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February 14, 2015, 5:14 pm

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Cheka Man

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Lucky Pennies


Find a penny, pick it up.
And all the day you’ll have good luck.


An ordinary low domination copper coin, always of an old design that is no longer legal tender or recognised currency.


The origins of the Lucky Penny enchantment are lost in the mists of time. Nobody now knows how it was first discovered, but the fact remains that it is known to every magic using culture in the known world.

While the basic ritual is not significantly different from many other petty enchantments there are significant limitations that cannot easily be explained, despite the efforts of countless magical researches to do so.

The issue has become, over the centuries, a kind of universal magical puzzle that almost all magicians attempt to solve sooner or later, and in some areas it has become a de-facto "rite of passage" for young mages (you simply can't call yourself a wizard until you've had a crack at explaining the idiosyncratic nature of the Lucky Penny enchantment).

Magical Properties

A lucky penny has the ability to make the owner just that little bit luckier than he/she would normally be. Exactly how this operates is largely dependant on how your preferred game and magic system works (I suggest a small bonus to all rolls where luck might reasonable be considered a factor).

There are however several limitations to this.

Firstly a lucky penny works only for a person who has genuinely found the coin by pure luck (a person who was actively looking for one or knew in advance that it was there receives no benefits whatsoever).

Secondly the effect lasts only until the end of the day in which the coin was found. The exact definition of this is, of course, somewhat vague and should be left as such. The thing with luck is that you are never quite sure when it will leave you. {Note to GM: A good rule of thumb is to cancel this the next time the character goes to bed, but DO NOT under any circumstances reveal this to your players.}

Note that if your players attempt to manipulate this they should get nowhere, even if you have fudge things a little to achieve this. (Always remember, if they left a penny somewhere for another party member to "find" the following morning, they already knew it was there.)

The Luck Penny Enchantment

On first examination the basic enchantment appears to be virtually identical to the most standard petty rituals. However there are a number of somewhat idiosyncratic, not to mention inexplicable, restrictions, despite the fact that there is no limiting wording within the text of the spell.

Firstly the enchantment only seems to work on low denomination coins that are still legal tender somewhere in the known world. Why this should be so is not clear since the basic spell has no such limitations on it at all.

Also the enchanted coin can be used by neither the wizard who enchanted it nor anybody who knows he did so, although any person who is unaware of the fact can benefit. This is generally thought to be a consequence of the limitations on its use (see above).

Where do they come from?

The obvious question is who would make an item what they can neither benefit from nor sell on for a profit (any buyer would not have found the coin by chance and therefore could not benefit from it)?

Some say that the pennies are blessed by the fairy folk where others, of a more religious ilk, claim they are gifts from the goddess of luck.

The truth is far less esoteric. They are created by wizards, often almost by accident, while attempting (invariably unsuccessfully) to investigate the anomalous nature of the lucky penny enchantment.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
November 9, 2007, 9:19
I like pieces like this, it's not just an item. But you also put time into explaining how this might be used when gaming. The execution is important to me. I like your luck consept.
Voted Cheka Man
November 9, 2007, 10:36
Useful little things.
Voted Stephie
November 9, 2007, 14:55
Good details on this.
Voted manfred
November 9, 2007, 17:10
This is what magic should be about: a force, that even if it was studied for all eternity cannot be completely explained. I like this whimsical item.
Voted Murometz
November 9, 2007, 21:03
well said, manfred. I like these. Quirky and useful.
Voted valadaar
May 10, 2013, 14:28
This is quite a cool little sub, ready to drop in just about anywhere.

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