Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Journals
 Running the Realms
 Artifacts in Forgotten Realms
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Copper Elven Vampire
Senior Scribe

685 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  10:33:12  Show Profile Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Artifacts in D&D are rule breakers. It plainly states in basic 3.5e rules that Artifacts are allowed to circumvent standard rules to game play by the DM's choice. (How much fun can you possibly have?).

Same for 1Ed Advanced D&D, and 2e rules alike. So from 1978 to 2010 Artifacts can pretty much break all the rules and players can balk, or whine or laugh at the notion.

Example... My +20 battle axe of the Dwarven Lords of Runedardath unerringly strikes you for a critical hit of 12d20 + 20 damage per successful hit. That's truly insane, but feasible within game rules.

It's up to your DM really. But I would expect a mighty, powerful backstory and history as to why this can happen to follow.

The Shattering Swords of Coronal Ynloeth... The most Powerful elven Artifact in canon to date... With the clash of the twin longswords you can shred any living creature, regardless of HD to oblivion within 1 round. You can single handedly slay Asmodeus with this Artifact on his home plane of the 9th Hell. Mind you, you are shredded too, unless you have Ynloeths Bracer. So if you possess the Shattering swords and Ynloeths bracer, you can (in game terms) slay a greater deity.

Absolutely insane, but within canon game terms. Because it's an Artifact.

So forget The Axe of The Dwarvish Lords, forget The Shattering Swords of the elven Coronal of Aaryvandarr. Go low and create something new and less powerful, but still an artifact.

Even if there were 1,000 powerful artifacts littered across Faerun, that would mean a 1 and 1,000,000,000,000 chance of finding one. Good luck. And if you do somehow... your DM allows it... I'm fairly certain that it'll be back on the super-wicked rare list on top of your bones for another to find.

Twin-Blades Alight? A powerful minor dwarven artifact. The Mace of Cuthbert? The Wand of Orcus? The Chaos-Bringers of Vezzenvazzel Ahmaquissar? The Shattering Swords?, The Hand of Vecna?, The skull of XYZ deity?. The Eye of Baphomet?, The Ivory Horn of Asmodeus?, The Necrotic fang of Mephistopheles?, The Jeweled eye of the Prime Modren?, The Withered claws of Ygorl, Lord of Entropy?, The + 20 Silver Vorpal sword of the Githyanki Lord of Sorrow?, The Missing Eye of Tyr?, etc... etc...

Artifacts DO NOT make or break you. Contesting to the items intelligence alone will mess you up if you're not of the specific alignment.

Do you think that any dwarven PC can simply hold and wield The Axe of The Dwarvish Lords? Fools... Can any Dwarven lord simply pick up Twin-Blades Alight without dying in a monstrous hoard of enemies before she basks in the glory of her ancient kin?

As far as Canon goes... The last elf to wield The Shattering Swords was a Moon elf of Evereska that knowingly and willing clashed the blades together in the midst of an abyssal hoard, led by a Balor Lord of tremendous power, in order to buy time for The MistMaster to seal Hellgate Keep shut.

In the end... The Balor Lord was consumed and ripped apart by the shattering shards of Coronal Ynloeths swords, along with the moon elf who wielded them. All in all, over 100 demons were torn apart by the ancient magic of the sword, only to lay dormant somewhere under Hellgate Keep.

Or what about the Gnome Illusionist hero Phazarest Shadowstone, who stole the twin daggers of Baravar Cloakshadow from a hoard of Hobgoblins that was led by Vrazatablimnal, the Ogre-Magi King? Legend says he worked his way into the heart of the Ogre-Magi kingdom with nothing more than spells of Illusion and deception. Once he acquired the twin daggers he went on a frenzy of death dealing and violence that no mortal can comprehend. Eliminating the entire clan of Hobgoblins and eventually killing the Ogre-King himself.

And what of Paz Quicktoe, The Halfling thief that stole the frozen heart of Auril? Bypassing traps and locks and hellish frozen death to appease his god Brandobaris? He stole a shard of the winter queens heart and forged a mighty shortsword in her own fey kingdom, Calling it "Dweamorfrost".

