Saturday, August 27, 2022

OSR: Zodiac-themed Magic Items

This is a very silly post, inspired by Lumpy Touch's Gorefield series.  I apologize for nothing. 

by Sergey Kandakov
Aries' Dreamcatcher:

A dreamcatcher strung with glittering thread and hung with bone charms, carved with elaborate scrimshaw designs.  The bones come from a variety of species, including whales, deers, tigers and humans.

- The owner of the dreamcatcher cannot be pulled into the Spirit World while they sleep, nor can anyone enter their dreams
- They always have good dreams and restful sleep
- They will only need to sleep half as long as normal- so if they need 8 hours of sleep normally, they only need 4 for as long as they possess the dreamcatcher

Destroying Aries' Dreamcatcher:

Unstring the thread and burn it.  Melt down the ring and make it into something else.  Bury the bone charms in separate graves.

If not destroyed in this way, anyone who attempts to destroy the dreamcatcher must save.  On a failed save, they suffer all the nightmares the dreamcatcher caught, suffering horrible nightmares for 1d20+X days, where X is the number of months the last owner held the dreamcatcher.  On a successful save, the person who damaged the dreamcatcher instead falls into an enchanted sleep that lasts for 1d20 days or until dispelled. 

Afterward, the dreamcatcher will disappear and reappear in 1d6 weeks, usually in an area that no one has investigated in a while, such as inside an overcrowded drawer, a box of knick-knacks or on a dusty, rarely used shelf in someone's home.

Taurus' Bookmark:

A holographic bookmark like the kind you might see at an Elementary School bookfair.  It shows a mountain climber hanging from a cliff by one hand with the sub-title: Reading Rocks!  If you move the bookmark, you can see the climber grabbing on with his other hand, or dangling from one.  It seems flimsy, but will never discolor or suffer any superficial damage.

- If tucked into a book, the owner can instantly access any piece of information in the book as if they memorized the book.
- After 3 days of being stored in the book, the owner can memorize the book's contents and store it in one of their Memory Slots.

Destroying Taurus' Bookmark:     

Create a blank book and place the bookmark inside it.  Leave it there for a year and a day.  Afterward, the bookmark will have lost it's magic and will be blank and powerless. 

If not destroyed in this way, the bookmark will retaliate against any attempt to destroy it by filling the destroyer's head with the knowledge of every book it has ever been inside of.  That person must save.  On a failed save, that person is rendered catatonic as an incomprehensible amount of information pours into their mind.  The only way to cure this condition is to erase their memory and wipe their mind clean. 

On a successful save, the person instead loses all knowledge of any spoken language and learns an equivalent number of languages.  These languages will always be foreign languages not widely spoken nearby or by companions, extremely obscure or dead languages.

The bookmark will then disappear and reappear inside a random book in the nearest large collection of books, such as a library or personal collection.

Gemini's Copycat:

A small statue of a pair of identical white cats with black around their paws and on the tips of their tails.  The statues are ceramic and sit on the same base.  Their overall size is about that of an ash tray.  The ceramic is highly resistant to cracking.  Dropping it or any accidental damage will cause it to crack and scatter ceramic dust, but this damage will disappear when not being directly observed, and will never affect the statue's overall integrity. 

- 1/Day, the statue can create a clone of it's owner.  The clone possesses all the owner's memories and knowledge, but none of their possessions.  This does mean the clone will appear naked.  The clone will obey the owner of the statue without question but otherwise has a personality identical to that of the owner.  The clone wants what is best (based on the owner's belief) for the owner of the statue.  The clone can act independently as well, and if not given orders, will do what it feels the owner would most want it to do.  The clone has 1d8+X HP, where X is the owner's CON modifier.  The clone will only exist for 24 hours or until destroyed.  The owner can also dismiss the clone at any time.  Only one clone can exist at a time. 

Destroying Gemini's Copycat:

The statue must be left in the house of an old woman who will take care of it for at least a year.  Then it must be given to a group of at least 2 small children.  The statue will only lose it's invulnerability to damage if the children are not ordered to destroy it.  If they break it, it must be accidentally.

Any other attempt to break the statue will fail, and will scatter ceramic dust on the person attempting to break it.  This will make cats of all kinds, including big cats and magical cats, hate them until they apologize to the statue by bathing it in milk.            

Cancer's Golden Claw:

A crab claw with a shell that is the color of red gold and white marble.  Brilliant and shiny.  No matter how you clean it, it reeks of salt and fish.  

