Roleplayer #27, February 1992

Back at the Magic Shop

Outtakes from GURPS Magic Items 2

GURPS Magic Items 2 is out now . . . and as usual when we compile a book from many ideas and contributions, not everything fit. But these were too good to forget. . . or even to put in cold storage until Magic Items 3 comes out.

Instant Campsite

This scroll of faded parchment holds a detailed color drawing of a small but snug campsite. The scroll has an word written in the corner – easy to pronounce, though nonsensical. When the word is spoken, the drawing vanishes and the Campsite manifests directly in front of the speaker.

The Instant Campsite includes two four-man tents, a blazing campfire with enough wood nearby to last ten hours, a kettle full of nutritious hot soup simmering over the fire and a trough of cold, clear water for travelers and their animals.

After ten hours, the Campsite disappears, becoming the scroll once more. The scroll must be kept in its ivory case for 12 hours to recharge its magic. The case has 2 hit points; if it is destroyed, the Campsite may be used only once more, and will then remain a pretty but useless drawing.

Minor damage to the Campsite will be automatically repaired by the magic; more significant damage (such as a Fireball hole in a tent) will be partially repaired the next time the Campsite is used, and will gradually go away over several uses. But if the Campsite is destroyed, as by a fire, the scroll will not appear at all, and the Campsite is lost.

There are rumors of Campsites with various protective spells on them, such as Wards, Domes and Invisibility. If these exist, they would be much more expensive.

Component Spells: Unknown. Probably includes Create Food, Create Water, Repair.
Asking Price: $375,500.

Helm of Tarns

Made of a strange bluish metal, this helmet allows the wearer to Seek and Purify Water at no energy cost, as well as cast Beast Soother on aquatic creatures. The helm provides PD 2, DR 8 and is not encumbering underwater; it will provide the wearer with up to 30 minutes of air when needed. The Helm covers the entire head and limits vision drastically; -4 on all Vision rolls.

Component Spells: Seek Water, Purify Water, Beast Soother variant, Create Air, Power.
Asking Price: $140,000.

Faerie Wind Chimes

These sparkling silver chimes make no sound if they are shaken by hand, but will ring when blown by a natural wind as slight as a breeze. When ringing, they produce a delicate, blending series of tones. Any non-Faerie listener must make a Will roll or be mentally stunned. If someone is holding the chimes, he is not affected. The chimes have a 20-hex radius area of effect.

Any being with Faerie blood (such as Elves, Ellyllon or others) who hears the chimes is struck with a Charm spell (resisting normally – see p. M59). Those who resist will automatically be mentally stunned. Again, the holder if the chimes, if any, is unaffected.

Faeries thus charmed will serve the chimes' owner faithfully for one week after hearing the chimes ring; they will perform any reasonable service. The chimes will only cast the Charm spell once per month.

If the owner chooses, he can demand a single great service (the equivalent of a Wish) instead of ongoing service. To do so, he must surrender the chimes to the foremost of those coming to serve him, and thus lose them forever.

One might think that the Good Folk would want to destroy all these chimes, since they have such power. But instead, they prize them highly for their beautiful music, and savor the risk that the Charm spell presents.

Component Spells: Mass Charm variant (Faerie folk only), Sound.
Asking Price: $305,000.

Eagle Feather Headband

This thin leather band has a long brown feather stuck through it. It will fit anyone; it can even be tied around even a Giant's head. It gives off a sensation of great power, even to those who aren't sensitive to magic. In the right light, the tiny figures cut into the leather seem almost to move, giving the object a definitely mystical aura.

Anyone who wears the Headband receives Tracking, Survival (Plains) and Running at IQ+2 or DX+2, or +1 to existing skill if that is greater. He also has Resist Pain and Wisdom spells thrown on him while wearing the Headband.

On the downside, a wearer also develops the Primitive/TL2 disadvantage, gaining one disadvantage point per week or partial week of use. He gradually forgets his high-tech knowledge and abilities. This disadvantage can be overcome by discarding the headband, by obtaining a Remove Curse or by accomplishing a Vision Quest (to be run by the GM) to seek out the Great Eagle Spirit and gain wisdom. However, if the headband's wearer keeps it for more than a year, he will develop a definite distaste for high-tech devices and will no longer want to regain the ability to use them.

(See GURPS Old West for more details about Vision Quests).

