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Looking for Ideas about a specific Magic Item


Lloyd Dupont

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I have some sort of "powerful magical item" that's going to be found by the players soon.

Although, while powerful it's not that useful. I have a list of powers ideas for it.. and I am wondering whether the last power is a good idea and how it could improve the campaign... hence asking for feedback...

- 1st it let user broadcast dream to all in a large radius
- 2nd it can communicate telepathically with one known target anywhere
- 3rd, perhaps it can scry, as if bird view, in a large radius

and finally, the last power I am wondering whether it is a good idea or not, or how to make it a good idea... otherwise I might just skip this power

it can let the user project his mind in some particular domain in the astral sea (one related to the previous owner's deity) and perhaps the user can visit the place in dream form.. or perhaps creature from the domain can materialise around the magic item (to steal it back, for example).

Now I wonder if this power is really going to be interesting in play... If monster can materialise from it, most likely it will be an overwhelming force, not very rewarding gameplay to crush the players without warning and apparent reason. And why would the players visit the realm? It's probably be quite hostile to non believer...

I wonder what other GM take would be on such ability / concept? as a way to spice up their campaign?...

And nope, players have no advance warning & knowledge or clues about the item....
Although.. I have an opportunity to retrofit it, if they take go some future path I have in mind... A path that is very poorly lit, they can super easily skip it...

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The powers remind me a bit of the three-eyed raven in Game of Thrones. 

 

If you feel like making an homage to the books/series you could make it a gem that you place on your forehead (like a third eye) to use its powers, which then turns your real eyes white.

 

Instead of a birds-eye view, maybe you can see/hear whatever a target visible creature can see as long as you concentrate. That could be quite useful for adventurers.

You could also "reverse" this power and project what YOU see/hear to someone who's dreaming (or even awake). Used strategically, another adventurer could effectively speak to the target by speaking to the item-user.

As for your other power, maybe everytime you use the "eye" there is a chance you actually see into the Gods plain through the eyes of some minor raven-type god. This would let you explore the Gods plain and perhaps discover powers/items you can bring back to the mortal world, etc.

 

Just an idea 😁

 

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Sounds like a Palantir from Lord of the Rings. Some questions:

  • Are there limits to how far it can broadcast dreams and to how many people it can broadcast too at once? Or does it blanket everyone in the area?
  • When you say that it can communicate with one known target, is that one specific person, period, or any one person that the wielder knows, but one at a time?
  • When scrying how does it shift it's point of view, and can it go indoors and through rooms? Can it be used to just look for an item or person without knowing where they are? Is the scrying just visual or can the PC eavesdrop as well?
  • Also, what are the requirements, die rolls,  and costs for the character to use the item? 

 

What I would be worried about is the players sitting around doing nothing while one player does lots of recon via the orb before they  head out on any given adventure. For instance getting detailed maps of the enemy potion, a head count of their numbers, who and where the commanders, and prisoners are. I think a lot of groups with such an item would spend hours getting all sorts of minor and irrelevant details before attacking, because they could.  Likewise they might use it to coordinate attacks from multiple locations, because they could. That is where the magic point costs come in. It's keeps the PCs from spending all day using the orb, or falling back to it as a crutch whenever something doesn't go according to plan. 

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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On 10/29/2019 at 4:41 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

I have some sort of "powerful magical item" that's going to be found by the players soon.

Although, while powerful it's not that useful. I have a list of powers ideas for it.. and I am wondering whether the last power is a good idea and how it could improve the campaign... hence asking for feedback...

- 1st it let user broadcast dream to all in a large radius
- 2nd it can communicate telepathically with one known target anywhere
- 3rd, perhaps it can scry, as if bird view, in a large radius

and finally, the last power I am wondering whether it is a good idea or not, or how to make it a good idea... otherwise I might just skip this power

it can let the user project his mind in some particular domain in the astral sea (one related to the previous owner's deity) and perhaps the user can visit the place in dream form.. or perhaps creature from the domain can materialise around the magic item (to steal it back, for example).

Now I wonder if this power is really going to be interesting in play... If monster can materialise from it, most likely it will be an overwhelming force, not very rewarding gameplay to crush the players without warning and apparent reason. And why would the players visit the realm? It's probably be quite hostile to non believer...

I wonder what other GM take would be on such ability / concept? as a way to spice up their campaign?...

And nope, players have no advance warning & knowledge or clues about the item....
Although.. I have an opportunity to retrofit it, if they take go some future path I have in mind... A path that is very poorly lit, they can super easily skip it...

I'm seeing a big ol' hunk of "Dream Magic" theme here.

In Glorantha, AFAIK, that speaks to an East Isles origin...?  So you might want to look into any ideas that gives you.

Obsidian, of course, speaks to volcanoes.  Also IIRC to dragonewts... which ALSO have tie-ins to dreams.

