That makes sense Moonhunter. Of course, if they were put in rings etc., they wouldn't necessarily be in gold or silver (unless you were the king): a simple crude ring of iron or bronze would be just as useful, as well as cheaper. Go to Comment
Incidentally, regarding gems being taken at the door like weapons, gems are a lot smaller than the average sword, so a wizard could almost certainly hide them about their body in various places. Maybe, whilst some places just leave it to honesty, a few top security places insist on full body searches (for everyone as you can't necessarily tell a wizard on looking). Go to Comment
Yes, I like the turning to dust thing too - it seems better than my original idea of them just vanishing. The magic detection at the door reminds me of metal detectors at airports!
Regarding physical touch - yes, I have them so they have to touch it (or at least be touching something that the gems are touching (e.g. you could have a ring on your finger with a gem in - your fingers would be touching the band, not the actual gem but this would still be OK). The blowing up a mine by being in the vicinity was just my speculative build on potential problems caused by lots of gems together - i.e. when surrounded by lots of uncut gems you could accidentally cause them to resonate wildly and blow up if you cast magic around - however, you wouldn't be able to use them controllably from a distance as this would require too much fine tuning and precise direction of the magic.
I just had a thought - if two mages were fighting, one could perhaps leap at the other and grapple him. If he got his hands on the other mages gems (if they were in a ring, etc.) he could potentially use them. Go to Comment
Regarding necromancers and blood stones, I actually have some sub-rules for them which I hadn't bothered posting up. Let me know if this is anything like what you were thinking of Moonhunter.
I have it that Bloodstones can't be formed by just killing people and draining the life-force - though I toyed with the idea, I found it impossible to balance - one evil mage in an isolated area could quickly produce gems in the hundreds. Instead, bloodstones are formed by the last drops of blood "crystallising" when any draconic creature (including dragons, wyverns, basilisks, firedrakes, anything else you have in your world) is killed in a way that involves bleeding. This makes them also a rare commodity; however, if you're willing to use these as well as normal gems, you still get a large advantage (as you have twice as big a pool to pick gems from). As you said, this gives evil magic users an advantage. Bloodstones are also, in general, more powerful: the mana range is from 5 to 40 instead of from 2 to 30. The bloodstone from a wyvern (a standard opponent for mid-level adventurers) is worth 20 mana, as much as a ruby, sapphire or emerald.
About the only disadvantage that evil mages face is a lack of dark spells in which to use bloodstones. After all, all spells must have, at some point, been researched and over history there have been far more wizards researching "good" spells than the numbers who have been researching evil necromancy.
There is, of course, a large black market in bloodstones. Given their use simply for mana, many wizards, even those not dabbling in necromancy, would find them useful. Similarly, adventurers who have just killed a wyvern are likely to see little wrong with selling on the bloodstone. The fact remains though that use of bloodstones is still blood magic and thus innately evil - it will tarnish the soul of any who use them and cause them to lose honour. (Another point - most of these draconic creatures are intelligent or semi-intelligent).
Yes, I have all magic items have a gem in them to set the spell, as you say. For ones which the spell then just shoots out, no mana needs to be spent (this lets them be used by non-mages). Though, if you had everyone having mana as you were suggesting then you of course could have the activation cost have mana.
I think the idea of a magic user having to make a few moments of study of a gem to use it makes sense. Naturally he wouild probably do this in private so he could then use it instantly when he wanted to, but wouldn't be able to instantly use a gem he picked up off a dead enemy. You could still have grapples for gems, if you make the time about 10s or so.
Gem grenades - very neat! I hadn't thought of that. Presumably you'd still need line of sight to the gem in order to send the final "activate now" command. Go to Comment
Yes, the faux gem idea is a great one. Your suggested cost of 10:1 sounds about right - expensive, especially if it has to be all in one go as Strolen said, but not quite prohibitively so. A suggested mechanism for it:
maybe, rather than just creating a gem "out of nothing", maybe the mana you spend is used to smooth out the molecular flaws in an "almost flawless" gem, turning it in to a flawless one suitable for magic. The 10:1 cost would mean that it was virtually impossible to create any but the least powerful gems using this method (so it's not going to be any good for making spell components), but for just creating some mana stores it would be quite good. Doing this means you would, of course, have to buy an actual "almost flawless" gem (but a jade or zircon unsuitable for magic will hardly break the bank). I could imagine students of a wizard having to create these in their spare time in exchange for lessons.
The attuning thing sounds good. I think your time scale seems a bit long Strolen - I would be tempted to make it minutes rather days, and a level 10 mage might be able to attune himself to less powerful gems in the matter of 10s or so. The basic idea of it taking longer to attune yourself to a gem if a powerful mage had it before sounds good though, as does the dependence on the length of time the mage had done before. I think it should be possible for more than one wizard to attune to the same gem (though this might take more time).
