Expert Dungeon Master Competition 21: Craft a Cursed Item!

217 posts / 0 new
Last post

Expert Dungeon Master Competition 21:


Craft a Cursed Item!
Welcome to the twenty-first Expert Dungeon Master Competition! The primary purpose of the Expert Dungeon Master Competitions is threefold:
  • To create a resource for new Dungeon Masters drawing on the vast talent pool of the experienced Dungeon Masters of this forum.

  • To create a fun and vibrant competition that is sportsmanlike and friendly.

  • To showcase the creativity and talent of Dungeon Masters like you.


The best way to keep informed about the competition is to join the Expert Dungeon Master Competition group. There you can review the rules, archives, and future contest ideas, and get broadcasts telling you when new competitions begin and when results are released!

Required Elements


The topic for this competition is "Cursed Item". The contest asks entrants to create a magic item that is "cursed". In order to enter this competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:
  • Name: Name the item.

  • Cursed: The item must have at least one negative consequence to its possession and/or usage, such that only a desperate, evil, insane, or self-loathing individual would choose to keep it.

  • Stat Block: Present a stat block for the item. You may use any format, as long as it contains all the information of a stat block for a magic item in the Compendium or Player's Handbook.

  • Identification: Address the detectability of the item's curse, keeping in mind the rules for Identifying Magic Items found on page 223 of the Player's Handbook.

  • Removal: Describe how the curse might be removed, including but not limited to use of the Remove Affliction ritual.

  • History: Describe the item's history.

  • Usage: Describe generally how a DM might choose to include the item in a campaign.

Optional Elements


In addition, the entry must include at least three of the following optional elements:
  1. Agent: The item allows a powerful entity (such as an archifey, demon lord, deity, or primordial) to influence its owner.

  2. Cascading: Each time the curse manifests, it gets less potent until it disappears entirely, or more potent until removed or the owner dies.

  3. Dormant: The curse does not manifest until well after the owner takes possession of it.

  4. Environmental: The curse affects terrain or creates zones rather than directly affecting the owner or the owner's allies.

  5. Hidden: The curse cannot be detected during a short rest or by using the Arcana Skill.

  6. Innocuous: The item is not standard adventuring equipment, but is likely to be picked up, worn, or used when discovered.

  7. Lingering: The curse lasts even after possession of the item ends.

  8. Noncombat: The curse only affects the owner and/or allies' noncombat abilities.

  9. One Man's Blessing: The item's creator considered the curse to be a blessing.

  10. Perverted: The item did not obtain its curse until after it had been created.

  11. Quest: The curse can only be removed by completing a quest described in the entry.

  12. Revered: One or more NPCs covet the item, as described in the entry.

  13. Sociophobic: The curse continually affects the owner's allies but never affects the owner.

Please list the optional elements you are trying to meet in your entry.

General Rules


Following are some general rules of the Expert DM Competition. The complete list of rules is in the Expert Dungeon Master Competition Group Wiki.
  • Code of Conduct. All entries must comply with the forum's Code of Conduct.

  • Contest Duration. Contests usually run for two weeks, beginning with the post announcing the competition. The Coordinator may extend the duration of the contest at his discretion after consulting the other judges for that competition. However, such extensions should be done very rarely.

  • Edits Made at Entrants' Own Risk. A judge may download your entry any time after it is submitted. So any edits you make might not be considered by a judge. For this reason, you should submit your entry in as complete a form as possible. Use the preview function liberally.

  • Multiple Entries Prohibited. You may only submit one entry during the period in which entries may be submitted. Submitting multiple entries disqualifies all entries. Additional entries may be submitted after the competition closes, but will not be judged.

  • Multi-Post Entries Prohibited. Your entry must be contained within a single post. The judges must ignore any subsequent posts.

  • Outside Links Prohibited. Your entry may not include material hosted other than community.wizards.com and wizards.com.  Images in your profile gallery may be used.

  • Plagiarism and Peer Reviewing Prohibited. All entries must be the original, exclusive work of the applicant. Entries that copy another's work or that has been posted for review prior to the close of the competition will be disqualified.

Judges and Schedule


The contest will run from today through Friday, August 20, 2010. All entries must be submitted no later than 12:00 midnight at the end of that day (Eastern Standard Time). The judges of this contest are Koradzi, Monstro, Nyarlathotep, and Veok, and the coordinator of this contest is wrecan. Good luck and have fun!!
Questions and Answers
Q. Can the item be alchemical, rather than magical?

A. No, although the magic item can generate an alchemical item.


Q. For purposes of the "Cursed" required element, how does one know if the "negative consequence" is so severe "that only a desperate, evil, insane, or self-loathing individual would choose to keep it"?


A. This will be a judgment call.  However, nobody will receive a zero in Themes simply because the judges decide that the negative consequence is insufficiently severe.  (However, having no negative consequence at all can result in a Themes of zero.)


Q. For purposes of the "Cursed" required element, can an individual who could not be a player character be willing to keep the item even if that individual is not "desperate, evil, insane, or self-loathing"?


A. No.


Q. For purposes of the "Identification" required element, what are the rules for Identifying Magic Items found on page 223 of the Player's Handbook?

A: "Most of the time, you can determine the properties and powers of a magic item during a short rest.  In the course of handling the item for a few minutes, you discover what the item is and what it does.  You can identify one magic item per short rest.  Some magic items might be a bit harder to identify, such as cursed and nonstandard items, or powerful magical artifacts.  Your DM might ask for an Arcana check to determine their properties, or you might even need to go on a special quest to find a ritual to identify or to unlock the powers of a unique item."


Q: For the purposes of the "Dormant" optional element, how long is "well after"? 

A. That will be a judgment call.  The curse should not manifest until after the party no longer would suspect the item to be cursed.  At a minimum, a short rest should have passed, or longer depending on the context.


Q. For purposes of the "Environmental" optional element, can a terrain- or zone-based effect be combined with another effect that does directly affect the owner or allies?

A. No.


Q. For purposes of the "Noncombat" optional element, can the curse affect things other than attack and damage rolls, like movement or Stealth checks?

A. If a curse might affect one's combat abilities, the entry will not meet this element.  For subtler effects, this might involve a judgment call.


Q. For purposes of the "Revered" optional element, must specific NPCs be given?

A. No.  The NPCs who covet the item can be specific individuals or a general group or organization of NPCs.


Q. For purposes of the "Sociophobic" optional element, must the effect on the allies be continuous?

A. Yes.
Medals and Scores
The curse has been lifted, and now the medals can be declared!

The bronze medal goes to

Kestralb


with


The Brooch of Accidental Death


The silver medal goes to

Oni_Kagura


with


The Mark of Captain Brineblood


The gold medal goes to
ZeroPoint
with
Fionna's Fabulous Meat Pies!
Congratulations to all three!  ZeroPoint is not only entitled to bragging rights as the newest Heroic Dungeon Master, but also is eligible to join the illustrious ranks of future XDMC judges!

