View Full Version : Necklace of Crystal Skulls (Wondrous Item)

Glooble Glistencrist
2007-01-11, 08:48 AM
Necklace of Crystal Skulls

This necklace, containing between one and six 2" crystal skulls, is the last resort of Necromancers, but can be used by anyone in a pinch. When a skull is shattered on the ground, all corpses in a 20ft. radius immediately raise as either Zombies or Skeletons, depending on how much flesh is left on their bones. They fight for 2 minutes or until killed, then return to being corpses. If left to themselves, they will attack all but the caster. They respond to simple commands (such as "Attack him!" or "Defend me") but cannot handle anything more complicated.
Roll 1d6 to determine how many skulls are left on a randomly generated necklace.

I have no idea how much this should cost, so help with that would be appreciated.

2007-01-11, 09:07 AM
Uff. Assuming each skull has magic sufficient to raise 6 corpses? 1200 per skull, so 7200gp for a brand new necklace. Caster level 5th, requires animate dead, costs 3600gp in materials and 288xp to produce, taking 8 days.

2007-01-15, 07:16 PM
actually, from the wording, it can raise even more than six/skull for a crypt battle, get towards one end, smash a skull and you could get a lot of undead.

Glooble Glistencrist
2007-01-15, 07:38 PM
Ok, we'll add a maximum HD of corpses (Lets say six). It's meant to be powerful, but I don't think its too powerful. The CR of six HD of Zombies is 2, and of 6 HD of skeletons is 3. To a high level party, thats pretty irrelevent - way less powerful than a horn of Valhalla.

Fax Celestis
2007-01-15, 07:49 PM
I'd say it should function like the animate legion spell presented in Heroes of Battle.

2007-01-15, 08:13 PM
I like this item. I like it a lot.

2007-01-16, 03:40 PM
Me too! I propose an advanced version that has a higher limit - perhaps 12, or even 24. Or a rarer variant that would create some more intriguing undead - wights or ghouls or something. I'm running an undead campaign right now, so this is an absolutely beautiful item.

Fualkner Asiniti
2007-01-16, 03:43 PM
This item is great. There should defenetly be more powerful versions too.

Generic Paladin
2007-01-16, 04:55 PM
Wow, this is pretty off the wall. Sounds like the kind of thing knightly orders launch crusades against.

I'd say there should be the basic version, which should cost about 7,500 gp. One with a doubled duration or which creates ghouls could cost 9,500 gp. One which creates vampire spawn would be interesting. Probably about 20,500 for something that nasty, though.

Glooble Glistencrist
2007-01-16, 09:20 PM
Hey, feel free to create variants and post them here. The more the merrier!

2007-01-16, 11:11 PM

Necklace of Crystal Teeth (spun glass): 19,800gp per tooth, 118,800gp for a brand new necklace. Requires CL 11, create undead, 59,400gp materials and 4752xp to create. Works as Necklace of Crystal Skulls, save that each tooth creates a number of ghouls from surrounding corpses (up to 6). The ghouls are not automatically under the user's control and must be commanded by a successful rebuking check.

Necklace of Crystal Teeth (quartz): As above, with a market price of 129,600gp. Requires CL 12, create undead, 64,800gp materials and 5184xp to create. Smashing a tooth creates up to 6 shadows (destroying a corpse for each shadow created) that are not automatically under the user's control.

Necklace of Crystal Teeth (fine crystal): As above, with a market price of 151,200gp. Requires CL 14, create undead, 75,600gp materials and 6048xp to create. Smashing a tooth creates up to 6 ghasts from nearby corpses that are not automatically under the user's control.

Necklace of Crystal Teeth (obsidian): As above, with a market price of 172,800gp. Requires CL 16, create undead, 86,400gp materials and 6912xp to create. Smashing a tooth creates up to 6 wights from nearby corpses that are not automatically under the user's control.

Legion Skull: This priceless glass skull, when smashed, immediately animates all corpses within 500ft in all directions as zombies or skeletons, up to a maximum of 200HD. A number of undead are automatically under the control of the user of HD equal to double his divine or arcane spellcaster level, all remaining undead being free (must be commanded by means of rebuke undead or other methods). These count towards the number of undead that can normally be controlled by means of animate dead.
Market Price: 150,000gp. Requires CL 5, animate dead, 75,000gp in materials and 6000xp to create.

