Steal My Idea: Rings of the Two Best Friends

There is an unseen bond between close friends. It is said that if two people know each other well enough and care deeply enough, they can know one other’s thoughts, finish the other’s sentences, and in the most extreme cases, syphon some of their friend’s power.

The Rings of the Two Best Friends is a set of two, intricately designed silver rings. One ring depicts a serpent with wings of white diamonds. The other depicts an owl with venom dripping from its beak. Tear-shaped emeralds make each drop of poison.

The rings allow the users to use some of the other’s special abilities. Abilities with a limited use or abilities that cost something- such as spells using spell slots (D&D) or disciplines that use blood points (Vampire: The Masquerade)- always take the price away from the one who actually possesses the power, not necessarily the one using it. Thus, a careless best friend can use an ability that requires the user to lose HP and accidentally kill their friend.

Characters wearing the rings can use one ability between the two of them once per turn. An ability such as barbarian rage or a rogue’s evasion will last one round. A fire spell that continuously burns after casing will continue to burn.

Both characters must be within 30 feet of one another (or 10 meters if you measure in meters) for the rings to work. The two characters do not have to be able to hear or see each other to syphon abilities. If they move beyond the range of the rings, any ongoing effects immediately end and they cannot use the other’s abilities until they are within range of each other once again.

If the action the player wants to perform normally takes an action (such as casting a spell), it takes the same action for the player performing it. If the ability doesn’t take an action (such as the rogue’s sneak attack ability), then it is considered a free action.

The bond between the two rings is invisible and magical. However, a creature that can see the invisible can see a tether moving through the ethereal realm that connects both rings. With a magic weapon or attack, a creature that can see the tether can attack it and try to break it.

The rings will not work if either ring is in an area where magic does not work.

Roleplaying effects:

The two people using the rings must be close friends for the ability to work. If two strangers or even acquaintances wore the rings, the rings would still give off a magical aura, but it would not grant the wearers any powers.

The two players must have a real and continuous bond. Some friends banter and roast each other, and the ring won’t cease working if that is how the two friends show affection. However, bickering and discord will cause the rings to cease working.

The two characters must have a growing, trusting relationship or the rings will cease working.

These are roleplay-heavy items. They can switch between two different people depending on the character or players’ situations. However, the rings can only bond to two people in one day. They won’t work for 24 hours if they change hands and bond to one or two new characters.

A character cannot fake friendship to use aring. If it is more useful for the paladin and the warlock to have the rings, they cannot simply wear the rings for 24 hours, share a drink, and become best friends. The GM must see a real, established, and growing connection between the two characters before the rings will work with them. Such relationships take time and cannot crop up inorganically or too quickly.

Examples based on systems

Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder:

In these systems, two best friends who wear the rings can use each other’s class abilities. If a rogue and a sorcerer were best friends, here are some examples of what they use from each other.

The rogue could

–    Cast spells that the sorcerer has prepared and has open slots of that spell level. The rogue can count as the target of spells that can only target the caster so long as the rogue is the one casting the spell.

The sorcerer could

–    Use the rogue’s sneak attack damage dice on a target that would take damage from sneak dice.

–    Use a class ability the rogue possesses, such as uncanny dodge, trap finding, or evasion.

Since weapon, armor, and shield proficiency are both available through class and feats, it is up to the GM to decide if those count.

There are several things the best friends cannot use from each other:

–    They cannot use the other’s skills or ability modifiers. Example: If the sorcerer uses the rings to gain the rogue’s trap finding ability, the sorcerer must use his/her own perception check to find the traps. If the rogue needs to make a will or wisdom save, the rogue cannot use the ring to gain the sorcerer’s will or wisdom save.

–    They cannot use racial abilities (such as a dragonborn’s fire breath or an elf’s immunity to sleep).

–    They cannot gain bonuses to their ability scores (even if the class gives the bonus).

If you want to make the ring even more powerful, you can extend the power and allow the two character’s wearing the rings to use each other’s feats (again, the ability would only last for one round). The character using the feat needs to have the necessary equipment to do so. For example, if a fighter and a paladin are wearing the rings and the paladin as the D&D 5e feat Shield Master, the fighter can use the ring to gain the benefits of Shield Master if the fighter has a shield.

Opening up the ability to include feats makes the rings even more powerful, so be fully aware of how ridiculous this can become if you allow it.

Vampire: The Masquerade

If a Malkavian and a Brujah are wearing the rings, they can use each other’s disciplines. For example: the Brujah could use the Dementation at the Malkavian’s current level, and the Malkavian could use the Brujah’s Potence.

However, when the Brujah uses the Malkavian’s discipline, if it requires will power or blood points, it takes it from the Malkavian. It always takes the cost from the owner. Thus, the best friends must be aware of the other’s state so they don’t accidentally throw the other one into a frenzy, or worse.

The two best friends cannot use each other’s skills. The Malkavian could not use the rings to gain Brujah’s melee skill for a turn, nor could the Brujah gain the Malkavian’s driving skill for a turn. Likewise, they cannot use the other’s attribute scores.

Savage Worlds

Two best friends can use each other’s perks that do not boost their attributes (strength, agility, smarts, spirit, vigor), their skills, or their charisma score. If a perk grants a bonus to an ability score or skill, they can use that.

For example, if one player had super powers from Necessary Evil, his/her best friend could use her superpower.  Since proficiency with weapons, armor, and shields are perks, players can gain proficiency with a weapon the other is proficient with for one turn.

In addition, best friends can use each other’s bennies.


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Twitter: @RexiconJesse

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