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Baj
2013-05-05, 12:45 AM
I need a doomsday weapon in a fantasy setting. Not for a villain to use (yet) but one that destroyed an ancient civilization at the height of its power. Backstory in the spoiler.

A thousand years ago, a series of powerful city-states sat on the borders of the Great Western Desert. These cities thrived on the trade routes that crisscrossed the desert. Foremost among them was the city of Arasala. Located deep in the desert at the base of the Maghi Mountains, the city became wealthy mining the riches of the mountains. As Arasala flourished and grew, it attracted artisans and scholars from all over the world and became a center of magical learning and craftsmanship.

As the city grew, so did itís hunger for riches and power. Augmenting the power of its army with golems and other powerful magical constructs, the forces of Arasala swept across the desert subjecting the other trade cities one by one. But it wasnít enough.

Determined to continue the conquest, Arasala began to develop a weapon of such great power that no force could withstand it. The arrogance of the cityís royalty and wizards were such that they thought for sure they could direct something so destructive. Unfortunately, the power of the weapon proved too great to control and it overwhelmed the city, destroying it.


Thatís roughly what I have so far.

Bullet points of what I want for sure:
-Arasala knew they were constructing a super powerful weapon that they thought they could control.
-The weapon was fired once and it completely wrecked the city. It was a live fire, not a test.
-I want the weapon to have done a number on the city, but Iíd like to keep the ruins of the city together enough that adventurers could identify and explore them.
-I want the weapon to have massive physical components. Itís fine if the weapon is magically based (I mean, Iím pretty sure it would have to be), but Iíd like it have a giant focusing crystal, or a special chamber or whatnot. As you could guess, this means the weapon is essentially immobile.
-The weapon essentially survived the firing. It might (probably) need some specialized repair work, but it would be possible to get it up and running again.

Iíll admit, these desires kind of lead to a dilemma. I want to create a superweapon that was live fired in the capital city of a kingdom that was aggressively expanding, so unless you can help me justify an over the horizon fantasy weapon we have a problem. Iíd prefer a way to figure out long range usage, but if we canít, Iíll settle for ďWe had a massive army on our doorstep and itís the only way we could stop them.Ē

What I donít want:
-The weapon doesnít summon anything, neither natural effects (meteors, storms) or monsters/demons/Cthulhu.
-It wasnít a colossus or similar massive moving construct. Think artillery, not giant being.
-The weapon didnít reduce the city to a massive crater (yeah I know, itís difficult to reconcile. Thatís kinda why Iím here). As above, Iím fine with some massive wreckage and total population death, but I want enough still standing that people can go explore it.

Random cool idea that I don't know where else to put: I was thinking about making the land fertile during Arasala's time, but the weapon wrecked the ecosystem along with the city, leading to desertification.

So those are basically my thoughts so far. Since I'm still in the early stages of building the setting I'm willing to give on some of these points, so if you come up with some really cool idea but it doesn't fit everything please don't hesitate to share!

Magatsu Izanagi
2013-05-05, 01:04 AM
I'm thinking some sort of large-scale necromantic effect. Wail of the banshee on steroids or something along those lines, something that could cause a mass dieoff while leaving surrounding structures (mostly) intact.

Alexkubel
2013-05-05, 06:26 AM
here's a thought maybe it wasn't the weapons backfiring destroying the city but some un foreseen side effect (the weapon sends a back blasť of magic though the area so much magic in the same place so quickly would be very destructive), in the more traditional backfire method e.g. they had made an ICBM it launched went up then exploded in take off, showing the city in magical radiation. you have the entire launch facility left, and al sorts of other things. or you could just leave it a mystery. records where obliterated by the weapon.

Telok
2013-05-05, 08:22 AM
Keep it simple. Say something like a really big Teleport Circle with one end inside the magma of a nearby dormant volcano and the other end being aimed via a magical map room and a crystal array.

