Terms for Magic (a potion of what?)


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


I'm just going to dive in, please feel free to add new items or expand on what's here. There must be very many ways to refer to these concepts.

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"A potion of cure critical wounds"

No, they wouldn't call it that.

"A powerful healing draught"

No. There are 9 divine spell levels segregated into discrete groups observed by all clerics. You might make the case that they don't know about different levels, but a clerical order would eventually observe that you can cast a certain tier of spells at the same time, and you access to that tier all at once. They might write it down. They have to know the difference between cure light wounds and cure critical wounds.

"A bottle of cure, tripel."

Now we're getting somewhere. I don't know how to brew a trappist ale, and I don't know how they brew cure potions, but I'm pretty sure the monks and clerics have a handle on what they're doing.

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"A plus one sword."

No way in the hells.

"An enchanted blade."

Better, but we know that tossing "enchantment" around is going to piss off a certain subset of players (myself included). Plus, this is totally ambiguous about the type of magic — it's not a flaming sword, it's a "plus one" sword.

Enhancement bonus to weapons is radiates evocation under detect magic. What does this evoke, exactly? It isn't elemental, but it may be a force effect, since magic weapons can strike incorporeal foes. Let's presume it's a force effect. How exactly does it grant it's bonus to hit and damage?

"A guided sword."

Might work. This means that there's an evocation effect "guiding" the weapon, ensuring that it will find its mark and strike deep.

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"A plus three bow"

As above, guided maybe? But, picture this: A logistics officer in the Mendevian crusades sends an order to the clerics that guided or cold iron weapons are necessary to stand any chance against the demon hordes. Obeying the letter of his order, the clerics send him a crate of +2 longswords. The officer's legion is crushed, unable to penetrate the demonic resistance, despite their guided weapons, and Mendev is lost.

"Ironworth"
"Demonworthy"
"A journeyman or 'jack' weapon... opposed to the 'apprentice' weapon (+1 or +2)."

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"Level Three Spell"

You know, it could work. Characters in the game world don't suffer the same confusion between character levels and spell levels as we do. However, I still think "Level" lacks atmosphere.

"A third order incantation"

Incantation works for both arcane and divine spells. Consider also...

The Dictionary wrote:


order |ˈôrdər|
noun
...

3 (often orders) a social class : the upper social orders.
• a grade or rank in the Christian ministry, esp. that of bishop, priest, or deacon.
Theology any of the nine grades of angelic beings in the celestial hierarchy.
...

8 Mathematics the degree of complexity of an equation, expression, etc., as denoted by an ordinal number.

"He has attained the third order of initiation."

Yes, there must be a moment in every spellcaster's life when they realize they can cast spells of a new level. In some cases, such as wizard collges or clerical orders, this must be accompanied by ritual, pomp and circumstance. After all, in the case if clerics, the deity has literally ordained more power to that individual. That's an unmistakable directive from 'the boss'. It's a promotion!

"He has entered the third circle."

I like this one too, because circles are neat.

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"I'm out of spells per day."

You're a wizard. You pore over tomes each morning so that you can go out and cast spells. Maybe you're a little smarter than the next guy, which means you get to cast an extra spell. Bragging rights!

If the majority of wizards have a 13 Int (looking at page 448 in the PCR), most wizard schools would notice that their apprentices can cast either one or two first-order spells. IF you can only cast one, you're not going to make it past 3rd or 4th order spells. If you can cast three, they most likely try to kill you depending on their alignment.

Characters in Golarion probably do not see magic as a skill. There is an element of skill, but they probably see it as a "gift". If low level mages can only cast two spells a day, every day, and there is no fatigue involved, they probably have codified language for referring to a prepared spell, and it's probably not "spells per day".

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More later. Post your own!


I tend to use real world analogies for clerics, so you have Intiates, Brothers, Vergers, Priests, etc.
Old school D&D had different titles for each level of each class so you could raid that for inspiraton or if worse comes to worse fall back on "I've been a Wizard for three years now." for a third level as an example.
Why can't you have all types of healing potion just be called "Healing", if you need specific just use a descriptor like mild or mighty.

Dark Archive

I love this idea.

Briefly, perhaps healing potions could refer either to intended consumer (lowest level might be "Peasant's Remedy," with highest being "Noble's Restorative"), or its efficacy referencing religious figures in a church (from "The Curate's Blessing" to "Saint Evros' Divine Elixir").


Spacelard wrote:

I tend to use real world analogies for clerics, so you have Intiates, Brothers, Vergers, Priests, etc.

Old school D&D had different titles for each level of each class so you could raid that for inspiraton or if worse comes to worse fall back on "I've been a Wizard for three years now." for a third level as an example.

Hm. My PCs in an average campaign tend to rocket through the first three Spell levels in a couple of months, tops. There is not a clear relationship between time and spell level.

Expanding on your idea, I think a name specific to the practitioner of each spell level is a really good idea. It would probably differ by magical tradition, and further by Diety or arcane college... but a standard set (maybe one arcane one divine) would be phenomenally useful.

Quote:


Why can't you have all types of healing potion just be called "Healing", if you need specific just use a descriptor like mild or mighty.

You absolutely could do it this way, and I think most people do. But I think on another end, the spells and pricing are standardized, there must be a less clumsy term to refer to a specific strength of potion. This is why I reached for the trappist ales: without a scientific notion of alcohol, they still managed to create and delineate the strengths of different ales (Singel, Duppel, Tripel, Quadrupel) for different occasions. I imagine an informal system exists for certain clerical orders and cure potions, although it probably varies widely by region and tradition.

