Thursday, November 20, 2014

Razbojk's Finger

I give out a LOT of magic items in my games, but have a strict "no +1 swords" rule, which is to say, I hate boring, repetitive, mass-produced magic items. Everything needs a name and everything needs to be fun.

Here is one of the latest creations (written for use with AD&D 2nd edition):

Razbojk's Finger

The pinnacle of orcish wit, this short, smooth, wooden staff bears a head carved into the likeness of a hand with the middle finger extended. Crafted by Razbojk, the mother of the infamous bandit Noriss the Grey, this staff’s hand-motiff can likely be taken as a direct insult to the priest of Iyachtu Xvim (who have a clenched fist as their symbol), by the traditionalist priestess of Ilneval.

Razbojk’s Finger can be wielded in combat as a club, but gains no bonus to attack or damage rolls. It’s other powers, however, are both considerable, and prone to error in untrained hands. Rather than command words, this staff is controlled by gesture alone. Any time someone carrying the staff in hand rolls a natural 1 (on any d20 roll), he has accidentally moved the staff the wrong way, activating one of the staff’s abilities at random (roll 1d4 on the table below for effect, select the target at random).

Because it is controlled by gesture only, deliberately activating the staff’s powers carries no initiative modifier (instead of the normal +2 associated with activating a magic staff). Each activation (including accidental activations) consumes 1 charge from the staff. The staff has 5 charges which renew each day at midnight.

d4 roll Gesture Effect
1 Grasp the staff with one hand. Hold it parallel to the ground with the finger leveled at a target. One target within 60 feet feels a sudden sucker-punch from an invisible hand. The target takes 5d4-5 points of damage (save vs. wands negates).
2 Grasp the staff with one hand. Hold it perpendicular to the ground and make three quick upward thrusts. Harsh, irritating smoke billows out from the staff, filling a 10-ft. radius centered on the wielder. Anyone in the area not touching the staff must make a save vs. wands or suffer a fit of coughing and choking for 1d4+1 rounds. Affected creatures suffer a -2 penalty on all die rolls and are unable to cast spells with verbal components. Anyone in contact with the staff when the smoke appears is unaffected. The smoke disperses and becomes harmless after 1 round.
3 Grasp the staff with one hand. Hold it over your head, parallel with the ground. Up to five severed limbs within 60 feet are immediately animated as crawling claws. The claws always act in concert and obey the telepathic commands of whoever is currently holding the staff. Any number of claws can be animated through repeated use of this ability, but the staff can command no more than five at any given time.
4 Grasp the staff with two hands. Hold it perpendicular to the ground and strike the ground with the butt. All undead of 5HD or less within 500 feet are immediately compelled to move towards the staff’s location by the fastest means available to them (no save). Once the undead can see the staff, they are free to act normally. The staff grants no additional control over the creatures.