Excerpts Archive | 2/14/2013
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Unearthed Arcana: Magic Rings
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"Thus, Good Reader," Gary Gygax wrote in the preface to Unearthed Arcana, "here is the 'last word'—by far not the last word ever, but the latest so far. It is, after all, high time that those who enjoy the challenge and excitement of the AD&D game be presented with a tome such as this, a package which gathers all of the new discoveries, plus a wealth of just uncovered secrets, between one pair of covers. Preliminaries aside, here is Unearthed Arcana. It is now the moment you have waited for. Read on, and may you have as much fun with your creation as we are having with ours."

Originally published in 1985, Unearthed Arcana brought a wealth of material to the game, for both players and Dungeon Masters alike. For players, the book contained new classes and races to play (including the drow!), further spells and equipment, and even an alternate ability score: Comeliness (reflecting physical attractiveness, social grace, and personal beauty, and was considered a different attribute from Charisma).

For Dungeon Masters, the book offered further explanations of everything from the new weapon and armor types (full and field plate!), weaponless combat, non-human deities, and a wide array of new magic items incorporated into usefully revised treasure tables.


In today's preview, we consider some of these new magic items, including the revised table in which they appear—specifically, magic rings.

A great number more magic items appear in the book, including the following two cloaks (which offer such powers as befitting a spider-man or a batman, respectively!):

Cloak of Arachnidia: This black garment is of great magical power. When magic is detected for, the cloak will radiate a strong aura of the alteration sort. When wearing it, an individual will notice that he or she is able to climb just as if a spider climb spell had been placed upon him or her. In addition, the wearer is immune to entrapment by webs of any sort, and can actually move in them at a rate equal to that of the spider which created the web, or at a base movement rate of 6˝ in other cases. Once per day the wearer of this cloak can cast a double-sized web, as per the 2nd-level magic-user spell. Best of all, the wearer is less subject to the poison of arachnids, so that he or she gains a +2 on all saving throws versus such poison.

Cloak of the Bat: Fashioned of dark brown or black cloth, a cloak of this type is not readily noticeable as unusual. It will radiate both enchantment and alteration in equal proportions. The cloak bestows upon its wearer a 90% probability of being invisible when the wearer is stationary within a shadowy or dark place. The wearer is able to hang upside down from the ceiling just as does a bat and maintain this same chance of invisibility. By holding the edges of the garment, the wearer is able to fly at 15˝ speed (MC: B). If so desired, the wearer can actually transform into an ordinary bat — all possessions worn or carried will be likewise part of the transformation — and fly accordingly. Flying, either with the cloak or as an ordinary bat, can only be accomplished in darkness (either under the night sky or in a lightless or near-lightless environment underground). Either of the flying powers is usable for up to one hour at a time, but after a flight (either type) of any duration, the cloak will not bestow any flying power for a like period of time. The cloak also provides protection, just as a robe of protection (qv), at +2, and this benefit extends to the wearer even when he or she is in bat form.

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