[New Magic Item] Hammer of the City

Hammer of the City

Simultaneously Chalk, Koram, Valance, Nysser, Knat and the Scholar of Wexos grabbed their heads and screamed in pain.

Get us back on course!” Chalk howled to the man at the wheel of the ship.

But you said…” the man began.

Nevermind, we will try our luck against the sporecerers of the Fungal Jungle later,” Chalk lamented, wishing he had never sworn on the Hammer of Cork that he would retrieve the jewel known as the Eye of the Manticore from the Wizards of the Howling Forest.

From the devious and crafty minds of dwarf artisans comes the Hammer of the City, a strange artifact that takes the shape of a hammer; maybe a grand and impressive war-hammer or possibly a simply tinker’s hammer, the form is irrelevant, the power of the hammer becomes overwhelming to those who would betray its keepers. These are often given to communities of dwarfs, halflings or gnomes that have few magic-users among them for a little etra supernatural assistance.

Benefit: A Hammer of the City can be attached to any village, city or town and a mayor, high priest or similar leader is entrusted with the care of the magic item. In times of need hearty adventurers, heroes, mercenaries or scofflaws may be talked, tricked or pressed into swearing to complete some task on the Hammer of the City. Those who stick to the plan and follow through are unharmed, those who stray from the simplest and safest path to their goal must make a saving throw against spells and spell-like devices every turn or take 1d8 points of damage, as if being thumped by a heavy hammer. If just one member of a group swears to complete the task all of his or her companions present at the time will suffer the same fate if deviating from the course, however, this only affects those party members that were there at the time and not henchmen, hirelings or others hired or consulted to assist in completing this task.

Usable by: Those ruling the city or town that has one of these magic items linked to it.

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2 Responses to [New Magic Item] Hammer of the City

  1. PseudoFenton says:

    I understand why on the meta-gaming level “If just one member of a group swears to complete the task all of his or her companions will suffer the same fate if deviating from the course.” is there… but why (or I guess how) would this be the case in game?

    Couldn’t I just say “Well you know what, this is causing me a big headache, literally, and I swore no oath. You guys are just going to have to go it alone.” and be on my merry way? I can’t see how the artifact could determine who is a “member of your group” in any meaningful enough way to produce this effect consistently. What if I have to hire a guide to help me through a mountain pass on my way to said objective, they are now part of my group – do they now suffer the same fate even past the mountain pass? What if they choose to turn around half way through the pass due to terrible weather and mountain lions?

    Sorry to pick holes in this, I love the stuff you produce… but this item just sounds like the ‘Hammer of the Railroad’ to me…

  2. bat says:

    First off, no worries on picking holes, I love comments and seeing how others perceive my posts because I know that I don’t always hit the mark on getting the full intent out there. Here is how I see this magic item being used:

    A town of gnomes needs help with a tribe of trolls that have moved into the nearby woods. A band of adventurers come stumbling along and the gnome chief talks them into taking on the trolls, probably using the hammer jokingly even. Then one of the group gets cold feet and they all feel the crunch.

    I would apply this only to party members in attendance at the time of the swearing upon the hammer (which I should have cleared up or hinted at in the fiction) and not hirelings, henchmen, etc (which I did indicate in the fiction but not the item’s description). Basically I meant for this to be a story element that would be like a geas that small towns and villages could use that had few wizards around. You could carry the story further however. After the task is done those who swore on the hammer are free to go back and have a little chat with the town’s leadership about this whole situation. If the group did kill these trolls for the gnomes the latter would probably be very generous if they saw them approaching angrily.
    Thank you for the comments and I will clean this one up to reflect your input! 😀

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