How do you normally refer to enhancement bonus weapons in-character?

Skullbone wrote:

I love this idea.

Briefly, perhaps healing potions could refer either to intended consumer (lowest level might be "Peasant's Remedy," with highest being "Noble's Restorative"), or its efficacy referencing religious figures in a church (from "The Curate's Blessing" to "Saint Evros' Divine Elixir").

Ooooooooooo, making it about wealth and social class! Very nice.

Again, there should be many different traditions and conventions for referring to magic in-game.

Heck, some ultra-lawful society might very well call ever potion by it's clumsy spell name (i.e. Potion of Fox's Cunning). But I'm curious to see what various players and GMs have come up with in their own games.

Ultimately, I'd like to compile everyone's ideas into a "Magic Thesaurus" so that GMs could pick from a bunch of terms with relative ease. So keep em coming!


In my group we usually use descriptive language (this blade is has vicious looking edges that seem as if they could take extra advantage of a devastating blow == Keen weapon). We then follow that up by telling the player what it is mechanically. It breaks character a bit but its neccessary.

I like the idea of calling the +x bonus on a weapon guided. Perhaps using ideas like lesser, improved, greater and superior? +1 Lesser guided blade, +2 guided blade, +3 improved guided blade etc.

It is an interesting idea to be able to give the player an accurate mechanical description without breaking character. "The wizard has identified this blade as a Flaming longsword of Greater Guidance) instead of "Its a +3 flaming longsword".


Kolokotroni wrote:


I like the idea of calling the +x bonus on a weapon guided. Perhaps using ideas like lesser, improved, greater and superior? +1 Lesser guided blade, +2 guided blade, +3 improved guided blade etc.

It is an interesting idea to be able to give the player an accurate mechanical description without breaking character. "The wizard has identified this blade as a Flaming longsword of Greater Guidance) instead of "Its a +3 flaming longsword".

We do Novice (1), Apprentice (2), Journeyman/Jack (3), Master (4) and Archmage (5+) — and usually include the name of the tradition that forged it, sort of a "brand name". Plus, the zelda fan in the group really wants a master sword.

Dark Archive

In one of the Thieves' World novels, they refered to someone as a 'Hazard class mage'. Doesn't that sound awesome?

I've used in the past an 'order of magnitude' to describe levels of spells (ie 'i will sell you a scroll of any spell up to the second order of magnitude').

As for a +1 sword, you could refer to that as a 'simple enchantment' or 'base enchantment'.

Darn it, now you are making me think about this ... :)


I had once thought of using "Degree" for spell level -- like Fireball is a third degree spell. I like Order and Circle, too. You might be able to use these for the potions, too. A first Order healing potion or a third Circle Curative.

Getting out my handy-dandy thesaurus gives a few variations for "degree":

- class (Eighth class spell)
- magnitude (a sword of third magnitude with lightning)
- rank (Second rank healing potion)

Those are just the ones I like best.

Also, I know that when I have a Chimay Cinq Cents (tripel), I always feel better.

AJ


If the characters are not aware (presumably) of character level, then why wouldn't they use level as a method of determining spell power? At least as far as spell casting classes go, it probably makes MORE sense to say "Oh, Vitality is a 4th level Sorceror!" indicating not that he has four character levels, but has accessed the fourth tier of spells. Ironically, that would put a 20th level Ranger at 4th level as well.

Like the earlier poster commented--orders and colleges and experienced characters would know the difference, very quickly that some people have developed Cure Critical Wounds but cannot get Heal. They would have detailed out these levels even if they did not know every possible spell, but would have a basic "book" detailing those power levels. It isn't like someone just came up with the fireball spell, which has been around for about 30 years in real life :)....

...

..and has always been a 3rd level spell.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

In the awesome Tales of Wyre on enWorld (Sepulchrave = genius) they're called the 9 valences. I think epic spells are transvalent =) (Forget the word he uses)
The depth of that imagery is amazing. Filling electron shells equates to filling your head (armamentarium) with spells - each valence is progressively larger and more complex too. When you open a new shell, it only holds one spell initially - just like starting a new period in the periodic table. Love it. Yoinked it.


I'm loving all of this. In-game PCs wouldn't know the "level" of anyone. Seeing the spells they can cast, or how well they fight, etc., should give higher-level players a good idea of how powerful their opponents are.

Game mechanics being what they are, your casters will identify a +2 keen scimitar for what it is. In character, they wouldn't use those terms, as "level" and such isn't what they would say, or know about.

I like the 1-2e idea of labels per level, though it doesn't translate directly. Saying a druid is an "initiate of the 4th circle," means "She can cast 4th level spells," among druids. Others wouldn't get the meaning, unless a druid took lots of time to explain it, which they probably wouldn't.

They live in a world, not a game.

Casting Arcane Sight gives the caster sure knowledge of items, spells and spell levels, etc. It's not fair to just say he doesn't have an accurate idea of the magic he can see, or put it in terms that make the spell inaccurate.

It would be fair to pass a note to the player with the real mechanical aspects of items and spells their observed subjects have, and the player should say something like, "She is, as I feared, a powerful cleric. Her bodyguard has enchanted armor and weapons. The others have little or no magical items to worry about. We must be careful, as there isn't time to examine it all in detail. I will cast a spell to help us in our quest, and we must act swiftly."

There are only 6 seconds to a round. You can't describe it all day.

