Roleplayer #20, June 1990

Powerstone Contest Winners

Award-Winning Quirks for Fiendish Referees

This contest was first announced in Roleplayer 18. We got a lot of replies; some of our readers were obviously having entirely too much fun. The winner was Al Duncan, who gets a $30 gift certificate. His Top Ten Powerstone Quirks:

10. When the stone is used, a loud voice booms out in the language spoken by most of the people within earshot, "I Am A 100-Point Powerstone," even if it isn't.

9. The stone only recharges if it is told a bedtime story at night. A different story every night.

8. The stone inflicts a Death Vision upon its user with each use.

7. The stone will not recharge naturally. To be recharged, it must first be enchanted with the Steal Strength spell. The user can then drain the strength of living, intelligent beings into the stone (not into himself, unless the stone is enchanted with Steal Strength twice). The stone cannot fill beyond its capacity, and cannot charge more than one point a day. However, if it "goes hungry" for a day, it could drain two points on the second day, and so on. For a really unpleasant quirk, the stone requires HT instead of ST.

6. For one hour after using the stone, the user becomes a carrier of the common cold, flu, Black Plague or other disease of the GM's choice. If the user is aware of this quirk and tries to use it as a weapon, it works . . . except in the last second of that hour, he loses his carrier's immunity and must make a HT-3 roll himself. See the sidebar on p. B133 for contagion rules.

5. For modern fantasies only: The stone only recharges while connected to an electrical current. This takes a considerable amount of energy. If the stone draws house current, it will raise the electricity bill by $20 per point charged.

4. Another modernism: To recharge, the stone must be left in a clear mug of warm beer in front of a television which is tuned to ESPN.

3. The stone has an intense distaste for all kinds of indecent language. If the person carrying it says anything the stone considers obscene, it instantly dissipates all its remaining energy in protest. That person will not be able to use the stone again before spending at least five minutes washing his mouth with soap, in the presence of the stone.

2. The day after using the stone, the user wakes up in the form of a human-sized cockroach and remains thus until the stone is once more fully charged. Apologies to Franz Kafka. (Were-roach: ST 8, DX 13, IQ normal, HT 18, PD 2, DR 1, 2 hexes, Speed and Move 8, Dodge 6, no effective attacks. Cannot talk. Afraid of light, dines on offal, walks freely on walls and ceilings. Good luck.)

1. The stone only recharges while in the digestive tract of the person who last used it. Search those chamber pots carefully . . . and remember not to carry a larger powerstone, or the one inside won't recharge. (The process of digestion from swallowing to excretion takes an average of about 20 hours, though individuals vary greatly. Assume the lucky individual will have to find and swallow the stone once a day to keep it charging.) If the user dies, the stone recharges normally until someone else uses it.

And some of the other (ahem) distinguished entries:

The powerstone is invisible. Don't drop it.

The user must dance a jig before each use.

After each use of the stone, the user becomes Lecherous for a day.

The user must remain silent while using the stone; only spells that do not require speech are possible.

The stone will not work underground.

The stone bleeds during use, producing a half-cup of fresh human blood for each point of energy used.

– Brett Slocum

The powerstone has a romantic heart. Before each use, it must be kissed by an individual of the sex opposite from the stone's creator.

– Carl Patten

The stone incites desire to possess it in all who view it. Those without the Greed disadvantage roll at IQ + 5 to avoid this desire. Those with Greed roll vs. IQ.

– Randy Harrington

After each use of the stone, the user sweats profusely for an hour.

All energy is drained from the stone each time it is used, even if only one point of energy was really required.

The stone will never provide more than half the energy needed to cast a spell (round down). The remainder must be provided by the user – not another stone.

– Anthony Affrunti

The powerstone is much heavier than it ought to be. This can range from a minor quirk (1 pound per carat) to a severe one (50 pounds per carat).

– Craig Russell

The user of the stone becomes invisible for 3 seconds.

– Matt Cheney

The stone becomes hot enough to burn cloth or paper when it is used – at least 500 degrees F.

– John Bonnell

Before the stone can be used to cast a combat spell, the would-be user must hit the target of that spell with a thrown rock.

– Tom Henrichs

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