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Single-Use Substances and Spelljunk (Part XIV)

Previous, Part XIII.

Ancient Chinese rocket launcher

Rocket Fire

Bundles of rocket projectiles are set and fired against a target. As they fly, they wobble, spin, and bump each other, giving them a spread. Each rocket has a base damage that it deals individually. This base damage, listed as fire/slashing-piercing, times the number fired determines the total damage a barrage of rockets can deal. Rockets roll for damage to see how much damage they deal to the target, with the remaining damage being spread around the target. Two thirds, rounded down, of the remaining damage is dealt to those within 2x the target radius. The last third, rounded down, is dealt out to those within 4x the target radius.

Rockets fired individually instead use their flat base damage dealt to the blast radius. Where they land is determined by rolling a d8 for a cardinal direction and a d20 for how many feet it lands away from the target in that direction. Upward slopes at 45 degrees halve the distance while downward slopes double it. Firing in groups less than a single bundle proportionally deals less damage and rolls fewer dice, rounded down. Rockets will not travel further than their listed range, they will explode, mid-air, at around distance.

Rockets, Crude 2500

Crude rockets are thick wads of gunpowder paste mixed with sharp metal shards wrapped around a thin wooden dowel. A paper fuse wraps around the gunpowder, sealing it and allowing it to be tied to a longer fuse or its fellow rockets. Each two foot rocket is capped with a conical tip and affixed with three paper fins to guide it during its flight. It and its 19 brothers are arranged together in a wooden frame, with their fuses lashed together.

20 Rockets. Damage 1/1 or 4d6/4d6 on a 5 ft. target. 60 foot range. 1d20-5 foot spread.

Rockets 5000

A red paper cylinder encircles this two foot long rocket. The bundle of twenty five rockets are linked together by their fuses inside a wooden frame, mounted on a small wooden cart. These higher quality caps have wooden fins. Quality gunpowder lines its serrated metal insides.

Rockets, Refined 10000

Refined rockets are housed in a sturdy frame custom built to channel each rocket to its target, mounted on a cart with stabilizing legs. Crimson rocket heads are built with a rifled cone, with the spiraling pattern and ceramic fins improving the accuracy of the rocket. The black body of the rocket houses refined gunpowder interspaced with fine metal blades inside ceramic compartments. Single deployments of Refined Rockets have turned the tides of battle or battered through a single reinforced window hiding a cowardly king.

30 Rockets. Damage 3/2 or 8d6/6d6 on a 20 ft. target. 90 foot range. 1d6 foot spread.

Rust Mites 150

Small, larval rust monsters contained in this vented porcelain tube will eat away at whatever non-precious metal they can touch, dealing 10 damage or consuming 1 pound each round. Their antennae can only reach out a few inches through a capped vent in one end, causing metals to rust, patina, and corrode. Paintings on the ceramic show pitted, rusty statues or bent and broken weapons. The larvae must be fed a pound of metal each week or they will starve to death. After they have consumed a total of 300 pounds of metal, they will hibernate. They will rapidly grow, breaking apart the wand and forming cocoons. In a week they will grow into small rust monsters.

Ancient smallpox vaccine

Scab Powder 200

Scab Powder is held in a waxed handkerchief: the diseased scabs of some unfortunate victim. Open the tiny bundle and blow the power into a victim’s open wounds or mucus membranes to expose them to the disease. Scab powder exists for all non-magical diseases and has the same save DC and onset time. Particularly rare or deadly diseases may be harder to collect scabs from and could cost significantly more.

Scab Powder, Virulent 1000

Mad alchemists or apocalyptic wizards have taken cultured prime specimen of disease. Kiln-fired clay seals are used to hold Virulent Scab Powder in a small metal shaker jar. Popping off the cap and crushing the thin metal shoots out a puff of diseased smoke. Getting the powder on open wounds or into mucus membranes exposes the victim to a potent disease. The disease functions as its normal variant except that it makes any damage rolls with advantage, has its save DC increased by 4, and its onset time is reduced to 1/10th its normal time. Many a dead chemist has been found attempting to perfect even more potent disease powders.

Shadowslick 250

When living material on the shadow plane rots and ferments, it turns into this oily goop. Used on the material plane, rubbing the oil onto something makes it much harder to be seen in dimly lit areas. This imposes disadvantage on checks to see a concealed object. The oil is odorless until exposed to bright light. It burns away, leaving a green-black stain and an overpowering smell of mildew. The smoke from burned Shadowslick is thick and provides total concealment in a ten foot cube for 1 minute. Additionally, if used in conjunction with an illusion spell, the oil gives some substance to the illusion, increasing its save DC by 1, but an illusion improved in this way will be dispelled if touched by sunlight.

Miniature castle siege

Siege in a Bottle 6000

A bottle containing an elaborate scene of tiny miniatures, mid-siege, can be smashed to conjure a working siege camp. In the space around where the bottle is broken, the miniatures grow to full size, absorbing the broken glass and pieces.The camp contains all the lumber, tools, and materials needed to create siege equipment: 6 mantlets, a capped ram, 1 60 foot siege tower, 200 feet of ladders, 2 catapults, 3 ballistae, 1 trebuchet, and 300 feet of sapper tunnels. A trio of thirty foot by twenty foot rectangular, treated pavilions serve as excellent cover from the elements and missile fire. The equipment made with using a Siege in a Bottle are treated as +2 weapons and deal an additional 2 damage per die to structures. They also have twice as many hit points and +2 armor class.

Smoke Bomb, Crude 55

Crude smoke bombs are clay jars with a knotted rope fuse. Lit and tossed, the soft, 3 inch, clay sphere pours out smoke, creating a 10 foot cube of thick grey smoke. The cloud offers concealment but will be moved by a light wind or dispersed by a moderate or stronger wind. The smoke bomb’s cloud dissipates on its own in 1 minute.

Smoke Bomb 150

Sandy, soft clay absorbs the impact of tossing this lit smoke bomb. Dark grey smoke obscures a 20 foot cube. The smoke dissipates in 5 minutes or in the presence of a strong wind. A moderate wind is only strong enough to move the smoke cloud.


Smoke Bomb, Refined 350Smoke bomb

Ashy, black-grey smoke pours out of this bomb after it is lit. In a single round, the Refined Smoke Bomb billows out a 50 foot cube. The smoke dissipates in half an hour or in the presence of a very strong wind. The specially treated smoke is too heavy to be moved by any wind weaker than a strong wind. The smoke itself grants total concealment.

Smoke Bomb, Shadow-stuff 350

Black, noxious smoke pours out of this smoke bomb doped with Shadowslick. It is in a black, clay cylinder that explodes in a puff of smoke moments after it is lit. The dark smoke covers a 20 foot cube and provides concealment and a Darkness effect that both last for 5 minutes before the cloud dissipates. Any shadow or illusion spell cast from within or into the cloud is made partially real, imposing disadvantage on saves against their effects. A moderate wind will blow away the smoke and sunlight will cancel the Darkness effect.

Part XV.

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