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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1876 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  01:52:30  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Some time ago I decided I wanted to steal the idea of the Horcrux from the Harry Potter series and write up a spell that would accomplish the effect within the D&D universe.

I decided to tie this spell to an ancient dark wizard, like in the Harry Potter books that never played much of a role in any novel/sourcebook, aside from their brief historical mention. I found Shaud in the Dragonlance/D20 Sourcebook Towers of High Sorcery. Therein I also found a description of The Master Of The Tower of Wayreth. Tying the two ideas together, I decided that Shaud's Horcrus was the Tower itself and the Master of the Tower was his soul's projection, like that of Tom Riddle from the diary - also, unbeknownst to the others, Shaud survived and survives to this day.

Below is what I have written so far, please let me know what you think and offer ideas (the part about effects when tied to creatures is not well flushed out yet). Much of the rest comes from old game mechanics. As always for me, its in 2nd Ed. format.

Shaud’s Sunder Soul
(Necromancy / Enchantment)
Level: 10
Range: 0
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 8 turns
Area of Effect: Caster
Saving Throw: Negates

This ancient and nearly forgotten spell is among the best kept secrets of Masters of High Sorcery. Among the dark legacies left to the Orders by Shaud the Black, founder of the Order of the Black Robes, crystal tablets bearing this spell were discovered among his belongings after he vanished and were sealed away shortly thereafter. Among them, only a handful guessed that Shaud has used this dark magic to rip apart his soul and permanently bind a portion of it to the Tower of Wayreth.

Upon completion of this long and highly-versatile incantation, the caster fragments his soul into two unequal parts and permanently transfers a the lesser portion of this life force into a specially fabricated item, a magical receptacle, or even the body of another creature. The greater portion of the soul remains within the body of the caster; once the spiritual and mental break has been completed, the caster’s body falls into a cataleptic state, and remains in a death-like trance or coma for 1d6+1 days. Unless the severed portion of his life force is magically reunited with the body during that time period, the segment of soul becomes independent of the whole and permanently trapped within the physical object or new body.

By tying portion of a sundered soul to a physical item, the caster permanently creates a soul-shard-artifact. Despite being highly magical, the item will radiate only dim power to a detect magic spell (which never reveals the type of magic involved). It is immune to detect evil, identify, know alignment, or locate object spells. Similarly, legend lore and contact other plane spells never reveal the location of a soul-shard-artifact, though these spells can be used to learn more about its powers. Perhaps most importantly, soul-shard-artifacts created through the use of this magic become immune to physical or magical harm, except by a few specific, often extraordinary means. If somehow placed in a situation where a magical item would be utterly destroyed (such as crushed under an immense slab) the soul-shard-artifact simply disappears. This immunity extends even to the powers of the gods.

Magical effects that kill or directly affect the soul, such as death spell, finger of death, symbol of death and power word: kill no longer have any effect on the caster, unless cast by himself and turned back via spell-turning. Moreover, should his physical form ever be destroyed the caster’s soul becomes disembodied. While disembodied, he can sense and attack any life force within a 500-foot radius. An attempt to take over a body is blocked by a protection from evil spell. It is successful if the subject fails a saving throw vs. spell with a special modifier (see below). The saving throw is modified by subtracting the combined INT and WIS scores of the target from those of the caster (INT and HD in nonhuman or nonhumanoid creatures).

Difference Die Adjustment
-9 or less +4
-8 to -6 +3
-5 to -3 +2
-2 to 0 +1
Difference Die Adjustment
+1 to +4 0
+5 to +8 -1
+9 to +12 -2
+13 or more -3

A negative score indicates that the caster has a lower total than the target; thus, the host has a saving throw bonus. Failure to take over the host leaves sundered soul disembodied. If successful, the caster’s life force occupies the host body and the host’s life force is treated as slain unless recalled by a raise dead, resurrection, or similar spell. The caster can call upon rudimentary or instinctive knowledge of the subject creature, but not upon its real or acquired knowledge (i.e., the caster does not automatically know the language or spells of the creature). The caster retains his own attack rolls, class knowledge and training, and any adjustments due to his Intelligence or Wisdom. If a host body is human or humanoid, and spell components are available, he can even use his memorized spells. The body retains its own hit points and physical abilities and properties.

A successful dispel magic spell cast on the host can drive the spirit out of the body and prevent him from making any attacks for 1d4 rounds plus 1 round per level of the caster. The base success chance is 50%, plus or minus 5% per level difference between the caster of the dispel magic and the caster of the sunder soul. If the body is slain, the spirit once again becomes disembodied. When disembodied, the caster can also plane shift to any soul-shard-artifacts it is linked with.

