Implants & Body Modifications

Technomagical Devices & Clockwork Disciples

by Stephanie Vergamini- Dungeon #351

Most D&D worlds contain ancient, lost civilizations whose ruins dot the landscapes and whose artifacts and relics act as the inspirations of countless adventures. Many of these civilizations possessed advanced clockwork or technomagical inventions whose true purposes have disappeared. When new civilizations rise, antiquarians and adventurers exploring the ruins of the past recover these creations. Unsure of their true purposes, the newer civilizations revere such items as divine relics, ensconcing them in shrines and temples.

Sages and monks contemplate the divinity of these items. Monks of the monasteries housing these devices sometimes achieve oneness with the objects, incorporating into their disciplined bodies the precision of the technomagical devices. These clockwork disciples, as they are called, bridge the gap between the lost civilizations and the modern societies currently in power.

Any world with ancient ruins or lost civilizations can hold technomagical devices and the clockwork disciplines who use them. In the FORGOTTEN REALMS, these devices might have originated in Netheril or another ancient culture.

The most commonly discovered implants include the following.

New Technomagical Implants

While characters cannot hope to create new technomagical devices used as implants, your DM should feel free to create new ones. All technomagical implants are priced as magic items with a 25% price reduction, because a character must take a feat to gain the use of one.

Your DM might require a ritual or procedure for your character to gain a new technomagical implant. The details of such are left to the DM, but they should not cost a gold.

Common Technomagical Implants

ImplantPowerBody SlotValue
QuickdiskMinorNecklace1,000 gp
FarseerMinorEye lenses1,350 gp
Fleshbound SteelscalesMajorVest1,500 gp
ShockrodMajorBracers1,500 gp
Cheetah's SwiftnessMinorBoots2,062 gp
Master's EdgeMinorHeadband3,000 gp
Tremorsense DiskMajorBoots4,000 gp
Levitation PadsMinorBoots5,625 gp
Force-Blast GeneratorMajorHeadband6,450 gp
Arcane DeflectionMajorVest17,275 gp
Divine BodyMajorBracers or boots20,625 gp
Divine MindMajorHeadband20,625 gp
Shocking Field, LesserMinorVest21,000 gp
Darkeye LensesMajorEye lenses22,500 gp
Shocking Field, GreaterMajorVest42,000 gp

Body Modifications

by James Lafond Sutter- Dungeon #359

Presented below are several different ideas to help you incorporate beneficial body alterations into your game and make your character stand out in a crowd. Aside from tattoos, all the modifications listed here require the assistance of a professional to complete properly - usually someone with the ability to cast restoration.

Attempting to make the following body modifications requires the creator spend 8 uninterrupted hours and make a Craft (body modifications) or Heal check to complete the operation successfully. See the description of each modification for its DC. Failing this check means the operation is unsuccessful and exposes the subject to filth fever (the subject still gets to make saving throws, as normal, albeit at a -2 penalty). Unless otherwise noted, each procedure deals 1d6 points of damage per level or HD of the character. This damage must be healed magically in order to keep the body from rejecting or healing over the modification. If this damage is allowed to heal naturally over time, the subject loses the benefits of the body modification when brought back to full health and must undergo the procedure again.

Combat Mod

Combat body modifications take two general forms.

Weapon: A fighter might choose to have a punch dagger permanently emerging from the skin above his wrist or a monk might elect to install silver and cold iron caps on her knuckles (which count as silver or cold iron gauntlets). Weapon combat mods cost double the weapon's nonmagical cost (include masterwork and special material costs, but not costs for any magical enhancements). Only light and one-handed weapons can be attached, and only to the subject's arms. Weapons attached in this way are used normally, as manufactured-weapon attacks. Implanted weapons themselves function normally, although the wielder cannot use them two-handed. Weapon combat mods cannot be disarmed or dropped (but they can be sundered normally) and they are always considered drawn.