[If mass combat maneuvering feats are in use, assume all summoned zombies and skeletons have the Formation Fighting (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32005) feat as an automatic bonus feat.]

2007-01-17, 11:56 AM
This priceless glass skull... Market Price: 150,000gp.

I'm just sayin', is all. :smalltongue:

2007-01-17, 01:19 PM
This is a sweet idea. I give it the thumbs of all my most resent sacrifices up

2007-01-17, 03:38 PM
Iituem - Nice work! Dead sexy, but damnnably expensive. I shall be making use of those pretty things in my campaign. =D

2007-01-17, 04:12 PM
The Legion skull would be a great thing for a city to own as a treasure, left by one of their most powerful mages before he died, in case of a siege.

2007-01-17, 04:35 PM
Necklace of the Legion: This necklace resembles a necklace of crystal skulls, except that each skull carries a tiny glyph on its forehead. It can be linked to up to six Legion Skulls (one for each tiny crystal skull) as a full round action per skull (the skulls must be present for this to be done). When one of the necklace's skulls is smashed the corresponding Legion Skull will shatter and activate (regardless of where in the world it may be).
Market Price: 21,600gp. Cost to create: 10,800gp in materials, 864xp. Creator must be CL 11th, must know shatter and contingency. Legion skulls sold separately.

2007-01-17, 05:58 PM
I think it's interesting. Since it has a time limit, you can cheapen it when calculating the total cost. The undead obey your command automatically? You may need to count in Command Undead, or limit it to how many undead a wizard /cleric can usually control.

2007-01-17, 11:30 PM
The fact that you a) need a heap of corpses to begin with and b) they only last 2 minutes seems pretty limiting. I would think about either making them last longer, allowing the skeletons/zombies to grow out of the ground if there are no bodies about, or making them more powerful (DR 5/good?). This item seems like it might be moderately useful for a 1st-3rd level party, IF they happen to find themselves in trouble AND there happens to be a pile of corpses nearby, but anything above that and any enemies that are troubled by a handful of skeletons and zombies aren't going to give them any trouble anyway (arguably that's pretty true even as low as 2nd level).

I do like the idea though.

2007-01-18, 04:05 PM
2 minutes is, what, 20 rounds of combat? Useful enough.

Incidentally, animate dead is a spell only available at 5th level+ (9th level if you're a wizard). Minor undead minions can be a great deal of use, particularly if you're up against some low level minions who can still derail your plans whilst you fight the big bad guy (or you just need a 2 minute distraction to escape).

2007-01-23, 07:44 PM
That item is freakin awesome.
I love the idea, and am totally giving it to a villain in my campaign. Generally they need more uses for escaping the heroes, and throwing down a crystal skull which then raises undead from nearby corpses.....awesome
The legion skull too, especially on like a battlefield, where you have 2 massive armies fighting, and the commander of one army smashes a glimmering crystal skull and hundreds of soldiers from both armies rise up to turn the tide of battle....

2007-01-23, 09:17 PM
Incidentally, animate dead is a spell only available at 5th level+ (9th level if you're a wizard).

OK, but animate dead is permanent (or instantaneous, whatever; the point is they don't go away), so you don't happen to have a big pile of bodies around (and quite nearby; zombies can't go very far in 20 rounds). You can animate them somewhere else and have them move to where you want them.

I wouldn't mind the short duration if it could create undead out of thin air, and I wouldn't mind needing the bodies if it lasted a bit longer (a couple of hours maybe).

Glooble Glistencrist
2007-01-23, 09:29 PM
If you want to extend the duration when you incorporate this into your campaign, go ahead. It might work better for you. Depends on the situation.

2007-02-05, 03:21 PM
Yeah, the 2 minute duration is basically a Summon Undead spell from Forgotten Realms (CS? Magic of Faerun?). It's not going to be that expensive, really, as it's not really an animate spell. Summoned from where, I don't know, but it's published ;)

animating: Make the HD a lot higher, as you're getting at least 10 for a 5th level caster of animate Dead. Except the Shadow version: that's tough enough (the only two deaths I've suffered have been from shadows and wraiths; they're tough without prep).

Legion is a plot device, if nothing else. Also keep in mind it's a one-use item, unlike (iirc) Horn of Valhalla.