Gothic Magic Items

Gothic Magic Items

Some magic items are beacons of light, weapons in the war against evil. On the other hand, some magic items are definitely turned towards the darkness. They are not bright, serving some other form of terrible beacon… Here are a couple magic items that serve that path, following the darkness…

Sack of Bones

The Sack of Bones is a dark magic item, used by evil priests to raise the undead. This small leather bag contains 3d6 finger bones. When the owner of the sack casts a bone down, it transforms into a skeleton under the control of the caster. The skeleton has the following attributes: ST 12, DX 10, IQ 2, MA 10, armed with a short sword. The skeleton will last 5 minutes or until destroyed. The wielder must roll for 1 corruption point for each skeleton raised.

In a high fantasy setting, undead may be common. In a low fantasy setting, though, the walking dead may be very uncommon, and the presence of undead materializing from a single bone on the ground would definitely inspire a roll against IQ to avoid running in fear!

Greater Magic Item
Price: $9,000.
Weeks to Make: 10.
ST/day: 200.
Cost/Week of Ingredients: $50.
Starting Item and Ingredients Required Weekly: Finger bones of a warrior who died in combat, leather bag, 1 Telekinesis potion per week.

Source: Swords & Wizardry White Book: Gothic

Staff of Fear

The Staff of Fear is a loathsome artifact, created to inspire fear and dread wherever it is wielded. The Staff gives the wielder the ability to cast the 7-Hex Fear spell at the normal cost. Each use risks 1 corruption point at well.

The Staff is a gnarled wooden staff, inscribed with arcane runes and symbols that hurt the eyes of those who view them. It is commonly used by evil wizards or priests, not only to cause fear in their enemies, but also to instill adulation in their cultish worshipers. Continued use of the Staff may also cause a place (such as a cult temple) to acquire a point or two of dread.

Greater Magic Item
Price: $30,000.
Weeks to Make: 5.
ST/day: 700.
Cost/Week of Ingredients: $700.
Starting Item and Ingredients Required Weekly: Wooden staff to start, 28 Fear potions per week.


I hope these magic items give you a taste for how they can be used in a fear-inspired campaign… If nothing else, they should spark your imagination! Let me know what you think!

Marko ∞

One comment

  1. I like these! To my mind, one of the great weaknesses in TFT as written is that there is nothing in the way of a “fear and loathing” mechanism built in. While perhaps it’s not as suitable for a high-fantasy setting as it is for a horror/gothic style of play, there would still be plenty of things that would cause “fear and loathing” in people, even in a high fantasy setting. Besides, how do you make the “evil cult” really evil, if you don’t have some tool to cause the players to feel fear effects and see how that plays out on the game board? Sure, I know, the GM should be causing the fear through his roleplaying and description — but how many GMs have you ever had that could really do that as well as required? Plus, even if you make the PLAYERS afraid, there’s nothing happening in game terms that make the FIGURES afraid; they go right on exploring the horrific place and fighting the nauseating creatures without a break in the action…

    In Call of Cthulhu, I could freak the players out with my descriptions, and mechanisms existed to cause their characters to break down, or flee in terror, or faint on the spot, or whatever, as well.

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