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#30 Intelligent Magic Items (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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What do they have in common?

They could all be your next intelligent magic item. With #30 Intelligent Magic Items by T.H. Gulliver (#30 Haunts for Ships and Shores) you'll find more than just another specially-purposed sword, ready to possess your warrior for retail therapy with scabbard accessories. You'll find planar explorers, hopping across the Beyond in the hands of adventurers. You'll find dedicated preservers, sworn to perpetuate royal houses. You'll find social liberators, bent on destroying immoral cruelty wherever the can find it. You'll find bloodthirsty conquerors, ruthlessly intent on carving out empires.

You'll find adventure.

#30 Intelligent Magic Items offers a wide array of objects with rich backgrounds, personalities, and goals to rival any NPC, all packaged in a magical device certain to add an element of mystically fantastic to your game. Why wonder how to introduce your next story hook when your characters can simply take it as spoils? Pick up #30 Intelligent Magic Items and let your characters learn adventure lurks everywhere—especially in their loot!

Author: T. H. Gulliver
Cover Artist: Viktor Vasnetsov
Pages: 16

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Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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Excellent Collection of Interesting Items

*****

I'll start off by noting that I have a bias in this case, as I have always loved unique equipment, intelligent items, and magic items with history. As this is a collection of unique, intelligent magic items that each get their own history this book would have to work very hard to disappoint me.

Right off the bat the book starts off strong with an introduction written as a letter in character which is interesting enough to draw me in, then followed up on by a few paragraphs on reasons why an item could be intelligent. I like the rationale used in this book, the view that the potential for intelligence lies in many items, and especially the idea that being wielded by a passionate or significant individual can draw out the intelligence in an item. This provides a great in character reason for a PC to have a favored item of theirs start to develop intelligence.

Also present in the introduction is a bit on how the PCs can learn about the items and a bit about changing the more generic histories given for the items up a little to fit a specific campaign world. The table for identifying the intelligent items seems to have DCs a little low for me, and I am a little uncertain why they chose to have the DC for knowing most of the item's history be less than the DC for knowing what the item is. As these are legendary items it seems that knowledge of them is expected to be widely spread, which explains the low DCs in general, so this little quirk doesn't affect how I feel about the pdf.

Moving on we get into the meat of the pdf, the intelligent items themselves. Each item is defined by the usual statistics, then has a description for appearance, history, personality, powers, it's special purpose (if applicable), and construction requirements. As a side note, I really like that the introduction makes it clear that fulfilling the magic item creation construction requirements doesn't necessarily mean that the specific intelligent item can be recreated exactly. Each of the items is well described, and a couple of pieces of artwork are scattered throughout, though nothing particularly noteworthy to me.

A few notes on the items themselves:
Astijhen and Ranklikor: CE and LG intelligent plate barding each forged by a brother who fought and slew each other in battle, which now each have the special purpose of trying to destroy the other. An interesting idea that is fairly unique (I've seen magical barding rarely, intelligent barding never) with a story that makes sense and links the two items together.

Ha-Min's Circlet: A great item with a decent power and a very interesting purpose. I'm a little confused why an item infused with a sense of justice that exists to help others and be charitable has a CN alignment. Other than that (which could be a typo) this item has an excellent story and could be very interesting, especially for a too-greedy PC to find for a time.

Marrija: A cool item, it's personality (mirroring the owner's behavior so long as they are a powerful mage) makes for interesting plot possibilities, as does it's ability to preserve a copy. Evil and cautious mages could use this item to have a backup in case they are slain which is limited but still useful.

Nasirdil: Interesting, so long as a PC likes the idea of being a part of a formerly great noble family. Also, I am amused by the idea of an intelligent item which is encouraging it's wielder to continue the bloodline and produce heirs.

Red Najaddi: A cool item with an argumentative personality that could be fun or obnoxious depending on the group. Useful for a party but very opinionated, I really like the bit about it being pulled into arguments easily but refusing to stop talking even when drawn to a topic it knows nothing about.

Salchuk Carpet: A carpet of flying with the cool side effect of basically being a portable trap, able to affect those who step on it if the carpet feels they are hostile to the wielder.