- Each day, the crab claw will make you an expert at one random skill, lending +4 to any roll made involving that skill.
- You always know what skill it is. 
- 1/Day, you may 'reroll' the random skill for the day.  This will select a new random skill. 

Destroying Cancer's Golden Claw:

Bathe the Claw in blood and feed it to something that eats crabs- such as an octopus.  The more powerful or magical the creature, the better. 

Feeding the claw to anything else or any other attempt to destroy it will curse you to have all the water that passes your lips turn to saltwater.  This curse can only be broken by chopping off a bodypart and feeding it to a crab.  After this, Cancer's Golden Claw will disappear and reappear in the house of a fisherman or someone who regularly works or interacts with the sea in a place they don't regularly check.   

Alternatively, you can throw the Claw and demand a refund or to exchange it for something else.  If you do this with a sufficiently tasty sacrifice, there is a chance that the King of Crabs hears you and honors your request.  There is a 4-in-6 chance he gives you a large pile of edible seafood in exchange, with a 2-in-6 chance he gives you another nautical or piscine themed magic item.

by Norbert Lösche

Leo's Wake-Up Worms:

A tin can like that which would contain sardines, marked with a cartoon, anthropomorphic lion dressed in a black suit that resembles one that would have been fashionable circa 1880.  The lion has a spade and stands next to an open grave.  The can also has a label that reads "Uncle Leo's Wake-Up Worms".  There are additional labels describing the contents of the can as well as instructions on how to use it. 


- You can open the can to release a large, pale worm.  The worm will seek to escape from the can and seek out the nearest corpse, which it will burrow inside of.  This will reanimate the corpse as an Undead with the original personality, goal and ambitions of the person it once belonged to.  The Undead will slowly decay as well, degrading until it is no longer a suitable living space for the worm.  After it reaches this state, the worm will exit the body and seek out another one.  This causes the Undead to de-animate and "die".   
- If the worm is destroyed, no new Undead can be created.  The worm has the intelligence of a worm and is only motivated by above behaviors.

Destroying Leo's Wake-Up Worms:

The worm is no stronger than a normal worm.  A boot will do just fine. 

Uncle Leo's accepts no liability for loss of worms.  All risks and damages are the responsibility of the owner upon point of acquisition.

Virgo's Lovebeads:

A necklace of tie-dye beads like the kind you might find at Mardi Gras or in a commune focused on alternative spirituality.  Cannot be torn or damaged.  Smells vaguely of some sort of masculine musk or feminine perfume (depending on what you are attracted to). 

- While wearing the beads, all creatures will perceive you as more attractive and charming.  You gain a CHA of 16(+2) or if it is already 16, you get a +1 to CHA.
- 3/Day, you can turn invisible while wearing the beads.  However, the invisibility only affects you and the beads.  All other equipment will remain visible.  You can remain invisible for up to 10 minutes at a time or until you take an action to harm someone, interfere with something that doesn't belong to you or otherwise undertake a strenuous action. 
- 3/Day, you can turn intangible and gain the ability to fly for up to 1 minute.  While intangible, you can pass through physical objects like they aren't there, though you can touch solid objects as normal.  Non-magical weapons cannot hurt you.  You can end this effect early as a free action.  Note that this intangibility only affects your body and the lovebeads, all other items will fall off you, as you cannot touch them.


While wearing these lovebeads or carrying them in your possession, there is a 1-in-10% chance whenever you meet a new NPC or go to a new location that someone will fall head-over-heels in love with you.  This person will become a passionate lover to you, doing whatever they feel will make you happy.  But if you mistreat them, fail to respond to their affections or are seen with anyone who could be a love rival, they will rapidly become an obsessive stalker and begin trying to hurt you for spurning their love.  They may even try to kill you as an act of dramatic revenge. 

These individuals can always see you when you are invisible and touch you when you are intangible, though any non-magical items they carry will still pass through you in your intangible form. 

This curse can only be broken by throwing the beads at a topless woman and then kissing her in front of all your obsessed stalkers.  If you do that, they will realize their love for you was all the result of magic.  They might still be mad at you, but they aren't obsessed with murdering you.

Destroying Virgo's Lovebeads:

You can't.  Love conquers all, baby!  That being said, the lovebeads can be contained by sealing them in a silver-lined box and giving them to someone who has taken an oath of celibacy.  This can contain the beads for as long as the box remains sealed. 

The longest this has ever been is 1 year.

