Sunday 15 September 2013

Aegis of Ages Artifact

Gom Vardae, the Aegis of Ages.
I've a lot of love for the 4th edition artifact rules. They're basically a streamlined version of 3rd edition's Weapons of Legacy, with a nod to the old Ego rules for intelligent items. There are two things about the new system I really like. Firstly, an artifact's magic is built around its "Concordance": meaning more powers unlock the more you appeal to its goals, and vice versa. Secondly, they're not built to last - they're supposed to hang around for a level or two and then move on to a new owner. While this means they don't permanently unbalance your game, it also gives them a more credible role in your story. (Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium features artifacts that abandon both of these rules, and I think the system as a whole suffers for it).

In my own HPE campaign I've started featuring two artifacts per adventure. So far we've had the Invulnerable Coat of Arnd, the Orb of Light (which we modified to fit into the pommel of the paladin's sword), the Head of Vyrellis, the Hand of Vecna, and two artifacts of my own devising: the Deck of Illusions and the Rhonic Saddle. Now we're cycling back to the beginning, which means a new artifact for Bravus Boulderborn - Stacey's dwarven warrior.

Stacey fell in love with Gom Vardae as soon as the party pried it from its previous owner's fingers, and she's carried it for well over a year in the hope it will become her next artifact. With its big carved face and telepathic interjections, it's her perfect fit. She's one of those player types who just loves NPCs, and goes out of her way to befriend them (one of her old 3E characters even adopted a whole team of sidekick characters, including a robot, a dog, a wind mephit, and a jungle boy who was essentially Mowgli). The Concordance system was basically built for her.

In our last session Gom finally awoke for real, and allied itself to her cause. This meant finalising its artifact rules, which I share here for your own use. The Aegis of Ages worked out pretty well in combat, but we've yet to trial its later powers. So - for my own players only - keep out! 


  1. Keep out... Mmm. Keep... Bastion, castle etc. Out, ...vacate, leave etc.

    So the Castle is leaving. I agree, the castles should be leaving and now on to the stats!


  2. Alas, Scribd and its paywall. Do you get a portion of the fee at least?

    1. I had no idea Scribd used a paywall until recently. It isn't my intention to charge for any of this (and I certainly don't get any profit!).

      What they do seems quite sly: from my end there's no warning they're going to charge, and the files are all downloadable on all the machines in our house.

      I'm going to look into alternate methods of hosting the pdfs. Until then, if you want to download anything from the blog just drop me a mail at the address shown in the top-right, and I'll mail you the files direct.


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