Thursday, May 26, 2011

You can leave your hat on: Magic Hats in FRPGs

“We’re up to our pointy little hats in demonic problems here.” 

- Piper Halliwell, Charmed: A Knight to Remember

Few things stir up the image of a witch or wizard more than the conical hat.  Even some of the earliest art for the D&D game shows wizards and witches in the classical pointy hat.  The trouble is that for an item so tied to a magic using class, there is nearly nothing in any of the books about a magical hat.  Heck even the D&D cartoon had a magic hat.

Well let's change that.

Magical Hats come in a variety of sizes and colors, but all share some commonalities. First the hat needs to be conical.  The cone is symbolic of raising one's consciousness higher and wizards have discovered that other shaped hats do not hold the enchantments as well.  (Modern wizards though have discovered that the Top Hat works very well, this may have something to do with the popular impression of magicians and top hats).
Magical hats do have two basic varieties. A "wizard's hat" is a simple cone with no brim.  A "witch's hat" is also a cone, but has a wider brim.  There is a 50% chance of either and they are other-wise identical.  Wizards though tend to prefer their namesake hat and witches opt for the one most associated with them.
These hats provide no extra protection to the head, unless charmed to do so, and weigh less than 1 lbs.

Magical Hat (Holding)
This hat appears as a crumpled old wizards or witches hat.  The inside though is an extra-dimensional space similar to that of a Bag of Holding.  The user may store up to 10 lbs of mundane (non-magical) material inside.  Regardless of the contents, the hat will only weigh 10-12 ozs.  Typical uses are a place to store spell components and other minor items. The witch cannot pull the hat down over her head to protect it since the entire item must be enclosed.   Any animal placed in the hat will suffocate within 5 mins much as a bag of holding.  Magical Hats react the same to portable holes as do bags of holding.
This hat, despite it's name, can be used by any class.

Magical Hat (Holding, Greater)
This hat appears as anyother Magical Hat and represents 15% of their number.  This hat can hold 25 lbs of materials as well as magical ones.

Hat of Focus
This hat aids the wizard or witch when they are performing spell research, learning new spells or otherwise engaged in any work requiring their focus.
This hat when worn will treat the wearer as if they had an Intelligence* score as one greater than they currently have. This does not change the number of spells they can learn or memorize based on their ability scores, but it does aid them with learning or creating the new spell.

*This can be substituted for Wisdom or Charisma as needed.
d20: This hat will add to the appropriate Concentration, Knowledge (arcana) or Spellcraft roll.

Hat of Focus, Spellslinger
This hat is similar to the Hat of Focus save that it adds +1 or +5% (where appropriate) to any one spellcasting roll.  So this hat could add +1 per die in a Fireball's damage or -1 in a Saving Throw, but not both.

Hat of Focus, Dunce
This cursed hat looks exactly like the Hat of Focus and any detect magic will reveal that it is in fact a Hat of Focus.  This hat though has the opposite effect and lowers the appropriate spellcasting ability score by 3 points.

Hat of the Archmage
This artifact is quite rare and very powerfull.  Created by an ancient archmage that used to joke that he always had another idea under his hat, the hat allows the wizard (and only a wizard) to store a number of extra spells.  It is rumored that this hat can hold 100 levels of spells that can be cast when the hat is opened and the proper spell is commanded to come out.  The wizard can then cast spells into the hat to be used at a later time.
Another, similar item, is known as the Hat of the Queen of Witches and is only usable by a witch.

OGL Section
Section 15
"Magical Hats" Copyright 2011, Timothy S. Branann


Dyson Logos said...

I'm all about hats.

Thus my love for B/X Blackrazor's Random Headgear Tables.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

LOL! I must have missed that. Time to go check out JB's blog again!

Dyson Logos said...

'ere it is!

An awesome full-page of random haberdashery!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fantastic, now I finally have an excuse to make point wizard hats a feature of my campaign. :-)

JB said...

This is quite a good idea, Tim.

The Jovial Priest said...

Added to Links to Wisdom. Under Treasure Misc.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Cool! Thanks.