Three Gladiator’s Magic Items

3 magic items for use in a generic fantasy setting (D20 Rules For when things get gladiatorial.

Use at your character’s own peril for most d20 Fantasy games.

Photo by Budgeron Bach on

Gladiator’s Sandals:
Once properly attuned, these sandals provide an extra 5′ move per turn when activated. This extra move may only be used 3 times per day (long rest.) Additionally, the wearer may call upon the goddess of speed and grace to grant an extra bonus action once per day (long rest. )

Gladius of Glerth:

This weapon functions as a +3 Shortsword of Sharpness, but there’s a catch. Each time the Sharpness effect is triggered, it ages the wielder by 1d3 years of their life. As far as anyone knows, Glerth lived a long and happy life and died of old age.

Gladiator’s Magnetic Buckler

This +1 Magic Buckler provides +2 AC when used in the off hand. Additionally, it may be used as a Light off-hand bludgeoning weapon that deals 1d4+1 damage.

This item is also mildly magnetic and will pick up a maximum of 5 lbs of metallic items it passes over. The items can be removed and discarded as a free action. This effect is always active and can’t be removed without destroying the item’s magical properties.

Thank you for stopping by today. We’re back to less controversial content for a while. I appreciate you so much for sticking with me.

OGL and CC-BY-4.0 Link.

Random Encounter: The Recovery.

“Beep beep-beep bee-be-beep bee-beebeep. Beep. Beep. Beep.”

An encounter for almost any D20 Fantasy TTRPG.

This encounter works ideally where technology/science fiction elements are available. It can be played as humorously or seriously as the GM desires. This is not intended to be a combat encounter, but it is possible OO-P5 has a combat mode for when it logically deems hostility is necessary.

1. The find.

The group is mid travel when they find a large, round, silk sheet with strings attached to it. There is a hole in the center of the sheet as well that would seemingly serve no logical purpose as a bed sheet. The ropes all seem to be attached to a metal framed backpack suitable for a medium creature. It’s almost as if the sheet fell from the sky.

Robot Pilot from “Hare Lift” Bugs Bunny 1952. From Warner Brothers Animation.
2. Further down off the trail.

A short while later, assuming the group is paying attention, they find a crater approximately 5′ in diameter. At the bottom of the crater is a dark gray, rectangular, metal box. There are no footprints around the crater and there’s no sign of local wildlife. It’s almost if the box was slammed into the ground by a greater force.

The box is very heavy. There are etchings on the box along with 00-P5 painted in black on one side. On the opposite side is a white button that seems to have survived the fall undamaged.

When the button is depressed, the box begins to shake a big. a port opens on top. A foot long metal rod with a small glass globe appears. “Bee=Beep Beep Beep.” is heard.

The globe lights up with each beep. The rod points the globe around at each party member as if looking them over before standing straight once more. “Bee-Beep Beep?” is heard.

Further investigation of the box.

If the group gives the strange “inhabitant of the box” no logical reason to fear them, its arms and legs will eventually protrude from its body and it will stand up. To the group it may seem like a strange golem or automaton. They will eventually be able to translate the robot’s beeping into a sort of rudimentary language. The party has gained a lifelong friend and ally or an oddity to be sold at the first opportunity.

While OO-P5 doesn’t seem terribly cold and lifeless, its logic processors can only handle so much. Emotions might be a bit too much. The real challenge of the initial encounter is to coax 00-P5 into trusting the group and coming all the way out of its box. Damage to its processing unit has left it unable to process its current whereabouts or origins.

Things the robot understands:

  • Self preservation. (Parachuting from a crashing spacecraft, for example.)
  • Preservation of close “friends.”
  • How to assist humanoids without violating the first two principles.
  • Threats to itself and friends.
  • When communication is important to it.
  • Basic machine learning. How to fire a crossbow. How to fix a cart. How to drive a cart. How to play simple games.
  • What its physical and mental limitations are.
  • How to use the rudimentary tools it is equipped with in order to repair itself.
  • Understands most languages, just can’t record or speak back due to mechanical limitations.
  • Small, furry, cute, cuddly, and innocent things are friends.

