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Thread: Nazgūl

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    Default Nazgūl

    I found this lying around on my computer, and figured I'd post it. I probably based this on the death knight template, with abilities stolen from ghosts and probably something in Libris Mortis.

    The example Nazgūl, Adūnaphel the Quiet, was converted from the MERP and Rolemaster statistics in Lords of Middle Earth Vol. I. The abilities are also based on the listing and descriptions in the same book. ("Address all complaints to the Monsanto corporation.")

    Nazgūl
    Ringwraiths, Ślairi, Shadows, Black Wings, Black Riders, Fell Riders, Nine Riders, the Nine

    "Nazgūl" is a template that can be added to any evil human of 10th level or higher that is enslaved by one of the Rings of Power (referred to hereafter as the character). The character's type changes to undead. It uses all the character's statistics and special abilities as noted here.

    Hit Dice: All the character's Hit Dice (current and future) become d12s.
    Speed: Same as the character. Due to their semi-real composition, Nazgūl are not slowed down by armor.
    AC: The Nazgūl has +5 natural armor and a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma modifier.
    Attacks: Nazgūl usually fight with martial weapons, but if disarmed they will use a touch attack.
    Damage: The Nazgūl's touch attack uses negative energy to deal damage equal to 1d8 + the Nazgūl's Charisma bonus to living creatures. Each successful attack also deals 1 point of Constitution damage. A Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 Nazgūl's HD + Nazgūl's Charisma modifier) reduces the damage by half and negates the Constitution damage.
    Special Attacks: A Nazgūl retains all the character's special attacks and gains those described below.
    Black Breath (Su): Three times per day, a Nazgūl can summon a cloud of noxious, evil mist as a standard action. The cloud fills a 20-foot-radius spread anywhere within a range of 100 feet + 10 feet per HD of the Nazgūl. Targets caught within the spread must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Nazgūl's HD + Nazgūl's Charisma modifier) or become nauseated for 1d6 rounds, after which they fall into an unbreakable slumber for 1d% days. Victims can only be awakened by break enchantment, limited wish, or more powerful magic. Those who succeed at the save are still sickened for a number of rounds equal to the Nazgūl's HD.
    Dominating Gaze (Su): Dominate person on target within 60 feet (caster level equal to the Nazgūl's HD), Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 Nazgūl's HD + Nazgūl's Charisma modifier) negates.
    Fear Aura (Su): Nazgūl are shrouded in a dreadful aura of death and evil. Creatures of less than 5 HD within 15 feet of a Nazgūl must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 Nazgūl's HD + Nazgūl's Charisma modifier) or be affected as though by a fear spell cast by a sorcerer of the Nazgūl's level.
    Spells: A Nazgūl can cast any spells it could while alive, unless alignment restrictions prohibit the casting of a particular spell.
    Special Qualities: A Nazgūl retains all the character's special qualities and gains those described below.
