyer
A thin identification booklet for myconid fungus farmers and foragers written by 'Mad' Phicklyer - a gnome forager, mycologist and general gadabout. Phicklyer was generally considered untrustworthy in most personal and professional dealings, but his passion for fungus for sustenance, beneficial use, and recreation was incorruptible. Many a hungry adventurer has benefited from being able to differentiate between the yellow-ribbed morel and the yellow-ribbed gyromitra.

12. Woz' Pretties
A darkened wood plank-bound volume of rough parchment. The book is secured with what appears to be a jawbone held in place with a wizard lock. If the wizard lock is overcome, the book will be found to be filled with weird pressed flowers, lichen and fungus. Neither the book nor its contents have any particular magical, medical, or other benefits or hazards. Scratched inside the back cover is the name "Woz." Locals will recognize this to be an ogre known to roam the local forest and ruins of an abandoned manorhouse. He would REALLY like to have his pressings returned.

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