Legend also speaks of a Drow Elf bard by the name of "Whispertongue" who ventured into the abyss seeking the Lyre of Madness. Rumor has it that his face was destroyed in combat with Grazzt. Undeterred, he sang a song of beauty and the Demon Prince was immobile in sleep as he stole the Lyre of Chaos instead and was imbued with the ability of changing a thousand faces. The only blatant theft against a lord of the abyss by a mortal in Realms history.

Fact is this... Artifacts and the legends behind them are really all that matter. You can have a crazy powerful longsword that does 100d12 damage as long as you have the backstory of the item or the person behind the legend.

What are some of your Artifacts?

CEV

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32837 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  15:35:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The only artifact I've come up with is something that I originally thought up for a way-overpowered NPC. I've since scrapped that munchkin NPC, but I still like the idea of the sword I gave him.

I never really detailed it much, though.

I called the sword Nemesis, and it was originally the blade of a now-fallen war deity. The sword had one basic power: no matter what it was used against, it still did normal damage. Damage resistance, immunity to certain materials, ignoring certain types of damage, all that -- the sword ignored it all.

And it blocked regeneration, too.

So if something ignored everything except +5 silver whiffle bats and regenerated 20 hp a round, the sword would be considered a +5 silver whiffle bat and the damage it inflicted could only heal normally, not through regeneration. If the very next opponent could only be hit by +2 cold iron blades, that's what the sword would be considered. And so on.

I've never really done anything with this sword for two reasons: once I got out of my phase of creating insanely overpowered NPCs, there was no need for it, and despite the simplicity of the sword's power (always does the same damage), the execution of that is rather complex.

I do have another NPC concept that requires an artifact to be in his backstory -- but that's only to have the NPC subject to a curse that can't be lifted. I've not come up with the artifact itself because the curse was the important part of the backstory -- and even that NPC only exists to provide backstory to another NPC. And I've never really figured out what to do with the second NPC, so she remains mostly conceptual.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4898 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  15:56:38  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always had difficulty distinguishing between a magic item and any other artefact. Some things, like demrons swords are just magic items, whereas others are artefacts and there is little to distinguish the power level.

I make up a backstory for almost every single magic item I introduce into a campaign or world.

I consider something an artefact only if it cannot be recreated due to the unique circumstances or reagents that went into its creation.

So the splintered sword of aidyn is an artefact that doesn't really do much other than deal damage to a creature that is otherwise impervious to damage, it is a wooden sword and completely useless in any other circumstances.

Then I have the numerous magic items across the old empires that are infinitely more powerful but can be recreated by the churches that first made them

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32837 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2019 :  16:09:08  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and one more thing about that sword I thought up: it wasn't originally intended to be an artifact. It was only much later that I realized that the scope of its abilities was simply beyond mortal magic, therefore it had to be an artifact.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Copper Elven Vampire
Senior Scribe

685 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2019 :  21:02:20  Show Profile Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Oh, and one more thing about that sword I thought up: it wasn't originally intended to be an artifact. It was only much later that I realized that the scope of its abilities was simply beyond mortal magic, therefore it had to be an artifact.



Give me the details and I'll flesh it out for you to finish if you'd like.
Go to Top of Page

Copper Elven Vampire
Senior Scribe

685 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2019 :  21:06:17  Show Profile Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I've always had difficulty distinguishing between a magic item and any other artefact. Some things, like demrons swords are just magic items, whereas others are artefacts and there is little to distinguish the power level.

I make up a backstory for almost every single magic item I introduce into a campaign or world.

I consider something an artefact only if it cannot be recreated due to the unique circumstances or reagents that went into its creation.

So the splintered sword of aidyn is an artefact that doesn't really do much other than deal damage to a creature that is otherwise impervious to damage, it is a wooden sword and completely useless in any other circumstances.

Then I have the numerous magic items across the old empires that are infinitely more powerful but can be recreated by the churches that first made them



I love it!! A wooden sword used in practice combat for young ones learning melee combat, but in the hands of anyone over a certain HD it becomes XYZ powerful. I can kill that artifact. in a good way. I can think of 30 things right now to do with that wooden sword. Great concept.
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4898 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2019 :  22:05:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually it was a druid artefact so it was a bit less murder hobo than that. Anyone touching the blade was pricked by a splinter from the sword and within 10 days the sword was able to completely ignore all damage resistances the being might possess.

