Once upon a time, the gods created a fabulous floating castle, built of gleaming marble and darkest obsidian. Here they housed their most powerful relics and artifacts hidden from the mortal world. To guard this precious warehouse, the gods chose a champion named Pesheour (PESH-ur) to protect the castle endlessly. He willing swore a pact with the gods: Neither he nor his descendants would ever remove the artifacts from the castle or reveal the nature of the secrets held within its walls to any other being or beast, lest a terrible curse befall his line forever.
The Pesheour family swore an oath to all the gods, but their patron was Tyr. As such, the paladins who came to protect the castle to uphold the law and punish lawbreakers. This made the betrayal of Garlond Pesheour even more severe. What few know is that had Garlond’s father chosen to hunt his son down and bring him to justice, the pact would have been restored. However, Garlond’s father (although mortally wounded) ordered the paladins not to punish his son, thus breaking the pact with the gods to protect the castle and its contents. From that day forward, the castle was renamed Castle Adikos, and became the domain of the gods of Death. The paladins were transformed into undead creatures, oathbreakers now bound forever to protect the castle from the living.
Among the items stored within the castle were the offerings made by the paladins to their patron god Tyr. Members of the church acted as lawyers and judges in law courts throughout the civilized lands – charging fees that they donated to the church. They lectured others on their lax observances of the law and reported those they found wanting to lawmakers, regardless of potential reprisals. Priests kept Books of Lawgiving to make detailed notes on such individuals and submitted reports on those whose punishments were commuted through genuine ignorance, just to make sure that they did not try to claim ignorance in the future. Though they tended toward mercy for many minor offenses, members would seek reprisal against serious criminals or repeat offenders. When offenders were hunted down and brought to justice, the paladins would return with treasure and magical devices to be added to the cache.
The cache found by our heroes during their search of the castle was such a collection, intended to be used to fight the wicked. Offered to Tyr as a sacrifice, the items have remained in the cache for centuries. The cache contains the following, split among chests, urns, coffers, crates, and loose mounds of coins.
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” byin 2001.
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.
“Sleight of Hand” is one of the 18 skills in 5th edition D&D. It is a Dexterity skill. This is because “Sleight of Hand” also known as Prestidigitation or Legerdemain, is the set of techniques used to manipulate objects secretly. The employment of purely manual dexterity without mechanical apparatus may be distinguished as “Sleight of Hand.”
There are eight principles to the study of “Sleight of Hand.” These include:
In this case, we are focusing on #4 which relates to stealing objects. Occasionally, Playing Characters (PCs) decide that their character wants to steal something from another character. This may be something simple like the situation in a recent episode of Constantine. John Constantine enters a police crime scene and bumps into a police officer. He apologizes, and keeps walking smiling that he’s just stolen the oficer’s identification credentials. That’s a simple action to resolve.
But what happens if the PC is just trying to steal whatever happens to be in someone’s pockets? They cut a purse, lift a pocket, or simply loot a body. Then the Dungeon Master has to come up with something on the fly. That’s what the following charts provide to Dungeon Masters who choose to use them. Enjoy.
When using the Valuable Items table, the Dungeon Master is encouraged to set the worth or value of each item based on the economy of their own campaign setting. However, if all else fails determine the value of the item by rolling 1d6 and multiplying by 100. Meaning if you roll a 6, then the item would be valued at 600 gold.
This chart is designed to provide items that may lead to further adventures and may serve as a hook. At the Dungeon Master’s discretion, these items may lead to another adventure for the characters.
|01–15||A small pouch foreign coins.|
|16–35||A gemstone, cut and polished|
|46–60||A key marked with odd runes|
|61–75||A small ring engraved with ancient glyphs.|
|76–90||A scroll case containing a treasure map.|
A small book containing several names and locations.
These are common items that just about any non-playing character might have in their pockets at any given time of the day or night. The items are not really anything wonderful or valuable, but the chart intends to have the items appear odd or different just for novelty.
|01–03||A small dagger peace-bound in a sheath|
|04–05||A single iron key with a half-moon symbol on the shaft.|
|06–10||A comb made from chicken bone|
|11–15||A holy symbol from a local temple|
|16–20||A laundry ticket for a local merchant|
|21–25||1d4 pieces of chalk shaped to look like animals|
|26–34||A small flute in the shape of a hummingbird|
|35–37||A deck of playing cards spattered with blood|
|38–45||A single bar of soap wrapped in cheesecloth|
|46–55||A glass vial marked “Perfume”|
|56–60||A healing kit wrapped in a bloody cloth|
|61–64||A small knife with a dull edge|
|65–72||A small soft cap rolled in a ball|
|73–80||A pair of spectacles|
|81–85||1d4 darts with wax capped points|
|86–90||A flask with with Elven Wine|
|91–95||A tobacco pipe and bag of Halfling Sweet Leaf|
|96||A vial of ink|
|97–99||A set of lock picking tools|
|100||A small wooden toy|
This chart is intended to award the pick pocket with something a little more interesting and useful. The items here are basically either items that would be considered treasure or minor magical items. Prices (worth) are provided for ease but the Dungeon Master can change this according to the economy of his or her own campaign.
|01–04||A silver Ring of Protection +1|
|05–09||A bloodstone carved into the likeness of a demon face worth 50 gold|
|10–13||A pearl worth 100 gold|
|14–17||A polished jade pendant worth 100 gold|
|18–21||A small black freshwater pearl worth 500 gold|
|22–25||A potion of acid resistance. Prevents the first 10 points of acid damage.|
|26–29||A transparent moonstone gem worth 70 gold|
|30–32||A small container of healing salve. 2d6 uses. Heals 1d8 per use.|
|33–34||Vial of Magic Oil. 1d4 uses. Gives a weapon a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls.|
|35||A glass vial containing Sanctuary potion. (1 use as spell)|
|36–39||A finely wrought small gold bracelet worth 50 gold|
|40||A black velvet mask with numerous citrines worth 105 gold|
|41–45||A red tiger’s eye gem worth 170 gold|
|46–49||A brass mug with jade inlays worth 300 gold|
|50–51||An Elven Silver comb with moonstone worth 150 gold|
|52–54||A small gold statuette encrusted with gemstones worth 155 gold|
|55–57||An Eyepatch with mock eye of sapphire and moonstone worth 140 gold|
|58–60||A moss agate worth 10 gold|
|61–64||A comb shaped like a dragon with red garnet eyes worth 180 gold|
|65||A magnifying glass worth 50 gold|
|66–70||A ring carved of ivory worth 20 gold|
|71–75||A small hourglass worth 25 gold|
|76–80||A silver holy symbol worth 25 gold|
|81–85||A legal deed for a ruined tower on the outside of town|
|86–90||A small chunk of Darkwood worth 100 gold|
|91–95||A fist sized Emerald worth 1000 gold|
|96||A vial of Daylight Oil. 1d6 uses. A drop sheds light as bright as full daylight in a 60-foot radius.|
|97||A small pouch filled with exotic spices worth 40 gold|
|98||A pair of loaded dice made of bone worth 5 gold|
|99||A silver vial containing ambergris worth 15 gold|
|100||A jeweled electrum ring worth 5000 gold|