Thursday, 16 May 2013

Songs for the Metal Axe

The second instalment of Patrick Wetmore's incredible Anomalous Subsurface Environment (check Bryce Lynch's review of the first book here and Gus L.'s of the second) features one of the coolest magic items: the Metal Axe, a great axe with guitar strings, with which fighters can play songs of magic. This post describes 14 songs (with the original 6, it makes a nice 20), reflecting my interests in gaming and guitar-centric music, as well.

Rank was decided by comparing the song's power to the ones described in ASE II and spells in the original edition, but I may have screwed this up; I am open to helpful criticism. As for monster stats and modifiers, those were written with OD&D/Delving Deeper in mind.

Bound by the Oath (Rank 2)
An oath that is sworn while the guitarist plays this song becomes magically enforced. Breaking such an oath requires a successful morale check or saving throw with -2 penalty.

Dreams Come True (Rank 5)
This song grants the guitarist the power equivalent to a Wish spell. Should he ever receive a kiss from a loved one, however, he melts away by the next dawn; the process can only be stopped by said loved one kissing him again, also placing a powerful charm spell on the guitarist lasting for the rest of his life.

Hearts on Fire (Rank 3)
As the guitarist starts to play this song, enemies around him start to feel a slight pain in their chest, as well as experience an increase in their body temperature. As long as the guitarist keeps playing, enemies suffer 1d6 points of damage (save vs. magic to avoid the effect); the bodies of those who drop to zero or less HP because of this explode, gruesomely scattering around their burnt flesh and organs. Creatures immune to fire are also immune to this song.

Hero's Return (Rank 4)
After playing this song uninterrupted for three rounds, the guitarist can select one Lawful party member who died recently (up to 6 turns ago) and bring him back from the dead. The character restored to life has maximum HP, gets +2 on to-hit rolls and saving throws, and is able to cause damage to any Chaotic creature (even incorporeal ones). If the hero returned is still alive at the next dawn or dusk (whichever comes first), he with all of his equipment turns to dust, only to be blown away by the wind in an emotionally touchy way.

Janie's Got a Gun (Rank 3)
In every Janie's hand in one mile radius appears a gun from thin air (or blunderbuss, flintlock pistol, raygun, crossbow - depending on what your campaign world is like).

Rainbow Warrior (Rank 3)
The guitarist summons a rainbow warrior: a viking completely made of rainbow (HD 5+3; AC 4; Atk 1 axe (1d6 + save or as per Confusion); MV 12; immune to normal missiles). The warrior remains for 1d6 turns (or permanently if the song was played with an actual rainbow in the sky, which the warrior clearly descends from when summoned).

Sign of the Warlord (Rank 1)
This song fills the heart with courage; henchmen gain +2 to their morale score and PCs gain +2 to saving throws against magical fear.

Slayer of Light (Rank 3)
In 120' proximity of the guitarist, all sources of light (mundane or magical) are extinguished at once, and cannot be lit again until 1 turn per Rank the guitarist has. It even blocks out sunlight, although only for half range and duration.

Sword Chant (Rank 2)
As long as the guitarist can play uninterrupted, he grants +1 to every roll made by his party (to-hit, damage, saves, morale, etc.).

The Betrayal (Rank 1)
A creature up to 4 HD must make a successful saving throw or attacks his comrades. The effect lasts until at least 6 points of damage is dealt to the affected creature.

The Unforgiving Blade (Rank 1)
The guitarist may choose one opponent against whom his attacks receive +2 to-hit and damage until either the guitarist or his enemy is dead.

Token of Time (Rank 1)
The guitarist chooses one object of whose past or future he wants to examine; he experiences a short vision, coming to know one fact about the object per Rank. Unless he makes a successful saving throw, however, spirits of temporal distortion (HD 3+2; AC 6; Atk 1 temporal repercussion (either the character ages 1d6 years or one randomly determined piece of equipment experiences the passing of 100 years); MV 12 fly) plague him for a week.

Too Young to Fall in Love (Rank 4)
Unless the target makes a successful saving throw, he instantly ages backwards until becoming his 13-year-old self (or equivalent in case of creatures with different life spans).

Valkyries' Flight (Rank 3)
After playing the song uninterrupted for three rounds, a group of valkyries (HD 4; AC 4; Atk 1 sword (1d6); MV 12, 30 flying) descend from the sky, grab the guitarist and (Rank x 2) other party members, and fly towards a location of the guitarist's choice.

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