Bioarcane Items

Today I’m continuing the Exploration Age magic item preview with a category of items unique to my campaign setting. These items are different from the weapons, armor, rings, rods, staffs, wands, and wondrous items about which I’ve previously posted. Once All of Exploration Age’s magic items have been presented I’ll add them to the Free Game Resources section of this site.

Bioarcane items have their own rules. In order for a PC to use such an item he or she must remove a body part and attach or implant the item in its place. This procedure is risky and done improperly could injure or kill the PC.

For those of you who have been following this blog for a while the concept may sound familiar. I’ve posted about these items before but they had a different name. If you go back and read my post on bioorganic items it will sound similar to what you read here, but a lot of the information has been tweaked or changed to match the fifth edition D&D rules. One of the changes is the name of this item category. A lot of folks took umbrage with the use of the word bioorganic. In fact many believed I made it up. Well I didn’t make it up. It is indeed a real word but the pushback convinced me the word wasn’t right for the item category. I changed it to bioarcane since these are magic items that get grafted to an individual’s body.

Blog Carnival

While this post is a continuation of the Exploration Age magic item preview it also fits into the theme of this month’s RPG Blog Carnival. The theme is one which fits perfectly with World Builder Blog – New Worlds. Since Exploration Age is an original world I’ve created for the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons and bioarcane items are unique to that setting, this seemed like the perfect selection for the theme chosen by Nils Jeppe over at Enderra. Go check out his blog (which is all about worldbuilding) to see the other submissions to this month’s carnival.

Now without further adieu please enjoy this excerpt from the forthcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide.

Bioarcane Attachment

The strange race of humanoids who lived in The Damned Lands before it became a wasteland, left behind a strange technology compatible with the anatomy of today’s humanoids.

The magic of these items is unlocked only by attaching them to one’s body. This requires a limb or organ be removed before the item is grafted to the owner in its place.

During a short or long rest (specified in the item’s description), another creature can perform the procedure of removing your body part or organ and attaching the item to you with a DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check. If you decide to perform the procedure on yourself the DC of the check is 15. If the check succeeds the item is attached and you take 3d6 damage which cannot be reduced in any way. If the check is fails by 4 or less, the item is attached but you take 6d6 damage which cannot be reduced in any way. If the check is failed by 5 or more, you lose the organ or body part, the item is not attached, and you take 9d6 damage which cannot be reduced in any way. In special cases noted in the item’s description failure to attach the bioarcane item results in your death. Once the item is attached, it is activated and you can begin to make use of its properties.

Blade Skin

Bioarcane item, legendary (requires attunement)

A first blush, blade skin appears to be a ragged pile of cloth and metal with strange designs in sapphires and diamonds. When handled, blade skin is warm to the touch and calls to the user the way a shell would to a hermit crab. Once inspected thoroughly the truth is learned; this is a second skin which the wearer can affix to his or her body. With the skin attached, you are intimidating indeed, for it is covered in creative scars incorporated with the gems which tell the tale of a famous tavern brawl over the wearer’s entire body. When the metal weapons are not retracted, the user is covered from head to toe in sharp adamantine blades.

You must remove all the skin on your body and replace it with the blade skin. This can only be done during a long rest. The Wisdom (Medicine) check DC for this attachment procedure increases by 5 and if the check fails by 5 or more, you die. While wearing blade skin, hidden, retractable blades lie in wait for enemies just beneath the skin’s surface. When you take damage from an adjacent creature’s melee attack, you can use your reaction to deal 1d6+3 piercing damage to attacker. You may also use your reaction to deal this damage to any creature who is grappling with you on its turn.

With the skin attached your unarmed attacks can be light, finesse, melee attacks in which you are proficient. This attack deals 1d6 piercing damage. You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this attack.

With the skin attached you have advantage when making a Strength (Athletics) check to climb.

Hawk’s Eye

Bioarcane item, uncommon (requires attunement)

An eye carved of pure jade, the hawk’s eye is true to its name and has the appearance and shape of a bird’s eye. Once installed, the eye gives off a slight green glow. You must remove one of your eyes and replace it with the hawk’s eye. This can be done during a short or long rest. Once attached, you gain advantage on all Wisdom (Perception) checks when attempting to spot hidden creatures or objects. In addition, you gain a +2 bonus to your passive Wisdom (Perception) score.

