“I knew I shoulda stayed in bed this morning,” Ailmer grumbled, sneaking a peek through the rough boards that had been hastily nailed over the broken window. “There’s gotta be fifty of ‘em down there, and that’s just the ones I can see. Please tell me you got a plan for gettin’ us outta here?” He darted a suspicious glare in Jax’s direction.
Kilgore, who had been hastily scrawling something on the wall with a small, dirty piece of chalk, stopped for a moment to curse under his breath. Then he too questioned their leader. “I cannot currently conceive of an outcome to this predicament that does not result in at least two of us getting captured at best, or perhaps killed should fate start working against us.” His perfect diction and formal tone did little to hide his mounting concern. “What exactly will be our recourse from this perilous position?”
“Maybe the fates need a bit of a push, seeing as how we’ve done an extraordinary job of placing ourselves in harm’s way this time.” Beirtein began rummaging through his many pouches as he spoke, obviously searching for a particular item with which to emphasize his point. “I believe I have something for just such an occasion.” His eyes lit a bit as he found what he was looking for, drawing a pair of sleek rabbits’ feet from a bag on his belt.
This whole time, Jax had seemingly been ignoring the conversation, but now he began to chuckle as the clamor of the angry mob grew louder outside. “We’re gonna need something a little bigger than a bunny if we’re all gonna make it out of here in one piece,” he jeered. The rest of the group could see that he now held his trademark flintlock pistol in one hand and in the other… what appeared to be a human finger, the severed end capped in iron. “Luckily, I know somebody who can help us out.” Jerusalem Jax grinned wolfishly as he turned toward the stairs. “Well, at least part of somebody.”
Some rely on faith, and others rely on steel, and others still rely on their cunning. There’s a certain breed of adventurer, however, who take chances, defy fate, and roll the dice. Those particular adventurers can use all the help they can get, so today we look at six lucky charms that might just improve the odds when all looks lost. Hopefully they’ll bring good fortune to a campaign near you!
Because Lady Luck can be a mercurial mistress, none of these charms will work every time. However, some can prove more potent than others based on the quality of their components and the time taken in their preparation. To represent the fickle finger of fate in these matters, roll a D6 for any charm chosen from this list; that number becomes the charm’s Fortune Factor. The Fortune Factor represents the following for each affected item:
- The number of weeks it takes/it took (in game) to create the item
- The number of times the item may be used before expended
- When multiplied by 1000, the item’s monetary value (in gold, dollars, or the like)
- When multiplied by 10, the rate of success of the item (expressed as a percentage)
As an example, then, a rabbit’s foot with a Fortune Factor of “3″ takes/took 3 weeks to craft, may be used successfully 3 times before being expended, is worth roughly $3000, and has a 30% chance of succeeding when used.
1. The Freedom Fetish
Main Component: The finger of one who has escaped from prison. It must be removed while the person is still living, and the severed end must be capped in metal; iron, gold, and silver are used most often. This charm loses its power if it is stolen from the one who created it.
Main Benefit: When called on, it is thought that this charm allows its bearer to more easily free himself from an otherwise inescapable situation. This may apply to being bound, controlled, incarcerated, or otherwise trapped against the bearer’s will. The bearer may choose to aid others in escape as well, but must determine the success for each accomplice separately. Successfully aiding another in this way counts as a use that may expend the item.
2. The Truth Talisman
Main Component: A lock of hair each from three virgins. They must be removed while the persons are still living, and then braided or twisted together into a single cord which must be worn on the bearer’s wrist. This charm loses its power if it is stolen from the one who created it.
Main Benefit: If they truly wish it, the bearer can somehow sense when someone is dealing dishonestly with them. This may apply when they are being lied to, misled, or taken advantage of by another. While they cannot divine the truth, they are more apt to recognize the absence of it.
3. The Burning Bauble
Main Component: A nail from a house that has been destroyed by fire. The nail must be cleaned and burnished so that it is free of ash or soot, and then pierced through a part of the bearer’s garment and worn continuously. This charm has no power if the fire that destroyed the house was caused by the bearer.
Main Benefit: The bearer seems slower to suffer the adverse effects of heat. This heat may be the result of extreme temperatures, physical exertion, or open flame. They may still suffer physical damage from it eventually, but they seem to be more capable of acting normally despite its influence than others.
4. The Curing Coin
Main Component: A penny, or other coin, that has been placed in a corpse’s mouth. The deceased must have then been buried, with the number of weeks it lay interred often determining the potency of the charm. The coin must then be recovered, and continuously worn against the bearer’s skin without being washed. This charm loses its power if the bearer caused the death of the deceased.
Main Benefit: The bearer seems slower to suffer the adverse effects of sickness or disease. Sickness may range from epidemics to the common cold, and may even extend top biologically or magically engineered ailments. While they are not granted any additional health or healing, they seem to be more capable of avoiding the symptoms of disease than others.
5. The Sustaining Strand
Main Component: The dried umbilical cord from a friendly animal; the bearer must have assisted in or been present for the birthing process. The cord, once cut, must be dried thoroughly and then fashioned into a sort of collar and fastened around the bearer’s neck. While rumors do exist of these charms being made from human births, such a thing must be exceedingly rare.
Main Benefit: As long as the bearer continues to wear this charm, they should have no trouble finding food to eat. Whether it be edible berries, wild game, or the nearest restaurant, the bearer just seems to find the way to their next meal. This charm does not grant the bearer any additional hunting or culinary skill, but it is sure to make certain they don’t go hungry.
6. The Rainfall Runes
Main Component: The teeth of a carnivorous beast. The bearer must have assisted in or been responsible for the death of the predator; taking the teeth from an animal carcass would not suffice. All of the teeth must be present and intact for the charm to be effective.
Main Benefit: The bearer has found a way, with some degree of accuracy, to use the charm to predict local weather patterns. Most often this applies to “yes” or “no” questions, such as “Will it rain tomorrow?” but some proficient bearers have been known to yield more specialized results. This charm does not allow the bearer to control or divine the weather, but seems to make them more adept at interpreting its cycles.