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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ioun Stone - A Complete Guide, History of, and Props for use as an Ioun Stone

Over at d20 Resource Jonathan Drain has an article on his investigations into origins of the fabled ioun stone.  The article was an interesting read but what I found more useful was the fact that Johnathan had a "complete guide", so to speak,  of all the references to ioun stones he's been able to find over the years throughout the various publications.  This "Ioun Stone Complete Guide" is a gold mine for DM's/GM's of Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder role playing games.  I have a character in my current campaign who has a pink rhomboid ioun stone but is always forgetting he has it. Using a prop has helped with remembering.

You can get as creative as you want, or not, when making a prop, accessory, or other game aid to use as a stand in for an ioun stone, but just the addition of a prop, any prop, seems to help greatly in reminding the character (and DM/GM) of the little stone flying about their characters head.  Below are a couple of examples of props you could make for an ioun stone to hand out to the players on the cheap:

  • Make a LED Throwie with a colored LED of the color of the ioun stone, if you can manage it.  Or you could make one with a blinking LED or a color shifting LED.  You can google LED throwie and you'll find lots of info on creating them or just click on the link above for an instructibles article on how to make one.  One of the more interesting and creative, but I'm not sure how well it would shine in the bright light of the gameboard, but putting a LED inside a ping-pong balls is also a novel idea! LED's rule!
  • A Polished Rock / Stone from a craft store or Diddiams/Party America(USA), etc. If you've got one, even a fancy crystal would do! I have a large chunk of polished amethyst that I found on the streets of San Jose, CA while walking back to work from lunch one day. However its MY precious, so I doubt I'd give it to my players as an ioun stone.  If you have a friend, grandfather, or perform the hobby of tumbling rocks yourself then you've got plenty of "ioun stone fodder" to choose from!


  • Glass or acrylic decorative beads from Michaels / Hobby Lobby.  You can find in all sorts of shapes, I have a few that are broken crystal shapes and I use them for a multitude of games from nexus ops board game, used as crystals for points so I have neon green and red ones, to clear and frosted white ones for use with pirates of the Spanish Main as little icebergs! The ones pictured are shaped like chandelier ornaments so if you're going for a more "fancy" or refined ioun stone, then those would be perfect!

There are many other things you could use as a prop for an ioun stone, you could create a playing card / mtg card similar to the cards I've created for use with my campaign, just something to alert the character that they have something that they can use to their benefit, or is in constant use and spinning about their head, etc.  You can always remind them too with a bit of role playing! Having the local guard or their new love interest intently watching them as if there were something unique about the character.  The character with think its their charm and charisma that has woo'd or calmed the npc, but then have the npc widely swing at the ioun stone flying around their head as if trying to swat it away, and then inquire about the character of his personal hygiene. "You've got glowing bugs flying around yer head!" hehe.



Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!