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    Default The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    "What kind of book did Miss Amazuki keep?"
    "A Death Book"
    "That is correct. And what was contained within the Death Book?"
    "Names...."

    -A little snippet of a Literature class my friend was in. The Questions were posed by the teacher about a selection they had just read. My friend and I are big Death Note fans, and although no references to the anime were made in the selection itself, the resemblance in quite hilarious.

    The Death Books
    Rare artifacts from a time and dimension long lost, the Death books are a set of seemingly normal notebooks. No one knows how the Death Books came to be, but it is said that the demons of the lowest parts of the Abyss keep them, and use them to torment the world. The Death Books have one simple power, they kill. There are three types of Death Books, each more powerful than the last, and each granting the user more power over death and humanity itself. Treat the two lesser Death Books as Minor Artifacts, and the Major Death Book as a Major Artifact.

    The Rules of the Death Books:

    1. The creature (The types that are affected depend on the power of the book) whose name is written in this book will die (Be affected by Slay Living, but still may save, the saves are dependent on the book). SR applies to the Slay Living. The Slay Living will affect the creature, regardless of the distance from the writer, even if they are on a different plane.

    2. This Book will not take work unless the writer has the subject's face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected. In addition, the full name must be known, nicknames and such prevent the book from being effective. The subject's face must have been seen in full at least 1 year ago.

    3. The Minor and Medium power Death Books have a limited number of pages, with a number of lines on each. Writing a name takes 1 line, specifying a time of death takes another line, and for the Medium book, writing a suggestion takes another 2 lines. The Time of Death must be written within 8 rounds of the name, and the suggestion must be written within 6 minutes. If no time of Death is inscribed, the subject is affected within 2d10 minutes. A page of a Death Book has 20 lines on it.

    4. The name, time of death, and suggestions may all be written in any visible substance, be it blood, mud, or ink.

    5. A Possessor of a Death Book may trade half their remaining life span (Or, if playing with the Bio-Mage, half their remaining Life Points) in exchange for the Demon eyes. These eyes allow the wearer to be affected by True Seeing, Caster level 20 at all times, and may know any person's name (Except another Death Book carrier), Remaining Life Span, and Remaining LP (if any) by looking at their face. The Demon eyes are an Extraordinary effect that cannot be disrupted.

    6. A time of death may not be more than 1 month from the Inscription of the name, save for the Major Death Book, which has no limit.

    7. If a Truenamer knows the Truename of the Creature they wish to kill, they may use that instead of the Creature's given name, and the Save to avoid dying and the Will save to avoid bending to the user's will are each +10 DC more.

    8. Any creature that attempts to kill a creature via, or even writes a creature's name in the Death Book, even unwillingly may not return to life once they die, and cannot go to any sort of afterlife, and are instead condemned to the Void of Vestiges.

    9. A single line or multiple lines may be torn from a Death Book. Those lines have the same power as the book itself.

    10. Writing a full entry (A name, time of death, and suggestion) in the Death Book always takes a Standard Action, regardless of how much is written. This action provokes an Attack of Opportunity, and is subject to a Concentration check if the writing is disrupted. If the check is failed, the lines involved are ruined, and the effect fails.


    Death Book, Minor

    Although the weakest of the Death Books, the Minor Death Books are still powerful indeed. Each Minor Death Book has ten pages. This Death Book only affects pure Humanoids, not Augmented or Monstrous Humanoids. The DC on the Fortitude Save to prevent dying is DC 20. The Slay Living produced by this book should be treated as a Spell-Like Ability. The Minor Death Book may only be used 3 times per week, regardless of the user. Attempts after that fill up lines in the Death Book, but do not have any effect. The Caster Level of this book's Slayer Living is 10.

    Death Book, Standard

    Carried by some of the Elite Demons of the Abyss, the Standard Death Book is a herald of Death and a weapon of immeasurable power. Each Standard Death Book has thirty pages. This Death Book affects all Living Creatures, except for Outsiders with more than 15 HD, Plants, Creatures Immune to Death Effects, and Living Constructs. The DC on the Fortitude Save to prevent dying is DC 25. The Slay Living produced by this book should be treated as a Supernatural effect. A person writing in a Standard Death Book may attach a Suggestion to the Slay Living, which may demand an action that takes no more than 1 full Round action. The Suggestion takes place before the Slay Living, and is a DC 25 Will save to prevent. The Standard Death Book may only be used 10 times per week, regardless of the User. Attempts after that fill up lines in the Death Book, but do not have any effect. The Caster Level of this book's Slay Living is 15, as is the Suggestion Spell.

