Quaal's Feather and Arrow Tokens expanded

Derek Holland
 

One series of magic items that appears to have been ignored by d20 publishers is the feather token. There are two types of tokens- those that make something and those that do something. In the 2e to 3e transition, one was converted between types. The Bird in 2e was an effect that drove off avians. In 3e it was turned into a messenger pigeon. Looking at the tokens in the Encyclopedia Magica, I was suprised at how expensive they were. The Tree was 6000 gp. That is more than its lumber value and much more than many more useful items. Anyways, here are a lot of new ideas for feather tokens and a new type, the Quaal's Arrow Token.

For dungeon crawling there are a few feather tokens that come in very handy in stopping opponents in their tracks. The Door (with lock and key), Trap (many versions), Field of Caltrops, Fool's Gem, Flying Side of Beef (it floats up and away, just beyond the reach of most creatures), Mirror, Canon Ball (though it might be called something else), Wooden Soldier, Wooden Monster and Pile of Sand were all developed to stop a creature or get its attention in some way. The Soldier and Monster look real and require a spot check to tell otherwise. It takes one hit or watching for one round to realize they are fakes. Two tokens meant to keep enemies from following the party are the False Tracks (100 yards of them) and Stench Bomb (stops the use of scent).

Many are meant to allow useful items to be on hand without hauling them around in full size. There is the Sled; Cart; Block and Tackle; Lever; Screw; Balance; Saw; Hand Drill; Paper, Pen and Ink; Table and Chairs (2 or more); Metal Poles (6 or 10 feet long); Lightning Rod (ony against natural lightning); Stone (which floats in one spot in midair); Block of Ice (for floating in water); Stairway; Fishing Rod; Fish Trap; Rat Trap; Material Component/Alchemical Reagent; Magnet; Gyroscope; Lantern with Oil; Compass; Sundial; Handcuffs; Leash; Chain; Medical Tools; Pail of Paint (or Dye) and Fish Bowl (human sized).

And then there are the trees. From the Weapons Tree, Armor Tree, Clothing Tree, Rotten Fruit Tree (druids use these to keep people away), Money Tree (costs much more than it produces) and Tree House to the Walking Tree and Walking Tree House.

Other tokens include the Building Facade, Stilts, Moai (the statues of Easter Island), Menhir, Field of Grain (or Herbs), Foxhole, Pond (with fish and ducks), Sign (including the version with directions and distances to multiple places) and the Flag.

Tokens that do something (in addition to a few above) include the Elevator (max 2 tons and 500 feet), Bullroarer; Kite (it needs just a tiny breeze to lift 200 pounds), Fire Piston, Bell, Fireworks (has a built in delay), Flashing Mirror (used for communication as well as distraction), Yo-yo, Flying Disc (meat odor optional), Flying Net and Drum. The problem with these and the official tokens like the Whip and Fan is the simple creation requirements. All tokens just need Major Creation no matter what they are or what they do. It is up to you if you want to include Animate Objects, Teleport (for the 2e Finger), True Seeing (for the 2e Eye), etc.

Arrow tokens have a string attached. The string is tied to something attached to the ground and the arrow fired. Where it is tied and where the arrow lands determine the length of the resulting object. These include the Dock, Bridge, Barb Wire Fence, Hedge, Moat and Brick Wall.

Of course arrow tokens may also be a way of delivering objects similar to feather tokens. Boulders may be used to squash goblins or block doors, the arrow may transform into a temporary Wood Golem (ala the 1e spell Golem) or a Bear Trap that damages while it inhibits movement or actions. Or the arrow tokens could be similar to the effect feather tokens. The most powerful may be a Gate spell that opens at a specific range (thus opening a portal to Fire or the Abyss within an enemy army), the user may be Teleported to the location the arrow lands or the ground turns to quicksand without a change in appearance.

One of my favorite d20 supplements is The Fantastic Science from EN Publishing. It describes a form of magic that is very much superscience- technology that is so advanced that it seems supernatural. One of the devices described is the pocket ballista. Normally a light crossbow, when its technology is activated, it inflicts 2d8 points of damage and has a range increment of 100' (400' with an expensive upgrade). The arrow tokens could easily be used as is (i.e. magical items) or turned into technological versions. In either case, the pocket ballista is the perfect delivery system (well, other than the steamplunker- it has a extended range increment of 1200' and can fire just about anything that can fit).