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[Let's Read] The AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide (1e)

GetterBurai

Toyetic Fiend
Validated User
TABLE (III.E.) 2. (cont)
ivory Goats: There’s three goats in this set,(...) I feel like this is a very specific mythology/fairy tale legend I’m not recognizing.

Next time: Gauntlets
I'd presume it's a loose nod to "The 3 Billygoats Gruff".
 

Felix

Member
RPGnet Member
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TABLE (III.E.) 3. (con’t)
Gauntlets of Dexterity
: These look like thin leather gloves, and magically resize themselves to fit anything between “huge human” and halfling. If the wearer’s normal Dexterity is 6 or less, they get +4 Dex; if it’s 7-13, +2 Dex; if it’s 14+, +1 Dex. At first I thought those numbers would be tied to a modifier, and they almost are. Dex 6- gives an AC penalty; Dex 15+ gives an AC bonus. Also, if you are not a Thief, you gain the pick pocket and open locks ability of a 4th level Thief; if you are you get +10 to your roll. I assume that applies to Assassins as well.

Gauntlets of Fumbling: These could resemble either Gauntlets of Dexterity or of Ogre Strength, and will function as one of them initially. But when in combat or a life threatening situation, these reduce Dexterity by 2 and cause a 50% chance of dropping anything held each round. The rules specifically say that this is for both hands, not to check singly. Remove Curse or Wish will be required to take them off.

In how many campaigns are wishes more common than Remove Curse? Or does the book mention this just because there were arguments over whether Wish could replicate the effects of a Cleric 3/Magic-User 4 spell?

Gauntlets of Ogre Power: Give the user 18/00 Strength in their hands, arms and shoulders, giving +3 to hit and +6 damage. They work with the Girdle of Giant Strength. Since those girdles give Strength 19+, does that mean the to hit and damage bonuses are cumulative? Because if so, daaamn. (Also, I am having a Mandela Effect moment. I could have sworn these were called Gauntlets of Ogre Might, not Power.)

Gauntlets of Swimming and Climbing: These let you swim at Triton speed underwater (15”) and merman speed (18”) on the surface, but don’t grant water breathing. They also give you a super grip when climbing, letting you climb vertical surfaces with 95% success rates, or 99.5% if a thief.

Gem of Brightness: This prism shaped gem has 50 charges and several uses. It can serve as a flashlight for 0 charges; a ray that dazzles creatures in a 50’ line for d4 rounds, making them unable to see if they don’t save for one charge; or a blinding 30’ cone with the same effects but also a permanent -1 to -4 penalty on actions due to eye damage for 5 charges. (Cure blindness negates these.) A Darkness or Continual Darkness spell will be negated, either at the cost of charges or the gem temporarily losing its effectiveness.

Gem of Seeing: This gem can be gazed through to “detect all hidden, illusionary, invisible, astral, ethereal, or out of phase things” within viewing area. Naturally, the rules for this item are different than other true sight items. :p For one, you have to choose between a cursor scan, which only takes a round but reveals large objects within 30” in a 200 square foot area, or a careful scan that uncovers small objects, but takes twice as long and covers half as much area. Also, there’s a 5% chance each round you’ll see a either a hallucination, or fail to see a real thing as if it was an illusion. Also, Gygax uses the phrase “an hallucination.” I am annoyed when people treat the “h” as if it were a vowel for purposes of a/an determination. Other than this I cannot imagine someone complaining about Gygax’s prose though. ;)

Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity: The concept of cursed items has not aged well, and in an era with increasing acceptance of trans people, this is downright embarrassing. If worn, it immediately changes its wearer to the opposite gender, then loses power. Ten percent remove all gender entirely. Wishes only have a 50% chance of restoring the original, though godlike beings can reliably fix this. (I’ve started and deleted more on this item a few times, but I think I’ll just call the entry a product of its time and move on.)

Girdle of Giant Strength: This was actually pretty much covered in the discussion back on potions; each belt gives you the strength of a particular type of giant, with bonuses to hit, damage, open doors, as well as extra carrying capacity and the ability to hurl boulders. Other than Gauntlets of Ogre Power and magic war hammers, this doesn’t stack with other strength-enhancing items.

