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Maddening May: Karz Slug

karz_slug_clipartA gelatinous slug umber in hue and covered in amber slime, this creature is patterned with a symmetrical array of hardened nodules. Several dangerous-looking calcified horns protrude outward from both of its tapered ends, making it nearly impossible to tell which end is which. A series of bulbous suckers cover the slug’s underside and surround a wide, fleshy maw that twitches and extrudes more of the viscous slime that envelops the weird gastropod.


Karz Slug
       CR 9
XP 5,200
N Medium Vermin
Init +4; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception +10
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 20, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +16 natural)
hp 35 (5d8+10)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +6
DR 10/fire or salt; Immune acid, mind-affecting effects
Weakness susceptible to salt and heat
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. on walls or inverted)
Melee lung +4 (2d4+4 plus karz slime on successful hit) (see karz slime)
Ranged spit karz slime +4 (see karz slime)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5ft./15 ft. (can lunge up to 15 ft. as a melee attack)
STATISTICS
Str 18, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 20, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +8, CMB +12; CMD 16 (can’t be tripped)
ECOLOGY
Environment underground
Organization brood (6-18) [x3 if located in breeding den]
Treasure none (see karz slug gland)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Karz Slime (Ex) Karz slugs are covered in a thick layer of translucent amber slime. A karz slug can spit slime as a ranged attack at a target (up to 60 ft.), or slather slime on a target (as a free action) with a successful melee attack. The slime is a fast acting poison and is immediately absorbed into the victim’s skin upon contact. The slime remains poisonous for four rounds after a creature comes into contact with it and each round an affected target must make a Fortitude saving throw to negate its effects. After four rounds the poison is neutralized and the slime is annoying but harmless.
For the initial two rounds of exposure the slime causes Amnesia (Will DC 20), for the last two effective rounds exposure to the slime causes Paranoia (Will DC 17). If a target fails any of these saving throws it remains affected by the relevant slime effects until the poison is cured by magical means such as the neutralize poison spell. If a target is affected by any of these affects for longer than 24 hours then they also become afflicted by Psychosis (no saving throw; insanity DC 20) until the poison is cured by magical means. If a target is affected by any of these effects for longer than a week, the effects become permanent.

Malleable (Ex) A karz slug’s body is very malleable, allowing it to fit into narrow areas with ease. A karz slug takes no penalties to its speed or checks when squeezing in an area that is one size category smaller than its actual size.

Lunge (Ex) A karz slug has the ability to make a lunge attack as a standard melee attack. This lunge attack has a reach of 15 feet. After a lung attack the karz slug moves from its previous square to the square nearest its intended target. This movement is considered a part of its attack and not factored into its movement rate.

Psionic Camouflage (Su) A karz slug has the ability to project itself (illusion) as an environmental element. This is a psionic mind-altering effect (Will DC 25). Karz slugs most commonly use this ability to hide themselves if they flee from an engagement.

Psionic Lure (Su) A karz slug has the ability to project itself (illusion) as any other Medium sized creature it has encountered. This is a psionic mind-altering effect (Will DC 25). As an intelligent creature a karz slug can tell the difference between various creatures, and may choose to work together with other karz slugs to manifest a projected scenario that is more likely to attract prey. While karz slugs do not understand language, their projections can repeat phrases in any language that have been overheard.

Susceptible to Salt (Ex) A handful of salt burns a giant slug as if it where a flask of acid, causing 1d6 points of damage per use.

Susceptible to Heat (Ex) A karz slug takes double damage from heat or fire damage. Its slime is semi-flammable and has a 15% chance of combustion if exposed to an open flame. If a karz slug’s slime ignites, it kills that slug immediately.
If exposed to excessive heat or fire there is a 10% chance that a karz slug instinctively flees for 2d4 rounds.

TACTICS
Karz slugs are rarely found alone. If they are separated from their kin they often become withdrawn and docile‚Äďfleeing at the first opportune moment. However, in groups they become quite vicious and committed to killing and consuming other creatures in mass.
Karz slugs communicate with one another via a telepathic link that radiates 250 ft. from their square. They work together to kill off their prey, usually attacking any targets with fire first, followed by targets they perceive to be weakest.
If encountered within a karz slug breeding den, all karz slugs gain the benefits of a constant extraordinary effect identical to the haste spell.