Jumpers

Bioarcane item, rare (requires attunement)

This pair of mithral legs have knees which bend in a direction opposite that of a human, similar to a bird. The bottoms of the feet each sport a large emerald and the calves and thighs are carved with ancient runes which glow blue when the user walks and green when he or she runs or jumps. You must remove both of your legs and replace them with the jumpers. This can be done only during a long rest. Once attached, you are always considered to have moved 10 feet before any jump you make, even if you have not. In addition, whenever you jump, you leap four times the normal distance.

Mage’s Eye

Bioarcane item, legendary (requires attunement)

This is an eye carved of a fiery opal, and a disembodied mage’s eye seems to follow onlookers as they walk. When attached, the eye glows red in the socket and gives off a slight physical heat. You must remove one of your eyes and replace it with the mage’s eye. This can be done during a short or long rest. Once attached, you gain true sight out to 120 feet.

Radiant Heart

Bioarcane item, very rare (requires attunement)

The radiant heart is an expertly carved, heart-shaped ruby placed in a small brass box with windows of glassteel. When attached, the gem can be seen through the window inside the users chest, throbbing and beating with the life of a real heart. You must remove your heart and replace it with the radiant heart. This can only be done during a long rest. The Wisdom (Medicine) check DC for this attachment procedure increases by 5 and if the check fails by 5 or more, you die. Once attached, you can use your action to shoot a beam of radiant light in a line 100 feet long and 5 feet wide from your chest. Creatures in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus). Creatures who fail the save take 8d8 radiant damage, creatures who succeed take half damage. Against fiends and undead, the beam deals 8d10 radiant damage. You must complete a short rest before you can use this ability again.

Silver Fangs

Bioarcane item, rare (requires attunement)

This set of four large, silver canines, has a small sapphire set into the back of each tooth. On the front of the tooth is a small rune, which glows red when the teeth are being used to attack or eat meat. When you attach the fangs, your appetite for meat borders on insatiable. You must remove your canines and replace them with the silver fangs. This can be done during a short or long rest. Once attached, you gain a bite attack which counts as an attack with a light, finesse, silver melee weapon in which you are proficient. This attack deals 1d4 piercing damage. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this attack. If you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with this attack, you heal 1d4 + 2 hit points.

Sonic Fist

Bioarcane item, very rare (requires attunement)

The sonic fist appears to be a sculpture of an obsidian hand with diamond-studded knuckles curled into a fist. However, when a creature handles the disembodied hand, it flexes its fingers before once again bringing them into the fist. When attached, the hand begins a low chant in combat. This seems to be a sort of hymn in a strange language which grows louder and louder as the fight progresses. You must remove one of your hands and replace it with the sonic fist. This can be done during a short or long rest. Once attached, the fist is a light, finesse melee weapon in which you are proficient. It deals 1d8 bludgeoning damage and 1d6 sonic damage. You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls with the sonic fist.

With the sonic fist attached you can use your action to create a 30-foot cone of sound. All creatures in the cone must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency bonus). Creatures who fail the save take 6d8 sonic damage and are deafened for one minute. Creatures who succeed take only half damage and are not deafened. You cannot use this ability again until you have completed a long rest.

Tongue of Contentment

Bioarcane item, rare (requires attunement)

This disembodied black tongue is studded with rubies and warm to the touch. It twitches as if it were still alive. It is believed the tongue of contentment was invented by whatever strange race lived within The Damned Lands to prevent folk from starving on long journeys. You must remove your own tongue and replace it with the tongue of contentment. This process can be done during a short or long rest. Once attached, you don’t need to eat or drink.

Wrist Spider

Bioarcane item, rare (requires attunement)

This small device has the appearance of an adamantine spider with eight onyx eyes. It is inserted into the top of the wrist, with the abdomen of the spider facing the user’s hands. After the item is attached, you feel most comfortable in the darkened corners of rooms. You must remove your wrist bones and replace them with the wrist spider. This can only be done during long rest. Once attached, you can use your action to shoot sticky webs out of your wrists at enemies. To do so make an attack roll using your Dexterity modifier and proficiency bonus. If the attack hits, the target is restrained for one minute. On the target’s turn, it can make a DC 12 Strength or Dexterity saving throw as its move to end the restrained condition. You cannot use this ability again until you complete a short rest.

With the wrist spider attached you can use your action to create a 50-foot length of rope made of the web. The rope is only slightly sticky along its length and extremely sticky at its ends. Because of the stickiness on its ends, the web rope can be attached to any surface and can hold 1,000 pounds before it breaks. Creatures who use the web rope while climbing have advantage on their Strength (Athletics) check to climb. After a half hour, the web rope dissolves. You cannot use this ability again until you complete a short rest.

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