Helm of Brilliance: This appears to be an ordinary iron or steel helmet until the command word is spoken; then it transforms into a brilliant piece of headgear with 10 diamonds, 20 rubies, 30 fire opals and 40 opals. Don’t try to pry those gems off and sell them, though. First of all, they’ll turn into worthless junk, second of all, if you shine a light on the helm, once per round you can expend a gem to cast prismatic spray, wall of fire, fireball or light (as the illusionist, druid, magic user and cleric spells; I guess they were trying to say this is omni-magical.) Second, while there are still gems left, it gives +2 AC; lets you command any sword you own to become a Sword of Flame, even if it has other magical properties as well; use the Druid spell Produce Flame as if they were a 5th level caster; and serve as a double-strength Ring of Fire Resistance. That last one is possibly its most important one, because if the wearer fails a save against fire damage, the helm must make its own save. If the helm fails, then all remaining gems are detonated at once.

Next up: More helmets
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
TABLE (III.E.) 3. (con’t)
Gauntlets of Dexterity
: These look like thin leather gloves, and magically resize themselves to fit anything between “huge human” and halfling. If the wearer’s normal Dexterity is 6 or less, they get +4 Dex; if it’s 7-13, +2 Dex; if it’s 14+, +1 Dex. At first I thought those numbers would be tied to a modifier, and they almost are. Dex 6- gives an AC penalty; Dex 15+ gives an AC bonus. Also, if you are not a Thief, you gain the pick pocket and open locks ability of a 4th level Thief; if you are you get +10 to your roll. I assume that applies to Assassins as well.
Is can bugbears or ogres wear these? With stealthy bugbears that could be a nightmare scenario, especially with them being able to sneak things onto a character. Ogres would be more like slapstick.

Gauntlets of Swimming and Climbing: These let you swim at Triton speed underwater (15”) and merman speed (18”) on the surface, but don’t grant water breathing. They also give you a super grip when climbing, letting you climb vertical surfaces with 95% success rates, or 99.5% if a thief.
I find this surprisingly weak. I wouldn't expect the gauntlets to give Aquaman speeds, but even 18" isn't that impressive. Even so these are an excellent item for rangers who are scouting alone- the gauntlets allow bypassing most natural barriers.
 

Nate_MI

Formerly 'Raveled'
Validated User
Gauntlets of Swimming and Climbing: These let you swim at Triton speed underwater (15”) and merman speed (18”) on the surface, but don’t grant water breathing. They also give you a super grip when climbing, letting you climb vertical surfaces with 95% success rates, or 99.5% if a thief.
99.5%? Is that a typo or are we supposed to be rolling d1000 now?
 

Felix

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Is can bugbears or ogres wear these? With stealthy bugbears that could be a nightmare scenario, especially with them being able to sneak things onto a character. Ogres would be more like slapstick.
At 7'+ tall, I think bugbears might qualify as huge humans (their stealthy grace means they'd probably be great basketball players); ogres start at 9', so that feels like pushing it.

99.5%? Is that a typo or are we supposed to be rolling d1000 now?
High level thieves get decimal percentages for Climb Walls. Rather than saying they have a 110% chance and to subtract 15 if it's solid ice, the game just says to roll a third d10 if you rolled an 00.
 

Davies

Registered User
Validated User
I find this surprisingly weak. I wouldn't expect the gauntlets to give Aquaman speeds, but even 18" isn't that impressive.
It's the same swim speed that the Monster Manual gives manta rays, giant sharks and mermen. Admittedly it gives sahuagin 24''.
 

Felix

Member
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TABLE (III.E.) 3. (con’t)
Helm of Comprehending Languages and Reading Magic
: Gives a 90% chance to understand writings and languages, and an 80% chance of reading magic. This is binary; you’ll either understand a document or not, you won’t understand most of it. It notes that the helmet resembled what comes with AC5, so it could be for a set of scale mail with a shield or chain mail. Though I’d assume it means chain and that the item predates the addition of scale.

Helm of Opposite Alignment: Makes the most radical change possible to your alignment, and makes you want to keep the new one. Only Wish and Alter Reality can counter it. Once used, the helm loses its power, which I realize is a way to keep characters from weaponizing it by putting the helm on Asmodeus’ head and then asking him to put it on Geryon's and so on.

Helm of Telepathy: Provides Telepathy out to 6”, though it’s blocked by three feet of stone, a quarter-foot of iron, or any amount of lead or gold. You hear and communicate thoughts in the language of the target. The wearer can also cast a Suggestion upon a target; if the victim is less intelligent than you, they save at -1 per 2 points of Intelligence difference; if more intelligent they save at +1 per point. It also gives +4 to Psionic Attack rolls and increases psionic strength by 40 points.

Helm of Teleportation: If you’re not a magic-user, this lets you teleport like the spell once a day. If you are a magic-user and have memorized Teleport, the helm keeps refreshing your memory of the spell, so you can teleport three other people or objects and teleport yourself six times before the spell is forgotten, and then you’ve got one last use due to the helmet’s natural properties.

