Hello Everyone! I'm playing a 4E game and our DM introduced a peculiar item into the game that is apparently from an obscure 3E book. It is:
* A severed hand made from an executed criminal and turned into a candle with a wick on each of the 4 fingers * When I light the first wick, the highest ranking person in the building I'm inside will fall asleep. Lighting candles 2-4 does the same thing with people ranking 2-4 * Every time I light it, I need to make a saving throw against something currently unknown.
While talking wtih the DM about it, he more-or-less issued me (I'm very new to playing D&D) a challenge that I couldn't figure out what the name of the item is and where it's come from. He told me that it came from a very obscure 3E book and he doesn't think I could locate it. So far, he's winning :-(
Here's what I've found so far: * This item actually existed in the real world in the 16th and 17th centuries. It's called a "Hand of Glory" and was rumored to be used to put the inhabitants of a dwelling to sleep, or ensure that they won't wake up. * Because it existed IRL, this item has existed in several fantasy worlds. A lot of Harry Potter references came up in my search * I found a 3E book called "The Highwayman" that has a "Glorious hand" meeting the physical description, but the effects are entirely different. * I found a wonderous item called a "Hand of Glory" but it is a neck slot item that lets you wear an extra ring. * I found a book called "Forged of Darkness" that has an "unfingered hand" that is similar in description, but the effect is entirely different. It also has a curse where I'd need to make a saving throw against aging 1 year.
My google-fu is about exhausted at this point, so I'm hoping to employ a community of gamers to point me in a new direction.
I've read every third edition and 3.5 book ever published from Wizards, and it's not in any of them that I remember. The Highwayman was an early 3e adventure that was never actually in any book (it was a web enhancement for Song and Silence), and it's the only thing I know of to ever combine a hand with a candle in 3e. (That said, the interpretation of Hold Person in 4th edition may be explaining the differences.)
You can challenge him right back: If that item is actually in a Wizards of the Coastbook, you will buy him a beer (or suitable substitute). Otherwise, he pays up. Note that The Highwayman was a web-only enhancement (not a book), and if it appears in a third-party source it's not Wizards material.
(Unlike the 4e GSL, the 3e Open Gaming License was very permissive - one of its great strengths, really - and allowed for a lot of independent publishers to write d20 material and call it such. Many of these publishers did not have Wizards' resources, and couldn't playtest their material. This allows for a pretty wide power gap if you open things up to non-WotC material. A few publishers were much better than others on this, but some obviously just didn't care.)
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.
[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling) [TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme) [AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class) [RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme) [AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility) [TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC) [TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods) [TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability) [AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme) [AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage) [TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme) [AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme). [TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme) [RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management) [SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum) [RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt) [AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder) [RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard) [RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster) [RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout) [AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum) [AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme) [DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x) [AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB)) [RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive) [AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork) [TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support) [DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility) [AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt) [RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical) [RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical) [TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist) [RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme) [AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity) [TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)
I should have looked in the "Forged of Darkness" book a bit more closely. In the text describing all the creepy hands, it references the "Hand of Silence" as existing somewhere else (implying it's in another book by that name).
So my 2nd level rogue is currently carrying a "Hand if silence" minor artifact as well as a jet black ioun stone artifact. My DM apparently likes giving out items we have no business in attempting to use.
The worst part about it is that I've used the candle 3 times in one day, on the same day I picked up the jet black ioun stone and on the same day I leveled up to 3. Now I have to go 3 days without being well rested (and not being able to level) while being forced to kill someone all 3 days.