Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Freakness

Much of Wampus Country is an equestrian society; it will come as little surprise that horse-racing is an appreciated pastime.  While there are varying levels of formality and tradition among races, one odd event of note is the Freakness.

Held biannually, the Freakness Stakes is a horse-race in which the first rule is that one may not ride an actual horse.  Other mounts are welcome: emu, hippopotami, large dogs, clockwork spiders, an animated settee, what-have-you; the stranger the better, hence the name of the race.  Many of the jockeys are wizards, or sponsored by wizards.  So, too, the prize money and the unusual enchanted items handed out to those jockeys or owners who win, place, or show.

This year's third-place winner, Handsome Dan "The Warlock Man" astride his war-ostrich, Penelope.


Below are this year's prizes, each a magic item of interest and particular use.

The Exaggerator.  This belt is made of braided storm giant beard-hair, bound in copper wire; when worn it has the continuous effect of making the wearer the most electrifying person in the room.  The Exaggerator accomplishes this by casting subtle illusions that make the wearer's appearance and actions seem more impressive or larger than they otherwise would.  While wearing the Exaggerator, your hair is shinier, your skin clearer; your pectorals and groin, slightly more bulging.  Further, the wearer seems a few inches taller, and their clothing more fashionable, tasteful, and expensive, even if only slightly.  These illusions may be temporarily dispelled by dispel magic and similar effects.
Effect: wearer has Advantage on all Charisma checks.

Cherry Wine.  This potent potable is more a potion than a beverage, although it began life as a very fine wine made from sour cherries.  Enchanced by a series of physics-altering spells, the cherry wine has one important effect, to wit: the drinker need not remove their armor in order to engage in fun physical activities such as swimming, climbing, jumping, and the like.  The spells in the wine somehow shunt some of the encumbrance of the armor into some other part of the world (possibly generating 'heavy' or reverse-gravity spots on other continents, which is pretty irresponsible wizardry).  The cherry wine intoxicates as normal when imbibed.
Effect: The drinker ignores any penalty to physical activity (marching, swimming, climbing, jumping, square-dancing, whatever) caused by encumbering armor for one hour.

Earring of Nyquist.  Forged in the Sulfurian undermountains by the eponymous sorceror-priest, the Earring of Nyquist has a protective function.  When worn, the earring has the ability to internalize 'samples' of any sonic attack to which its wearer is subject, which has two effects.  First, the earring attempts to produce counterharmonies immediately (although this is often too late).  Secondly, the samples of the sonic attack are then fed into the wearer's next sonic attack of their own (hence this item is really most useful to a bard or audiomancer).  The earring allows the cunning bard to learn from his misfortunes at the hands of those harpies, and channel a piece of that song into his next thunderous assault.
Effect: The wearer has advantage on saving throws against sonic attacks.  After surviving a sonic attack of any time, the wearer has advantage on their next sonic attack (if their attack does not require a roll, perhaps the target has disadvantage on their save).


Yes, the stats are 5e-ish, as I've been running 5e lately.

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