While in the physical receptacle, the newly created soul-shard may perform any action permitted by the new form. The life force might animate a specially prepared statue or golem, perhaps even enabling the recipient to employ any memorized spells. In an item such as a ring or a sword, the subject may communicate with the user when the receptacle is held or worn properly. The extent of communication depends on the subject’s intelligence:

Intelligence Communication
0 (Non-) None
1-4 (Animal to Semi-) Semi-Empathy
5-10 (Low to Average) Empathy
11+ (Very to Godlike) Telepathy

If a soul-shard-artifact is created from an otherwise unenchanted receptacle, it is deemed to have an Ego of 20, +1 point for each level of the caster and +1 for each language spoken by the spellcaster. Additional Ego based upon enchantment can be determined using Table 119 from the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Ego, along with the spellcaster’s intelligence can be a factor to the dominance of the soul-shard-artifact over characters who they come into extended contact with. The strength of the soul-shard-artifact’s dominance is rated by combining its Intelligence and Ego scores. Regardless of Ego, any soul-shard-artifact will always consider itself superior to any character and will attempt to dominate those it contacts. In these situations, the personality score of the character is Intelligence + Charisma + Experience Level. Note that the personality score is reduced by one for every group of hit points of damage taken equal to the character’s average number of points per level. Divide the character’s total hit points by his level (rounded up). For example, a fighter of 7th level has 53 hit points; 53 divided by 7 equals 7.6. Thus, for every eight points of damage he suffers, his personality score will be lowered by one. Any time the personality score of a weapon exceeds the personality score of the character who possesses it, the soul-shard-artifact dominate its possessor. Such checks are made on a weekly basis.

Such soul-shard-artifacts are all capable of artifact possession. Possessed characters fall under the DMs control. A wise DM will be prepared to deal with this possession, should it occur. Soul-shard-artifacts do not instantly possess their owners. Instead, the degeneration of a character is a gradual process, as the character slides further and further out of control. Each time the character’s personality is overwhelmed, the artifact is able to assert a little more control over the character. Once domination has taken place a number of times equal to the character’s Wisdom score, he or she permanently possessed. Characters partially overwhelmed (say, a character with a Wisdom score of 12 who has been dominated 6 times) have greater difficulty resisting the artifact.

Alternatively, the caster may elect to use this rite to permanently transfer tie a portion of his soul to the body of another living being. The reasons for doing this are never simple, and often involve pacts and other dark secrets. One such situation allow the caster to “populate” a host-body that is not already inhabited by a spirit, such as that of a being that has been affected by a magic jar spell. In this circumstance, the caster creates a free-willed spiritual companion; two-independent beings sharing one fragmented soul. Thus, an ancient necromancer may transfer a portion of his or her life force into the body of a vigorous, younger person, thereby creating a counterpart with all of the victim’s physical attributes, manual skills, hit points, and extended life span.

A soul-shard can also be bound to the body of a being with its own soul. In such rare cases, to be adjudicated by the DM, the life force target being coexists in his or her body with that of the soul-shard “intruder.” Such a life force may be able to take control of the target being as above. The “intruder” life force can only be ejected by casting or a full wish. Otherwise, at the DM’s discretion, the life force of the “intruder” merges with that of the victim, diluting the recipient’s personality, alignment, and possibly sanity, as well.

The spell requires either an expertly-crafted item or a living creature (preferably young and healthy) to house the soul fragment. The remaining material components include a dragon-skin scroll inscribed with special rare inks and a massive, blood-red ruby (worth 10,000 gold pieces or more). The exact nature of any physical receptacle should be decided by the DM, but it must be of quality suitable for enchantment (and may be otherwise enchanted in its own right). The garnet and scroll are consumed in the casting. This spell cannot be dispelled normally.

Edited by - The Masked Mage on 27 Jan 2018 03:10:01

Markustay
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Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  23:17:24  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had considered doing something similar myself, years ago, but I was going to spin it as something akin to lichdom, but with multiple phylactories. I like what you did here - its a different take, but you completely ignored the one thing I was going to focus - the multiplicity issue. The fact that the 'lich' becomes insanely hard to kill because you have track each and every phylactory. I don't think you even broached the subject of creating more than one soul-shard. The level also seem too high, because no-one can actual cast it without High/Epic Magic, or perhaps using a casting circle.

For my own, I was going to do one point of Con loss every time you create one, and you'd have to complete a separate ritual each time (so its not like you're going to do a bunch in a row - it will take YEARS, just like in the books). Of course, you may be able to offset that with a sacrifice. Still, these are basically minor artifacts, because of the difficulty destroying them, so they shouldn't just be 'free' for someone to make. Now you've got me considering merging my ideas with yours - have it require BOTH a sacrifice and the Con. loss, and what happens is you 'overwrite' the other person's soul - basically, soul-cloning. Then you just put that in an enchanted object as you've stated, and it becomes just like a phylactory. I love the idea you can teleport between them (or even just send certain divinations spells through them, so you can 'view' whats going on from afar).