    Death Book, Major

    Also known as the DeathGiver, the Reaper, or the Ender, there is only 1 Major Death Book. The Major Death Book is the same size as any other Death Book, but has unlimited pages. This Death Book affects all creatures. Creatures normally not affected by Death Effects are instead turned into dust, even Undead and Constructs. The DC on this Fortitude Save (Will save for Creatures with no Constitution) is 35. The Slay Living produced by this book should be treated as an Extraordinary effect. A person writing in this book may force the creature about to die to preform 1 or a series of actions, the total time of which may not exceed 10 rounds. The Will save to avoid preforming the actions is only given at the onset, and is a DC 35 Will Save. The Major Death Book may be used with no limit, but due to the pure power of the Book, any one user may only use it 25 times per week. After that, a DC 35 Will save may be more to use it again in that week, but each time the user succeeds, the DC is upped by 5. If the User fails the will save, they take 10d10 damage, and may not use the book until the week is over. The Book is so powerful, it ignores SR, and because it transcends normal magic, is cannot be stopped or destroyed by anything less than the full cooperation of at least 5 Divine Rank 16+ Creatures, or by being thrust into the Centers of Celestia, Valhalla, the Abyss, and Hell.

    Plot Hooks


    1. Important members of the City Council are dying at seemingly random, find the perpetrator, and stop them.

    2. One of the Party's old enemies has escaped incarceration, and is in possession of a Death Book. Luckily, it has been over a year since the party met him/her, and they must not avoid recognition, and take him down secretly.

    3. A cult of Vecna has their hands on the Major Death Book, and is killing all those opposing them. The Party must avoid being killed, retrieve the book, and garner the cooperation of the greatest of deities to finally destroy the book.

    The Book-5th level Vestige.

    Legend: Legend has it that the Book is not actually just 1 Vestige, but the combined Vestige of every Creature to have even written in the Death Books. When they died, their Souls were trapped inside this book that floats along in the Void.

    Summoning: When the Book is summoned, it appears as a single word, written in space inside the Pact Circle. That word is Death. Then, the Book appears as a simple leather-bound notebook. Suddenly, the book flies open, as the names of thousands of individuals, all those whose lives were taken by the Death Books. Accompanied by the fluttering of pages is the screams of those trapped inside the book. Finally, the book opens to an empty page, and as the binder makes his pact, the books pages fill with the agreements and counteroffers.

    Influence: The Book is a culmination of those who made the mistake of using the Death Book, and then died. A Binder Influenced by The Book becomes obsessed with two things, the Death Books, and staying alive. A Binder influenced by this Vestige must spend any free time searching for and researching the Death Books, and must seek (Not necessarily receive) healing once 1/4 of their HP is gone, or suffer the wrath of this Vestige.

    Sign: When bound to this Vestige, a Binder's skin both feels and looks like paper, and if they bleed, their blood looks like fresh ink.

    Powers Granted:

    Slay Living: A Binder Bound to this Vestige may use Slay Living once every 5 Rounds at a caster level of their effective Binder level.

    Voices of the Thousands: A Binder Bound to this Vestige may call upon the Creatures that were tempted to use the Book to end the lives of others, and force them to assist him mentally. While making the Pact, the Binder chooses Charisma, Wisdom, or Intelligence. He gains a +3 to all skill checks that depend on that attribute for as long as the Pact lasts.

    Demon Eyes: A Binder Bound to this Vestige gains Demon Eyes for free, without losing their Lifespan or LP. When the Pact ends, the Demon Eyes dissipate.

    Little Deaths: A Binder Bound to this Vestige may use Inflict Light Wounds and Bane at will.

    Read Magic: A Binder Bound to this Vestige may use Read Magic at will, but only if they show the sign.
    Last edited by TheLogman; 2007-11-29 at 08:55 PM.
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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Rule 5 says note. It should say book.

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Just out of curiosity, why bother giving the Major Death Book a save at all? Its user can just repeatedly write down the victim's name until they fail the save. Odds are they'd be dead before the killer runs out of weekly uses, and even if they did survive, the killer could just try again the next week. This applies to the other books to a lesser extent, but at least in those cases the victim has time to throw up a death ward once he starts making saves (if I read the description right, the Major Death Book can bypass death ward just like it bypasses normal immunities of creatures without Con scores).

    As a side note, the second sentence of rule 8 should probably be moved to the description of the Major Death Book, since it's not relevant to the books in general.
    Last edited by Mewtarthio; 2007-11-27 at 06:24 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Fixed the stuff you guys mentioned. I've also decreased the save to 35 on the Major Death Book, which would mean that an Epic level party (The only ones that should be targeted by this anyway) could make the save. I considered not giving the Major Book a save at all, but if that happens, people could go around killing Pelor and the Demon Lords and such.
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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    2. This note will not take effect unless the writer has the subject's face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected. In addition, the full name must be known, nicknames and such prevent the note from being effective. The subject's face must have been seen in full at least 1 year ago.
    I think you meant "most" there.