All in all this is a fantastic resource for any GM who wants to add some interesting items to their campaign. Between the price tag and the amount of value I greatly recommend this to anyone who likes intelligent items, or even just interesting items with history in general if you're willing to do a tiny bit of work taking out the intelligence.


An RPG Resource Review

*****

A neat and atmospheric in-character letter opens this work, from the librarian Pers Veilborn to a friend, talking about the results of his enquiries about a certain magic item the friend had asked him to investigate. Apparently he'd heard a whole collection of tales about a bunch of items and - librarian to the core - decided to write them down for posterity. Here are the results of his labours, some 30 intelligent magic items to spice up your game.

Then the introduction explains how intellient magic items are handled in Pathfinder, being some 1% of all magic items found. Elegantly, suggestions are made about ways in which the character in possession of a given item can become involved in the emergence of its intelligence, by the simple device of saying that many items have the potential to develop intelligence but few actually do. Certain factors predispose an item to have this potential, which then may develop based on the alignment and actions of the character wielding the item. They can be researched, either by characters who have found an item, or if they have heard about an item and are thinking of mounting a quest to find it.

A diverse range of items are then presented, each with a backstory - along with a note suggesting that you customise each item's history to fit into your campaign world - and all necessary game mechanics governing its operation, along with details of each item's personality to facilitate role-playing. Just reading through them spawns ideas: a chance discovery or the focal point of an adventure or even a whole campaign.

Select the item you want to use with care. All are powerful, potentially game-changing in scope... and full of fascinating twists that will make for a memorable - even legendary game. A fine collection and well worth investigating and using.


*****

Thirty detailed and interesting sentient magical items to pick from to hand out to my players (when they’ve earned it)? Yes, please!

What I like even more about this work is that it is excellent idea fodder for me to create my own interesting items. From the more traditional talking blades with their own agendas and purposes to a flying carpet that decides for itself where it wants to go and may just go there with passengers in tow (at least in my campaign it may), to an interesting array of other items, this pdf contains all sorts of goodies.

In addition to the magic items themselves there is a short essay/explanation on why and how magic items become sentient, a useful tool for a Game Master who wishes to create his or her own items. Also there is a short in-character introduction that may be used by the GM. The theme of the book, from the introduction to the magic item descriptions has a very Arabian Nights feel to it.

For each item there is a listing of game rule information in PFRPG style template for easy referencing. The description of each item includes the appearance, history, personality, powers, including greater power if there is any, and the special purpose for the item. There is also game rule information on the creation of such an item at the bottom of each description. Though I won’t be using this part myself, I do understand that some may wish to allow their players access to creation of (potentially) intelligent magic items.

Though it is a bit of a stretch to say “bad,” I do have a couple if minor issues with this work. Mainly this is part and parcel with having to create more details for these items as sentient items should be above and beyond the normal treatment of magic items. Unfortunately there are a few items which have campaign specific details that I can’t use. One of these is the item whose special purpose is to protect Kappa. What are Kappa? I don’t know. It sounds like a campaign specific creature to me. Also this work references Rite Publishing’s game world place names. One that does stand out is Questhaven, which is mentioned in the in-character introduction. Another minor issue is that in one instance at least the item’s description does not match the alignment listed in the game rule template above. A certain headband has abilities and a special purpose that sounds a lot more like a chaotic good alignment than the chaotic neutral that is listed. And lastly, it is unfortunate that there were not illustrations of each magic item. Art is not something I can make look as good as a professional artist can. So if I wish to make use of any of the items that did not come with an illustration, I need to go on an internet search for something comparable. Again, this isn’t a huge issue for me.

While the minor problems are very minor. The good is very good. The write up of each item is very evocative and interesting. It also provides plenty of idea fodder for me to make use of in my own campaign. Whole adventure ideas spring up from these descriptions. I particularly like the notes on how a magic item can become intelligent and absolutely adore the Arabian Nights feel to the whole thing. Without too much trouble I can replace campaign specific references with something in my own campaign. This is my concept of a truly excellent piece of RPG work, the portability into my own campaign. Anything that does this well earns a positive rating for me, anything that is as well written as this work is wins applause.