Thanks to our judges for this contest, Koradzi, Monstro, Nyarlathotep, and Veok!  I'm sure with the number of entries we had this contest, they may have felt they were the ones cursed!  Stay tuned for the next contest in a few weeks.  In the meantime, enjoy the carefully tabulated scores below:
No.Creat’yUsab’yThemeClar’yBonusTotalEntrant’s Entry
0110 1/26 3/4n/a623 1/4BalogTheFierce's Necklace of Twisted Tongues
028 1/296 1/47 7/831 5/8DharmaTel's Cursed Necklace of Fireballs
0311 1/211 3/45 1/46 1/834 5/8CorrinAvatan's Silver Blade
0411 1/89 3/87 1/27 5/835 5/8UsagiYojimbo's Stone of Absolute Randomness
05117 3/465 1/430ingestiblebulk's Crown of a Thousand Doorways
0614 1/413 1/478143 1/2ZeroPoint's Fionna's Fabulous Meat Pies
0711 7/810 7/877 1/237 1/4ClanBattlerage's Ring of Persistent Protection
0813106 1/47 1/4137 1/2Matthias_DM's Corvus Ring
0913 1/411 1/48 1/47 1/440Johnathan_Vagabond's Dragon Teeth and the Tooth of Fire
106 1/27 1/25 1/24 3/424 1/4Masterofdr@gons' Shadowsoul
11108 3/4n/a7 1/825 7/8Kyros_Tachyus' Statue of Segondifex
128 1/298 1/27 1/433 1/4Ankiyavon's Soulcutter, the Tyrant's Blade
139 1/28 3/85 3/45 1/428 7/8Killeeivous' Sword of Truth Inviolate
1413 1/412 1/46 1/27 3/4140 3/4Oni_Kagura's Mark of Captain Brineblood
1512 1/2126 1/48 1/239 1/4Qube's Rune of Power
1611 1/212 3/48 1/47 3/440 1/4Kestralb's Brooch of Accidental Death
17149 1/46 1/48 1/437 3/4Dulsi's Princess' Love
1812 1/211 1/27 3/47 3/839 1/8Tinwe's Wildwood
--11 1/39 2/36 3/87 1/4n/a35 1/8Median Score

In order to meet both the Cursed required element and the One Man's Blessing optional element, is it legitimate to have an curse that might theoretically be beneficial to a PC, or must it be harmful to every PC createable?

(Harmful to most characters is a given.)
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Neither the definition of "Cursed" or "One Man's Blessing" is limited to PCs.  To be Cursed, "[o]nly a desperate, evil, insane, or self-loathing individual would choose to keep" the item.  How you reconcile that with the One Man's Blessing element is up to you.
My first attempt at this, sorry if I got the format wrong or whatever, but this one has been in my back pocket for a LOOOOOOONNG time and wanted to share it.

Necklace of Twisted Tongues
This ornately decorative necklace has small gnomish runes carved into the metallic beadwork that adorn it as well as around the large ruby gemstone in the center.

Level: 3    1,000 GP

Enchantment:  You can use the Comprehend Language ritual as an At-Will-Power.  In addition while worn the wearer of this necklace is only able to speak in riddles and rhymes, or a similarly poetic manner (Tongue twisters, Iambic Pentameter, Haiku etc.).  Anytime the wearer fails to speak in such a manner, the necklace creates a sharp prick in the wearer's neck reminding them of the curse. (1d6 damage, cumulatively for each infraction, so 1d6 for the first 2d6 for the second etc.  This resets itself back to 1d6 at the end of an extended rest.)  Attempts to remove the item will also activate the curse.

Identification:  Character's making an Arcana check will at first identify the item as a Necklace of Many Tongues, Arcana check 17 - 24.   While worn allowing the wearer to understand and speak any language that they are in the process of hearing.
Only characters succeeding at an Arcana check of 25+ Will properly identify the item's true nature.

Removal: In addition to the Remove Affliction Ritual the character could also not activate the item's curse effect for a month long period, either of which will allow the wearer to remove the item.

History:  Originally created by the eccentric gnome Flitwick the Jolly, a young bard who wanted to improve his talents at his craft.  Flitwick being a lazy sort of gnome decided to craft the item as a reminder to continually practice his craft and improve at his art form.  Over time he developed his talents beyond the need for the necklace any longer as he was always able to produce a well versed poem or ballad on command.

Usage:  Designed for DM's that have players that often like to rule's lawyer or metagame, the intent of the item is to draw the player away from rules mechanics and encourage other sides of their creativity, alternatively it can also settle down overly talkative or disruptive players, or serve as a creative outlet or even an odd bit of fun for players that may already write poetry or who enjoy other styles of wordplay.
Tolkein was a jerk. Seriously, what DM sends 9 Wraith Lords at a Lvl 2 party of Halflings. The only 'correct' way to play D&D is by whatever method is making the group you have at that session, have the most fun.
Welcome to the competitions, BalogTheFierce!

Cursed Necklace of Fireballs


A cracked star ruby, flickering with a dull inner fire, hangs from a rusted iron chain.

Item Slot: Neck
Enhancement: None, but it appears to grant +3 Fortitude, Reflex, and Will

Power (Daily • Fire): Standard Action. Pull the ruby from the necklace and throw it. Make an attack: Area burst 2 within 10 squares; Intelligence or Dexterity +3 vs. Reflex; on a hit, the target takes fire damage equal to 5d6+3 (half damage on a miss). After an extended rest, the necklace regrows a new ruby and can be used again.

Curse: (Triggered when the daily attack power is used) After all targets have been attacked, but before any damage has been rolled, you are teleported to the origin square of the burst (or closest sqaure in burst if the origin sqaure is occupied). You become an additional target of the attack and are automatically hit, taking 5d6+3 fire damage.

Identification: The necklace is easily identifiable with a DC 15 Arcana check and appears to be a level 15 Necklace of Fireballs +3, worth 25,0000 GP. A DC 20 Perception check will note that despite being a magic item, the ruby is cracked and the chain rusted. The nature of the curse is unidentifiable, but a successful DC 20 passive Insight check will tell the player something about the enchantment seems wrong.

Removal: Once the necklace is worn, it cannot be removed. After its daily power has been used at least once, a successful Remove Affliction ritual will allow the player to remove the necklace. Treat the curse as a level 15 effect for purposes of the ritual.

History: The exact origin of the necklace is unknown, but rumor says it was made by a young apprentice enchanter trying to impress his master. Despite using techniques beyond his comprehension, he managed to create the necklace, but it didn't turn out quite right.

Usage: Use this item to tempt the players into a situation they know they should avoid. Giving an apparent paragon-tier item to a low-heroic tier party should make the party very nervous. This item can be used to teach a lesson to player who may be greedy with the distribution of loot. Drop before a key battle to see if they will be tempted to use it.

