Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Treasures of the Greyhawk Wars

In the much-maligned Greyhawk Wars game, there are quite a few nuggets of Greyhawk lore to be had. The most are obviously found in the Adventurer's Book, which details the history of the wars and the events leading up to them. But in the game itself there are also some items to be found. I'm going to concentrate on a handful of magic items that don't seem to appear anywhere else. (I should note that Greyhawkery noticed some of these a few year's back, which post I found while researching this article.)
  • Bigby's Bottled Breath: Make 1 free attack (strength 3) on every enemy unit before battle begins.
  • Bowl of Storms: Apply a +2 bonus to the strength of one of your units in a sea battle.
  • Drawmij's Dagger: Cause 1 automatic hit on one enemy unit of your choice during the first round of battle.
  • Dura's Deadly Poison: Flip 1 enemy hero to its activated side. [Essentially this takes the hero, which is a band of adventurers, out of service for 1 turn, which equals an entire year.]
  • The Edge of Corusk: Apply a +1 bonus to the strength of one of your units in battle.
  • Gloves of the Paladin: Heal 1 hit suffered by one of your units.
  • Rary's Bulls-Eye Bow: Cause 1 automatic hit on one enemy unit of your choice during the first round of battle.
Here's how I would stat these items up for 1st edition.

Bigby's Bottled Breath: This item appears as an ordinary potion bottle with a stopper sealed with an elaborate "B" in wax, but otherwise appears to be empty. If the stopper is loosed, a powerful jet of wind will be loosed for 1 segment, which can be aimed by whomever is holding the bottle. Any creature in a path 5' wide and 20' long must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation or be pushed back 10 feet and take 1d6 hit points of damage.

Bowl of Storms: When filled with sea or fresh water which is then thrown up in the air, this enchanted bowl can be used to summon a fierce but short-lived tempest. The storm will be only 100 yards in diameter, and can be centered anywhere up to a half-mile away. Any ships caught within the storm will take 1d4 points of hull damage and will be blown in a random direction to the perimeter of the storm. The storm will last but 10 minutes, and the bowl can be used only once per week.

Drawmij's Dagger: This weapon is normally treated as a dagger +2. If the wielder is in a position where the only obvious means of escape is blocked by an enemy, however, it will become a dagger +4.


Dura's Deadly Poison: This most potent potion is renowned for its deadly effects. Anyone who ingests a vial of the poison must make a saving throw vs. poison or be slain instantly. Even worse, however, is that within 1d6 rounds, the body itself becomes so toxic that anyone coming into contact with the flesh must themselves make a saving throw vs. poison or also die 1d4 rounds later (although their flesh will not have the same toxic effect on others). It is thus useful for wiping out entire groups, as even an innocent check of a victim's pulse can spell doom.

The Edge of Corusk: This singular blade was created in the heart of the Corusk mountains to aid a Frost Barbarian in a quest to find the Five Blades of Corusk and free the imprisoned god Vatun. That quest failed, but his blade lives on. It is a longsword +3, and can summon an ice storm (as per the spell) once per week. 

Gloves of the Paladin: These enchanted gloves allow the wearer to heal wounds by laying on hands, as if he or she were a paladin. Once per day, the gloves can heal two hit points of damage for every level of the wearer. The wearer must be of Good alignment; if someone of Evil alignment attempts to wear them, that person will take 2d6 hp of damage. Neutral characters simply cannot activate the gloves' magic. They will magically adjust in size to fit anyone from the size of a gnome to an ogre.

Rary's Bulls-Eye Bow: This enchanted shortbow has a normal +2 bonus to hit and to damage, but three times per day, on utterance of the command word (which is engraved on the bow in Baklunish), it will automatically hit one target, as small as a coin, as long as it is within long range. (Note that this cannot be used to inflict more than the usual amount of damage to a creature, instant kills, etc.)