I like the idea of "magnitude" or "power," as well as the other suggested terms here, like "circle," regarding spells. Different casters would use different terms, depending on their race/class/deity/background/region. Plenty of room for different terms to describe the same thing.

Spellcasters can use it freely, in-game, while other characters just ignore it, or tremble in fear:

"A spell of the 8th order? How could we fight that?"

Even then, a caster might need to roll a linguistics check, along with a spellcraft or religion check, to really know what such an inocuous sentence really means.

If you aren't from around here, you might not know what the term means, even in Common.

Dark Archive

toyrobots wrote:

"A plus one sword."

No way in the hells.

"An enchanted blade."

When the PCs would go 'magic shopping,' I would usually not bother to role-play that stuff out, but when I did, the merchant didn't offer a '+2 axe' or a '+3 sword,' he offered up a 'doubly-enchanted axe,' or a sword that has been 'thrice-forged,' with some flavor text about how the craftsman had to forge it, enchant it, and then reforge and re-enchant it for each further 'plus.'

It's one of the reasons that Cheliax, with it's 'Thrice-Damned House of Thrune' makes me smile, because it reminds me of the kind of language I used, when the Paladin would be out searching for a 'Fourfold Blade' (+4 sword).

The first person I gamed with called spells 'Orders' or 'Circles' of magic, instead of by level, and that just kind of stuck with me. A cure critical wounds would be a Mystery of the 4th Circle (for a Cleric, anyway), while a meteor swarm would be 'Magick of the Highest Order.'

I like the idea of potions being known by social rankings. Nice one Skullbone! (Also loving some of toyrobots and abj47's ideas. Magnitude is a great term to use. "It's only a casting of the first magnitude, but Caron's Clashing Colors (color spray) can be devastating to the weak of will!" And referring to swords as apprentice, journeyman, adept, master, archmage, etc. crafted blades sounds cool.)

I used alchemical rankings myself. A cure light wounds potion would be a copper restorative, a cure moderate wounds a silver healing draught and a cure serious wounds a golden tonic.


@Set

I can see "x-fold" as a term magesmiths would use, like unto the layers of rolled steel that went into the forging of traditional katana. What is "folded" within the weapon is "layers" of guiding magic — this might actually be how the bonus is perceived by detect magic, et al. as "layers" of magical aura.

Using the metallurgical hierarchy is so classic. I will be stealing that for many tiered spells now, thanks!

Along that line, I just remembered that for certain towns, we had potion brewers who color-coded their potions. Blue-label, red-label, etc. It's silly until you recall that we do the exact same thing with whisky in the real world!

More ideas please! Nothing is insignificant!

Dark Archive

You could poke the bear by calling +1 swords 'tier 1', +2 'tier 2', etc. and have crotchety old men sitting around the magic shop grousing about how tier 1 swords are worthless and 'broken' and 'examples of craftsmen who didn't understand how magic worked' and that every sword should be at least tier 4 before someone should consider using it.


We could. I think it is an ugly word in either context, though.


ajb47 wrote:

I had once thought of using "Degree" for spell level -- like Fireball is a third degree spell.

That seems about right, seeing as how they cause third degree burns. yuk,yuk.

I don't have a problem with "potion of X" because potions and wands are all stored spells. If you call the spell "Cure Critical Wounds", you should call the potion that too. If you've given all the spells cooler in-world names, then my hat is off to you.

I do have a problem with +1 Sword and +2 Gauntlets of Dex, etc.

I use:
Magic Chainmail
Improved Magic Chainmail
Great Magic Chainmail
Greater Magic Chainmail
Greatest Magic Chainmail
or just the first 3 for things that only have 3 categories.

The players, of course, always groan and write +3 Chainmail on their sheet anyway.


Ashkecker wrote:


If you've given all the spells cooler in-world names, then my hat is off to you.

My goal: for you to take your hat off!

Contributor

Here's a simple list for potions:

0 Tisane
1 Brew
2 Draught
3 Potion
4 Philtre
5 Tonic
6 Cordial
7 Essence
8 Physic
9 Elixir

Note that this assumes you're either using the old Master Alchemist class from Magic of Faerun to break the 3rd level ceiling on potions, or having the fancier potions made with Craft Wondrous Item, or just letting the potions break the ceiling to begin with.

Anyway, using the cleric as example, a "curative draught" is less marvelous than a "healing cordial," which is in turn far less mighty than "the elixir vitae which can resurrect the dead!"

Dark Archive

Ashkecker wrote:
If you've given all the spells cooler in-world names, then my hat is off to you.

I've seen characters do that, and played a few that did so as well, but never seen a DM bother with that level of detail.

It's easier to do with a PC, since you are only required to come up with cool (or incredibly grandiose and pretentious) names for the spells that you know.

Grand Lodge

I really like using degree, circle, or whatever for spell levels. For one it makes the class less confusing. Just one less use of the word level. Course I prefer attribute over ability, since classes also have abilities.

But there is actually no reason why they could not refer to levels as either spells or class level. I would think different degrees would refer to them using all kinds of synonyms. Martial arts uses degrees of belts. A degree and a level are synonymous. So some churches could have levels, some degrees. Some wizards could easily use level as it sounds more "arcane" to me than divine, but then circle and degree work as well.

Fox's Cunning seems a perfect way to describe the spell and the potion, as it is better than "an intelligence enhancement potion." But then most spell names work well I think.