Karz Slug Glands
A karz slug has a gland located near its core. This gland enables its natural psionic abilities. If removed from the dead slug, dried, and properly prepared (DC 15 Craft [magic items] check; 48-hours), it becomes a enchanted consumable. Once properly prepared and eaten, it provides the user with immunity to all mind-altering affects and a +3 bonus to Will saving throws for 24-hours. This includes any mind-altering status effects that the user may have been affected by before consumption. The taste of a prepared karz slug gland is eye-wateringly sour and bitter.


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Necropus Laruascriptum (Greater)

Necropus Laruascriptum (Greater)
Aura overwhelming necromancy; CL 12th
Slot none; Price 499,500 gp; Weight 14 lbs.
Alignment If any volumengeists are bound within the spellbook it is considered to have an alignment of Chaotic Evil (a faint aura for 1-2 spirits, a moderate aura for 3-4 spirits, a strong aura for 5-6 spirits and an overwhelming aura for 7 or more spirits).
Opposition Schools All other than Necromancy
Protection Impervious binding, superior lock binding cover augmented with arcane lock (DC 50) and a symbol of weakness (Fort DC 20) on the first page.

necropus laruascriptum greaterDESCRIPTION
Bound in thick, leathery human flesh dyed a deep ebon, this volume contains one hundred pages of vellum crafted from the skin of various humanoids. Its front and reverse covers are seared with dozens of arcane sigils. The book is encased in a thick, ornate silver framework and bound shut by a segmented silver flap and latch that boasts a complex combination locking mechanism upon the cover. In the alphabet of the common language, the words ‚Äúet Necropus Laruascriptum majores‚ÄĚ are set with embedded crimson rubies.

The Combination Lock
The Necropus Laruascriptum is magically bound (as a modified focused wall of force; CL 20th) and cannot be opened by any amount of force without first disabling the locking mechanism. The combination lock upon the cover is considered a superior lock augmented with an arcane lock(DC 50).

The combination lock is a recessed wheel divided into thirteen equal acute wedges that are each etched with a symbol. Above the wheel, a tiny triangular outcropping from the latch provides a combination marker. The unlocking combination consists of a series of six symbols set to the combination marker with alternating clockwise-counterclockwise motions beginning with a counter-clockwise turn.

The symbols upon the face of the combination lock are (in order): a skull, a serpent, a flame, a claw, a raptor, a wicked dagger, a hand, a widdershins spiral, a jackal, a headless maiden, an eye, a pentagram, and a stylized wisp.

The proper combination to open the Necropus Laruascriptum (Greater) is: counter-clockwise (skull), clockwise (dagger), counter-clockwise (headless maiden), clockwise (flame), counter-clockwise (pentagram), clockwise (jackal).

All text and illumination within the Necropus Laruascriptum is inscribed in blood.

A Knowledge [Arcana] skill check (DC 10) reveals that the sigils burned upon the binding are necromantic in origin, suggesting that the contents of the book are related to the necromancy school of arcane magic.

Page Number(s)              Page Contents
1                                     [Trap] symbol of weakness (Fort DC 20)
2-7                                  (6) 0th/1st-level spells (all necromancy)
8-15                                (4) 2nd-level spells (all necromancy)
16-24                              (3) 3rd-level spells (all necromancy)
25-32                              (2) 4th-level spells (all necromancy)
33-37                              (1) 5th-level spells (all necromancy)
38-43                              (2) Preparation Rituals: Breath of the Grave, Sturdy Summoning
44-63                              (2) Study Guides: Advanced Necromancy, The Ecology of Unlife
64-68                              Ritual for Volumengeist Binding
69-100                            Blank Pages

Spells in the Necropus Laruascriptum (Greater)
0th    bleed, disrupt undead, touch of fatigue
1st    cause fear, chill touch, ray of enfeeblement
2nd   blindness/deafness, command undead, false life, ghoul touch, spectral hand
3rd    gentle repose, halt undead, ray of exhaustion
4th    animate dead, bestow curse
5th    waves of fatigue

Preparation Rituals in the Necropus Laruascriptum (Greater)
When a spellcaster prepares spells using the preparation rituals contained in the Necropus Laruascriptum (Greater), as long as he prepares at least three spells from within he gains a temporary boon. The boon lasts until its effect is spent (as specified by the boon description) or the spellcaster prepares spells again (at which time it can be reapplied by preparing at least three spells from the spellbook). A spellcaster can only take the effect of one preparation ritual when she prepares spells.