Things 00-P5 does not understand:

  • Animal behaviors.
  • Medicine.
  • Magic. (Completely freaks it out.)
  • Complex human emotions.
  • Humanoid interactions.
  • Why beings treat each other the way they do.
  • How to speak anything other than “Beep.”
  • How it got here.
  • Religion, philosophy, psychology, or sociology.

00-P5 does not have any sort of flight recorder or memory technology to explain where it came from. 00-P5’s quantum particle battery will last for approximately 99 more years unless someone tampers with it. The robot is not armed, but will seem to understand how to operate a crossbow or ballista instinctively. Its sensor dome only extends 120′ in all directions and much farther when plugged into a starship sensor system.

It will do whatever it deems logically necessary or whatever its close friends tell it to do as long as it or no one else will get hurt as a result. It’s about as intimidating as a pair of bunny slippers in combat, appearance aside. It will always try to assist wherever possible by lifting, carrying or repairing things. 00-P5 can be used as a sentry in a pinch, although mileage may very when it comes to some humanoids and small, furry, innocent animals.

00-P5: Init +0; Atk +3 Fist melee (1d6); AC 14; HD 7d6 (36) ; MV 25’; Act 1d20; SP immune to mind control, regular heat and cold temperatures, eating, drinking, sleeping and breathing; SV Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +0; Approximate Str: 12. Int: 10. Equipped gear: Flashlight (lightbulb protrudes from chest.) Basic auditory, Infrared, UV, and visual sensors. Starship piloting and gunnery programming suites. Basic tools (Claw hammer, screwdrivers, knife, scissors, pliers, wirecutter, electrical tape.) Starship/computer interface ports. It also understands how to pack and use a parachute.

Additional uses: 00-P5 could also be a refugee robot in any given post apocalyptic or science fiction campaign. It will most likely appear as a relic from a long-past era or civilization.

There is a much longer backstory I will share about this robot at a later date. Have fun with it if you decide to run the encounter. Thanks for stopping by.

The Ring of Weirdness

13. Wearer is healed for 3d6 hp. Causes the wearer to glow slightly for 1d6 hours. Feels warm and tingly all over. The ring automatically grants this to its new owner when found. It seems harmless enough…

Forget the One Ring. This is more like the 7.69 Ring.

For use with Dungeon Crawl Classics and other D20 Fantasy RPGs.

When found, this ring will use power number 13 when first activated. After that, roll 1d30 to determine the effect. The ring can only have ONE effect active at any given time.