Take a scroll of Summon Monster IV. Why not? Summon Monster is exactly what the spell does. It requires mastery of the fourth level, circle, degree of spells. Sure you can say Greater Summon Monster, but if that is the fourth title in a list, it is essentially the same as saying IV. And I can see more math oriented arcane schools adopting that method.

Divine traditions are just as likely to come up with esoteric flavors to describe those levels.

Personally I am all for using levels, circles, degrees to describe these things. And I also think that there would be a specific title associated with someone that can manipulate certain degrees of spells.

Purely martial classes are more difficult to quantify short of a precise system of testing to "advance," as most martial arts do. I think most Fighters would just say they are Fighters, soldiers, warriors, mercenaries or whatever. Paladins and knightly martial characters would definitely have specific titles, probably unique to their order.

Fun stuff, like to see more. :)


For spells and potions, I always just used the default name. It always struck me that the Cure Light Wounds spell was called such because that's what the mages call it. If it's going to go by another name, then I don't see why that name couldn't be used OOC. Going through every spell and comming up with an alternative name seems far too time consuming (especially since, outwith one or two, the names work fine anyway).

Everyone is going to know what you mean if you say "And then I'll a fireball followed by a phantasmal killer", they're most likely going to assume a ball of fire followed by some sort of illusionary-death spell, which is pretty much what both are. Granted some spells do sound more silly than others, but I'd just go with it, it's not like everything in RL has names you can take seriously (I mean come on, Wii? If you didn't crack an immature joke upon immediatly hearing that consule name for the first time, you just ain't human).

As for the weapon enchantments...that's always somthing I think about whenever I try a game. In one game, the "X amount worth of components" needed to enchant items in one of my settings consisted of shards from a long dead god, called Godshards. So someone with a +5 weapon would call it a "5-shard weapon", indicating a least 5 whole shards on it.

In another, I had magical weapons incribed with a rune for each enchanment on it, so a +5 weapon had 5 visable runes on it (though this had the side effect that PC's could see how magical a weapon was by looking at it). For things like that, I always find it more interesting to try and think of a little way yourself, you'd be surprised how easily some of the ideas can come.

Grand Lodge

oh I like that 5 shard and 5 rune weapons...

hey now we know what happened to Arodin! Anyone else looking for some godshards? I just found an ear-shard! >;)

Dark Archive

Krome wrote:
oh I like that 5 shard and 5 rune weapons...

My six demon bag pwns your pathetic five-shard weapon!


Toyrobots wrote:
tfad, can you turn right around and expand on this idea in the Magic Terms thread? Thanks!
tfad/me wrote:

using a closer parallel with some of the real world post-middle-ages Catholic stuff, invoking the name of the spell-inventor would be a verbal component.

Something else for the character to think about, in-game, is paying for statues of his god to be installed in other temples of the faith, engraved with the spell. You could do the same thing with prayer books if the campaign has printing presses. This way more priests will be familiar with the incantation and the history of the author. Just make sure that "pride" is not listed as a sin according to church doctrine.

By invitation! Although, admittedly, this is less about the terms used.

Expanding on what was quoted above, and using my own games as an example, I gotta say, I manage to avoid this issue, almost entirely, by naming every single magic item, often using the name of the creator in the name of the item. This is a *lot* of work, but it is ultimately worth the effort. I also make sure to include some degree of background with each item, at the very least, what class the creator belonged to (or even classes - you'd be amazed at how much cooler an item seems to players when they learn that it was made by a Wizard/Monk; "Woah! That dude must have rocked!). It's also good for roleplaying too. Holy rusting grasp gauntlets appear very different when you think about the characters that made them - what does it say about their druid creator? He must have been pretty agressively anti-metal. What about if they were made by a paladin? He was likely always skirting the "rules of engagement" and likely flew very close to his code of honor!

You can see - this stuff pretty much writes itself at times.

It's important to leave mechanical questions out of the creation process, though. With help from NPCs and other means, such as Wish spells, UMD skill checks, etc. characters of any class are capable of making almost any item. Also, remember that if you're rolling up 40-something items as the players are going shopping, #1 they're not going to buy everything so don't get too attached to any particular item, and #2 it's okay to have a couple of "I don't know" items - I'm sure that the merchants get the occasional trade in - it's enough to say to the players/characters, "I dunno - bought it off of some adventurers last month." If the players are really into it then they can always cast legend lore or similar later, giving you time to fill in the details.

Another thing I find useful in bringing the items to life, is to alter the prices. Even just a 10% variation creates an interesting situation for you. Roll randomly - see what you get. I make my players roll appraise skill checks to see if they know what an item is worth and if they're getting a bargain/being overcharged.

E.g. You roll an evil-outsider bane weapon, with a 15% increase in price. The merchant can say something like; "Well just last week a group of angels passed through here, looking for some heavy magicks.
The tall one said something about rescuing a prisoner. Then just yesterday it happened again - can't blame me for trying to make a living!"

E.g. You roll a folding boat, reduced by 10%; "It was a trade in - anything I make on it is profit so I'm trying to do you a nice deal."

E.g. You roll a ring of protection, reduced by 15%, created by a cleric; "Turns out the poor sod who made it lost his faith in Pelor. Kinda puts folks off of buying it, so it's been in stock for a while now - I'm just trying to shift it. I'll knock it down to 20% if you buy anything else in-store today!"

Etc.

Other Examples from my laptop, without mechanics:

Badvok’s Blazing Basher - The legendary dwarf adventurer Badvok, used this magical warhammer throughout the Coiled Serpent campaign. The piece was thought to have been lost, only to turn up on a market stall in the Abyss many generations later.

