2018/10/20

OSR: Pre-Apocalyptic Minor Magical Items

Just a little update post.

Not all magical innovations are potentially world-changing. The full book will contain 1d100 minor magic items split into 5 categories of 20 (to allow multiple rollning  Here's a sample of 10.

Item cost and availability varies based on the Tempo (the general pace of life and scope of magical advancement).


[  ] 30gp, and are available only from the original inventors, specialist stores, or public displays. They are novel and exciting.
[  ] [  ] 10gp, and are available at specialized stores and from roving street vendors. 
[  ] [  ] [  ] 5gp, and are widely available. Used versions of some items may be available for 2gp (25% chance of not working).

The items are designed to promote item-based problem solving. You might have a sword, but I have a sword and an air compressor.

When I was about 16 I joined in partnership with a man who used to make phosphorus boxes. I sold them for him. A piece of phosphorus was stuck in a tin tube, the match was dipped into the phosphorus, and it would ignite by friction. I was hawking these boxes in Norwich, when the constable considered they were dreadful affairs, and calculated to encourage and assist thieves and burglars. He took me before the magistrate, at the beak’s own private house, and he being equally horrified, I was sent to prison for a month. I have often thought since that the proceeding was illegal. What would be said now if a man was to be sent to jail for selling lucifer matches? 
-Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, Volume 1
Travis Louie

1d10 Example Minor Magic Items
1 Liquified Light. Sold in mirrored flasks stoppered with lead. Crack open and pour out 1 hr of glowing yellow-white liquid. All the colours of sunset available.  
2 Fireman’s Gloves. Thick black leather. Put them both on and faintly glowing red hands appear exactly 10’ in front of you. They move as your hands move, same size and strength. 
3 Air Compressor. Iron cart, spinning stone wheel, hose. Can provide 1hr of reasonably high-pressure air per day. 1-in-100 chance of exploding noisily. 
4 Thumbspark Jelly. Thimble-sized flask. Glows orange. Rub it on your thumb and finger, then snap. Little burst of flame, like a match. Works 10 times on any high-friction joint. 
5 Portable Orchestra. Simple wood keyboard with multiple add-in slots. Can play one instrument per slot. Tinny, distorted. Generally considered a nuisance. 
6 Self-Cleaning Pot. Just add soap and water, tap the brass plate on the front, and it scrubs itself clean. Just don’t tap the plate while food is inside (or your hand). It scrubs vigorously.  
7 Wake-Me-Up. Glass vial containing green fog. Inhale to instantly banish fatigue for 1d6 hours. Pleasant mania for a few minutes. Not addictive. Usually taken in the morning.
8 Ultragrease. Very small pot. Could coat an bowling ball or a coffee table. Lasts 1d20hrs. Object is temporarily nearly frictionless. Too expensive/unstable for widespread industrial use.
9 Sealing Bubble. Blue rubbery sphere. Failed magic raincoat. Throw it hard and it coats a single room (up to 50’x50’x50’) in a thin rubber layer. Seals furniture to walls, covers windows.
10 Bottled Fog. Glass bottle wrapped in wire. Highly compressed. Can fill an entire house or street with dense yellow-grey mist. 10’ visibility. Mist dissipates in 10 minutes. 

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