Preparation Ritual: Breath of the Grave (Su)¬†A character may, as a swift action, spend this boon‚Äôs effect to breathe a 15-foot cone of rotting stench. Creatures within the cone must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + caster level) or be sickened for 1 round. This spends the boon. After this boon has been spent, the character takes a ‚Äď4 penalty on Diplomacy and Stealth checks until they prepare spells again.

Preparation Ritual: Sturdy Summoning (Su) A creature summoned after the caster performs this ritual gains augmented defenses for a short time. Activating this boon effect is a free action when the caster finishes a conjuration (summoning) wizard spell or summon a volumengeist from this Necropus Laruascriptum. The summoned creature gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the caster’s level, and as long as the summoned creature has at least 1 of these hit points, it gains a +2 circumstance bonus on all saving throws.

Study Guides in the Necropus Laruascriptum (Greater):
When a character uses the study guides contained in this spellbook in tandem with performing specific skill checks (as determined by the effects of the study guide) they receive a bonus to their skill check roll.

Advanced Necromancy
If using this spellbook as a reference when performing a Spellcraft check to determine a necromancy spell being cast or to identify the properties of a magic item that has an aura of necromancy, the character receives a +5 bonus to that skill check.

The Ecology of Unlife
If using this book as a reference when making a Knowledge skill check pertaining to any undead creature, the character gains a +15 bonus to that Knowledge check.

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Spirit Binding
Up to 6 lesser page spirits and 3 greater page spirits (see Volumengeists).

Scribe Rejection
Any non-necromancy spell scribed in the Necropus Laruascriptum (Greater) magically vanishes. Any writing applied to the pages of the spellbook magically vanish if they are not scribed in the blood of a creature that was living at the time of the writing.

DESTRUCTION
The Necropus Laruascriptum (Greater) can be destroyed when the current page contains the greater dispel magic spell, by casting the spell on the book itself.

 

[The Necropus Laruascriptum was submitted by Justin Andrew Mason!]

Do you have an idea for an enchanted sword, arcane-empowered armor or unique magic item? Take a look at the submission rules¬†and send a brief summary of your proposed enchanted item titled ‚ÄėArmory of Adventures submission‚Äô to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with the following:

  • the nature of the item (weapon, armor or wondrous)
  • one or two sentences about its appearance
  • what the item in question does
  • the components and spell(s) used in its construction

 

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Volumengeist (Page Spirit) Creature Template

Volumengeist (Page Spirit) Template

Volumengeists of the Necropus Laruascriptum
A necropus laruascriptum has the special ability to bind a spirit of a slain creature within its pages. When a creature’s spirit becomes bound to one of the enchanted books, it becomes a volumengeist (sometimes referred to as a page spirit) that can later be summoned as a servant via use of the Summon Volumengeist ability of the spellbook.

A volumengeist is a perfect copy of the base creature in its natural state. It bears the appearance of the base creature with no equipment, clothing, armor or weapon of any kind.

Volumengeist (Page Spirit) TemplateThe ghostlike, incorporeal volumengeist is a spirit of unbridled rage and vengeance; it is always Chaotic Evil regardless of the base creature’s original alignment. It maintains a constant demeanor and expression of uncontrollable anger, attempting to direct its wrath at any living target it senses within 500 feet of the necropus laruascriptum it is bound to.

A volumengeist has no memory of its past life and has no means to communicate other than emitting a frightful moan. It cannot speak or be spoken to. It understands the spoken commands of its master who summoned it via supernatural means.

To create a volumengeist, apply the volumengeist template to the base creature stats.

 

Binding a Volumengeist
The ritual of binding required for creating a volumengeist is included within the necropus laruascriptum along with other various preparation rituals. To bind a spirit to the spellbook, a whose spirit is being bound must have died within 10 minutes of the start of the binding ritual attempt. The ritual takes one hour to complete and fails if interrupted. Success of the ritual requires a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + CR of base creature).