Ithutt’s Bow - Ithutt still survives to this day, running a small pub in the gate-town of Ribcage. His bow, like most of his artefacts from his adventuring days, was sold off in an effort to finance the goblin’s tavern; Ithutt’s Hut.

Enchanted Arrow/Icy Arrow – The City has an abundance of magical arrows, often sold to adventurers who pass through. They all came from the famous elf Rathenai, who spent several months recovering from his injuries here. He was still under the Feathered Pharaoh’s curse at the time, compelling him to craft a fine arrow each hour lest his heart stop. He gifted all the arrows he had made during his stay to the city, when he left

Rythus’ Boomerang - Salamanders respect the boomerang – it was the weapon of our ancestors, the weapon that brought us into the modern age. Rythus knew this and obeyed the ancient customs, enchanting his boomerang before his spear. He met with success as a result, becoming known across the planes for his skill and bravery.

Ayelashou’s Cape of Deflection - None of the scholars I’ve talked to have ever heard of “Ayelshou”, but his or her name is still stitched to the inside of the cape’s collar. The protection it offers, however, is beyond questioning at such a bargain price!

Csaal’s Mail - Csaal wore this suit of chain mail, forged by her Dwarven husband, throughout most of her adventuring career. She retired after making a big enough score to buy a kingdom, supposedly stolen from an infernal green dragon. She sold off most of her adventuring gear at the request of her husband, as he was fearful that its presence would serve as a constant reminder of her adventuring days; either making her sad, or causing her come out of retirement.

Marionette Armour – This suit of armour was created a devil-smith who was fond of blasphemy. Having no fear of a god who he thought of as powerless, he invited Landanstruh, the god of puppetry, to do his worst. From that day, all weapons and armour he created were cursed, causing those who used his items to move like a puppet! However, in the case of this piece, there was an unexpected benefit – those who don this suit of armour find their feet barely touch the floor as they jerk along, making their steps almost silent.

Zontimax’s War Helm – Zontimax ceased progressing along the path of the wizard, just as he reached the peak of his power. A closely fought battle in a null-magic zone inspired Zontimax to begin training as a warrior. His final, formal act as a Wizard of the Red Robes, was the creation of this helm. It offers fantastic protection, doubly so if your attacker aims for your head!

Bag of Holding I – The workhorse of an adventurer’s magical gear, most of these items do not have a recorded history. However, the purple colour and light silky material of this piece, suggest it was made by Dark Elves.

Celestial Bonsai Tree – This bonsai tree was grown from cuttings taken from the gardens of Mount Celestia. The tiny berries that grow upon it have a healing effect and, when the tree is properly tended to, grow back extremely rapidly.

Elven Circlet - The problem we had identifying this circlet comes from the fact that Elven is not spoken amongst the (SELLER'S SPECIES). Once it was put on, however, we could not see the inscription to read it! The problem was finally solved with a set of mirrors. It turns out this piece belonged to a half-Elven prince called Annasure. As his dominion was over human lands, he ensured he would not forget the other half of his heritage by having it enchanted with the Elven language.

Garldex’s Glove of Storing – Garldex was an amazing and complex character, famous across the planes as both a thief and a holy man. This simple leather glove saved his life on numerous occasions, by virtue of his obsession with preparation.

Gauntlets of the Ogress Mage - These gauntlets were fashioned from star-metal by a powerful Ogress Mage. They have had numerous owners over the generations since, but they magically resist all attempts at re-branding or re-naming. The inscription inside each gauntlet reads “These gauntlets will survive me. Use them in battle. Use them in magic. But do not use them in cowardice! So says Teretight, Ogress Mage”.

Goni’s Gloves of Grabbing – Goni was a Lich who lost his life as an evil sorcerer to an arrow. In his undead state, he crafted these gloves so as to prevent a similar death again. Although one free hand is needed to use these magical gloves, this was not a problem for Goni, who always kept a hand free to cast his spells.

Leprechaun’s Pot - This magical pot used to belong to a Leprechaun, who would have used the treasure it contained to trick mortals. Although the treasure is long-gone, placing more treasure inside the pot makes it disappear, presumably vanishing to the Fae Realms and to the pot’s previous owner. As the treasure vanishes, it grants a little of the Leprechaun’s magic to whoever placed their gold inside.

Lung Mei’s Kama Beads - Lung Mei still lives today, working hard in his modest monastery-cum-workshop on the plane of Mechanus. Although his apprentices create all types of wondrous items, it is Lung Mei himself that produces the best pieces. These prayer beads, inscribed with tenets of order and modesty, are a powerful boon to any spell caster.

Milkmaid’s Revenge – (apron (belt) of Command) Sarah the Swift remembered her difficult early years, working as a milkmaid, before she was adopted by a group of adventurers and became a sorceress. When passing through a small village and seeing a young milkmaid being hassled in a way she was familiar with, Sarah could not help but intervene. It is said she created this magical apron in a single night, gifting it to the milkmaid the following morning. It is believed that the apron has worked its way across the planes, after it was stolen during an Orcish raid on that small village.

Milluet’s Ring of Counter Spelling – This magical ring of counter spelling is largely unremarkable, save for the fact that it is inscribed “to my lover”, for the adventuring monk Milluet. This is an interesting note in the history of the item as Milluet famously took a vow of chastity, to aid in warding off of succubi. The truth may now never be known, but the power of this item is beyond question! BONUS! “Name your arcane spell and I’ll have cast on the ring for free!”

