Tuesday Magic Item – Storied Coup Stick

17 June, 2014

Elk-Foot_of_the_Taos_TribeThe two tribes had agreed that the latest rounds of  insults and provocations, horse thefts and more,  could only be solved by combat and so they gathered on the field, young warriors and old , all ready to show their bravery.

But the bravest eschewed bow or lance, axe or war club, and went into the fight with just a coup stick or a bare hand.  They rushed ahead showing their bravery by dodging arrows and thrown lances and clubs and then dodging between the other armed warriors, evading weapons to touch their rivals with coup sticks or slap them with an open hand.

Their bravery did not always end well, some were cut or speared, but those who made it through to count coup, they inspired their allies and family to greater acts of heroism and effort.  In just a brief time, the two groups split apart, returning back to tell their own tales of adventure and bravery.

The matter settled . . . until next year.

Storied Coup Stick

These items are passed down from generation of warrior to generation of warrior.  Its appearance depends on where it is in the warrior’s cycle.  The coup stick of a new warrior will be plain and unadorned, while that of an old warrior will be decorated with many notches and often other decorations such as feathers or pennants.

The Storied Coup Stick is a +1 staff that can be used for disarming attacks without penalties.

When used to count coup (striking an enemy without causing damage) during a combat, it triggers the following effects:

•    The wielder gains temporary hit points equal to the hit dice of the enemy (these are cumulative to a maximum of five plus the wielder’s level) that last until the end of the battle.
•    The wielder and all allies who can see the action gain a +1 morale bonus to attack, this bonus lasting until they are struck or the battle ends.
•    The target of the attack must make a Will save (DC 10 plus half wielder’s level plus Charisma modifier) or be shaken for one round for each point the save was failed by.

When closing with an enemy and bearing no ranged weapons, the wielder gains a +1 dodge bonus (increased to +2 against missiles), +5′ enhancement bonus to ground speed and +1 luck bonus to saves.  These same bonuses apply when retreating from battle if the wielder successfully counted coup upon the enemy.

Lastly, the possessor of the Storied Coup Stick can cause it to take on the appearance of any previous incarnation of itself when telling the stories of the warriors who have owned it before, this provides a +3 sacred bonus to appropriate Perform (storytelling) checks.

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 9,801; Weight 4 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cat’s grace, cure moderate wounds, freedom of movement, longstrider; Cost 4,750 + 301 for the stick

Notes: Something inspired by the bravery of the Native American warriors and their spectacular tradition of counting coup, that is courage and style.

Image of Elk-Foot of the Taos Tribe by Irving Couse from Wikipedia and is in the public domain, kindly provided provided by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


  1. Awesome item. Actually pretty powerful, by your standards, and with lots of fun things to keep track of. I particularly like the storytelling metamorphosis ability at the end!

    • I was trying to keep in theme for counting coup, which means getting close to an armed enemy, slapping and embarrassing them and then running for the hills. Oh, and boasting about it later.

  2. Great item. We need more magic items with a non-European derived flavor.

    • Agreed, there are so many interesting things out there in the wide world.

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