Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting edition of Magic Market, where we bring you new magic items of all sorts. Everything from magic weapons to magic beer has at one point or another been represented in this article, so don’t you think it’s about time we got around to specific magic armors? Well, I sure do. Armor and protective gear make up an important part of your character’s identity and play an important part in his or her combat repertoire.
Armor of the Defenseless
This enchanted suit of leather armor appears outwardly to be nothing particularly extraordinary, and has a simple and plain construction. When donned however, the wearer alone can appreciate the true nature of this delicate piece, as fine angular symbols written in a golden phosphorescence appear to him to be covering the entire surface of the armor. The meaning of these strange runes transcends language, conveying a message of safety to all those who attempt to read them. Reading the radiant letters also conveys an intuitive knowledge of the item’s power.
Though it serves as suit of +1 leather armor, the true power of an armor of the defenseless only shines through when the wearer is in true peril, robbed of his ability to protect himself. Whenever the wearer would be considered helpless, the armor’s potent magic protects him in a number of ways. First, if the wearer is dying, he automatically becomes stable. Second, while he is helpless, he retains his Dexterity bonus to AC, as the armor’s magic pulses through his helpless form, allowing him to avoid deadly blows. This same magic makes it impossible to perform the coup de grace action against the wearer, and any attempt to do so is resolved by the attacker as though it were an ordinary attack. Finally, the wearer gains a +5 luck bonus to AC while helpless.
Made of a lightweight bronze and iron composite, bobbing breastplate typically bears images of birds or clouds which actually fly (or drift) across the wearer’s torso when donned. Because of the curious, incomplete nature of the enchantment placed upon these breastplates (which were originally thought to have been cursed by the knights who first discovered them), great care has been put into making sure the armor is comfortably padded, especially about the underarms and lower back. Since the discovery of the originals, it has become common practice for modern smiths to carry on the tradition of inscribing their initials on the moving bronze images.
In addition to serving its wearer as a +3 breastplate,this cunning armor possesses a potent, if somewhat flawed, charm that causes its wearer to constantly fly, albeit not very high. The magic of this wondrous armor constantly causes the wearer to fly 5 feet above the ground, bobbing about erratically. While wearing this armor, the wearer retains his normal movement speeds (including any burrow speeds, climb speeds, swim speeds, etc.), but he does not actually touch the ground, allowing him to avoid most kinds of difficult terrain, low walls, and preventing him from triggering certain traps. Since the wearer is not truly allowed to fly, however, and the armor only keeps him 5 feet above the surface, he still must traverse ravines, and he still falls into pits and off ledges—though since the armor automatically stops him from hitting the ground, he only suffers half the normal fall damage (due to the sudden and violent stop). Because the wearer is constantly 5 feet above the ground, he often gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls due to having higher ground. Finally, because of the odd nature of moving in the armor, the wearer substitutes the Fly skill for any Acrobatics, Climb, and Swim checks he makes while wearing the bobbing breastplate.
Chain of the Four Winds
The chain of the four winds is a very unconventional armor of a highly magical nature. The only portion of the armor forged from steel is a single chain, which is worn about the midsection right underneath the chest, typically over the wearer’s clothes. While this chain provides no protection on its own, it is bound to the four winds, with which it wraps the user and protects him from harm. The origins of these chains have long been shrouded in myth, but it is believed that they were first forged by the djinn to be given to their favorite slaves.
A chain of the four winds is an unconventional armor which, on its own, offers an armor bonus of +0, has a maximum Dexterity bonus of +10, and has only a 5% chance of arcane spell failure and no armor check penalty. As magic armor, a chain of the four winds has a +5 enhancement bonus to armor. A character cannot wear a chain of the four winds with any other armor, as the intense winds which wrap the user quickly shred most forms of armor, giving it the broken condition within 1 round and destroying it utterly (reducing it to 0 hit points) after 1 minute.
In addition to being lightweight, a chain of the four winds allows the wearer to psychically control the winds which are bound to the chain in order to perform any of the following abilities. First, as a standard action, the wearer can direct the winds to lash out and attempt to trip a single creature within 30 feet. As the attempt is psychic, the wearer makes a combat maneuver check to trip the target using his Intelligence score in place of his Strength score. Using this ability reduces the enhancement bonus of the chain of the four winds by 1 for 1 round.
Second, as an immediate action, the wearer can cause the winds to intercede and deflect a single incoming ranged attack. This ability must be used before it is determined whether or not the attack hits the wearer, and causes the attack to miss automatically. The wearer can only use this ability to deflect ranged weapon attacks (it does not work against either melee attacks or ranged attacks made with spells). This ability reduces the enhancement bonus of the chain of the four winds by 2 for 1 minute. Alternatively, the wearer may choose to use this ability to negate an attack made by a particularly large projectile, such as those made by most siege weapons or stones thrown by a giant. Doing so instead reduces the enhancement bonus of the chain of the four winds by 4 for 1 minute.