Dreams are notable for their oracular / scrying nature, seeing what has not yet happened, what is very distant, what happened long ago; equally, dreams are notable for being un-clear and obscure.  So you can use this to drop hints, to foreshadow, to guide lightly; but preclude making it a military-grade (adventurer grade) recon/intel omnitool.  And if it has Draconic influences, it could readily be even LESS comprehensible...

 

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Sounds like a Palantir from Lord of the Rings. Some questions:

  • Are there limits to how far it can broadcast dreams and to how many people it can broadcast too at once? Or does it blanket everyone in the area?
  • When you say that it can communicate with one known target, is that one specific person, period, or any one person that the wielder knows, but one at a time?
  • When scrying how does it shift it's point of view, and can it go indoors and through rooms? Can it be used to just look for an item or person without knowing where they are? Is the scrying just visual or can the PC eavesdrop as well?
  • Also, what are the requirements, die rolls,  and costs for the character to use the item? 

 

What I would be worried about is the players sitting around doing nothing while one player does lots of recon via the orb before they  head out on any given adventure. For instance getting detailed maps of the enemy potion, a head count of their numbers, who and where the commanders, and prisoners are. I think a lot of groups with such an item would spend hours getting all sorts of minor and irrelevant details before attacking, because they could.  Likewise they might use it to coordinate attacks from multiple locations, because they could. That is where the magic point costs come in. It's keeps the PCs from spending all day using the orb, or falling back to it as a crutch whenever something doesn't go according to plan. 

Thanks for pitching in! :D

  • The dreams would be a few kilometer radius.. not set in stone now.. maybe 5km.. it's indiscriminate though... to everyone.
  • You can target one person at a time.. it's simple telepathy. you have to touch the item and focus on the person you know, the real power is the very very long range. probably the whole planet (but no more)
  • scrying is like a bird, you can't see inside building. range would be limited like the dream, maybe 5km too. it's not big a deal, clairvoyance already does it
  • I am playing with Revolution D100, simple spell casting out of combat is not too concerned with costs in RD100.... so is the orb

The orb is related to Loth (a Dark Elf goddess of dream in my settings) and it's a tool for Dark Elf priest to control their population.
And while all these power look, ultimately it's not that.. powerful...
So I wanted to spice it up with some sort of weird power that would feel suitably strange and powerful but not adventure breaking.... I was wondering if I could somehow make it a doorway to a specific realm in the astral plane somehow... (to help the priest in their summoning or something) But I fear it might be too dangerous with little benefit...

 

To give you theme appropriate clue on the idea I was edging for, here is a summary of my cosmology...

  • there are (only) 2 infinite plane of existence. primal and astral 
  • astral sea is more or less what you imagine. Also, just like the prime plane has planets, astral has realms which could be as big as (and similar to) discworld or as small as a small room. with their own self contained environment.
  • Creature appear in those realm through spontaneous generation, literally, some sort of creative magic process that do not follow evolution but.. imagination?. Hence all sort of weird creatures can be found in those place. But often a given place has many of the same kind of creature, just like our world.
  • Summoning take creatures from those astral realms and bring them to our prime one
  • Gods live there too
  • Some realm contains a brazier of creation, a pure fire of primordial energy that continually infuse the cosmos with creation (and is also deadly up close, usually, but it has also some other tricks....).
  • Lolth, goddess of Dark Elf, in my story is a goddess of dream (the orb is in one of her temple). which mean she has powerful dream magic
  • One can travel to the astral sea and realms either in spirit or in flesh. I am inspired here both by D&D cosmology but also by Cthulhu very own Dream world.
  • one can travel from one planet to the other in the prime plane by crossing the astral plane (in the flesh) as a shortcut, which happened to the players (they were abducted), are now far from home

 

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2 hours ago, g33k said:

I'm seeing a big ol' hunk of "Dream Magic" theme here.

In Glorantha, AFAIK, that speaks to an East Isles origin...?  So you might want to look into any ideas that gives you.

Obsidian, of course, speaks to volcanoes.  Also IIRC to dragonewts... which ALSO have tie-ins to dreams.

Dreams are notable for their oracular / scrying nature, seeing what has not yet happened, what is very distant, what happened long ago; equally, dreams are notable for being un-clear and obscure.  So you can use this to drop hints, to foreshadow, to guide lightly; but preclude making it a military-grade (adventurer grade) recon/intel omnitool.  And if it has Draconic influences, it could readily be even LESS comprehensible...

 

Yes I have Dragonewt and Dark Elf in that place... :)

Though Dragonewt.. mmm... have been enslaved by the Dark Elf....

Well it was just an inspiration....

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1 minute ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Thanks for pitching in! :D

Why not, it's fun!

1 minute ago, Lloyd Dupont said:
  • The dreams would be a few kilometer radius.. not set in stone now.. maybe 5km.. it's indiscriminate though... to everyone.

