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

Felix

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Mined from the cores of dead stars that have grazed the edge of the universe, iirc.
Nowadays in D&D, apparently Ioun is a deity for some reason or other. I wish they’d stop taking names from old editions and apotheosizing them. Because stones mined from stars at the edge of the universe sounds so much cooler.

TABLE (III.E.) 3. (con’t)
Ioun Stones:
These seem to be a fan favorite. They’re magical stones that orbit the wearer’s head and give a special power. Grasping them or catching them in a net lets you separate them from their owner. The owner can also catch and slow or stop the stone to protect it, but loses any special powers. They’re found in batches of 1d10. There’s 14 types, each with its own color and shape, determined by rolling a d20 (e.g., 7 is a pale green prism that adds 1 to your level when in use). If you roll any duplicates, or 15+, it indicates a “burned out” stone.

Six types give you +1 to a given characteristic (18 max). One gives you +1 level. One lets you go without food or water; another without air. One regenerates 1 HP/turn. Two absorb a certain number of spells, of up to either 4th or 8th level, before burning out. One stores 2d6 spell levels. One acts like a Ring of Protection +1. And while dull gray stones are technically burned out, you can use up to five, each providing +10 Psionic Strength if you happen to have any.

Instrument of the Bards: I think that this entry may have the hardest item to use safely in the game.

So if you are reading this and don’t know about the 1st edition Bard, it is nothing at all like the Bard of other editions. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition’s is easily recognizable as the current jack-of-all-trades class. 2e’s bard was described as a thief subclass (maybe because it eliminated the Assassin and wanted something there?). It had some arcane spells, could play any instrument of their choice, and were explicitly not tied to the origin of the term, one relating to the druidic faith of ancient Britain.

In 1e, the Bard is something entirely different. It’s not a core class, but what 3e would call a prestige class. First you obtain 5-7 levels of Fighter; then you obtain 5-9 levels of Thief. Then you advance as a Druid for a level, and thereafter you are a Bard (humans with multiple classes are complicated). As you rise in level you become associated with bardic colleges with specifically Irish names like Fochlucan and Ollamh; none of this College of Lore stuff. And they must always have a stringed instrument with them (even though they get bonuses when using other magical music instruments).

Anyway, there are seven different Instruments of the Bard, each named for the college you must be part of to play it safely. The most powerful is the Ollamh Harp, which means you need to have gained at least 5 levels of fighter, at least 5 levels of thief, lived as a druid for a level, and gained 20 levels of bard because you can use it. That requires 1,000,001 minimum XP as a Bard, not counting the previous classes, before you can play this without taking 10d4 damage.

Each instrument -- Fochlucan Bandore. Mac-Fuirmidh Cittern, Doss Lute. Canaith Mandolin, Cli Lyre, Anstruth Harp and Ollamh Harp -- has its own requirements, and a description of what happens if you don’t meet them. (Yes, I know exactly what you’re thinking right now: why are there two harps? :p ) A 1st level bard trying to use the bandore has a 30% chance of making it work, but otherwise takes 2d4 damage. Other instruments don’t work and have either a chance or certainty of harming unqualified users.

Oh, you can’t tell what sort of instrument it is by visual inspection, since a dweomer makes them all appear the same. Good thing bards get Legend Lore. Also, I’m fairly sure a lute and harp are played very differently.

Each instrument lets you, through playing, cast several spells once per day: protection from evil 10’ radius, become invisible (the sound becomes hard to track so playing doesn’t give you away), levitate, and fly. Those last a number of turns equal to your college. You also gain a bonus to your Charm ability, based on the instrument, and the ability to cast three other spells once per day each (the specific spells vary with instrument; for example, the mandolin has Dispel Magic, Protection From Lightning 10’ radius and Cure Serious Wounds, and the lyre lets you Control Winds, Transmute Rock to Mud and call a Wall of Fire.). It’s possible to raise Charm odds above 100%, which gives targets a save penalty.

