Items and roleplay consequences...


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


While I was reading the forum I've just fallen on a thread where someone put a very interesting magic item as example : the mage hand, which is a mummified elf hand on a golden chain...

Now, I know magic items comes in all sort of shape and material... Some are pretty mundane (a pearl, a sword etc.), but in this case the first things that came into my mind by reading the description of the item was :
- omg, how an elf will react to someone having that thing on him ?

Then other things come in mind : If I want to craft one do I get a discount if I cut and mummify an elf hand myself ? If I want to buy one of these can I found it in my usual "magic mart" ? Can I buy varied mummified parts from various humanoid races on the market ?

Does some DM still take this kind of things in account ?

I know I do, that's why my players will be very wary if they buy something like that and try to hide it...

And I know that I won't let this kind of things be sold openly in a shop too...

Is there others magic items like this ?

I was just wondering...


The RP half of this question is really up to the character. Some will be just fine with wearing a mummy hand for various reasons ranging from " Meh he aint using it any more " to " well its distasteful but I am not an elf " To " Who cares !" Others will not due to morals, Race, diety etc...If I were DM I would take note if somebody gives up a nice item in a well roleplayed manner and try to shoehorn in some xp or something.

As to the building of said item. Yes alot of groups still engage in harvesting the components for their crafting. In our group the book price for crafting reflects the cost that is required to obtain the needed materials on the open and or black markets. It does not however reflect how long it might take to get your hands on something as complex and borderline legal as a mummified hand. So sure you can buy it but you might spend a week in a major city tracking that sucker down. So to that end finding one in a crypt and being smart enough to harvest it in advance or yes even making your own through violent or clever means ( regen is your friend) will in fact speed up the process and knock some cost off the crafting.


Loengrin wrote:

Now, I know magic items comes in all sort of shape and material... Some are pretty mundane (a pearl, a sword etc.), but in this case the first things that came into my mind by reading the description of the item was :

- omg, how an elf will react to someone having that thing on him ?

That probably depends on the culture, much as in real life, and of course it also depends on the context. If you go home to someone and they have an urn with the ashes of a relative, that won't bother you. If someone walks around town with such an urn, it will be seen as odd, to say the least.

Also, it depends on who you are. If you're an orcish sorcerer wearing the mummified hand of some elf you slew flaunting it about in that mage's village, you're going to have problem. If you're an elven wizard who has kept the mummified hand of his mentor, it might be a far lesser problem.

Quote:
If I want to craft one do I get a discount if I cut and mummify an elf hand myself ?

Yes. You always get a 50% discount when you create an item yourself as opposed to buying it. Note that getting your hands on a dead elven wizard isn't going to be the easiest thing without using evil means.

Quote:
If I want to buy one of these can I found it in my usual "magic mart" ? Can I buy varied mummified parts from various humanoid races on the market ?

That depends on the campaign.

Quote:
Does some DM still take this kind of things in account ?

I do, that's for sure (though magical items are fairly rare in my campaigns). That said, a DM shouldn't try be out to "get" the players for having magic items. If you're trying to get them into trouble for wanting a mage hand, it's better that you just ban the item (unless it's for a plot hook or whatever, but they players shouldn't feel screwed over for spending their precious gold on something that's cool rather than the standard +1 sword).


Lazurin Arborlon wrote:
The RP half of this question is really up to the character. Some will be just fine with wearing a mummy hand for various reasons ranging from " Meh he aint using it any more " to " well its distasteful but I am not an elf " To " Who cares !" Others will not due to morals, Race, diety etc...If I were DM I would take note if somebody gives up a nice item in a well roleplayed manner and try to shoehorn in some xp or something.

I totally agree with that, nonetheless if a player decide to wear some strange stuff isn't it the role of the DM to remind him that they always have to face every consequences of their act ? They are in a dynamic world after all, things will react to their action...

But you're totally right, if a player "lose" something for roleplay purpose I most always reward him one way or another...