Optional Usage: The item may be part of an adventure hook (see Quest below). Allow a mid-heroic party to find the item, adventure to discover a means of reversing its effects, and get the un-cursed level 15 Necklace of Fireballs as a reward.

Background: I actually did use this in a game I DM'd when the party was only 4th level. They found it at the bottom of an unholy baptismal font in a necromancers lair. Despite all the obvious signs, a greedy player still put it on and used it. I created the item to try to teach the problem player a lesson, having given them every opportunity to say "no" to the temptation.

Mandatory Optional Elements: Dormant, Hidden, Quest (see above), and One Man's Blessing (since it is possible to resist the fire damage, use the attack to damage enemies, or use the teleport as free move action)

Couple questions on optional elements:


Environmental: The curse affects terrain or creates zones rather than directly affecting the owner or the owner's allies.


Can this optional element be combined with another affect that *does* directly affect the owner or allies?


Noncombat: The curse only affects the owner and/or allies' noncombat abilities.


"Noncombat" as in "has no effect on or in combat”, “has no effect on attack or damage rolls", or some other definition? For example, does a curse that affects movement while in combat qualify? What about a curse that affects skills that can be used in combat, such as stealth or bluff? What about a curse that affects healing surges during or after combat?


Sociophobic: The curse continually affects the owner's allies but never affects the owner.


Must the effect be continuous, or is it enough for the owner to never be affected?

Bring Gleemax Back. Even as a failure, it was better than this. http://community.wizards.com/durdur
Welcome to the XDMCs, DharmaTel!

As to Tinwe's questions:

Q. Can the "Environmental" optional element be combined with another affect that *does* directly affect the owner or allies?


A. No.  The "rather than" was intended to express that there is no direct effect on the owner or allies.



Q. Can an item meet the "Noncombat" element if it has no effect on attack or damage rolls, but affect other things like movement, Stealth checks, etc.?


A. If it might affect one's combat abilities, the item will not meet this element.  At some point, this might be a judgment call, which is why we have judges. 


 


Q. To meet the "Sociophobic" element, must the effect on the allies be continuous?


A. Yes.


Sociophobic: The curse continually affects the owner's allies but never affects the owner.


Must the effect be continuous, or is it enough for the owner to never be affected?




The way I read it, the curse itself need not be continuous (for example, if the curse is triggered by a specific action, rather than an innate property), but it must be consistent between each triggering of the curse.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.

Sociophobic: The curse continually affects the owner's allies but never affects the owner.


Must the effect be continuous, or is it enough for the owner to never be affected?




The way I read it, the curse itself need not be continuous (for example, if the curse is triggered by a specific action, rather than an innate property), but it must be consistent between each triggering of the curse.



That would have been a much more clear way of asking what I had meant to ask.  Wrecan's answers on the others are what I expected, but I figured it couldn't hurt to clarify.

Bring Gleemax Back. Even as a failure, it was better than this. http://community.wizards.com/durdur
To meet the "revered" requirement, does it need to be coveted by a SPECIFIC npc, or can it be a group of nameless NPCs (such as villagers who want to use the Cursed Spoon to make better stews)?
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
To meet the "revered" requirement, does it need to be coveted by a SPECIFIC npc, or can it be a group of nameless NPCs (such as villagers who want to use the Cursed Spoon to make better stews)?


It can be a specific NPC or a group of generic NPCs.

The Silver Blade


 


Statblock


The Silver Blade


Heroic Tier


Marked along the edge with symbols important to the man that forged it, this blade glows faintly whenlycanthropes are near.


The Silver Blade is a +1 Magical Longsword with the following properties:


Enhancement: Attack and Damage Rolls.


Critical: +1d6 damage, or +1d12 damage against lycanthropes.

Special:  The following properties are not known by the wielder until the blade is identified by a religion check as belonging to Saint Fandren Wolf-Bane or until the Silver Blade curse is triggered.


Property:  The Silver Blade is considered having the Brutal 1 against lycanthropes.


Property:  The Silver Blade is treated as a silvered weapon when attacking lycanthropes.


Power (Daily):  Minor action.  You create a zone of silver light close burst 5 centered on yourself until the end of the encounter.  Any lycanthropes within the zone are marked by you, and grant combat advantage to you and your allies.  A lycanthrope must pass a saving throw with a -2 penalty to the roll to attempt to leave the zone.  If it fails, it must wait until its’ next turn to attempt to leave the zone again.


 


Curse:  The first time a player wielding the Silver Blade reduces a lycanthrope or shifter to zero hit points and kills it, the curse is triggered.  At the end of each day that the wielder does not slay a lycanthrope or shifter with it, the Silver Blade makes the following attack: 


Silver Blade Curse


Target:  The wielder of the Silver Blade


+7 vs Will, on hit, the wielder is affected by the Curse of the Silver Blade, resulting in a -2 penalty to attack rolls until he or she attacks a lycanthrope or shifter with the Silver Blade, at which time the effect of the curse is temporarily suspended.  If its’ wielder attacks a lycanthrope or shifter and fails to kill at least one with the Silver Blade, the effect of the curse resumes at the end of the encounter.


Special:  For each day past the first that a lycanthrope or shifter is not slain using the Silver Blade, it gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls for this attack.


Once the curse is triggered, the Silver Blade gains the following properties:


Property:  The Silver Blade can communicate telepathically with its’ wielder, and can speak in any language its’ wielder knows.  When it speaks, it can choose to exclude anyone within earshot from hearing it.


 


Removal:  The wielder of the Silver Blade at the time that the curse is triggered suffers terrible dreams if they cast aside the Silver Blade, reliving the memories and nightmares of the slaughter of Fandren’s family over and over again if they attempt to rid themselves of it.  If the Silver Blade is abandoned, or otherwise not in the wielder’s possession, the wielder’s healing surge total decreases by one for each day that they are not in possession of the blade.  If the wielder is reduced to a total of zero healing surges, the wielder is killed outright and cannot be resurrected until the curse is removed from the Silver Blade.  Any attempts to destroy the blade only result in the blade reconstituting itself within 1 square of the wielder 24 hours later.


            There are only three methods to remove the curse; the first method is to slay the creature called First Fang, a level 13 Werewolf Lord that lies within the deepest parts of a legendary forest and whose death is rumored to be tied to the cure to lycanthropy.  A DC 25 Nature check will allow a player to know the general area in which First Fang can be found.  The killing blow must be with the Silver Blade.  Upon the completion of this quest, the Silver Blade permanently disintegrates to dust, the soul within no longer having a purpose in the mortal world. 


            Another other method the curse can be removed is if the wielder brings the Silver Blade back to a temple of the Silver Flame, the order to which Fandren belonged; at this location, the head abbot informs them that they would be able to perform a ritual to lift the curse; however, the nature of the curse requires a shifter or lycanthrope to be present to forgive the current and past wielders for their actions.  Should this quest be completed, despite the prejudices of the clergy, shifters, and lycanthropes, the Silver Blade will dissolve into 9,000 gold worth of residiuum as the curse is permanently removed.

