The objects presented are talismans, foci, familiars, cabals, raiments, servants, pacts, and sanctums, in order of difficulty of acquirement.
Humans themselves are relatively poor conduits of magical or elemental energy.
The basic conceit of this system is that humans are incapable of safely wielding any magic beyond the first level of power.
- Attempts to cast magic of a level higher than 1st require a roll on a retribution table.
- This limit can be increased by the acquisition of accoutrements. They may be acquired in any order.
- Each accoutrement acquired increases the level of spells the caster can cast by one.
- No type of accoutrement can be applied more than once, even if you own more than one. Each one only counts towards spell levels you can cast once.
- These are generally acquired and lost during play.
- If lost or destroyed, that type of thing can't be used again until you have gained a level or a year and a day have passed.
CabalJoin an occult society, mystery religion, circle of conspirators, or cult and sign magical bonding oaths and compacts. The force of the cabal's collective power backs your actions, but you will sometimes be called upon to act in the interests of the cabal. Investing in the Cabal improves your status and position in the fraternity, allowing you to call upon it for aid (the loan of magic items, borrowed retainers, support in battle). Such requests are honored with a 1 in 6 chance, plus 1 for each spell level invested in the cabal.
Though wizards bristle at the need for anyone else, the cabals serve multiple purposes. The ritual frequently attracts 'cultists', those who follow the wizard in the hopes of accessing true or real power. They are normal humans, and beyond what power the wizards allow them to access from the cabal, they have no magical ability or potential.
Minimal membership in a cabal is fairly painless, costing nothing more than yearly dues. Investing more in the cabal attracts followers and power.Though cabals are joined in general principle, there are many schisms and fractures within them. They may provide both allies and foes.
Order of the Falling Star: The order of the falling star serves the visitors, who visit the world from the astral plane, to collect followers to join them on their journey throughout the planar spectrum. The travelers hope to save as many people as possible before something they call the 'scourge'. Initiates live an ascetic life and are rather humorless.
Guild of Naturalists: This society of wizards is devoted to the discovery and cataloging of natural specimens. Members join for various reasons, crossbreeding research, prestige, a love of the outdoors, access to monster information or resources. Prestige within the society is gained and lost based on new research and facts, and there are longstanding rivalries between members. This guild is open to any classes.
Pax Draconis: This society attempts to reach a true source of magic, draconic power. They are usually in service to the nearest old (or older) usually chomatic dragon nearby, granting their devoted service in exchange for whatever power they can manage to siphon. The dragons often find these arrangements palatable until they are not. Once initiated the mage is brought before the dragon who both asks a service and grants a gift.
Students of the Pearl Tower: This is an academic group of researchers who seek out and collect magical power. In exchange for new magics, students may access the vast library available in the enchanted pearl tower.
RaimentYour garments and costume, the working clothing or finery which declares your profession and power not just to mortal observers, but to the Unseen Realms as well. This is quite expensive, but protects from all natural extremes of heat and cold, and keeps you comfortable even in thunderstorms. Each spell level invested in Raiment improves your AC by 1.
This garment must cost at least 100 gold, though some of the most powerful and famous garment can be priceless.
ExamplesRobe of Eyes: This option costs little to create, but requires the collection of 100 eyes from beholders, basilisks, and gibbering mouthers. Mouthers are relatively easily controlled and harvested, but they won't grow new eyeballs without being fed people. Anyone who wears the robe of eyes can no longer be surprised, and can see in the dark, as well as into the ethereal and astral planes.
Robe of the Archmagi: This is a robe costing at least 100,000 gold pieces. Once the base material has been enchanted, the wizard may invest spell slots for various effects. Common ones include a +4 bonus to armor class from the investment of a single spell level. Granting the user 5% magic resistance per spell level investment. A bonus of +1 to saves per 2 spell levels sacrificed (capped at +4 for a 8th or 9th level spell, being the highest level investment), Or granting an opponent a -1 to saves per 2 spell levels sacrificed. They are specifically tailored to the creating wizard. Anyone trying on the robe who is not the wizard takes 11d4+7 damage and loses a similar amount of experience times 1,000.
Part I is here
Part II is here
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