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August 24, 2008, 11:54 pm

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Continual Stones


Continual Stones are great aides to general comfort.

Full Item Description
In the magic rich world of Tosa exists a series of minor magical items created by a number of utility cantrips specially developed by the wizards at the Paradoxian Crafter Hall.  These are the Continual Stones.  They are marble-sized stones are enchanted with the cantrip to heat, chill, froth, freshen, freeze and boil. 

While adventurers endure hardships with easy and suffer under terrible conditions to complete their designated tasks they also like their comforts.  After a month on the road an adventurer wants his beer chilled to perfection.

Magic/Cursed Properties
The Continual Cantrips have become among the first magical spells Tosian mages learn.  Armed with these very minor spells they create Continual Stones that they can sell for a few coppers.  Retail prices are usually 5 coppers.  These items are so ubiquitous that even rough peasants have a few.  The spell will generally affect about 1 square foot of material.
Heat stones create a 1 square foot area of heat at 150 degrees.  In a container of liquid it will raise the temperate to 180 degrees, 32 degrees below boiling.  
Chill cools liquid to 40 degrees.
Froth causes a churning to carbonated beverages.
Freshen stones cause food to remain fresh for 4 times longer than usual.  They are frequently kept in ice boxes, or with traveling food.
Freeze creates a 1 block of ice with the stone remaining accessible on an edge.
Boil raises a liquids temperature to 215 degrees.

These are only a few samples of the numerous varieties of Continual Stones. Others can be created to produce different effects including color change, flavor change,  and detect or neutralize poisons.

Continual Stones are mainly sold to the general public and not to adventurers.  Most adventurers have the ability to create these items easily. The drawback to these items is that they are very susceptible to disenchantment and dispelling.   Most adventurers run across this kind of magic so often that these items need frequent replacement.  However they are found in nearly all taverns and restaurants.

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Comments ( 6 )
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Voted Grey
August 25, 2008, 0:15
Seems like a handy item, though for them to be that common it would have to be a high-magic world indeed. It seems like the ones to detect or neutralize poison would be a massive hit among adventurers though, especially at five copper a pop. I'm starting to think that this Crafter Hall of yours is in need of it's own sub. A codex of these things, perhaps?
Voted Cheka Man
August 25, 2008, 9:51
Useful in a high magic world not only for their stated use but in some cases as torture devices.
Voted MoonHunter
August 25, 2008, 12:37
Domestic Magic. Always fun.

You should add
*Mend (mends worn fabric)
*Binds (Effectively acts as a glue for two pieces)
And so on....

(If you could put a space between each stone so they don't run together, that would be nice.) A header star or mark might be nice as well.

How long do these things stay "charged"? At a trivial price, if they lasted forever, eventually there would be little to no need for them.. as they would be passed on to others as people die off.

You need to show how stones are activated or deactivated. Otherwise the heat stone would be a utter pain to move.

And I linked this to everything appropriate that I could remember
Voted valadaar
August 25, 2008, 20:14
I second Moon's comment - one of my personal beefs is magic seems to be something for nothing, especially since these are dirt cheap.

Charcoal makers would go out of business real quick if these items were this cheap. Continual light I can see, but useful heat, etc, is too easily abused. Combined with the Boil function, enterprising characters can make everlasting steam engines.

Having them only last for about the same time 5cp fuel would last would go a long way to balancing these items.

Why would salesperson care a fig about selling these to adventurers or common people?
August 26, 2008, 2:36
Thanks for the comments! They are bringing back fond memories.

To start off I will comment on Tosa. It was a very high magic world where the common man might own a few magical items. Specifically +1 and +2 Arrows and daggers. This was due to the incursion of some very well-equipped armies that were destroyed by armies led by PCs.
One such army, of goblins in fact, wielded wicked little hatchets that looked very much like a butchers meat cleaver. Honed and magical to +3, millions of the cleaver wielding beasts came running out of a very deep hole and took 30 years to eradicate. Their cleavers became prized and recognizable butchers tools in a dozen worlds.

Detect Poison or Neutralize poison stones were considerably more difficult to create and were far more expensive. There was a whole scale of Continual Spells. By no means were the harder to create stones sold cheep. What the market can bear.

