Sunday, May 15, 2016

A fresh look at an old item: Ioun Stones(and a mini review)

A quik history lesson first. Ioun Stone come from Jack Vance's Dying Earth series. The series is mostly about super high L mages and their adventures. The stones are never defined but mages had them in the hundreds, I always assumed they were a power source. (This is also where the D&D memorization of spells come from). Some of it is a little hard to read but I can't recommend the stories enuf. There is a tribute book by various authors called Songs of the Dying Earth that is also quite good. Anyway, back to gaming.

When I re read the Vance stuff about 10 yrs ago, I thought: Wouldn't it be cool to have the players fight liches with like 20-59 stones (the idea of Them circling the mage tickles me.) The only way to do this is to make a bunch of low powered stones so the treasure doesn't get out of hand when they kill the beasty.Thus was born the frequently given out , very minor , Ioun stone. some examples
+1 to any roll once a day(by far the most common one I gave out, some of them can be cumulative ,some can only be used alone)
+1 to one spells DC once a day(-1 to saves OSR)
One use individual cantrips
More specific +1s, to hit ,damage ,saves
recharge 1st L spell slot once a day
extra spell slots
+1 ac or saves for one encounter
Just love the idea of peeps walking around in cities with a few of these floating around their heads