Monkey Fur Bracers - Both the craftsmanship and origin of these bracers are amazing. Created from his own fur, the epic Celestial Ape adventurer Simous crafted these pieces before he gained the Keeper of the Orb’s powers. As such, he had yet to acquire the ability to regenerate; the scars of the bracer’s creation staying with him for the rest of his life.

Siren’s Slippers - These beautiful gold and green slippers lend their wearer the enchanting voice of the Siren who stitched them. Their story before Abaddamus, the famous possessed archer, discovered them in an old well, remains unknown.

Top hat of Toasting – This magical top hat was gifted to Lady Owlskull - by Baron Samedi himself! She later traded the top hat for a lost soul she was guiding as a part of her quest. It has since been owned by over a dozen adventurers, each one of them claiming that the hat told them when it wished to leave them and pass on to a new owner. It’s going cheap as Salamanders have little use for fire-based sorcery!

A Mysterious Psionatrix of Dromite Design - This Psionatrix was crafted by an unknown Dromite over 500’000 years ago, making it one of the oldest pieces currently on sale.

All that Remains of Summer’s End - These stylish white boots are all that remains of the White-Wyrm Summer’s End.

An Eye for a Bargain - This magic rapier was originally twinned with the magic dagger; ‘An Eye for the Ladies’. Both relics of Callahir Singollo, the Elvish bard, were thought lost, until this piece turned up for sale in one of the markets of Sigil.

Armour of the Ghost-faced Killer - The armour of Yashishino, the legendary Ghost-faced Killer, imparts some of the warrior’s skill at arms on the wearer, as well it’s protection.

Aughest’s Staff of the Holy Battlemage - Aughest worked as a troubleshooter of sorts for Celestia about 400 years ago.

Backerwick’s Bubbler - This Gnomish cauldron cooks up useful alchemy out of any liquid; water, wine, urine....

Briny Ball - This rare purple pearl was enchanted by a druid-diviner on some drowned material world.

Crikadel - This rare piece does have the effect of causing you to manifest scales when wearing it, but the protection it offers is second to none.

Doomed Lover’s Rings - These were hastily sold by a broken hearted adventurer. Their fine craftsmanship certainly not to blame for her misfortune.

Ei jholi shys cylol, Ei shaedyl shys cylol - This Elven halberd’s name translates as “A line worth holding, a weapon worth holding”. Although the tale of this weapon has been lost, the construction includes the use of various cockatrice-derived materials.

Encyclopaedia Daemonica, Complete set Encyclopaedia Daemonica 14 vol. - It is very rare to find a complete set of these ancient books.

Esthon’s Bracers - Used by the Centaur villain Esthon during the Riding Wars.

Frostflash - Without a doubt, one of the finest bows ever made by a non-Elf. This powerful relic has seen use on every side of the Blood Wars. Originally crafted as a commissioned piece from a Spellweaver by a long-forgotten hero, this longbow is almost 20’000 years old.

Haun’s Fork - This trident is a relic of the lost faith of Uryna. Members of this strange cult believed that truth was the ultimate weapon.

Hesper’s Cursed Armour - Tales of man-beasts and treachery accompany the demise of each previous owner of this cursed breastplate.

Holy Bread - The Paladin Billaux Faith-spreader of Hera, crafted this staff of her most common spells. Spells she called her ‘bread’.

Howling’s End - A very rare piece, this lance was crafted by a Slaad with the intention to slay ghosts.

Hungry for Orc - This scimitar was created by a sickly Elf who lived in constant fear of dropping from exhaustion in battle, and thus being outshone by his younger, doted on brother. Disease claimed him in the end.

Issaan’s Staff Magic Staff - This powerful staff is perfect for anyone following in Issaan Magebane’s footsteps.

Jontia’s Protection - Jontia swore this cloak offered her protection beyond that which she paid to have woven into it.

Joqua’s Gauntlet - Joqua created this gauntlet as a part of his scheme to get even with his sister.

Kick-Bite - This collar was crafted for an Elven watchdog belonging to a family by the name of Willow-Wise.

Mageslayer - This simply titled sword was created by a one-eyed Dwarf for a no-eyed knight who sought revenge against a three-eyed wizard.

Nashendagaro’s Bell - This huge bell was created by a group of wandering adventurers to protect a humble church that found itself under siege from a near-by magic school.

The following two pieces were actually named and given a story that fit a part of our ongoing campaign -
the PCs had previously decided not to investigate the desecrated barrows described. This is another good tool
you can use when giving some sense of realism to items and your game-world.

Older Brother’s Defense - One of two magical shields, found in a desecrated barrow on the Prison Plane.

Younger Brother’s Defense - One of two magical shields, found in a desecrated barrow on the Prison Plane.

P’endper’s Flaming Sheath - This psychoactive skin was created by a mysterious race of aquatic troglodytes for the hero P’endper, during his quest to foil an Aboleth scheme.

Pesarus’ Chainshirt - This chainshirt was crafted to protect the warrior-king Pesarus.

Plate of the Petitioned Praetorian - The golem this suit of armour can be used to form, is silent about their origins.

Pole of Eyes - Whilst the creator remains a mystery, the workmanship and function a beyond question – made with real Beholder eyes!

Pom of the Splintershields - This Dwarven pom drum is one of the few surviving relics of the Splintershield clan.

