Ioun stones are originally from Jack Vance's Dying Earth books. From the Rhialto stories.
And spelled IOUN (all caps) in the stories.
Items held in the mouth, which prevent talking. Or chains that have to be actively binding you up for the effect to happen. That could include exotic jewelry that normally requires a body modification - Kayapo lip plates and the like. Alternatively, hooks and other impromptu piercings have a long tradition in India, and would add a cost that might offset the benefit gained.I like deliberately contradictory appearance and effect pairings: boulder of jumping/feather fall; hook of pickpocketing.
crap, did I blow my geek cred, with my question. I've read Vance but it's been ~20 years.@Peter/crom: Thanks@Richard: Thanks for those. Yeah, a lot of my ideas tend to make having the ring worse. A DM would have to be careful about that, maybe tailor the form to the power of the ring, like manacles of spell turning or whatever.
Seems to me that tattoos, brands and mehndi markings should be their own category; one of the key things about a ring is that it can be transferred from body to body.
If you go ahead with the idea of dropping "ring" as a distinct category of personal/permanent/wearable magic item. Then part of the rationale for limiting a character to 2 'rings' goes away. I'd replace it with "no more than 10 items at a time, sensible body slot limits be darned".Or "three awesome items and a potion" http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/02/encumbrance-and-magic-items.html
@Roger: yeah, those follow the always active aspect so far that they destroy the binary, on/off aspect. I don't know what a chart full of tattoos would do but damned if you don't have me thinking about it now. I know magic tattoos have been around in the game, but in what books?@hj4: The 2 only is easier to keep track of though, and brings up the choice constraint sooner: "Should I wear my ring of feather fall & mind shielding, or fire resistance?"
Do you suppose that IOUN is an acronym in Vance? That might account for it's constant capitalization.... Something like Individual Orbiting Unbelievable Nodule... Just a thought...
Always assumed IOUN fitted in with Dying Earth's "technology so old it can be considered magic" with the acronym's meaning forgotten in time.
Sounds good to me. Could have a community project coming up with possible acronyms :)
Interesting Object of Unknown Nature
nice one :)