Friday, March 5, 2010

Recycling Human Heads Into Magical Items

A mind is truly a terrible thing to waste. In fact, many centuries ago it was common, even fashionable, for magicians to recycle unused or unneeded brains into handy little fellows known variously as “chi-chi friends”, “scholars’ helpers”, or “homunculons”. These homunculons, as we will call them here, typically consist of a human head with a few extra appendages or features added – fingers, eyes, ears, toes, etc. Players can gain a great deal of pleasure and utility from owning and caring for a homunculon. One of these little guys can truly be a magician’s best friend!

Care and feeding of homunculons is fairly simply. Because they can go into a hibernation-like torpor between moments of activity, they do not require much in the way of food or drink. After each use, just make sure your homunculon gets a bite or two of grub and a sip of something to wet its tongue. A dormant homunculon can sit for centuries between uses. Be sure to keep your homunculon clean! Because they lack gastrointestinal tracts, they tend to relieve themselves rather quickly after a meal. They have little buttocks at their napes, you see. Some homunculons may tend to have strong appetites, which can lead to a bit of a mess.
If a Dungeon Master wishes, she may randomly determine the nature of any homunculon her players may make acquaintance with:

Type of Homunculon (1d6):

1. Reminder – Once per day a Reminder can read and memorize a single magic user spell of level 1-3 and “remind”, or recharge, a magic user’s memory of that spell. This assumes the magic user has the ability and a memory slot available, either through having recently cast a spell or by not having previously filled the memory slot for that day.

2. Reciter – Can read, memorize, and verbally recite up to 50,000 words of normal text.

3. Reader
– Can read and verbally translate normal text. Knows 2d6 languages.

4. Transcriber – Usually in the form of a large hand / head fusion. Can read, memorize, and transcribe up to 50,000 words of normal text.

5. Translator – Can verbally translate up to 2d6 spoken languages.

6. Analyzer – Once per week an Analyzer can observe a spell being cast and has chance of learning the spell, which it can then transcribe into writing. Analyzers always have a hand and/or several fingers attached to aid in transcription. To learn a spell, the Analyzer must be able to clearly see and hear the spell being cast from no more than 15’ away. To determine if the attempted spell learning is successful you must roll the spell’s level or higher on a 1d4 (for example, for the homunculon to learn a 3rd level spell you must roll a 3 or 4 on a 1d4). Some rare and valuable Analyzers, fashioned from the brains of once-powerful magicians, can roll 1d6 or even 1d8 for this purpose
Roll for Two Extra Characteristics (1d6 twice):
  1. 1d8 extra fingers
  2. 1d4 extra eyes
  3. 1d4 extra ears
  4. 1d4 toes
  5. Head attached to a foot
  6. Head attached to a hand (required for Transcribers and Analyzers)
Size: 2d4 pounds
Intelligence Level (1d4):
  1. Animal
  2. Toddler
  3. Average
  4. Genius
Personality Trait (1d20):
  1. Giggly
  2. Surly
  3. Enthusiastically helpful
  4. Snobby
  5. Poetic
  6. Manic depressive
  7. Co-dependent
  8. Cowardly
  9. Pretentious
  10. Likes to sing
  11. Problem with hiccups, farting, or burping
  12. Overly hirsute
  13. A beautiful face
  14. Desires fine clothing
  15. Dope addict
  16. Amorous
  17. Loves fine wine
  18. Awesome moustache
  19. Charming personality
  20. Only a child