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The Hellenic Alchemy feat in The New Argonauts gives an alternate way to craft magic items suitable for the ancient Greek setting. While the feat doesn't require spellcaster levels, most of the items you can create with it require special body parts from the strange monsters of the ancient Greek world. The book includes a few items of this type, and this article adds a few more. Each provides standard d20 game stats and creation requirements, plus the special requirements if you're using the Hellenic Alchemy feat. Over time I'll add more until there's a magic item for every Greek monster presented in the book (not counting giants and other mostly-human things), at which point I'll make a printer-friendly downloadable PDF of this article.
Pricing explanations appear after each item in green text.
Requires use of the Dungeons & Dragons® Third Edition Core Books, published by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
This document utilizes updated material from the v. 3.5 revision.
Burning hands: Spell level 1 x caster level 5 x 1800/5 = 1800, plus cost of masterwork shield (170).
Aeetean Bull Shield: This masterwork heavy metal shield has a bronze device in the shape of a bull's head on the front. Once per day the wearer of this shield can command the bull's head to breathe fire with effects identical to a burning hands spell.|
Faint evocation (fire); CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, burning hands (or Hellenic Alchemy, head of Aeetes' bull, Alchemy 5 ranks); Price 1,970 gp; Cost 1,070 gp + 72 XP.
For the curious, this item deliberately doesn't have an enhancement bonus. The magic effect on the shield has nothing to do with making it better as a shield, so you don't need an enhancement bonus on the item.
5000gp for Alertness feat, plus cost of masterwork shield (170).
Alkinaean Hound Shield: This masterwork heavy metal shield has a gold or silver device in the shape of a hound's head on the front. When worn, the shield grants its wearer the Alertness feat.
Faint divination; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, divination (or Hellenic Alchemy, head of Alkinous' hound, Alchemy 5 ranks); Price 5,170 gp; Cost 2,670 gp + 200 XP.
As with the previous shield, this deliberately doesn't have an enhancement bonus and doesn't need one.
Dragon Soldier Tooth: This magical dragon's tooth must be planted in the ground to activate its power. One round after planting a tooth, a human soldier (equivalent to a 4th-level fighter, use Greek Officer stats from The New Argonauts Chapter 9: Monsters) springs up from the earth at that location. This soldier is utterly loyal to the person who planted it, willing even to sacrifice his life for his commander. The soldier does not affect the commander's ability to acquire followers or cohorts. He is not a magical creature and never reverts back to his toothy origins, even if slain. Dragon soldier teeth are rare and usually found singly, though stories tell of heroes who found enough to sow a field with them. The crafting process only creates one at a time.
Faint transmutation; CL 15th, Craft Wondrous Item, polymorph any object (or Hellenic Alchemy, Aeetes' dragon tooth); 6,000 gp; Weight --.
For our purposes one year of service may as well be permanent, so we can base this item's cost on the cost of hiring a Ftr4 henchman for one year. The DMG gives a War2 a 6 sp per day wage, and says to add 3sp per day per War level above 2. Ftr4 is about equivalent to War5, so that's +9sp per day for a total of 15sp per day, or 5,475 gp per year. Rounded up to 6,000 for the "won't quit" option.
Let's say it's about the same as a potion of cat's grace, though it should last longer than that potion as cat's grace has multiple benefits including non-combat benefits, while Combat Reflexes is only useful in a limited way and only in combat.
Amphisbaena Elixir: Distilled from the ichors of an amphisbaena's two brains, this elixir gives the drinker the benefits of the Combat Reflexes feat for 24 hours.|
Faint transmutation; CL 5th, Craft Wondrous Item, cat's grace (or Hellenic Alchemy, 2 amphisbaena brains); 300 gp.
If you made an item that let you do a quickened color spray once per day, that would cost you: Spell level 5 x caster level 9 x 1800/5 = 16,200gp, and you'd affect multiple creatures at once at 15 ft. range. This only lets you affect one creature and only at 5 ft. (melee) range, so it should cost less than the color spray item.
Gorgon Shield: This masterwork heavy metal shield has the severed head of a gorgon attached to its front. The head has dessicated leathery skin and is inanimate. Once per day as a free action the wearer of the shield can invoke its power, causing the head to momentarily animate and manifest a portion of a living gorgon's power; the wearer chooses one target within 5 feet who must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15) or be stunned for one round. A stunned creature takes on a stonelike appearance for the duration of the effect but does not actually turn to stone. Gorgons are immune to this ability.|
Faint transmutation; CL 11th; Craft Wondrous Item, flesh to stone or polymorph any object (or Hellenic Alchemy, head of a gorgon, Craft (leatherworking) 5 ranks); Price 5,170 gp; Cost 2,670 gp + 200 XP.
Another way to look at the pricing is to use my standardd estimated feat cost: 5,000 gp for a first-tier feat (one that doesn't have any prereqs), 10,000 for a second-tier feat (one that has one feat as a prerequisite), and so on. Since this shield works much like Stunning Fist (a second-tier feat), we can estimate its cost at 10,000gp. Though the feat technically requires an action to use, that action is part of making an attack, so it's already a quasi-free action (it doesn't cost you any more time than simply making a regular attack), so making the shield's ability a free action is comparable. The feat also lets you attempt multiple stuns per day (minimum of two if you're buying the feat and not a monk) whereas this item only lets you attempt one stun per day, so again it should cost less than an item that actually gives you the Stunning Fist feat.
For the curious, the DC is based on the gorgon Euryale's hit dice and Charisma modifier (Euryale is one of the three original gorgons, along with Sthenno and Medusa).
As with the other shields in presented here, this deliberately doesn't have an enhancement bonus and doesn't need one.
Fly once per day is spell level 3 x caster level 5 x 1800 command word / 5 once per day = 5,400gp.
Kaukasian Eagle Cloak: This cloak or long cape sometimes may be woven with a feather pattern or actually made out of giant feathers. Once per day, the wearer can use the cloak to fly as if using a fly spell. When its powers are activated the cloak speads wide and acts like a pair of giant eagle's wings (the wings do not change the wearer's space).
Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, fly (or Hellenic Alchemy, three dozen Kaukasian eagle feathers, Craft (weaving) 5 ranks); Price 5,400 gp; Cost 2,700 gp + 216 XP.
Artwork copyright © 2005 Sean K Reynolds and www.ClipArt.com
This content is produced under version 1.0a and/or draft versions of the Open Game License and the System Reference Document by permission of Wizards of the Coast.
Designation of Product Identity: The magic item illustrations.
Designation of Open Game Content: Subject to the Designation of Product Identity above, the entirety of "The New Argonauts: More Hellenic Alchemy" is Open Game Content. "The New Argonauts: More Hellenic Alchemy" Copyright © 2005 Sean K Reynolds. All rights reserved.
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