Belts of Hippolyta (D&D 5E Bonus Content for ‘In the Footsteps of Hercules’ )

Michael O. Varhola

Belts of this sort have been created in honor of Hippolyta, a great queen of the Amazons who was slain by Hercules, and given by her followers to those who have accomplished deeds they revere or that benefit their people. All are bright and colorful and the most common ones are woven from hemp and embroidered with appropriate images; more valuable ones are made of supple leather and emblazoned with small figures in silver and gold foil; and the most rare are made from layered silk and incorporate semi-precious gemstones. Such belts are sturdy and designed to hold weapons, pouches, and other equipment and fitted with ties, loops, and laces designed to facilitate this.

Each of these belts has been imbued with a specific spell that an owner attuned to it can use upon itself a single time (e.g., much as if it were a scroll). Thereafter a priestess, bard, or other spellcaster devoted to a deity revered by Amazons can reactivate that spell in a ritual that requires about half the time and effort that would be required to create scroll bearing it.

At a storyteller’s option, a character wearing one of these belts might have their interactions with those who recognize its significance affected accordingly. A character who can recount how they were granted such a belt as a reward might have advantage on Charisma checks made with some Amazons they meet, but might have disadvantage on such checks if they do not know its significance or appear to have obtained it in some questionable way.

We introduced Belts of Hippolyta during our playtest of Skirmisher Publishing’s In the Footsteps of Hercules universal sourcebook, using D&D 5E rules, as prizes for pilgrims participating in a martial arts competition at Olympia. Characters who wished to reenact one of the Labors of Hercules and votively “steal the Belt of Hippolyta” could simply take a pink ribbon from a young girl in a receiving line. Those who wanted more of a challenge, however, could battle progressively tougher members of the Olympia Women’s Pankration Team and, for each one they defeated, won one of the following belts, which are presented in order of weakest to greatest power. Different and more powerful belts of various sorts — to include ones with spell effects that recharge — are, of course, possible!

 

Hippolyta’s Belt of the Lion
Wondrous item, common (requires attunement)

A creature wearing this belt can cast Heroism upon itself and become magically imbued with bravery for one minute. During that time, the creature is immune to being frightened and gains four temporary hit points at the start of each of its turns. When the effect ends, the target loses any remaining temporary hit points from this spell.

This belt’s mundane value, based on its materials and craftsmanship, is 10 gp.

 

Hippolyta’s Belt of the Eagle
Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)

A creature wearing this belt can cast Enhance Ability upon itself and gain one of the following effects for one hour: advantage on Constitution checks and 2d6 temporary hit

points, which are lost when the spell ends; advantage on Strength checks and doubling of their carrying capacity; advantage on Dexterity checks and not taking damage from falling 20 feet or less if not incapacitated; advantage on Charisma checks; advantage on Intelligence checks; or advantage on Wisdom checks. 

This belt’s non-magical value is 30 gp. 

 

Hippolyta’s Belt of the Warhorse
Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)

A creature wearing this belt can cast Haste upon itself. For one minute its speed is doubled, it gains a +2 bonus to AC, it has advantage on Dexterity saving throws, and it gains one of the following additional actions on each of its turns: Attack (one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object. When the effect ends a wave of lethargy sweeps over the character and it cannot move or take actions until after its next turn.

This belt’s non-magical value is 60 gp.

 

Hippolyta’s Belt of the Griffon
Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)

A creature wearing this belt can cast Freedom of Movement upon itself. For one hour thereafter, spells and other magical effects can neither reduce its speed nor cause it to be paralyzed or restrained and its movement is unaffected by difficult terrain. The recipient can also spend 5 feet of movement to automatically escape from nonmagical restraints (e.g., manacles, a creature that has it grappled), and being underwater imposes no penalties on its movement or attacks. 

This belt’s non-magical value is 100 gp.