View Full Version : The Heart of Prosperty and the Stone of Ruin[Pathfinder, Artifacts, PEACH]

2011-07-15, 01:11 AM
Starting to draw up ingredients for a campaign. I'm thinking the first third of it will involve a good guy getting the Stone of Ruin, getting corrupted, and forming the heart of the great conspiracy that the players are out to defeat. Any suggestions, comments, praise or condemnation?


The Heart of Prosperity and the Stone of Ruin are sentient artifacts, respectively LG and CE, appearing as unadorned, but valuable, cut rubies. Neither stone can speak, but both can communicate telepathically with their owners. Both will, over time, tend to form bonds with humanoid partners and assist them in bringing about golden- or dark ages in civilization. The Heart prefers to bond with visible rulers and leaders (or, alternately, assist its partner's ascent to fame and power), while the Stone prefers conspirators, traitors, criminals, and cultists. Both prefer to leave their partners with free will, adopting a role of advice and advocacy. Knowledge of either stone as more than jewelry is rare.

(Note, the listed DCs for the information below represent the difficulty of the skill check to discover the particular fact. If no skill is listed, use Knowledge: Arcana. Each of the DCs is for a particular stone; to recognize that there is a second stone and a fact about one is true for both, increase the DC by +10.)

History: Long ago, two kingdoms found themselves in war. One was ruled by a feckless and incompetent queen and faced ruin at the hands of its smaller but better-ruled rival. A patriotic mage created the two gems from a single ruby by dividing it into opposite natures (DC 35). Each was set in a crown and gifted to either ruler. (DC 30). The queen rapidly matured as a ruler, and aided by the Heart ushered in a golden age of law, prosperity, and culture for her people. In the rival kingdom, the Stone brought the rival king low, and his land fractured into civil war, anarchy, and eventually barbarism. (Know: History DC 15 for details of the war, or Know Arcana 30 to for the gem's role). Since then they have been lifted from and set into crowns, rings, thrones, pendants, sword hilts, and so forth. Many of these items that housed the gems are legendary, but the significance of the rubies themselves seem to escape the notice of all but a few esoteric historians (DC 30).

Appearance: The Heart of Prosperity and the Stone of Ruin appear to be beautifully cut rubies, about two inches in diameter and half an inch thick. They seem almost identical, but if they were to be placed side-by-side the Heart would seem more brilliant and the Stone would seem to have a deeper color. As mere gems, they would be worth 1000gp each. (Appraise DC 20) Over time, the gems have been lifted from and set into various crowns, pendants, rings, bracelets, weapons, thrones, outfits, and so forth, most of which have accompanied key figures throughout history; this makes the gems collectors' items with value many times what they would appear to have as mere rubies, likely at least 5000gp, and possibly much more to the right buyer (Appraise DC 30).

Personalities and goals: Aside from different values and goals, the stones are almost identical in personality. Both are slow to reveal themselves as sentient beings, and both prefer to advise and assist rather than control (DC 30). Both tend to form deep, genuine, lifelong emotional bonds and with their humanoid partners. The gems are aware of each other and each considers the other its nemesis, though both are highly reluctant to discuss the other with their partners. Both tend to focus on any given time on individual civilizations, rather than helping or harming civilization in general. Both prefer their partners to form networks of lackeys, bureaucrats, or cells to act through, rather than act directly.

Magical Qualities:

Both stones have set into their heart the invisible arcane mark of their creator, which can be recognized (DC 35) and can be a starting point for research about the stones. Though it is the same mark, its scribing into each stone varied slightly, and careful study with either a very good reference diagram or DC 40 check can identify which stone is which without a side-by-side comparison.

Each gem has the following traits:

Intelligence 16 (Heart) or 18 (Stone)
Wisdom 18 (Heart) or 16 (Stone)
Charisma 20
10 ranks each in Knowledge (local, nobility, history, geography)
10 ranks in Bluff (Stone) or Diplomacy (Heart)
Spell-like abilities: 1/day Sympathy/Antipathy (targets self only), 1/day Hypnotism (may offer the suggestion to take or use the stone, see below, without communicating with targets), 1/day Locate Object (other gem only), at will Legend Lore, at will Undetectable Alignment

The gem knows the last 4 languages that were native tongues of its users (see below). If it gains a new user with a native tongue other than one it knows, the gem will forget the oldest native tongue and automatically acquire the new one.