Three things went wrong.
1) The map in the map room is the wrong scale. Somebody wrote inches when it should have been feet or yards. This meant that lava fell on the city and wiped out about a third of it with another third being only accessable via old sewers and cellars and crypts.
2) The volcano stopped being dormant. The weapon disturbed something. Was it the infusion of magic into the geology or did building that end of the teleport circle wake someone up? Maybe the removal of magma broke some sort of plug or barrier? Perhaps something isn't too happy about this magic circle in it's living room now.
3) Sabotage! The empire had enemies (that's what the weapon was for right?) and they got someone into the map room. One of the dozens of magical crystals in the aiming array is wrong somehow. The result is that the magma teleporter does not work as designed. Is the teleporter only supposed to be open for minutes? It opens for hours instead. It could open at the wrong height or in the wrong direction. Perhaps this is the cause of #1 and the sabotage is throwing the scale off or it caused the weapon to fire too early. For more !!FUN!! the weapon could still be having random partial activation.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-05-05, 01:40 PM
This question made me think of this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282224).

Basically, its a small bomb that turns everyone that fails the saving throw in its area into more bombs. Something like this might do what you want with a few modifications.

1) Spell is 'cast' by some physical construct such as a giant artillery cannon, however it has no range limit. Don't bother explaining why it can shoot over the horizon. Just say *magic*.
2) The spell taps directly into the negative energy plane to fire, hence the construct to start with. As such, it deals negative energy damage (not force).
3) Only sentient creatures (int score above 3) can cause secondary explosions. Others still get hit.

Of course, something went wrong. Here are a few ideas, but the truth is you can mix and match very easily.

1) The weapon worked exactly as intended, but the Arasala and crew miscalculated the magnitude of negative energy released. The excess energy spilled over and basically wiped out all life within five miles of the weapon itself. Time and weather has done all the rest.
2) The weapon worked exactly as intended... except for its targeting system. The effect centered on the weapon itself instead of where it was aimed. Same effect as the previous one, but -1 other ruined city.
3) Agents of their enemies sabotaged the weapon. Part of it exploded when the weapon was fired (structural damage) and this released all the negative energy the weapon was supposed to fire into the surrounding city.
4) The weapon worked exactly as intended. Unfortunately, the big release of negative energy attracted the attention of things attuned to it. The city was promptly swarmed by every undead in a hundred miles shortly thereafter (and their superweapon was completely ineffective).
5) The weapon worked almost as intended, except it didn't kill anyone. Instead, it just turned them into an intelligent undead (necropolitan template or something). These undead, slightly angry at having been forced into that state, marched on the city and killed everyone.
6) One of Arasala's lackeys (or even Arasala himself) tried to use the device to obtain power by assassinating the other ruler types. He either was unaware of the area of effect or miscalculated (all it takes is one servant somewhere he shouldn't be to set off a chain reaction) and accidentally wiped out all life in the city.
7) The target city were devout followers of some or other relatively bigshot god. Gods rarely notice when one of their followers die, but an entire city wiped out in one go tends to make them notice. They responded by cursing Arasala's city in some horrible way that makes the place completely unlivable, perhaps even locked up the device to prevent it from being used again (think Arasala and the nobles twisted forms cursed to forever guard the device, or something).
8) The weapon wasn't supposed to summon anything, just draw negative energy from the negative energy plane. Unfortunately, something happened to be at the exact point the weapon was drawing energy from when it was fired and as such was summoned. The weapon, not designed for this, malfunctioned like a pistol trying to fire a bullet three sizes too large. Whatever it summoned either perished in the process or now walks around the city a bit confused, eating adventurers and small armies that try to retake it.

I like lists :smallsmile:

smoke prism
2013-05-06, 04:13 PM
The first thing that came to mind was some sort of biological weapon. The weapon consists of 3 parts:

The chemical, virus, disease
This is the deadly part of the weapon. Essencely all it dose is desolve all organic materials it comes in contact with. This includes even plants, fungus and bacteria. All effected creatures are turned in to clear in-organic slime with in a matter of seconds.

The launch system
The chemical, virus, disease is put into shells that shatter on impact with a hard surface, releasing it's contence. The launcher is basically a massive artillery cannon. The cannon is attached to a magical map and targeting system.