To create a volumengeist, there must be at least one blank page within the necropus laruascriptum and the user must define a keyword used to trigger the summoning of that particular volumengeist. The keyword must be written upon the blank page that the volumengeist is being bound to. If the ritual fails then nothing happens, but that page is no longer considered to be blank.

The binding powers of a necropus laruascriptum are finite, and thus can only bind a limited number of spirits within its pages. Volumengeists created from creatures with 5 or less hit dice are considered lesser page spirits, and creatures with higher hit dice are considered greater page spirits. No creature with more than 10 hit dice can be used to create a volumengeist.

A lesser necropus laruascriptumcan bind three lesser page spirits. A greater necropus laruascriptum can bind six lesser page spirits and three greater page spirits.

Once bound to a necropus laruascriptum a volumengeist is harmless and bound to a specific page within the spellbook until it is summoned. When not summoned, the binding page depicts an expertly drawn inked-visage of the volumengeist as a fully animated illustration. When its page is revealed, the bound volumengeist is aware of the observer and its animation displays contempt and anger towards the viewer. The page also highlights the written keyword used as the trigger to summon that particular volumengeist, but any other writing, drawing, or discoloration to the page magically vanishes within moments of being applied.

When a necropus laruascriptumis found, it already has a randomly determined volumengeist bound within it. Each of these is bound to one of the blank pages found in the back of the book.

A found lesser necropus laruascriptum has one lesser page spirit bound within, and a greater necropus laruascriptum has three lesser page spirits and one greater page spirit bound within. Use the following charts to randomly determine what type of volumengeists are inside:

Random Lesser Page Spirits Chart
d10    Volumengeist Type:
1‚Äď3 ¬† ¬†Diminutive Animal or Vermin (1 HD or less)
4‚Äď6 ¬† ¬†Small Animal or Vermin (1-3 HD)
7‚Äď9 ¬† ¬†Medium Animal (4 HD)
10      Humanoid (5 HD)

volumengeist 2

Random Greater Page Spirits Chart
d10    Volumengeist Type:
1‚Äď5 ¬† ¬†Large Animal (6-8 HD)
6‚Äď9 ¬† ¬†Humanoid (6-8 HD)
10      Leveled NPC (10 HD; humanoid)

Summoning a Volumengeist
To summon a volumengeist, the user of the necropus laruascriptum must open the book to reveal the page in which the page spirit is bound. The volumengeist is summoned when the user then speaks the keyword assigned to it.

Summoning a volumengeist requires a standard action (to find the correct page) and functions as a supernatural ability of the necropus laruascriptum. The summoning cannot be prevented by antimagic effects such as the antimagic field spell. Already having the spellbook open to the correct binding page makes summoning a free action. Placing a bookmark in the spellbook or creating a dog-ear to identify a specific binding page also makes summoning a free action provided that only one specific page has been marked.

When a volumengeist is summoned, the character using the necropus laruascriptum to summon it must make a Will save (DC 15 + DC of page spirit being summoned).

If the Will save is failed by the user then the volumengeist turns its full focus and wrath upon the one who summoned it. It is not able to be recalled back to the spellbook and continues to attempt to kill its target (and nothing else) until it is destroyed. If the volumengeist kills the user in this way then the volumengeist itself is destroyed.

If the Will save upon summoning attempt is successful, the user becomes the summoned volumengeist’s master. It manifests in an available space near its master and awaits a command. The page spirit follows any order given to it by its master with unwavering devotion provided that the commanded action is within its abilities. If its master becomes unconscious or otherwise unable to provide verbal commands, the volumengeist defaults to actively defending its master from any perceived threats.

A summoned volumengeist may be recalled back into its binding page as a free action by its master via spoken command.

Destroying a Volumengeist
When a summoned volumengeist reaches zero hit points, the page spirit is released from its bondage and fades away into nothingness (presumably finding peace in the hereafter). When this happens, the keyword for its summoning scribed within the necropus laruascriptum vanishes and the page is once again considered blank.

If the page a volumengeist is bound to is ever destroyed then the page spirit is automatically summoned without a master, and attacks any living creature within range. If a page is torn from the necropus laruascriptum then that page is considered destroyed. In this case, the volumengeist cannot be recalled to the spellbook (since the page binding it has been destroyed), and finds restful peace once its incorporeal form is destroyed.

