THE AUTOSCRIBE

 

The autoscribe is an arcane caster’s dream: a writing device that can make spell scrolls day and night. Like all devices seemingly too good to be true, though, it comes at a price in XP and materials. This device was created for “Clockwork Wonders” by in 2001.

Appearance

The autoscribe resembles a scribe’s writing desk. It’s taller than it is wide, with three pewter inkpots built into the top, a sloping writing surface, and a metal-nib attached to a series of writing arms and levers. When in operation, it hums and scratches while moving the nib slowly across the paper. It can make use of gold illumination, magical inks, and even special colors and waxes to create the perfect arcane scroll. Its three arms are attached to the top and side of the writing surface and can reach a set of interchangeable quills and inkpots in its interior.

Use and Powers

To use an autoscribe, a spellcaster must use the attached metal quill to write out a fair copy of a spell scroll in the usual way, and make a successful Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level) while doing so. If successful, this process “teaches” the autoscribe that spell. An autoscribe can contain 10 spells in its internal collection at any time; if it already has 10 spells, it cannot learn more until one or more spells are removed. It can be taught arcane or divine spells, but not both at the same time. A divine caster wishing to teach it divine spells must clear out the entire collection if there are arcane spells in the machine’s collection. Casting an erase spell on an autoscribe removes one spell from its collection, while casting a feeblemind on it removes all spells from its collection.

Once taught a spell, the autoscribe knows how to make additional copies of that scroll. Any spellcaster who has that spell on her class spell list can command the autoscribe to make usable scrolls of it. The copies take 1 hour per spell level to create instead of the usual 1 day per 1,000 gp value of the scroll, and the user must spend one additional hour loading the autoscribe with the appropriate materials. The materials cost half the gp value of the scroll, as usual for making scrolls, and the autoscribe can hold enough materials to make 10 copies of all 10 of the spells in its collection before needing to be reloaded. The XP cost for the scroll is doubled (so spell level x caster level x 2), and must be paid by the spellcaster commanding the autoscribe. Spell scrolls are created at the minimum caster level for the spell in question, and the autoscribe can only put one spell on a scroll.

An autoscribe can be commanded by non-spellcasters using Use Magic Device with a successful check DC (20 + caster level of the scroll to be produced). If the check fails, the autoscribe jams or otherwise becomes damaged by the attempt and must be repaired by an artificer. The cost in XP for non-casters is twice the cost that a legitimate spellcaster pays, and the non-caster must still supply the materials if the autoscribe is out.

PIRATE BOOTY CHARTS

We recently started playing a swashbuckling pirate themed campaign set in Forgotten Realms called “Really Bad Eggs.” Since I enjoy using random charts to hand out treasure, I created two different downloadable charts that you can add to your collection if you like.

Here’s an example of one of the charts:


LOOT THE BODY d6

  1.  75 cp, 55 sp, 22 ep, 15 gp, and a Gold Earring set with a tiny ruby (30 gp).
  2.  180 sp, 130 gp, and a silk pouch containing five carnelians (10 gp each), two peridots (15 gp each), and one pearl (100 gp)
  3.  Scroll of charm person and a scroll of fireball.
  4.  Leather bag containing 35 sp, 20 ep, 20 gp, 5 pp, one pearl (100 gp) 5 55 cp, 75 sp, 22 gp
  5.  Healing Potion (2d4+2)
  6. Roll twice on this chart

Pirate Booty Sheet #1

Pirate Booty Sheet #2

My DM Toolbox Page

Save

Save

THE STONE BRIDGE

 

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Stone Bridge was a bridge located along the River Dessarin, connecting the Red Larch and the Long Road to the High Forest. The bridge, which was also a temple to Moradin, was a single arch, about two miles in length and 400ft high, made of granite, roughly six paces wide, with no railings or barriers. The gigantic stone archway comfortably spans the widest spring flood of the Dessarin River. It is made of smooth, fused hard granite. The Bridge is only six paces wide and lacks railings or barriers, so anyone atop it is at the mercy of the wind, particularly in winter. It is the only crossing of the Dessarin River between Ironford and Yartar, though, so travelers and caravans frequently use it although with great care. It was originally built to connect the two halves of the realm of Besilmer, and was wide enough to cope with the broadest flow of the river in times of flooding.