Targeting system
The Targeting system is a large 3D map carved out of a pice of pure White crystal. All the user has to do is aline the targeting system over area they want to attack. After this the magic in the map works out how to possession the launcher to hit the targeted location. These calculations are then relayed to the possessioning mechanise in the cannon which automatacly aims the cannon.

The problem was that everything but the chemical, virus, disease were tested. So the ruling body decided to test the chemical, virus, disease on the poorer classes (killing to birds with one stone). But unbeknown to them was that chemical, virus, disease would spread like wildfire through the city. With in a day everyone in the city was dead. This meant that the city was left to slowly decay, leaving only a silent husk, in the desart.

Creed
2013-05-13, 10:00 AM
I had a plotline that sounded similar to this once. The kicker was that the party was sent to try to find out if this weapon survived the cataclysm, and after session after session of searching the ruins, they figured it out. The city itself was the device. The ruling class had designed the layout of the city using a style of magical geometry that served as a rare kind of magic in my setting. The city itself, when complete, generated energy that was directed by a series of towers around the city that seemingly were impossible to enter or scale.

Selenir
2013-05-14, 12:11 PM
I had a plotline that sounded similar to this once. The kicker was that the party was sent to try to find out if this weapon survived the cataclysm, and after session after session of searching the ruins, they figured it out. The city itself was the device. The ruling class had designed the layout of the city using a style of magical geometry that served as a rare kind of magic in my setting. The city itself, when complete, generated energy that was directed by a series of towers around the city that seemingly were impossible to enter or scale.

I like this. Clever.

Geordnet
2013-05-14, 07:48 PM
I like it too...

Taking it and a bunch of other ideas throughout the thread and mixing them together, here's what I suggest:


The world itself is alive. There is one spirit permeating the landscape, and everything that lives in it. It isn't benevolent though, I'd compare it more to Azathoth. Give it an ominous name, like "Ouroboros", "Chaos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_%28cosmogony%29)", or "The Dragon" (no, not those scaly wyrms).

The hubris of the ancient Arasalans was so great that they thought they could bind the spirit of the world itself; harness its energies to their own ends... And so they did.

They created a massive temple complex to house the spirit of Chaos, sap its energies and direct them into a bolt that could travel in a great arc to anywhere in the known world.

And so, when they had trouble taking the capitol of the last and greatest of their foes, they used it... And its power far surpassed their wildest expectations. :smalleek:

You see, the Arasalans knew where the energy for the blast would have to come from. It would come from the life force of the surroundings, draining them to fuel its spell. To keep this from killing everyone in the complex, the Arasalans created ley lines across a broad area, so that the spell wouldn't need to draw enough energy from any one area to kill anything. In theory.

Instead, it drained all the life force from the entire area to which it was connected. The bolt which was produced was so powerful that it completely obliterated not only the target city, but most of the Arasalan army as well (which was camped around said city).

The land around Arasala was left as lifeless as the moon, with every former inhabitant reduced to either ash or mummified corpses (there's no bacteria to cause rotting). The buildings themselves were left mostly untouched, yet to this day nothing will grow in the soil there. People who live there (only merchants, archeologists, and bandits) have to farm potted plants or trade for food, and grow older unusually fast (aging +5-10% the normal rate).

Ironically enough, the ruins of the city it was used against are now in the center of a lush jungle.


The superweapon itself is still in perfect working order, except for the lack of ammunition. Which is to say, life in the surrounding area. Someone with the knowledge of how to activate it (which is understandably forbidden) could use it to produce a bolt large enough to decimate an army, but only at the cost of killing everything within several miles of Arasala (especially the guy who pulls the trigger). At least, one hopes that finding an alternative (and more powerful) fuel source is impossible... :smallwink:

Rabidmuskrat
2013-05-15, 12:37 AM
Oooh, shiny. I like that last one, though it could have some implications for the setting that the op might not like. The only part I personally dislike is the idea of the lifelessness being permanent. I'd say let life start encroaching, slowly, from the edges, and let the deadzone be slowly shrinking.