Helm of Underwater Action: Another device where it would be easy to summarize in a few words but is chock full of details. TL;DR: You can see and breathe underwater normally. You actually see “when small lenses are drawn across the device from compartments on either side of the helmet,” making you see five times more clearly than an ungoggled human would. To breathe, you need to activate the command word, which surrounds your head with a bubble of air.

Horn of Blasting: This appears to be a “normal trumpet,” though since one of its effects is clearly inspired by the Biblical story of the battle of Jericho I could see a good animal horn being used, even though that wouldn’t fit in with the description of a sonic cone emanating from the bell of the instrument at the targets since most shofars I’ve seen that curves up. Anyway, it has two uses. The first is a sonic blast that does d10 damage, stuns for two rounds and deafens for four (save for no damage and half the other durations). The other is to do weaken structures, doing triple normal damage. It can be used safely once a day, and there’s a 10 percent cumulative chance each additional use will cause it to shatter from stress and blow up in the blower’s hands. There’s also a 2% cumulative chance it will break each time it’s used, though that doesn’t cause any damage to the owner when it breaks.

Horn of Bubbles: From the mind of the man who once turned a cube of jello served for dessert into a monster comes the cursed bubble pipe. If you blow this horn, nothing happens until someone seeks to slay the character, when a mass of bubbles emerges and blinds you for 2d10 rounds.

Horn of Collapsing: If you know the proper keyword, this will collapse a 20x20 section of a ceiling; this does 3d12 damage indoors and 5d4 damage per 10’ of ceiling height underground. If you don’t speak the proper rune before blowing, it collapses directly over your head. If blown outdoors without the proper keyword a rain of fist-sized rocks strikes the winder.

Horn of the Tritons: You can do one of the following each time you sound this horn: Calm rough waters within a mile (dispelling water elementals and water weirds); cause all unintelligent sea animals to save or flee in panic (with those who succeed still attacking at -5); or call forth either hippocampi, giant sea horses or sea lions. For those who are curious, hippocampi are intelligent mer-horses, giant sea horses are just big versions of the real world animal, and sea lions are not similar to seals, but resemble mer-lions with the tail of a fish and forepaws and head of a lion. The illustration in the Monster Manual of a sea lion taking a bite out of a shark is really effective. Tritons can use this horn three times a day, and if they’re within a league of its sounding will know it has been used.

Horn of Valhalla: There are four types, silver, brass, bronze and iron. Each can be used once a week to summon a number of berserker fighters who will serve the one who blew the horn for either an hour or until they or all their foes are slain. The baser the metal, the more powerful the fighters, from 2nd level with silver to 5th for iron. However, fewer fighters are summoned, and while any class can use a silver horn, only fighters can sound an iron horn. Half these horns are aligned, and if the summoner is a radically different alignment the fighters will attack them. While Gladsheim, the plane of Valhalla, is associated with CG and CN, there’s no indication a horn can’t be aligned to, say, lawful evil.

Horseshoes of Speed: Magical horseshoes that do not wear out and double a steed’s speed. However, every seven leagues traveled there’s a 1% chance of losing a shoe. If one’s lost and isn’t noticed to reshode, then the horse travels 1.5x normal speed; if two are lost they lose their effectiveness.

CharOp question: Given that a Paladin can never have more than four miscellaneous magic items, is this a good choice for their warhorse?

Horseshoes of a Zephyr: The mount does not touch the ground, leaving no tracks and running over water. Can be used 12 hours a day.

Incense of Meditation: This item is amazing for several reasons. First of all, clerics of 5th level or higher always recognize the scent when it’s burning. Second, if a cleric lights it as part of an eight-hour ritual of prayer, for the next day their spells have maximum effect. Cure spells (and any spell with die rolls) are treated as if they rolled maximum; survival odds from being brought back to life are doubled; saves against their spells are at -1. You find 2d4 doses at a time. (Note these can also be used in a Censer Controlling Air Elementals to summon a friendly elemental with 36 extra HP, but I think in most cases it’s better to let the cleric use if for its intended purpose.)

Incense of Obsession: This is an incense of delusion, which resembles incense of meditation, though only burns for one hour instead of eight. It doesn’t make the cleric’s spells more potent, but makes the cleric think they are, and also makes the cleric want to use them whenever possible, even in situations they’d be useless for the next 24 hours. Some fun roleplaying opportunities here.

Next time: Some rocks found on a Dying Earth.
 
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