The Secrets of Forgotten Magic Items (PFRPG) PDF

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Potions, Scrolls, and Runes! 

Delve into wonders lost to antiquity and hidden from the eyes of men—discover The Secrets of Forgotten Magic Items.

Craft overloaded potions to fling at enemies, or contingent potions which patiently wait for the proper situation. Place precious liquids in enchanted flasks and give your potions an extra kick. Scribe dweomer sigil scrolls to subtly augment spells or fashion delicately folded Arcanami creatures—the artistic, animated manifestations of spells. Decipher the art of cruth galdr runes and invest items and structures with elegant magical effects like the fulminating rune or the rune of hidden spaces.

The Secrets of Forgotten Magic Items comes packed with feats like Flask Enchanter Trismegistus or Overloading Master, dozens of items, an archetype, a bloodline, a subdomain, a monster and even an artifact. This is 22 pages of fantastic excitement and magical wonder certain to make your players anticipate the next creature's loot with unmitigated glee! Don't leave these treasures lost and undiscovered—claim The Secrets of Forgotten Magic Items!

Author: Will "Cheapy" McCardell
Cover Illustration: Rick Hershey
Pages: 18

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Weighing in at 22 pages, The Secrets of Forgotten Magic Items, written by Will McCardell and distributed by Rite publishing breaks down as follows:
Cover: 1 page
PID & OGL: 1 page each
Advertisement for other product: 1 page
New Material: 18 pages

Artwork is all over the place when it comes to style and quality, covering color, B&W, and quite possibly photo's of origami, or possibly screenshots of some CG designed to look like origami, not sure which. There are the occasional grammatical errors in the nature of a mis-wording, or the random *. Format wise the PDF follows the dual format concept, broken with art, tables and designer's notes boxes from time to time. Each page is framed with a stylized border. Overall, visually, the book looks really good, baring a few pieces of illustration, but that's more my personal taste then anything.

The interesting thing about this product that will become evident very quickly reading through the introduction/explanation section is that this is not simply a collection of stuff. What this book sets out to do is introduce new options to a Gm's toolbox, giving us not only new and interesting things to play with, but ways to better use what is already there. New rules and options for potions and scrolls to try and shine them back up a little, make them interesting again. We're also introduced to the cruth galdr runes, an entirely new type of magic item, inspired (I'm willing to bet) by the Norse galdr runes. Another thing handled well within this tome, and this being something I would love to see more books follow the lead of, is the inclusion of plot hooks, advice and tips on how to integrate the material presented here into a campaign world.

Our first new concept would be Reagents, a powdered substance added to magical potions to essentially turn them into spell grenades, with effects determined by the school of magic from the spell in the potion. I could see this falling to the alchemist class as another option for bombs, a way to make usage of potions found while the group adventures. We are also given support feats and an item for the concept of turning potions into bombs, as well as a Rogue archetype, the Bomber. The idea of a rogue filling the shoes already set out for the alchemist, I'm not really sure where I'm at with that one. The archetype is well written and thought out, I'm just not sure it works for me.

Next on the menu we have Contingent Potions, for all those times we really wished we had drank that Potion of Super Usefulness earlier, before you needed it right now, when you can't drink it. You've all had that situation, you've got a potion of x, you really, really need to be able to take advantage of it, and you can't, for whatever reason. Well, contingent potions allow you to imbibe them, and set conditions for the effect to kick in later, like say drink a healing potion before combat that will activate after a few rounds, things of that nature. And again, a support feat, Higher Contingent Capacity, allowing for more than one contingency at a time.

Next up we take a look at Enchanted Flasks. Kind of amusing to think we've loaded our characters down with potions and liquids all these years, but have relatively ignored the containers used to carry them for all this time. Essentially this section covers how to enchant a flask to further enchant potions contained within for some interesting effects. Really cool concept, well handled crunch wise. Once again a couple of support feats are presented, as well as a decent list of possible effects. This particular item is off limits to alchemists however, and lies strictly within the range of potions only.