So the first wielder would almost certainly die, but the second wielder could use it as a normal sword against anything (even a tarrasque).

Not a terribly useful artefact but the wife of the king of moray did ask for a weapon that could kill the scaerandaga (not necessarily a weapon that would kill it)

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site

Edited by - Gary Dallison on 23 Sep 2019 22:06:39
Go to Top of Page

Copper Elven Vampire
Senior Scribe

685 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2019 :  22:11:50  Show Profile Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Actually it was a druid artefact so it was a bit less murder hobo than that. Anyone touching the blade was pricked by a splinter from the sword and within 10 days the sword was able to completely ignore all damage resistances the being might possess.

So the first wielder would almost certainly die, but the second wielder could use it as a normal sword against anything (even a tarrasque).

Not a terribly useful artefact but the wife of the king of moray did ask for a weapon that could kill the scaerandaga (not necessarily a weapon that would kill it)



I'll flesh it out if you'd like. I only do 3.5 so that's a setback, but I'm game if you are.
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32837 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  02:21:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Copper Elven Vampire

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Oh, and one more thing about that sword I thought up: it wasn't originally intended to be an artifact. It was only much later that I realized that the scope of its abilities was simply beyond mortal magic, therefore it had to be an artifact.



Give me the details and I'll flesh it out for you to finish if you'd like.



I don't have any real details. It is the sword of a fallen war deity, and it always does its normal damage, regardless of any immunities/damage reduction the target has.

Even though it doesn't do gobs of damage, the fact that it ignores everything makes it powerful.

You can try to write it up if you wish, but I'll not be able to judge if the write-up is mechanically sound, and it's not something I personally have any use for.

I've moved on from that particular stage of being a gamer. I prefer stuff that's less powerful but more interesting, now.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Copper Elven Vampire
Senior Scribe

685 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  05:10:59  Show Profile Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Copper Elven Vampire

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Oh, and one more thing about that sword I thought up: it wasn't originally intended to be an artifact. It was only much later that I realized that the scope of its abilities was simply beyond mortal magic, therefore it had to be an artifact.



Give me the details and I'll flesh it out for you to finish if you'd like.



I don't have any real details. It is the sword of a fallen war deity, and it always does its normal damage, regardless of any immunities/damage reduction the target has.

Even though it doesn't do gobs of damage, the fact that it ignores everything makes it powerful.

You can try to write it up if you wish, but I'll not be able to judge if the write-up is mechanically sound, and it's not something I personally have any use for.

I've moved on from that particular stage of being a gamer. I prefer stuff that's less powerful but more interesting, now.




1. does it matter what god?
2. This is NOT uber powerful to begin with so I think we're good.
3. I'll leave the money mechanics to you and others that are far better than I to figure that out.
4. I can do this in one night if you're game. I don't want to build your weapon if you're against it.
Go to Top of Page

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4898 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  10:48:20  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By all means flesh it out if you fancy. I use my own rules based upon 3.5 but massively evolved so I have it acquire damage types after exposure to the blood of a creature. Otherwise it functioned as a normal long sword (I separated out all magic properties so you can have a weapon that drips acid or gains damage types but does not have any bonus to attack or damage)

Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

Copper Elven Vampire
Senior Scribe

685 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2019 :  22:16:34  Show Profile Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

By all means flesh it out if you fancy. I use my own rules based upon 3.5 but massively evolved so I have it acquire damage types after exposure to the blood of a creature. Otherwise it functioned as a normal long sword (I separated out all magic properties so you can have a weapon that drips acid or gains damage types but does not have any bonus to attack or damage)



Deal. I can have fun with this as I set my own standards based on 3.5ED as well. I will start this on Monday perhaps, but I'm thinking something along the lines of this to begin with;

Vron of the Thousand Battles: This longsword is considered a +5 weapon for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction, though it has no effective attack or damage bonus. With a successful critical hit, this intelligent sword can automatically determine the weakness of any creature it strikes, causing the blade to function in whatever manner that would cause the most damage to the recipient.