Nice Job.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Jan 2018 23:18:46
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1876 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  23:32:26  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks

I made it high level because there already exists at least 2 9th level spells that bind intact souls to things or bodies without splitting them. I think the more complicated process should be higher level, so there you go.

The Con loss is a good thought. My biggest problem was navigating the whole "murder" thing. Killing is not a big deal in D&D like it is in Harry Potter, so it made no sense that killing would rip the soul. However I can see that ripping the soul would cause a Con loss. An evil wizard could use other means to sacrifice to avoid this loss, and that where the killing would come in.
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Seethyr
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  01:45:45  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I’ve noticed that a lot of the spells now limit their power using costly (I mean in real gp, not another method like Con points) material components. A spell like this should cost a princely sum and that could reasonably keep its use limited to only the most powerful (and rich) archmages without having to go up in spell level.

I’d also consider giving it a ritual tag.

EDIT: Sorry, I just noticed you mentioned it’s for 2e making most of my points moot - but if you do convert to 5e those might be things to consider.

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Edited by - Seethyr on 28 Jan 2018 01:50:13
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sleyvas
Great Reader

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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  14:16:01  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This was done in 3rd edition via an epic spell. Like Seethyr says, a lot of things like this really need to have some kind of heavy "cost"... and by that I mean a real cost, not just upping the gold pieces. Con loss would be one way to do that, but in 3rd edition this isn't a penalty for undead which have no CON. I'd recommend something even heftier. Making it some kind of character ability option that they have to spend for and give up something else would make sense (like a feat). In the 3.5e, it was the cost of 8,400 xp and a ton of gold, plus it being an epic spell (thus requiring high level and that feat, plus a decent spellcraft DC)

From Champions of Ruin, here's

Aumvor’s Fragmented
Phylactery
Transmutation
Spellcraft DC: 30
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Target: One or more objects, including the caster’s phylactery
Duration: Permanent
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
To Develop: 210,000 gp; 5 days; 8,400 XP. Seeds: transform (DC 21), ward (DC 14). Mitigating factors: field specialization (–5).

This spell can only be cast by a lich. It either separates the lich’s phylactery into multiple objects or expands the phylactery to include multiple objects, as determined by the spellcaster. The number of such objects can be no greater than the caster’s modifier for its spellcasting ability (Charisma for a sorcerer, Intelligence for a wizard). Thereafter, destroying the lich’s phylactery requires the destruction of the whole set of objects that comprise the phylactery. As long as at least one such object of the set exists, the caster cannot be permanently killed.

This spell can be cast repeatedly on a phylactery or part thereof. Each time it is cast, the number of objects that comprise the lich’s phylactery can be increased by an amount equal to the
caster’s modifi er for its spellcasting ability.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 28 Jan 2018 14:17:53
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1876 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  16:35:20  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That spell fragments the phylactery of a lich. It does not fragment a living soul and attach it to a phylactery of its own.

Honestly, I think the first "horcrux" in fantasy literature was the One Ring to rule them all. Sauron attached the lion-share of his soul to the ring and as such could not be totally destroyed when his body was. I do think the Harry Potter lady (name escaping me atm) did a good job building her books around the idea though.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  16:51:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

That spell fragments the phylactery of a lich. It does not fragment a living soul and attach it to a phylactery of its own.

Honestly, I think the first "horcrux" in fantasy literature was the One Ring to rule them all. Sauron attached the lion-share of his soul to the ring and as such could not be totally destroyed when his body was. I do think the Harry Potter lady (name escaping me atm) did a good job building her books around the idea though.



The folklore of Koschei the Deathless, who stored his soul outside his body, rather predates Tolkien. I'm sure the concept goes back much further than that, though.

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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  17:33:09  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's my full write up for The Master - the Soul-Shard tied to The Tower Of Wayreth (again, 2nd edition format):

Many mysterious figures have walked the face of Krynn, but few remain as enigmatic as the Master of the Tower of Wayreth. He has never spoken his name, and it may well be that he has none. Nor does he ever leave the Forest of Wayreth, for he is tied inextricably to its power. Few on Krynn are even aware he exists.

Describing the Master’s appearance is a difficult task, for he has many. He has appeared as a slender, raspy-voiced figure whose face is obscured by a hood of ink-black robes, and who carries a mahogany staff tipped with a bronze dragon’s claw clutching a crystal – in other words the very image of Raistlin Majere. He has also been a tall, ebony-skinned man wearing silver robes and black gloves; a golden-haired elflord; a stooped, elderly man; a steely-eyed woman; and many other forms – Black Robe, White Robe, and Red. He has appeared as Par-Salian, Vincil, Andras, Magius, Guerrand, Dalamar, Corenthas, Shaud, and dozens of other mages from the long history of the Orders, and has even changed his form several times within a single conversation. This is because the Master is no man at all, but rather the physical manifestation of a soul-shard and the embodiment of High Sorcery and the will of the Tower.