    Blindsight (Su): A Nazgūl is virtually blind in Arda, but its Shadow-sight and other enhanced senses give it blindsight with an unlimited range (as normal vision). However, in sunlight (including within the radius of a daylight spell), a Nazgūl's blindsight is limited to a range of 30 feet.
    Damage Reduction (Su): A Nazgūl's undead body is tough and only quasi-real, giving the creature damage reduction 15/magic.
    Immunities (Ex): Nazgūl are immune to cold, electricity, and polymorph in addition to those immunities possessed by undead.
    Natural Invisibility (Su): A Nazgūl's physical form is permanently invisible in the physical world, but visible in the Shadow-world (so ethereal beings can see them normally, although they appear in a different form). This invisibility does not extend to anything they wear, however, so they are visible normally while wearing armor or robes.
    Nature Vulnerability (Ex): Nazgūl are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell. If faced with a stream of running, fresh water, a Nazgūl must succeed at a Will save (DC 20) or be unable to cross for 1d10 rounds, after which he may try again (but with a cumulative +1 bonus to the DC for each attempt). Being immersed in fresh running water will inflict 6d6 damage per round to a Nazgūl. When touched by a natural flame (such as a torch, but not a fireball spell or similar), a Nazgūl must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 wielder's level + wielder's Charisma modifier) or become panicked for 1d10 minutes.
    Rejuvenation (Su): It is impossible to destroy a Nazgūl through simple combat: Sauron can summon the spirits of the ringwraiths back into Arda in a matter of 1d% days. The only way to destroy the Nazgūl permanently is to destroy the One Ring. If this happens, the ringwraiths are immediately destroyed for good.
    Spell Resistance (Su): A Nazgūl gains spell resistance 20 + 1 per character level beyond 10th.
    Summon Mount (Sp): A Nazgūl has the ability to summon a mount, either a horse of Mordor or a fell beast. When summoned, the mount appears within 1d10 rounds, and serves indefinitely. These are specific, unique mounts bound to the Nazgūl, and each Nazgūl can therefore only summon one horse or fell beast at any time. (Replacing dead mounts requires the Nazgūl to travel to a realm held by the Shadow where these foul beasts dwell.) This is a Conjuration [teleportation] effect.
    Undead Traits: Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects. Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects. Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal undead creatures. Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless). Not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it is immediately destroyed.
    Weaponbane (Su): A nonmagical weapon striking a Nazgūl is automatically shattered and broken, as if it had been successfully sundered. It may inflict damage, if it passes the Nazgūl's damage reduction, but is destroyed regardless. Anyone striking a Nazgūl unarmed takes 2d10 damage and must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Nazgūl's HD + Nazgūl's Charisma modifier) or be stunned for 1d6 rounds.
    Saves: Same as character.
    Abilities: A Nazgūl gains +8 to Strength, +4 to Intelligence, and +6 to both Wisdom and Charisma. Being undead, it has no Constitution score.
    Challenge Rating: Same as character +4.
    Level Adjustment: —.

