Thursday, June 18, 2009

Magic Item: The Pale Lord's Light

The Pale Lord's Light: At once delicate and fearful, the Pale Lord's Light is an oil lamp no larger than two cupped hands. Unlike more common lamps of brass or even common earthenware, the Light is forged of hair-thin and glittering black iron, cool to the touch; it bears a single looped handle, and is covered in finely rendered etchings of arabesques and stylized wings.

The Pale Lord's Light is a double-edged blade. When filled with oil and lit, it burns with an unseen fire -- and calls all undead creatures within two hundred feet to it to stand motionless and insensate, staring at the colourless flame. This fire will last for an hour; and many adventurers deem this more than enough time to lure and ambush the undead hordes, or to barricade them away.

However, the Light bestows a second "gift". Any undead that basks in its light and is not destroyed when the lamp burns down is touched by the Pale Lord's power: the creature gains a full hit point count from its Hit Dice, +2 to to-hit and damage rolls, and is turned as if a creature of +4 Hit Dice. Its innate abilities, if applicable, inflict a -3 penalty to their saving throws. Perhaps worst of all, the creature may receive this blessing once a year, increasing all but its hit point count and receiving +2 Hit Dice or the ability to learn magic-user spells in its place.

7 comments:

Eliyes said...

I get the feeling this was created by a necromancer of the "I command the walking dead" variety, rather than someone wanting a way to lure and distract said walking dead.

taichara said...

@Eliyes:

Heheheheh ;3

Eliyes said...

It's the ability to use Magic-User spells that flummoxes me. Even undead that aren't usually very smart?

Chris said...

I love this item. It's like something out of Lucan's Pharsalia.

Tacoma said...

I like how it has such possibility.

First off, if discovered in a dungeon the PCs might light it just for use as a light source. They may wonder why all these Undead keep walking up and just standing there. This may make them overconfident later when they aren't using the lamp.

Then after they figure it out, they have some choices. The lamp obviously beefs up any free-willed Undead or Necromancers by proxy, so it's a bad idea to just let it go by selling it. And what happens if they carry it around to use during Undead-ambushes but it slips out of their grasp?

And if they did sell it, who would they want to sell it to? Sure a temple might buy it just to destroy it, but you're going to get a pittance for it as reward (or nothing, as being Good is its own reward).

Then again there's nothing inherently Evil about the item. Just its possible uses. And one could argue that a Wand of Fireball is just as Evil.

Maybe this thing would be the tipping weight in the balance that sends them straight into Animate Dead territory. It is after all a hugely powerful thing. They might start trying to rationalize how Undead really aren't that bad and it's hardly Evil just to have some of them serve you, right?

In all, great work.

le bulette said...

would go nicely with the necromancer npc in KS#1 indeed

taichara said...

@Eliyes:

Since when is intelligence necessarily a requisite for innate spellcasting? ;3


@Chris: Thank ye kindly ~


@Tacoma:

*evil grin* Exactly so. And if one is running a campaign where the good/evil axis is rather blurred to begin with, it gets even better. ;3


@le bulette:

Heheh ;3 True enough.