View Full Version : [Item] Spike of Undeath (peach)

2007-06-15, 09:14 AM
The Spike of Undeath
Necromancers need a wa to get around the spell component cost of animate dead and the solution is "Spike of Undeath." This is a truly useful contraption because it creates undead without the spell component cost. It's a silver spike with skull patterns engraved onto it. The user of this item stabs it into a corpse and then casts animate dead. The benefit is that the spell component isn't needed, so spellcasters save money. The user of the spike may control no more undead than usual.

CL 8, Animate Dead, Craft Wondrous Item, price 64,000 gp

This is my first magic item so it probably sucks. Any suggestions on how to make it better?

2007-06-15, 09:40 AM
Rather useful, but only if you plan on creating a -lot- of undead, or if it's found as treasure and is the focus of an adventure. On the up-side, you can make a zombie every round with it, if you have enough bodies.

Incidentally, including caster costs and the 25gp component (coming to 175gp per casting), you'll need to make 366 zombies or skeletons to start making this thing worth the cost, but in fairness it's a good device for plotlines or for raising an uncroaked army.

2007-06-15, 09:44 AM
This is a little useless, since although Animate Dead requires a material component, the component is only 25 gp per HD of Undead even creating a CR 10 Zombie is only going to set you back 250 Gp. True, this Spike would be reusable, but I doubt that anyone would use it enough for it to pay for itself, especially when you still have to cast the spell. Another idea is to have it function as an Animate Undead, but you don't have to cast it, you just plant it into the ground, and then say the key phrase "My minions arise from your graves!", and like every corpse in a 40 feet area is animated. Excellent concept, but the item is far too costly to be cost efficient. If you even just allow the Spike to function in an area effect of a radius, it would still be greatly improved.

2007-06-15, 09:55 AM
1 way to do it would be to replace the material component with this item, which is reusable, and make it cost about 20K?

As low as 5k, but that would be silly.

2007-06-15, 12:24 PM
I like thelogman's idea. Here are the major changes.

You speak a command word that activates the Spike of Undeath. This causes every corpse in a 30 ft radius around the spike to become undead as if they had Animate Undead cast on them. All these undead are under the user's control. The user may not control any more undead than he/she normally could. If the use of the spike would result in the animation of more undead than the user can control then the user chooses which corpses are animated, and which aren't. The whole process of activating the spike and animating the undead takes a full round action. All living creatures and already undead creatures are not affected in any way by this item.

CL 10, Craft Wondrous Item, Animate Dead, Price 72000 GP

2007-06-16, 09:56 PM
I don't know. Isn't the main benefit of this Item that you can raise Undead in Onyx poor zones? You cannot always lay your hands on the Material Component you want. Looking at this from an Adventurer's point of view also seems a bit balmy. It's value was in that it never needs material components, throughout the ages it's going to be used to raise more than a couple of hundred Undead.

2007-06-16, 10:08 PM
Right, but for the non-hundred years that is a campaign, a spike that will only save you money if you animate hundreds of undead isn't that great. Also, since most parties are good, they wouldn't have to go looking for onyx anyway, since animating undead is evil. Npc's have as many years as the DM wants to gather onyx, and so could get it easily even in an area without much of it, and so wouldn't need the spike anyway, hence my suggestion, which would allow for a little more use in the usually less than 5 years that is a campaign. But that's just my reasoning, I'm sure that in some campaigns, without the area effect, the spike would still be possibly a powerful item, especially horror/survival campaigns.

2007-06-17, 06:09 PM
The movie "Brothers Grim" had a witch in a tower with a very similar item. It was a long spike with an ornamental head. You plunged the spike into the targets heart and they were made your slave and given the powers of a werewolf.

I can see a silver needle that animates undead but I think you'd have to leave the needle in to keep the undead animated. It might be reusable though.