    [hr]

    Adūnaphel the Quiet, the Seventh: CR 16; Female human (Black Nśmenórean), Bard 11/Fighter 1; Medium Undead (Augmented Humanoid); HD 12d12; hp 78; Init +2; Spd 20 ft.; AC 30 (+2 Dex, +5 natural, +6 deflection, +7 +3 scale mail), touch 18, flat-footed 28; Base Atk/Grp +9/+14; Atk +3 flaming longsword +17 melee (1d8+8 plus 1d6 fire, 19-20), or Morgul-knife +15 melee (1d4+3, 17-20/x2 plus taint), or touch +14 melee (1d8+6 plus 1 Con); Full Atk +3 flaming longsword +15/10 melee (1d8+8 plus 1d6 fire, 19-20) and Morgul-knife +13 melee (1d4+3, 17-20/x2 plus taint), or touch +14/9 melee (1d8+6 plus 1 Con); Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.; SA Black breath, dominating gaze, fear aura, spells; SQ Bardic knowledge, bardic music, blindsight, damage reduction 15/magic, immunity to cold, electricity, and polymorph, natural invisibility, nature vulnerability, rejuvenation, spell resistance 22, summon mount, undead traits, weaponbane; AL LE; SV Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +10; Str 20, Dex 14, Con —, Int 18, Wis 16, Cha 23.
    Skills: Bluff +20, Concentration +17, Decipher Script +11, Diplomacy +26, Hide +13, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Knowledge (history) +18, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +18, Listen +17, Move Silently +13, Perform (lute) +20, Ride +9, Sense Motive +10, Spellcraft +11
    Feats: Battle Caster, Combat Expertise, Eschew Materials, Lyric Spell, Mounted Combat, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting
    Special Attacks:
    Black Breath (Su): Three times per day, Adūnaphel can summon a cloud of noxious, evil mist as a standard action. The cloud fills a 20-foot-radius spread anywhere within a range of 100 feet + 10 feet per HD of her. Targets caught within the spread must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 22) or become nauseated for 1d6 rounds, after which they fall into an unbreakable slumber for 1d% days. Victims can only be awakened by break enchantment, limited wish, or more powerful magic. Those who succeed at the save are still sickened for 12 rounds.
    Dominating Gaze (Su): Dominate person on target within 60 feet (caster level 12th), Will save (DC 22) negates.
    Fear Aura (Su): Adūnaphel is shrouded in a dreadful aura of death and evil. Creatures of less than 5 HD within 15 feet of Adūnaphel must succeed at a Will save (DC 22) or be affected as though by a fear spell cast by a sorcerer of 12th level.
    Touch (Su): Adūnaphel's touch attack uses negative energy to deal damage equal to 1d8+6 to living creatures. Each successful attack also deals 1 point of Constitution damage. A Will save (DC 22) reduces the damage by half and negates the Constitution damage.
    Special Qualities:
    Blindsight (Su): Adūnaphel is virtually blind in Arda, but her Shadow-sight and other enhanced senses give her blindsight with an unlimited range (as normal vision). However, in sunlight (including within the radius of a daylight spell), Adūnaphel's blindsight is limited to a range of 30 feet.
    Natural Invisibility (Su): Adūnaphel's physical form is permanently invisible in the physical world, but visible in the Shadow-world (so ethereal beings can see them normally, although they appear in a different form). This invisibility does not extend to anything she wears, however, so she is visible normally while wearing armor or robes.
    Nature Vulnerability (Ex): Adūnaphel is dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell. If faced with a stream of running, fresh water, Adūnaphel must succeed at a Will save (DC 20) or be unable to cross for 1d10 rounds, after which she may try again (but with a cumulative +1 bonus to the DC for each attempt). Being immersed in fresh running water will inflict 6d6 damage per round to Adūnaphel. When touched by a natural flame (such as a torch, but not a fireball spell or similar), Adūnaphel must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 wielder's level + wielder's Charisma modifier) or become panicked for 1d10 minutes.
    Rejuvenation (Su): It is impossible to destroy Adūnaphel through simple combat: Sauron can summon the spirits of the ringwraiths back into Arda in a matter of 1d% days. The only way to destroy Adūnaphel permanently is to destroy the One Ring. If this happens, the ringwraiths are immediately destroyed for good.
    Summon Mount (Sp): Adūnaphel has the ability to summon a mount, either a horse of Mordor or a fell beast. When summoned, the mount appears within 1d10 rounds, and serves indefinitely. These are specific, unique mounts bound to Adūnaphel, and she can therefore only summon one horse or fell beast at any time. (Replacing dead mounts requires Adūnaphel to travel to a realm held by the Shadow where these foul beasts dwell.) This is a Conjuration [teleportation] effect.
    Weaponbane (Su): A nonmagical weapon striking Adūnaphel is automatically shattered and broken, as if it had been successfully sundered. It may inflict damage, if it passes Adūnaphel's damage reduction, but is destroyed regardless. Anyone striking Adūnaphel unarmed takes 2d10 damage and must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 22) or be stunned for 1d6 rounds.
    Possessions: +3 flaming longsword, Morgul-knife (+1 keen dagger), +2 composite longbow (+5 Str bonus), +3 scale mail.
    Bard Spells Known (3/5/5/4/2): 0 – detect magic, ghost sound, mage hand, message, read magic, resistance; 1st – comprehend languages, disguise self, expeditious retreat, swift, silent image; 2nd – detect thoughts, fly, swift, hold person, iron silence; 3rd – crushing despair, dirge of discord, fear, speechlink; 4th – shadow conjuration, spectral weapon, war cry.
    Caster level 11th. Save DC 16 + spell level.

