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Author Topic: Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?  (Read 1594 times)

HappyDaze

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2019, 08:13:22 PM »
Quote from: jeff37923;1115254
How about a lacquered piece of wood with the information inscribed on it in a language or as artwork?

I considered lacquered shell (turtle-like) but I'm not sure how enduring it would be over time.

Shasarak

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2019, 08:27:42 PM »
Quote from: HappyDaze;1115239
Many living creatures die if you keep them in a bag of holding for more than a few minutes. OTOH, a stone golem could be an animate version of a stone tablet.


A Druidic version of a Warforged with Barkskin instead of metal plating?
There will be poor always,
pathetically struggling,
look at the good things you've got! -  Jesus

GameDaddy

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2019, 09:10:03 PM »
Quote from: HappyDaze;1115238

 Quote Originally Posted by Chris24601
"A crystal. The words are read by holding a light source behind it and it projects the markings onto a wall or similar. It'd last basically forever regardless of environment."

....I like this. Any examples of this in D&D already? Other mediums?


Yes, Dragonshards in Eberron.

Among Eberron's most important resources are the three varieties of Dragonshards, the fallen Shards of Siberys, the crystals that are found in the soil of Eberron, and those drawn from the depths of Khyber. Each type of Dragonshard has an affinity for certain magical functions, and each is used to make a different sort of magic item. All Dragonshards appear as translucent rock or crystal with swirling veins of color suspended within them. The shape of these veins suggest the swirls of Dragonmarks, though no one has ever found a shard that exactly mirrored a Dragonmark. The color moves and pulses within the translucent crystal, making Dragonshards look almost alive, and lending their color to the overall appearance of the crystal.

Siberys Shards
Siberys Shards fell from the Ring of Siberys, and as a result are usually found in Xen'drik and other equatorial regions. (No prospector has yet dared to explore what must be vast shard fields in Argonnessen). Their crystalline depths contain pulsating golden veins. The most rare of the Dragonshard varieties, Siberys Shards are the most closely connected to Dragonmarks. Scions of the Dragon-Marked Houses attune them to their own Marks and fashion them into focus items to enhance their spell-like abilities. Siberys Heirs use unnatuned shards to power their own powerful abilities. The Inspired of Sarlona covet Siberys Shards, because they can be used to enhance psionic ability. Siberys Shards are sometimes called sunstones or starmotes.

They are used to power Focus devices which enhances the effective casting level of the Dragonmarked using his natural spell-like abilities. A Dragonshard Reservior is a ring that can store the magical energy of a Dragonmark (Think of this as a Ring of Spell-storing, but for the Dragonmarked, a race of magically enhanced humans). They are used to power greater items such as Altars of Resurrection, Astral Beacons, Bags of Bounty, Collars of the Wild Bond, Diadems of Passage and Diadems of Sensory Ehancements, House Wards, Inquisitors' Goggles, Prospectors Rods, and much more...

Eberron Shards
Prospectors find Eberron Shards buried in soil, never deep in rock. They typically appear in clusters, encased within geodes. They are found in Khorvaire and Aerenal exclusively, and may be tied to the development of Dragonmarks. Inside the pinkish crystal of each Eberron Shard are writhing swirls of deep red, which are why these shards are commonly known as bloodstones. Like other Dragonshards, Eberron Shards display a remarkable affinity for magic, but this affinity is very broad compared to the specific uses of Siberys and Khyber Shards. A Spellcaster can attune an Eberron Shard to a specific spell, enhancing the effects of the spell when cast using the Shard as a focus. Wizard's can encode their spells (and magic writings) in Eberron Shards instead of inscribing them on paper. The following Magic Items are normally made using Eberron Shards; Spell Storing Weapons, Rings of Spell Turning, counterspell and wizardry rings and staffs, rods of absorbtion, metamagic rods, and intelligent magic items frequently include Eberron Shards. Some Greater Power Items include Auroen's Spellshard, a Shard that holds up to five hundred pages worth of spells, and wizards can imprint new spells on this shard without having to pay the usual spell material component costs. An Eternal Wand, Everbright Lanterns, And Scrying Shards. Eberron Shards can also be used to create Power Stones, the psionic equivalent of scrolls.

