Flavor: Ti’irien stood, legs spread a bit, arms akimbo, staring across the courtyard in concentrated focus at the pair of crossbows and the muttering mage turning his way. He did not want to do violence here, in the home of his betrothed and the keep of his master, but the intruders were his to deal with. He knew only two ways to do it: talk them out the gates before weapons and spells were brought to bear; or pull the spell-hurlers and consign them to the realms beyond. As the crossbows twanged and the mage reached a flailing crescendo, there was a blur on either side of him. Quicker than the eye could see, the weapons were in his hands and pointed at the intruders. The left weapon, looking like a hand crossbow with no bow, flashed at the tip, and a wave of mirage-like ripples surged across the intervening space. Two bolts were knocked aside and three figure were pushed forcibly back into the wall. The right weapon, a spike-shaped dagger with a curved hilt glowed intensely, blue-white in the dim light between high castle walls, and the others were suddenly wreathed in a web-work of electrical arcs that jumped about and between them. The spell that had been on the mage’s lips faltered, and he turned suddenly into a grotesque statue of a Hadansi rogue lord in a rictus of pain. The snipers with him expired, collapsing into smouldering heaps on the litter-strewn cobblestones near the wall. Behind him, he heard the captain chuckle. “Nor e’en a chaunce a’ parlay? Getten toe-chy en yer elder yearn, wooden yer say? Well, his lore-ship shore as waking this marn will get to heron boot this. Bess git the psychometric feller up fur a review ‘fore ‘at, wooden yer say? Aye. Bess we do ‘at. Page! Fetch M’er Ti’irien the psycho-meter an’ ‘en let the mosster know we’ve dead intruders, in yard.”
Description: Spell-hurlers are a group of related items built on the same basic principal: combine weapons with stored spell power to create an awesome class of combat ready magic items. They come in many shapes and sizes, usually function as a melee weapon, and always function as a magical ranged weapon. The most common are built to imitate projectile weapons without strings, doubling as clubs or staves. They are all of high quality and covered in runes, embedded with metals and crystals, and decorated in bold or intricate designs.
Base Ability: Melee: All these items are made of sturdy materials and function in some way as a melee weapon, based on design and construction. They are treated as a weapon of their type, unless no type is emulated, in which case they are treated as a club, dagger or quarterstaff, whichever is most similar. They are all masterwork and can be enchanted as melee weapons, so long as no more than 10 total bonus equivalents are exceeded between melee and ranged and defense (in the case of bucklers, shields, bracers, gauntlets, etc.). Note that base enchantment of numerical value (i.e. +1, +2, etc.) applies to all aspects of the item, though only one can be used in any given round.
Base Ability: Ranged: All spell-hurlers have a default cantrip built into them by their creator. If no higher spells are attuned and/or no charges are available, the weapon will fire one of these cantrips each round. If one charge is expended, the cantrip will fire once per attack available to the hand(s) in which it is wielded for one round. See the next section for other uses of charges. Range of these cantrips is based on the projectile weapon most like the weapon the spell-hurler resembles (i.e. staff-sling or longbow for staves, greatbow for pikes, heavy crossbow for battle axes, hand crossbow for daggers or clubs, etc.). Note that the cantrip, like the spells, can be re-attuned to a different cantrip, and does not have to be combat oriented.
Base Ability: Spells: Any ranged, ranged touch, or ranged area of effect spell can be attuned or “keyed” into a spell-hurler through a simple process understood by spellcasters or hijacked by those succeeding in the Use Magic Device skill and armed with the appropriate spell (by scroll or other means) and some way to recharge the item. One spell of each spell level can be keyed to the item and charges added by casting the same spell into the item, at a rate equal to the spell point system. For these spells, only one can be used per round and cost the same number of charges as spells use in the spell point system. Metamagic feats can be applied by feats and items that normally affect spells cast from items. Spells can be keyed with metamagic at an appropriate level. Note: a spell-hurler can only hurl a spell if the user can cast it normally or if the user originally cast that spell into the spell-hurler in the keying process. Note: spells that normally cast multiple projectiles either cast them all together at a single target or separately as single projectile attacks with separate attack roles. No exceptions. It is rumored that spell-hurlers that take wands or other such spell storage devices in place of keying exist but, if they do, the makers and users guard the secret closely. After all, it wouldn’t do to let the rabble acquire such power…
Combat Note: Melee attacks are made with the wielder’s stats. Ranged attacks are made with either the users ranged attack or spellcaster ranged spell stats, whichever is better. A short-lived MW projectile of appropriate type can be fired instead of the cantrip, modified by enchantments as normal. The projectile vanishes immediately after impact.
Sample Spell-hurlers: Phisticuphs (+1 Brilliant Energy Retracting Spell-hurler Punching Dirk (melee 1d6+1, piercing, ignores non-living material when blade is activated, bludgeoning when blade is retracted; ranged 1d4+1, piercing, as hand crossbow, or by spell. Long-Arc (+3 Spell-hurler Spike-Shod Quarterstaff/String-less Longbow (melee 1d6+3/1d6+3 double weapon, bludgeoning or piercing; ranged 1d6+3, piercing, as longbow, or by spell). Rip-Cord (+1 Channeling Spell-hurler Sap/Sling (melee 1d3+1 lethal or non-lethal, bludgeoning, may deliver keyed cantrips/ spells as touch attacks with target of individual touched with successful melee hit; ranged 1d4+1, bludgeoning, as sling, or by spell). Hal-Bow (+1 Spell-hurler Halberd/Sniper’s Heavy Crossbow (melee 1d10+1, slashing or piercing, can be set against a charge, can be used to make a trip attempt; ranged 1d8+1, piercing, as double-range heavy crossbow, or by spell).
Sample Spell Choices: Acid Splash, Daze, Disrupt Undead, Ray of Frost, Touch of Fatigue, Fog Cloud, Knock, Burning Hands, Magic Missile, Ray of Enfeeblement, Sleep, Acid Arrow, Summon Monster, Continual Flame, Scorching Ray, Shatter, Summon Swarm, Touch of Idiocy, Web, Daylight, Dispel Magic, Fireball, Flame Arrow, Hold Person, Lightning Bolt, Ray of Exhaustion, Shrink Item, Slow, Wind Wall, Feather Fall, Black Tentacles, Crushing Despair, Baleful Polymorph, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, Feeblemind, Chain Lightning, Disintegrate, Freezing Sphere, Force Wave, etc.