    [hr]

    Morgul-Knife: These +1 keen daggers have long, thin blades, and glow with a pale light. Their hilts are engraved with evil writing. Upon scoring a critical hit, the Morgul-knife breaks, and a sliver of it stays in the wound, moving slowly and inexorably toward the victim's heart. The victim is sickened unless he succeeds on a Fortitude save (DC 19); this lasts until the taint is treated (see below). 1 minute later, the victim falls into feverish unconsciousness, unless he succeeds on a Fortitude save (DC 19); this likewise lasts until treated. Each day thereafter, the victim must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 19) or gain one negative level. These negative levels never result in actual level loss, but they last until removed. Once the victim has as many negative levels as he has character levels, he dies, and rises as a wight enslaved to the Shadow 1d10 days later.

    Treating the taint of a Morgul-knife requires casting the spells remove curse, remove disease, and restoration on the victim. This ends the unconsciousness, removes the sickened condition, and dispels all negative levels.

    Strong necromancy; CL 17th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Heighten Spell, contagion, create undead, eyebite; Price 20,301 gp.

    [hr]

    Fell Beast, Winged Beast: CR 10; Huge Dragon; HD 10d12+40; hp 105; Init +0; Spd 10 ft., fly 120 ft. (poor); AC 19 (-2 size, +11 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 19; Base Atk/Grp +10/+26; Atk Bite +16 melee (2d8+8) or talon +16 melee (2d6+8); Full Atk Bite +16 melee (2d8+8) and 2 wings +14 melee (1d8+4) and 2 talons +14 melee (2d6+8); Space/Reach 15 ft./10 ft.; SA Improved grab; SQ Damage reduction 5/magic, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to sleep and paralysis, low-light vision, scent, spell resistance 16; AL NE; SV Fort +11, Ref +7, Will +8; Str 27, Dex 10, Con 19, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 9.
    Skills: Hide +5, Listen +16, Move Silently +13, Spot +19
    Feats: Alertness, Flyby Attack, Hover, Multiattack
    Special Attacks: A fell beast can slash with its talons only when making a flyby attack.
    Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a fell beast must hit with its talons. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and bites.



    Edit no. 1: Summon Mount modified as per The Glyphstone's comment.
    Edit no. 2: Took out the level adjustment.

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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    nothing short of brilliant, i must say
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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Maybe specify that only one mount can be summoned at a time....otherwise, cool.

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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Glyphstone
    Maybe specify that only one mount can be summoned at a time....otherwise, cool.
    Excellent catch. Done.

    I added the following text to the ability:

    "These are specific, unique mounts bound to the Nazgūl, and each Nazgūl can therefore only summon one horse or fell beast at any time. (Replacing dead mounts requires the Nazgūl to travel to a realm held by the Shadow where these foul beasts dwell.) This is a Conjuration [teleportation] effect."

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    Wow, very cool
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    I think this deserves an LA of -, nazgul are minions of an evil force who barely have free will, that's not something that a player should be
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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    I've been on a bit of a Tolkien kick this summer and just finished reading LotR for the second time, so it is with enthusiam that I applaud your creation. I do have a question, why do they get a breath weapon? I mean, granted I could have missed that when reading it (Lord knows I missed a whole lot of stuff my first read through) but I can't say I remember them having one.
    What I do every time I see someone complain that their DM is a jerk just because some class/race/book/feat/etc. is not allowed at the gaming table.

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    It's to model the effect of the 'black breath' on the defenders at Minas Tirith, I think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gezina van den Vechte
    I think this deserves an LA of -, nazgul are minions of an evil force who barely have free will, that's not something that a player should be
    Cohort level adjustment for evil parties?

    Also, it helps determine appropriate equipment according to the NPC guidelines, if you want to use them outside a LoTR context.
    Gnome-Chucks. \'nuff said. http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=425465

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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Level adjustment doesn't equal available to players. I may, however, want to have an idea of their ECL (for wealth-by-level etc.).


    Nazgūl used the Black Breath on the defenders at Minas Tirith, too? I didn't recall that. The use I think of first was in Bree, against Merry. It's an established ability, regardless.

    Technically, it's not a breath weapon at all (the mechanics, you'll notice, are entirely different). It's just called the Black Breath. One might argue it should be deadlier, but as I implied, if you've got any problems with the particular abilities they have, take it up with ICE. I just converted. ;)

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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    yes, but LA - does say unavailable to players and that's what's important, some DM who doesn't know LotR (shocking but they might exist) might allow it.
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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Er, okay. Great for them?