The Master’s creation dates back to Wayreth’s earliest years, and the sacrifice made by Shaud the Black. Before going forth to defend the Forest from the Ut-kiri, he cast his mighty sunder soul spell for the first time within the Hall of Mages, tying a fragment of his soul, and thus his will to the Tower, eternally. He did this in secret, for the White and Red Robes frowned on necromancy. Then he took the tables where he recorded the spell, destroyed the last few verses of the incantation, and left it behind in his quarters. After his apparent death, the other mages found the tablets and learned what he had done. Shaud’s spirit had become one with the very stones of the Tower, and would remain bound to it until the world’s ending. He would not move on to the realm of the gods while it still stood, and he would use all his will to keep it from falling, such was his love for the magic. The destruction of the last passage kept the spell from being cast by others and stopped the grieving Corenthas from trying to undo what he had done.

While there are no records of the Master having appeared before the Fifth Age, he certainly did so, consorted, in secret, with the High Mages down through the ages. It is difficult to know the truth, of course, for the Master can appear as any mage who has ever trod within Wayreth’s halls. He was there all the time, and most were ever the wiser. This changed during the Fifth Age. After the apparent destruction of the Tower of Palanthas, the Master made his first appearance before the assembled Conclave of Wizards. High Sorcery was dying and, though his own strength dwindled daily, the Master remained dedicated to defending what was left. He gathered as many enchanted artifacts as he could find and hid them away in places of the tower none knew but he. He acted as counsel and took part in the Last Conclave that sealed the Tower and dissolved the Orders. The Master remained behind in the Tower of Wayreth when it was closed, and so disappeared from the world. There he remained through the War of Souls, keeping its magic alive so that none might find it, and it is he who allowed the mages to find the Tower again, once magic was restored.


The Master Of The Tower (20th level Sorcerer / 9th Level Archmage): AC 1 (robes of the archmagi, Dex bonus); MV 12; HD 20d12 (150 hp); THAC0 11; #AT 1; Dmg by spell or weapon; SA spells (see below); SQ antimagic vulnerability, arcane domains, discorporation, high arcana, spells, summon familiar; AL LN; MR 45%; Str 20, Dex 18, Con - , Int 20, Wis, 19, Cha 19.

Antimagic Vulnerability: Because the Master is a magical projection of a soul-shard, it is vulnerable to antimagic spells and spell-like effects as if it were summoned. Any antimagic effect must first overcome the Master’s magic resistance. A dispel magic spell that overcomes the Master’s magic resistance will force it to discorporate for 1d4 rounds as if he were a suppressed magic item.

Arcane Domains (Knowledge, Magic, Travel): The Master of the Tower can draw power from Wayreth, benefiting from his Tower’s arcane resonances. These bonus spells can be cast at will and are in addition to those spells normally available: 1st – dancing lights, detect secret passages and portals, hold portal, identify, jump, Nystul’s magic aura, phantasmal force, read magic, ventriloquism; 2nd – audible glamour, detect thought, knock, know alignment, locate object; 3rd – blink, clairaudience, clairvoyance, dispel magic, fly, spectral force; 4th – dimension door, hallucinatory terrain, minor creation; 5th – divination, imbue with spell ability, major creation, shadow magic, true seeing; 6th – antimagic shell, demishadow magic, guards and wards, legend lore, permanent illusion, programmed illusion, true seeing, veil; 7th – alter reality, find the path, phase door, spell trap, spell turning, teleport without error; 8th – Serten’s spell immunity; 9th – foresight, Mordenkainen’s disjunction.

Discorporation: At will, or whenever the Master’s hit points are reduced to 0, he vanishes and is absorbed back into the Tower, taking all of his possessions with him. If the Master is forced to discorporate by being reduced to 0 hit points, he cannot reform until at least 1 hour has passed; if he did so voluntarily, he may reform at any time. Discorporation is the only way for the Master to recover lost hit points naturally, which he does at the usual rate. The Master can still benefit from healing magic. When the Master reforms after discorporating, he may reappear at any point in the area of the Tower.

