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Publication:Dread Codex 2/Magic and Cursed Items

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Magic Items Edit

These are all new magical items which center around the necromantic arts. They are not all necromantic in nature, but all have been wielded by powerful necromancers and have their specific uses. Necromantic items are most often evil and will be highly dangerous to the players. Some are cursed, while others will just demand a price of those who wear them. These have been crafted through dark rituals involving the dead, and most of them have claimed many victims in their making.

Amulet of Tarneus Edit

{{#set:Summary=Conjures skeletal wings that allow the wearer to fly.}} This is a heavy amulet, made from black iron. An engraved skeleton warrior, with great skeletal wings spread out, sits in a black iron circle. The Amulet of Tarneus is heavier than it looks, and its weight will surprise most people. There can be no doubt that this is a magical amulet. Looking at the details of the engraving, it becomes clear that the skeleton has tiny ruby eyes and carries an intricate helmet with demonic horns.

Only one with a Strength score of 18 or higher can use this amulet, and those who carry it around their neck and do not fulfill this requirement will lose 1 point of strength every hour until it is removed (when they reach strength 0, they die). Anyone who meets the Strength requirement will be able to activate this amulet and call forth huge skeletal wings which protrude from their spine, breaking through any clothing and armor worn. These wings bestow the ability to fly at the base speed of 60 feet (average maneuverability). The duration of this effect is based on the wearer's constitution: 1 hour per 2 points of constitution. When the duration ends, the wearer has no more strength to keep flying and plunges to the ground.

Caster Level: 12th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, ruul’s skeletal wings, bull’s strength, bear’s endurance; Price Cost::45,000 gp; Weight: 15 lb.

Weaknesses Edit

When this amulet is activated, the eyes of the skeleton warrior will glow brightly. A successful attack with a penalty of -8 (due to the diminutive size of the eyes), with a +3 weapon or greater, will shatter the ruby eyes and destroy the magic.

Adventure Hook Edit

As the party travels the roads of the realms, they meet a lonesome peddler who has a few wares that he would like to sell. Among these are the Amulet of Tarneus, looking much like a simple amulet of the Traveller. This is a disguise, and the peddler is not really a peddler, but one of the Traveller’s clerics. The amulet has been stolen from an undead commander, and while the party may think they have bought just another amulet, they actually carry a strong magical item.

Tarneus has become aware of the theft, and with the help of his master, the necromancer Ruul Tharox, he knows exactly where to look for it. This becomes a true and legendary chase, and the party may not know who is after them, or they may already have found out of the peddler’s betrayal.

Lenses of Truth and Madness Edit

{{#set:Summary=Allows the wearer to benefit from true seeing and other spells, at a cost.}}

These lenses look like thick sheets of black obsidian mounted in a leather strapping that can be fastened around the head. The design is slightly strange and looks like the device of a mad scientist, though they are not; more accurate would be the device of a mad necromancer.

When looking through the lenses, the wearer gets the ability to see all. All illusions can be pierced; the auras of people, their health, and personal power are seen as well. If concentrating on a single individual, surface thoughts, and his whereabouts within the last few days, are revealed. In effect, the wielder is constantly under the following spells: true seeing, detect alignment, detect lies.

When first looking through the lenses, the wearer must make a Will save (DC 20) or go permanently blind. When worn for more than 10 rounds a Will save (DC 20) is needed to avoid insanity and blindness (one check for each) each round. Each consecutive round past 10 incurs a -1 penalty to the Will saves.

Caster Level: 18th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, true seeing, detect thoughts, locate creature; Price Cost::150,000 gp; Weight: 2 lb.

Weaknesses Edit

The lenses can be broken with a physical attack of 5+ damage. If only one lense is worn, the save DCs are increased by 10.

Adventure Hook Edit

This item is very close to being a minor artifact, and there a only a few of them in the world. One of these has been found by a band of paladins, and their leader, the high priest of Urvol the Blade of Justice, is rumored to have donned these lenses and become insane. A month ago he left the temple in a hurry, wearing the lenses, and said that he would find his god who was held captive in the Paragon Mountains. The paladins fear for their high priest, and they have not yet been able to find him. They ask the party to go into the dark mountains and free his spirit from this madness.

Necromantic Ioun Stones Edit

Summary::These stones are much like normal ioun stones, though they have been created using necromantic powers. When activated, they will begin to float around the head of the user. See further rules in the SRD concerning the general rules of ioun stones.

The rituals to craft these magical ioun stones are far more intense and often involves sacrifice, mostly of animals and other monsters. One thing is sure, there is always a cost to creating necromantic ioun stones, whether it is temporary hit points or ability score loss, or something far more dangerous. Necromancers have also been known to create greater ioun stones offering more than just one power. See the Eluan Eye for more information on this.

