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Folk Magic: Hearth & Home

Folk Magic: Hearth & Home

In a world suffused with magic, what kind of magic do common folk use in their day-to-day lives? What so-called hedge magic is used by the peasantry to make their lives a little more manageable, productive, and safe in their huts and hovels?

Vault of Magic has scores of options for adventurers! Here are a few simpler magic items used by the common folk in a high-magic campaign.

Ancestor’s Graven Image

Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)

These sandstone figurines are engraved with the Wisdom rune and are normally buried or entombed with a respected ancestor’s bones. For each year the figurine is buried with the corpse, it is “charged” with the answer to one question, up to a maximum of one hundred questions. If the figurine (usually carved in the likeness of the ancestor) is then disinterred, it can be asked one question per day, as if a speak with dead had been cast, save that the answer is always truthful, though perhaps cryptic, even if the ancestor was hostile to you in life.

Cooking Stone

Wondrous Item, Common

This small, round slab of gray granite weighs 10 pounds and is inscribed with the rune for Fire. When the rune is pronounced, the stone quickly warms up to a red heat. It remains hot long enough to boil a kettle or pot full of liquid (typically around 5 minutes). Any flammable material (parchment, cloth, hay, dry leaves) in contact with the stone while it is hot catches fire within one minute of the rune’s activation. Any creature touching the activated stone takes 1d4 fire damage for each round they are in contact with the stone.

Amulet of Animal Husbandry

Wondrous Item, Common

These small, beaten copper discs bear the image of the goddess of fertility and are blessed by her priestesses. Normally hung around the neck of a Medium or Large livestock animal (cow, horse, goat), the creature is twice as likely to breed or bear large litters of big, healthy offspring, with no runts or stillbirths. If both the sire and the dam wear these amulets, the litter is three times likelier to be large, healthy, and strong.

Icon of Lady’s Mercy

Wondrous Item, Common

This small soapstone figurine is traditionally carved by a family member in the shape of the goddess of the hearth and blessed by a priestess. When placed on the belly of a woman in childbirth, the mother gains advantage on all Constitution checks made regarding childbirth. All Wisdom (Medicine) checks made to aid the mother and child(ren) are also made with advantage. Finally, any healing magic used on behalf of the mother, such as potions of healing or laying on of hands is maximized (i.e., it has the greatest possible effect).

Icon of the Forest Father

Wondrous Item, Rare

These yew-wood figurines are carved by a householder and then blessed by a cleric or druid of the Forest Father. They are commonly found above the hearth of a hunter, ranger, char-maker, or other commoner who makes their living from the forest. While it is displayed on a home’s mantle, all residents gain advantage on Constitution checks against disease. Note that if anyone in the residence harms the surrounding forest (malicious arson, hunting unicorns, etc.), the blessing becomes a curse, and all ability checks and saving throws made by residents (regardless of current location) are made with disadvantage until atonement is made to the satisfaction of the Forest Father.

Icon of the Bear Maiden

Wondrous Item, Common

These honey-wood figurines are carved by a hunter, trapper, or ranger hoping for increased success in hunting and trapping. Once they are blessed by a priestess of the Bear Maiden, the bearer of the figurine has advantage on any Wisdom (Survival) check regarding hunting or trapping on their next foray into the wilderness. If the bearer returns to civilized lands, the token must be re-blessed to be effective again.

Paling of Lady Winter

Wondrous Item, Uncommon

This loose fencing of ivy or yew stakes is bound together with strands of ivy or copper wire. When fully erected around a farmer’s field, and blessed by a priestess of Lady Winter, the crops in the enclosed field are immune to any damage from pests or disease for one year. After the four seasons have cycled, it must be blessed again by a priestess to remain effective. It can be used in combination with a sickle of harvest.

Sickle of Harvest

Wondrous Item, Uncommon

This carved wooden icon of a sickle is whittled by a farmer or gardener and blessed by a priestess of the harvest goddess. If staked by a small field or garden, the yield of any crops nearby is doubled. Wealthy or well-connected farmers use it in combination with a paling of Lady Winter.

Stone of Quiet Mercy

Wondrous Item, Rare

This hand-carved jade stone has the image of the death god etched on one face, and a benediction of painless mercy laid upon it by a priest of the god. If laid upon the tongue of a dying humanoid, the jade dissolves in the mouth of the creature, and they float off into a dreamless sleep until they pass gently and painlessly into the Realms Beyond.

Web of Night

Wondrous Item, Rare

This silvery cobweb has been blessed by a cleric of the goddess of night and magic, usually at a steep cost (for example, a favored childhood memory, your shadow, or your most beloved possession). When placed on a headboard or under a pillow, it prevents nightmares, blocks telepathic communication, intrusion into dreams, and prevents the sleeper from being located by any clairvoyant magic lower than 6th level.

<<PREVIOUSLY IN FOLK MAGIC


Want more magic for your game? Of course you do. You’re no simpleton.
Deep Magic 2: Spellcaster’s Emporium is on Kickstarter now! New spells, new items, a new base class for your 5E game!
Go see what the noise is about!


about Adam W. Roy

Adam has been playing TTRPGs for almost forty years, and has been a freelance game writer and editor for decades. He has written for Kobold Press, Paizo, White Wolf, and others. He is also a full-time father, husband, and e-commerce guru…. He manages all of this by avoiding sleep altogether.

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