Pride’s Face - This full length dress mirror once belonged to an Elven princess, but has since been owned by more than a dozen mages.

Rallabams Ring of Rambunctious Rolling - Rallabam was a famous travelling entertainer over 1000 years ago, who spent a fortune to ensure he was the best.

Rational Ring - This magic ring is set with four jewels, each finely cut from a single large gem by master Gnomish gem-cutters.

Roll’s Aegis - This suit of armour belonged to the legendary thief-archer Roll. It saved him on numerous occasions over the course of his adventures.

Scale the Hail - This whip of climbing includes Storm Giant hair in it’s components and was once a royal heirloom. It’s over 8’000 years old.

Sovereign Glue and Universal Solvent - The secrets of it’s alchemical creation known only to a few, you’re lucky enough to find some on sale today!

Surdin Dragoncoin’s non- Smoking Jacket - Dragoncoin’s wife made this cloak for him to wear on his frequent trips to sell alchemist’s fire to the Dwarves.

Tailecus’ Retarius - This amazing retarius was gifted to the legendary gladiator Tailecus by his Emperor, the finest his craftspeople could create!

The Blown Bender - This Horn of Reverse Gravity was created by a succubus in an effort to liven up orgies.

The Cuffed Carousal - These Dimensional Shackles were created by a succubus in an effort to liven up orgies.

Tiara of Bast - This elegant piece was lovingly crafted by the virgin priestess Zai-Ghee of Bast.

Uri’s Urgency - Crafted by the mad-Orc Uri-Uri, this armour serves as a fine example of what an Orc is capable of, when they turn their mind to it.

Uskine’s Easel - Little is known about the beautiful artist Uskine. She vanished mysteriously, leaving only 3 portraits of herself, each from a different angle.

Voltaire’s Slippers - The mage Voltaire has long since been forgotten by everyone, except the small village where he was born. They still hold a fete every year in his honor.

What the Nymph Saw - Made famous by the adventuring Nymph Oawe, these goggles were originally intended to help the Dwarves in their battles against their Duergar cousins.

Withered Hand of Chezeraat - This is the genuine mummified hand of the half-Dragon Chezeraat the Despoiler.

RE: Potions, Wands and scrolls, I don't use this method. They're consumables, and I'd rather spend time building up the items that make the world, rather than these nibliks. That said, we generally don't refer to cure potions as anything other than cure potions - the effect in noted on character sheets and explained OOC when the players are buying/making them.

Dave Young 992 wrote:
"A spell of the 8th order? How could we fight that?" Even then, a caster might need to roll a linguistics check, along with a spellcraft or religion check, to really know what such an inocuous sentence really means.

Fantastic idea! I mean to say, that slang and common parlance changes throughout the world and, as different real-world universities use different academic terms, there is no reason to say our fantasy ones wouldn't. It's also a great way to reward a player's skill choices and bring a little more depth to the game. That said, I feel for the sorcerer who never went to school! ;p

Andoran carborundum wrote:
In the awesome Tales of Wyre on enWorld (Sepulchrave = genius) they're called the 9 valences.

Good stuff - thanks!

Peace,

tfad


Wizards start in the 9th Circle (casting 1st level spells) then progress to the 8th Circle (2nd level spells) right up to the First Circle (9th level spells)
Sorcerers us the 9th Mystery, etc.

Clerics are more problematic as each faith will have different names for progression perhaps?
A Club of St Cuthbert?

Grand Lodge

Set wrote:
Krome wrote:
oh I like that 5 shard and 5 rune weapons...

My six demon bag pwns your pathetic five-shard weapon!

LOL!!!!!! AWESOME!!!!


I like Circles for Druid spells. From the little we know about druids, we know that they believed in reincarnation, worshiped in concentric stone circles, and well liked circles in general in the early irish illuminated texts are any indication.

Dark Archive

Anburaid wrote:
I like Circles for Druid spells. From the little we know about druids, we know that they believed in reincarnation, worshiped in concentric stone circles, and well liked circles in general in the early irish illuminated texts are any indication.

Calling Druidic spell levels 'Mysteries' is also fun, evocative of the old Roman mystery cults. "She has penetrated the Third Mystery."

Ooh. On second thought, it sounds dirty when I say it like that...


tallforadwarf wrote:


Other Examples from my laptop, without mechanics:

Those are great. I always wanted to do something like this but never took the time to set it up in advance and I'm nowhere near quick enough to do it off the top of my head.

I hope you don't mind if I yoink some of these for my own campaigns.

AJ

Liberty's Edge

For +X weapons I use the term puissant. A +1 blade is a Puissant Blade. A +2 blade is a Twice-Ensorcelled Puissant Blade. A +3 sword has been girded with the Thrice-Blessed Puissant Blade.

The properties can almost be used as written. The Blade of Amwyll is a Thrice-Blessed Puissant Blade laced with Anarchic spells.

For armor I use the term aegis. +1 armor contains an Aegis Incantation. A +2 armor or shield contains the Twice-Chanted Aegis Incantation. It goes from there.

I haven't developed names for all the potions yet. Healing potions are usually known as Draughts of Succor and are given degrees of effectiveness. All healing potions are varying colors of blue by the way. The deeper the blue the more powerful the potion.

In fact, nearly all potions use the same colors to aid in identification.

Spell levels for clerics are usually known as Orders, though they can be named differently depending on the god. I have had little need to define these terms for other deities, but that might come up soon. There are nine Orders, just as there are Nine ranks of angels. So, first level spells might be called Prayers of the First Order or Prayers of the Seraphim.