Libra's Scales of Virtue:

A set of old-fashioned scales, made of gold, iron and heavy brass.  One side is tarnished, the other gleaming gold.  The tarnished side will never be improved no matter how much it is cleaned or polished, while the gleaming side cannot be soiled or dirtied.

- Each day, the Scales will measure your Good and Bad Deeds based on the last 24 hours. 
- If you have done more Good than Evil, increase all your ability scores by +2 (max 18).  If a stat is already 18, you instead gain +2 HP.  This also increases your maximum HP by as much.  These bonuses only last until the next judgement.
- If you have done more Evil than Good deeds, decrease all ability scores by 1 (min 3).  However, you gain the ability to 3/Day, transform your body into shadow for 1 minute.  While in shadow form, you can pass into and out of any space could, and can only be held back by things that could stop a shadow (such as bright light).  Only magic and sunlight can hurt you in shadow form.  When you transform into shadow, all equipment you are carrying transforms with you.  You can change back early as a free action. 
- If your Good and Evil deeds are balanced, you cannot heal or recover HP in any way until the next judgement. 

Destroying Libra's Scales of Virtue:

The owner of the scale must receive the Neutral Judgement 7 days in a row.  On the seventh day, the scale's metal will become vulnerable to them.  After that, anything wielded by their hands that could damage metal can destroy the scales. 

As the scales are aware of this, for each day past the first that the owner of the scales gets the Neutral Judgement, the scale will lure Good and Evil creatures to it's location.  Both will want to claim the scale and depending on the party's own reputation and moral fiber, will use appropriate tactics to try and gain ownership of the scale. 

Any other attempt to destroy the scale will result in injuring oneself in a spectacular workplace injury, such as slipping with a grinder and driving it into your own hand or a nearby person's stomach. 

Scorpio's Sleepmask:

A velvet sleepmask that is impossibly soft and very comfortable.  It's front is covered in a stylized scorpion made of stars on an ink-black sky.

- Each night when worn, the sleepmask will give you a vision of the future.  This vision will reveal some of the events that will occur within the near future.  For example, if you are investigating a serial killer, the vision might reveal who his next potential victim will be. 
- However, the sleepmask also has a chance of giving you a vision of your own death.  This chance is 2-in-10, but increases by 1 each time you receive a vision of your own death.  Roll on the table below to see what vision of your own death you receive. 
- If you receive the same vision of your death 3 times, you are cursed to die in that way.

The only way to break this curse is to go to a place where the curse could be fulfilled, but then endanger yourself in another way. 

For example, if you are cursed to burn to death, set your house on fire, then chain yourself to a cinderblock and jump into the pool with it. 

How will you die, according to this vision?

1- Shot to death
2- Stabbed
3- Crushed by a heavy object
4- Burned alive
5- Run over by a car or vehicle
6- Attacked by an animal
7- Drowning
8- Buried alive
9- Poisoned
10- Blown up.

Destroying Scorpio's Sleepmask:

Give it to an insomniac and have him wear it for three days.  Then, burn it.

Any other method will simply cause the Sleepmask to disappear when you're not looking and to be cursed with horrible nightmares of your own death.  

Sagittarius's Silver Coins:

A bag of thirty heavy, silver coins that clearly come from some archaic culture.  The coins are each marked with a different mythological beast and the bust of someone politically or historically important from history. 

- Each coin can be used to purchase any Good or Service.  This consumes the Coin, causing it to transform into an equivalent amount of currency once handed over. 
- However, one coin is cursed.  After using it, all other coins will immediately disappear. 

Destroying Sagittarius's Silver Coins:

Melt the coins down into raw silver and then make them into something.  Then sell that item to someone for an insignificant price. 

Any other attempt to destroy the coins will result in the coins all disappearing, being replaced with a bunch of tacky, useless or illegal items.  For example, a kiddie pool full of raspberry jam, a van powered by pain, or twenty pounds of cocaine.  The cursed coin will just disappear. 

Capricorn's Handheld Device:

An old, battered looking black cellphone with a pentagram carved into the back.  The ringtone is always on, always loud and always heavy metal.

- The device works as a cellphone.
- 3/Day, the owner may contact anyone with this device by saying their name while holding the device.  If they have a phone, this will contact them through it.  If they do not, it will enable a temporary telepathic connection to the owner.  Missed or ignored calls do not consume uses of this ability. 
- 1/Day, by saying a name and a date, the owner can contact someone in the past. 