Color Shape Effect Value
Obsidian Prism Iron Will (as the feat) Cost::8,000 gp
Crimson Prism Darkvision 60 feet Cost::10,000 gp
Bone White Spindle detect undead (constant) Cost::13,000 gp
Black Ellipsoid Raises the wielder from death after 1d4 days Cost::25,000 gp
Shadowy Any Makes the caster incorporeal Cost::100,000 gp

Ring of Severance Edit

{{#set:Summary=Creates a spectral hand that is corporeal and can be used as a normal hand within 30 feet of the caster.}}

This ring bears the resemblance of a crude cast-iron ring. There is nothing exceptional about it beyond that. This ring has also been named the Hand of Shadow and is a favorite of many necromancers, who will seek it out if they hear of its whereabouts.

When put on a finger, the ring closes in on itself, severing the finger which falls to the ground. The severed finger quickly withers to dust. If tried upon every finger on the same hand, it will sever all of them except the last. When slipped onto the last finger, all the other fingers will regenerate – bones will regrow and tendons and skin will wrap around the bones in one round. When this process is complete, it grants its wearer the ability to summon a ghostly hand at will. The hand can be moved about at will, up to 30’ away from the wearer. In effect it can be used as an extension of the wearers own hand as everything it touches can be felt by the wearer. This can be used to deliver touch attacks, wield a weapon, or do anything that a hand attached to the wearer could normally do.

Caster Level: 12th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, spectral hand; Price Cost::66,000 gp.

Weaknesses Edit

When frozen, the ring can be shattered with a blow doing 10 or more points of damage.

Adventure Hook Edit

One of the savants have invited the party to his home. When the dinner is finished, they enter the library and he tells them why he has called upon them, asking for their services. He is looking for a Ring of Severance, a magical item which is also called the Hand of Shadow. He tells them that this item is quite dangerous, and that he fears if it should ever fall into the wrong hands. He knows its current location, the Ruins of the Fallen, located in the southern desert. He will even supply the adventurers with a map, and some minor items if they would consider taking this quest. He will tell them the story of the Fallen, a knight who served the Desertwalker, a powerful necromancer, but was cursed for his betrayal and made into a death knight.

Sword of Hunger Edit

{{#set:Summary=A sword that leeches health from enemies.}}

The blade of the sword is covered in clotted blood; in fact, the only place where the metal shines through is across its razor sharp edges. The crossguard is expertly done with extreme detail fashioned to look like worms intertwined. The hilt looks like a single piece of reddish leather. When holding it, one can feel a slight pulsating feeling, like that of blood flowing through a jugular. Etched at the base of the blade is the word “Handuar”. If that word is uttered when holding the hilt, the sword comes to life: the worms intertwined around the crossguard spring back and bore themselves into the arm of the wielder, ripping clothes and puncturing armor.

As they are attached, the wielders blood can be seen flowing through the now semi transparent worms and into the blade. The blade leeches a full 50 hp worth of blood at a rate of 5 hp per round. Once full, further blood is needed at the rate of 5 hp per day. Cutting an opponent for more than 5 hp counts as the hp needed for the day.

Furthermore if the sword is full, the 5 hp damage dealt to an enemy is transferred to the wielder instead (dealt damage in excess of 5 hp is lost). The sword is a +4 bastard sword, and activating it by speaking the command word grants full proficiency to use it. When both sword and wielder are at full hp, no other advantages are gained.

Caster Level: 13th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, vampiric touch, true strike;Price Cost::35,000 gp; Weight: 12 lb.

Weaknesses Edit

It is possible with a Strength check of DC 25 to bend the “worms” toward the blade, or a Reflex save of DC 15 to avoid the worms during activation. In both cases the sword will begin to feast on itself, thus destroying its power and rendering it a normal bastard sword.

Adventure Hook Edit

Upon arriving in the city of Tâl Vorgath, the party learns that this is a place of necromancy also called the City of the Ancients. They hear the stories of a blade called the Sword of Hunger which was lost five years ago. This necromantic blade is quite infamous, and the last who wielded it was a powerful undead called the Prowler. The party might decide that they should find this sword, before it can do more harm. There are many rumors of the Prowler, but all roads will lead them into the sewers, where secrets await them.

Tongue of Crin Arda Edit

{{#set:Summary=Allows you to speak and understand any language, if you can get past its curse.}}

This amulet, which has also been called a strangling amulet, is made from a thick string of rubbery sinew, slightly moist to the touch. Attached to the string is a withered human jaw with a leathery tongue still hanging from it.