The bandore also has a 50% chance to cast faerie fire each round, but a 10% chance of the spell wreathing the musician in the glow if they aren’t qualified to play it. “A bard of Fochlucan or higher college casts the faerie fire spell at base 50% per level of bard experience above 1st, reducing the reverse effect by 1% per level above 1st.” Does that mean a 2nd level bard automatically succeeds in the casting (level 2x50%) with a 9% chance of being targeted themself?


Iron Flask: With the appropriate command, the user can force an extra-planar creature to save or be stuck in the bottle. If it’s uncorked without the command word, roll to see the creature’s reaction; otherwise it will serve for one turn or fulfill a minor task that takes less than an hour. If you try to trap a creature twice, it gets a +2 on its save and is automatically hostile. Half the flasks are found empty; there’s a table to see what else is in there, from air elemental to xorn.

Javelin of Lightning: This counts as a +2 weapon for overcoming damage resistance, but does not actually give a bonus for to hit or damage rolls. Which is okay, because when it strikes the target it turns into a 30-foot long, five-foot wide lightning bolt, doing 1d6 physical and 20 electrical damage to the target, and 20 HP of damage to others in the bolt’s path (save for half). It can only be used once, and is found in batches of 2-5.

Javelin of Piercing: You don’t need to throw these javelins, the command word launches them at +6 to hit and inflict 1d6+6 damage up to 6”. Each only works once, found in batches of 2d4.

Jewel of Attacks: This helpful gem doubles the chances of encountering wandering monsters, and doubles the chance they’ll try to pursue you if you flee, so you should get twice as much monster XP as you were expecting. :D In another helpful feature, you can’t lose this jewel; if you accidentally drop it or throw it down a pit, you’ll soon rediscover it in a bag or pocket. If for some reason you don’t like meeting new and unfriendly monsters all the time, you could get rid of it with a Remove Curse or Atonement spell. That’s actually interesting; it suggests that this could have been made as a form of divine punishment.

Jewel of Flawlessness: Way back on page 26, we learned that gems have a 1 in ten chance of being exceptionally valuable, bumping up from say a 10 GP ornamental one to a 50 GP semi-precious. If you put a Jewel of Flawlessness in with with other gems, it increases the likelihood of them being more valuable to 2 in 10. Each jewel has 10d10 facets, and one facet fades each time a stone’s value is increased because you rolled a 2.

Keoghtom’s Ointment: Usually found in collections of 1d3 jars with five doses of salve each, this can be rubbed on a poisoned wound or swallowed to remove any poison or disease, or to heal d4+8 HP. Unlike Ioun, Keoghtom was apparently always a god, or at least Wikipedia tells me that Gygax wrote about him as a quasi-diety for 1e.

Thus ends Table (III.E.) 3. Next time, a new table, and a lot of books.I
 

Raveled

Hail Tzeentch!
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I always assumed ioun stones were popular because they were a way to get enchantments that weren't tied to a magic item slot, but I'm so bad at D&D charop that I'm not even sure of that anymore.
Instrument of the Bards: I think that this entry may have the hardest item to use safely in the game.

So if you are reading this and don’t know about the 1st edition Bard, it is nothing at all like the Bard of other editions. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition’s is easily recognizable as the current jack-of-all-trades class. 2e’s bard was described as a thief subclass (maybe because it eliminated the Assassin and wanted something there?). It had some arcane spells, could play any instrument of their choice, and were explicitly not tied to the origin of the term, one relating to the druidic faith of ancient Britain.

In 1e, the Bard is something entirely different. It’s not a core class, but what 3e would call a prestige class. First you obtain 5-7 levels of Fighter; then you obtain 5-9 levels of Thief. Then you advance as a Druid for a level, and thereafter you are a Bard (humans with multiple classes are complicated). As you rise in level you become associated with bardic colleges with specifically Irish names like Fochlucan and Ollamh; none of this College of Lore stuff. And they must always have a stringed instrument with them (even though they get bonuses when using other magical music instruments).

