View Full Version : [Pathfinder] Homebrew Artifact

2009-12-07, 02:36 PM
*Reposted in Homebrew thread*

Headstone of Urgathoa, Zombie
Lore: Legend tells that as a mortal, Urgathoa was the most powerful necromantic sorceress the world has ever suffered. Rumor has it that her final resting place is marked by headstone as black and rotten as her heart. In addition to being a marker, it is also imbued with foul magics that create powerful undead to ensure that her remains are never disturbed. The location has been lost to the ages, but over the centuries, devout followers have tried to mimic it. More than one such headstone is believed to be in existence, but despite the lack of authenticity, each is thought to possess potent necromantic magic.

Tech: At midnight on each night, every living creature within a 10-mile radius of the headstone must make a Will save or succumb to its effect. The headstone is activated by bleeding to death a living creature over it at midnight, and the effect lasts one week. The power of the headstone is dependent on the HD of the creature sacrificed. The headstone can only affect creatures with up to two times as many HD as the character level of the creature sacrificed. The sacrificed creature rises as a more powerful than average zombie.

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I am creating an artifact or major magic item for a 3rd-level adventure that will only last one or two sessions, so I'm not too worried about having it be perfectly legal, but at the same time, I would like to have it be as close as possible, and figuring out which spells to use will help determine the DC(s). The above Tech is only partially complete. I appreciate any feedback or ideas.

The item will have two main functions:

1) Draw creatures to it.
2) Turn creatures into zombies.

It seems like dominate person is a good spell to use for the first effect. I want the creature affected to feel strongly compelled to move toward the item. Not necessarily to know its location but being able to sense what direction to go and taking any means necessary to reach it. This is a 5th-level spell, so I believe the standard DC is 10 +5 +2 Int/Cha = 17. Although, if I want it to affect more than humanoids, dominate monster is the way to go. Going with a 9th-level spells seems like a huge jump, but I suppose it's not too crazy for an artifact, and the DC would be 10 +9 +4 = 23.

Regardless of which spell is used, there will be a limit on the item's effect based on activation. It is activated by sacrificing a living creature over it at midnight. Living creatures with HD up to double the HD of the sacrificed creature are affected. Those with HD equal to or less than the sacrificed creature who fail a Will save are immediately drawn to the item. Those with more HD (but no more than double) than the sacrificed creature who fail a Will save are put to sleep until the next sunset (i.e. the start of the next night). Living creatures who succeed on a Will save are unaffected. Living creatures with more than double the HD of the sacrificed creature are unaffected. Nonliving creatures are unaffected. The item is only active for 24 hours, regardless of the living creature sacrificed.

I'm thinking of giving the item a range of a 10-mile radius.

Animate dead seems to be the clear choice for the second effect. However, this spell targets corpses, and the creatures drawn to the item will still be alive. What would be a good spell to kill the living creatures? I'm thinking the creature will be hit with this spell when it touches the item. Failure on a saving throw means it dies and is immediately reanimated as a zombie. Success means that is it lives and is freed of dominate affect too.

An additional effect for the item might be that any living creature killed within the area of affect while the item is active is immediately reanimated as a zombie.

I should add that while the PCs are only 3rd-level, they have equipment above their level and would only be subject to the sleep effect of the item. Although, their two NPC pals/soldiers (it's a military campaign) would be subject to the dominate effect.

EDIT: I should add that the dominate effect can only affect living creatures at midnight in terms of having to make a Will save. If the living creature succeeds on the save, it is safe until the item is activated again (though sacrifice), but those who fail the save will try to reach the item until is deactivates the next midnight. Also, another sacrifice means the item activates again, but not that the duration is extended. Therefore, if a dominated creature doesn't reach the item by midnight, it is freed, but it has to make a new Will save if within range when the item is activated again.

The Glyphstone
2009-12-07, 02:38 PM
Recommend you have this moved to Homebrew (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=15)?

2009-12-07, 02:48 PM
Recommend you have this moved to Homebrew (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=15)?

Yeah, if that's the place for this sort of thing, that sounds good to me. But how do I do that?

EDIT: I went ahead and made a new thread in the Homebrew board, so this thread can just be deleted.