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Treasure: Direction Stones

January 30, 2019

Here's the treasure we promised you as an Adventures stretch goal . . .

This magic item is actually two parts. One is an ordinary-looking round stone, like any that might be found outdoors, weighing about a quarter of a pound. The other is a tapered wedge weighing about the same as the first, of the same kind of stone, with notches on opposite sides roughly a third up from the fat end. Even with the notches, the wedge could easily be mistaken for an ordinary rock. However, if a string is tied around the wedge (presumably using the notches to hold the string) and the wedge is allowed to dangle, it unerringly points toward the first (target) stone, like a compass needle.

There are several ways that this can be useful for adventurers. By placing the stone at the entrance of a labyrinth, the heroes should be able to get back to their entrance even if it’s a tricky or misdirecting maze. Sneaking the round stone onto a target makes tracking much easier. If the party needs to split up, it will be easier to reunite if each group has one of the stones. (Enterprising adventurers will, no doubt, find further uses.)

The direction stones are not perfect. It takes 1d turns for the wedge to orient to its target, so a rapidly moving destination can confuse it. The stones also only operate on a two-dimensional plane, so if the target stone is above or below, then the wedge just spins slowly and helplessly once the user reaches the target destination. Finally, the effect is magical, so if there is any kind of magic-blocking barrier between the two stones (measured in a straight line), the two parts can’t connect.

A good adventure possibility can arise by having the heroes find the wedge, still with a string on it, and realize it’s pointing them toward . . . somewhere.

If these were in everyday use, they might have a great effect on commerce, so it’s suggested that this not be an item that can be made or bought, but a unique thing that the PCs come across. The Wizard’s Guild, of course, would be very interested in this, but if the PCs sell it, they don’t get to play with it!

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