Okay, so that puts the characters on enverybody's radar. Depending on what the dreams are about that could be a problem. Also, do the dreams only affect those who are asleep or do waking characters see them as well?

1 minute ago, Lloyd Dupont said:
  • You can target one person at a time.. it's simple telepathy. you have to touch the item and focus on the person you know, the real power is the very very long range. probably the whole planet (but no more)

Does the target have any say or control over this? Could a PC use the item to establish contact with an enemy and pick their brains? For instance:

"Hello Jerk. I just wanted to tell you that you haven't got a chance of beating me, and whatever you do don't think of your secret plan while we are in telepathic communications."

 

 

1 minute ago, Lloyd Dupont said:
  • scrying is like a bird, you can't see inside building. range would be limited like the dream, maybe 5km too. it's not big a deal, clairvoyance already does it

Okay, so it is limited. I'd probably suggest that since this is dream realted, maybe some sort of roll would be needed to control where the scrying goes. Like how you can't always control what happens in a dream. In fact, with all this being dream ralted, I suggest that the user must go into some sort of trace-like state to use the orb. So maybe they see through the orb, but not what is going on around them?

1 minute ago, Lloyd Dupont said:
  • I am playing with Revolution D100, simple spell casting out of combat is not too concerned with costs in RD100.... so is the orb

My concern is that the players could end up relying on this for everything and avoid any actual adventuring. You might need some sort of limits or risks involved with the orb to keep the players from using it to solve all of thier problems. 

1 minute ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

The orb is related to Loth (a Dark Elf goddess of dream in my settings) and it's a tool for Dark Elf priest to control their population.
And while all these power look, ultimately it's not that.. powerful...
So I wanted to spice it up with some sort of weird power that would feel suitably strange and powerful but not adventure breaking.... I was wondering if I could somehow make it a doorway to a specific realm in the astral plane somehow... (to help the priest in their summoning or something) But I fear it might be too dangerous with little benefit...

You could. Since it is about dreams, I'd suggest the astral realm could bet some sort of dreamrealm, or the Dreamrealm is a part of the Astral realm. The danger could be the potential of getting stuck there, or in someone's imagination getting out of control and conjuring up something they can't handle. For instance if the dream goes through a graveyard, the PC might have to make an Idea roll or some thing to avoid thinking up vampires or zombies that could plague them in the dream.

 

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I would give the User a skill to be able to use it. The user could then unlock the abilities of the object as their skill grew higher.

Dreams are fine. You can use it for good or ill. Telling people about someone's heroism is probably good. Causing nightmares could be good or bad, depending on why they have nightmares. It might allow you to jump into someone's dream, which would be interesting.

Telepathy is fine, it just allows you to communicate over long distances. If the target has been captured, it makes some scenarios ridiculously easy. "'The princess of the Flame Kingdom has been captured and the King needs you to find her'. 'OK', uses the item, 'Flame Princess, where are you?', pauses, 'She's in the Golden forest'". It might be worth restricting it to people the user has met, or the item has contacted previously. The OP mentions one named target, which is fine until that target dies. Can another target be added?

Scrying can be fine, depending on how you use it. We banned the Vision spell in our RQ2 multi-GM campaign for years, then I allowed it. Gleefully, the PCs sacrificed for it and spent an hour scoping out the complex they were exploring, "Wow, this is boring" said one of the Players and they never used it again. If you use to to check out all the rooms in a complex, it can be boring and can take the fun out of adventuring. We always had a visual component for scrying, perhaps a reflection of the scryer in a mirror, or an eye that moves around, or they see through the eyes of paintings that seem to come alive and so on.

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They are quire a lot, but it really comes down to how you run it and how your players use it. I've run the same adventures with two different groups with the same items and got vastly different results, because one group used their items more effectively than the other one. So it really comes down to knowing your players and how they will handle the item.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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alright.. one player was sick this weekend and we postpone yet once more! 😮 

but it;'s good, I woke up this morning with a good idea about this item:

  • when one focus into it a bird view of 5km around can be seen inside (like on of those glassball toy)
  • one can zoom in or out.. but no go inside building, nor pierce illusions or disguise
  • one can either send dream to the whole area
  • or one can focus on an individual and communicate telepathically or send dream if asleep
  • on can focus on an individual and keep telepathic communication even if one goes indoor our out of range, but last until communication is broken

all of that is nice and reasonable.... and reasonably impressive...

and I got an idea for an astral plane connection (that will be useful later)

  • one can send his/her spirit to the astral plane from here and can fly around
  • but it's not anchored... I will have to make a map of astral thing "around".. first attempt will pear at a black infinity.... 
  • from the astral plan it can pear at the real world... would prove useful later on, not so much for spying since it will be imprecise that way, but to find the way back home... since they will have to use the astral plane as a gateway back to their home planet
Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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