            The final way of removing the curse is by the death of the wielder, at which point the Silver Blade will return to dormancy.  Any creature who dies while under the effect of the curse cannot be resurrected until the curse is lifted from the blade by either of the first two methods listed here, as the Blade steals a portion of that creature's soul.


 


Identification:  Any player who makes a DC 20 Religion check or brings it to a local church of the Silver Flame can identify that the blade once belonged to Fandren the Wolf-Bane, and knows the common knowledge of Fandren, and the properties and powers of the Silver Blade are unlocked; this can also be achieved by using the Silver Blade against a lycanthrope in any way.  Until these requirements are met, the Silver Blade acts and appears as if it were only a silvered +1 Magical Longsword, even to prolonged magical scrutiny, though there is usually some hint that there is something more to the item.  However, knowledge of the curse doesn’t become possible until the curse manifests itself.


             Once the curse manifests, a player can make a DC 25 religion check to recall the rumored knowledge of the story of Fandren Wolf-Bane and recognize the Silver Blade as an actual artifact, as opposed to a regular magical item.  If a wielder’s concordance with the Silver Blade goes into the Satisfied or Angered range, or if the wielder attempts to abandon the Silver Blade, he or she automatically gain the rumored knowledge of the Silver Blade.


 


History:


Common Knowledge:


            When the Purge started, the paladin Fandren was on the front lines, the first to answer the call to eliminate the lycanthropes entirely.  Wielding his father's sword that Fandren silvered with his own hands, he became a force of destruction that the lycanthropes fled at all costs.  Legends tell that more lycanthropes fell at his blade than to the rest of the paladins combined. 


            However, near the end of the Purge, he seemed very sickly, and embarked on a mission that he told the other paladins nothing about, taking up his blade and speaking “there is something that must be done.”  Since that day, he was never seen again, and pilgrims have been searching the woods for his legendary weapon for decades, hoping the divine powers of Saint Fandren will assist them in protecting their homes.


Rumored knowledge:

             Fandren’s story before the attack that brought him to the Silver Flame has bee lost to most historians, however fragments remain.  Returning home from school, he found his mother and father half-eaten, and his sister crying in a corner.  Having nowhere to go, he and his sister began the journey to the nearest temple, where they were taken in by the clergy.


             However, it was but a few months later that Fandren learned of the death of his sister.  The monks told him that she had thrown herself off the church belltower, and showed a letter that she had written before her suicide, in which she revealed that she was bearing the child of one of the werewolves that had attacked their home.  Fandren spent months locked in his room, hardly ever coming out until he saw a Templar of the Silver Flame enter the monastery.


            Begging the man to take him as his squire, the elder knight, whose name is lost to history, agreed to teach Fandren.  Over the years, the records speak of Fandren’s incredible skill and prowess in battle, and his zealousness in protecting and avenging villages that had been attacked by lycanthropes.  He and his master argued vehemently argued with the clergy of the Silver Flame to push for a purge of lycanthropes, and his stirring speeches helped incite the populace to demand that the clergy do something.


            While the clergy’s response called for a lycanthropic purge, they excluded shifters as targets, something Fandren opposed.  It is claimed that, when the lycanthropes were wiped out, he deserted, and stories that entire shifter tribes were being slaughtered came out of the forest from time to time.  The last rumor is that the lycanthrope king, called First Fang, set into the forest to meet Fandren in battle, and slew him.  However, it is obvious that Fandren’s hatred was so strong that his soul fused with his silvered blade, hoping to give all the experience he had gained slaughtering lycanthropes to a new wielder.  Fandren’s hatred slumbers, awaiting the taste of lycanthrope blood to re-awaken and begin his slaughter again. 
            
            A few have managed to find the blade, and have used it to protect their families, but all have been pushed towards a life of actively hunting down every last shapechanger in the wild, even to their deaths, giving up their loved ones under the effects of the curse, casting aside everything they wanted to protect.  Those that managed to resist the call of the sword quickly withered and died after abandoning it. 


 


Concordance:


Starting Score:                                                                                                              5


Owner slays their first lycanthrope or shifter with the Silver Blade:                                    +5


Owner is a worshipper of the Silver Flame:                                                                      +2


Owner slays an additional lycanthrope or shifter with the blade(max 1/day):                       +1


Owner goes three days without slaying a lycanthrope or shifter with the blade:                    -2


Owner uses the Silver Blade to actively protect lycanthropes or shifters:                              -3


 


Roleplaying the Silver Blade


The Silver Blade is calm and calculating, but will work itself into a frenzy in an attempt to truly eliminate all lycanthropes, including shifters.  It houses the conflicted soul of a man who lost everything he loved to lycanthropes, and whose bitterness and hatred for them became infused in his blade.  To the Silver Blade, the highest divine duty is the destruction of lycanthropes.  However, it has little room for mercy; in the eyes of the Silver Blade, it is better to slay an entire village to ensure the removal of lycanthropy.  While it is entirely effective at what it was created to do, using it exposes the wielder to savagery that mirrors that of the quarry of the blade, even to the point where it cannot recognize the difference between lycanthropes and shifters.


 


Pleased (16-20)


“I am the Silver Blade, the Wolf-bane!  My mission is holy; pray now for a quick death, for it is the only mercy you shall receive, beast!”


A path of blood has been created by the blade, and the Silver Blade pushes it’s wielder towards finding the First Fang, in order to eliminate the source of lycanthropy at its’ heart. 


The Silver Blade’s enhancement bonus increases to +2


Critical:  2d6 Damage, or 2d12 against lycanthropes or shifters.


Property:  The Silver Blade is treated as having the Brutal 2 property against lycanthropes or shifters.


Property:  The attack bonus for the Silver Blade Curse increases to +14, and the wielder is weakened whenever under the effect of the curse.


Property:  You never grant combat advantage to lycanthropes or shifters.


Power (Encounter):  Free Action:  The next attack roll you make against a lycanthrope or a shifter gains a +4 bonus to attack and damage rolls and deals ongoing 15 damage (save ends).


 


Satisfied (12-15)


“Look closely.  Those tracks shift into the feet of a man.  Our quarry is near.  Let our silver light destroy them!”


The Silver Blade is happy with the progress its’ wielder has made in eliminating lycanthropes and shifters.  It lends more power to its’ wielder, but drives even harder for more slaughter.  It begins to loose the ability to discern between those suffering from lycanthropy and those that aren’t.


Property:  The attack bonus for the Silver Blade Curse increases to +10


Property:  The wielder of the Silver Blade gains a +3 bonus to Perception and Insight checks against lycanthropes or shifters.


Power (Encounter, Fire, Radiant):  Standard Action.  The Silver Blade erupts in silver flame tcreating a zone of close burst 5 centered on the wielder.  Any lycanthropes or shifters in the zone take ongoing 10 fire and radiant damage while they are in the zone, and cannot make saving throws against this effect until they leave the zone.