Crin Arda was a bonewitch in the lands beyond the Paragon Mountains, who lived for a thousand years. She spread her terror in the mountain villages, and only when a band of refugees came to the king of Elderbridge and pleaded their case with tears in their eyes did he send his knights to slay her. They brought this item back, and gave it to their king. They may have been acting on Crin Arda’s last words, but the next morning the king lay dead in his bed. Scholars have speculated on why a king would don such an item looking vile and evil, but they have found no answer so far.

Upon donning the amulet it will instantly contract, strangling the wearer unless a command word is spoken. Only two consecutive successful strength checks of 25+ can loosen its grip (only from a single person, though not necessarily the wearer). A check each round is needed, and a single check of 25+ only gives the wearer one extra round of air (follow the rules for drowning). If the command word is spoken when donning the amulet (or possibly when choking with a successful Constitution check of DC 15), the amulet remains inanimate, or relaxes if it was donned, and its power activates.

Wearing the amulet grants the power to speak any language as well as giving the wielder the ability to speak with the dead 3/day, as per the cleric spell. When the power of the amulet is active (i.e. the wearer speaking any language not known to him or her) the tongue moves as if in a mouth talking, which might unnerve onlookers.

The command word of this magical item is the abyssal word, “Grathus N’lath”, which means “tongue speak my name”, and when activated, this item actually whispers the wearer’s name.

Caster Level: 12th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, speak with dead, ghoul touch, tongues; Price Cost::45,000 gp

Weaknesses Edit

The amulet can be undone by destroying the rather frail jaw.

Adventure Hook Edit

This amulet has been brought in by a band of heroes and one of them lies dead in the temple, choked by the item. No one knows what this item is, but a scholar manages to find out that this is called the Tongue of Crin Arda. He asks the party to go into the Paragon Mountains to the north and seek out the bonewitch’s old abode and find out what danger the amulet holds. He knows that this amulet has strangled many people, among them the ancient king of Elderbridge, and fears that it will cause more harm. Upon reaching the mountains, the party finds an old abandoned castle. It is ruined, yet there are no bones lying around, but there is something vile lurking deep in the heart of that place, some creature made of bones, and it guards the secret of Crin Arda.

Cursed Items Edit

Some magic items may have been cursed while exposed to certain necromantic auras, such as cursed locations, while others, like the two described below, are the designs of true necromancers. These should be handled with great care. Note that an identify or legend lore will also reveal the curse, like any other magical property.

Helmet of Whispering Edit

{{#set:Summary=Allows you to hear the thoughts of others, but makes you insane.}}

This half-helmet is old and looks it. The black iron shows use, but it does not look like a magical helmet unless one looks on the inside. Old bloodstains can be seen on the iron, as if someone’s skull was cracked open inside the helmet. If someone tries to wash these away, the stains return after 24 hours.

This helmet grants the wearer the power to cast detect thoughts once per day, as an 8th level wizard. The thoughts are whispered within the helmet, but only the wearer can hear them.

The curse of this helmet becomes apparent when worn for an hour. The wearer must makes a Will save (DC 20) and, if unsuccessful, is under the influence of an insanity spell. The helmet can only be removed with a successful Strength check (DC 20) and even after being removed the wearer is under the effect of a confusion spell for 10 rounds.

Caster Level: 13th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, detect thoughts, bestow curse, insanity; Price: Cost::84,500 gp; Weight: 5 lb.

Weaknesses Edit

The necromantic magic in this helmet is strong, but a remove curse spell can get rid of the curse. If this is attempted, the helmet is treated as if it has a spell resistance of 30.

Amulet of Alternate Form Edit

{{#set:Summary=Transforms you into a different creature...possibly with a different mind.}}

This amulet has two different shapes. When it isn’t activated, or when worn by an unintelligent creature, this amulet looks much like a holy symbol to the God of the Sun, but will detect as being magic. When donned the amulet turns from silver into cold iron, from day into night. The wearer instantly changes form into another living creature, a creature known to the wearer. If the wearer knows the magic in the amulet, he can control the form he takes, but if not, that form is random and unpredictable. When a form is chosen this can only be changed by taking off the amulet and donning it anew.

The curse of this amulet is activated after only 10 minutes. At that time the wearer makes his first Will save (DC 20); if unsuccessful, the wearer begins to believe that he or she is that creature which he now looks like. Every hour the wearer must make a new Will save as the two wills battle. If the wearer wins, he retains his own personality and mind, yet keeps the new body. If worn for three days, no matter the outcome of the saving throws, the wearer becomes the other person and this curse can only be broken with a limited wish, wish or miracle spell. The amulet is now very difficult to remove, and requires a successful Strength check of DC 25.

Caster Level: 8th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, alter self, bull’s strength; Price Cost::22,000 gp

Weaknesses Edit

The curse can be removed with the remove curse spell, or the amulet can be destroyed by a successful bludgeoning attack that deals 5 or more damage.



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