The Book of Uncommonplace Things – Badge of Office

Badge of Office

A magical token crafted as a tool and official symbol for a court official, sheriff, emissary, etc. Once per day the bearer may invoke the name of the person or office that the Badge of Office is sworn to and cast the Command spell in service of the office the badge represents. Anyone who is the target of the Command who is (or should rightly be) considered to be beholden to the authority that issued the Badge of Office, has disadvantage on saving throws to resist the bearer’s commands. Further the Badge grants the bearer advantage on all influence checks in pursuit of the duties of the represented office. The item requires lesser Badge of Office will also not work against the bearer of a higher ranked Badge of Office from the same authority or one that supersedes it.

Most Badges of Office also have a minor additional magical benefit that can be used at will usually. This effect cannot be more powerful than a cantrip in effect typically, but some particularly useful or potent badges offer greater benefits.

Notes: It costs 125 GP and takes 1D6 days to craft a Badge of Office (not counting the materials and skills needed by an artisan to craft the Badge in the first place) as well as the time of the official whose oath empowers the magic to craft the Oath of Fealty*. Materials vary, but must be of good quality or better.

Cost: A Badge of Office is not for sale (unless that’s how it’s done in your campaign) and many are fitted with Retaliatory Curses** in the event they are stolen.

Area of Effect: Anyone within 60 feet of the badge holder who would be susceptible to its authority.

Group(s) Affected: Anyone who is subject to the will of the authority that issued the badge.

Sample Badges of Office

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Sheriff’s Badge of Horton, Oklahoma

Issued to the sheriff of the sleepy town of Horton, Oklahoma during the waning days of the Old West. It grants the bearer authority over all law enforcement in the town proper. It is issued either by the office of the mayor of Horton or can be transferred from one sheriff to the next (subject to the will of the mayor’s office).
Additional Benefit: The sheriff can appoint deputies at will who can speak with the same authority as if they held the badge itself. This effect lasts twenty-four hours or until the deputation is revoked, whichever comes first.
Appearance: A silver star-shaped badge of the type common among law enforcement of the day.
Setting: Weird West

Royal Food Taster’s Badge of the Court of Portnoy IV, Boy King of Alessia Minor

Being the food taster for the Boy King can be a hard-luck job due to the frequent attempts to murder him by his enemies (some of whom aren’t even related to him) and so the badge of the Royal Food Taster was invented to help ensure that the Royal Food Taster is not deterred from his duties and can gain access to any kitchen, larder or farm within the kingdom in the prosecution of the duties of the office. Often, you see, the Royal Food Taster must not only check all foods for poison or maledictive enchantments, but must root out who perpetrated the plot. The badge can only be issued by the council of Royal Food Tasters with the mandate of the king.
Additional Benefit: The Royal Food Taster may gain a brief psychometric clue as to the nature of the plot and its conspirators by tasting the food or drink in question, not enough to reveal exact identities (and thus ruin a perfectly good murder mystery) but enough to get the game afoot, as it were.
Appearance: A blue and white heraldic badge bearing the arms of the Academy of Royal Food Tasters on a gold pendant worn as a chain around the bearer’s neck.
Setting: Fantasy Court Intrigue

Right Hand of the Black Lions Biker’s Club

Even the lawless sometimes need laws. The boss of the Black Lions Biker’s Club decided he’d need someone to be his voice and fist in those times he wasn’t available. So he had a guy he knew who knew this stuff make him a special patch to give only to his most trusted of lieutenant’s, the Right Hand. It is the Right Hand who enforces the Boss’ will and maintains order and respect among the gangs diverse membership. He speaks with the voice of the Boss in all matters related to the gang and is the final arbiter on any disputes when the Boss is not around. The patch can only be issued and revoked by the current Boss of the gang.
Additional Benefit: When addressing a loud, unruly gang of angry bikers, it helps to be louder. At will the Right Hand can make his voice boom as if enhanced through a loudspeaker.
Appearance: A black and white patch bearing the lion’s head symbol of the gang with the colors reversed.
Setting: Post-Manapocalypse Urban Fantasy