  1. Wearer is transformed into a Troglodyte for 1d6 days IF the wearer is still transformed after 3 days, two more troglodytes appear and insist the character is related.
  2. The wearer’s arms are transformed into venomous snakes under their command. The snakes can’t grasp weapons or spell components. but do 1d6 + poison damage. They probably won’t attack the wearer. Luckily, the effect wears off after 1d10 hours.
  3. Wearer and all of their gear turns gelatinous for 1d12 hours. Immune to all non magic slashing and piercing weapons and half damage from blunt. Takes no damage from falls. Floats. Their gelatinous weapons do no damage. Can still cast spells, but with gelatinous results. Half normal movement. Tastes like lime. Wearer returns with full hit points and all gear at the end of the experience.
  4. Wearer appears to be struck by a bolt of lightning and then explodes messily. Illusionary chunks of the wearer and all of his gear deal 1d6 psychic damage to anyone within 10′, Ref Save DC 10 for none. Turns the wearer Invisible as per the spell for 2d10 rounds or until the invisibility is dispelled or revealed whichever comes first.
  5. Wearer and all gear is transformed into a Large Dire Ape for 2d10 rounds. Intelligence is reduced to 5, but the ape gains a +5 Str bonus. The character may not cast spells or use ranged weapons. The ape character will opt for simple, blunt weapons and thrown objects. May be prone to rage. Leaves the wearer craving bananas afterward.
  6. Wearer can only quack like a duck for 1d6 hours. The wearer may not cast any spells with a verbal component and communication will be entertaining. At the end of the effect, the wearer lays a gem encrusted gold egg worth approximately 300gp.
  7. Romantic violin music begins to surround the character and is audible wherever they go for 1d10 hours. The wearer gains a +3 Charisma Bonus while the music is playing. However, the wearer gains 1d6 loyal followers while the effect lasts.
  8. Wearer turns into a nigh invulnerable stone statue for 1d12 minutes. During this time the wearer may not move, speak, cast spells, use weapons or equipment. When returning to normal, the wearer has full health and any negative effect from spell, etc are removed. The wearer still retains sight and hearing
  9. Wearer sprouts 9 bright orange and white fox tails. The wearer gains a +3 Luck bonus to all attack and damage rolls, saving throws, and armor class for 1d10 hours. The tails move with the wearer’s emotions.
  10. Tentacles. The wearer sprouts 1d10 shadowy black tentacles with suction cups and becomes enshrouded with negative shadowy energy for 1d10 hours. The wearer gains a chaotic evil aura and is detectable as undead and demonic while the effect is active. The wearer also gains 2 actions of any type, fueled by the tentacles. The tentacles and shroud also grant a +2 Shadow bonus to Armor Class. The tentacles are partially composed of energy and may not be removed or cut off.
  11. Super Stretchy: The wearer’s limbs elongate and stretch up to 15′ in any given direction. Adds 30′ of movement per turn. The wearer is considered to have 15′ reach. The wearer may also extend his head up to scout around. Provides +3 AC bonus due to stretchiness. Lasts 1d20 minutes.
  12. The wearer gains the ability to throw firebolts at one per action at any target within 60′. Must make a standard ranged attack roll. Each bolt does 3d6 fire damage + possibly igniting combustibles. Effect continues for 1d8 turns.
  13. Wearer is healed for 3d6 hp. Causes the wearer to glow slightly for 1d6 hours. Feels warm and tingly all over.
  14. Wearer is turned into a Muppet. Triple any knockback distances. Takes half damage from normal weapons. Sounds funny. Lasts 1d6 days. Silliness abounds.
  15. Wearer and all gear is transformed into a pixie faerie. Size is reduced to small including Armor Class improvements.. Gains Flight 20′ movement. Reduces ground movement to 10′. Reduce weapon damage by one step. -4 Str and Con. +4 Dex and Cha. Lasts 1d20 hours. May attract other fae.
  16. Every pore of the wearer’s body begins to secrete molten candle wax until the character is transformed into a candle wax construct. Half damage from normal weapons. +2 AC. Lasts 2d6 hours.
  17. Wearer sprouts adorable fluffy cat ears and a long furry tail. +2 Dex Bonus and +4 Charisma Bonus. Gains +20′ Climbing. +2 Stealth (Hide/Sneak) bonus. Lasts 1d6 days. Incredibly cute. Causes tuna cravings. Causes other cats in the vicinity to follow the wearer while the effect lasts.