Just for starters. Cool with you?
Go to Top of Page

LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1023 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2019 :  02:25:19  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It would be easier to say that melee attacks made with the blade ignore all forms of alignment, damage type and material based damage reduction.
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32837 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2019 :  04:28:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

It would be easier to say that melee attacks made with the blade ignore all forms of alignment, damage type and material based damage reduction.



This is more inline with what I'd imagined: it just ignores everything.

I also didn't imagine it being intelligent. Nemesis is powerful enough without adding intelligence into it.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6961 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2019 :  09:16:59  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The One Ring was an artifact upon which the fate of Middle Earth, Elves, Men, Dwarves, Orcs, and Sauron were all hinged. Ages were marked when it was forged, lost, and destroyed.

The Nine Orbs of Dragonkind were similarly critical artifacts in Krynn's history. At least during its most legendary, pivotal, and catastrophic moments.

But the Realms is littered with world-shaking artifacts. The Ring of Winter, the Crenshinibon, Cyrinishad, Finder's Stone, the Nether Scrolls, Zsass Tam's Dread Rings, the Flying City of Shade, Mythals, etc. They're all capable of destroying nations, remaking the world, granting godlike power... Yet they're each confined to whatever adventures, mini-campaigns, or novels were written around them.

Artifacts are central plot elements which drive stories and define the roles or goals of the characters around them. So maybe the Realms are populated by so many artifacts simply because so many stories have been written for the setting. Greyhawk also had too many (though not quite as many) artifacts with epic scope and legendary powers - they just seemed to resurface and clash with each other more often than they seemed to multiply in number.

The "best" artifact used in any games I played was a modestly unpowerful Spelljammer item. Basically a +2 cutlass which gradually transformed the wielder into a space pirate (who was inclined to drink grog, swagger a lot, and say "Arrr!" far too often). It served its story/adventure purposes well but it left behind a devastating wake of stereotypical space pirates before finally being fed into an artifurnace helm.

Planescape spans the cosmos yet lacks a preponderance of artifacts. The rules explanation being that the vast majority of artifacts are anchored to the planes and worlds and deities and histories of their origin - they're comparably powerless and "ordinary" magical items when away from their "home" power sources - so the wielder of epic unopposable god-skewering blades from Faerun won't have much luck trying to use them vs Asmodeus in his Ninth Layer of Hell.

[/Ayrik]
Go to Top of Page

Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
605 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2019 :  20:25:55  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have so far created only two minor artefacts for my game and I am considering third.

First is a Skin of Sarevok - for this I have misused BG lore as it was created by Rejiek Hidesman from the remains of said Bhaalspawn. It contain some remains of his divine essence and responds to death around it. More death the more power it gives to wearer. In normal conditions it is a horrid looking suit of leather armor but once it tastes blood it becomes much more. First it compels to more killing (Rage spell) and later it empowers wearer for any death in close area (lets say 60ft, Death Knell spell). If real carnage happens it might give more demonic powers like Magic fangs, Protection from Good, ...
In long term it slightly changes your willingness to commit acts of violence (shifting you to chaotic evil). It is also not good at all as armor with AC 1 and -2 modifier as soon as it tasted blood...it only provide temporary hitpoints once a kill is made and those stack up.
It has found it's way to Darkhold where it spun a small controversy as Cyric is not seen as the same as Bhaal so they rather sold it to spread chaos (rather than keeping it as unholy divine gift).

Second is a Pool of consciousness. It was created by Jhaamdath psionics to guard area around their new home in Dordrien keep (south of Dagger Falls). It is a stone pool of sand in basement of the keep (part of the structure) and only work if you immerse yourself into it. Than if properly activated (psionics) you can send your mind to wander around for as long as you will. It is however draining to your body and you cannot feel it until you return to it or you feint out from exhaustion. Until then you are incorporeally flying in Material world and can see and hear as normal. Your flying speed is not great (50ft) so it take time to get far. You are invisible to naked eye but spells can find you and you are also vulnerable from Ethereal plane. You cannot speak to anyone unless you are capable of telepathy. You also cannot cast any spells but you can be under effect if cast before you leave the body.