Anyway, there are seven different Instruments of the Bard, each named for the college you must be part of to play it safely. The most powerful is the Ollamh Harp, which means you need to have gained at least 5 levels of fighter, at least 5 levels of thief, lived as a druid for a level, and gained 20 levels of bard because you can use it. That requires 1,000,001 minimum XP as a Bard, not counting the previous classes, before you can play this without taking 10d4 damage.

Each instrument -- Fochlucan Bandore. Mac-Fuirmidh Cittern, Doss Lute. Canaith Mandolin, Cli Lyre, Anstruth Harp and Ollamh Harp -- has its own requirements, and a description of what happens if you don’t meet them. (Yes, I know exactly what you’re thinking right now: why are there two harps? :p ) A 1st level bard trying to use the bandore has a 30% chance of making it work, but otherwise takes 2d4 damage. Other instruments don’t work and have either a chance or certainty of harming unqualified users.

Oh, you can’t tell what sort of instrument it is by visual inspection, since a dweomer makes them all appear the same. Good thing bards get Legend Lore. Also, I’m fairly sure a lute and harp are played very differently.

Each instrument lets you, through playing, cast several spells once per day: protection from evil 10’ radius, become invisible (the sound becomes hard to track so playing doesn’t give you away), levitate, and fly. Those last a number of turns equal to your college. You also gain a bonus to your Charm ability, based on the instrument, and the ability to cast three other spells once per day each (the specific spells vary with instrument; for example, the mandolin has Dispel Magic, Protection From Lightning 10’ radius and Cure Serious Wounds, and the lyre lets you Control Winds, Transmute Rock to Mud and call a Wall of Fire.). It’s possible to raise Charm odds above 100%, which gives targets a save penalty.

The bandore also has a 50% chance to cast faerie fire each round, but a 10% chance of the spell wreathing the musician in the glow if they aren’t qualified to play it. “A bard of Fochlucan or higher college casts the faerie fire spell at base 50% per level of bard experience above 1st, reducing the reverse effect by 1% per level above 1st.” Does that mean a 2nd level bard automatically succeeds in the casting (level 2x50%) with a 9% chance of being targeted themselfI
No no, see, it causes damage because you're trying to play a harp like a horn. String cuts on your lips are nothing to sneeze at.
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
Validated User
(Also in Vance, they're IOUN stones, all caps. If it's an acronym I don't think we're ever told.)
(If I recall correctly, IOUN stones can deflect or maybe absorb a wide variety of stuff, from offensive magic to the effects of age. Any hardcore Vancian scholars about the place?)
 

Dalillama

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Iron Flask: With the appropriate command, the user can force an extra-planar creature to save or be stuck in the bottle. If it’s uncorked without the command word, roll to see the creature’s reaction; otherwise it will serve for one turn or fulfill a minor task that takes less than an hour. If you try to trap a creature twice, it gets a +2 on its save and is automatically hostile. Half the flasks are found empty; there’s a table to see what else is in there, from air elemental to xorn.
This is the same thing as an efreeti flask, innit? Just minus the efreet.
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
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Horseshoe Mines. When combat threatens, the horse is compelled to charge into the middle of the fray, and then the horseshoes explode. Cf. meteor swarm, except in a horse-shaped box pattern. The rider and horse are caught in all four overlapping explosions.

Horseshoes of the Seelie Knight. Under a full moon, the horse is able to travel at unnatural speed by finding otherworldly fairy roads. Use the rules for shadowwalk (7 leagues/turn).

Phantom Horseshoes are obviously magical, flickering in and out of existence. 2/day for 3 turns they allow the horse and rider to become quasi-material, as wraithform, while at the same time gaining the speed and maneuverability of a phantom steed created by a 12th level caster (run across mud, water, and the air).

Horseshoes of the Fell Beast. When the rider is threatened, the horse is transformed into a monstrous wolf-like but hooved beast[1] that immediately goes into a berserk rage and attacks anything nearby. This includes the rider, if the rider if thrown (10% chance per round).

