I like it. The submission could stand a rewrite, but the ideas are grand. This book works both as a customised work--storytelling raised to the level of magic, without true magic being used. It also works well as a magic item that adjusts to its new owner, sort of a mystic version of A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer from Stephenson's The Diamond Age.
Whether truly sentient or not, this is nasty and fun--for the GM, at least. I would use this subtly. That is, the imagery would be all in the reader's imagination, rather than an overt visual phantasm. Go to Comment
Deck of Many Things: When a card is drawn, it creates one of several items, or evokes a change in the environment.
Deck of cards--conjuration (with a 1% chance that this is also a magical deck--this card is how these things reproduce) Go to Comment
(I have actually introduced this one into the game.)
Amulet of Cleavage: This medallion consists of a silver oval highly polished to a mirror finish. Engraved into the center is an arrow, pointing upward. When noticed, the Amulet of Cleavage reflects the viewer's eyes back at him (and also possibly the sun). Accompanied by the arrow, this is a not-so-subtle reminder that the wearer's eyes are a bit further north. Some of these devices have an inscription beneath the arrow: "Hey! Look up here!" Go to Comment
Much of the effect of the BoI would be in game mechanics, and thus system-specific. Still, it is a neat idea. I like that it enhances a villain--but not excessively so--and is less than useless in the hands of a heroic pc. That's a nice one-two punch that you don't often see in magic items. It's certainly better than giving the bad guy lots of potions or other one-use consumables--using those can lead to angry players. Go to Comment
The most difficult part with the U/G economics is the initial backlash. Once it gets a foothold in society, the rest will tend to fall into place. As someone once said, you don't win converts to your way of thinking by winning them over, but by outliving your detractors. A new generation grows up in their place without the resistance to the idea, because they have always known it to be.
I don't think that starting with hookers is the best route. Prostitutes are not widely known for having lots of money to invest in things like this, or they wouldn't be in that occupation. I love the idea of Pimp Bone Daddy, though. I'll have the mental image of a skeleton--morphed into something like the Cursed from http://twelvedragons.keenspace.com/ and wearing a big purple hat & suit--stuck in my head all day. Necromancers gaining recognition and power socially--taking over the kingdom by force, being the big hero that all the kids look up to, obliterating all other forms of magic, or whatever--might be a better tactic.
Another route is to just get people used to necromancy in general through subtle little things. Here is one example from my own campaign. A pc necromancer sells shrunken heads. He makes a nice little profit doing so, which more than covers his own expenses while moving all over the place, as player-characters tend to do. Most of them are just little curios, with some painted bright colours to be more eye-catching while simultaneously less offensive to more delicate sensibilities. Some are enchanted to move or attack, but that's a different story altogether. As he is always on the go, none of the heads he sells in a given town uses corpses from that town, and thus no one is likely to recognise a loved one. All of this serves to make necromancy a little bit more acceptable all the time. Go to Comment
Not everything needs some immediate game mechanic, to help or to harm the pc's. This is an interesting setting, complete with lots of detail. As an added bonus, this are sweet details that the characters can take with them. I could easily spend an hour or two of gaming here, and play it out in real-time.
One player made something similar for Midian (http://lost-souls.co.nr/drupal/node/105), with a few having effects other than being tasty, but it is not this well fleshed-out. Go to Comment