Sure the DM can and should bear in mind how society will react. In the case of the hand, remember that many will find it gross, but they may not find it evil or even repugnant to the point of it coloring their attitude towards the pc. Many elves arent arcane in nature so they wont really know its an elf hand, many a barbarian will think it a battle trophy, other societies have curiosities like shrunken heads etc. or may not even think its real. Also any party diplomat worth his salt should be able to make a passive check knowing that when wandering around the lawful good bastion of all that is holy town an item like that is best worn under the robes not over.

I guess my point is that it is not listed as overtly evil and it doesnt include a negative charisma modifier by Raw. So I wouldnt go too overboard with inflicting such penalties as a DM unless it was to supply a really cool RP opportunity or set up some fun random encounter and even then I wouldnt beat a dead horse about it and do it everytime the pc's encounter a village.


I would think that, if it is worn in plain view and is recognizable as being an elf hand, it would definitely affect initial impressions of the character. Most people would likely make the assumption that anyone wearing such a thing (just like anyone incorporating a skull in their coat of arms or having an imp as a familiar or wearing a necklace of severed enemy ears or even just dresses all in black) is likely evil, and react accordingly. That reaction could be a lot of different things from fear to revulsion to anger to interest and respect from less savory citizens. Elves might have a more severe reaction, particularly if they were to think that it had been harvested personally.

Scarab Sages

Loengrin wrote:

While I was reading the forum I've just fallen on a thread where someone put a very interesting magic item as example : the mage hand, which is a mummified elf hand on a golden chain...

Now, I know magic items comes in all sort of shape and material... Some are pretty mundane (a pearl, a sword etc.), but in this case the first things that came into my mind by reading the description of the item was :
- omg, how an elf will react to someone having that thing on him ?

Nice! I will defintely have to add that into my WFRP campaign. Very nice, indeed. Thanks for sharing.


A mummified elf hand, worn openly, would have consequences, the severity of which depending greatly on when, where and by whom it was seen. That's just common sense, really. :)

Try pulling a jett-black, smoking, brimstone-smelling, aldori in the middle of the town market. It's just bad for business...


A few more items like this I can think of:

Cloak of Arachnidia - black and covered with spiderweb patterns.
Hand of Glory - as Hand of the Mage, but human.
Mask of the Skull - Shaped like a human skull, sans jaw.

Not to mention the Robe of Bones or Darkskull, which do things as sinister as they sound. A neutral adventuring necromancer might have such.

Ultimately, the realism is up to the individual group. In a game I GM, a character who looked sinister would likely inspire fear in the populace. On the other hand, anybody who had enough levels to make an issue of it would likely have done some adventuring themselves at one point, and with rare exception understands the utility over looks debate.


Well, I would think it might make for some interesting roleplaying to have someone realize what it is and freak out over it but on the other side of the coin I would try not to be too heavy-handed about it.

So maybe have it happen once, say the characters find the hand being used by an enemy spell caster and take it for their own. Then later while at a nearby town a local elf notices the hand and reconizes that it once belong to one of their kin.

Perhaps after the player characters kill the bad guy they find an elf prisoner when they where told there should be two. Then maybe they suddenly notice the remaining elf only has one hand.

Something like that.

As for a player character crafting a mage hand, well I've always allowed my players to decide for them-selves what a given magic item looks likes as long as it could reasonably take up the same item slot. Through I have refused allowing tattoo magic items for balance and gameplay issues, even know I think having magic tattoos is a very nifty idea.

Instead of a mummified hand it could be a simple silver necklace that a ring is hanged from, or a locket that the ring is placed into, or whatever else the player wants.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are no standard answers to roleplay questions like this one. Customs, superstitons, religous practises are just some of the factors that can come into play. In Arcanis there are two dieties that deal with the dead, one with the spirit and one with the body. Messing with the body without respecting it is a good way to get the clergy of the second one mad at you. (Unless of course it's evil clerics of that same diety, Gods have no alignments in Arcanis so they'll be served by priests of every alignment)

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Items and roleplay consequences... All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.