Monday, September 19, 2016

The Hurt Locker: Mana Bucklers for Dungeon Fantasy

Guest Post by Kalzazz

Mana Bucklers are usually a fancy, heavy gem marked bracelet traced in magical runes. Unless worn by a mage this is all they are. When worn by a mage the Mana Buckler can be activated by a simple ritual, using either a Concentrate maneuver or an IQ based ‘Fast Draw Mana Buckler’ roll. This consumes 1 FP and lasts for up to 10 minutes. It is a free action to turn it off. When activate it shows as an appropriately sized shimmery, translucent plane of force with details up to the DM or player. Shield (Buckler) is used as the appropriate skill.

A mana buckler used by a Magery 0 mage has DR/HP 2/10, cover DR 5 and DB 0 with +1 to block (see dueling buckler in GURPS Low Tech, p. 116 for the DB 0 shield example).

As Magery Increases, the Mana Buckler has properties as below

Magery          DB       DR/HP            Cover DR
1                      0          3/15                 7
2                      1          4/20                 9
3                      1          5/25                 11
4                      2          6/30                 13
5                      2          7/35                 15
6                      3          8/40                 18
Each +1 magery adds +1 DR and +5 HP, with cover DR being based on DR + HP/4.

In a Low Mana Zone the effective magery is halved. In a No Mana Zone it does not work. Mana Bucklers are not effective against meteoric or depleted necronium weaponry, which do normal damage to the mana buckler as normal but also deal damage to the target as if the mana buckler was not there.

Damage to the Mana Buckler is repaired by recharging it. This is done by 1 - pouring paut on it, 2 - using Lend Energy or similar spells, 3 - using appropriate RPM spells (use restore magic), 4 - taking it to a power item recharge place and paying $5 per HP or as campaign appropriate.

Mana Bucklers cost a base of 1,500 and weigh .5lbs, and may be given some modifications such as Balanced or Fine, though other mods such as Dwarven do not make as much sense. The DM decides which modifiers are appropriate.


  1. Do all levels of the Mana Buckler have the +1 to Block or just the 0 DB levels?

    1. It'd probably make the most sense if it were all levels, but the original author can explain his intent (which I'm sure he will).

    2. The intent was the +1 to block gets replaced by DB as the shield gets more magery behind it. Basically like the dueling buckler in Low Tech has DB 0 and +1 to block, and a small shield has DB 1

      Really I wanted a progression that hit DB 3 at Magery 6

  2. I like it! It would be cool for games outside of DF as well. It might also be neat if one could have a shield enchanted with more DR with Fortify spells.

  3. I like it! It would be cool for games outside of DF as well. It might also be neat if one could have a shield enchanted with more DR with Fortify spells.

    1. I've never actually run straight DF, it was originally devised for more over the top more abstract fantasy so I can't guarantee it works in DF . . . but I see no reason it wouldn't.

      I totally allow Fortify and Lighten on it

      One thing I would be wary is interactions with enchantments based on weight