    The guy playing the Nazgūl is absolutely useless. As a 10th-level character, they'll be ECL 20. How well do you think they're going to do in a 20th-level party, against CR 20 challenges?

    Edit:

    Also, your statements don't make sense:

    First you say:

    "nazgul are minions of an evil force who barely have free will, that's not something that a player should be"

    And then you say:

    "some DM who doesn't know LotR (shocking but they might exist) might allow it"

    If they don't know anything about Middle-Earth, they're probably not playing Middle-Earth, in which case there's probably no Sauron and no One Ring, in which case Nazgūl are just really powerful death knights or liches.

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    *applauds*

    Thats nothing short of impressive!

    Maybe should also add a bit about their scream, able to communicate between long distances and the sound itself is enough to cause the Shaken condition.

    Also, I think the CR might be a bit low. You are adding on some pretty impressive stat increases as well as special properties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
    Maybe should also add a bit about their scream, able to communicate between long distances and the sound itself is enough to cause the Shaken condition.
    They didn't have it in MERP / Rolemaster. Like I said, I just converted. ;)

    Cool idea, though, and I'll make a note about it in case I fiddle more with the template. As is, I'm just going to say that the scream isn't scary enough to cause game-mechanics effects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas
    Like I said, I just converted. ;)
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    ;)

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    I believe I would treat the Black Breath as more of a passive ability. Anyone within 10' of the Nazgul could contract the condition, which operates like a disease.

    Black Breath (Su): Infection DC 15 + Nazgul's Charisma modifier; Incubation 1 minute; Damage 1d3 Wisdom, plus a character who takes 3 Wisdom damage also takes 1 Constitution damage. The Black Breath is spread by the Nazgul, anyone coming within 10' of one of the Nazgul must make a Fort save once per minute of exposure. Any character infected with the Black Breath becomes sickened and remains in that condition until cured of the infection. Treatment with the herb athelas (Kingsfoil) grants a +2 bonus on Fort saves versus the infection or Heal checks to treat it. Using athelas also negates the Nazgul's Charisma modifier to the Fort save DC.
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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    I think I'd also tweak the Morgul Knife...

    Morgul Blade
    A Morgul Blade is a +1 keen dagger with long, thin blade that glows with a pale light. The hilt is engraved with evil writing. Upon scoring a critical hit, a Morgul-knife breaks, leaving a fragment in the victim's body. This fragment will work its way toward the victim's heart, causing his or her death.

    Progression of the fragment is treated like a disease with a Fortitude DC of 20 that cause 1d6 Constitution damage per day on a failed save. The victim is sickened as long as the fragment remains in his or her body. Treating the victim with the athelas herb (Kingsfoil) grants a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves to resist the progression of the fragment. A victim who dies from such a fragment immediately rises as a Wraith.

    Removing the fragment is a surgical procedure that requires a DC 30 Heal check and inflicts 1d6 Constitution damage on the subject.

    Strong necromancy; CL 17th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Heighten Spell, contagion, create undead, eyebite; Price 20,301 gp.

    Is the cost modified to reflect the one-use nature of the item?
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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Alright, I had a chance to think this over without actively posting (in defense of my original stance) on the boards, and I've concluded that Gezina van den Vechte was in the right; there's no reason to have a Level Adjustment.

    It's not for players, it's not a viable cohort (you'd need epic leadership, and at ECL 20 a Nazgūl only has 10 HD, which is amazingly weak for a cohort for 22nd-level character.

    Also, characters with templates get wealth according to their ECL prior to the template, not their ECL after the template is applied (see the example vampire, etc., in the Monster Manual).

    So I made the LA —. +10 was just a guesstimation anyway, and probably pretty worthless as a value.