High Arcana: The Master has selected several special abilities by permanently eliminating one existing spell slot. Tower has permanently sacrificed one 5th, one 6th, one 7th, one 8th and one 9th level spell slots to master these abilities.
****Arcane Fire: The Master can change spell energy into arcane fire, manifesting it as a bolt of raw magical energy. The bolt has a range of 760 feet (400 feet + 40 feet / level of archmage) that deals 29d6 (1d6 points of damage per level) plus 1d6 points of damage per level of the spell used to create the effect.
****Arcane Reach: The Master can use spells with a range of touch on a target up to 60’ away. He must make a successful attack roll.
****Mastery of Counterspelling: When the Master counters a spell, it is turned back upon the caster as if it were fully affected by spell turning. If the spell cannot be affected by spell turning, then it is merely countered.
****Mastery of Elements: When the Master begins casting a spell he can alter it so that it utilizes a different element from the one it normally uses. The spell’s casting time is unaffected.
****Mastery of Shaping: The Master can alter area of effect spells that use one of the following shapes: burst, cone, cylinder, emanation, or spread. The alteration consists of creating spaces within the spell’s area of effect. The minimum dimension for these spaces is a 5-foot cube. Further, shapeable spells have a minimum dimension of 5 feet instead of 10 feet.

Commonly Memorized Spells ( 7 / 7 / 7 / 7 / 6 / 6 / 6 / 6 / 6 ): 1st – alarm, feather fall, magic missile, mending, message, shield, unseen servant; 2nd – alter self, continual light, darkness 15’ radius, ESP, forget, magic mouth, wizard lock; 3rd – gust of wind, haste, hold person, protection from normal missiles, slow, suggestion, tongues; 4th – fire shield, minor globe of invulnerability, polymorph other, shout, wall of fire, wall of ice, wizard eye; 5th – curse of the magi, magic jar, wall of force, wall of stone, telekinesis, transfer essense; 6th – chain lighting, control weather, death fog, death spell, geas, repulsion; 7th – limited wish, finger of death, mind spin, power word (stun), reverse gravity, timeheal; 8th – demand, maze, permanency, polymorph any object, symbol, trap the soul; 9th – Alamanther’s return, imprisonment, shapechange, time stop, travel the paths of the mind, wish.

Spellbook & Equipment: As the embodiment of the Tower of Wayreth, the Master has access to practically any spell known in the Dragonlace Campaign Setting, including any named spell written or scribed at the Tower throughout the Tower’s existence. He has access to a vast number of magic items and materials, including most items from the Dungeon Master’s Guide, but typically chooses to rely on his considerable powers as the eldritch emissary of the Tower of Wayreth. He does normally wear robes of the archmagi (which alter in color to suit whatever guise he is wearing at the time), and carry a fully charged staff of the magi.

Edited by - The Masked Mage on 28 Jan 2018 17:34:51
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LordofBones
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  00:57:57  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How does he have 9 levels in 5 level prestige class and why is his Int so low?
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  03:38:53  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just how I converted prestige classes to 2nd (I don't really speak 3rd or 4th E, which is part of the reason the stats are so different from the ones in the source, beyond I wanted to amp up his power). No reason not to put something else there. 20 is not low - 21 is godlike. Literally like a god. I remember when breaking 18 was a dream :P
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  03:42:11  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

That spell fragments the phylactery of a lich. It does not fragment a living soul and attach it to a phylactery of its own.

Honestly, I think the first "horcrux" in fantasy literature was the One Ring to rule them all. Sauron attached the lion-share of his soul to the ring and as such could not be totally destroyed when his body was. I do think the Harry Potter lady (name escaping me atm) did a good job building her books around the idea though.



The folklore of Koschei the Deathless, who stored his soul outside his body, rather predates Tolkien. I'm sure the concept goes back much further than that, though.



Never heard of him, but yeah seems right
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  05:16:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

That spell fragments the phylactery of a lich. It does not fragment a living soul and attach it to a phylactery of its own.

Honestly, I think the first "horcrux" in fantasy literature was the One Ring to rule them all. Sauron attached the lion-share of his soul to the ring and as such could not be totally destroyed when his body was. I do think the Harry Potter lady (name escaping me atm) did a good job building her books around the idea though.



The folklore of Koschei the Deathless, who stored his soul outside his body, rather predates Tolkien. I'm sure the concept goes back much further than that, though.



Never heard of him, but yeah seems right



Russian folklore, I believe. He's got his soul hidden in a needle in an egg in a turducken on an island, or somesuch.

He and Baba Yaga are frequently used in various RPGs, though Baba Yaga is the more frequently used, from what I've seen.

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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  12:47:21  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

That spell fragments the phylactery of a lich. It does not fragment a living soul and attach it to a phylactery of its own.

Honestly, I think the first "horcrux" in fantasy literature was the One Ring to rule them all. Sauron attached the lion-share of his soul to the ring and as such could not be totally destroyed when his body was. I do think the Harry Potter lady (name escaping me atm) did a good job building her books around the idea though.



