Costume of the Boulder

by Jay Godden, edited by Isaac Rolfe and Rob Heinsoo, art by Aaron McConnell & Lee Moyer

Read the introductory post here.

The arenas of Axis are host to all manner of games of gladiatorial combat. Usually, the most popular games are those that are bloodiest and have a high turnover of hapless warriors hoping to make their fortune. One sport tests this rule, however; Giant-Sparring. In this game adapted from a similar sport played in Giants’ mead halls, competitors must wrestle with one another in a large ring that magically constricts over the course of the game, leaving lots of time for early showboating and build-up before the climactic ending. This dramatic show, combined with the very low lethality, has led to a number of celebrity figures emerging from the game.

The collective psyche of the crowds, amplified by the stadiums and focused directly at these celebrity wrestlers has a curious effect. Sometimes the fans’ perceptions of their favorite competitors actually enchanted the gear that they used with the power of larger than life stunts. Wrestlers soon found that the more memorable and visually striking a piece of gear or clothing was, the more potent this effect. And so the sport gradually became known for colorful and gaudy costumes, impressive sets evoking monsters or other gladiatorial sports, or pieces more alike to court jesters.

The most famous Giant-Sparrer, truly a giant of a woman, used the name Boulder. She built up a reputation as a charismatic and entertaining competitor and was blessed with a very successful career. Her fame was truly sealed however when she aided the Imperial Legion in their defense of Axis during an Ice Giant march. She humiliated their champion wrestler in single combat, causing the Legion to redouble their efforts and leading to an eventual routing of the jotun. The combined psyche of her wrestling fans as well as the gratitude of the Imperial Legion cemented her Costume as one of the most powerful magic item sets to be born of the arenas.

Set bonus: While two-weapon fighting, or fighting with a weapon in one hand and an open off-hand, natural rolls of 2 allow you to make a Wrestler’s Grab against a target as well as rerolling your attack. While affected by a Wrestler’s Grab, targets are engaged with you, can’t make opportunity attacks, gain a -X penalty to disengage checks, and you have a +X bonus to attacks against them. If the target successfully hits you on their turn, they no longer suffer the penalty to disengage checks. They can move away and suffer opportunity attacks as normal, though you still get the to-hit bonus for opportunity attacks. The Grab lasts as long as you remain engaged with the target. You can only have one target grabbed at a time.


Adventurer Tier:

Stonefaced Mask

Head Chakra, +1 MD

Ability (Recharge 16+, quick action): Make a Charisma skill check. The difficulty is usually Hard for the environment you are in; if there are onlookers to the battle the difficulty is Easy, and if there are no onlookers or intelligent enemies the difficulty is Ridiculously Hard. On a success, the Escalation Die increases by one. On a failure this item automatically recharges at the end of the battle. Quirk: Paranoid that everyone might not love them.


Heel’s Heels

Boot chakra, +1 to disengage checks and other fancy footwork

Ability (Cyclic, at-will if the escalation dice is even, once per battle if the escalation dice is odd, move action), only against a target that you have in a Wrestler’s Grab: Make an attack with Strength or Dexterity vs PD. On a hit you slam the target to the ground, trip them, stamp on their feet, or twist their arm behind their back. They cannot use move actions until the end of their next turn, or they pop free from you and are pushed away, potentially into a dangerous position. Quirk: Refuses to eat anything green, citing a match they won where they only ate steak and berries that day if challenged.


Muscle Oil

Armor chakra, light armor only, +1 AC

This magical oil affords protection equal to wearing light chainmail or hardened leather plates, even when you are barely clothed. The slick surface of your skin allows you to twist and maneuver yourself easily in battle.

Ability (Quick action, recharge 6+): You can pop free from any engaged enemies. If you have a target in a Wrestler’s Grab, you can pop them free with you and remain engaged with that target alone. Quirk: Answers questions with a question.


Ring of the Onlooker

Ring chakra

Ability (Recharge 11+, quick action): You can add the +X bonus to hit against enemies affected by your ally’s Wrestler’s Grab until the end of the battle. Use the same value of X as the ally making the Wrestler’s Grab.

Special: This item does not contribute to the set bonus of the Costume of the Boulder.

Quirk: Huge fan of all sports, not just wrestling.


Champion Tier:

Enwrapping Kumpur

Weapon chakra, +2 attacks and damage when using this weapon

These handwraps increase the size of your unarmed attacks to d8 per level. While attuned to this item you cannot wield other weapons or shields, and are considered to be two weapon fighting.

Ability (At-will, Free Action): Once per round, the next attack that you make deals half damage on a hit, and also causes the target to be affected by a Wrestler’s Grab as the cloth of the wraps constricts their limbs. If this attack was an opportunity attack, it also prevents the target from moving away from you. Quirk: Likes to be in control, hates feeling like a leaf on the winds of fate.


Half-Cape of Pinning

Cloak Chakra, +2 PD

Ability (Recharge 11+, Move Action): One enemy that you are engaged with becomes pinned until the start of their next turn. This prevents them from taking any actions, and all melee attacks against the enemy by your allies roll 2d20 and pick the result they prefer. Quirk: Likes to be seen in moody half lighting, ideally with a single raised eyebrow and flexed shoulders.


Belt of Champions

Belt chakra, +2 maximum recoveries

This belt is full of the skills and clout of past Giant-Sparring champions.

Ability (Recharge 11+, Quick Action): You can perform an improvised stunt of wrestling and sparring prowess. Use the Rogue’s Swashbuckle talent to determine the sort of effects that you can pull off. Any attacks made as part of this stunt will require a Standard Action and attack roll as usual. Quirk: Imposter syndrome.

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