I like the suggestion of using the term Mysteries for druids. One could also use an alteration of the Ogham alphabet to help define the level. For instance, a first level spell could be the a Mystery of the Rowan or Mystery of the Birch. A 9th level spell might be a Mystery of the Oak or a Mystery of the Holly. Each of these would have a built-in symbol for the actual Ogham for use in-game.

Wizards use the term Forms, to reflect the fact their power derives from the First Pale where the Perfect Forms exist. Spells of the First Form reality in a weak sense. By the time you reach the Ninth Form spells are more powerful and can more perfectly re-create the nature of reality. Each Form is an incantation but can also be seen as an equation. Bards use similar terms but they see their Forms as Harmonics, celestial wavelengths that evoke the power of the Perfect Forms.

It should be noted that my cosmological view places the multiversal theories of the various D&D worlds in the Second Pale, which is an emanation of the First Pale. All of things we interact with (chairs, flowers, people, animals) are emanations of the Perfect Forms which are also emanations of the Watcher, the Creator of All Reality. So, all existence emanates from the Watcher in a very gnostic sort of way.


For the purists, this simple system may be helpful for enhancement bonuses:

+1 "The First Enhancement."
+2 "The Second Enhancement."

and so on.

Simple, unvarnished language that says basically what the players are saying, without recourse to signed integers. I might condescend to allow a character to find "a battleaxe with the third enhancement" in my game. But I would probably go for one of the more exotic suggestions above.

Liberty's Edge

I should also state I give nearly every item (outside of scrolls and potions) names and a small history. Even a +1 weapon will have a little history to go with it. It might be something as minor as "and the wielder died soon after he purchased the sword". Though often there are some details that can be discovered with a little research. These details help ground the item into the world and can give an idea of who originally crafted the item.

Scrolls and potions will likely have some mark on it that designates who scribed it or who brewed it. If the brewer does this for a living, they are certain to mark it with a label. Scroll makers usually have to incorporate a personal sigil of some sort.

Every spellcaster has a sigil, no matter what magic source they use. It is required for the use of magic as the sigil must be integrated into the incantation of casting. Those who prepare spells mentally seal the incantation into their minds with their sigil, while spontaneous casters evoke the sigil first and then cast the spell.

Sigils can always be found on items crafted by the spellcaster. They can be hidden or in plain view. Normally only a detect magic will fully reveal the sigil.

Sczarni

For some reason, while reading this thread, a flavor idea hit me for Desna's faith. You know how they use Blessed Quartz Dust instead of Holy Water?

What if their potions were similar? Not a drink, but more of an anointing thing, pouring it over yourself instead of chugging it. This doesn't exactly necessitate a mechanical change, though, but...:

Samuel blinked at the vial in his hands, holding it up to the light and turning it slowly. "What am I supposed to do with this? I asked you for a healing draught, not some old dust!"

"It is the way of my faith." Dorin said, one hand idly playing with his orange scarf. "You merely open it, and pour it over yourself. The Lady's blessing will do the rest."

The fighter still gazed at it uncertainly, but decided to take the Varisian's word for it. He unlatched the lid and poured it, and the black sand interspersed with ground quartz swirled around him, almost glowing near his bandaged wounds. There was a rush through him, and he almost swore he could see a butterfly at the edge of his vision - but it was merely the dust playing tricks with his eyes.

As the sands and quartz settled on the ground, their magic spent, Samuel unwound the bandages to reveal sealed wounds, though some scars remained near the worse ones. "Well what do you know, the dust worked."

"Of course it did." The rogue said, rolling his eyes. "You never should have doubted me in the first place."

Dark Archive

alleynbard wrote:

Wizards use the term Forms, to reflect the fact their power derives from the First Pale where the Perfect Forms exist. Spells of the First Form reality in a weak sense. By the time you reach the Ninth Form spells are more powerful and can more perfectly re-create the nature of reality. Each Form is an incantation but can also be seen as an equation. Bards use similar terms but they see their Forms as Harmonics, celestial wavelengths that evoke the power of the Perfect Forms.

It should be noted that my cosmological view places the multiversal theories of the various D&D worlds in the Second Pale, which is an emanation of the First Pale. All of things we interact with (chairs, flowers, people, animals) are emanations of the Perfect Forms which are also emanations of the Watcher, the Creator of All Reality. So, all existence emanates from the Watcher in a very gnostic sort of way.

That's twelve kinds of awesome. Thanks for sharing!


ajb47 wrote:
I hope you don't mind if I yoink some of these for my own campaigns.

Of course not - enjoy!

tfad

Liberty's Edge

Set wrote:
alleynbard wrote:

Wizards use the term Forms, to reflect the fact their power derives from the First Pale where the Perfect Forms exist. Spells of the First Form reality in a weak sense. By the time you reach the Ninth Form spells are more powerful and can more perfectly re-create the nature of reality. Each Form is an incantation but can also be seen as an equation. Bards use similar terms but they see their Forms as Harmonics, celestial wavelengths that evoke the power of the Perfect Forms.

It should be noted that my cosmological view places the multiversal theories of the various D&D worlds in the Second Pale, which is an emanation of the First Pale. All of things we interact with (chairs, flowers, people, animals) are emanations of the Perfect Forms which are also emanations of the Watcher, the Creator of All Reality. So, all existence emanates from the Watcher in a very gnostic sort of way.

That's twelve kinds of awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks! I am glad you enjoyed it.

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