Property:  Any power or property of the Silver Blade that only affects lycanthropes now affects shifters as well.


 


Normal (5-11)


“This blood… the taste awakens me.  You!  Take up the mantle of Fandren Wolf-Bane!  This evil must be purged!”


The Silver Blade has recently awoken, and seeks to learn the nature of its’ new wielder.  It will not hesitate, however, to turn its’ wielder towards actions of Fandren.


 


Unsatisfied (1-4)


“You pity these abominations?!  No!  They deserve only destruction!  If you don’t have the courage to do it, then I will do it myself!”


The Silver Blade attempts to force the wielder to seek out and destroy lycanthropes, hindering efforts to do anything else.


Property:  While suffering the -2 penalty to attack rolls from the Silver Blade Curse, the wielder is dominated by the Silver Blade.  The Silver Blade will then force the wielder to seek out the nearest lycanthrope it can find, even if it means putting the wielder in severe danger.  The only way to break the domination is to wrest the Silver Blade away from the wielder, at which point the wielder is treated as abandoning the blade.


 


Angry (0 or lower)


“Your inaction is worse than the actions of the beasts!  Do you not realize the horrors they have caused?”


The player is treated as if they had abandoned the Silver Blade until their concordance is raised. 


 


Useage of the Silver Blade:


            The Silver Blade can make an interesting artifact to use in a campaign or adventure that features werewolves heavily, and can be used to explore the idea that savagery can be within the hearts of any being.  A player might find and use the Silver Blade in self defense, but is pressured by the curse to continually hunt and slay lycanthropes.  It can also serve as a method of tension; while the player doesn’t want to kill a shifter, she might be driven to by the compulsions from the Silver Blade, causing a political situation that might turn into all-out war between the shifter clans and the Church of the Silver Flame.  Or, the artifact might instead be found in the possession of an NPC, where the players might attempt to actively assist the NPC, either in slaying First Fang or in attempting to convince the Shifters or lycanthropes to give the forgiveness needed to remove the curse, providing an adventure where they players may have a limited amount of time before the NPC succumbs to the curse and kills again.  Finally, the players might be tasked with finding this important relic of Saint Fandren for followers of the Silver Flame, only to realize the bloodshed it requires goes against the teachings of the Church.


            Gaining forgiveness for the removal of the curse should difficult endeavor, as shifters would normally never consider helping anyone who is holding a symbol of violent discrimination towards their kind by the Silver Flame, and the lycanthrope tribes still have members among them who remember their friends and pack-mates slaughtered by the blade. 


            The artifact is a prime example of what happens when the desire for revenge turns into a far-reaching obsession, and fits well with campaigns and adventures that want to explore the nature of "crossing the line."


 


Optional elements: 


Dormant:  Curse doesn’t begin until a lycanthrope/shifter is attacked with the Silver Blade.

Hidden:  The fact that the item is cursed is undetectable until after the curse manifests. 


Quest:  Removing the curse requires either the slaying of First Fang, or receiving the ritual forgiveness of a representative of either shifters or lycanthropes.


Revered:  the weapon is sought after by those who wish to protect their families or villages from lycanthropes, and is considered a relic of Saint Fandren.


One Man’s Blessing:  Those who have no love or sympathy for either lycanthropes or shifters might not find issue with constantly needing to hunt down and slay them; the benefits given from high concordance with the artifact might be useful to a werewolf hunter, despite the risks of being killed by the blade.


Perverted:  The sword was once a simple silvered longsword that was warped by Fandren’s anger and hatred when he died.

Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
Lets see ... (ah it feels good to comment without having to judge)
comment on Balog the fierce - necklace of twisted tongues
Personally (admitting, this is 100% personal opinion, and completely biased), I don't really like it. I guess the main problem I have is the difference in DM style, not the item itself.
  1. If the player is not that good at rhymes, This can be a great annoyance

  2. What stops a player from saying

  • my character says '...', but he says it using rhymes

  • my character says '...', which in common/dwarven/... happens to rhyme

  • rhyming tourette. (adding a random word in the end of each sentence to make it rhyme)


For me, I think it breaks the line between player charisma and PC charisma. A player with low charisma and not much inspiration should still be able to play a bard or a diplomat. He should be able to say "I call him a moron, but I use my diplomacy to actually let it sound like a complement"
comment on DharmaTel's necless of fireballs
this one seems funny. "the tiefling fighter takes a bead, throws it at the enemy, marking everyone and standing right into the fray"


A remark though: if the player can opt to use the daily power, and then he simply got a +3 necklace way too early in the game ... So this item by no means teaches a lesson to player who may be greedy - it in fact encourages it.

Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
So where can I find examples of already existing curse items? I can't seem to locate any.


There are none.  That's one of the reasons why this is a challenge.
The list is updated!
The judges and I have decided that the following Q&A should be added to the Q&A section:

Q. For purposes of the "Cursed" required element, how does one know if the "negative consequence" is so severe "that only a desperate, evil, insane, or self-loathing individual would choose to keep it"?

A. This will be a judgment call.  However, nobody will receive a zero in Themes simply because the judges decide that the negative consequence is insufficiently severe.  (However, having no negative consequence at all can result in a Themes of zero.)
The judges and I have decided that the following Q&A should be added to the Q&A section:

Q. For purposes of the "Cursed" required element, how does one know if the "negative consequence" is so severe "that only a desperate, evil, insane, or self-loathing individual would choose to keep it"?

A. This will be a judgment call.  However, nobody will receive a zero in Themes simply because the judges decide that the negative consequence is insufficiently severe.  (However, having no negative consequence at all can result in a Themes of zero.)

understandable

Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
Oh goody.  I love cursed items and sorely missed them.  Even as a player I found uses for the things.  In fact it makes me think I ought to drop a few in the next 'loot bin' for my party.
Resident Shakespeare
Question: For the purposes of the optional element Dormant, how long would be 'well after'?  Game time happens at wildly alternating speeds: the three week journey back to the castle after raiding an evil temple can pass with the wave of a hand, so long as there's no 'random encounter'.  Also, is there a point that is too long.  Sometimes it takes three sessions to get through a single day, while in a different seesion you burn through months at a time.
Resident Shakespeare
Cursed Necklace of Fireballs clarification/discussion below...
Show
this one seems funny. "the tiefling fighter takes a bead, throws it at the enemy, marking everyone and standing right into the fray"


A remark though: if the player can opt to use the daily power, and then he simply got a +3 necklace way too early in the game ... So this item by no means teaches a lesson to player who may be greedy - it in fact encourages it.


I'm glad you got the humor in it. Hopefully, its one of those tricks that the party will be laughing about for a long time afterwards.

But to answer your question-
The Cursed Necklace of Fireballs only appears to be a +3 necklace, it in fact has no enchantment bonuses for NADs. So if you put it on, but don't use the daily power, then you've just permanently wasted your neck slot. I specifically made the curse so you must at least use the power once before you can remove the curse.

