Signature Items: Scheherazade’s Lamp [Dresden Files RPG]

This item was originally designed for a player that wanted to play an Indian Jones/Laura Croft-esque character and also wanted access to magical abilities, but didn’t want to be magical himself.

Along with the item itself there are two additional elements that go along with it: a new type of sponsored magic called Wishcraft and a group of interest “The Sultanate of the Djinn”.


Scheherazade’s Lamp (original version) [Refresh Cost -8]

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Image by Schwoaze

Description: This simple object is the truth of a well known legend. A mystical engine that can grant the heart’s deepest desires, but at a terrible cost. Everything comes at a price, even if that price is hard to see.

Musts: You must have an aspect related to your ownership of this item.

Skills Affected: Conviction, Deceit, Discipline, Lore

Effects:

[-0] Purpose. The lamp’s purpose is to act as dwelling for a djinn who grants the selfish and sinful wishes of the lamp’s owner. If the powers of the lamp are used for selfless or truly virtuous purposes, the related wish fails to be granted with the djinn explaining that it is beyond its abilities (any related roll automatically fails, spells or powers end). Further, the bond between the lamp and its owner is immediately broken with the djinn explaining that the attempt wounded it in some way, and that the owner must complete some task to heal it.

[-0] It Is What It Is. An oversized and ostentatious ancient oil lamp.

[-0] Unbreakable. As an Item of Power, this item cannot be broken except with a magical ritual predicated upon undermining its purpose.

[+2] One-Time Discount. The lamp is large and quite heavy and is therefore not easy to conceal.

[-4] Sponsored Magic. The lamp contains a djinn with the power to grant your desires via “Wishcraft”(See next page).

[-4] Beguilement. Functions as the Domination power with the Master Dominator upgrade.

[-2] Mirror Mask. Functions as the Mimic Form power.

 

Scheherazade’s Lamp (simplified version)[Refresh Cost -3]

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Image by Vicki Nunn

Description: This simple object is the truth of a well known legend. A mystical engine that can grant the heart’s deepest desires, but at a terrible cost. Everything comes at a price, even if that price is hard to see.

Musts: You must have an aspect related to your ownership of this item.

Skills Affected: Conviction, Discipline, Lore

Effects:

[-0] Purpose. The lamp’s purpose is to act as dwelling for a djinn who grants the selfish and sinful wishes of the lamp’s owner. If the powers of the lamp are used for selfless or truly virtuous purposes, the related wish fails to be granted with the djinn explaining that it is beyond its abilities (any related roll automatically fails, spells or powers end). Further, the bond between the lamp and its owner is immediately broken with the djinn explaining that the attempt wounded it in some way, and that the owner must complete some task to heal it.

[-0] It Is What It Is. A small ancient oil lamp.

[-0] Unbreakable. As an Item of Power, this item cannot be broken except with a magical ritual predicated upon undermining its purpose.

[+1] One-Time Discount. The lamp is awkwardly shaped, but small enough to be concealed in a large pocket.

[-4] Sponsored Magic. The lamp contains a djinn with the power to grant your desires via “Wishcraft”(See next page).
Note: When I implemented this item I treated its resident djinn as more of a personified aspect rather than as a traditional NPC. Similar to the discussed handling of Bob within the rpg “all character, no stat”. The djinn took on a form that was appealing to the lamp’s owner and spent its time being mildly helpful and seemingly benign, while gently nudging the PC towards various vices and suggesting the ways wishes could solve any number of problems.


Wishcraft (Sponsored Magic)

Unlike most forms of sponsored magic, wishcraft is not used by the sponsored party directly. Instead it is performed by an intermediary, the djinn granting the wish. The wisher however, pays a price for its use, as having easy access to your heart’s desires is both seductive and corruptive. Wishcraft is at its core an art that excels at tasks related to fulfilling the more base desires of humanity such as power, wealth, love, ect. All invocations of this magic by the sponsored party include a statement of desire such as the phrase “I wish”.

Cost: 4 refresh for the package, and possession of a djinn. Reduce this cost by 1 if you have Evocation or Thaumaturgy; reduce the cost by 2 if you have both.

Benefits: Standard sponsored magic benefits (YS 288). Wishcraft excels at granting earthly desires and comes with automatic, additional specializations in conjuration: +1 to control, +1 to complexity, stacking on top of any existing specializations. In addition, wishcraft tends to avoid the problems of delayed gratification by producing conjuration (YS 274) spell effects with evocation’s speed and methods. The sponsored creature may choose to use its control bonus from conjuration instead of the control bonus they would normally use with evocation, so long as the casting incorporates some element fulfilling their own material wishes.


Sultanate of the Djinn(New Group of Interest)

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Image by Виктория Бородинова

As powerful as it is enigmatic, the Sultanate of the Djinn are signatories to the Unseelie Accords. For their known history this group has acted as observers of most major supernatural affairs and has rarely taken an active role. Most of their impact is a result of the actions taken by the mortals under their influence. A significant portion of, though certainly not all, stories about Faustian bargains and wish granting entities and artifacts can be attributed to this group. There are numerous theories as to why they work tempt and corrupt mortals ranging from simple amusement, to sustenance, and even reproductive necessity. Djinn take on the forms of attractive humans or humanoid masses of smokeless flame.

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