If a volumengeist is successfully turned, instead of the normal effects of turning an undead creature, the page spirit is immediately returned to its binding page. When returned to the necropus laruascriptum this way, a page spirit cannot be summoned again for a number of hours equal to the total number of hit dice turned.

 

Volumengeist (Page Spirit) Template
Creatures with the volumengeist (or page spirit) template are bound to a necropus laruascriptum, whim to the will of the spellbook’s owner.

Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +2

Size: The creature’s sized does not change.

Type: The creature’s type changes to undead (do not modify base attack, saves or skills), change to incorporeal subtype

Armor Class: The creature loses any natural armor bonus and gains a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma modifier.

Hit Dice: Change to d8 for all class levels.

Defensive Abilities: Retains the defensive capabilities of the base creature except for those that depend on a corporeal form to function. A volumengeist gains the incorporeal ability, undead traits and darkvision 60 feet.

Speed/Movement: A volumengeist retains the same movement types as the base creature at 30 feet (perfect maneuvering if a fly speed) unless base creature has a higher speed for the give movement type. A volumengeist cannot travel beyond 500 feet of the necropus laruascriptum it is bound to, the limit of this range acts as an impenetrable wall of force to the volumengeist.

Attack: Since the incorporeal form of a volumengeist assumes only the natural form of the base creature (no clothes, equipment, weapons, or armor), attacks become unarmed or natural attacks. A volumengeist can wield ghost touch weapons, but will not be summoned equipped with such weapon.

Special Attacks:

Corrupting Touch (Su)¬†By passing part of its incorporeal body through a target as a standard action, the volumengeist inflicts a number of d4‚Äôs equal to its CR in damage. This damage is not negative energy but instead manifests as physical wounds and aches from supernatural aging (creatures immune to magical aging are immune to this attack). This attack bypasses all forms of damage reduction. A Fortitude save (DC 10 + ¬Ĺ of volumengeist‚Äôs CR, rounded down) halves the damage inflicted.

Frightful Moan (Su)¬†A volumengeist can emit a frightful moan as a standard action. All living creatures within a 30-foot radius must make a Will save (DC 10 + ¬Ĺ of volumengeist‚Äôs CR, rounded down) or become panicked for 1d4 rounds. This is a sonic mind-altering fear effect. A creature that successfully saves against the moan cannot be affected by the same volumengeist‚Äôs moan for 24-hours. The master of the volumengeist is immune to this effect.

Abilities: Charisma +4; as an incorporeal undead creature, a volumengeist has no Strength or Constitution score.

Skills: Same as base creature except the creature receives a +4 racial bonus on Perception and Stealth checks. A volumengeist always treats Intimidate, Perception, and Stealth as class skills.

 

[Designed by Justin Andrew Mason!]

 

 

Do you have a chilling idea for a haunt or cursed item? Send it along to us at submit (at) adventureaweek.com, but please, bear the following in mind before you submit anything for review:

1. Anyone can submit an entry.
2. One entry per person at any one time. An entry must be your own work, not being published previously or considered by any other publisher, and it must original and not infringe upon copyrighted material.
3. All entries become property of Adventureaweek.com, LLP.
4. By submitting an entry you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media.
5. Adventureaweek.com, LLP reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this endeavor at any time without prior notice.
6. All decisions of Adventureaweek.com, LLP and their arbiters are final.
7. There is no compensation provided ‚Äď any entries are given freely by their creators for use by Adventureaweek.com, LLP in perpetuity.
8. Your statblock must be properly formatted (compare to similar content on the AaWBlog for correct formatting).

 

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Necropus Laruascriptum (Lesser)

Necropus Laruascriptum
Necropus Laruascriptums are evil magic items, powerful spellbooks of necromancy generally considered to be minor artifacts (though in truth, not all are). The flesh-covered tomes bind spirits within their pages, subjecting them to serve the owner of the book. Found within the pages of a necropus laruascriptum are a plethora of necromantic spells, preparation rituals and study guides designed for (optimal) use by necromancers.

There are two versions of these volumes; the more common ‚Äúlesser‚ÄĚ version, and the coveted, more powerful ‚Äúgreater‚ÄĚ version (which is extraordinarily rare to find even in the possession of the most powerful of mages and is a true artifact in its own right).