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GLOVES OF MIGHT

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Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)

While wearing these gloves, you gain a +5 bonus to Strength (Athletics) checks made while grappling.

When you want to grab a creature or wrestle with it, you can use the Attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them.

The target of your grapple must be no more than one size larger than you, and it must be within your reach. Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target by making a grapple check, a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you succeed, you subject the target to the grappled condition (see appendix A). The condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).

Escaping a Grapple. A grappled creature can use its action to escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics) check.

Moving a Grappled Creature. When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.

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THE TABLETS OF FATE

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The Tablets of Fate were stone slabs on which the official portfolios of every one of the deities of Abeir-Toril were written.
Every deity has certain aspects of existence over which it has dominion, power, and control. Collectively, these aspects represent the deity’s portfolio. Deities are intimately concerned about and involved in their portfolios, and they are often strongest in power when acting within the bounds of their portfolios.
The portfolios of deities within a pantheon rarely change, but this can happen. If a deity dies, returns from the dead, gains or loses divine power, or radically changes personality, portfolios can change. One or more deities may share certain portfolio elements. For example, Boccob and Wee Jas of the D&D pantheon both have magic as an element of their portfolios.
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Bane and Myrkul stole the Tablets of Fate from Ao and hid them in Faerûn, suspecting that some of the Overgod’s power was derived from these tablets. When Ao discovered the Tablets of Fate were missing he summoned all the deities and asked for those guilty to hand them over. When no one stood forward to admit to stealing the Tablets, Ao cast down all the gods from the heavens, taking their divine power in the process. Ao tasked Lord Helm with guarding the Celestial Stairways which would lead the deities back into their divine realms. For this he retained his divine powers. Before the Time of Trouble ended, Bane and Myrkul were both slain, although they would all be reborn during The Sundering along with the other lost, forgotten, or dead gods.

JARNBJORN

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Weapon (mace), rare (requires attunement)

When you hit a Celestial, Dragon, or Giant with this magic weapon, that creature takes an extra 2d6 radiant damage. When you attack a creature with this weapon and roll a 20 on the attack roll, that target takes an additional 4d6 slashing damage. Then roll another d20. If you roll a 20 a second time, you lop off one of the target’s limbs, with the effect of such loss determined by the GM. If the creature has no limb to sever, you lop off a portion of its body instead.

Forged by Dwarves, Jarnbjorn is naturally sharper than almost any Earthly weapon, and can cut virtually anything. In addition, Jarnbjorn has a charm placed on it that makes it indestructible, and it can be used to defend against any attack, even bursts of energy like Apocalypse’s optic beam. Thanks to Thor’s own enchantment, Jarnbjorn can pierce the armor of Celestials or created using Celestial technology.

Gold Dwarf Knight
Gold Dwarf Knight

THE SCEPTER OF SAVRAS

The Scepter of Savras was an incredibly powerful artifact capable of containing the entire essence of a god. Created by the god Azuth and used to contain the deity of divination whose name it came to bear, it was lost for centuries in the Realms.

scepter

The Scepter dated to after the fall of Netheril and before the founding of Myth Drannor, when the turmoil of the Dawn Cataclysm resulted in warfare between the gods and the deaths of several deities. At that time there were two gods who had been elevated by Mystra from among the mortals to have rulership over spellwork—Azuth, who claimed dominion over all wizards and was in fact the first Magister, and Savras, who specialized in divination magic and was popular in the southern lands, particularly Tashalar. After a failed experiment to tear away a portion of the All Seeing’s divinity and bind it to himself, Azuth and Savras battled for supremacy.

Eventually the Lord of Spells was victorious and succeeded in imprisoning his rival in this artifact, which he had constructed for the purpose before the conflict began. It had been Azuth’s intention to carry the Scepter indefinitely as a staff of office, the power of which he could draw upon to augment his own. However, Savras retained just enough divine strength to teleport the Scepter away into the Realms, where his divinatory power was sufficient to block Azuth’s.