Scrolls, often looked at a simply spell-in-a-can fodder, rarely thought twice about as being worth more than the spell itself, these oft overlooked items are given a few fresh ideas in the next section.
Morescrolls are low level scrolls usable by anyone who can pull off the Int check, and Cognizaid Scrolls allows anyone a bonus to knowledge checks, on top of storing a spell waiting to be used. Arcanami, the result of a group of wizards enjoying the rum a little to much one evening, gives us a construct formed of the magical energies contained within the spells inscribed upon a scroll. Interesting idea, and well supported with a feat, and a bloodline. Metamagic Scrolls take the concept of metamagic's from rods to scrolls, making them a one time usage item. Dweomer Sigil Scrolls cast at the same time as whatever spell you wish to modify. One feat, and three pages of possible sigil effects support these scrolls, with varying degrees of modifications ranging from bonuses to spell DC's or dmg, to enhanced healing or illusion.

Cruth Galdr Runes....this section introduces us to the concept of tapping into and “amplifying shape's latent magical energy.” It is supported with new feats, subdomains, and a new item, the Athame, a ceremonial dagger designed for carving runes. To understand cruth galdr runes, you need to think of them as more permanent, large scale single symbol scrolls...without paper. They are spells and effects cast into a symbol, usually requiring a matter of time and energy. We are presented with 16 Rune spells, as well as yet another supporting feat, and an artifact: The Athame of the Demiurge, a CL20 artifact that would make any rune carving NPC an interesting challenge for a playgroup.

Our last page of material is filled with random percentile tables for the various items that are presented throughout the different sections of the book, and let's face it folks, we all random tables, you can never have enough.

So, final thoughts. Very few grammatical issues, formatting was solid, material was presented crunch heavy, fluff light. Typically, I prefer to see more fluff in my material, but this worked, and worked very well. There were a lot of optional ideas as well as new ideas being presented, and the crunch heavy tactic helped convey them all clearly, and in an interesting manner. I'm still not sold on a bomb throwing rogue though, lol. Giving this a 5, as there was a lot of truly solid material here that was well worth the cost, and this product does indeed tackle two of the biggest forgotten about magic items in the game, potions and scrolls.

Humble, awesome little book that redifines scrolls, potions and runes


This pdf is 22 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving 18 pages of content for forgotten magic items.

What are forgotten magic items, you ask? Have adventurer's left them behind while looting? No, essentially this book is about options. Options that not only might change how you might look at magic items, but also cater to different playstyles and go beyond what you'd usually expect from your magic loot. But enough of vague rambling, let's place these new options under closer scrutiny, shall we?

The pdf begins, as any such pdf should, with a short discussion and pieces of advice on how to integrate the items herein into your campaign by using a simple system that places you as the DM in control of the availability of the knowledge about them and their spread before providing some basic information on iron, mithral and adamantine vials before delving into the first quite intriguing alternate rule: Overloading potions. By adding a reagent (that costs 5gp per spell-level of the potion), you can make the potion a kind of makeshift throwing weapon/bomb with an additional minor detrimental effect based on the school of the overloaded potion's spell. We also get a new item to carry overloading powder and 2 new feats expanding upon the mechanic, finally making potions a bit more versatile. The bomber-archetype for the rogue, while nice and focused on the new mechanic, is a bit uncomfortably close to the alchemist for my tastes, who will, at least in my games, have exclusive access to this option. When compared to this rather massive modification on how a class of items can work, contingency potions almost feel mundane: They work like you would expect them to, by drinking them and picturing a contingency that will trigger them. A feat lets you have two potion contingencies in effect at once.