Alternatively, the spirit would still be bound and that could be the reason for the deadzone. The superweapon never truly switched off, it just defaulted to a really low power setting. And you realise in this scenario the superweapon is actually firing positive energy? So everyone in the target area probably exploded.

We should really start a thread with doomday scenarios. This sounds like fun.

Geordnet
2013-05-15, 11:59 AM
Oooh, shiny. I like that last one, though it could have some implications for the setting that the op might not like.
Well, he integrate it into the setting as much or as little as he likes. It's easy enough to refluff the precise mechanisms of the superweapon -it's the idea that it sapped life force to function that's important. The Arasalans thought they could control the flow, sap just a little life; but they were wrong.


The only part I personally dislike is the idea of the lifelessness being permanent. I'd say let life start encroaching, slowly, from the edges, and let the deadzone be slowly shrinking.
It's possible to enter Arasala without immediately dropping dead, isn't it? :smalltongue:

Working with the principle that life is based on concentrated "vital force", which slowly dissipates over time, the land around Arasala was so deader than dead for decades that not even the undead could exist there, the energies binding them together being absorbed by the life-deprived firmament. The "dead zone" has spread out but also diluted since then, to the point where only areas immediately around ground zero (inside Arasala proper) really actively drains life, but the soil is still mostly dead. (And plants rely on vital forces from the earth to grow.) The wound is slowly healing, but it'll take millennia.

A second firing probably won't help that, although without too much vital energy in the area it might not go out of control again, and take no more than the Arasalans originally intended. (Which would kill everyone in the temple so dead they can't be raised, but possibly spare the lives of everyone else in the city -although they would still collapse of sudden exhaustion!)



And you realise in this scenario the superweapon is actually firing positive energy? So everyone in the target area probably exploded.
Cool! :smallbiggrin:

Actually, that solves the problem of how there could be ruins of the target city as well: if the superweapon only directly affects life, then it makes sense that you'd have more left than a smoking crater.

In fact... That gives me some more ideas. I need to start a list.

What the superweapon fired wasn't pure positive energy, but a corruption of primal vital force. It behaves very similarly, but not exactly the same.

The Arasalans were planning on testing out low-power settings for mass healing, if the initial firing worked as planned.
Some where even researching this on a smaller scale. {Researchable/Discoverable Arcane Spell(s) for transferring HP, converting HP into spells and vise-verse.}
One of the differences from Positive Energy is the effect on the undead: they thrive on it, although they can accept much less of it than the living and will burn from too much.

Even the amount which remains ambient today is dangerously high, and the undead need to stay underground or in areas tainted by necromancy most of the time. The area outside these lairs is dangerous to them, and they only make quick excursions and raids.



Most in the target area just exploded, but some mutated horrifically first.

A few managed to mutate into a form that is resistant to the superweapon's energies, and survived. Their descendants live in the jungle ruins.
Most are mindless brutes, while a few have developed advanced mental powers (think Fallout Super Mutants, and the post-humans from Beneath the Planet of the Apes).

{Two new monsters/races: They're naturally resistant to negative energy attacks, but also don't benefit much from healing.}
Neither race has spread to the outside world yet. This is easily understood for the savage mutants, but might take some explaining for the intelligent ones. Perhaps they are too few in number, have story-based reasons to stick around, and/or just can't thrive in a less energy-rich environment. Or maybe they have entered the outside world, but covertly; and someone (ithilids, etc.) might be around to resent encroachment on their turf. Or it might just be best to forget about them, if they're too hard to work into the setting.

There will be naturally dividing lines between Arasalan mutants and those of their enemy as well, although these may well have faded over the generations.
This mutation might be another subject of thaumaturgic research; if not by the ancient Arasalans, then by later scholars.


The land around the target city became thick jungle in a matter of hours.

The native flora and fauna mutated as well, and the jungle is now akin to a Death World like Warhammer 40k's Catachan.
Fortunately for the rest of the world, the new natives don't do so well in places with less ambient vital energy than their homeland. Some can exist in captivity, but their health is poorer and they won't breed naturally.
Some of the milder animals might be very popular in zoos, and rare flowers would be coveted by herbalists everywhere -both for their beauty and their medicinal properties.