The DM may have to RP this a bit or fudge the to-hit numbers to compensate. So either he could add +3 to all to-hit roles to compensate the for illusionary +3 to NADs, or he could have the player make like an Insight check next time their NADs are hit, "You were surprised that last arrows hit your reflexes, as you thought this magic necklace would be protecting you better..." Either way, eventually the ruse will be discovered (probably when the wearer nukes himself).

The idea is they have it, they go to use it, and then things go disasterously wrong.
DharmaTel,

Please put discussion of your entry into an sblock.  You can do that by adding the following tags to beginning and the end of your post (but remove the asterisks): [*sblock*] and [*/sblock*]


Question: For the purposes of the optional element Dormant, how long would be 'well after'?

 

That's a judgment call.  It should be some time after a party might expect to have incurred any effects of the item.  I would say a minimum of one short rest after acquiring the item.
Thank you, a minimum goes a lone way towards making it easier to construct.
Resident Shakespeare
Ok, this is going to be a fun one.  It has been a while since I've put my hat in on one of these, but this one sounds like it could be both a challenge and a pleasure at the same time.
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

15.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium










The Stone of Absolute Randomness
Level 10+
This small, glittering rock draws the eye like something on the edge of your peripheral vision, even when you look at it directly.
Wondrous Item   5,000 gp
Property: Each time you fail a saving throw you gain a cumulative +1 bonus to the next saving throw you make against the same effect (to a maximum of The Stone's current randomness score and a minimum of 1).
Secret Property: (This property should not be revealed to the player, see Hidden.) Whenever the owner of The Stone succeeds on a saving throw that is gaining a bonus from The Stone's property, increase The Stone's randomness score by 1. As the randomness score increases, The Stone gains new properties.
1-3: No Changes.
4+: When The Stone's randomness score increases, roll 1d20 on the effect table one time.
6+: Whenever an enemy makes the same attack against you as in the turn previous, you gain resist 5 to that attack. Whenever an enemy makes a different attack against you than in the turn previous, you gain vulnerable 10 to that attack.
8+: When The Stone's randomness score increases, roll 1d20 on the effect table two times. This replaces the effect of having a score of 4 or more.
10+: Whenever you make an attack other than one that you used in the turn previous, you gain a +2 bonus to that attack. Whenever you use an attack that you used in the turn previous, roll 1d6 and subtract it from the attack roll.
Cursed: The Stone is a cursed object. It cannot be removed, given away or lost until it's randomness score is at least 10. At that point it is possible to simply give The Stone away. When The Stone is given away like this, the randomness score resets to 0.
Hidden: The Stone cannot be properly identified by an Arcana check during a short rest. A DC 15 Arcana check reveals that it is magical and explicates it's property, but not it's hidden property. Upon the randomness score reaching 5 or more, the secret property may be determined as normal.
Innocuous: The Stone doesn't take up an item slot. It looks like a strange, fist sized gem of indeterminite type.
Cascading: The Stone's randomness score steadily increases as it is used, eventually becoming incredibly dangerous.

1: The holder of The Stone is surrounded by light as per a torch until the end of their next turn.
2:
The holder of The Stone is slowed until the end of their next turn.
3:
The creature nearest to the holder of The Stone gains a +2 bonus to their next attack roll.
4:
The creature nearest to the holder of The Stone takes a -2 penalty to their next attack roll.
5:
An enormously loud noise bursts from the holder of The Stone's square. Creatures within 5 squares, including the holder of The Stone, are deafened until the end of your next turn.
6:
There is a powerful gust and holder of The Stone is pushed 4 squares.
7:
One enemy adjacent to the holder of The Stone may make a melee basic attack as a free action.
 8:
The holder of The Stone gains a +2 bonus to all of their defenses until the end of their next turn.
9:
The holder of The Stone regains hit points as if they had spent a healing surge, but they are weakened until the end of their next turn.
10:
A series of burning animals, mostly rodents and amphibians, appear in the squares adjacent to the holder of The Stone until the end of the encounter. The Creatures move with the holder of The Stone. Creatures in a square with burning animals in it grant combat advantage to the holder of The Stone. 11: A spectral fish appears in a square adjacent to the holder of The Stone. Each time the holder of The Stone attempts to move away from this fish, it may make the following attack: +7 vs. Ref, 1d8 + 4 damage and the targets movement ends immediately.
12:
Lightning strikes, the holder of The Stone and the nearest creature take 2d10 Lightning damage. 13: The holder of The Stone is stunned (save ends). While stunned like this, the holder of The Stone may make basic attacks using their nearest ally as the origin square.
14: The holder of The Stone gains a +2 bonus to speed until the end of the encounter. If, at the end of each turn, they moved at least half their speed, they fall prone.
15:
A shining object the size of a fist descends in front of the holder of The Stone. If they call out the name of a piece of mundane equipment, the object immediately transforms into that object permanently. Until it is changed thusly, the object can be carried as normal, weighs nothing and sheds light like a torch.
16:
The enemy nearest to the holder of The Stone regains hitpoints equal to their bloodied value.
17: The players hands begin to burn (save ends) making holding objects very diffucult. Items in hand or in the Hand Item Slot cannot be used and are dropped if held.
18:
The holder of The Stone becomes fixated on a single enemy. They take a -2 penalty to attacking this enemy, but a -4 penalty to attacking any other target. This effect lasts until the enemy is killed or until the end of the encounter.
19:
The holder of The Stone begins to float into the air. They gain a fly speed of 2 and may hover until the end of the encounter.
20:
The next attack the holder of The Stone makes before the end of the encounter is automatically considered to be a critical hit. The next attack that hits the holder of The Stone before the end of the encounter is also automatically considered to be a critical hit.   



History: The Stone of Absolute Randomness was crafted by one Drakhorn Gobbledygook, an insane Gnome alchemist with a penchant for trickery and a appreciation for chaos. Drakhorn was sitting on the front stoop of his home and taking pity on the law abiding citizens of the city when a brilliant idea struck. Instead of trying to trick and mess with each citizen individually, he should just build something to do the work for him. What he crafted was The Stone of Absolute Randomness, a shiny, gemlike object that brings boons to poeple who never do the same thing twice. But The Stone also punishes those who are too repetitive for Drakhorn's taste. 


The Stone was a great success. It only took about three hours for someone to pick the stone up, and after that the events cascaded out of control. Some say that the town is now populated only by people with purple hair that speak backwards, but those may just be rumors.


Drakhorn has moved on now, perhaps he made more than one stone, or perhaps he felt like that was too predictable. Regardless, at least one stone exists and it has traveled around the world, bringing a little bit of chaos into the world wherever it goes.


Useage: The Stone is a strange object, it doesn't have a consistent effect on the game, so a DM who likes to control exactly how powerful the PC's get might not like using it. But, like The Stone's creator Drakhorn, a DM who likes a little bit of chaos can use it either as a twisted boon or in game punishment for a character or player who likes to work with wierd situations.