For centuries after this, the Scepter passed from one owner to another throughout Faerûn until eventually it fell into the possession of Syluné Silverhand. Although the spirit of Savras had desperately importuned the Chosen to release him, and had even granted her the ability to transform into a silver dragon to try and obtain her cooperation, she refused to trust him and instead carried the Scepter for many more years to aid her in her adventures. It was not until Azuth finally discovered its location, and Mystra intervened to keep the secrets her daughter had discovered through its powers from spreading across Faerûn, that Syluné finally turned the artifact over to the High One.

By this time, Azuth had come to regret his actions toward Savras and what he had forced his erstwhile rival to endure. And so after considering the matter for some time, the troubled god finally agreed to release Savras after the Time of Troubles in return for an oath of fealty. The ultimate result was the two deities coming to an understanding, where uneasy service by the Lord of Divination gradually changed to a cautious friendship and a cordial working relationship. However, at the time of the demigod’s release, the Scepter vanished again, taking with it the majority of Savras’s power that it had absorbed.

The Scepter remained in the possession of Mystra who kept it safely hidden away from those who might try to misuse its powers. The Scepter was lost during the event of the Spellplauge, when Cyric murdered Mystra, causing the Weave to become unstable.

Loremasters claim that the Scepter reappeared in 1491 DR and was found by the group known as “The Ones Who Walk” ultimately using the device to restore Mystara to life, allowing to reclaim The Weave and end the the eternal twilight many called “The Darkening.”

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THE PENDANT OF ASHABA

forgotten-realms

The Pendant of Ashaba was created by Ashaba, the first lord of Shadowdale. This pendant is worn by the lord or lady of the dale (currently Addee Ulphor). On command, it speaks the phrase “The bearer of the token be the one and true lord of Shadowdale.”

The pendant is silver and shaped like a crescent moon with its two horns pointing upward. It hangs from a fine silver chain. Lady Ulphor keeps the pendant secured in the upper levels of the Twisted Tower. This structure was created by the drow when they controlled Shadowdale. After the town was freed, it was renamed the Twisted Tower of Ashaba in honor of the realm’s first lord. Not everyone realizes that the pendant reinforces powerful magical wards when worn by the lord or lady of Shadowdale.

In particular, Lady Ulphor seems unaware of this, since she keeps the pendant in the tower. She has been manipulated by one of Valan Jaelre’s spies, who has convinced Lady Ulphor that the amulet is best put away for safekeeping rather than worn. The spy, Maedra, appears to be a human but is a doppelganger on the Jaelre payroll. The pendant can be activated through other means, albeit ones that are more difficult than simply having the lord or lady wear it. The most important ward lies under the Tower of Ashaba, where it seals underground passages that connect to the cellars beneath the tower. The Drow used these tunnels when they occupied Shadowdale, and Valan has long been planning to attack through them.

Few know that there are two pendants. The first was lost during the Time of Troubles. It looked differently than the other, being made of gold and shaped like a clockwork pocket watch.  Although none knew where it was hidden, it revealed itself during the Year of the Scarlet Witch, found by the Ones Who Walk who used it to return Elminster and Mystra to life since their divine spark was contained within the Savras Scepter.

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CATALYST: THE WELL OF SOULS

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Long ago, the immortal being known as Zugzul spoke to his chosen priests, describing the method of creating an a fell device that could be used to destroy a god. It was called the Well of Souls. Throughout the centuries it has taken many forms, sizes, and shapes but its sole purpose is deicide. It exists only to unmake that which is immortal.

Continue reading “CATALYST: THE WELL OF SOULS”

THE WAND OF ORCUS

Orcus_TH

Long ago, he trapped the spirit of a mighty hero named Anarchocles within a Circlet of Control, and safeguarded the item to keep it from being used against him. When Anarchocles died, Orcus removed the skull from his destroyed corpse, and placed it on the end of a long iron scepter, infusing it with some of Orcus’s own essence, thus creating the Wand of Orcus.

