23 November 2017

Known World Magic Items: Culinary Magic

I always like fun and interesting new magic for the game, things the players least expect. I had some notes on magical food concoctions in my notes, and remembered them while reading about the Chef class in an old issue of Polyhedron magazine. I decided to type up my notes, and convert some of the Chef magic stuff from AD&D to Classic D&D, here's what i came up with.

Miija's Gingersnaps (75 gp for 6 cookies)
The crunchy and tasty cookies, invented by the famous (in the Five Shires, at least) Hin baker Miija Copperkettle, grant the eater the effects of a Haste spell for 1d4 rounds. Attempting to eat more than one per day, however, will cause the eater painful heartburn and debilitating cramps, inflicting 1d4 points of damage that can only be cured by a full night's rest (not even magical healing spells will help).

Miija's Bayberry Tea (10 gp per cup)
This rather bitter tasting brew, common among the woodland folk of Alfheim, acts as a mild healing draught and a full cup will heal 1d4 hp of damage. Drinking a full pot (4 cups) will either heal 4d4 hp of damage, or cure any single non-magical disease or posion.

Miija's Peculiar Pepper Sauce (100gp for one bottle, 6 chugs)
Another invention of Miija Copperkettle, this extremely hot blend of chili peppers from around the islands of the Five Shires and Ierendi allows anyone taking a gulp of it to spit forth a gout of flame with a 15 foot range and causing 1d6 points of damage to anything it hits.
The sauce burns its drinker as well, however, causing 1d2 points of damage for every gulp taken. In addition, for each gulp taken beyond the first each day, the drinker must make a Save vs Death with a cumulative -1 penalty or die from choking.

Miija's Basil Cakes (10gp for one tart)
These vile tasting herbal tarts require a successful CON check to eat without gagging and vomiting, but if kept down, they guarantee  success on any one Save vs Petrification within the next 24 hours.

Miija's Elven Carrot Cake (50gp for one cake, 4 slices)
Eating a slice of this sweet treat grants the eater infravision with a 10 foot range for one hour. Repeated consumption of the cake the same day has no effect.

Miija's Amazing Applesauce (30gp for a 12oz jar)
This thick, sweet and slightly chunky apple sauce is not only delicious, it's extremely filling and nourishing. One 12 oz. jarserves as an entire week's worth of rations.

Miija's Potent Peas (5 gp for 12 peas)
Three of these dried peas will create an entire serving of a nourishing, if rather bland tasting, pea soup when placed in a bowl with hot water. One serving satisfies a humanoid of man size or smaller for one day.

Miija's Regiberry Tea ( 20gp per vial, 3 sips)
One sip of this sweet, fruity tea provides the equivalent of an entire days ration of water.

Miija Copperkettle owns and runs a small bakery in Leafkindle, where these items (including the two druidic recipes) may be purchased, but she has also sold her recipes to other bakers who promise not to open a competing shop in Leafkindle, so the DM can have the items turn up at a market or bakery just about anywhere. 
Miija is also constantly on the look out for new and rare ingredients for her culinary creations, and may serve as a minor patron for PCs looking for work.

21 November 2017

Known World Magic Items: Poor Man's Feast

Whatever poor soul first kept his share of the day's hunt too close to the campfire and happily discovered that putting a char to a piece of meat vastly improves its taste is sadly lost to the fog of prehistory, but in the Shirelands, every Hin worth his or her toehair knows the name Blossom Goldenspoon.

Long ago, in the days when the Hin first learned to tend their fields and keep pantries, cooking became the high art that it is today. One of the earliest, and still most revered Hin cooks of this time was Blossom Goldenspoon. A creative genious in her kitchen, Blossom is still credited with first creating most of the foundations of every Hin's recipe collection, and in fact, telling a Hin that her dish "could've come straight from Blossom's hearth" is considered a compliment of the highest order.

With success often comes the envy of others, and such was the case for Blossom. Many of her peers sought to outdo her skill, and at least one stooped to magical cheating to help, but as the Hin like to say "ye eat what ye cook"...

Cotter Bramblepatch was a well intentioned apprentice cook, at first desiring only to win the praise of his clan by feeding them the best meals he could muster, but he had the misfortune of living in the same town as Blossom, and grew weary of hearing his dishes compared to hers, never favorably, mind you. Frustrated, he traveled east, to visit the Traladara folk and hoped to learn new culinary secrets that would impress his kinfolk.