Now that we've covered enchanted potions, what about their containers, the flasks? A new item-class is introduced along-side two feats that let you add up to two properties to an enchanted flask in addition to the first one.14 possible enchantments are provided and range from making the contents cool (a boon for dwarves everywhere) to the option of spraying the content like a hose. While this seems rather mundane, the example given is rather intriguing: If you put a potion of cure light wounds into a flask enchanted with magic hose and showering magic, you can point it at a target and heal not only the direct target, but also everyone in the 5-ft. splash-range. The possibilities are quite exciting and it is one of these design that make you wonder why you haven't had the idea yourself. Neat!

Next up are scrolls and two new feats offer some long overdue options: Substituting your own casting ability modifier and, for a price, even your own caster level when casting from a scroll. Moreover, we get morescrolls, i.e. scrolls that can be used by anyone who can make an int-check of 10+ level of spell. Good idea, although I'm not sold on the name. Cognizaid-scrolls grant you a benefit to knowledge checks or re-rolling them, which makes for a great way to recycle spare scrolls you won't use. The ritual to transform a regular scroll into a cognizaid is sufficiently cheap to make this a viable option. Ever wanted to make your own sorcerous origami servants out of scrolls? The Arcanami (supported by a feat and a bloodline) make this possible as well.

Dweomer Sigil scrolls are interesting in that they modify other spells being cast while holding them. And yeah, they are not used up by the casting, making them permanent items that add interesting effects ranging from elementally-infusing summoned monsters, dimming lights, changing the area of effect to a telekinetic ram-like effect to making illusions harder to disbelieve. We get 32 dweomer sigil scrolls.

The final new category of items is the section on Cruth Galdr-runes, which is evidently by the description of them, inspired by old norse staves. To support the runes, we get a new kind of dagger to carve runes, the athame, a new item creation feat and a new subdomain for the rune-domain. Cruth Galdr-runes take up a selection of 5'x5' squares depending on the rune and every square on the floor/an object can only contain one rune. You can try to actively disrupt the effect of a rune by obscuring its shape or simply using the erase or dispel magic spells. The runes are rather interesting in that they reward preparation and take quite a lot of time to draw. However, their effects are rather interesting - from a kind of fort that fires force missiles at foes to creating wall of force-like bridges, they offer some interesting possibilities. Some of them also come with subsumed effects that can be triggered by burning out the rune in one activation. We get 16 Cruth Galdr-runes along a new feat to carve them faster.

The pdf loses by providing us with an artifact-level athame and convenient tables for the market prices of the items in this pdf.

Editing and formatting are good, I did notice some relics like "*"s and minor punctuation glitches, though none impeded my ability to comprehend the new rules, which is a necessity in a crunch-focused book like this. Layout adheres to a full-color 2-column standard and the artworks are neat. The pdf is fully bookmarked. This pdf caught me by surprise, to be honest. I expected some items in the vein of the Loot 4 Less-line by SGG and instead got new definitions of what magic items can do, a whole array of added possibilities for magic items. The boxes that explain design decisions and their intentions and the concise, easily understandable writing of author Will McCardell makes these rather hefty modifications easily comprehensible.
I already mentioned it: This pdf is all about options and, depending on the magic-niveau of your campaign you can scavenge alternate rules and or easily customize the components for your game, making this an innovative resource that is very easy to implement into a running campaign, offering maximum flexibility. This pdf essentially is a humble tome that offers a wide variety of options that reminded me pleasantly of e.g. spagyric devices and similar modifications. There are not that many crunch-heavy books that mostly omit fluff and still make for awesome reads, but this is one of them. I thoroughly enjoyed the options contained herein and have, apart from the minor editing glitches but one complaint: I would have loved to see more options for e.g. Dweomer Sigil scrolls and Cruth Galdr-runes. Thus, my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 an a hearty recommendation for all of you who want to add more options to their items and redefine what scrolls, potions and runes mean for you.

Endzeitgeist out.

Thanks for getting this up!

Dark Archive

Sounds different :)

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

I had the good fortune of reviewing a draft of this product. It's got a lot of interesting ideas in it for the misfit toys in the magic item toybox.