That's not actually true. Sauron is one of the Ainur and is thus innately immortal and capable of taking on and discarding physical forms. The creation of the One Ring was an act of sympathetic magic; that by passing on his own native power into the Ruling Ring, he would be able to dominate the Nineteen that were forged from the lore he taught the Smiths of Eregion.

The Horcruxes strike me as being particularly wasteful. Voldemort still had to wait thirteen years until he could take shape again, so the Horcruxes are sort of a poor man's magic jar. You also end up splitting off pieces of your soul and looking like a snake monster with questionable sanity; I don't see why horcruxes are superior to magic jar or clone.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  13:09:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

That spell fragments the phylactery of a lich. It does not fragment a living soul and attach it to a phylactery of its own.

Honestly, I think the first "horcrux" in fantasy literature was the One Ring to rule them all. Sauron attached the lion-share of his soul to the ring and as such could not be totally destroyed when his body was. I do think the Harry Potter lady (name escaping me atm) did a good job building her books around the idea though.



The folklore of Koschei the Deathless, who stored his soul outside his body, rather predates Tolkien. I'm sure the concept goes back much further than that, though.



Never heard of him, but yeah seems right



Russian folklore, I believe. He's got his soul hidden in a needle in an egg in a turducken on an island, or somesuch.

He and Baba Yaga are frequently used in various RPGs, though Baba Yaga is the more frequently used, from what I've seen.



I think I ate that turducken for Thanksgiving.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  14:09:59  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

That spell fragments the phylactery of a lich. It does not fragment a living soul and attach it to a phylactery of its own.

Honestly, I think the first "horcrux" in fantasy literature was the One Ring to rule them all. Sauron attached the lion-share of his soul to the ring and as such could not be totally destroyed when his body was. I do think the Harry Potter lady (name escaping me atm) did a good job building her books around the idea though.



That's not actually true. Sauron is one of the Ainur and is thus innately immortal and capable of taking on and discarding physical forms. The creation of the One Ring was an act of sympathetic magic; that by passing on his own native power into the Ruling Ring, he would be able to dominate the Nineteen that were forged from the lore he taught the Smiths of Eregion.

The Horcruxes strike me as being particularly wasteful. Voldemort still had to wait thirteen years until he could take shape again, so the Horcruxes are sort of a poor man's magic jar. You also end up splitting off pieces of your soul and looking like a snake monster with questionable sanity; I don't see why horcruxes are superior to magic jar or clone.



Think of the Maiar more like demigods - they only have their one form unless their greater god buddies help them form a new one. If you presume that destroying the ring destroyed Sauron, and that without destroying it he could not be, then the comparison stands for itself.

Also, your Horcrux observations presume that the reason for Voldemort's goofy appearance and questionable sanity was the Horcruxes - no real evidence of that if you ask me. Its a guy who's obsessed with (among other things) snakes, so he made himself resemble a snake. I think his sanity was destroyed by his inability to comprehend his repeated failures.

Why poor man's magic jar? The result - if somehow worst comes to worst - is the effect of a magic jar without limit to range.

Now consider that the only reasons his Horcruxes failed was his mistakes using easily recognizable items from Hogwarts and letting Harry see his mind. Otherwise no one would ever have found them all.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  18:13:09  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree that Tolkien's "Maiar" are imperfectly analogous to D&D's "demigods" overall, though he sometimes described them as "angels".

There was a kind of symmetry, some Maiar (and Ainur, and Valar, etc) were more tightly "bound" to the world, more manifest and corporeal, while others existed (and had powers) which were less tangible and more spiritual.
Different from D&D where higher divine station is a measure of greater power both within and beyond the world.

Gandalf and Saruman were Maiar, and quite similar, both being "wizards" capable of working great magics, but Gandalf's ambitions and constraints were more "divine" while Saruman's were more "material". Both approximate a D&D status between the weakest "demigods" and strongest "celestials", though with different emphasis.

Sauron was also a Maiar (the most powerful of the Maiar), once, but effectively imprisoned "outside" the world so he could only interact with it indirectly, through the people or things which were attuned to his vast and evil corruptions, he could hardly embody any "physical" presence at all except perhaps in the presence of his agents and in his dark domain of Mordor itself. Approximating a D&D status something like a powerful "archfiend", yet stronger overall than any other Maiar.

[/Ayrik]
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LordofBones
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Posted - 30 Jan 2018 :  16:36:21  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

That spell fragments the phylactery of a lich. It does not fragment a living soul and attach it to a phylactery of its own.

Honestly, I think the first "horcrux" in fantasy literature was the One Ring to rule them all. Sauron attached the lion-share of his soul to the ring and as such could not be totally destroyed when his body was. I do think the Harry Potter lady (name escaping me atm) did a good job building her books around the idea though.



