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Code Rod

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 232
Price 1 sp; Weight 1 lb.
Category Adventuring Gear

Description

To all appearances, this device is nothing more than a plain rod, such as a dowel, although it can be made in the form of any cylindrical object, such as a cane or walking stick, curtain rod, scroll case, wind chime, or blow gun. The simplest form of code rod costs 1 sp and weighs 1 pound. If the rod has another use other than as a code rod, it uses the higher price and weight of the two items. Two code rods of matching circumference must be used in pairs to work properly. The second rod can be an item similar to the first, or it can simply be made to the same dimensions. To use a code rod, a long, narrow strip of paper is wrapped around the rod in a spiral pattern such that the edge of the paper touches the previous circuit with each pass, forming a continuous surface. A message is written along the length of the rod, one character to each coil of paper, row by row, until the paper is full. Once the message is completed, the strip of paper is unwound, rendering the message indecipherable. It can then be rolled up and sent to the recipient, who wraps it around the other rod and can then read the message. The users can write in plain language or further encode the message. Someone intercepting the message, if they recognize the use of a code rod, can attempt to find another rod of similar circumference, using Linguistics to crack the code rod’s message.