Third is a Dragon helmet - elven helmet from time of Crown Wars that enables wearer to command a dragon. You have to force your will upon it so it was mainly used on young dragons trained as a steed. Once you make the link between wearer and the dragon it keeps it so dragon cannot free himself. Helmet provide a telepathic link so any command you wish is sent directly to dragon (helped in aerial battles). It does not bind a dragon in any other way so you should phrase your commands carefully and ahead of time. It could be also used only as a way to communicate and was used as such with good dragons willing to risk such enslavement. Some dragons may recognize such legendary helmet so it might be risky to approach a dragon with it on your head as he might want to kill you before you try to use it.
(I have not yet introduced it in the game so I have no backstory except it will be of Ilithyri origin)

Also there was a brief encounter with Nether Scrolls as they were dispersed around Faerun from the elven tree form in Myth Drannor.
Go to Top of Page

Copper Elven Vampire
Senior Scribe

685 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2019 :  03:23:09  Show Profile Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

I have so far created only two minor artefacts for my game and I am considering third.

First is a Skin of Sarevok - for this I have misused BG lore as it was created by Rejiek Hidesman from the remains of said Bhaalspawn. It contain some remains of his divine essence and responds to death around it. More death the more power it gives to wearer. In normal conditions it is a horrid looking suit of leather armor but once it tastes blood it becomes much more. First it compels to more killing (Rage spell) and later it empowers wearer for any death in close area (lets say 60ft, Death Knell spell). If real carnage happens it might give more demonic powers like Magic fangs, Protection from Good, ...
In long term it slightly changes your willingness to commit acts of violence (shifting you to chaotic evil). It is also not good at all as armor with AC 1 and -2 modifier as soon as it tasted blood...it only provide temporary hitpoints once a kill is made and those stack up.
It has found it's way to Darkhold where it spun a small controversy as Cyric is not seen as the same as Bhaal so they rather sold it to spread chaos (rather than keeping it as unholy divine gift).

Second is a Pool of consciousness. It was created by Jhaamdath psionics to guard area around their new home in Dordrien keep (south of Dagger Falls). It is a stone pool of sand in basement of the keep (part of the structure) and only work if you immerse yourself into it. Than if properly activated (psionics) you can send your mind to wander around for as long as you will. It is however draining to your body and you cannot feel it until you return to it or you feint out from exhaustion. Until then you are incorporeally flying in Material world and can see and hear as normal. Your flying speed is not great (50ft) so it take time to get far. You are invisible to naked eye but spells can find you and you are also vulnerable from Ethereal plane. You cannot speak to anyone unless you are capable of telepathy. You also cannot cast any spells but you can be under effect if cast before you leave the body.

Third is a Dragon helmet - elven helmet from time of Crown Wars that enables wearer to command a dragon. You have to force your will upon it so it was mainly used on young dragons trained as a steed. Once you make the link between wearer and the dragon it keeps it so dragon cannot free himself. Helmet provide a telepathic link so any command you wish is sent directly to dragon (helped in aerial battles). It does not bind a dragon in any other way so you should phrase your commands carefully and ahead of time. It could be also used only as a way to communicate and was used as such with good dragons willing to risk such enslavement. Some dragons may recognize such legendary helmet so it might be risky to approach a dragon with it on your head as he might want to kill you before you try to use it.
(I have not yet introduced it in the game so I have no backstory except it will be of Ilithyri origin)

Also there was a brief encounter with Nether Scrolls as they were dispersed around Faerun from the elven tree form in Myth Drannor.



I respect that.
Go to Top of Page

Nilus Reynard
Learned Scribe

Canada
137 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2019 :  10:11:23  Show Profile Send Nilus Reynard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nilus looted a minor artifact (DM created) in Undermountain many years ago. Its called the Circlet of Discord. The circlet is made of bronze and is set with 13 bloodstones. The symbol of Beshaba is engraved on each of the bloodstones. Its abilities are:

-Causes slight panic & confusion to all enemies within a 50 foot radius, causing some to give up fighting and flee/attack their allies, etc.