Because of the danger, few are willing to seek the treasures within, of which much remains.

The targeted city was Arasala's equal or greater in terms of culture and knowledge, although obviously not in military. They had great feats of magic/science too, but in different directions than the Arasalans. The opportunities here are beyond number, so I won't bother listing them. :smallwink:
The high vital energy of the area itself is something to be sought after; there are both positive and negative energy 'hotspots' which remain even today.

Positive hotspots are more common, and are sought after for their healing properties. Several even posses a "fountain of youth" effect. However, they can be dangerous too, as rapid overexposure can have dire results. Vials of water from springs in these areas carry a variety of beneficial effects. {Roll on a table of various healing effects.}
Negative hotspots are rarer, and are universally inhabited by the undead. (Or the eldritch abominations which destroyed them...)



Many of the mighty war golems the Arasalans made were around the city when the superweapon was fired; after that no one was left to tell them what to do.

Some just remained where they were stationed, others wandered for whatever reason -seeking out survivors to eliminate, superiors to give them orders, or just because they were malfunctioning.
Most are inactive nowadays. Some are still alert and will reactivate the moment they sense an intruder, others are too damaged and/or out of power. Most are in an emergency low-power mode: they can reactivate any moment but need a larger stimulus -like someone tampering with them.
Very few are dynamic and active nowadays, since activity is not conductive to long life. As a rule, such examples have a special reason why they're active: they've reactivated only recently, or have somehow found maintenance (from special self-repair modules, active repair drones, or even mutant Arasalan survivors).
Most of the war golems will be hostile if activated, either because they are programmed to kill non-Arasalans, are authorized to shoot non-military personnel trespassing in a war zone (which they still think they're in), or merely have malfunctioning targeting parameters. Some will just ignore non-Arasalans, or perhaps think the PCs are Arasalans. A few have even managed to become sentient -although many subsequently go insane.
Many power-seekers will brave the dangers of the jungle to reach the Golems, thinking they can be controlled or copied. Most are wrong, but the few whom aren't are very dangerous... {Plot Hook}
The war golems range from small drones, to man-sized specialists, to massive engines of destruction. (I'm thinking of the Virage from Legend of the Dragoon.) Very few of the former have survived the hardships of time, and while the latter are the most sought-after they are also the least active, due to high maintenance requirements. The largest were also commonly non-humanoid, and a (rare) few even required internal direction from humans.



I have even more ideas, concerning the fate of Arasala. I suppose I should have written them down first, but I couldn't stop myself! :smalltongue:

Baj
2013-05-16, 04:48 PM
Sorry I've been so absent from my own thread! I'm a college student and the end-of-semester rush had kept me from posting regularly.

You guys have some amazing ideas and you've been a big help already! I've read all the posts and hopefully I can take some time soon to put what I'm thinking down in here.


I have even more ideas, concerning the fate of Arasala. I suppose I should have written them down first, but I couldn't stop myself!

I would love to see more of your ideas Geordnet! Any chance you could PM me them?

BronyHeresy
2013-05-16, 05:02 PM
How about this:

What caused the civilization to grow so powerful in the first place was some sort of extremely powerful, really huge magical crystal (we'll call it the Orkenstone :winkwink:).

They derived a lot of power from the Orkenstone, and used it to become a great nation.

The Orkenstone was at least partially sentient. It didn't necessarily have a mind like a human, but it did have what could be called thoughts.

They tried to use the Orkenstone itself rather than a derivation of its power in order to create an unstoppable weapon that would rival the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gommorah in the Old Testament. (Maybe they built a flying city around the Orkenstone, and then had the idea to use it to power a superweapon built into the flying city?)

The Orkenstone punished them (bonus points if they used it to power a flying city, and then it fell out of the sky like the biggest damn shooting star in history!)

And then it reached out to all of the tech that it used to power, and made that blow up too.