This headband was created by tribal barbarians from an extremely remote and isolated land. Its current possessor acquired it through a long and complex series of trades, explorations and accidents.

Its magic confounds classically-trained mages, frustrating them with images of great soaring birds and thundering herds of beasts whenever they try to analyze its enchantment. Presently, it adorns the head of General Tayr Fleynt, who has taken to calling himself Soars Free Over Wilderness.

Component Spells: unknown; defies analytic magic
Asking Price: $1,000,000

Pet Salamander

Once hip and fashionable, these devices have become rather ordinary over the last few years, largely because the enchantment is neither difficult nor expensive . . . at least, as magical items go!

This lizard- or dragon-shaped metal object fits in a holder's palm and spurts a tiny flame on mental command (1d-2 fire damage if held against flesh). It is useful for starting small fires, including pipes or cigars. In an outdoor situation, it would start dry tinder to build a campfire, but not wet wood.

Component Spells: Ignite Fire, 1 point of Power
Asking Price: $14,800

Cyrano's Blade

This rather plain-looking rapier adds +3 Accuracy, is Shatterproof and has the Loyal Sword spell. It will faithfully serve any wielder, performing with superlative grace and loyalty.

Something happened during the creation of the blade, however, a bizarre Quirking whereby the blade imposes a Compulsive Behavior on the user: the wielder must compose rhymes while fencing.

Nobody knows what the "Cyrano" reference means, save the strange exile who claimed the blade shortly after it was completed. He wielded the weapon with great skill, especially against those who insulted the size of his prominent nose.

(GMs: the player should be allowed time to compose a rhyme or two before combat begins.)

Component Spells: Accuracy, Shatterproof, Loyal Sword, Lesser Geas (holder only), unknown.
Asking Price: $405,000


This nasty weapon looks like the blade from a circular saw. When thrown, it will buzz loudly and pursue its target as a thrown weapon with Accuracy +3 and a range of 30 hexes. When it strikes, it does 3d+3 cutting damage. The Razordisk will return to its owner after slashing its target.

Weaponsmiths argue over the true origin of the Razordisk, debating the various forms of Razordisk-like objects that have been used since the first shuriken was flung. Wherever they came from, they're deadly and useful.

Component Spells: Accuracy, hypothetical "Razor-disk" spell, Power.
Asking Price: $50,000

Feather Wand

The Feather Wand appears to be a short stick of white wood with a large white feather fixed to one end. It will make a soft "coo"-ing sound when held by a wizard.

This wand allows the wielder to produce huge billowing flurries of white feathers, which do little more than limit visibility. All attacks are made as though the attacker were in a heavy fog (-4 to all Vision rolls into or out of affected area). The feathers billow for 3 turns, plus 3 per point of Fatigue spent by the wielder.

Feathers will fill 7 hexes the first round, plus 3 each additional round the Wand is kept active by the wizard, to a maximum of 25 hexes.

When the wand's effects cease, the feathers vanish.

Component Spells: hypothetical "Create Feathers" spell, 1 point of Power
Asking Price: $7,500.

Buzzsaw Shield

This shield's device is a whirling, circular saw blade, dazzling silver on a blue field. It was designed for Sir Razinwird, who became known as the Knight of Many Blades. While using the Shield, Razinwird was never defeated in battle.

This medium shield does not provide any magical increase in PD. However, on command, the Buzzsaw Shield generates a whirling disk of razor-sharp blades that do 3d cutting damage to an opponent on a shield rush/slam attack.

Any weapon striking the shield while the blades are cutting is hit as if by a 20-pound sword, and thus may break. The Buzzsaw Shield's blades are considered Very Fine quality for breaking purposes (see p. Bill for rules on breaking weapons.)

Component Spells: Unknown.
Asking Price: $82,500.

Stiffneck Torc

This golden torc will prevent the wearer from suffering any damage to his face or neck, no matter how great the damage. A regular hit aimed at the face or neck will simply be pulled into the torc and absorbed without knockback. A critical hit will be deflected to the wearer's chest. A blow aimed at the head from behind can strike normally; against head blows, the torc only protects the wearer's face.

The torc weighs 10 pounds. It protects the face and neck with PD 3 and magically-infinite DR at all times and cannot be removed without the wearer's permission or unless he is dead.