Khyber Shards
Khyber Shards grow on the walls of volcanic caverns deep underground and are usually located near pools of magma, or sulfur vents. They are particularly common in areas tied to Fiendish or Elemental activity, such as the Demon Wastes, though can be found anywhere in Eberron. They are smoky crystals colored with veins of midnight blue to oily black. Their affinity is for the magic of binding, in creating elemental powered items, and are used to enhance summoning spells, in binding diagrams, trap the soul spells, and similar summoning magics. They are sometimes called nightshards or demonstones. When a character binds an elemental to a suit of armor, the armor gains one of the following properties Burning, Stonemeld, Underwater Action or Whirlwind. These Shards are also used to power the Elemental Vessels, Airships, Elemental powered Galleons, and Lightning Rail Coaches. They are also used in the creation of Warforged components such as Arm Blades, Arm Bows, Battle Fists, and can be used to enhance energy resistances, and stealth abilities..  

One of the big draws for me with Eberron, is the High or Intense Magic prevalent everywhere within this campaign setting, the Dragonshards are a large part of that!


Other Crystals or Stones

Palantir

The original crystal balls, used primarily for scrying, but they can also be used to cast ranged spells like Clairvoyance and Clauraudience and reach far beyond the normal range for these, and also used with other similar Divination spells.

Intelligent Crystal Weapons
My Enchanted Swords of Crystalmyr for example. handcrafted Crystal weapons, carefully carved by expert gemcutters and stonecutters, imbued and strengthened with both magic and intelligence, and set with other stones and gems, these artifacts that can be used by anyone with martial weapons training and have been enchanted with a large number of spells and spell-like abilities.

Magic Spirit Crystals
Crystals or stones imbued with supernatural or extradimensional properties, with specific binds or bonds to other intelligent beings.

Ioun Stones
Used by wizards, shapeshifters, and psychics alike, these inherently magical stones defy the laws of gravity and can be used to cast, store, and enhance magic, as well as being used for psionic activity, or to enhance natural psychic or psionic talents.

Floatstone
Stone that is lighter than air, but as strong as traditional stone. Used to create enchanted flying ships, and in creating aerial castles, or strongholds suspended high above the earth.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 09:13:32 PM by GameDaddy »
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VisionStorm

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2019, 09:10:09 PM »
Quote from: Shasarak;1115265
A Druidic version of a Warforged with Barkskin instead of metal plating?


Would Druids really have constructs, though? I think that the vision stone you mentioned initially sounds more like Druidic stuff. Or maybe a Nature Spirit if you want to make it an entity. Maybe the Nature Spirit is bound to a Totem, which could be the McGuffin. Or maybe the Tree of Life idea that came up earlier could be the Totem, and it has a Nature Spirit bound to it, like a Dryad, who were in some mythological sources the ones who taught Druids their craft.

HappyDaze

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2019, 12:50:03 AM »
Quote from: VisionStorm;1115271
Would Druids really have constructs, though? I think that the vision stone you mentioned initially sounds more like Druidic stuff. Or maybe a Nature Spirit if you want to make it an entity. Maybe the Nature Spirit is bound to a Totem, which could be the McGuffin. Or maybe the Tree of Life idea that came up earlier could be the Totem, and it has a Nature Spirit bound to it, like a Dryad, who were in some mythological sources the ones who taught Druids their craft.

The druids in Hordes (the companion of Warmachine) and seen in the Unleashed RPG certainly used constructs alongside their werecreatures.

Spinachcat

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2019, 03:18:21 AM »
The Great Basin Bristlecone pine tree lives 5000+ years, so perhaps some species of Treants also live millennia and become living repositories of knowledge. Or perhaps, not a Treant, but a Dryad's tree which has become an ancient Dryad library of wisdom. To the outside world, just a tree, but those who can enter trees and live within, its a miraculous haven of secrets.

Omega

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2019, 05:05:19 AM »
Quote from: HappyDaze;1115228
I'm looking for a good form for a stolen McGuffin that contains lore. It needs to be something that will last thousands of years in an environment that is cool and moist. The culture creating it is druid-centered and largely more primitive than most D&D cultures,  but they have some metalworking ability.

I'm thinking of either stone or clay tablets, but I'm open to something more fantastical if it sounds fitting. The McGuffin does not need to be easily portable as long as it fits into a bag of holding. Suggestions?

Any overall non-corroding metal may work. Especially magic ones like Mithril or Adamantine. I believe Platinum is another?

