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Just as it prompted the discovery of new skills, professions and spells, war with the trolls led to the development of many new pieces of mundane and magical equipment. Some of the best known or notorious of these items are described below.
New Magic Arms & Armor
One of the trolls’ most feared abilities during the war was the way they could rend an opponent limb from limb. Recognizing the impact this attack was having on morale, the dwarven wizard Thaiden Spellhammer set out to create a weapon that could mimic the trolls’ ability.
The rending enhancement can be applied only to double weapons. In any round where the wielder of a rending weapon hits successfully with both weapon heads, the wound peels open as though torn by a pair of powerful claws inflicting an additional 2d6 points of damage.
Numerous weapons were manufactured with this enhancement during the course of the Troll War; primarily dwarven urgrosh and gnomish hooked hammers. Although few soldiers were sufficiently skilled to get maximum use out of the enchanted weapons, the mere presence of rending weapons within a unit was found to improve the soldiers’ morale.
Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must have two weapon fighting; Market Price +2 enhancement
Fist of Grammarg
This +2 vicious heavy mace is fashioned from the severed forearm of the troll chieftain Grammarg. Magically protected from flames by the power of the troll gods, Grammarg slew scores of soldiers before he was finally slain after being cast into a vat of acid. Only his severed arm survived.
The arm’s clawed hand clutches a large, jagged rock in an unbreakable death grip while the stump of the elbow is capped with a steel handle. The arm still retains its protection from fire, and now confers that protection on its wielder. Anyone using the fist of Grammarg benefits from fire resistance 10.
Moderate necromancy; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, enervation, resist energy; Market Price 42,312 gp; Cost to Create 24,312 gp + 1,680 XP.
These +3 heavy steel shields were forged for the Phoenix Guard, an elite regiment of soldiers who fought in many of the most important and desperate battles of the Troll War. Each shield is inlaid in red copper with the image of a phoenix rising from the flames of its reincarnation.
Although the surface of the shield is cool to the touch and safe to handle, the shield’s owner can will it to burn with the heat of a blazing bonfire as a standard action. He can will it to become cool again with another standard action. The inner side of the shield remains cool at all times.
Determine the armor class of a character wielding a phoenix shield both with and without the shield. If an opponent misses the character but would have hit the shieldless armor class, he strikes the shield. A creature which strikes the shield with a natural weapon or unarmed strike while the shield’s heat power is in operation suffers 1d6 points of fire damage. If the opponent is using a weapon, the weapon suffers the damage instead (halve the fire damage as usual for damaging an object).
In a non-combat situation, the heat coming off an active phoenix shield is noticeable by anyone within 5 ft. of the shieldbearer. Anyone foolish enough to touch the outer surface of the shield in these circumstances suffers damage as above.
Moderate evocation; CL 10th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, fire shield or heat metal; Market Price 16,170gp; Cost to Create 8,170 gp + 640 XP.
Greater Phoenix Shield
Some phoenix shields also function as +1 flaming weapons for the purposes of shield bash attacks made while the shield’s heat ability is in use.
Moderate evocation; CL 10th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, fire shield or heat metal, fireball or flame blade; Market Price 24,170 gp; Cost to Create 12,170 gp + 960 XP.
New Mundane Items
Normal caltrops are of little use against trolls and other regenerating creatures, which rapidly heal from any injuries the small spikes might inflict. Acidic caltrops were developed as an alternative defense measure during the Troll War. Each of these ‘caltrops’ is a small ceramic bead, filled with a powerful acid. A one pound bag of acidic caltrops covers an area 5 feet square.
Each time a creature moves into an area covered by acidic caltrops (or spends a round fighting while standing in such an area), it might step on one. The caltrops make an attack roll (base attack bonus +0) against the creature. For this attack, the creature’s shield, armor, and deflection bonuses do not count. If the creature is wearing shoes or other footwear, it gets a +2 armor bonus to AC. If the caltrops succeed on the attack, the creature has stepped on one. The caltrop deals 1 point of acid damage, and the creature’s speed is reduced by one-half because its foot is wounded. This movement penalty lasts for 24 hours, or until the creature is successfully treated with a DC 15 Heal check, or until it receives at least 1 point of magical curing (the curing must be of a kind which heals acid damage). A charging or running creature must immediately stop if it steps on an acidic caltrop. Any creature moving at half speed or slower can pick its way through a bed of acidic caltrops with no trouble.
Acidic caltrops may not be effective against unusual opponents.
Craft (alchemy): DC 15
Cost 10 gp
Weight 1 lb.
A flaskbow is similar to a light crossbow in size and appearance, but with a soft leather cup set into the string. Flasks of oil, alchemist’s fire and other similar objects can be placed into a flask bow and fired at much greater ranges than they can be hurled by hand. Although originally designed by an order of paladins for use when fighting the undead, the came to prominence during the conflict with the trolls.
A flaskbow is an exotic weapon. It can be used to fire 1 lb. flasks of oil, acid, alchemist’s fire, sewer oil or holy water. It can also fire sling bullets without penalty.
In an emergency, a flaskbow can also be used to fire crossbow bolts, but the wielder suffers a -4 penalty to attack rolls when doing so as the flaskbow’s cup is not designed to hold bolts securely.
Reloading a flaskbow is a move-equivalent action that provokes an attack of opportunity. The rapid reload feat provides no benefit in the use of a flaskbow.
Cost 35 gp
Damage Varies by ammunition
Range 50 ft.
Weight 4 lbs.
Type Varies by ammunition
This foul-smelling concoction comes in wax-sealed flask to prevent its stench from escaping until it is ready to be used.
A flask of sewer oil can be thrown as a ranged attack with a range increment of 20 feet. When it strikes a hard surface (or is struck hard), it creates a thick cloud of foul-smelling vapors. These vapors are merely unpleasant for most creatures, but for those with an unusually keen sense of smell, they are far more distressing.
Each creature within a 10-foot-radius spread which has the scent special quality must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1 minute.
Since sewer oil doesn’t need to hit a specific target, it can simply be aimed at a particular 5-foot square. Treat the target square as AC 5.
Craft (alchemy): DC 25
Cost 30 gp
Weight 1 lb.
This thick black salve is designed to be applied to a melee weapon, then lit, to temporarily provide the user with a flaming weapon. Applying the tarblade is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
Tarblade must be set alight within 3 rounds of being removed from its wax-sealed container, or it hardens into uselessness. Once lit, it burns for one minute. Any successful attack made with the weapon during that time inflicts 1d3 points of fire damage in addition to its normal damage.
Tarblade cannot be used on a weapon which already does fire or cold damage (the former supersedes the tarblade’s effects, while the latter freezes it hard on contact).
Metal weapons are not damaged by being coated in lit tarblade. Wooden weapons take 1 point of damage per round they are left burning.
Craft (alchemy): DC 20
Cost 20 gp
Weight 1 lb.
Soldiers in the Troll War often carried torches in their packs for destroying incapacitated trolls before they could regenerate. More than once, such torches became improvised weapons when fallen trolls regenerated more quickly than expected. After experiencing this for himself, one inventive soldier set out to create a torch that was both properly balances for combat and sturdy enough to survive the experience.
A war torch is a martial weapon that looks like a thicker, more sturdy torch. It can be wielded unlit for as long as desired. Once lit, it burns for 1 hour, clearly illuminating a 20-foot radius and providing shadowy illumination out to a 40- foot radius, as well as providing a properly trained character with a means of delivering fire damage to their opponents.
Cost 5 cp
Damage 1d6 (medium); 1d4 (small) plus 1 point of fire damage
Range 10 ft.
Weight 3 lbs.