The Climbing Candle

With subtle fragrances of hemp, silk, and do I detect a hint of chain link?


A small round tin with a lid and a candle inside. Both the wick and wax are of unknown origin and made of unknown substances. An imprint of a long, coiling length of rope is rudely beaten into the outside of the tin.

When lit, the candle gives off no light, but the outline of a pale green flame can be seen if lit in otherwise total darkness. The smoke from the candle flows in the same shape as the type of rope that is imprinted on the outside of the tin.

Who made the candle? Why are there different types? Perhaps it’s made in some Fae sweatshop, full of young pixies and gnomes chained to their stations and forced to put out 15 climbing candles a day? Maybe it was forged in a tower by a prince with a touch of the talent who infused whatever was on hand with magic enough for him to escape?


With a very sharp knife and deft hands, a skilled cutter (perhaps a rogue or thief) could cut a length of rope from the smoke itself, no longer than 25 feet. The Rope itself can be made of silk, hemp, or chain, depending on whatever is on the tin.

Regardless, the rope has UD4 uses before it disappears into a puff of smoke. The candle itself can be lit UD8 times and is considered an Exotic/Expensive item should it be sought out to purchase.


As I’m learning how to draw, I’m working on just getting practice drawing the things around me, focusing on lines rather than shapes as I move my (digital) pencil across the screen. You can be the judge if I succeeded on the art, but because my fiancé loves candles, it was a natural object to catch my eye.

Light is such a fun thing to play around with in the OSR world. I love being able to throw out a light check when my players aren’t expecting it and to see how their characters react to total darkness. It’s something you don’t feel in modern games as much (at least I don’t experience it).

But what happens when you find a candle that isn’t a source of light at all – that provides a completely different utilitarian use? That’s the kind of thing that gets me excited to run fantasy specifically at the tabletop. And that’s where we get funny little things like this Climbing Candle.

Wretch’s Ocarina


An awkward mix of smoking pipe and musical instrument, Wretch’s Ocarina is a clay and wood pipe that is patterned after that of the small ocarina flute. It can be both smoked and played at the same time, and a small pouch of purple pipe weed is found next to it at the abandoned guard post where it has been left.

The music, when played without smoking the purple pipe weed is like that of any other instrument. The pipe, when smoking (even the purple pipe weed) without playing a song produces the smoke and calming sensation of smoking any other pipe.

However, when a bard of modest skill plays a song and smokes the purple pipe weed, the true potential of the ocarina comes alive, and purple sparks fill the air along with the greasy purple haze from the purple pipe weed.


When you both smoke the purple pipe weed and play a song (not just random notes), all allies who can smell the smoke and hear the music may heal one HD without the need to spend one HD of their own.

Anyone who heals in this manner forgets all memorized spells and prayers and is distracted for 1d8 hours or until they participate in one round of combat, whichever happens first.

The purple pipe weed has a Ud6 and is considered an Exotic/Expensive item should it be sought out to purchase.


This is another item that was found by one of my players in the Hole in the Oak adventure from Necrotic Gnome, however this one was made up on the spot. My player’s character, the infamous “Wretch” is a character who doesn’t excel at anything other than being not very good at anything. I thought it would be fun to give him something that could help our cleric to not be so stressed out.

The pipe/ocarina itself is made by gnomes. And no, I have no idea how a fluted pipe would sound, but smoke coming out of all those little holes would be pretty cool.