Sunday, October 2, 2011
Treasures of Middle-Earth -ICE, Mirror Vision
Next let me say how much I hate the idea behind the book. Sorry for the dichotomy here. One of the things that stand out when reading the Lord of the Rings is the rarity of magic and magic items in the stories. Treasure of Middle Earth (first edition) is 144 pages long and almost a hundred pages of that is filled with magic items. I would almost never have to use this book in a long running MERP campaign if I was running it.
The book is very much worth having though. It treats magic items they way they should be. Most are named and not generic +3 Dwarven Thrower. As a player I loved getting magic items and as a DM I was often too liberal in their distribution but that was when I was a young and dumb. Often times it seems if there is some mystical factory where magic items come off an assembly line daily. I think if someone went to the trouble to create a magic item they are going to want to make it unique enough to deserve its own name. The act of creating the item should be hard enough that there is a story connected with it as well.
The book is broken down into three different parts. The first combines the the Introduction with the sections on how to use the book. The second part is the section detailing the specific magical items. It also contains the information on the Creators of magic items and the materials used in their creation. Part three deals with the treasure classifications and generating random treasure.
The sections on actual magic items in the book is broken down into eight distinct sections. There are two that are broken down even further. These are the sections on Mage Items and on Rings. The list of the sections from the book are below.
Garments & Gear
Jewelry, Gems & Valuables
Foods, Elixirs and Ent-Draughts
Staves and Wands
Talismans and Miscellany
Rings of Power
Tools and Trappings
In my opinion it is the later section of part two that is what makes the book the most valuable. It lays out the various components that would be used in the creation of magic items and what type of items they might be used for. This list is as follows.
Herbs, Plants, Panaceas, and Poisons
In the end the book is very much worth having. My concerns are not with the book but with the magic heavy nature of role playing games in general. In fantasy literature of of the great tropes is the protagonist being left a great magic item by a parent or other family member. I guess in game terms that would have to be a +5 or better, and intelligent, items because most everyone else already has a +3 or better weapon.
Ares of Effect: One Mirror
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None
When this spell is cast the magic user will cause a standard mirror to become magical in nature. The mirror will then be able to show the caster anything that had been reflected on its surface.
The period of time that the caster can ask the mirror to start at is open ended. If a time is specified before the mirror existed then the spell will fail. The caster can also control the flow of the images that are displayed. They can speed the flow up or slow it down, even pausing or reversing it if desired. The can change the aspect of the image and there is no sound connected with the images. It should be noted that the images recorded are not tied to the mirrors current location.
The mirror will continue to display images for as long as it can or until the caster wills the effect to stop. The magics connected with this spell will eventually become chaotic in nature. The caster can depend on the images for a actual viewing period of time equal to six turns (one hour) per their level of experience. After that time period there is a 5% cumulative chance per hour spent viewing that the images will be altered and start showing things as they could have been.
The material component of this spell is just the mirror that the spell is being cast on. The mirror will be restored to its normal abilities once the spell expires. There is nothing to prevent the spell from being recast on the same mirror again.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.
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