  18. <Poof!> Wearer displaces 5′ in a random direction AND teleports with all gear 10′ in a random direction whenever they make contact with anything solid. May still cast spells and used ranged attacks as normal. Melee or touch attacks trigger the effect, making them ineffective. If teleport would place the character in a wall or other object, the teleport trips again until the character ends in an empty space. Lasts 1d10 minutes.
  19. Wearer temporarily dispels all magic on their person and any magic object/item within 5′. Effect lasts 1d12 minutes and automatically effects everything within 5′ of the character. Moving out of the radius returns the magic to its owner, item, etc. All magic functions normally for the wearer once the effect ends.
  20. The wearer and all of their gear become intangible for 1d4 days. Immune to eating, sleeping, all damage except by ghost/ethereal-affecting weapons and gains 60′ Dark Vision. However, the wearer can be seen in the Ethereal (Spirit) Plane. Ethereal creatures may not interact with the character, but they may continue to follow or even speak to them. Characters in the material plane can still see and hear the wearer as a pale, dim, ghostly image speaking just above a whisper.
  21. Anything the wearer touches is covered in a thin layer of delicious strawberry jam. It’s sticky and tastes delicious. The jam may be used for anything one would normally use jam for. Effect lasts 1d4 days.
  22. Wearer and all gear becomes a water elemental for 1d10 hours. As an aside, other characters may drink from the wearer to ward off thirst. Wearer can also be boiled or frozen.
  23. Wearer may breathe a 50′ cone 15′ wide Frost breath for 1d6 rounds. Does 6d6 cold damage. Creatures caught within the cone may make a Fort (Con) Save DC12 for half damage.
  24. <Kaboom!> The ring emits a shockwave of concussive force knocking everything within 5’of the wearer back 10′. Additionally, every creature within 20′ including the wearer is magically stunned for 1d6 rounds. Fort (Con) DC 12 Save for half stun duration minimum 1 round.
  25. Topiary: The wearer and all gear is turned into a bushy plant statue. The wearer may still move, cast spells, speak and hear as normal. +2 AC bonus. Immune to normal bludgeoning and piercing damage. Vulnerable to fire damage. While in plant form, the wearer absorbs nutrients and water as a plant would. Lasts 1d4 days.
  26. Wearer polymorphs into a as-yet-unseen creature. Left leg becomes that of an owl. Right leg becomes as a turtle. Torso becomes scaly and gains large bony plates on the back. Sprouts gills but can also breath normally through the elephant’s trunk. Gains a large, sabretooth mouth with multiple rows of teeth like a shark. Eyes sprout out of the head on long tendrils and wearer gains four additional eyestalks facing in random directions. The character’s ears grow to three times their normal size. Character’s hair grows three feet longer and adds a thick beard if one wasn’t already there. Right arm becomes three octopus-style tentacles. Left arm becomes a scorpion-style pincer. Wearer grows a pair of prehensile monkey tails. Character remains in this bizarre state for 1d6 days. No saving throw to avoid the effect. None but the most powerful magics reverse the effect before it expires.
    Charisma is automatically reduced to 3. Wearer can wield a melee weapon as normal. Gains 2 actions. Gains a +4 Luck bonus on all physical skills, armor class, initiative, and saving throws. Regenerates 3 hp per turn. Dark vision and all around vision. Resistant to Fire, Magic, and Cold damage. Doesn’t need to sleep in this state. When the effect expires, character will be at full health with no negative effects and any/all curses removed.
  27. Wearer can suddenly speak, write, and read in every language except Common for 1d6 days.
  28. A whirlwind of razor sharp blades surrounds the character and moves as they move. Any character making contact with the blades takes 6d6 damage Ref (Dex) Save for half damage. If the wielder is foolish enough to make contact with the blades, they will take damage as well. Effect lasts 1d8 rounds.
  29. Wearer turns into a giant vulture for 1d8 minutes. Magically attracts two more giant vultures that remain after the effect wears off.
  30. Clouds form up around the wearer, lightning crackles in the air around them and then they gain the ability to fire lasers from their eyes for 1d4 rounds. The lasers require a regular ranged to hit roll +2 dealing 3d6 damage + igniting any/all combustibles

