Thursday, July 9, 2015

Project Dragonwatch: Dragonstones

Dragonstones initially got their name from the fact that they were found exclusively in dragon hoards. At a casual glance, they appear to be normal gems. Countless numbers of them have no doubt been traded away at a fraction of their value by those who did not know the stones’ true potential. 
While the golden veinwork is plainly visible in the clear, or “white” variety, other dragonstones must be held up to certain types of light to tell them apart from mundane gems. By fire or torchlight, red and green dragonstones’ golden veinwork becomes clearly visible, while threads of what look to be silver gleam within blue dragonstones held under moonlight. Black dragonstones’ veinwork is best visible under shadowed conditions, when the threads appear to shed their own deep violet light.

Dragonstone Basics

Dragonstones’ powers are divided into two types: active and passive effects. Passive effects manifest after a three-night attunement process, and affect the user as long as the stone is worn against the skin. Passive effects cease to function if the user should be separated from an attuned dragonstone for more than five rounds or a distance of more than five feet, or if contained within more than a two-inch thickness of gold, silver, lead, or adamantine.
Active powers are divided into common, uncommon, rare, and very rare levels. Common powers can be used with a negligible drain on the stones’ inherent magical reservoirs and with no side effects to the user. Uncommon, rare and very rare powers call for steadily increasing sacrifices from those invoking them.
Invoking a dragonstones’ deeper powers calls for a saving throw to minimize or negate possible side effects. Rare or very rare powers can only be coaxed one at a time from a given stone, and invoking a greater power dispels any lesser effect already invoked.
Each class of dragonstone is closely tied to one of the six ability scores, and that ability score governs which ability is saved against when activating an uncommon, rare, or very rare power. Proficiency bonuses can be factored into ability saves.
Uncommon powers call for the user to make a DC 13-18 Save. Rare powers come at a Save DC of 19-23. Very rare powers Saves are between 24 and 28.

While the power is in effect, the user suffers a temporary ability drain of 2d4, 2d6 or 2d8 points (halved, if the Save is made). This drain lasts until the next short rest (if the Save was successful) or long rest (if the save failed). If the Save misses on a 1, the stones’ granted resistance inverts to a vulnerability until the user takes a long rest.
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