Back on the subject of how a mage carries his gems: a further advantage to putting them in something big such as a staff (despite the hassle of actually putting them there) rather than a ring or a bag is it makes it a lot harder for them to be stolen by pickpockets. On the other hand, it's rather hard to sneak a staff around, but if the gems are lose/in a ring you could easily conceal that. I guess most wizards would go for a mixture of both.
Those ideas of ways in which you could protect your gems are nice Manfred. To add another: as you can imbue spells in gems (which can then be cast instantaneously), you could always keep a couple of gems with spells imbued in them and then ward them in some way so that no-one could tell (they could tell they were magical, but then they would be - they're gems). If an enemy wizard tries to grapple you and use that one then just think the final command and, "Boom!" it goes off in his face. Obviously most of your gems won't have spells imbued in them (as you'll want to use them), but if most wizards began carrying a few warded ones around like this it would add a lot more risk to the gem-grabbing tactic: maybe it would only be used as a last resort.
I like the idea of a "curse" on some gems (though think it might be better on the gems rather than on the person) and agree it shouldn't be widely available. Weird magical accidents seem the best explanation for this, though perhaps some people (and certainly a god) would be able to duplicate the conditions. Perhaps the effect gradually fades with time, like radioactivity.
The ruby sceptre could be made less munchkinish by making it take time to recharge. To add a touch of chance, maybe the more you use it, the more unstable the gems get (though they settle in time), and the greater the chance it will blow up. Several large rubies going off at once in sympathy with a fire spell should be fairly devastating. It should have some amount of use without any danger, but shoot several high powered fire spells through it in an hour and even if you survive, it might take a week or more to settle. Say, one medium fireball equivalent (naturally channeled in to a super ray) per day recovery rate? Another disadvantage is that it should be quite hard to aim - I doubt people will be practiced at this sort of weapon. If you get good of course, it would have superb accurary, but it would take you quite a lot of practice (which of course takes quite a lot of time, due to the recovery rate) to get really good.
Shapes of gems making different effects - personally, I wouldn't use this in spells (as my spells are fairly fixed and un-freeform) but could be used to nice effect in magical objects (e.g. presumably the Ruby Sceptre would have nice pointy ones).
Incidentally, I definitely agree with Manfred about how it's great that all sorts of strategies and then counter-strategies keep coming up here. My players are going to find the magic scene fairly transformed in their next game! Go to Comment
This is a good idea. At first I just didn't get the whole exploding thing but then I red the p'nash berry posts (incidentally I have now cross-linked the three posts).
Still some questions though: how do you get chosen to be one of the exploding chanters? If they choose the best, this could end up accidentally wiping out the tribe they are trying to save. Go to Comment
That's a great point Ephe! I hadn't even considered non-human-sized races having systems of measurement. Remind me never to ask for directions from a troll. I guess flying races (dragons, gryphons, etc.) could have even more different measurements - they could just be a lot longer, or maybe they count the distance between a mountain-top as 1 unit, no matter how far that is (or something like that). Go to Comment
It makes sense that a shop like this could exist (both with and without the optional type). It would work well if the PCs could get used to going to the sausage man (e.g. PCs: "We get some lunch before going to meet the Duke who's hired us." GM: "You spot a nice sausage shop on the corner. You really enjoy the sausages."). Much later, when they're richer and more famous, maybe one will try a "special sausage" - and maybe will feel much guilt later. It could also be a potential avenue to track evil cultists by - if Finghaart could be persuaded to divulge the identity of his supplier.
I really like this idea: it has so much potential both in the normal and in the optional, dark version. Go to Comment
Excellent. This could transmute the perception of the god in to one of darkness - a vengeful god who sends demons to destroy his enemies. What would the god think of this I wonder? Also, what happens when the Black Robes gain enough power that the church is all but dependent on them? There are many possibilities with this. How widespread (within the church) is knowledge of the Black Robes? If it was discovered it could cause a major schism. Go to Comment
Moonhunter, to me, some of these weapons feel more like scroll items than proper submissions. What do you think of, e.g. putting some in scrolls instead of as individual items (e.g. all the Oriental ones in "Oriental Interesting Non-Magical Weapons)? I guess it depends on whether you want lots of 2.5-3.0 votes or a few 4.5 - 5.0 votes.
More seriously, it would also make them much easier to read together which would be useful if, for example, you were developing an Oriental (or Mediaeval or Classical) setting and wanted to really develop the weaponry for that setting and make it interesting. Go to Comment