Please note: There are no saving throws for the wearer to ignore these effects.

Possessing Tick for Dungeon Crawl Classics.

This little monster was locked away in a stasis chamber by its creator because of the insurmountable damage it could do if released into the surface world. This parasite exists to feed, control, and multiply. It isn’t too picky about its intended prey.

This Tiny beastie could be the scariest thing in the whole dungeon.

This little monster was locked away in a stasis chamber by its creator because of the insurmountable damage it could do if released into the surface world. This parasite exists to feed, control, and multiply. It isn’t too picky about its intended prey.

This Tick is about the size of a common frog. The new host must make a DC 14 Fort (Con) Save to resist the beastie’s physical imposition. Once it attaches to the back of a humanoid host, or possibly an animal in a pinch, it begins to burrow inside its host. The tick secrets a special gel substance behind it to seal itself in and prevent further damage to the host. But that’s not the worst of it.

Mind Control: Once attached/embedded within a host, a fierce battle of wills begins between the tick and the host’s mind. The new host must make a Will save DC 12 to resist the initial imposition of the tick’s commands.

The Possessing Tick is a half arcane construct/half living spider inhabited by a minor demon with delusions of world tyranny. Its creator has locked it in a hermetically sealed box and bound the spirit to it. Breaking the ofuda seals and opening the box unleashes the creature. Its first goal is to find a host to inhabit.

Possessing Tick: Init -1; Atk bite +0 melee (0); AC 10; HD 1d6+1; MV 15’; Act 1d20; SP Mind Control; SV Fort +1, Ref -2, Will +10; AL N.

Warm Handaxe.

The axe also comes with a bit of personality. First, it has been known to cause random items to burst into flames. It will allow itself to be left outside of libraries, manor houses, and art galleries.

The pyroclastic origins of this item are the subject of much speculation in taverns where adventurers gather.

For use with Dungeon Crawl Classics and similar D20 system RPGs.

This Fiery Handaxe is often the bane of forests and wooden buildings. Its very presence in an area of dry wood or grass could be the start of conflagration. The axe is tame as long as it remains in its special sheath. However, in the hands of a bonded (attuned) user, it is capable of defeating large numbers of enemies in a single fight.

This +1, (+3 vs Corporeal Undead and Trolls) Hand/Throwing Axe deals an extra 1d4 Fire damage on a successful hit. A successful hit will ignite the target for 1d4 Fire damage per turn for 1d3 turns unless extinguished. It also has a 15% chance to ignite nearby flammable objects on contact.

When not in use, the owner may speak a command word to put the axe out so it may be stored. When lifted from its sheath, another command word ignites it again.

The axe has four minor powers that it will reveal to its bonded (attuned) owner.

  • When ignited, it acts as a torch.
  • When sheathed it keeps the owner warm and dry down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit as if they were standing near a campfire.
  • Returns to the user with a command word when unsheathed (as a Free Action.)
  • Can be used to start any campfire or other small fire magically even if the wood or other suitable material is wet. Also suitable for candles and torches.

The axe also has a special power:
Once per turn command, the axe can be hurled toward and enemy as it turns into a miniature fireball that travels in a straight line and strikes one target unerringly dealing 3d8 damage + 1d4 burning for 1d3 rounds. The target may make a Reflex (Dex or Spell) Save at DC 12 for half damage and no burning effect. The little fireball travels up to 60 feet before returning automatically. If used in this manner, the axe returns to the wielder red hot, doing 1d4 Heat damage when caught. It stays red hot for 1d3 rounds. The owner can refuse to catch it until it cools.

This special power may only be used 3 times per day (long rest.)

The axe also comes with a bit of personality. First, it has been known to cause random items to burst into flames. It will allow itself to be left outside of libraries, manor houses, and art galleries.

Second, while it has never spoken it does seem to be listening to its owner’s conversations If it doesn’t like what it is being told to do, it might not ignite or grant use of its powers. On the other hand, it is aggressive- almost zealous anger toward corporeal undead and trolls.

Last, it absolutely hates being wet. It is best cleaned with oil and a cloth before and after use as long as there is no water. It may refuse to function as a weapon in torrential rain, underwater, or heavy snow. It will always keep the owner warm and dry, however.

it is speculated that there may be a companion piece of some sort to this item. It might be a cold pick or another fiery axe of some kind. The blacksmith that forged the axe may even still be alive somewhere in a northern climate.

The Staff of Ebon Bone

This staff appears as a pitch dark polished shaft of solid bone with a skull on top. It glows brightly with necromantic magic and evil. Continual use of this item will eventually begin to lower the owner’s morale and possibly turn them toward evil as intrusive thoughts of destruction and corruption alter their mind. (DM’s discretion on how this should be handled.) The staff must be bound to the wielder before the three powers and the Death Cry can be unlocked.

For D20 Fantasy RPGs (*Originally Basic D&D.)