    Also, what about creatures without discernable anatomy (e.g. oozes)? Does it work on them?
    Last edited by SurlySeraph; 2007-11-28 at 12:11 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLogman View Post
    Fixed the stuff you guys mentioned. I've also decreased the save to 35 on the Major Death Book, which would mean that an Epic level party (The only ones that should be targeted by this anyway) could make the save. I considered not giving the Major Book a save at all, but if that happens, people could go around killing Pelor and the Demon Lords and such.
    If an artifact like this were floating around the world, I'd say that nobody knows the real names of deities and certain powerful beings. Discovering the True Name of Asmodeus would be an epic quest in itself. Besides, unless the creature's immune to natural 1 autofails, you can still spam it with twenty-five death effects in a single instant (by timing them to be simultaneous), meaning that they have at most a 28% chance of surviving. You could even be really nasty and keep this up for three weeks, recording the victim's name and writing the same time of death (say, sometime next month) every time, thereby dropping the chances of survival to less than 1%. Unless, of course, you introduce a mechanic to penalize Death Book spamming (which is already implicit in the Minor and Standard Books, since you'll just run out of room, but not in the Major).

    Granted, high-ranking deities, as well as creatures with a certain feat, really are immune to natural 1 autofails, so it might be less important than I'm making it out to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    These artifacts, especially the Major one, are not meant to be all that survivable. If the person knows your name and face, you are pretty much screwed right here and now. In a world where these Books exist, everyone would use pseudonyms, and faces would be covered when necessary. Granted, spamming the Major book could kill just about anything, but that's what it's supposed to do. There is only 1, and it is the very incarnation of the power of death.
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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Interesting. But, why not have it so that you have to know the true name of the target?
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern.
    If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature (mine was on an airship)

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    Quote Originally Posted by arkanis View Post
    1st point: You summoned that? Wow, you magnificent b*stard son of a munchkin. Are you accepting apprentice applications?

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Quote Originally Posted by magic_unlocked View Post
    Interesting. But, why not have it so that you have to know the true name of the target?
    So that it's possible to use in worlds without truenaming?
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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    I personaly think this is an amazing add to artifacts. My Epic level characters will love it. And if they don't they might be dead anyway... hehe don't ya love being god.
    Last edited by Dustfinger; 2007-11-28 at 03:51 PM.
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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Hmm, I s'pose that'll work. Though, i believe that truenames have been around even before the truenamer class. Words of Creation and all that from Exaulted Deeds, though, that may not entirely be OGL. *ponders*
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkanis View Post
    1st point: You summoned that? Wow, you magnificent b*stard son of a munchkin. Are you accepting apprentice applications?

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Quote Originally Posted by magic_unlocked View Post
    Interesting. But, why not have it so that you have to know the true name of the target?
    Using truenames restricts the potentil plot use.
    Imagine a villain giving the book to a teenage girl (Illusions, Geas, and suggestions of course) to use as a diary. Attractive males start dropping like flies!

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Thank you Dustfinger.

    Also, Magic, I'd rather it just be their given name for a few reasons.

    Firstly, Truenames and the like are tied to special knowledge, knowledge the Users may not have. According to RAW, it would take at least a week of research using a library, and that assuming knowing what to look for, having intricate knowledge of Truenaming, and the thing in question is of legend.

    Secondly, and on the same vein, remember that Demons use these, and Demons, be chaotic in nature, are not usually going to do research and such on a thing when they want to kill, they just will.

    Thirdly, because the books are based on the Anime series Deathnote, I'd like the books to stay rather close to the origin so to speak. Within the series, a Japanese High School student gets a Death Book, and begins killing people (Specifically criminals and those who he deems worthy of his vengeance). In the series, only the name and face is needed to kill.

    Fourthly, I don't like to use things from other sources than Core in my Homebrews, since I like to make my things easy to add to a campaign.

    However, it would be easy to require the Truename if you are using it in your campaign, but remember, this would have two specific results. Firstly, it would make Truenamers more powerful, since once they got the Book, they are solid. Secondly, and more importantly, it would make the Demon Eyes ridiculously powerful, since they would of course give the Truename of the subject (they do not now). This would allow Truenamers to simply look at an enemy, learn a new Truename, and use it on the spot, turning what is supposed to be an edge against big enemies into a power boost on practically everything.