Mutazoia
2013-06-04, 02:16 PM
I need a doomsday weapon in a fantasy setting. Not for a villain to use (yet) but one that destroyed an ancient civilization at the height of its power. Backstory in the spoiler.

A thousand years ago, a series of powerful city-states sat on the borders of the Great Western Desert. These cities thrived on the trade routes that crisscrossed the desert. Foremost among them was the city of Arasala. Located deep in the desert at the base of the Maghi Mountains, the city became wealthy mining the riches of the mountains. As Arasala flourished and grew, it attracted artisans and scholars from all over the world and became a center of magical learning and craftsmanship.

As the city grew, so did itís hunger for riches and power. Augmenting the power of its army with golems and other powerful magical constructs, the forces of Arasala swept across the desert subjecting the other trade cities one by one. But it wasnít enough.

Determined to continue the conquest, Arasala began to develop a weapon of such great power that no force could withstand it. The arrogance of the cityís royalty and wizards were such that they thought for sure they could direct something so destructive. Unfortunately, the power of the weapon proved too great to control and it overwhelmed the city, destroying it.


Thatís roughly what I have so far.

Bullet points of what I want for sure:
-Arasala knew they were constructing a super powerful weapon that they thought they could control.
-The weapon was fired once and it completely wrecked the city. It was a live fire, not a test.
-I want the weapon to have done a number on the city, but Iíd like to keep the ruins of the city together enough that adventurers could identify and explore them.
-I want the weapon to have massive physical components. Itís fine if the weapon is magically based (I mean, Iím pretty sure it would have to be), but Iíd like it have a giant focusing crystal, or a special chamber or whatnot. As you could guess, this means the weapon is essentially immobile.
-The weapon essentially survived the firing. It might (probably) need some specialized repair work, but it would be possible to get it up and running again.

Iíll admit, these desires kind of lead to a dilemma. I want to create a superweapon that was live fired in the capital city of a kingdom that was aggressively expanding, so unless you can help me justify an over the horizon fantasy weapon we have a problem. Iíd prefer a way to figure out long range usage, but if we canít, Iíll settle for ďWe had a massive army on our doorstep and itís the only way we could stop them.Ē

What I donít want:
-The weapon doesnít summon anything, neither natural effects (meteors, storms) or monsters/demons/Cthulhu.
-It wasnít a colossus or similar massive moving construct. Think artillery, not giant being.
-The weapon didnít reduce the city to a massive crater (yeah I know, itís difficult to reconcile. Thatís kinda why Iím here). As above, Iím fine with some massive wreckage and total population death, but I want enough still standing that people can go explore it.

Random cool idea that I don't know where else to put: I was thinking about making the land fertile during Arasala's time, but the weapon wrecked the ecosystem along with the city, leading to desertification.

So those are basically my thoughts so far. Since I'm still in the early stages of building the setting I'm willing to give on some of these points, so if you come up with some really cool idea but it doesn't fit everything please don't hesitate to share!

Rent and watch "Vibes" (1988) They pretty much did this....

Basically two psychics are hired by a company to help research some ruins... as it turns out what the company is interested in is the "weapon" at the center. It's a psychic based artifact the size (and shape) of an Aztec pyramid with a crystal "control" at the top. They learn that the citizens of that civilization used it to control weather, help crops grow, etc. but got greedy and power hungry, and used it on each other. They wiped out their own civilization but the ruins remained intact. (I guess they just melted their own brains or what ever.)

themourningstar
2013-06-06, 12:04 PM
Just wanted to say "wow". Geordnet, you are a beast. Totally incorporating some of that into my world. I already had some homebrew arcane healing, now I have a way to introduce it. :)

Geordnet
2013-06-07, 10:35 PM
I would love to see more of your ideas Geordnet! Any chance you could PM me them?
How about I write them down here, then PM you a quote? :smalltongue:



When the superweapon drained all vital force from Arasala, it's effects on magic items and golems was erratic. Many are dead, a lot are malfunctioning, a rare few are perfectly intact.