This staff appears as a pitch dark polished shaft of solid bone with a skull on top. It glows brightly with necromantic magic and evil. Continual use of this item will eventually begin to lower the owner’s morale and possibly turn them toward evil as intrusive thoughts of destruction and corruption alter their mind. (DM’s discretion on how this should be handled.) Once the wielder has bonded with the staff, it can’t be discarded or destroyed until the bonds are broken by powerful magic or the wielder’s untimely demise. The staff must be bound to the wielder before the three powers and the Death Cry can be unlocked.

IF the wielder should happen to die while in possession of the staff, their spirit will immediately be sent to the creator of the staff as a ghost. It is left to the DM’s discretion as to what happens after.

This +1 Staff deals an additional 1d6 necromantic damage on a successful hit.

The skull grants the wielder 60′ Darkvision, but from the staff’s perspective.

The Staff of Ebon Skull and Bone has three powers that it may share with the wielder whenever it feels they are ready:

First, the eyes of the skull can emit a Necrotic Ray that deals 3d6 necrotic damage. Reflex (Dex) Save for Half. 3x/Day (Long Rest.) Each ray cast costs the wielder 1 hp which can only be healed by natural means afterward.

Second, tapping the staff upon the ground and uttering the proper command word, 1d3 Obsidian Bone Skeletons erupt from the ground and aid the wielder for 2d6 rounds at which time they crumble to dust. Stats below. 1x/Day (Long Rest.) Casting this ability immediately drains the wielder of 1 temporary Con (Stamina) point per skeleton unless a Fortitude (Con) Save DC 12 is made to negate the drain entirely. Attribute points lost in this way recover naturally at 1 per Day (Long Rest.)

Third, by invoking a special command, the jaw of the skeleton’s head opens a blasts a cone of blue and black necrotic frost 60′ long and 30′ diameter. Targets within the cone must make a DC 14 Fort (Con) Save or take 6d6 necrotic damage and be Stunned for 1d3 turns. Successful save for half damage and no stun. Necrotic damage taken from this attack must be healed be natural means only. Ability recharges Once per Week. (5 Long Rests.) Also, the Staff absorbs 1 Temporary point of Str and Cha from the wielder when this power is used. No save. Must be healed naturally.

Learning the ultimate requires the wielder to spend extensive, mind warping time meditating with the staff. The Cry emitted by the skull on the staff is the stuff of which nightmares are made. It is a primal, evil sounding scream that strikes fear in the hearts of common folk.

Ultimate aka the Death Cry: The wielder may command the skull to slay a single target with fewer than 60 hit points unless a Fort (Con) Save DC 14 is made. If the target has 61-100 hit points it will be stunned unable to act for 1d4 turns unless the same DC 14 Fort (Con) Save is made. A successful save negates the damage. No creature with 101 or more hit points is affected.
Alternately, the Death Cry can be used to automatically slay up to 5 creatures with fewer than 4 HD automatically, with no save.
Creatures slain by the Death Cry automatically rise the following round as Obsidian Bone Skeletons under the wielder’s command for 3d6 turns.

The price of using the Death Cry is terrible upon the caster. First, the wielder loses one permanent point of Str, Con (Sta) OR Cha chosen by the caster (or roll 1d3 and choose.) Second, the staff alerts its creator, a high level Demilich to the staff’s presence. Finally, the character has a cumulative 3% chance of summoning a powerful demon devil, demigod, or undead who will attempt to reclaim this staff unless a deal can be struck with the wielder OR the creature is defeated. Each time a creature is defeated in this manner, the 00% chance resets to 3%. (Dungeon Crawl Classics players may change this to a Greater Corruption roll as a 5th level spell.)

Obsidian Bone Skeleton:

These skeletons are immune to non-magical weapons. They are vulnerable to Holy damage. They take damage as normal from blessed regular and magical weapons.

Warhammer of Concussive Force

This item is somewhat of a rough draft. Please feel free to use/modify it according to your campaign, players, and GM preferences. The lore/history may come along later. I’ve used items such as this in other campaigns. As long as everyone has something special, it works out pretty well.