    I also apologise to Gezina for being snippy. It was uncalled for, and you had a point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Runolfr
    I believe I would treat the Black Breath as more of a passive ability. Anyone within 10' of the Nazgul could contract the condition, which operates like a disease.
    Solid interpretation and a viable change to what I presented. I'm sticking with the mechanics from MERP / Rolemaster (i.e. active/aggressive ability).

    I made the cost up for the Morgul-knife. The actual weapon costs 8,301 gp, and the fatal sickness that turns you into a wight has an estimated cost of 12,000 gp (wraith isn't a bad choice either, but the MERP / Rolemaster Ślairi don't turn you into a ghost, just into a faded, corporeal servant).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas

    Excellent catch. Done.

    I added the following text to the ability:

    "These are specific, unique mounts bound to the Nazgūl, and each Nazgūl can therefore only summon one horse or fell beast at any time. (Replacing dead mounts requires the Nazgūl to travel to a realm held by the Shadow where these foul beasts dwell.) This is a Conjuration [teleportation] effect."
    That shouldnt be a Teleportaton effect. It is either Calling, or less likley, Summoning.

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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Awesome. Excellent job.

    You might want to add a connection to the rings into this. As far as I could tell, Nazgul seem to have this ability to 'call' other Nazgul towards them via their rings, or at the very least locate other Nazgul within a certain area. This also applies for certain other rings, like the One Ring whenever Frodo used it [at least, according to the movie].
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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizzardman
    You might want to add a connection to the rings into this. As far as I could tell, Nazgul seem to have this ability to 'call' other Nazgul towards them via their rings, or at the very least locate other Nazgul within a certain area. This also applies for certain other rings, like the One Ring whenever Frodo used it [at least, according to the movie].
    It's my understanding that the Nazgul don't actually wear their rings anymore. Lacking the One Ring, Sauron controls the Nazgul through their rings, which he keeps in his possession (one for each of his remaining fingers, theoretically). This would explain why no one picked up a ring from the Witch King's "corpse" (pile of personal effects) after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

    I don't doubt the Nazgul have the ability to communicate with each other and Sauron through supernatural means, but it's not via their rings.
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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas
    I made the cost up for the Morgul-knife. The actual weapon costs 8,301 gp, and the fatal sickness that turns you into a wight has an estimated cost of 12,000 gp (wraith isn't a bad choice either, but the MERP / Rolemaster Ślairi don't turn you into a ghost, just into a faded, corporeal servant).
    I'm not familiar with MERP, so I'm just trying to interpret the Nazgul into D&D 3.5 from my reading of LOTR. I'd habitually rather do such an interpretation myself rather than use some "company approved" version. Call me ego-centric.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Collin152
    That shouldnt be a Teleportaton effect. It is either Calling, or less likley, Summoning.
    Nope, it's a teleportation effect. Callings are cross-planar, and let the creature return once, which I don't want; and summonings are temporary. It just moves the specific mount into the vicinity (the idea with the 1d10 rounds is that it doesn't just poof into existence, but rides or flies up from somewhere).

    Quote Originally Posted by Runolfr

    It's my understanding that the Nazgul don't actually wear their rings anymore. Lacking the One Ring, Sauron controls the Nazgul through their rings, which he keeps in his possession (one for each of his remaining fingers, theoretically). This would explain why no one picked up a ring from the Witch King's "corpse" (pile of personal effects) after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
    This is my understanding as well (and supported by my source for the Nazgūl). Once Sauron lost the One Ring, he took the rings of the Nine, and now controls them through them; this is why the Nine are as ghosts. With their rings, they can appear living, human, regal, and powerful.

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    ...whether or not Sauron has the rings is a persistent stupid argument on the Tolkien Usenet groups. Something like CoDzilla around here.

    Everybody already knows what everybody thinks, nobody's willing to move, but you can always kick up an argument on a slow day by posting about it.

    So there's not really a consensus. (I personally favor that Sauron has them, but seriously... there are people, good Tolkien scholars all, who vehemently disagree. And will explain why. At length. Without ceasing.)