Third, as a full-round action, the wearer can summon a large air elemental for 1 hour. As long as he possesses the chain of the four winds, the wearer can command the air elemental as though he had been summoned by the spell summon monster I. This ability reduces the enhancement bonus of the chain of the four winds by 4 for 1 hour.
Finally, by spending a full minute making his will known in the Auran tongue, he can unleash the four winds within the chain to create a terrible windstorm. This creates an area of hurricane-force winds in a 5-mile-radius area centered on the wearer’s current location. This storm has a calm eye, however, and the area within 1,000 feet from where this ability was used has no wind at all. The storm lasts for 1 hour. Any character that touches the chain of the four winds, including the wearer, is immune to the effects of this storm, instead affected only as if by calm winds. This ability reduces the enhancement bonus of the chain of the four winds by 5 for 1 week.
The wearer cannot use any of the chain of the four winds abilities if it would reduce the enhancement bonus below 0 (for example, the wearer could summon an air elemental and still psychically attempt to trip his foes, but could not summon the elemental and intercept ranged attacks).
Shark Tooth Mail
Forged exclusively from the teeth of large predatory sharks slain by the bare hands of the smith, the collection of the materials necessary for such armor has led many skilled blacksmiths to an untimely death. Once collected, the 1,001 teeth used in this armor are strung along strings of kelp magically preserved and strengthened to hold the teeth and last for years to come. Once completed, a new suit of shark tooth mail resembles a fairly mundane suit of scale mail with jagged pieces of enamel serving in place of iron platelets. While ordinarily less protective than its mundane cousin, many adventurers, especially those with a mind to traverse the seas, find the magic worth the trade-off.
Essentially, a suit of shark tooth mail functions as a suit of +2 scale mail, though because the materials it is made from are not as effective as iron for armor construction, it has an armor bonus of 2 less than normal scale mail (+3 armor bonus; +5 including the enhancements bonus). While fully submerged in water, however, the armor strengthens enormously, becoming harder than adamantine while simultaneously becoming lighter than even mithral. Its hardness increases to 25, while its weight is reduced 8 lbs. When thus submerged, the armor also grants its wearer DR 4/-, and allows the wearer to move at his normal speed. Additionally, the armor’s armor check penalty does not apply to Swim checks. Finally, while the armor conveys no ability to breathe underwater on its own, any spell or special ability used upon the wearer that would allow him to breathe underwater automatically has its duration doubled.
This massive and bizarre suit of half-plate is made, as its name might imply, by magically affixing shields to a simple suit of chain in a fashion reminiscent of true plate armor. The breastplate is made from 7 tower shields—4 affixed to the chest and 3 to the back in overlapping fashion—while the knee guards, bracers, and other features are constructed in a similar fashion using small shields and bucklers. Though only a few of each such shield is visible while the armor is donned, each shield is individually designed and emblazoned on one side with the typical coats of arms and religious symbols that commonly adorn shields, and on the other with carefully concealed arcane runes. While donned, a suit of shield plate often causes the wearer to look both extremely girthy and angular, and many have been mistaken for crude constructs or alien golems while wearing such suits of armor. Typically, no helm is provided, and the wearer of a suit of shield plate must provide his own cranial protection.
This curious armor typically provides its wearer with protection as a typical suit of +1 light fortification half-plate. Its magic can be invoked in order to create a defensive field around the wearer and those closest to him. By shouting a furious prayer of protection in the Dwarven tongue as a standard action, the wearer can cause the shields that make up the armor to fly apart in a protective storm, the animate shields encircling the wearer and all adjacent creatures, and doing their best to protect those within their circle. This effectively grants all protected characters a +2 shield bonus to AC and grants cover against creatures not within the shield storm. This storm of shields moves with the wearer, and he can make attacks through the storm without penalty (provided he has a ranged weapon or a weapon with reach). While the shield storm is in effect, instead of functioning as a suit of +1 light fortification half-plate, the shield plate provides the wearer with protection as though he were wearing a suit of +1 chainmail.
The shield storm lasts for 1 minute once invoked. At the end of this time, the shields fall to the ground and must be reattached to the armor manually, a process which takes a full 5 minutes. Until all the shields are restored to the shield plate, it functions only as +1 chainmail and does not offer its full armor bonus or the light fortification special ability, or allow the wearer to use the shield storm ability.