A new magic item for Dungeon Crawl Classics and other D20 compatible fantasy TTRPGs.

Warhammer of Concussive Force aka Rock Crusher:
+1, (+3 vs Constructs and Earth Elementals) warhammer that inflicts 1d6 extra force damage on a successful hit.

On a Critical Hit, the hammer has a chance to rupture the target’s eardrums, DC12 Fort Save leaves the target with partial deafness lasting 1d6 hours. If the save was unsuccessful, the target is deafened for 1d12 days unless healing magic is applied. Creatures without eardrums are immune to this effect.

Adds +2 magical bonus to Mining checks if used as a tool.

Once per day (Long Rest,) the owner can command the hammer to shatter a 10′ cube of stone into rubble. This effect does 6d6 concussion damage to constructs and Earth Elementals as well.

Once per day (Long Rest,) the hammer’s owner can invoke the spirit of the hammer to issue a thunderous blast of concussive force in a 5’x15′ cone. Targets within the cone must make a DC12 Fort Save or take 6d6 damage, be knocked back 15′ from the target and deafened for 1d12 rounds. A successful save deals only 3d6 damage and partial deafness for 1d6 rounds.

Legendary Ability: The hammer can be struck upon the ground to cast Cause Earthquake as the spell. ONLY if the hammer wills it through its wielder. This effect can’t be used more than once per week.

Rock Crusher is not truly intelligent, but it does take some time to bond with its new owner before it will begin to reveal all but its most basic abilities. (The bonuses to hit and damage, Mining.) The hammer prefers to be wielded by Dwarves, Gnomes, or other earth-based species first. It also does well in the hands of righteous clerics and warriors with a kind heart who are willing to protect families and homes.

*Note: The wielder is immune to the effects it projects. Friends, pets, and party members are not immune, however.
**Note: The hammer is the opposite of stealthy. All of its abilities are accompanied by loud booms and bellowing crashes. Other creatures in the vicinity will be alerted to its use if they are able to detect any sound.

This item is somewhat of a rough draft. Please feel free to use/modify it according to your campaign, players, and GM preferences. The lore/history may come along later. I’ve used items such as this in other campaigns. As long as everyone has something special, it works out pretty well.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you. Game on!

A Magic Shield For a Curious Paladin

Sometimes the face will confer added minor abilities to the shield and its owner. A demon face might come complete with horns protruding from the shield. Sometimes a face will cause thorns to protrude from the front and sides of the shield. A celestial/angel might cause the shield to cast a glaring light that repels evil if needed. The exact game mechanical effects are left up to the Judge/GM/DM/Rabble Rouser.

A magic item for Dungeon Crawl Classics.

This +1 Shield has a shiny metal of curious origins around its edges. At first it doesn’t appear to be much more than a regular shield, except the material it is made from is not of earthly origins. It is lighter than most shields, and exudes a sense of well-being when picked up.

After a few days, the owner will notice a change in the outer appearance of the shield. Some days it is white with a chrome metal edge. Some days it is almost pure black. If the owner rides through a forest, it may turn green and have an ivy pattern around its edges. In a desert, it turns a dark brown color.

It is most curious underground. The shield itself turns gray and the circle in the middle appears as a mercury pool of shiny metal. That’s when things get most interesting.

The owner can will the shield to give off light as a lantern. The shiny metal property can be used as a mirror if desired. Regardless of the appearance, the shield always confers a +1 bonus to Armor Class.

Photo by Jonathan Cooper on

After a time, the shield will begin to manifest faces. Each face is a different being-some human, some elf, some celestial and some demon. Each has a different personality. Each has something different to say to the owner. If the face speaks, it is unclear whether the shield is intelligent or if the phrases were somehow preprogrammed into the images. A phrase is rarely repeated unless it has some significance to the owner.

Sometimes the face will confer added minor abilities to the shield and its owner. A demon face might come complete with horns protruding from the shield. Sometimes a face will cause thorns to protrude from the front and sides of the shield. A celestial/angel might cause the shield to cast a glaring light that repels evil if needed. The exact game mechanical effects are left up to the Judge/GM/DM/Rabble Rouser.