[1] Andrewsarchus, at least back when it was considered a mesonychid.

This is the same thing as an efreeti flask, innit? Just minus the efreet.
Nope, the efreeti bottle contains one efreeti, which may serve up to a year (or less commonly, be insane or grant wishes). It has no ability to trap anything else.

The iron flask is a trap, for any creature from another plane. And even if you use it to capture an efreeti, it will only serve for 1 turn, or for a minor service that can be performed in an hour. But you can keep using it, and trap things like lemures, xorn, or nycadaemons.
 

Beckett

Golden Wyvern Adept
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Keoghtom’s Ointment: Usually found in collections of 1d3 jars with five doses of salve each, this can be rubbed on a poisoned wound or swallowed to remove any poison or disease, or to heal d4+8 HP. Unlike Ioun, Keoghtom was apparently always a god, or at least Wikipedia tells me that Gygax wrote about him as a quasi-diety for 1e.
My bit of trivia- Tom Keogh was a friend of Gygax. IIRC, died young of some illness.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
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This is what I posted to the other thread:

Some ideas for magic horseshoes with quirks or curses:

- Noisy and draws more wandering monsters.

- Draws the horse to the closest significant monster.

- Makes the horse eat random objects that it can swallow or chew.

- Horse leaves elemental tracks. These may be subtle and only visible to the wise (i.e. magic users) or not so much, such as the shoes that start fires.

- Rider can not track effectively.

- The rider turns into a horse and horse into new rider.

- The horse runs too fast and rider falls off at great speed.

- The horse slows everyone, thought this is subtle and may not be noticed for a while.

- If the horse stays in a specific location for longer than a day, Plant Growth is applied to the area around where it is kept. This may cause stables and other buildings to collapse as the plants (or fungus) keeps growing day after day.
 

SuStel

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Horseshoes of Frau Blucher: These horseshoes don't do anything for the horse, but whenever someone says a certain keyword within a league of the animal every horse in that radius becomes hysterical.
Ya, ya, tvack tventy-nine!
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Oh, can I give you a shine?

2e’s bard was described as a thief subclass (maybe because it eliminated the Assassin and wanted something there?).
Strictly speaking, the bard was a class in the rogue group. Sub-classes were promoted to full, optional classes, and they were collected into super-classes called groups. In the core rules, the warrior group consisted of fighters, rangers, and paladins; the wizard group consisted of mages and all the various specialist wizard classes; the priest group consisted of clerics and "priests of specific mythoi," of which druids were given as an example and for which a whole bunch of bland rules were given to create new ones; and the rogue group consisted of thieves and bards.

Assassins, the game claimed, were not a class because assassin was a profession, not an archetype. This was clearly nonsense, since the other classes could be thought of as professions too. The real reason they were dropped was to try to clean up the image of AD&D. The assassin was later added to the game as a "kit" to be applied to the thief. Kits were pretty much TSR giving up on the idea of groups, and they were more or less a reintroduction of subclasses to the game.

In 1e, the Bard is something entirely different. It’s not a core class, but what 3e would call a prestige class. First you obtain 5-7 levels of Fighter; then you obtain 5-9 levels of Thief. Then you advance as a Druid for a level, and thereafter you are a Bard
Again strictly speaking, once you switch out of thief you become a bard "under druidical tutelage." The first level of bard, a Rhymer, has a college of "(Probationer)," and the parentheses are given on the table. But you have bard abilities now. Once you reach the second bard level, Lyrist, you join the Fochlucan college.
 

randlathor66

Registered User
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My bit of trivia- Tom Keogh was a friend of Gygax. IIRC, died young of some illness.
I did not know that, thanks for the info. Sad to hear. It has become my favorite healing poultice as it is so versatile.

For the Ioun Stones, I never really liked the orbiting your head thing, it just seemed over the top or something. I would have preferred if I could just slap one into my forehead (like Moondragon, the Marvel character).
 
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