 

Necropus Laruascriptum

Necropus Laruascriptum (Lesser)
Aura moderate necromancy; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 159,564 gp; Weight 6 lbs.
Alignment If any volumengeists are bound within the spellbook it is considered to have an alignment of Chaotic Evil with a faint aura for 1-2 spirits and a moderate aura for 3 spirits.
Opposition Schools (Special) All other than Necromancy

DESCRIPTION
Bound in thick, leathery human flesh, this volume contains one hundred pages of vellum crafted from the skin of various humanoids. Its front and reverse covers are seared with various arcane sigils. The book is bound shut with a simple leather cord toggled by a single humanoid finger bone. In the alphabet of the common language, the words ‚Äúet Necropus Laruascriptum minores‚ÄĚ are emblazoned in gold flake along the spine.

All text and illumination within the book is inscribed in blood.
A DC 10 Knowledge (arcana) skill check reveals that the sigils burned upon the binding are necromantic in origin, suggesting that the contents of the book are related to the necromancy school of arcane magic.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Ability to create a spellbook, Craft Wondrous Item, Spell Focus (necromancy), skins of various humanoids, blood of living creatures, bleed, cause fear, command, disrupt undead, ghoul touch, halt undead, ray of enfeeblement, spectral hand, touch of fatigue; Cost 79,782 gp

Page Number(s) Page Contents
1-5          (5) 0th/1st-level spells (all necromancy)
6-11        (3) 2nd-level spells (all necromancy)
12-17      (2) 3rd-level spells (all necromancy)
18-20      (1) Preparation Ritual: Breath of the Grave
21-30      (1) Study Guide: Introduction to Necromancy
31-35      Ritual for Volumengeist Binding
36-100    Blank Pages

Spells in the Necropus Laruascriptum
0th     bleed, disrupt undead, touch of fatigue
1st     cause fear, ray of enfeeblement
2nd    command undead, ghoul touch, spectral hand
3rd     halt undead, ray of exhaustion

Preparation Rituals in the Necropus Laruascriptum
When a spellcaster prepares spells using the preparation rituals contained in the Necropus Laruascriptum, as long as he prepares at least three spells from within he gains a temporary boon. The boon lasts until its effect is spent (as specified by the boon description) or the spellcaster prepares spells again (at which time it can be reapplied by preparing at least three spells from the spellbook). A spellcaster can only take the effect of one preparation ritual when she prepares spells.

Preparation Ritual: Breath of the Grave (Su) A character may, as a swift action, spend this boon’s effect to breathe a 15-foot cone of rotting stench. Creatures within the cone must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + caster level) or be sickened for 1 round. This spends the boon. After this boon has been spent, you take a ‚Äď4 penalty on Diplomacy and Stealth checks until the character prepares spells again.

Study Guides in the Necropus Laruascriptum
When a character uses the study guides contained in the Necropus Laruascriptum in tandem with performing specific skill checks (as determined by the effects of the study guide) they receive a bonus to their skill check roll.

Introduction to Necromancy
If using this book as a reference when performing a Spellcraft check to determine a necromancy spell being cast or to identify the properties of a magic item that has an aura of necromancy, the character receives a +3 bonus to that skill check.

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Spirit Binding
Up to 3 lesser page spirits (See Volumengeists)

Scribe Rejection
Any non-necromancy spell scribed in the spellbook magically vanishes. Any writing applied to the pages of the spellbook magically vanish if they are not scribed in the blood of a creature that was living at the time of the writing.

 

[The Necropus Laruascriptum was submitted by Justin Andrew Mason!]

 

Do you have an idea for an enchanted sword, arcane-empowered armor or unique magic item? Take a look at the¬†submission rules¬†and send a brief summary of your proposed enchanted item titled ‚ÄėArmory of Adventures submission‚Äô to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with the following:

  • the nature of the item (weapon, armor or wondrous)

  • one or two sentences about its appearance

  • what the item in question does

  • the components and spell(s) used in its construction

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And the MAPMASTER Contest Winner is….

Mapmaster contest winner Justin Andrew Mason's prize-winning map!

JUSTIN ANDREW MASON!