The Wand  is a ghastly weapon also known as “The Wand of Death.”  It’s appearance often changes seemingly upon the whim of the owner. Usually the Wand is described as as “a 3-foot long iron scepter with a human skull set into one end.”  However, those of have read from the Book of Vile Darkness claim that the Wand is “black obsidian and iron topped with the skull of a recently slain human hero.” It has also been used by mortal clerics chosen by Orcus as “a large, wicked mace with an enormous skull.” In any case, all descriptions agree that it is black and bears a human skull. While being wielded, the Wand communicates silently with its wielder, in Abyssal, using brutal and gory imagery to highlight its blood-soaked ends and drive the possessor to insane levels of grim bloodthirsty rage.

 

The_Wand_of_OrcusThe Wand is known to cause death or annihilation to any mortal being by touching it to their flesh. A mortal who picked up the Wand will be disintegrated  unless it is the will of Orcus himself that the mortal wield the Wand. Sages who have read the ancient text known as “Eldritch Wizardry” claim that any mortal being other than Orcus himself who wields the Wand is cursed and inevitably becomes corrupted by the artifact. Some followers of Evil have chosen to use the Wand with the idea that it would transform them into a powerful demon, however the outcome is usually that they are slowly morphed into a lowly Dretch demon, becoming one of the foot soldiers of the Blood War.

The Book of Vile Darkness also notes that Orcus himself is “best known in some circles for his Wand, an artifact of malefic might”, and notes that the Wand is more accurately described as a rod, and it also serves as his symbol. Orcus relies heavily on his wand in combat, and prefers to kill foes in mêlée with it.

The rare arcane text called The Encyclopedia Magica  reports that an attempt by a being other than Orcus to use the Wand to annihilate another creature only has a 50% chance of being successful, and the user will be subjected to a curse each time this is tried. This is a curious effect, and it is unknown why the Wand acts in such a way. However, theories show that since it is an artifact of the Abyss perhaps the Chaotic powers that spawned it simply act in a haphazard and unsuspecting way outside of the grip if its true master.

In addition to the damage it dispenses, the Encyclopedia Magica states that the Wand also bestowed the magical abilities to move at double speed, cure wounds, speak with animals, or cause a serious wound.

The necromancer named “Nicodemos the Wise” spent most of this life studying the Wand. His manuscripts state that the Wand “transforms those it slays into undead horrors” It is not known if this means zombies or some other creature of the Undead.However, it is assumed that victims of the Wand transform into some sort of undead being that will serve Orcus within the Abyss. The souls of the victims of the Wand do not go to the Fugue Plane for judgment. They are simply added to the masses of the damned within the Abyss.

relicskullAt times it is said that Orcus will allow his Wand to pass into the Prime Material Plane in order to wreak evil upon all living things there. The Book of Vile Darkness similarly notes that Orcus sometimes lets the wand fall into the hands of mortals in order to allow them to wreak chaos, but adds that he grows bored after only a year or so and reclaims his wand and usually the soul of the mortal who wielded it.

The Circlet of Control is a little known artifact that still exists and it rumored to be hidden deep within the Underdark. Now called “The Headband of Anarchocles” the circlet allows the wearer to see though the eyes of the Wand’s skull. Sages claim that the soul of the hero remains within the circlet. Anarchocles is aware of what happens outside the circlet, and if he senses that the Wand is near, he will force the wearer to touch the circlet to the skull, thus destroying both items and granting Anarchocles eternal rest. If this happens, the theory is that the Wand and Circlet will be cast into the Plane of Pandemonium.

It is also known that there is another way to destroy the Wand but it requires the death of a deity. If the Wand is soaked in the blood of a recently slain god it will banish it, but only for a time. Tales are told of the trcikery of the Dragon God named Bahamut who tricked a band of heroes into trying to slay his sister Tiamat, claiming that the Wand could only be eradicated if it was “steeped in the black and foul blood from the heart of Tiamat, the Queen of Darkness”, although Bahamut did not reveal that the blood of any god would suffice. If banished in this fashion, the Wand will be removed from the current plane of existence for centuries and be banished into the Astral Plane, but will eventually return to existence within the Abyss.

 

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