Cityscape presents a variety of new feats, spells, and warlock invocations that were developed in an urban environment or that you can use in a city-based setting. While these are the most prevalent of new tools and tricks for the urban adventurer, however, they are far from the only ones. For those who do not practice such esoteric arts, not only magic items, but also alchemical and entirely mundane tools, exist to enhance the abilities of the city explorer.
Several of the abilities and items herein reference mechanics from Cityscape . For
Tools of the Trade
The city poses unique challenges, and many a creative craftsman or skilled wizard has risen to meet those challenges. Presented here are a number of items particularly suited to urban adventuring.
Alchemical items often seem like magic to the ignorant, though they are less potent than true magic. The items below include the Craft DC to create them.
False Paper: This "item" is actually a pair of separate substances: a thick viscous liquid and a thinner fluid. When poured over paper, the thicker liquid forms an extremely thin layer of what appears to be blank paper. The writing remains, but it is hidden behind what looks like a blank sheet. Only a DC 35 Search check reveals that the paper is dual-layered. The owner can write on this new layer, or leave it blank, as he chooses.
Applying the second fluid causes the top layer to disintegrate (along with anything written on it), revealing the original writing beneath. This has proven to be an effective means of smuggling hidden messages into or out of a city, or even -- although it costs a great deal -- a means of hiding a spellbook from prying eyes.
The cost given is for enough false paper to cover, and then reveal, a single sheet. You may add multiple layers of false paper to a single sheet, but each layer after the first reduces the DC to detect the false paper by 5.
Liquid Light: This viscous fluid is a bright yellow hue and glows faintly in the dark. A flask of liquid light can be thrown as a splash weapon (PH 158). Treat this as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A direct hit imposes a -8 penalty on the target's Hide checks; anyone within 5 feet is splashed and takes a -4 penalty. The paint glows for 1d4 hours, then fades. It can be washed off with soap and water; this takes 3d4 minutes.
Sewer Mask: This is a small fabric-and-leather mask that is worn over the nose and mouth. The alchemical substances within grant the wearer a +5 circumstance bonus on saves against airborne disease, inhaled toxins, and nonmagical effects that cause the sickened or nauseated conditions. Each mask is good for 2 hours of use.
Many cities have laws against carrying arms, and even where this is not the case, certain institutions disallow weapons within their halls. The items described below may get around such restrictions (and are illegal in many communities).
In addition to standard attributes, the hidden weapons listed below include a Search DC. Anyone who fails this check, or who does not specifically search the bearer, does not recognize these items as weapons.
Masterwork versions of these weapons, in addition to adding the normal benefits, also increase the Search DC by 5.
Cloak, Weighted: This cloak has an unusually thick lining at the bottom, which is filled with lead shot, a thin chain, or some other weight. When held with the other end wrapped around the hand, it can be wielded much as a flail, including bonuses to disarm and the ability to trip.
Lute-Bow: The upper layer of wood to which the strings are attached can be rotated with a standard action, so that the strings now lie perpendicular to the lute itself. The wood and the strings are treated to offer extra strength and resistance, allowing them to flex like a bow. Although it is held horizontally, like a crossbow, it is a hand-fired weapon, so it resembles a shortbow in usage.
Swordcane: This is the classic "rapier hidden in a cane."
Magic Armor and Shield Special Ability
This shield almost gleams, polished as it is to a mirrorlike sheen.
The sentinel ability is almost always added to shields, though it is technically possible to add it to the helm or breastplate of a suit of armor. Each sentinel shield (or armor) is irrevocably tied to a small mirror, which was created as part of the process at the same time as the shield itself. As a standard action, the bearer of the shield can cause an image of whatever the shield is facing to appear in the mirror, not unlike a scrying spell. The person with the mirror sees everything in a 120-foot cone in front of the shield (or less if the ambient light reduces visibility below 120 feet). This effect is blocked by any effect that blocks scrying . The connection can be severed as a move action.
This ability can be activated three times per day for up to 7 minutes at a time.
If either part of the pair -- the shield and the mirror -- is destroyed, this ability is lost.
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, scrying.
Cost to Create: 7,560 gp, 605 XP.
Magic Weapon Special Ability
The striking surface of this weapon is jet black. Although it shows little sign of use, you cannot help but picture it covered in freshly spilled blood.
An assassination weapon deals an extra 1d6 points of damage against a foe who is flat-footed or otherwise denied a Dexterity bonus to AC, or who is flanked. If the wielder deals sneak attack damage from other sources, such as levels in the rogue class, the extra damage stacks.
In addition, the weapon seems to eagerly drink in poison. The wielder never risks poisoning herself when applying poison to an assassination weapon, and the save DC of any poison applied to the weapon increases by an amount equal to the weapon's enhancement bonus. (Thus, a +1 assassination dagger increases the DC of any applied poison by 1, while a +3 assassination dagger increases the DC by 3.)
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, true strike , sneak attack +2d6.
Cost to Create: Varies.
Bolt of Arrest
A shaft of dark wood, with tiny runes etched along its length, terminates in a black iron head with four razor-edged foils.
Any humanoid struck by this +1 bolt must make a DC 12 Will save or be paralyzed, as per the hold person spell.
Although rare, a few samples exist of a greater version of the bolt of arrest , which affects all creatures (except those immune to mind-affecting effects) and has a save DC of 16.
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, hold person (greater version requires hold monster ).
Cost to Create: 150 gp (plus 7 gp for masterwork bolt); 12 XP (greater version 700 gp [plus 7 gp for masterwork bolt]; 56 XP.
This appears to be a perfectly normal jug, though it's perhaps a bit nicer and cleaner than most.
A duo-dimensional jug contains two interiors -- one accessed normally, and one in an extradimensional space -- each of which can hold up to a gallon of liquid. By speaking the command word as you remove the cork, you can access the extradimensional space instead, filling it or emptying it as you choose. Anyone who removes the cork without saying the command word accesses the jug's normal contents.
Only liquids can be placed within the extradimensional space. This is particularly useful for smuggling poisons, potions, or the like, though it can be used simply to keep one's companions out of the good wine.
Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, rope trick.
Cost to Create: 500 gp, 40 XP.
The light dancing within flickers off the polished brass hood and handle of this lantern. The glass emits a faint glow, almost independent of the fire within.
This hooded lantern requires no fuel, and it burns with no heat. It is activated or deactivated by turning a knob at the top. In addition, all weapons glow when brought within the lantern's 60-foot radius of dim illumination, and all invisible creatures glow when they come within the lantern's 30-foot radius of bright illumination. (See detect weaponry, Cityscape 66, and see invisibility ; the lantern detects or fails to detect targets as per these spells.) This glow is visible only to the person who manipulates the lamp's knob. The manipulator need not be holding the lamp for these effects to be noticeable to her, but she must be within 5 feet of it.
The lamp can be used for up to 1 hour a day. The time need not be consecutive, but each use rounds up to the next 10-minute interval.
Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, continual flame, detect weaponry , see invisibility.
Cost to Create: 3,785 gp, 310 XP.
About the Author
Ari Marmell has spent time on several creative endeavors, not the least of which is Cityscape, a supplement that helps DMs bring campaign cities to life.
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