That's not actually true. Sauron is one of the Ainur and is thus innately immortal and capable of taking on and discarding physical forms. The creation of the One Ring was an act of sympathetic magic; that by passing on his own native power into the Ruling Ring, he would be able to dominate the Nineteen that were forged from the lore he taught the Smiths of Eregion.

The Horcruxes strike me as being particularly wasteful. Voldemort still had to wait thirteen years until he could take shape again, so the Horcruxes are sort of a poor man's magic jar. You also end up splitting off pieces of your soul and looking like a snake monster with questionable sanity; I don't see why horcruxes are superior to magic jar or clone.



Think of the Maiar more like demigods - they only have their one form unless their greater god buddies help them form a new one. If you presume that destroying the ring destroyed Sauron, and that without destroying it he could not be, then the comparison stands for itself.

Also, your Horcrux observations presume that the reason for Voldemort's goofy appearance and questionable sanity was the Horcruxes - no real evidence of that if you ask me. Its a guy who's obsessed with (among other things) snakes, so he made himself resemble a snake. I think his sanity was destroyed by his inability to comprehend his repeated failures.

Why poor man's magic jar? The result - if somehow worst comes to worst - is the effect of a magic jar without limit to range.

Now consider that the only reasons his Horcruxes failed was his mistakes using easily recognizable items from Hogwarts and letting Harry see his mind. Otherwise no one would ever have found them all.



That's, um, wrong. While many Maiar and Valar did confine themselves to a single form, Sauron took on the form of a massive wolf, a serpent, several fair-seeming forms, and several terrible forms without input from Morgoth. Indeed, Morgoth himself was so diminished that he was forever confined to the form of a scarred giant unable to heal the wounds inflicted by Fingolfin. Sauron was unable to take a fair shape after Numenor, but that's about it as far as his shapeshifting limitations go.

As for a poor man's magic jar, just look at Voldemort. The Horcruxes just stopped him from flat-out dying; he spent the better part of fourteen years as a demonic ghost needing willing hosts or animals just to survive, and even afterwards he needed a complex magical ritual to take on a physical form. Magic jar has a shorter duration and range, but that's about it. Clone, an 8th level spell, is flat-out better than the Horcruxes.

Why is it even a 10th level spell? Velsharoon's death pact is 8th level, and you get a free resurrection + word of recall. Clone is 8th. Heart of x is 8th. Magic jar is 5th.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 30 Jan 2018 :  17:04:50  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A 10th level spell in 2E is slightly beyond the normal threshold. Along with all the other stringent requirements each casting always has a chance of failure (the first casting attempt is always automatic failure). The casting also invokes Mystra and is only successful at all if Mystra (that is, the DM) chooses to allow it on a case-by-case basis. In the 2E Realms, anyhow, not necessarily in Dragonlance (as suggested in the spell text).

10th level is also higher than 9th level wish, which is a tall order. This horcrux spell seems to effectively replicate and improve upon all the advantages of a lich phylactery without the unpleasant risks and downsides associated with actually being a lich. Having the soul artifact be magically undetectable and indestructible "even to the powers of the gods" (especially on Krynn!) seems a little over the top.

[/Ayrik]
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 30 Jan 2018 :  20:21:32  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik
10th level is also higher than 9th level wish, which is a tall order. This horcrux spell seems to effectively replicate and improve upon all the advantages of a lich phylactery without the unpleasant risks and downsides associated with actually being a lich. Having the soul artifact be magically undetectable and indestructible "even to the powers of the gods" (especially on Krynn!) seems a little over the top.



That's pretty much the idea. Common wizards resort to lichdom. The really rare one finds a better way.

The language about artifacts comes straight from the book of artifacts. Undetectable and indestructible save for a couple special means is boilerplate. Now in Harry Potter, you basically needed an artifact or legendary level item (basilisk fang) to destroy a Horcrux. Now the D&D basilisk is not remotely similar to the Harry Potter version, but the idea is the same. The Horcruxes were indestructible to conventional all means. Destroying one killed Dumbledore (or would have had he not let Snape kill him first).

Your point about creating an artifact, btw, is why it needs to be 10th level. A 9th level wish cannot take a prepared magical item and turn it into an artifact. That is beyond its power. It can be used in the place of the final enchant and permanency but that's it.

Finally, the rules for 10th level spells changed at least 6 times over the course of 2nd Ed by my count. Basically they ended up with it works if the DM wants it to work, so that no player could usurp control of a campaign from the DM. This is fine with me.
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 30 Jan 2018 :  20:40:56  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

That's, um, wrong. While many Maiar and Valar did confine themselves to a single form, Sauron took on the form of a massive wolf, a serpent, several fair-seeming forms, and several terrible forms without input from Morgoth. Indeed, Morgoth himself was so diminished that he was forever confined to the form of a scarred giant unable to heal the wounds inflicted by Fingolfin. Sauron was unable to take a fair shape after Numenor, but that's about it as far as his shapeshifting limitations go.