Although the buildings weren't directly damaged, malfunctioning golems did a real number on the city. The damage seems to lack rhyme or reason; while some golems destroyed, others rebuilt what was damaged -often quite differently from before.
Most of the war golems -especially the big ones- were besieging the city which was targeted by the superweapon.

Most of the golems in Arasala were "civilian" models.
There was a defence force too, but it was mostly humans -and the malfunctioning war golems mostly destroyed each other.

Because of this berserking, the only known surviving war golems in Arasala are merely inert husks of whatever-golems-are-made-of.
This was mainly due to the initial drain; golems in general don't have the same problems with the "dead zone" that living creatures or even the undead do.

A golem may develop... Irregularities from long-term exposure. Long enough and they go "rampant" -there don't seem to be any set rules for how long this takes, though; it could happen within months or not for decades. (A month or less is usually safe.)


...


Sorry, this has been sitting around on my laptop for a week or two and I lost my train of thought... :smalltongue:

The only (heh) cool concept I can remember off the top of my head now is that necromancers would prize the "Death Dust" collected by disposable golems from particularly "dead" portions of Arasala.

It's different from stuff like Unholy Water because it isn't negatively charged, it's zero charged. It aggressively absorbs both positive and negative energy. This makes it useful as a "vital sponge" of sorts, and as the basis for very strongly negatively charged substances.

Oh, and some good clerics might want it too, as with the proper blessings it can be sprinkled over a corpse to prevent it from being raised as undead.


For maximum irony, the golems used for gathering Death Dust would likely be flesh golems made from the mummified corpses of the ancient Arasalans. The life-draining process made their corpses totally unusable for undead, but perfect for a special type of golem. (Said type would probably require just one corpse and be cheaper overall than flesh golems, but have a finite lifespan.)


Oh, that reminds me of another idea I'd forgotten: the Shadowshards. Basically, they're fragments of the spirit which the ancient Arasalans bound to make their weapon. They're hostile to both the living and the undead, but ignore non-sentient constructs.

They are the greatest hazard for explorers, in a "oh **** we need to get the **** out of here ******* NOW!" sense. The only defense against them is to flee to consecrated/desecrated areas and wait for them to pass. (Although Magic Circles against <anything> work too.) They understandably swarm around the temple in particular, so any expedition to it would need specially-researched spells which make the target invisible to them. (Normal invisibility doesn't work.)


Oh, and while I'm at it I should mention that the surplus/deficit vital energy would probably best be treated similar to the way the Fallout series treats radiation (with effects adjusted appropriately, of course).



Just wanted to say "wow". Geordnet, you are a beast. Totally incorporating some of that into my world. I already had some homebrew arcane healing, now I have a way to introduce it. :)
The most interesting thing, I think, is that this introduces not one but two separate locations which are complete opposites of each other in several ways, yet share a common bond that ties them together. They're both post-apocalyptic, but one's a "wasteland" while they other's "primal". :smallbiggrin:

Tzi
2013-06-08, 03:01 PM
::The Balefire Mechanism::

This obscure magical device was said to have been designed by some as a source of power, something to fuel incredible magic. However it was shown to be a potent weapon. The exact nature of the device is lost to the ages, however key details are known about it and its destructive capacity.

First, the device functioned off of some sort Alchemical chain reaction. Accounts describe it as a levitating metallic bell shaped device. The bell is alleged to be large enough for 2-3 people to stand inside. Within the Bell is an interior of carefully crafted crystal lens, encased in a thick adamentine casing and several alchemical agents as well as a glass orb of refined quicksilver. However the first builders of the Balefire mechanism underestimated the strain such a reaction would generate and the chain reaction went off without their control. Effectively the trigger mechanism failed and the device "detonated," within the city. Accounts say the device was somehow supposed to store the magical energies it generated and then fire them out of the bell at an intended targeted in an incredibly concentrated beam of power. However the forces within the Bell cracked the casing and the chain reaction spiraled out of their control within the city. Thankfully for the city however, the melt down at least spared much of the city and its treasures. However for its people almost none survived. Had the device worked as intended it could have acted as the greatest and most terrible weapon wielded by a single nation.

