Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Elven Mind Stones

This blogger absolutely loves Hawk the Slayer (1981) as the quintessential "old-school" movie.  Despite the cheesy dialogue and limited effects, there's something special about it, perhaps its earnestness and unapologetic innocence.  

And it's not like there weren't good ideas there; the elven mind stones being one of these.  If you haven't seen the movie and don't know what this is, stop reading and see this film.  Now.  Then return and use this week's blog to add them to your own campaigns, whether OD&D/AD&D or Pits & Perils.

Elven mind stones appear as small, egg-shaped stones of varying color as described below.  These are made of a special material that readily bonds with living minds for special power.

A mind stone (+1) in action, 
glowing green with awesome magical power!

Stones are subject to the following:

(1) The user must focus on the stone for at least one turn to establish a psychic connection.  This creates an unassailable link for one game day, but must be repeated over subsequent days for continuing benefit of its rare effects.

(2) By itself, the stone is merely an interesting trinket, being mentally controlled to dance and move (but never at speeds sufficient to cause harm) on command in a 30' radius.  This is the key to its real, intended function.

(3) When set into the hilt of a sword (or the shaft of an axe or similar weapon) it enables a mental connection that allows the wielder to mentally recover the weapon when lost (through disarming or similar action) within its (30') range/radius.

(4) Likewise, given the psychic link with its user, the weapon 
performs at a bonus by color, moving as a real extension of their bodies; literal thought into action:

                        COLOR  BONUS   VALUE*
                        Green   +1   3,000 GP
                        Yellow  +2   4,000 GP
                        Blue    +3   5,000 GP 
                        *Reflects Pits & perils

Each type is, of course, correspondingly rare...

(5) In Pits & Perils, this reduces the critical threshold for maneuvers, including Parry, Smash, or Thrust; 11 or better instead of the usual 12.  This can be attributed to the link.

(6) The weapon does not otherwise count as magical, however, being psychic and not sorcery.  In Pits & Perils, the following rules apply to elves and the optional savant:

Being elven mind stones, all elves can use them and get the Parry maneuver free when doing so.

Savants, being powerfully psychic, need only reestablish a connection once per week, and not at all after 9th level, making these especially prized by members of that class.  Otherwise, captured mind stones can be re-calibrated for use by any character trained to employ the appropriate weaponry.  

Hawk the Slayer is great fun, and so are elven mind stones!

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