Thursday, December 27, 2018

GFA18 - Mountain Lion Magic Items

Okay, so actually the FINAL final mountain lion entry for the 2018 Gongfarmer's Almanac is a pair of mountain-lion themed magic items. I almost forgot I wrote this! My Black Powder Black Magic campaign needs a fair number of magic items, because characters can find demon ore, and trade it for magic items, which means the campaign NEEDS magic items for the characters to acquire. (Ideally, characters should have to "quest for it" rather than just trading in the ore like it's currency, and long term, I should possibly think about some kind of rule for "retiring" items that have been used long enough, but those are concerns for different posts.)
So the story behind both these items is that I watched the Lego Batman movie, and Catwoman has like one line in the whole movie, where she's helping a gang of villains break into a building, and we see her on the comms, and she's like "Meow-meow, we're in, meow-meow!" It's practically a throw-away line, but I loved the idea of her bookending all her sentences that way. So then I watched Black Panther, and the little sister Shuri has these cat-faced gauntlets that fire vibrating soundwaves as a weapon. And in my head, every time she fires these things, she says "meow-meow, meow-meow!" (Next time you watch Black Panther, try adding that sound-effect yourself. It's delightful!)
So the first item is pretty much just Shuri's gauntlets, and the second is a variation on the same idea, which arises out of the first. (It also lets you play at being Lego Catwoman, the same way the first one lets you play at being Shuri.) Plus, I don't know, in addition to the fun of getting my players to say "meow-meow" to use their magic item, I kind of like the idea that a magic item might have a command word that the players have to know and say. The presence of a "magic word" has a certain fariy-tale-ness to it that I like, and having the player say the magic word is sort of an immersive role-playing element. Outside of a situation like this, I would probably pick magic words like "abracadabra", "alakazam", "hocus pocus", and "open sesame". 
Danny Prescott edited this article, and the others in the series, and he was a big help in making sure that my physical descriptions evoked the right mental image and that my instructions were clear and easy to understand.
Gauntlets of the wailing mountain lion: These metal forearm-guards are made of the same vibrating material as a tuning fork or xylophone bar. The gauntlets seem to hum or purr constantly, sounding a musical note when struck against each other or used in combat. Each guard is carved to look like a mountain lion, tail wrapped around the wearer's forearms, haunches gripping the wrist, and the lion’s chin resting on the knuckles.
The gauntlets grant +1 AC and allow the wearer to make an unarmed punch for 1d4 damage, but prevent wielding another weapon in combat. They are ideally paired for two-weapon fighting. At least once per day the wearer can invoke the mouths to fire a soundwave at a target as a ranged attack for 1d14 damage by saying magical phrase "myow-myow," and the player has to say it out loud.
Spellcasters can use this power a number of times per day equal to the highest spell-level they can cast. If the wearer uses two-weapon fighting to fire two soundwaves at once, this counts as only a single use of the gauntlets.
Gloves of the were-lion thief: These coal black mouse-leather gloves have weighted knuckles. The leather on the back of the wrists and hands is worked to look like a cat preparing to pounce - tail curled above the wrist, haunches perched on the hand, chin and forepaws gripping the knuckles.
If worn by a non-thief these gloves allow the wearer to make an unarmed attack like a blackjack (1d3 subdual damage) with an additional +1 to hit and +1 damage, and once a day, the wearer can say the magic phrase "myow-myow" to use any one thief skill using a d24 skill die.
If worn by a trained thief they function as above, however the thief may instead say the magic word to roll a d24 skill die thrice per day, and if the thief uses this power while backstabbing the attack deals lethal instead of subdual damage with the automatic crit rolled on the monster crit table. When invoked, the player has to say the magic phrase out loud. Thieves who use this power more than once per day must use it for a different skill each time.

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