 

Congratulations Justin, you are the Mapmaster Contest winner!¬†You’re getting a 6-month subscription to AdventureAWeek.com, 6 free PDF adventures, and are in queue to work on the upcoming Snow White¬†Kickstarter!¬†We are overjoyed to add you to the team. ūüėÄ

 

Thanks go out to everyone that participated; keep an eye out on the AaWBlog for future opportunities to join the dreaded AdventureAWeek Crew. In the meanwhile, enjoy the host of extra content for Twin Crossings (releasing this month)!

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The Ring of Shifting Stars

The Ring of Shifting Stars
Aura strong (all schools); CL 15th
Slot¬†ring; Weight ‚ÄĒ

DESCRIPTION
This pale golden ring is crowned with a large oval cabochon of bluish-black opal. The large gemstone’s surface is wrought with dozens of tiny silvery inclusions that cause the surface to appear like the star-filled night sky.

These inclusions actually shift at a very slow rate, and accurately mimic the alignment of stars in the sky above, with the top of the stone representing the northernmost horizon and the pinnacle of the cabochon representing the apex of the night sky (stars only‚ÄĒno other celestial bodies are represented upon the cabochon.)
The magic of the ring is associated with the constellations that come into zenith in the night sky, of which there are twelve.
This item’s function as described assumes that the campaign setting has a 12-month cyclical calendar which allows for a repeating cycle of constellation apexes; at least one for each month. The ring may need to be modified to fit your particular campaign setting if this is not the case, or if your campaign setting already has established constellations in the night sky that differ from the list herein.

  • If the user fully understands the function of the ring, they gain a +3 to Knowledge (nature) checks related to astrology while wearing it (for using it as a reference). This is not a magical effect, but rather a result of utilizing the ring‚Äôs unique rendition of the night sky.
  • A DC 12 Knowledge (astrology) check allows the ring to be used like a calendar to determine the current date by associating the arrangement of the inclusions in the stone.
  • The ring has twelve charged magical effects, each of which cast a particular spell. These effects are associated with the constellations that traverse the night sky. The ring‚Äôs effects and their associated months and constellations are expanded upon below:
  1. The Gryphon‚ÄĒfeatherfall (CL 9th)
  2. The Hammer‚ÄĒshatter (CL 10th)
  3. The Great Eye‚ÄĒscry (CL 12th)
  4. The Tower‚ÄĒresilient sphere (CL 12th)
  5. The Whale‚ÄĒwater breathing (CL 11th)
  6. The Merchant‚ÄĒsecret chest* (CL 13th)
  7. The Knight‚ÄĒwall of iron (CL 14th)
  8. The Queen‚ÄĒlesser geas (CL 12th)
  9. The Harp‚ÄĒdeep slumber (CL 11th)
  10. The Gate‚ÄĒarcane lock (CL 10th)
  11. The Serpent‚ÄĒrope trick (CL 10th)
  12. The Horseman‚ÄĒphantom steed (CL 11th)
    *For the purposes of secret chest, the ring functions as the ‚Äúminiature replica‚ÄĚ of the spell, therefore retrieval of items from the ring‚Äôs secret chest require using the ring itself. If a secret chest is in use by the ring‚Äôs effect, any user of the ring may retrieve the chest at will.
  • To use one charge of any of the ring‚Äôs effects is a free action (allowed only once per round) requiring a DC 20 Use Magic Device check. If an attempt to expend a charge fails, the ring does not waste a charge; it simply doesn‚Äôt work and cannot be used again until the next round.
  • The ring carries a maximum number of 4 charges for any of its twelve magical effects. If the ring is found as part of a larger treasure then it may be partially depleted, and this can be calculated by rolling 1d4 to determine current charges available for each of its twelve effects.
  • The ring‚Äôs effects can regain 1 charge for any given effect by exposing it to the night sky for three uninterrupted hours on a cloudless evening, but only when the recharging effect‚Äôs associated constellation is at the zenith for the present month. This means the ring can only recharge one of its effects during any given month, and which effect can be charged is entirely dependent on what month it is.
  • The ring can gain no more than one charge in a single night of recharging. It takes four cloudless nights of recharging per month for an entire year to fully charge the ring from a completely depleted state.
  • If the ring is fully charged (28 charges; 4 for each of its 12 effects), then an additional effect is unlocked. By expending all 28 charges at once, the user can activate greater teleport (CL 15th) as a free action with no additional checks required. This effect always results in ‚Äúon target‚ÄĚ teleportation 100% of the time, and the ring itself, devoid of charges, falls to the ground and remains in the user‚Äôs original location.