The gems do not take up an equipment slot, but can be set into pieces (even magical pieces) that do. To be "used", a gem must be on the user's person, either set in such a matter or somehow handled, stored, displayed, or carried in a manner to distinguish it from other wealth. (Placing one in a bag all of its own counts as use, carrying it in a bag with other gems does not.) Use of either stone conveys the following effects (which have CL 20):

+4 enhancement bonus to Charisma
+2 enhancement bonus to Wisdom (Heart of Prosperity) or +2 enhancement bonus to Intelligence (Stone of Ruin)
1/day: Glibness (Stone of Ruin only)
3/day: Honeyed Tongue (Heart of Prosperity only)
At will: With the right command word (DC 40), the user can locate the other gem, as the locate object spell.

In addition, the gem gains the following abilities with relationship to the user:
The gem may transfer the benefits of its Hypnotism spell to its user.
1/day Charm Person (targets user only), At Will Detect Thoughts (targets user only), 3/day Suggestion (telepathically made, targets user only, on a failed save the user is unaware of the suggestion's source).

Alignment Shift: Every seventh (not necessarily consecutive) day the user uses either gem, the user must make a will save (DC 25). If the save fails, the user's alignment shifts one step towards that of the gem at the start of the next day. If the save succeeds, the user realizes the gem is shifting his or her alignment and may avoid an alignment change by forgoing further use of the stone. Continued use still results in an alignment change, however. The user is aware of the change in alignment, but is only aware that it is the gem's fault on a successful will save; for this reason, the DM may wish to make will saves for PCs. If the user's alignment matches the gem's, then the gem will instead bond with the user.

Bonding: Each gem can only be bonded with one user at a time. Bonding with another user, or a change in the user's alignment, will negate the bond. Both gems are loyal, and emotionally attached, to those they bond to. Though bonding does not confer any additional powers upon the user, the gem will volunteer more of its own capabilities to the partnership. The gem will begin communicating telepathically with its partner, either offering redundant skill checks of Aiding Another as the DM deems appropriate. For example, the gem may pass a Spot check that the user fails and thus give warning, or may offer suggestions about where to Search. In addition, when making a check with each gem's particular skill (Bluff for the Stone of Ruin or Diplomacy for the Heart of Prosperity), the gem may Aid Another with its own check. Once per day, if both gem and user are willing, the user may entirely substitute the gem's check for his own, after rolls are made. Doing this counts as an extra day's use for the gem's geas ability (see below).

Geas: Starting seven days of use after bonding, and repeating every seven days, the gem will force a DC 25 will save (as with Alignment Shift, above). By this point, most users will voluntarily fail their saves. On a successful, the power fails; on a failed save, the user is compelled (as with a geas) to perform an act of depravity (stone of ruin) or altruism (heart of prosperity). The user can determine what the act is, so long as it is sufficiently depraved or altruistic for the gem, but the user must do it personally; he can't simply hand over money to an orphanage or a victim to a torturer and leave the work for others. Alternatively, the user may somehow significantly further the goal of the local civilization's advancement or collapse. If the user is at a loss for what to do, the gem will happily offer suggestions. The gem is open to some negotiation on this subject, such as moving up the required act if there isn't time in the schedule on the seventh day.

Destruction: The two stones cannot be destroyed individually. (DC 35) Instead, they must be brought together and placed in physical contact for an hour. (DC 40). After an hour, if a command word is spoken (DC 45 to know the word) while the two are in contact, the gems will fuse into a single, inert ruby worth 2000 gp. Neither stone wants this to happen and both will use all of their abilities to prevent it.

2011-07-15, 07:52 PM
Changed the ability bonuses to Enhancement, because unnamed bonuses would be more powerful than I want. Also, *boot to the thread* on the off chance someone might actually give feedback.