    EDIT: Collin, indeed that could happen, especially since girls often think of a boy's face then writing about them. In fact, in Deathnote,
    Spoiler
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    Light, the owner of the Death Note, tricks an enemy into killing a large group of threats by telling him to simply write their names in a specific sheet of paper while imagining their face. However, in the anime, anyone who uses the Deathnote cannot go to heaven or hell, something I've reserved for only the Major Death note. However, you would have to be extremely evil to not only make someone kill others unintentionally, but to also to prevent their life.
    Last edited by TheLogman; 2007-11-28 at 05:26 PM.
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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Ah, true. I guess I didn't think it out all the way. Anyhow, these would be cool items.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern.
    If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature (mine was on an airship)

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    Quote Originally Posted by arkanis View Post
    1st point: You summoned that? Wow, you magnificent b*stard son of a munchkin. Are you accepting apprentice applications?

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Definately NOT from Deathnote... : )

    Awesome. You need some shinigami. : )

    PS- I say no save. Thats only if you really want it to be an artifact though. If not it should not be able to effect the person after one attempt.

    Edit- It simply only works on mortals. No outsiders or undead or oozes. This makes it a lot more balanced. If you're worried about power issues then and a CON loss to the one in possesion of the book. Less HP= more careful.
    Last edited by Fredderf; 2007-11-29 at 12:43 PM.

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredderf View Post
    Definately NOT from Deathnote... : )

    Awesome. You need some shinigami. : )

    PS- I say no save. Thats only if you really want it to be an artifact though. If not it should not be able to effect the person after one attempt.

    Edit- It simply only works on mortals. No outsiders or undead or oozes. This makes it a lot more balanced. If you're worried about power issues then and a CON loss to the one in possesion of the book. Less HP= more careful.
    or anything with dvr
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    played the Space Pope in Total War 2125
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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Would the weilder of any of the books gain experience points from writing a "target's" name down in the book?

    The Major Death Book seems pretty overpowering even for an artifact. It would seem to be sought out by even deities.

    On a side thought most Middle-Eastern Islamic women would be immune to the books.

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    What if someone has no face? Or more likely, no name?

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Alright. Firstly, no offense to everyone, but I prefer the Death Books how they are. However, I now present to you the Deathnote, which is the exact artifact in the mange/anime, completely transfered, changes. I dislike this version, as it is not written in in D&D terms, but hey, it's here.

    Death Note

    As a standard action, the user may write a full name, cause of death, time of death, and situation regarding the death. If the following conditions are followed, the death of the subject occurs exactly as written.

    The important rules are here, and the Nitty Gritty stuff is here.

    1.The writer must write the entire correct name of the subject while imagining their face.

    2. If a cause and time of death is written within 40 seconds (6 rounds) it will happen.

    3. If the conditions of the death are written within 6 minutes and 40 seconds, they will happen.

    4. An owner of the Death Note may trade half their remaining life span for Shinigami eyes, which function exactly as Demon eyes, listed above.

    5. If no cause of death is written, a heart attack occurs instead.

    6. A cause and time of death will not work if it is more than 23 days away from the time of writing.

    7. A human who writes in a death note may not go to heaven or hell.

    8. Pieces of the death note work as well as a pages, and ripped out pages work as well as ones in a notebook. The pages of a Death Note never run out.

    No face? As in like an Ooze or something? Just envision the creature itself. As for the no name part, everyone has some name. The Demon/Shinigami eyes reveal a person's name that the user needs to kill him, even if it is just a description.
    Last edited by TheLogman; 2007-11-29 at 06:26 PM.
    Thanks a TON to Almighty Salmon for the Amazing Log Man!

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    I read the wiki article and I found to part about the god(s) can extend their own lives by writing in to book. I can see if it worked for humans how certain individual would like to get there hands on one of them.

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    These are pretty cool. My Wizard Villian would not mind getting his hands on one of these.

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    Default Re: The Death Books [Artifacts, Plot Hooks, and a Vestige]

    Scythoro, the Death gods extend their lives with Human life, but humans cannot do the same. The Death Note can be used to kill people that threaten you, which COULD extend your life hypothetically, but that could lead to more danger (And consequently a shorted life span). The only way to extend your life through association to the book is if a Death god loves you. If such a twisted creature would ever love you, and saves your life by killing the person that would kill you (Effectively extending your life instead of taking it like they should), then that Death god's remaining life is added to your own (and they are killed).

    Spoiler
    Show
    Light's Psychotic girlfriend had her lifespan extended this way twice, (By two different Death gods of course) which cancels out the fact that she made the trade for the Shinigami eyes...twice. Ya...what she lacks in sanity and intelligence she makes up for in hotness and craziness, as well as obsession.
    Last edited by TheLogman; 2007-11-29 at 08:49 PM.
    Thanks a TON to Almighty Salmon for the Amazing Log Man!

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