Thursday, April 19, 2012

Monty Haul Adventures Part 2

We all tried to play magic users, but we never made it past fourth level, unless there was blatant “fudging” of the die. So we came up with…

3. The Box of Magic Missiles - The power to wield a special wand of magic missiles, like an 8th level magic user, without the class restrictions, and in "cigar box form".

Origin: This item was found in an expanded network from the Caves of Chaos. We didn’t really “play” the caves, as much as we built off of them. You'd have to drop down into a large chasm filled with cold black water. And if you swam through a tunnel, you'd surface in the middle of the underground island named Aurora (We were all big fans of early Aurora model kits). We discovered the box in an abandoned old ruins belonging to a long dead mad wizard pirate, Captain Zander Black. He was kind of the overlord of that part of the world. His offspring went on to be one of our biggest nemeses, (Zander Black the 12th). He was a villain's villain, but I digress...

Powers: The box would unleash magic missiles that hit anything for 1d4 +1 points of damage. Specifically, it will fire 3 separate magic missiles per charge and could fire 2 charges in one round (a total of six magic missiles or 6-24 points of damage). And don't forget, it's an automatic hit (a non magic user does not require a "to hit" roll). After we wiped out dozens of opponents, Jeff decided to put some restrictions on the box.

DM versus PCs: After "three weeks" of zapping and blasting our enemies, it had to be recharged (with magic missile spells from a magic user of 8th level or higher). But that was a ploy. In reality, the box was subject to an enlarge and wizard lock spells (making it physically and magically impossible to open- you'd need a strength of 25 to move the box, or an 18th level magic user's knock spell to lift the lid). He said after using the box so many times, week in and week out, we had triggered it's secondary effect. Needless to say, we didn't use it much after that. Nobody wanted to find out it's other effects. Luckily wands of magic missiles started showing up after that.  

4. The Libram of Magic Speed Reading ( or Spencer's Speed Reading Hand Book for Wizards, M.M.E.O. Member of The Most Excellent Order of Wizards from the Serge Alyn (pronounced “Surge - Ah - Lynn” like “Adrenaline” ) Empire. The Serge Alyn, (outlined by my younger brother and myself), was a race from our Twilight Gods campaign, a Deities and Demigods inspired game world.

Origin: Found in the Land of the Sleeping Dragon. Early on, we killed many young (and adult), dragons in our games. It was customary to end with a dragon battle, having been huge fans of The Hobbit (the book, and parts of the Rafkin Bass cartoon) and Godzilla movies. It was a hard habit to break. Besides, it was called Dungeons and Dragons.

Powers: You spend six hours reading how to become a special speed reader (this book was available to all classes) and then you could read all those books and manuals listed in the DMG (which take a week to a month to read, and then disappear to ‘who knows where’) and it reduced your reading time. After reading the hand book, the player was imbued with the power to read magic, any languages, or any spell book, libram, or grimore (and what would take a week to read only took an hour, a month to read only took a day). Basically, the PC could read anything up to 10-20 times faster than normal.

It was designed to speed up our adventures and "over haul" the rules pertaining to magic books. In one adventure, I allowed a thief to read a book on magic traps in less than 3 minutes, so he could build a fire trap to stop an attacking mummy in the nick of time (thank you Star Trek’s Arena). The handbook also had the power to 'locate object': it'd point the possessor into the direction of any desired magical tome (and was a great way to start a new game).

DM versus the PCs: The handbook was accepted and regularly used in our games, but others were outright banned from being allowed into the campaign (The Book of Endless Wishes, The Libram of Power Words, The Symbols of Dragon Control, The Guide to the Universe, with built-in teleporter / dimension door and the Book of Super Improved Back Stabbing, to name a few). Other DMs didn’t allow it, spotting it for the power shifting tactics it granted.

But that was nothing compared to…

5. The Cloak of the Grand Master

Origin: This cloak was found in a lower sub chamber in the Lost City, located in the Swamp of the Nagas.

Powers: This black cloak gave the player the powers of a 10th level assassin or a 10th level monk (in was interchangeable because everybody wanted to be either a ninja or Caine from the TV show Kung Fu). It was also our way to get the thief's abilities, and the fighter's riding ability and the clerics saving throws scores. The wearer could also employ the following illusionist spells (at their character's true level) three times a day: change self (altering the body, clothing and equipment for 3d6 rounds + 2 rounds per level of experience), fog cloud (it looked like a green cloudkill, but functioned like an obscuring wall of fog: a cube of smoke measuring 6 feet per side/ per level of experience), and magic mirror. Best of all, it had a secret pocket that acted like a bag of holding.

DM versus PCs: It was everything but fireproof, cold resistant, or able to reflect lightning bolts. And no matter how often my group tried to have Jeff send us on a quest for more fabric to mend, replace or save the cloak, he'd never allow it. He realized later what a mistake it was to have one player running around with gloves laced with poisons, able to dole out numerous (and devastating) 'open hand' attacks, climb out of any deep pit, and get paid extra for “neutralizing the threat”. And that was just for starters. I think the cloak lasted three of four sessions before it dissolved into dust. Maybe less.   

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