But once you decide to use The Stone you should prepare for one of two eventualities. The first one is if the Players try to get rid of the stone. They may drop it or sell it and you will have to find a sneaky way to work The Stone back into the PC's lives, hopefully without them suspecting immediately the nature of the object. Perhaps it will simply reappear in their inventory or when they try to sell it, everyone refuses to take it suddenly.


The second eventuality is that the PC's will keep The Stone, generally because they see some benefit without realizing how dangerous it can be. The fact is that there are downsides, but whether or not the PC's figure out the connection between the strange event's plaguing them and The Stone's presence is really up to how well you tell the story. Keep yourself frosty, see how long you can keep the PC's from even noticing the effect of The Stone.


However the stone plays out in your game, there may come a time to create new effects on the effect table. If you really want to be a purist, you should replace each effect after it happens the first time with something totally new, that way it's never clear what will happen and the same thing never happens twice.

I'm one of the minds behind the Avatar the Last Airbender 4e Project. We're about a quarter of the way through releasing the revised PDF, containing all four bender classes, paragon paths, epic destinies and a menagerie of feats and items from the show. Come by and lend your mind to the swarm.
[sblock:"DharmaTel"]"The Cursed Necklace of Fireballs only appears to be a +3 necklace, it in fact has no enchantment bonuses for NADs. "

This was not clear from reading the entry[/sblock]

comments on the stone of absolute randomness
my comment is quite simple ... IMHO this is not a cursed item. just like a rod of wonder is not a magical item

"such that only a desperate, evil, insane, or self-loathing individual would choose to keep it."

At least 2 (maybe 3 or 4) out of the 8 players for which I DM would want to buy it
Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box

Q: Although the contest is for a cursed magic item, could I submit a cursed alchemical item instead? I realize I might be splitting hairs, but I just wanted to check to be sure!

Sorry, but no.  Though an easy way around it is to have a magic item that generates your cursed alchemical item.
Oh, and the list is updated!
All right then, what about a consumable magic item? A potion for instance?
A conumable magic item is a magic item, so it should be fine.

this is my first attempt to make something for this type of contest.  hopefully it isn't too awful.


 


the crown of a thousand doorways                level 25


this simple golden crown always seems to be fading out of existence, but is never fully gone

item slot: head 100,000 gp



property: you may perform the create teleportation circle ritual, even if you do not meet the prerequisites. in addition,
the ritual can be done in 1 hour, and requires only 50gp worth of components.

property: you may perform the analyze portal ritual, even if you do not meet the prerequisites. in addition, you do not
need components

property: you gain a +5 to arcana checks to unlock portals, or see through illusory portals.

power (encounter): standard action. you create a portal passable by you and your allies. if the portal is in
a teleportation circle, you may link this portal to any teleportation circle you have seen before or know the exact location of. otherwise, you may 
link it to any teleportation circle you have seen before on your current plane. the portal lasts for 5 rounds, or until you will it
shut as a free action.

curse: once the crown has started to be used, the user develops an "addiction" to it which eventually becomes a maddening
obsession, and will eventually prove fatal. the progression is thus:



1-5 uses of the portal creation power: no effect. the crown simply acts as a powerful magical item

6-8 uses: the wearer develops a distracting desire to visit other realms and see new places. this manifests itself as a
-2 penalty to skill checks requiring concentration, increasing to -4 if the wearer has stayed in the same place for at least
2 days.

9-12 uses: the wearer has trouble focusing on anything other than travel. this manifests as an increase in the penalties
to -4/-6.  in addition, if the wearer does not use the portal creation power at least once per day, he or she takes 20 psychic damage and
loses a healing surge at the beginning of the next day.


13-15 uses: the wearer feels as if he or she has gained true understanding of the crown. he or she may use the portal
creation power as an at will power. the skill check penalties and damage threat remain

16-19 uses: the wearer sees multiple planes simultaneously, and cannot distinguish between them. the wearer gains
vulnerable 15 psychic, and suffers -10 to all perception checks.

20+ uses: the wearer is split between planes, and cannot physically interact with anything that was not on his or her
person at the time of the 20th use. this will obviously cause starvation once the wearer runs out of rations.

identification: the beneficial properties of the item can be identified during a short rest, like any magical item. the
curse cannot be identified, but a DC 40 arcana check can identify that there are hidden properties.

removal: once put on, this crown cannot be removed by normal means. the magic of the crown can only be broken by the lady
of pain herself. alternately, the crown may be removed without breaking the magic via a complicated "split portal" ritual,
which can send parts of a passer to different locations. the only person known to be able to perform this ritual is
lallateth the mad, trapped in the elemental chaos by forces unknown. she may be willing to help anyone capable of aiding
her escape.

history: created by an archmage just at the discovery of the properties of portals, this crown inherited the obsession he
developed with magical transportation. it served him well until he was driven ultimately insane by his inability to
distinguish one reality from the next.

usage: this is a good item to introduce to a party to alternate planes. i tried to make it a powerful item, one that
the players would all want. it is useful in making your powergamers think twice before trying to snatch up everything they
see.
Welcome to the competitions, ingestiblebulk!

Fionna’s Fabulous Meat Pies


Summary: Fionna Fink is the cook at Tun’s Tavern, and a self-styled gourmet. She has always had a knack for home style cooking, but recently she obtained a copy of a curious book. Techniques for the Home Culinamancer describes styles and flavors that Fionna had never imagined. With it she invented her masterpiece, the recipe for Fionna’s Fabulous Meat Pies, and they are delicious! So good that you’ll never want to eat anything else . . .


In fact the pies are cursed. Fionna’s attempts to make a delectable delicacy went awry, and created an addictive monstrosity instead. Even a single bite is enough to invoke the curse. Other food becomes unappealing and unsatisfying, but the more pies one eats, the more unhealthy and listless he feels. They begin showing up in his backpack, under his pillow, in his pockets, and so on, despite never having been put in any of those places. The curse will eventually turn him into obese slob incapable of the rigors of the adventuring life (and quite unpleasant company).


Description: The only thing better than how good these meat pies look is how good they smell. A perfectly flaky golden crust contains a piping hot hearty filling of beef stew, all delightfully seasoned and steaming fresh from the oven.


For the DM: Using the arcane secrets in Techniques for the Home Culinamancer Fionna has accidentally created cursed pies with the properties of magical elixirs. Due to the special nature of their baking (it’s a secret recipe!) she can produce them for a few silver pieces instead of the normal 50 gp. 


The pies look delicious, even to a character who doesn't normally enjoy such cuisine, for example a vegetarian. There is however no compulsion to eat them until a character has tried a bite, at which point the curse described below takes effect. 


Level 5        Cost: 5 sp
Culinary Masterpiece (Elixir)

Power: (Consumable) Minor Action When you consume a Fionna's Fabulous Meat Pie, you may gain a +1 bonus on saving throws until the end of the encounter.


Special: Invoking the consumable power counts as a use of a magic item daily power.