Pin of the High Potentate of Punk Rock

Sometimes you just need to rock out. That’s what the Pin of the High Potentate of Punk Rock is all about, folks. Some people believe it was the work of Sid Vicious himself, using magic learned from reading the works of Aleister Crowley and John Dee. But that’s probably bullshit. Whatever its origins, the pin has been responsible for some of the most epic concerts in history as well as uniting punk rockers everywhere in times of need. Most especially it is there to ensure that punk rock never dies. Nobody gives the pin to anyone else, it just finds its way to the next High Potentate through a sort of metaphysical Brownian motion. Bearers just kind of “know” what it is and what it can do and when it is needful to use it. It has acquired a status of urban legend in the world of punk rock and while many people seek it, only the worthy ever even glimpse it. Rock on, people.
Additional Benefit: In addition to the usual mystical effects, the bearer can cast Vicious Mockery once a day on any member of the Establishment identified as “the Man”.
Appearance: A black pin with the word “Punk” on it in white lettering.
Setting: Secret Magic Urban Horror

Herding Sigil of the Lizard Kings

When the serpent folk of Lemuria and Valusia ruled the world in the ages before man came to power, they needed a means of quickly coercing the obedience of the human chattel. Thus the alchemists and artificers of the day produced the Herding Sigil and put it in the hands of the overseers who would maintain order among the unruly and quickly multiplying herds of men. The Herding Sigil bypasses the conscious brain with a powerful mystical pre-linguistic imagery that compels obedience from the livestock. Given to the Man Herds to assist them in their duties by the Shepherd Magistrates to better execute their duties, they can only be revoked by these same figures and none other.
Additional Benefit: The bearer gets advantage in all social interactions (bluff, insight, intimidation, etc.) with their human slaves.
Appearance: A badge made of tanned human skin tattooed with the brand of the great house that owns the slaves in question.
Setting: Pre-Hyborean Age High Fantasy or Horror

Badge of Sheriff of the Wolfwood

Keeping the King’s Peace in the Wolfwood is no easy task, just ask the last ten sheriff’s who bore it. In this lawless place full of bandits, monsters, elves, wolves, and it is rumored, worse the Sheriff is the law of the land and enforces the will of the Baron of the Wolfwood, Lord Gregory. The badge gives the bearer authority over all of Wolfwood and power to enforce both Lord Gregory’s justice but that of the king as well. Only the strongest are worthy of this honor and may carry the badge and its responsibilities. In these dark and foreboding times, the Sheriff of Wolfwood is the only authority left to stand against the rising tide of darkness. The Sheriff’s Badge can only be given by the Lord of the Wolfwood, subject to the will of the King he swore his oath to.
Additional Benefit: Once per day the badge holder can cast Animal Messenger to send a message specifically back to Lord Gregory in Wolfwood Town.
Appearance: A carved token made of hardwood and embellished with silver that resembles a medieval style wolf’s head.
Setting: Dark Fantasy

Security Pass, Black Archives

The Black Archives hold some of the most dangerous artifacts that the Warehouse has ever had the misfortune to come across. These are tomes and artifacts so terrible that their very existence threatens the fabric of the multiverse. So the job of librarian is taken very, very seriously there. After rigorous background checks a potential librarian candidate is issued the Security Pass by the Seven Mysterious Men who run the Warehouse and administer the Black Archives. Only they have the authority to allow the Human Resources department to print a badge and issue it to the librarian candidate. If the candidate survives the Orientation and Training Period, they are upgraded to Full Clearance and told to hold back the tides of dark and terrible knowledge at all costs. The bearer cannot willingly (or unwillingly) divulge the secrets of the Black Archives and any attempts to do so usually result in the Security Pass suffering spontaneous combustion (and taking everything within 120 feet with it).
Additional Benefit: While the bearer is in the Black Archives, they can read any language, human or inhuman without suffering debilitating mental effects.
Appearance: A standard issue, non-descript security badge with an optional lanyard.
Setting: Secret History Black Ops

*coming soon, I swear.

**Also coming soon. Really!

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