The results of this reaction came in stages,

1) Stage one, the Flash, all within a half mile radius were rendered blind if they were staring in the direction of the device. (This blindness gets no fortitude save) and indirect exposure caused temporary blindness (DC 35 Fort save to avoid blindness.

2) Stage two, a 3 shell bursts of magical energy is released in a bubble that radiates out destroying anything without cover.
- First burst shell Acts as the Spell Wind Wall, Large and Medium sized creatures are also knocked back if they are within 5 miles of detention)
- Second burst shell does 10d6 sonic damage to all objects within a 250 yards radius, 8d6 for another 250 yards, 4d6 within another 100 yards
- Third Shell acts as the Spell disintegrate but cast at 20th level and has the Maximize feat applied doing 40d6 damage, except fortitude saves are for half damage. The damage is also of un-typed magical damage, Objects of an in-organic nature receive a fortitude save to only take between 1d6-5d6 damage at DM's discretion. Organic non-living objects receive a fortitude save for only half damage. This effect expands out for 2 mile in a burst expanding shell.

After effects...
1) Everything with 3 miles of the point of reaction becomes a Wild Magic zone for next 100 years. Surviving creatures after the initial reaction must make a DC 25 Fortitude save, if failed they gain the Spellwarped template. Surviving Golems and Living Constructs are knocked unconscious and do not re-awaken until external forces re-awaken them, they are considered de-activated or comatose. All unprotected magical items, devices and intelligent items below artifact level lose all magical properties.

2) The Device ceases to levitate within 100 years if no commands or control is acted on it. At which point it falls slowly to the ground as if under the effect of feather fall. Until this happens the device will periodically generate spells of Arc-Lightening and Fireball fired at random nearby directions.

3) As long as the Balefire device remains active anything within 100 yards of the Balefire mechanism must make a DC 18 fortitude save to avoid taking 1d6 drain of a random physical stat.

4) Because the actual reaction does not destroy the device, the Balefire mechanism is still leaking the Alchemical fluids from the cracked Adamentine casing and the chain reaction is still ongoing for another 25,000 years or until something is done to deactivate it. While it is still active, Living Spells take life and wander the area and remain until destroyed. Randomly the device will still pulse energies out, generating living spells, or creating minor waves of random energy type damage to those caught in the expanding circle. (For purposes of this it is a 2d circle wave of damage that can be avoided by being below the wave, above it, or covered in some way. The spells act as a touch attack for determining if one is struck.) The energy type is random (Positive, Negative, Fire, Ice, Acid, Earth, Electricity ect.) These waves are emitted at random intervals. These pulses expand out for 3 miles in every direction doing 5d6 damage within the first mile, 4d6 in the second and 1d6 in the 3rd. Effectively as long as the Balefire Mechanism remains active the ecology in the area is horribly effected as living things have a tough time getting established.

Landis963
2013-06-08, 09:12 PM
What are after-effects 2 and 3? You jump from after-effect 1 (everything in radius becomes wild magic zone) to after-effect 4 (mechanism is leaking fluid) with nothing in-between.

Tzi
2013-06-08, 11:13 PM
What are after-effects 2 and 3? You jump from after-effect 1 (everything in radius becomes wild magic zone) to after-effect 4 (mechanism is leaking fluid) with nothing in-between.

hmmm my copy and paste did not copy them. >.<

Jimlad
2013-06-09, 09:59 PM
...
long... posts...
must... read.. all to insure what I'm sugesting isn't redundent...
*snore*
close enugh.
Now, what I'm thinking is a spell that eats any organic matter it touches and uses that as fuel to make it's self larger, and eat more to grow larger... woud be spherical and stay rooted to the center of the casting point. (I beleive this next bit was mentioned and I glanced at it right.) you metioned shadow crystals that have spirits in them, well maybe it was easyer to try and tame the spirit than teach the spell who not to kill... not sure how to explain the stopping, maybe only grass nearby and that's not a good fuel? you'll think of something.