I give this a 4.5 stars rather than a full 5 for very minor issues. The excellent writing overwhelmingly compensates for any minor campaign inconsistencies that accessing my own imagination can quite easily solve.


30 great items

*****

30 Intelligent Magic Items by Rite Publishing

This product is 21 pages long. It starts with a cover and credits. (2 pages)

Introduction (1 ½ pages)
This part is a IC introduction told from Pers Veilborn's point of view. It is a very interesting IC introduction. Next is a section about why some magic items are intelligent.

30 Magic Items (14 ½ pages)
Here is the 30 magic items, they all have full stat blocks. Construction costs, special purpose, powers, personality, history, and appearance.
Altairvat, Seeker of the Dark: A crystal ball of true seeing with the mind of a diviner driven insane by entities from beyond the stars. Very Cuthuluesk.
Astijhen: A full-plate mail for horses with some fear and curse-related powers.
Atham the Blacktongued: Pan pipes that can cause fear in all who hear it, fall into a nightmare filled deep slumber or make a corpse speak as per speak with the dead.
Bahijja the Flatterer: A mirror that grants Chr bonus, can scry, or cast alter self on the user. The mirror is paranoid and tries to make the user so as well.
Bassa of Masad: Heavy shield with the face of a lions head, can bite foes and can summon a lion ally.
Gathib's Teeth: Set of hyena teeth to be worn in mouth grants bite attacks and speak with animals.
Ghorev the Unlooked-For: Shrunken crows head, that can at will be ordered to transform back into a crow and carry a message. If the user dies the crow carries a message to the person of the users choice.
Ha-Min's Circlet: Head band with bonus to Chr, detect magic at will. But cast lesser geas on user to preform charitable acts.
Ha-Min's Trinket (Artifact): Can take the form of a kappakin, or once a day elemental body.
Jaril-Junaid: Anarchic scimitar that can let the user rage. Do bonus dmg and by pass DR on lawful creatures.
Javar Javarah the Comforter: Greatsword that can cast righteous Might, shield other and bless.
Jealous Jaden: A Shatterspike longsword that tries to make the user destroy all other magical weapons.
Kassantera the Deceiver: Wooden harp that can cast suggestion, confusion or modify Memory when played.
Karkinos: A giant barrel that turns into a giant lobster to protect others.
Ma-Oot-Mah-Zoor: Crystal skull mask that casts vampiric touch, disguise self and finger of death.
Marrija: A Mirror that lets you make a clone of yourself. If you die at any time in 24 hours, your clone steps out of the mirror, knowing all you know.
Marav Azab: A walking stick with travel and wilderness type powers.
Nasirdil: Bloodline-associated ring with limit regen ability, summon a eagle and teleport the user when dead.
Navishan: Amulet that improves negative energy channeling, cast fear and at times cast animate dead.
Nukramajin's Hand: Skeletal hand the if placed on a corpse allows speak with dead or animate dead.
Parzamon: Cloak for stage magicians, give glibness and dimension door in a puff of smoke.
Ranklikor: Full-plate for horses, can cast haste, overland flight and daylight.
Red Najaddi: Flying carpet that can cast feather fall and tiny hut as well.
Sageseeker: Headband that give Wis bonus, cast calm emotions and prot from chaos.
Salchuk Carpet: A flying carpet the protects the owner with poison, summon swarm and web spells.
Stormshaper: Hide Armor that can cast giant form 2, obscuring mist, levitate, and fog cloud. Giants gain bonus against wearer.
Tam: Mummified gnome hand that can cast mage hand and light.
Tannarik: Crossbow of wounding, that can cast, true strike, Wind wall, and freedom of movement.
Tchottochtum: Thundering Spear, that does bonus damage on crits, detects thoughts, wants to unit all orcs and make war on humans.
The Bat Queen's Cloak: A cloak that can cast, glide, screech, summon swarm and invisibility.