Legends say the original owner of this device greatly feared having his head cut off, as he'd seen this fate awaiting him in a dream. As it turned out, he fell out of a rowboat; the heavy torc pulled him to the bottom of the river and he drowned.

Component Spells: Deflect, Fortify, unknown others.
Asking Price: $1,350,000

Dragonclaw Boots

Green leather, thigh-high boots with yellowish studs at toes and heels, this distinctive footwear undoubtedly gives the owner great power, if he can tolerate its bad attitude.

When worn, the wearer's legs and feet become those of a dragon, giving the legs PD 4, DR 7, ST 30 and medium-length Claws (doing swing/cutting or thrust/impaling damage). The legs also confer Resist Fire, as per the spell.

Dragonclaw Boots warm slightly in the presence of a dragon, be it an egg hidden in somebody's bedroll or an Ancient Wyrm disguised as a small hill. They don't confer any Reaction modifier; most dragons have little interest in what humans choose to wear on their feet. (At the GM's option, if the boots are actually made from dragonskin, they might be offensive to dragons.)

These boots have a mind of their own, attacking Dwarven passersby or grabbing for golden objects in spite of the owner's objections. The Boots will never attack the wearer, but they have no compunction about lashing out at friends or comrades who get in their way.

The wearer doesn't necessarily acquire any mental Disadvantages from wearing them, though someone who already has dragonish attitudes (Greed, antipathy towards Dwarves, etc.) will find them enhanced. Dwarves will not be fond of the wearer, either.

Component Spells: Unknown but could include real dragon legs (see above).
Asking Price: $350,000.

Flower Garland

A necklace made of wreathed flowers, the flower Garland protects the wearer from poisonous fumes, smoke, vapors or asphyxiation (though not drowning) while worn. The air breathed by the wearer will always be sweet-smelling and flowery, no matter how foul it is to others.

The flowers will normally last for a week before withering and become impotent. Preservative magic will work on the wreath, but only half as long as normal.

Component Spells: Purify Air variant.
Asking Price: $1,500 per garland.

Embarrassing Belt

Normally, this fancy leather strap does nothing but support breeches. However, if the wearer must speak in public or address an important person, the Embarrassing Belt will drop the wearer's trousers and cause tremendous humiliation (-4 Reaction).

The Belt can be removed at any time, though after its enchantment triggers once, it's usually too late. The only hint of the Belt's true character is a slight aura of magic on the buckle, which has a jester's leering face on the reverse side.

Component Spells: Apportation.
Asking Price: $31,200.

The Ogre Hands

This huge pair of armored cloves, or cesti, is thought to be unique. An owner will notice immediately that the two gloves do not match. That is because they perform very differently in combat.

The right gauntlet is slightly larger and has brass knuckles attached to its black leather. This gauntlet doubles ST for punching attacks. A person with ST 13 would do 2d damage instead of 1d. Each enhanced punch costs the user of the cestus 1 Fatigue.

On the other hand (so to speak), the left gauntlet unsheathes medium-length claws which do swing+4 cutting damage or thrust+2 impaling. These claws can also double their damage, at a cost of 2 Fatigue per enhanced attack.

The origin of the Cesti is obscure. Not even master-works on weaponry can accurately detail their first owner or first use in combat, except to agree it was over 900 years ago.

Component Spells: Might variant, Alter Body variant.
Asking Price: $275,000.

Woodwise Bow

These longbows are among the most powerful non-unique magical bows in existence, despite their absolutely mundane appearance. An arrow shot from such a bow will pass through any living plant to strike its target; further, the bow's holder can see through living plants (trees, bushes, etc.) without obstruction, out to the limits of his normal vision, as if the plants were made of a thin fog. Anyone targeted by the Woodwise Bow only gains protection from cover if the cover is not plant life.

The bow has Accuracy +1 besides its wood-penetrating enchantment. The Woodwise Bow was devised for guerrilla combat by the Elves in the days when mankind first encroached on their forests. A number of them have made their way out of Elven lands and into the hands of human hunters and trackers.

Component Spells: Accuracy, unknown others, evidently plant-related.
Asking Price: $300,000.

(Back to Roleplayer #27 Table of Contents)

Copyright © 1997-2024 by Steve Jackson Games. All rights reserved.

Steve Jackson Games | GURPS | Roleplayer Index