    EDIT: And MERP is not a good source for anything except how things are in MERP; they made huge swathes of their stuff up out of whole cloth. As indeed they had to, to make an RPG out of books, but there's not necessarily LotR canon behind anything they say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
    *applauds*

    Thats nothing short of impressive!

    Maybe should also add a bit about their scream, able to communicate between long distances and the sound itself is enough to cause the Shaken condition.

    Also, I think the CR might be a bit low. You are adding on some pretty impressive stat increases as well as special properties.
    unless i missed it in the book, i'm pretty sure the screams were just peter jackson's adaptation of the black breath
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers
    Originally Posted by Dhavaer
    How many hit points would an earth-sized planet have?
    All of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beholder
    unless i missed it in the book, i'm pretty sure the screams were just peter jackson's adaption of the black breath
    Nope - the scream is mentioned explicitly just before the hobbits get to Farmer Maggot's in Shortcut to Mushrooms - one cries out and another, far off, answers. Frodo says "It was a call or signal - there were words in that cry though I could not catch them." That would support making it a communication aid, and a fear attack (the hobbits hearing the cry are startled and shaken more than as if it were just a sound...)
    The Black Breath is what takes down Merry when he goes wandering out for a walk at the Pony in Strider.

    Also, I'm thinking that if one gets a save against the Nazgul's touch attack, it should be higher damage - maybe 2d6 + CHA modifier?

    Otherwise - splendid work! [applause!]

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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    ...whether or not Sauron has the rings is a persistent stupid argument on the Tolkien Usenet groups.
    Disputed though their status may be, it would probably a good idea to make a decision as to whether or not the Nazgul have their rings on their persons for game purposes. PCs who fight them will probably look for such things, after all.

    This would be up to the monster designer, I'd say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runolfr

    Disputed though their status may be, it would probably a good idea to make a decision as to whether or not the Nazgul have their rings on their persons for game purposes. PCs who fight them will probably look for such things, after all.

    This would be up to the monster designer, I'd say.
    Like I said, I for one agree about Sauron holding them.

    But that only applies to the Third Age. Prior to the end of the Second Age, the Ring-Wraiths certainly existed, and likely were no less powerful. The Second Age is quite a valid era to play in. (Though I personally like the First Age even better, what with it being so much like Irish, British, Norse, and Finnish myths.)

    I do think I ought to come up with D&D statistics for the rings; I could essentially just convert the MERP / Rolemaster versions into D&D 3.5.

    I'll do it if I feel inspired. ;) Meanwhile, by all means, anyone else who designs the rings (preferrably with the actual magic item creation rules; I dislike artifacts on principle) should post the design.

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    Default Re: Nazgūl

    Well, these things will pretty much have to be artifacts, since there is little that can destroy them and making more is really beyond the means of PCs. I mean, the best Elven smiths needed coaching from Sauron, even if they did make the last three without his direct aid.

    That said, I've read good arguments that the powers of all the rings are pretty much the same, since they were all made by elves and presumably made for elves. Distributing sixteen of them to men and dwarves was apparently Sauron's idea.

    I would probably make the rings into ability enhancers of some sort. They'll help a character be better at whatever he or she normally does. That might mean an enhancement bonus to class level and ability scores.

    They will also keep a character from aging, of course.

    Subject as they are to the power of the One Ring, they are all cursed. How that will affect a new owner is a difficult question. Any wearer of one of the Great Rings is subject to domination by the wearer of the One Ring at unlimited range. They would also be subject to domination by Sauron if he gained possession of their Great Rings (as in the case of the Nazgul, since Sauron lost the One). If someone gained possession of one of these rings while the One remained lost, they presumably wouldn't be under Sauron's control until he could get the ring from them or get hold of the One.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas
    I do think I ought to come up with D&D statistics for the rings; I could essentially just convert the MERP / Rolemaster versions into D&D 3.5.
    I'd like to see that. The abilities of the elves' rings are pretty distinct; did the rings given to mankind have different powers as well?
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