Thanks taig!

taig wrote:

I had the good fortune of reviewing a draft of this product. It's got a lot of interesting ideas in it for the misfit toys in the magic item toybox.

I agree with this assessment.

Dark Archive

Oooo... just what poppa wanted for christmas. I'll have to take a look at this during lunch!

I hope you enjoy it Matthew!

There was a post of mine that I hope you saw about 4 weeks ago :)

Dark Archive

I did, that's why this caught my attention. Thanks for the heads up!

Liberty's Edge

Congrats Will!!!

Thank you, and thanks for the inspiration!

Dark Archive

Still at work, but I did take a few minutes to go through it at lunch.

So far, really liking the work behind Enchanted Flasks and Metamagic Scrolls. Liking the concept behind Dweomer Sigils, but haven't been able to really sink my teeth into them.

I have had no time yet to look into the Cruth Galdr, but I love runes. They are a very different magic concept than anything that's ever been a core rule, but the rules systems have been too afraid to actually BE different. I've seen few products tackle them, and none of them that felt right. It usually ends up far too closely tied to the spellcasting rules instead of crafting rules.

It's looking like this one will be the exception (well duh, it has "magic item" in the title!). Just the fact that it requires a charged item to create them is a step in the right direction to win my approval.

Can't wait to dive in more fully!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Glad you are enjoying it so far! I hope you like the dweomer sigil scrolls. My players loved those, and they allow for a lot of cool combinations of effects. They also help make certain playstyles work better than the current rules allow. One of my favorite combinations is the Sigil of the Green and the Sigil of Arboreal Uprising :)

Cruth galdr runes take aspects from both spells and items. Some are like spells a little more than others (such as the Rune of Eldritch Might, which can be engraved in combat), but in general they need foresight to use since they require so many actions to engrave. They also generally last for a long time, like most magic items!

If you're curious, this page on wikipedia provided quite a bit of the inspiration for them.

The next issue of Pathways (due Jan 1st-ish. Probably later due to holidays!) will have some new items for enchanted flasks, dweomer sigils, and cruth galdr runes. It'll also have some material that was cut, including an earlier (and compatible!) version of cruth galdr crafting/engraving.

Be sure to check it out!

part of our Christmas sale.

Ooh, magic items and spells based on real-world Icelandic legendry? I know what I'll be getting during this sale.

Unfortunately, only items. There are no new spells in this product.

I am quite keen on hearing people's thoughts on the cruth galdr. Especially which they like the most, the price for semi-permanent 'items' that affect all inside, and how they'd be used.

I hope you enjoy it Eric!

Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Dark Archive

Nice review End.

And again - thank you. I hope you'll have a nice Christmas!

Thanks for the review! As I mentioned before, the latest Pathways will have a few more runes and dweomer sigils. Who knows, if those two item types are popular, there may be more in the future! Thanks again, and have a wonderful Christmas.

Dark Archive

Great review End!

I've also got this one in my sights--there's a ton of really fun options in this book and I'm apt to implement them wholesale into our group's campaigns. Love it--let's see more like it! :)

Dark Archive

I liked the idea of the cruth galdr, especially as something a caster might put around her home. With that said i wasn't keen on all the runes in the book. Same can be said for the dweomer sigils, love the idea but not keen on all the sigils in the book.

Student of the Scroll, again loved the idea. But half the caster stat mod seemed a bit low to me.

BTW if you can't tell I am reading this today.

I am checking my notes for the reason for half the casting ability modifier for that feat.

Look like it was to make it a nice option, but not make it obsolete filling your slots with the spells that need a long duration, etc. Making it 2/3rd the stat bonus would work, but it's not as clean. Perhaps I was overly conservative with that decision, but now you know the reasoning :-)

Thanks for the kind words, all!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pathways article has been submitted. It provides three new items (one flask, one sigil, one rune), a cut item type, and more expensive cruth galdr (as they originally were, as well as advice).