As for using these as torture devices, well, good items can always be abused. The useful dentists drill is a common tool for helping keep teeth healthy. But in the wrong hands they can be exceptional torture devices. (Anyone see Marathon Man lately? Not me) This is not a matter of the item being bad but the wielder of it having his own issues. However, Con Stones were often used inappropriately. Adventurers being the pranksters they are, it was not uncommon to find people juggling heat stones, or tossing them on their sleeping friends.

As for the list of varieties I only listed a couple. There were clean stones and they effectively did the same as a polish stone might have. There was a mend stone higher up the scale as well as both a lubricate, called Slick Stones, and a Binder called, of course, a Glue Stick. There was also a Fire Stone, used to start fires. Camp fires, pipes and candles, burning unsuspecting sentries

The thing was, as a training spell, these items were rarely created by mages in the fullness of their power. Usually it was some mage at the lowest levels creating them, and creating a lot of them, in the course of his studies.

Good point on the activation sequences. I forgot to include that.
The items were generally activated or deactivated by being tapped five times. I had also forgotten that there were a vast variety of utensils that were used in conjunction with them but most were generally like tea dips. A scissoring item that one would grab a small amount of tea with, then leave it in the tea cup to steep. These Grippers were ubiquitous on Tosa. One merely picked the stone up in the maw of the device and then dip it into whatever substance was being affected. No bar or kitchen was ever without them. Another manner of use was to mount the stone on thin, usually silver, rods and dip them into the item. Both Dip Sticks and Grippers came in many forms as a matter of style and fashion influencing function.

Now as for charcoal makers, well, there is always a brisk trade in charcoal pencils...

As for these items being cheep and getting something for nothing, I point out that these were mainly byproducts of magical training. Consider a world with a dozen schools like Hogwarts and every first year is busily making heat stones and chill stones They would start to pile up. Many mages would dispel piles of them casually, just to make their students start over. Some would be brought to the merchants in box full, ready for use. I dont remember the retail prices offhand, but I do remember the whole sale being 2 coppers a piece for the simple ones with silver and gold paid for the higher level ones.

Alexandria and the great merchant city of New Wall were clearing houses for the magic from dozens of worlds. We were young and out of the 40 or so people that played in them only a few of us ever took economics classes and we just rolled our eyes and laughed. Besides, all things exist in the Shadows of Amber, including unbalanced financial systems. Come see the violence inherent in the system!! Help! HELP! Im being repressed!!

As for controls on the items and who buys them, there were a few.
It was generally accepted that with the more use the item got, the faster they went dead. Like batteries. Some batteries run forever, some go dead in an evening. This was modified by the power level of the items creator. In the end it was not something we as players or GMs kept close watch on. Players had these domestic toys and they replaced them as needed. If one got attached to a particular stone and utensil, then one did what one needed to maintain it when it flutters out.
Usually one went to their buddy the mage and in the classic voice intoned the ritual phrase, Broke, fix it (Star Trek reference)
The items were fragile in a very high-powered magical world. World wide dispel magics occurred a couple times every century, totally wiping out a variety of low level ongoing effects, including Con Stones. Battles between mages almost always included a Dispel function of some kind, and there went the nearby stones. Mages practicing Dispel magic frequently eliminated all their masters supply of Con stones. This usually meant the master decided the student needed to practice his Continual Spells.
These stones had natural opposites. Cold /Heat, Fire/Ice, Boil/Freeze. If an activated stone of the opposite type contacted an active stone of its opposite, both went dead.

As for Salespersons and their figs, common people bought these items. Adventurers went to their mage buddy and said, Dude, whip me up a Chill Stone, this beer is warm as bathwater. Or, more often then not, made them themselves.
Thanks for the comments, Folks! Sorry for rambling on.
August 26, 2008, 11:00
I think Tosa would be an excellent submission (really, a world) as it would help clarify the situation. We generally look at items here for their inclusion in our or other worlds, so issues of game balance and impact on our worlds always gets our attention.

Understanding their background helps - we can always adjust some of the parameters to prevent them from being world-changing.

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