Archive for the ‘World Building’ Category


Tuesday Magic Item – Cleopatra’s Alembic

10 October, 2017

Alchemical Alembic“This place smell marvelous,” said Voddick taking a deep breath of the air thick with spices and oils.  “It reminds me of home.”

“Not me, but it is . . . intriguing,” said Gollaon,

“Alchemist usually pay well even if they cannot turn lead to gold.”

“But they can turn all of this,” Gollaon gestured to the gathered leaves, herbs, oils, bottles, jars, alembics and more esoteric things, “into gold which is good enough for me.”

Cleopatra’s Alembic

This alembics, a tool used for distilling, are always finely made though they can be crafted from metal, glass or ceramic, as is the tradition for the area it is created in.  They are usually etched with alchemical symbols and marks of ownership.

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Ada Lovelace Day – Cleopatra the Alchemist

10 October, 2017

Cleopatra the AlchemistToday is Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating the contribution of women to the sciences, technology and knowledge.

As is my wont on ALD, I choose to highlight notable women of ideas of the Ancient World (see my 2011 and 2012 contributions) and today is no exception:

Cleopatra the Alchemist

Considered one of the finest alchemist of her time, roughly the 3rd Century CE, and was said to one of the four women alchemists who had mastered the philosopher’s stone and were capable of changing base metals to gold.

Alchemical secretsSadly, not much beyond that is know of her, there is a single page of symbolic notes she is believed to have written.  But the school of alchemy that she was attached to was well known as using advanced technology, she is associated with the early use or even invention of the alembic, used for distilling (and still used for distilling alcohol).

Notes: Images from Wikimedia Commons (seal) and Wikimedia Common (symbols) both are in the Public Domain.  You can read more about Cleopatra at Wikipedia.

Today’s magic item is inspired by her.












New Monster – Twilight Creature Template

4 October, 2017

Beautiful, yes?That was just a dog, right?
It did not move like a dog but it was the right size . . .
Hey! Where did it go?

Twilight Creature
Twilight Creatures are magical echoes of animals or humanoids who have been magically summoned from a nearby reality, one that is slightly different and stranger than the one they are brought to.

CREATING A Twilight Creature
“Twilight Creature” is an acquired template that can be added to any animal, humanoid or magical beast.
Size and Type: The creature’s type stays the same but it gains the augmented subtype.

Hit Dice: The subjects HD does not change.
Special Attacks: Possibly (see below).
Special Qualities: The Twilight Creature is from another reality at odds with our own and it has various strange and unsettling abilities.

Odd (Sp): The Twilight Creature is strange and unsettling, gaining a +3 bonus to intimidate checks but a -1 penalty to all other Charisma based checks.
Additionally the twilight creature gains one of the following abilities, with an additional ability for each full four hit dice it has: Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Twilight Summoning Broach

3 October, 2017

Seen / Not Seen“That new summoner is exceedingly proficient but I do not like the creatures summoned they seem . . . off,” Voddick concluded he voice trailing off.

“Agreed,” said Gollaon.  “But oddly fascinating much like the summoner.”

“Well, as long as they are kept in line, I have no complaints.”

“Unlike that infernalist we served with in Olosk,” said Voddick.

“Well, I am sure he is regretting his choices now.  That group of imps that turned on him,”  Gollaon shuddered.

“Messy,” agreed Voddick.

Twilight Summoning Broach

These items are made of a gemstone with beautifully carved intaligo work carved into it usually set in silver, but the image on them changes occasionally though nothing else does (cracks, fittings, even dirt and dust) usually they show images of people but animals are almost as common with the occasional item or symbol.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Spelldancer’s Mask

26 September, 2017

What do you see?“The local sorcerer are very . . . energetic,” said Voddick, dodging a spinning dancer and their tambourine.

Gollaon cast an admiring gaze as the athletic dancer slide by.  “And very fit.  I approve.  Magic spinners often give into sloth, relying on their magic, and neglecting their physical self.  No such problems here.”

“Agreed, they are all very fit,” nodded Voddick.  “I am glad we are working with them, they seem like they would be quite terrifying on the battlefield.”

“And possibly other places too.”

Spelldancer’s Mask

These full face masks are decorated with runes and sigils on both sides, they can be composed of a variety of materials depending on the tradition of the maker, everything from carved wood to shaped metal can (and had) been used.  The only requirements are the high degree of care and effort placed into the creating of the mask.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Black Banner of Piracy

19 September, 2017

Pirates!“I am not happy with this job,” complained Voddick, sipping at a mug of water and trying to keep his footing on the rolling deck.

“Well, it in only to get us to the next major city.  We could not stay where we were, after all,” said Gollaon gripping the rail and looking to the horizon.

“And whose fault was that?”

“So, I forgot which religious orders had strictures about celibacy,” admitted Gollaon with an embarrassed shrug.  “It was not as if the novices had taken vows yet.”

“That did not seem to matter much to the order’s enforcers.”

“Truth,” agreed Gollaon with a grimace.

Black Banner of Piracy

These black ensigns, often gruesomely decorated, are used by pirate ships to aid them in cowing their victims.  After all, pirate would rather their victims simply surrendered rather than having to fight, which is a messy business.

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Elemental Candle for D&D 5E

14 September, 2017

Light the darknessVoddick set the lit match to the yellow flame and both went out.  “That is hard to get used to.”

“True,” agreed Gollaon, blinking after images from his sight.  “But useful.  How often are you going to drop a candle into a fire?”

“And even then you would still have light,” noted Voddick with a grin.

“Good point,” Gollaon grinned back.  “I think we should see about getting some of the others too.”

“Agreed, a candle that burns underwater seems most useful.”

Elemental Candle

Wondrous item, uncommon

These candles are made of purest materials imbued with raw elemental essence giving them unique properties.  Making them is tricky and requires considerable skill either as a alchemist or chandler as well as the ability to manipulate the elements.

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