Dark Archive

Cheapy wrote:
Pathways article has been submitted. It provides three new items (one flask, one sigil, one rune), a cut item type, and more expensive cruth galdr (as they originally were, as well as advice).

I hope it also includes an announcement that you're writing entries for the 101 series on cruth galdr, dweomer sigils and the like ;)

The mechanical potential for cruth galdr adding fun activities for characters is considerable--now to expand the catalog! Perhaps a series of cruth galdr for battlefield booby traps, a set to augment maneuvers (one which is essentially a 'jump pad'? forming a magical fortification that provides cover for a ranged character?)

There could certainly be a set with synergy for summoners as well, of course--and why not add some to augment a healer in the field, extending the radius of channeled energy when they stand within? How about a cruth galdr that mimics the coven ability of hags, allowing multiple characters to combine forces for casting? Maybe cruth galdr that respond to characters with teamwork feats, allowing you to set up a strategic position to lure foes into to spring sudden phalanx attacks or the like?

A low level cruth galdr 'soapbox' that augments the range one standing on it can be heard or adds bonuses to their social skills for subtle boosts addressing a crowd or demanding the defenders of a keep submit to those who besiege it. ;)


I've been keeping track of new ideas for dweomer sigils and cruth galdr since release, in case of a sequel. I'll add those to the list!

The Pathways issue is out!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Have tucked this into my "buy as soon as finances reappear" pile. Am looking forward to reviewing it after reading your article in Pathways 11.

Glad to hear, and I hope you enjoy!

I didn't forget you Will, I finally got my review up. Interesting concepts presented by this PDF, I enjoyed it.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Great review, KTFish7! I'm glad this one gets some additional covergae,a s I consider it a great resource indeed! :)

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks KTFish7! This is a far better thing to wake up to than coffee :)

And another 5 star review for this book :)

(Well, the actual 5 star is at RPGNow, but it points to the above link!)

Dark Archive

Hey Cheapy!

I still haven't had a chance to dig in too much deeper, but I wanted to take the time to let you know that I did share an enchanted flask as a piece of treasure at game, and it really took off. The players got immediately excited and wanted to know more and are pinching their pennies for a couple of them.

Congrats, man! You really knocked it out of the park!

Side Note: do you know if anyone, fan or otherwise, has mentioned entering these into Hero Lab? I didn't want to duplicate efforts.

We are glad you enjoyed the product, it sounds like an awesome time.

We have two folks who work on putting it into herolabs which we then make available at no addtional cost to those who purchase our products.

Dark Archive

Sweet! Do they have a timeframe or is it a "when we find the time" sort of thing (which is completely fair)?

I'm ecstatic to hear that! Which flask did you give them?

And I don't know anything about the schedule of the guys who do hero-lab conversions. I know they do it on their own time, but I don't know what they are working on.

Matthew Winn wrote:

Sweet! Do they have a timeframe or is it a "when we find the time" sort of thing (which is completely fair)?

Because they do it on their own time we don't announce their schedule.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Believe it or not, it was the Draught Potion

I picked it because it fit one of the characters perfectly. It's not a big thing, but the flavor of it really ignited the excitement. The idea of enchanting flasks grabbed their attention hardcore.

Dark Archive

Rite Publishing wrote:
Matthew Winn wrote:

Sweet! Do they have a timeframe or is it a "when we find the time" sort of thing (which is completely fair)?

Because they do it on their own time we don't announce their schedule.

That what I would expect. Fair enough. I guess until then I can add what I need when I need it.

*stares at clock*

*twiddles thumbs*

*cries softly*


For those curious, here's a full-sized preview. I guess we forgot to link to it earlier!

For those interested, Rogue Genius Games is having a sale that includes another book I wrote that gives a similar treatment to Staves.

The book that inspired this one and Apeiron Staves is also on sale :)

Nice cross pimpage ;)

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