For Your Game: Seventeen Relics

Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting a series of new magic items to use in your game. Relics are items that once formed part of the body or possessions of some great figure, and by connection to these people they are mysteriously imbued with special power. These rare and priceless lesser artifacts were originally published in 17 Relics published by The Le Press.

What are Relics?

Ever since adventuring parties began coming together in the search for rare and valuable magic items, they have done so by looting the bodies of slain enemies and emptying tombs of their worth. Among the great and many magic items in invention, however, some of the most interesting are those rare artifacts which are not simply forged or created in the conventional sense, but unpredictably derive their power from some obscure, and often unique, set of circumstances.

A relic, in the traditional sense, is a piece of the body or possessions of a saint or other such pious person, often with some supernatural power attributed to it since the person’s death. In a world where many people, creatures, objects, places and beliefs hold magical power and the deities are many and influential, this definition can be expanded to include a greater variety of objects. In this sense, a relic is any part of a person or creature’s body or something very closely associated with them, which, despite not having been deliberately imbued with magic, has somehow found itself with supernatural power.

Relics cannot be made or replicated by the usual means of magic item creation - a relic’s power comes from divine providence, force of the original owner’s personality, unique and unusual circumstances, random bursts of magic or any combination of these. As such, you will not find item creation guidelines for any of these relics, nor should your character expect to be able to purchase them. The prices listed are given only as a guideline so that GMs can more easily judge their value as treasure. Should the player be lucky enough to find a relic for sale, its price may vary considerably depending on whether or not the seller realizes its value or knows how rare (often unique) the item really is.

Although earlier editions of the game defined relics as synonymous with artifacts, none of the items in this collection are beyond the power level of mortal magic items. However, they certainly are unique (or in some cases are nearly so) and are unusually resistant to the ravages of time and the wear and tear of daily use. GMs may consider making a relic the object of a quest or adventure, perhaps tying several adventures together in this manner. Alternatively, they might be given to the campaign’s villains or important NPCs, giving the players something to strive towards by creating potential loot or reward.