Destroying Capricorn's Handheld Device:

Take it apart piece by piece and wash each piece in holy water.  Scratch out the pentagram.  Then recycle the plastic parts in different bins.  Take the metallic parts and melt them down into a crucifix. 

All other methods will result in receiving phone calls from the Midnight Men and being unable to sleep at night, for fear that they are standing right outside your window, watching you.  When you're not looking, the device will disappear and make it's way into the hands of someone you despise.   

Aquarius's Miracle Jar:

An ancient jar that looks like it should be in a museum or an exhibit on ancient greek culture, worked with strange geometric designs.  Cracked, but this does not weaken the structure. 

- 1/Day, if filled with human blood, the jar can convert it's contents into any liquid of the owner's choice. 
- Every third time the jar is used, it produces some kind of edible liquid, such as tomato sauce, nacho cheese, hot fudge, etc.

Destroying Aquarius's Miracle Jar:

Fill the jar with blood and command it to transform the blood into an explosive liquid or water.  Then ignite the explosives and run.  If you choose water, then throw a large piece of sodium into the water and blow it to smithereens. 

Afterwards, scoop up all the pieces, grind them into dust, and pour them into a river.

All other attempts will merely cause the jar to disappear and for you to find tomato sauce in incovenient places for the rest of your life. 

Pisces' Silver Spoon:

A silver spoon, with an ornate handle that resembles a mackerel or other large fish.  The knife reeks faintly of salt.  It never gets tarnished.  At night, it vibrates in such a way that remind all who hear it of ocean waves crashing on the waves.

- 3/Day, the spoon can recreate any food the owner has ever eaten out of water.  The food tastes identical, but has the nutritional content and calories of water.

Destroying Pisces' Silver Spoon:

Leave the spoon in a desert for 1 month, then bury it in the ground in a landlocked principality (or nation) in a location at least 50 miles from any river or large body of water.

Any other attempt to destroy the spoon will cause the spoon to disappear, while cursing the previous owner to find rotting fish hidden in all their possessions.  Eating the fish will sicken you and make you suffer dearly.

artist unknown

Ophiuchus' Rod of Earthly Glory:

A metal scepter, the length of a flute, made of iron worked with silver that takes the form of silver serpents that wind their way down the shaft of the rod.  The rod is tipped with a strange shape, resembling an inhuman face with five ruby eyes, two below a wide, curling mouth, the rest positioned in a curve above the mouth.  The rod practically vibrates with energy, tingling when not in use, but pulsating in the hands of any who command it's power.

All others, on the other hand, will see the rod as a golden scepter adorned with symbols of the local dominant religion or deity they happen to find most agreeable.  If worship a minority God or secret religion, they will find a small, unimportant symbol hidden somewhere amidst larger ornamentation which tells them that you're one of them.    

Ophiuchus' Rod of Earthly Glory has an Ego:

- It cannot be wielded except by someone with a CHA and COG of at least 13
- Any prospective wielder must possess a grand ambition as well- something spectacular and incredibly challenging

If you do not meet both of these qualifications, the Rod simply remains inert in your hands.  If you persist in using it anyway, it

- As a free action, by pushing one of the smaller rubies, you can cause the Rod to transform into a massive flaming sword that does 1d8+Atk+CHA damage.  The sword also does an extra 1d6 fire damage on a hit.  These flames can spread if you wish or can restrict themselves to the blade. 
- 1/Day, you can cause the Rod to emit a glorious aura of light.  This makes all creatures you consider your allies within 100' to have advantage on saves against Fear and Charm effects, as well as gain +2 to hit.  Enemies within the aura must save vs fear or become frightened of you.  They will not move closer to you unless they have no choice and take 1d4 Morale damage a round.  If this reduces a creature's Morale to 0, that creature runs away or hides or begs for mercy.  Creatures frightened by this ability will only fight if they have no choice. 
- 3/Day, by touching a creature with the Rod, you can cause them to take 2d6 necrotic damage and you to gain as much health.  This also ages the target by 1d10+2 years, while adding that many years to your natural lifespan.  You may use this ability as an action.     

Destroying Ophiuchus' Rod of Earthly Glory:

Claim everything the world has to offer- fame, wealth and power.  Stand at the top of the world, crowned in gold and glory.  Then reject your possessions and status, hand your power over to others and finally, as your last act of renunciation, snap the rod over your knee, then take the fragments and throw half into the sea in different locations, while bury the other half. 

Then pray that no damn fools attempt to find the pieces and reassemble the cursed thing.

artist unknown

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