Soothstone… A Magic Item for RPG or LARP Game

Gaming of the roleplaying variety has been a major part of my life ever since I spotted another kid also reading a Dungeons & Dragons book across the cafeteria after relocating schools* yet again in 3rd grade. It has led me to a lot of friends, provided uncountable hours of enjoyment and always seems to encourage people of all manners to imagine and create. I don’t think I know a single roleplayer that doesn’t have a mental or physical notebook of ideas, concepts and doodles that they just don’t have a game or setting to use in… yet. Along those lines, I thought I’d start picking a few out of my own and sharing them.

LARPers love props and one that has shown up locally again and again are those large, flat glass beads you can find in craft stores.  They’re fairly durable but occasionally one will shatter in your pouch or if dropped.  It got me thinking about the occasionally maligned “Detect Truth” effect (it can be complicated and subjective if implemented poorly) seen in some games.  I wanted to use the beads to represent a rare but naturally occurring item that could discern lies (for those of us that aren’t Jedi and don’t own Lying Cats).

Soothstones are small, clear crystals of a fairly consistent size, well-known in the lore.  Occasionally by chance or when mining, folk tales abound of people stumbling across them and the results of their use and misuse. When found naturally, they rarely require more than a light cleaning and gentle polish, but actually cutting or working them like other gems can destroy their remarkable properties. Those with the ability to sense magic can readily discern the aura of soothstones, along with a hint of purifying/cleansing magic and the number of uses it currently possesses.

When held, the owner of a soothstone can ascertain whether or not a sentence or statement recently made in her presence is truthful or not. The stones do not compel a speaker to answer truthfully or even speak at all, however.  The choice to use the stone must be made quickly, a few seconds at most, but a fast talking subject may not simply ramble over a previous sentence in an attempt to fool the stone.  The speaker must verify “out of play” whether or not the sentence or statement under scrutiny is truthful. If the statement is not truthful, a small cracking noise is clearly heard emanating from the soothstone.

Typically a soothstone can be used three times in this manner.  Each time a lie is detected, the possessor should record the statement on the soothstone’s item card.  Once the final use is expended, the stone shatters and all its lies are released.  The current owner should read them in loud, clear and slow voice.  Occasionally soothstones are found that have already been partially used but there does not appear to be a way discern what lies it already contains prematurely.  In these cases, the game’s Plot Staff will provide a sealed envelope or otherwise provide the information upon the stone’s destruction.

* Other military brats and single parent kids are probably familiar familiar with the “six schools in twelve years” phenomena. 


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