The twenty-second theme is Threads or Rope
Either is fine, things from magical rope to spider-silk shooting gauntlets to delicately woven threads that detect fate or something. Anything with a stringy feel.
Hangman's Noose by -SpicyMcHaggis
Artifact • Commitment Cost: None
It can be tough being a hangman. Sometimes the neck doesn't snap cleanly or some jilted lover comes by and tries a heroic rescue. Once you add in magical beings with their last minute thrown knife tricks or bursts of rope-consuming flame, the difficulty in executing a person by the law can skyrocket. A frustrated Realm magistrate is widely accepted as the progenitor of this grisly artifact. It is a fairly standard rope only intertwined with the rope are thin strands of a jade/steel alloy thread. The jade can be infused with essence by an essence user, the essence user spends(does not commit) up to 10 motes to charge the artifact and the rope can hold up to 10 motes of essence at a time. Once charged with essence the rope becomes just as flexible as regular rope but has two abilities. The first is that when tied in a noose, the rope will spend a mote of essence to perfectly adjust to any neck it is tied around and make sure the neck snaps cleanly. Secondly, the rope has a soak of 10L/18B with 5 levels to damage it and 8 levels to destroy it whether charged or not.
Transendent Whorl by - FlowsLikeBits
Magical Chord Artifact •• Commitment Cost: 4 motes
The Transendent Whorl appears to be a simple, dark silk and starmetal string. It has the strenght of all magical matirials, and despite it's 100 yard length, it can be easily coiled into a ball or roll and stored in a pocket. Even then, it does not tangle, for tangling is contrary to it's purpose.
An attuned weilder may gaze through a loop in the cord and see the strands of fate. Mechancily, the viewer rolls Per + Socialize vs their targets MDV. Each success allows them see one "strand" stretching between the target, and someone/something else. Strands represent intimacies. The viewer will have approximate idea of the nature of the intimacy also. A loving strand between a mother and child will be obviously differnt from one between two rivals. It may not be possible to see the other end of a strand in all cases, but they Exalt may follow a strand if they wish. The targets modivation is also visible as a thick cord, but may be harder to interpret, although the user will have an aproximate idea of the meaning of what they see. They will also have an idea of the most apropriate astrological sign for each strand.
In addition, the cord may be used to form new strands. This requires the user to tie the two "ends" together with the Whorl and spend a point of willpower plus a number of motes equal to the sum of the targets convitions. The transendent whorl will then shimmer and dissapear with a flash, after which it may be found in the users pocket, or a reasonable equivilent. This process forms intimacies between the endpoints(it is quite possible to form an intimacy to something that is not another person, although how well one can be physically tied to an ideal is up to the ST). Initmacies formed by this method are aproximatly symetric, but other wise function like standard intimacies formed by social combat. This means, that two people may be made lovers, or rivals or comrads, but one can make someone love someone who hates them.
This is a shaping effect, and targets may gain immunity to it for a scene by spending 3 willpower.
Dragon's Leash by - Paincake
Artifact ••• Commitment Cost: 6 motes Attunement: Celestial Exalts Only
In the days of the Solar Deliberative, death was not the only penalty levied upon the sons and daughters of the Elemental Dragons. A suitably exquisite specimen, or an enemy worth humiliating, could be bound in these chords, which are of each color of jade. Only a single Orichalcum (or Moonsilver, or Starmetal) thread disrupts the jade, which is woven together so finely it is nearly impossible to tell the collar is anything other than rainbow-hued decoration. When at rest the bindings wind over their captive's form and wrap themselves around nearby objects, or dig into the earth. Immobilization and fatigue are constant companions to the Dragon thus bound, for though the chord weighs nothing in the hands of its master, its unearthly power renders it unbearable to its charge. (Treat them as though they have strength of 2 while wearing) Upon the command of the attuned owner, the leash will come up into the hand like an eager dog and coerce the captive into motion Though their actions are always their own, the leash provides a per-turn cumulative penalty to all actions when the Dragon Blood disobeys, starting at -3. (then -4, -5, -6) It also makes a perfect clinch attack upon command that does its owner's strength in soakable bashing damage, but it must be held by its owner and activated for 1 mote as a free action. (Once per turn) The unfortunate thrall's speed is reduced by 2/3 and they are considered to fail all actions requiring dexterity unless their owner has the leash well in hand. During their captivity the leash removes 3 motes of peripheral essence per hour, until only personal essence remains. With the master's permission charms can be used while wearing the leash, but if there is no permission granted the bonds begin to conduct excess energy away from themselves and deal an unsoakable 1L HL in damage per 2 motes spent. In addition, any personal essence spent while wearing the bonds does *not* regenerate, and if essence becomes 0 while in the bonds, the victim takes 3 unsoakable levels of bashing damage as they are forced unconscious by the increased weight of the bonds. The Master may choose to alleviate this by granting motes from his pool, but if he does not the leash will slowly crush the life out of the captured.
It takes a successful Incapacitation before attatching this item, as a conscious spirit will fight away the bonds. The committed essence is invested upon circling its captive's neck.
If, through wear and tear or sabotage, the orichalcum string is removed or damaged severely the item becomes unattuned, and the Dragon Blood captive may make an instant attunement check. (Only if the leash has been on for the ordinary attunement time, in which case it becomes quite a potent weapon...) The Dragon Blood is entirely unable to damage his own bonds, or the bonds of others. Any attempt to do so instantly alerts his 'owner' of the infraction, and activates the leash's defense mechanism; it channels 3 personal motes from its charge into an unsoakable level of Agg every turn they resist subjugation. Needless to say, it took several abject examples of Dragon Blooded rebelling to keep the rest of a Solar's enslaved population from rebelling. The Dragons killed by the leash are wracked with agonizing pain, and give off streamers of elemental essence that consume them from within.