Attaching a bludgeoning weapon has a Craft (body modifications) or Heal DC of 20. A piercing weapon is DC 25, while a slashing weapon's DC is 30.

Armor: Much less common is the permanent application of armor, in which the crafter magically burns and warps flesh to adhere to small steel plates. A character wishing to gird himself in this manner gains an armor bonus up to +8, at a cost of 300 gp and 5 pounds of encumbrance per point of armor bonus. Armor combat mod has a maximum Dex bonus of 9 minus the armor bonus, an armor check penalty equal to the armor bonus (masterwork armor reduces this penalty by 1 as normal), and an arcane spell failure chance of 5% per point of armor bonus. Up to a +3 armor bonus counts as light armor and allows normal speed, an armor bonus of +4 to +6 counts as medium armor, and an armor bonus of +7 or +8 counts as heavy armor.

This armor can be spiked, constructed from special materials, and made magical, all for the normal costs of such treatments. Removing an armor combat mod deals 1d6 points of damage per level or HD of the character and renders the plates useless. Characters choosing this modification may not wear any other armor, although they may still use shields.

Attaching light armor requires a DC 20 Craft (body modifications) or Heal check. Medium armor has a DC of 25, while heavy armor's DC is 30.

Due to the painful nature of both these operations and the potential for social stigma, most who undergo these procedures wait until they can afford to use high-quality magical weapons or materials. Note that most lawful or good civilized places frown upon combat mods and characters with them invite extra scrutiny from law enforcement.

Embedded Holy Symbol

Some especially fanatical clerics have their holy symbols surgically implantedjust beneath the outer layer of skin on their hands, arms, chests, or faces. Such implants raise the skin, showing in perfect relief the symbol beneath. Such a holy symbol must be made from metal (usually silver) and costs 100 gp. Clerics who choose this path sometimes report their symbols ache any time they start to stray from their chosen alignments.

Embedding a holy symbol requires a DC 15 Craft (body modifications) or Heal check.

Extra Bodyslot

Although viewed as extreme by many, body modification is occasionally used to give a character access to an additional magic item body slot. A small wondrous item (no larger than dagger) is inserted into an incision as far from other body slots as possible, generally beneath the ribs or along the thigh. The item functions normally, even if another item already occupies its normal body slot. This procedure, however, has grave drawbacks, as the overlapping and conflicting magical fields stress the body and reduce the subject's Constitution score by 2 points for as long as the item remains within the character's body. Only rings, rods, and wondrous items crafted specifically for this purpose can be used. They cost 1-1/2 times the normal price. Removing an item from an extra body slot requires a procedure that deals 1d6 points of damage per level or HD of the character.

Implanting an extra body slot requires a DC 30 Craft (body modifications) or Heal check.

Living Spellbook

The Skincaster feat allows a wizard to tattoo new spells directly onto her skin instead of her spellbook. Unlike the Tattoo Magic feat, the wizard must still prepare spells scribed in this manner as normal. If an opponent attempts to use erase on your tattooed spells you are allowed a Fortitude save to resist the spell.

In order to gain the benefits of this procedure, you must take the Skincaster feat. Scribing spells onto your flesh requires a DC 10 Craft (body modifications) or Heal check.

Skin Pockets

Instead of swallowing or otherwise concealing contraband, brave, desperate, or merely eccentric characters might elect to create a skin pocket: a spot where the outer layer of skin is flayed, blister-like, from the flesh beneath it but left intact save for a small opening. This cavity can hold anything up to the size of a dagger. Magical healing closes this pocket with a thin layer of skin, leaving only a swollen patch of flesh capable of escaping all but the most careful scrutiny (granting a +6 bonus on Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal the items). Accessing the pocket requires 1 point of slashing damage.

Creating a skin pocket deals the standard 1 point of damage per level or HD of the character and requires a DC 20 Craft (body modifications) or Heal check. Reusing the same skin pocket reduces the total creation damage by 1 point (to a minimum of 1.)

Magic in the Realms