Cotter was quickly dismayed at the fact that Human cookery was far inferior to that of the Hin. He had almost given up on his quest when he met a a young Traladaran magic user who promised to help him achieve his goal in exchange for 10 years of service as the magician's personal cook. You see, although Cotter's skills in the kitchen didn't wow his peers, to a human, his dishes were divine. He faithfully completed his decade of service, at the end of which, his master presented him with a fine silver soup bowl, "Cotter, my lad" the old magician said, "any you serve from this vessel will find it the grandest meal they've ever eaten." Cotter took the bowl skeptically and returned home to the Shires.

The grandest meals ever, indeed. Hin flocked from miles around to have a taste from the table of Cotter Bramblepatch! Word around Eastshire, and beyond, spoke of meals fit for the Immortals themselves, selflessly offered to any who came asking. Cotter reveled in his newfound fame.



Cotter's soup bowl, enchanted by his Traladaran friend, whose name is not known in these tales, did exactly as promised, every meal served from it was thought to be the finest that diner had ever tasted! So great was its power that even burnt, spoiled and rotten dishes were greedily slurped up, to the very last drop or scrap. The bowl's power proved to be Cotter's downfall in the end.

Cotter was very generous, far preferring fame and praise to coin, but after a while, his money purse ran low and he could no longer afford fresh, wholesome ingredients for his recipes. You probably see the bowl's folly already. Although a dish served from it tastes like the finest fare one has ever eaten, the actual quality of the food is not affected at all. Thus, a meal that is burnt, undercooked, spoiled, or even poisoned will still cause heartburn, sickness or even death to those consuming such tainted fare.

Thus it was that Cotter's peers began to question his methods, despite enjoying his meals as usual, and continuing to praise his skill, quiet doubts began to accompany the cramps and achy bellies that were sure to follow. Colter himself eventually used the bowl to liven up some improperly preserved salted pork loin one lonely and hungry afternoon, and lacking a competent healer nearby, died from food poisoning the very next day.

Poor Man's Feast (aka Cotter's Bowl)
Cotter's bowl is a footed soup bowl crafted from fine silver beaten into a pattern of flowers and knotwork. The dish always feels comfortably warm to the touch, with a faint aroma that most who have examined it describe as fondly reminiscent of "mum's own kitchen".

Any food or drink placed into the dish and then served will taste to those eating or drinking like the single greatest thing they've ever had the luck to experience. Even the coldest campfire gruel will seem to be a meal fit for a king, and the foul tastes of minor spoilage, weevil infestations and the like will become undetectable.

The downside of using the bowl is obvious from Cotter's tale. Poisons in the food or drink in the bowl become extremely difficult to detect, gaining a 50% chance (1 or 2 on a d4 roll) of evading notice by magics intended to detect poison.

Also, because the user is so fooled by the pleasant taste of the fare from the bowl, he will tend to gobble or slurp up the very last bit, making it more difficult to avoid the ill effects of a poison one would normally spit out due to the foul taste. All creatures poisoned by fare from the bowl receive a -2 penalty to their saving throw against that poison.

19 November 2017

Known World Magic Items: Druid's Honey Mead


Druid's Honey Mead

The druids long ago mastered the techniques of fermenting honey from beehives into a potent and tasty beverage that is popular across the known world even today. Though the meads vary a little from region to region, the general theme is the same. Honey is harvested and prepared in the autumn and allowed to ferment over the winter, reaching maturity in early spring and brought out as part of the spring planting festivals. For most creatures drinking this beverage, it is simply a thirst quenching and slightly intoxicating elixir.

For the druids and their followers, however, there is a potent effect to be gained by drinking these meads during spring celebrations as part of their festivities. In game terms, any character who raises a toast to the gods of nature before consuming their mug of ale will be healed as if they had imbibed a lessened strength Potion of Healing, recovering 1d4 points of damage. This benefit may only be gained once per day, and may only be used during relatively calm, quiet moments of introspect and piety, thus the drinking of honey mead during battle will have no beneficial effects.

It is important to point out that although the druids know of this blessing from their gods, they do not explain it to persons buying or trading the mead from them. They prefer that people discover the gods' gift through an honest and sincere display of faith and respect, which in many cultures of the known world is expressed in the form of a toast or dedication of libations to the nobles and deities important to the local people.