As for a poor man's magic jar, just look at Voldemort. The Horcruxes just stopped him from flat-out dying; he spent the better part of fourteen years as a demonic ghost needing willing hosts or animals just to survive, and even afterwards he needed a complex magical ritual to take on a physical form. Magic jar has a shorter duration and range, but that's about it. Clone, an 8th level spell, is flat-out better than the Horcruxes.

Why is it even a 10th level spell? Velsharoon's death pact is 8th level, and you get a free resurrection + word of recall. Clone is 8th. Heart of x is 8th. Magic jar is 5th.



Once the physical form of the Maia were destroyed they needed the aid of their Vala 'sponsor.' Were this not the case there would be literally 0 problem for one to sacrifice their mortal form while taking out an enemy, because they could just respawn. Sauron had never been destroyed until after creating the ring, at which point it was discovered that his tie to the ring surpassed mortality.

The death pact has a price, obviously, so calling it free is insane. You become the property of a power. You can't use a standard clone in this manner. Thus the 9th level spell stasis clone, which requires other contingent magic to be used well and as we all know has its own drawbacks - plus its a spell theoretically known only to Manshoon. All a magic jar does is put your spirit into a receptacle so that maybe you can possess someone within its very limited range. If that someone makes his save and then hits your gem with a hammer then bye bye. So it also has some serious dangers that include dying - which is the outcome that we're trying to avoid :P
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LordofBones
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Posted - 31 Jan 2018 :  09:09:27  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

That's, um, wrong. While many Maiar and Valar did confine themselves to a single form, Sauron took on the form of a massive wolf, a serpent, several fair-seeming forms, and several terrible forms without input from Morgoth. Indeed, Morgoth himself was so diminished that he was forever confined to the form of a scarred giant unable to heal the wounds inflicted by Fingolfin. Sauron was unable to take a fair shape after Numenor, but that's about it as far as his shapeshifting limitations go.

As for a poor man's magic jar, just look at Voldemort. The Horcruxes just stopped him from flat-out dying; he spent the better part of fourteen years as a demonic ghost needing willing hosts or animals just to survive, and even afterwards he needed a complex magical ritual to take on a physical form. Magic jar has a shorter duration and range, but that's about it. Clone, an 8th level spell, is flat-out better than the Horcruxes.

Why is it even a 10th level spell? Velsharoon's death pact is 8th level, and you get a free resurrection + word of recall. Clone is 8th. Heart of x is 8th. Magic jar is 5th.



Once the physical form of the Maia were destroyed they needed the aid of their Vala 'sponsor.' Were this not the case there would be literally 0 problem for one to sacrifice their mortal form while taking out an enemy, because they could just respawn. Sauron had never been destroyed until after creating the ring, at which point it was discovered that his tie to the ring surpassed mortality.

The death pact has a price, obviously, so calling it free is insane. You become the property of a power. You can't use a standard clone in this manner. Thus the 9th level spell stasis clone, which requires other contingent magic to be used well and as we all know has its own drawbacks - plus its a spell theoretically known only to Manshoon. All a magic jar does is put your spirit into a receptacle so that maybe you can possess someone within its very limited range. If that someone makes his save and then hits your gem with a hammer then bye bye. So it also has some serious dangers that include dying - which is the outcome that we're trying to avoid :P




Sauron is of the Ainur and cannot die. His physical shape can be crippled and destroyed, but even with the bulk of his fea unmade with the destruction of the One, he still exists. The Balrogs are the same, only that they chose to incarnate themselves as demons of fire and shadow so thoroughly that the destruction of those forms crippled the Valaraukar. The same is true of Morgoth, Thuringwethil and Draugluin. Melian, as well, since she's stuck in her elf-queen form. There has never been any instance of a Maiar needing the Valar to take a shape.

I think people are seriously overestimating HP magic. The 'artifacts' in HP are run-of-the-mill magic items in D&D, and the Horcruxes are seriously overblown. Voldemort was reduced to a ghost possessing animals in Albania for over a decade, had to be parasite ghost for a year while being forced to drink unicorn blood, was a snake-baby drinking snake venom for another year, and needed an esoteric ritual just to regain a body. The Horcruxes just make it difficult for the caster to be permanently killed, at the expense of, well, needing all kinds of weird voodoo just to stay alive after your body goes poof.

Voldemort and Dumbledore aren't especially impressive in D&D; I can't buy him knowing epic magic/true dweomers.
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