Please also note that the shield is technically cursed. It will stay with the character who first wields it or with their armor if they take it off. If discarded, forgotten, or stolen it will reappear with the owner within 24 hours. The shield will even begin to taunt its owner if more than one attempt to discard it is made. Likewise, it can’t be painted or otherwise covered. It is indestructible except for powerful magic.

If the owner is rude to the shield, it may start mocking them openly, making noise when the character attempts to be stealthy, say inappropriate things during social encounters, etc. However, if the character takes care of the shield, cleaning and polishing it regularly and maybe engaging in polite conversation, the shield can become sort of an intelligent companion.

The shield can also influence the owner’s mood to a lesser extent. While the shield has no discernible agenda of its own, it may sense the mood of the group and reinforce that of its owner. Sometimes a face will appear to be happy. Sometimes if the group is quiet or sullen, the shield will exude a sense of melancholy. It is always unclear if there is an underlying intelligence or if it is simply mirroring what is around it.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun monkeying around with this shield.

That Time of Year.

Just taking a moment to reminisce. I enjoy cold nights curled up under a blanket with the dungeon I’m building or the module I’m reading. Let it snow.

For running dungeon crawls, of course.

I live in Iowa, USA which means around the end of November the weather usually turns a lot colder and possibly snowier. It’s not quite like the good old days when winter started in October and stayed until April, but it usually gets cold. But, it’s Iowa so one random January day could have 60 degree temperatures and one cloud could float over and snow in May. I digress.

Since everyone is inside and around for the holidays trying to stay warm and dry, things tend to lean toward boardgames and more importantly, D&D. This is the perfect time for me to build dungeons for my players to explore. It’s also the time of year to sit and read various published modules late into the night.

This year I’m working on a mega dungeon for Dungeon Crawl Classics. I’ve mentioned bits and pieces on here and will continue to do so. I’ve taken a massive step backwards, though. I’m writing the whole thing out by hand before drafting it into the computer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun wherever you are, whatever the weather.

Somebody Ordered a Warhammer.

Your character is not Thor. This is not Mjolnir. Invoke the true power of this weapon at your character’s own risk. For use with Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG or other d20 fantasy RPG.

Someone asked for more magical warhammers. So, here we are.

1. The Hammer of Lightning Bolts. (You are NOT Thor.)

This +1 magical warhammer automatically returns to the wielder when thrown.
When the hammer strikes a target it deals an additional 1d8 lightning damage (Fortitude DC 12 to avoid this effect.)
On command, it produces Light as per the spell.
The hammer’s real power comes into its invocation. When invoked, Once per Day, it calls down a bolt of lightning where designated within 100′ that does 6d8 damage (Reflex Save DC 14 for half)
Invoking the hammer’s full power comes at a price. Roll 1d30 and consult the table below:

1 Hammer evaporates into thin air instantly and reappears randomly elsewhere never to return.
2-11 No side effect.
12-13 A cloud appears above the user’s head for a day. It reflects their emotions.
14-17 Hammer is struck by lightning for 3d8 damage, DC 10 REF save for half.
18-19 A cloud of charged lighting appears around the user, constantly shocking them for 1 point of damage for 1d4 rounds.
20-23 A large cloud appears around the target. It causes 1d3 points of lightning damage as it shocks him for 1d4 rounds.
24-27 The hammer’s wielder is enveloped in a field of lightning. The electricity inflicts an additional 1d6 damage and transfers a charge that does an additional 1d4 damage to the target and anyone in a 10′ radius wearing any sort of metal.
28-29 The hammer’s owner/wielder is blasted by a massive lightning bolt. It inflicts an additional 4d8 damage and shocks anyone within 15′ with metal on them for 2d8, DC 10 REF save for half.
30-31 The character’s nervous system is turned into an electrical superconductor. It inflicts an additional 3d8 damage and the target is electrocuted, suffering an additional 1d8 damage each round until he makes a
DC 10 FORT save at the start of a round.

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