But going the nature route you could have lore literally inscribed into a tree for example. Other thoughts are stone plates as you guessed. Clay itself is too fragile but some types of fired clay can be pretty durable.

Add in some sort of magic ingredient or even something simple like a self mending spell and about anything can last forever. Even paper.

Going that route a book made of leaves magiced to be ever green and ether naturally or enchanted durable. Many a decade ago we had a school project to make a little booklet from autumn leaves.
Something like this with the binding being the stems bound together.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 11:31:48 AM by Omega »

jeff37923

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2019, 05:58:18 AM »
Quote from: HappyDaze;1115261
I considered lacquered shell (turtle-like) but I'm not sure how enduring it would be over time.


Depends on lacquer, could be up to a couple hundred years if maintained.

HappyDaze

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2019, 07:05:33 AM »
Quote from: Omega;1115283

But going the nature route you could have lore literally inscribed into a tree for example. Other thoughts are stone plates as you guessed. Clay itself is too fragile but some types of fired clay can be pretty durable.

I think I'm going to avoid metal for this one; there's something else in the campaign I want to do with metal plates later.

For clay, I was certainly not thinking of simple dried clay, but rather something of a fired clay/ceramic made with alchemical treatments and/or glazing.

VisionStorm

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2019, 08:55:30 AM »
Quote from: HappyDaze;1115278
The druids in Hordes (the companion of Warmachine) and seen in the Unleashed RPG certainly used constructs alongside their werecreatures.

I'm not familiar with those, but druids using constructs sounds a bit more gamey fantasy kitchen sink than authentic druidic stuff. I suppose you could still make it work depending on what you have in mind or how things operate in your world (like maybe make it a totem that animates into a construct), but I'm not entirely sure what you're looking for.

jeff37923

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2019, 08:58:53 AM »
OK, thinking on it a bit, if the society is druid based then what about something living? Not animated like a treant, but something grown like a set of symbiotic plants which can be reduced in size and grow seasonally but do not lose their information. Like a plant based fractal set.

Omega

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2019, 11:53:29 AM »
Quote from: HappyDaze;1115294
I think I'm going to avoid metal for this one; there's something else in the campaign I want to do with metal plates later.

For clay, I was certainly not thinking of simple dried clay, but rather something of a fired clay/ceramic made with alchemical treatments and/or glazing.

Ceramics and even some basic fired clays can last a long time depending on where they are located. That could be hundreds or even thousands of years. It is similar to something made of glass. Normally glass is really enduring if thick enough. But in certain climates it will eventually fracture from stress. A glass cube though might effectively last forever as its big enough to resist most baser stresses.

Bone I was told by Kat will last for a few decades before drying out and becoming brittle. But under good conditions can last centuries, or under bad ones can decompose fairly quickly.

And here is an interesting one. Amber. This stuff can last practically forever too under the right circumstances and once it hardens it is effectively a really pretty rock. Someone using magic or some alchemichal process might be able to create artificially hardened amber that does not take millions of years.

Omega

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2019, 11:57:48 AM »
Quote from: jeff37923;1115301
OK, thinking on it a bit, if the society is druid based then what about something living? Not animated like a treant, but something grown like a set of symbiotic plants which can be reduced in size and grow seasonally but do not lose their information. Like a plant based fractal set.

Lore fruit. Eat one and its the equivalent of reading a book. Add a time period after to process it, and/or a INT or WIS type check to process it.

Or the "Know Trees" from the D&D cartoon. Those could have easily been some sort of ancient data storage system.

HappyDaze

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2019, 12:17:00 PM »
Quote from: Omega;1115310
And here is an interesting one. Amber. This stuff can last practically forever too under the right circumstances and once it hardens it is effectively a really pretty rock. Someone using magic or some alchemichal process might be able to create artificially hardened amber that does not take millions of years.

I really like this idea.

HappyDaze

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Neither a book, nor a scroll, but maybe...?
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2019, 12:32:55 PM »
Quote from: VisionStorm;1115300
I'm not familiar with those, but druids using constructs sounds a bit more gamey fantasy kitchen sink than authentic druidic stuff. I suppose you could still make it work depending on what you have in mind or how things operate in your world (like maybe make it a totem that animates into a construct), but I'm not entirely sure what you're looking for.

They are called Wolds, and you can read about them here.