Curse: Each time a character consumes a Fionna’s Fabulous Meat Pie, he must make a save during his next extended rest. If he fails, he moves one stage up in the curse track. The effects of the curse are cumulative, meaning that a character at stage 3 will suffer the effects listed at stages 1, 2, and 3 concurrently. A character tasting the meat pies for the first time automatically fails the save, and is placed at stage 1 at the end of his next extended rest. A character only needs to make one save per day, regardless of the number of pies actually consumed.


Stages of the Curse

Stage 1: The character constantly craves Fionna’s Fabulous Meat Pies. All other foods smell and taste revolting, and do not satisfy his hunger or provide nutrition. The character’s appetite is increased, and he suffers the effects of a week of starvation for every day he goes without the pies. At any time, a DC 5 search check of the character’s belongings or his surroundings yields 1d4 freshly baked meat pies. This is a supernatural effect of the forces Fionna accidentally invoked when baking them.


Stage 2: The skin under the character’s eyes darken, and his hair looks unkept no matter what he does to it. A slightly unpleasant odor hangs around him at all times, though he doesn’t notice it himself. He suffers a -2 penalty to charisma based skill checks.


Stage 3: The character begins to feel slothful and vaguely unwell. He looks like he’s gained a few pounds and lost some muscle. Extended rests require an additional 2 hours of rest.


Stage 4: The character is noticeably heavier, with a larger belly and fat where none was before. He moves slower and his bad smell has grown more intense. The charisma skill penalty is increased by 4 (a total of -6 to charisma based skill checks), and his move speed is lowered by 1 square.


Stage 5: The character’s weight is increased yet again. Even a normally healthy, fit character will now appear unhealthily obese. His skin is pale and his hair is thinning. At the end of each encounter, the character must spend a healing surge and take a short rest, or be weakened until he does.


Stage 6: The character cannot be mistaken for a healthy individual. He is extremely overweight and balding, and his skin is sallow and spotted. He may not spend action points, nor may he use the Second Wind ability.



Identification: Inspection of the pies with the Arcana skill reveals nothing. A DC 15 Alchemy roll shows that they were carefully cooked using exemplary skill, and reveals their morale boosting power, but nothing about the curse. Simply consuming a meat pie also discovers the power, but nothing else.


Treating the Curse: The Remove Affliction ritual can moderate the curse but not remove it completely. Treat the curse as a level (5 + current stage of curse) effect for the purpose of this ritual. A successful use of Remove Affliction resets the curse to stage 1. Affected players may try to delay or deal with the curse in other ways, which are discussed in the Adjudicating the Curse section below.


Removing the Curse: When the curse becomes apparent (and it quickly should; showing up everywhere you look is clearly not normal behavior for a pastry) the PCs will almost certainly confront Fionna. She tells them about Techniques for the Home Culinamancer and claims that she was just trying to make a tasty pastry. When she learns the truth, she tries to help the PCs reverse her mistake.


A cursory look through the book shows that it is more than it appears. In particular, the recipe for the “Palette Cleansing Cola” seems to be what the PCs need to end the curse. Have a taste in your mouth that just won’t go away? The Palette Cleansing Cola will leave your taste buds fresh and ready for the next course! With only 63 easy-to-prepare ingredients, this is a must know for any skilled Culinamancer.”


Depending on how much time you want to devote to it, you can have the preparation of the cola be anything from a simple skill challenge, to a quest to retrieve exotic ingredients from dangerous monsters in the wilderness. This second option works particularly well as a race against time as the curse takes its toll, and you can use it as a hook into stand alone encounters you have prepared, or even entire dungeons. Regardless of how it is made, a single drink of the Cola instantly and completely removes the Curse of Fionna’s Fabulous Meat Pies, reversing the physical symptoms in the blink of an eye. It also tastes fresh and leaves a minty scent on the breath!


Adjudicating the Curse: Some PCs will attempt to slow the curse by refusing to eat more Fionna’s Fabulous Meat Pies. Since other food cannot nourish a cursed individual, this is not a long term solution. It will eventually lead to the character’s starvation unless the curse is removed. Rules for starvation can be found in CH 9 of the DMG and in the skill description for Endurance in the PHB. Note, however, that these were designed primarily to expedite play under the assumption that tracking food is unfun (usually true) and generally unimportant (clearly not the case in this specific instance). You may wish to adopt slightly more detailed rules for dealing with starvation (for instance, using a short skill challenge).


Some players may try to ignore the curse (at first). As the DM, play up the physical symptoms. Almost all players want their PC to look and act impressive, and changing their aloof eladrin prince into a lazy fat slob might motivate them as much as the combat penalties that accrue. It also makes for a more memorable adventure. Make sure not to drag this out for too long, though. What might be amusing or novel at first will become annoying if you do not allow the PCs to overcome their condition. Like in any encounter, you must balance the feeling of impending danger with the frustration of struggling without noticeable progress.


Fionna’s Fabulous Meat Pies in your Campaign: The meat pies can serve as anything from an amusing background event in an ongoing story to an adventure hook of their own. After all, the PCs are not the only ones affected. Other patrons of Tun’s Tavern probably won’t be happy when they learn about the curse. Maybe Fionna wasn’t so pure of intention, and intentionally used the book to make addictive pastries. Where did the book come from in the first place? Maybe it was it written by an imp to spread chaos through the countryside, or by an extra-dimensional chef who caters to unusual tastes, and wants it back. Above all focus on the absurdity of the PCs situation and you should be able to give them a memorable diversion.


Optional Elements Used:


#2 – Cascading: The effects of the curse worsen as more meat pies are eaten.
#3 – Dormant: The curse does not take effects until immediately after the next extended rest following the consumption of the meat pie.
#5 – Hidden: Neither the Arcana nor a short rest reveals anything about the pies, though the Alchemy skill is slightly more useful in that regard. It still doesn't give a character any warning about the curse.
#6 – Innocuous: Most players will pay no attention to the DM when he mentions off-hand that the tavern is serving “really good meat pies” for dinner.
#11 – Quest: Removing the curse requires a quest be undertaken to obtain ingredients for the cure.
The list is updated!
Concerning "Agent":  How powerful would "powerful" be?  Would a paragon tier villian be adequate or does the entity need to be uber-powerful?
Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding
Concerning "Agent":  How powerful would "powerful" be?  Would a paragon tier villian be adequate or does the entity need to be uber-powerful?

And along a similar train of thought, could the "agent" involved simply be the intelligence within the item, attempting to coerce the wielder?  Similar to an artifact, but without the power...

For example: the item "Mrtok, Ogre Chief (Gauntlets of Ogre Power)".
Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding
Meat Pies

I don't usually read the entries before I submit mine, but this one had my interest.  Very cool stuff.  It is like you introduced the world of fast food maniacs and crack heads to the DnD universe.  I like it.  I thought at first that you were going to go the way of a certain barber, but was very glad you didn't.
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

15.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

Sign In to post comments