Godweave by - IanPrice
Artifact •••• Commitment Cost: None Attunement: N/A
Leftover Starmetal and Moonsilver are resources far too precious to waste, especially the former. In the First Age, all scraps and wisps of these valuable metals were collected for later use, even if far from being useful. One inspired use for these scraps was the Godweave, a fabric of surpassing beauty and resilience woven from delicate strands of alloyed Starmetal and Moonsilver scraps. Garments made of Godweave may take on any color the wearer wishes with the expenditure of a willpower point, or a single mote of Essence. A mote of Essence may also be spent to make such a garment shine with the color of the wearer's anima from within, or with the inherent silvery hues of its component materials. All Godweave garments grant at least a +3 die bonus to social rolls, often granting that bonus to the wearer's Appearance attribute with all the benefits that entails. Lesser designs might only add the bonus to certain rolls, such as seduction or some other specific purpose. The resilience of Godweave is such that no blade may penetrate it; depending on the cut of the garment, the Storyteller should levy an external penalty on attacks with bladed weapons if the attacker does not wish his attack to be blunted to Bashing damage. However, these garments are also very light, and so provide no soak bonus despite their indestructible nature. Furthermore, any weapon which deals lethal damage due to sheer force rather than a cutting edge (such as a Grand Goremaul) ignores the garment entirely.
Example: Tepet Arasminnna is wearing a revealing party dress made of Godweave. This design was crafted in the First Age for breathtaking beauty, and thus grants her a +3 Appearance bonus simply for wearing it. Because the design is quite revealing, striking exposed flesh only levies a -1 external penalty to the attack roll.
Pattern Spider Egg by - DeathBySurfeit
Starmetal wire egg Artifact ••••• Commitment Cost: 12 motes
Crafted by Autocthon as undying agents of Fate, the pattern spiders have little need of mundane concerns like reproduction. Yet, to the surprise and delight of their celestial attendants, one every millenium deigns to suspend its duties and seclude itself deep in the Loom. There, it tethers together choice elements of causality with starmetal spun from its own carapace to form a glistening, unique and unequivocably well-crafted wire egg, the size of an ostrich's. The spider, having exhausted its internal reservoirs, is then taken apart by its kin for repairs.
Once attuned, a pattern spider egg acts as a channel for the experiences of the world, tethering them together through its intertwined strands of fate until they are familiar to its bearer. In exchange for a near-constant sense of strange familiarity and intimacy with their surrounds, the bearer knows instinctively the solution to every problem - physical, mental or social - that confronts them, as though they had done it many years and times before. Mechanically, this manifests as a flat -1 to the dice number needed to score a success, to the normal minimum of 4.
By focusing on the egg for a moment, its bearer can cause it to unravel, extend and near-invisibly encompass a mile around her with hair-thin arcing strands, impalpable and invisible (except to essence sight). Everything within this radius is considered to be a resident part of Fate. Further, any astrology applied to the area counts only the highest Essence resident for the purposes of difficulty, ignoring all others (and their number). When used in this form, the egg no longer provides the -1 target number bonus.
It is uncertain why Autocthon built in this functionality to his loyal automatons; some conjecture that it was a feedback mechanism, others that it was a way to expand Creation's borders, and still others that it is a deliberate fault instilled by greedy Sidereals. Only communion with Autocthon Itself would reveal the truth behind the matter.
Well, that's my contribution. Some of the rules may be a bit unclear, for such a simple artifact I seem to have typed much more than I meant too. But anyway, I thought it would be funny for a Realm magistrate tired of seeing folks cut from gallows by heroically(sp?) flung daggers to just make an artifact to deal with the problem. Might be an intresting thing to throw at PC's who aren't expecting it when they are trying to free a known mortal revolutionary at the list minute. - SpicyMcHaggis
- Considering that it's intended to be broken, I'd give it an auto-repair/self heal ability or something. -FlowsLikeBits
Themedeath? Anyone got another idea?
I like the Godweave's concept, but I'm not so sure about the crunch - as far as I can see, it gives a variable bonus that may or may not be Appearance enhancement, and may or may not reduce all damage with bladed weapons (what qualifies as bladed? Can you stunt to use another part of the weapon?) unless an unstated penalty is applied to attacks. All nice and appropriate effects, but could you decide on some specifics? It seems to me that any attempt to employ the Godweave as stated would result in a haggling match between player and ST.
If it helps, you might want to ignore the penalty for weapons that have increased ping damage (is it called Overwhelming in second edition), as these catch most blunt weaponry, and set the rest as static values (or give two different options). I'd be wary of too much Appearance enhancement, mind, as it is most uber in second edition...DeathBySurfeit
- The Godweave should not be employed in a game where player and storyteller are likely to haggle over it. The reason I didn't give specific stats is because I was describing not a single garment, but rather a class of garments which might have different attributes. I've given an example now, above. As for the Appearance enhancement, this is the primary purpose of wearing the stuff. If you've got a level 4 first age piece of artifact clothing designed to make you look good, it will darn well be good at its job. Besides, Appearance can only make a maximum of 3 points of MDV difference, despite its uberness in creating that difference on both sides at once. If you look closely, you realize that Linguistics is just as Uber, since it replaces Appearance when dealing with written communication. - IanPrice
- Looks great to me! Thanks for the clarification...DeathBySurfeit
Something by way of gratitude. If people like it, can someone else call the next theme? ...DeathBySurfeit