HISTORY
A character that makes a Knowledge (arcana) check identifies important historic information about The Ring of Shifting Stars:
DC 20     Rings of this sort have been documented, though only rarely. They are said to have originated with a mysterious order of wizards known as the Sideribus Volunt.
DC 25     The teachings of the Sideribus Volunt focused on the position and motion of celestial bodies, especially the stars and how they affect arcane magic. The little-known history of the order tells that rings such as this one were bestowed upon students when they completed the core of their studies.
DC 30 ¬†¬†¬†¬†A few esoteric tomes have noted that the rings are known as stellapetram or, ‚Äústones of stars‚ÄĚ. They were used by the Sideribus Volunt as a means of identifying one another as well as tools to aid in astrological arcana research.
DC 35 ¬†¬†¬†¬†The Sideribus Volunt were more than just a meddling order of wizards. Some arcane scholars suggest that they actually discovered the most pristine form of arcane magic‚ÄĒa power that surpassed the knowledge of all other arcane schools.
DC 40     Legend recounts that the Sideribus Volunt ascended into the heavens, taking all other traces of their knowledge with them, leaving the world behind to wander among the stars. The very few stellapetram, being among the few remnants of the ancient order, are highly prized by arcane researchers and learned artifact collectors.

DESTRUCTION
The ring’s power, directly linked to the stars in the heavens, cannot exist anywhere except on the Prime Material Plane. If at any time The Ring of Shifting Stars travels to another plane, its powers become forever nullified, its inclusions stop shifting, and it becomes nothing more than a fine art item: a gold-banded blue-black opal ring with a value of 350 gp. This stipulation does not include non-dimensional or extradimensional spaces as created by magic items such as a bag of holding or portable hole.

Additional Information
Below are detailed descriptions of the twelve constellations that are represented by The Ring of Shifting Stars:
The Gryphon‚ÄĒSeven stars represent the Gryphon constellation. One for each leg, the tail, the beak, and one bluish in hue (and much brighter than the others) serves as a glimmering eye.
The Hammer‚ÄĒThis constellation is represented by five stars that form the T-shape of a hammer. The two stars that make the opposing heads of the constellation gleam many times brighter than the three that compose its shaft.
The Great Eye‚ÄĒSix faint stars form this constellation, arranged in a loosely almond-shaped oval with a seventh exceedingly bright, red-hued star positioned in its center.
The Tower‚ÄĒFive glimmering stars make the narrow triangular shape that composes the Tower constellation. The top star, forming the point of the acute angle, gleams bright white and is the brightest star visible in the night sky.
The Whale‚ÄĒFour bright stars make up the body of the Whale constellation, with a fifth, dimmer and offset star attributing its tailfin.
The Merchant‚ÄĒThe most complex of the constellations, the Merchant consists of twelve stars of varying magnitudes. Together they form the shape of a merchant‚Äôs sailing ship with the brightest of the dozen positioned in the center of the vessel‚Äôs mast.
The Knight‚ÄĒThe Knight constellation consists of ten stars, the brightest of which serves as the ‚Äúhead‚ÄĚ with the other nine falling loosely into the shape of a sword-wielding man.
The Queen‚ÄĒThe constellation of the Queen is visually composed of seven bright, tightly clustered stars that loosely form the tines of a crown. Depending on location and/or current ruler, this constellation is also sometimes referred to as ‚ÄúThe King‚ÄĚ.
The Harp‚ÄĒThe Harp is a simple constellation of three stars that form a V-shape. In the night sky, a faint silvery nebula ripples between the highest and lowest points forming the strings of the instrument.
The Gate‚ÄĒNine yellow-hued stars form the shape of an arch in the constellation of the Gate. The star forming the top of the arch gleams slightly brighter than the others.
The Serpent‚ÄĒA single star forms the Serpent constellation. It is greenish in hue, and very faint, often overlooked in the sea of stars in the heavens.
The Horseman‚ÄĒThe constellation of the Horseman is composed of five bright stars. Four create a vaguely trapezoid shape that represents the body of a horse; the fifth star, above the others, serves as the head of the beasts‚Äô rider.

 

[All of today’s content (artwork and writing!) was submitted by Justin Andrew Mason!]

 

 

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