It ends with a OGL and 2 pages of ads (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. The layout and editing was very good, it is nice borders. The artwork is a mix of black and white and color. It ranges from meh to ok. The items are all well done, with interesting histories, personalities and desires of their own. The worst of the items are just merely interesting, while the best ones make you want to figure out a way to get them in the hands of your PC's or NPC's. Really other than the art work which I wasn't a fan of, I have nothing even remotely negative to say about this product. If you want some interesting intelligent magic items for your game then pick this up, you won't be sorry. So what's my rating? Well artwork aside there is nothing at all wrong with this and the artwork doesn't distract from the product. Though art of each item would be been nice. So I am giving this a 5 star. I liked it that much I am forgoing my normal half star deduction I would give for the lack of art for each item.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Very iconic intelligent items with an exotic flair

*****

This pdf is 21 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages advertisements, leaving 16 pages for the 30 intelligent magic items, so let's check them out!

The pdf kicks off with an aptly-written IC-introduction , information on intelligent items. The items include stats, senses, paragraphs on appearance, history, personality, powers, construction requirements and where applicable, special purposes and greater powers.

The items are:

- Altairvat, Seeker of the Dark: A crystalball containing the mind of a diviner driven insane by entities from beyond the stars.
- Astijhen: A full-plate mail for horses with some fear and curse-related powers.
- Atham the Blacktongued: Pan pipes that can send people into nightmare-ridden slumbers and speak with the dead.
- Bahijja the Flatterer: Paranoid scrying mirror that encourages owner to hold grudges.
- Bassa of Masad: Heavy shield that can bite and summon nature's ally.
- Gathib's Teeth: Set of hyena teeth to be worn in mouth grants bite attacks.
- Ghorev the Unlooked-For: Shrunken bird's head can change into a crow.
- Ha-Min's Circlet: Charitable headband of intellect.
- Ha-Min's Trinket (Artifact): Take and protect kappakin.
- Jaril-Junaid: Raging duelist's scimitar with a sense of honor.
- Javar Javarah the Comforter: Greatsword with divine abilities.
- Jealous Jaden: Shatterspike weapon that hates other magical weapons.
- Kassantera the Deceiver: Wooden harp with abilities to confuse and deceive others, can even modify memories.
- Karkinos: Sealed Iron barrel is actually a lobster-like plane-travelling apparatus.
- Ma-Oot-Mah-Zoor: Crystal skull mask grants necromantic abilities.
- Marrija: Clone-creating mirror.
- Marav Azab: Ornate, enchanted walking stick with several travelling abilities.
- Nasirdil: Bloodline-associated ring with summon abilities.
- Navishan: Amulet that improves negative energy channeling.
- Nukramajin's Hand: Skeletal hand held together with wires enables you to speak with dead and raise them.
- Parzamon: Cloak that makes user more persuasive and can dimension door wearer away.
- Ranklikor: Full-plate for horses, can cast haste, overland flight and daylight.
- Red Najaddi: Free-spirited flying carpet.
- Sageseeker: Metal headband devoted to destroying abberations.
- Salchuk Carpet: Flying carpet with druid-like minor defense abilities.
- Stormshaper: Forgiving and nice hide armor with cload giant-related abilities.
- Tam: Mummified gnome hand with helping abilities.
- Tannarik: Assassin's crossbow that tries to dispose of tyrants.
- Tchottochtum: Spear of Orcish warlords.
- The Bat Queen's Cloak: A cloak with bat-like powers used to impersonate a witch queen.

Conclusion:
Editing is top-notch, I didn't notice any typos or glitches. Formatting adheres to the two-column standard. The pdf is full-color and follows the stunning, cool layout you already know from the free Pathways e-zine and thus stunningly beautiful. The items are rock-solid mechanics-wise, but where the pdf truly shines is when it comes to the stories, histories and background information. Their powers are also nice and they have an awesome, kind of exotic feeling somewhat reminiscent of Arabian nights mythologies without necessarily limiting the items to them. More importantly, it is absolutely stunning to see how much information the T.H. Gulliver managed to cram into the scarce few sentences available. The artwork provided for some items is beautiful and nice. For the low price, I'll settle for a hearty recommendation of 5 stars.


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