-Exudes a 20 foot radius of despair that affects enemies, that increases with every round that the enemies are exposed to it

-Allows the wearer to make an enemy's saving throw instantly fail up to 3/day

-Gives the wearer an immunity to all forms of curses

The circlet can only be worn by a follower of an evil deity. Any good or true neutral character that touches it receives 12d4 cold damage.

Nilus Reynard
Doom Master of Beshaba, Hand of Despair.
P24 Hm CN
(2nd Edition AD&D)

Edited by - Nilus Reynard on 16 Oct 2019 10:17:31
Go to Top of Page

SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
225 Posts

Posted - 15 Dec 2019 :  18:10:17  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Back in the 90s I was so frustrated with my players constantly choosing "elf" for their characters' race that I created artifacts that would cause them to think twice about having their merry bands of elves-that-act-like-humans adventuring in my world. My players were warned of fell weaponry in the hands of orcs & goblinoids but they truly did scoff at the threat to their experienced multi-class characters. Indeed, when my players were routing a band of lowly goblins in their lair screaming for their savior "Do Jok To!" and retreating further into the cave system, they sneered & mocked the warnings. The condescension stopped when a goblin, not much different than the rest cut the group leader in half at the waist with a single swing of an ebony blade. Unable to grasp the danger they faced, each member of the party was killed in turn as my shocked players watched in disbelief - a 9 member group took 9 rounds to die, because the goblin only had 1 attack per round, all while the surrounding goblins chanted "Do Jok To! Do Jok To!" and cackled at their demise. Some of my players challenged me but I showed them my notes for how survivable this encounter was if they just heeded the warning that I had printed out for them in their own notes (see the quote below as a special handout). I changed some lore and added new abilities as I transitioned from 2E to 3E but the crux is still the same.

quote:
Whispers and rumors heard from elven sages reveal the existence of mighty weapons wielded by goblinoids. The recurring descriptions are of black swords that cut through elven ranks like a sickle through wheat. Elven fables tell of fearsome “Dou Jok” goblinoids who felled elven heroes too proud and too arrogant to ask for help or to run away, and the goblin name “Dou Jok” elicits a sharp reaction of hatred and fear from those in elven lands. Each story is told like a tragedy yet no history mentions any great war with the goblinoids.


Dou Jok were weapons of old made when the elves challenged the hobgoblins for control of large swaths of verdant land. No known elven legend speaks of an elven hero who overcame a Dou Jok wielder. The hobgoblins exacted an awful price on the victorious elves before their civilization fell and the secrets of Dou Jok weaponry were lost. All Dou Joks confer spell resistance & protection from missiles on their wielders but additional powers are decided by weapon type & origin. The weapons have long names, always starting with Dou Jok, but appended with the weapons name type and a suffix for its origin. The first weapon I implemented in my game was "Dou Jok Tou" that I later retconned to "Dou Jok Tou Bouget" when I expanded on the initial idea. Other retcons were adding the hobgoblin realms from the North to the borders of Genie-ruled Calimshan that were swiftly crushed by the expanding elf nations and having all the Dou Joks made from Fairy Glass.

Tou are short cutting swords based on Terran Falcata. The open loop grip is canted to ensure the wielder retains the weapon when delivering jarring blows with the heavy blade. The blade greatly curves inward towards its single edge with much of the blade’s mass forward of the narrow neck near the ivory handle. This bend makes the Tou a close-in chopper capable of delivering devastating cleaves and dismemberment. Tou grants the wielder Cleave whenever the conditions for a Cleave are met.

Buch are long hafted axes based on Terran Bhuj. A menacingly thick and broad blade is fastened to the end of a long haft giving this weapon considerable reach. Essentially wielded like a pole-cleaver, the Buch is too poorly balanced to be effective on the thrust and too clumsy to parry an attack; however, the heavy blade chops with considerable force capable of sundering parrying weapons and shields. Buch grants the wielder a free Sunder whenever an attack fails by the margin of an armor or weapon defense bonus.

Chat are greatswords based on Terran Khandar, A closed loop forms the grip with a canted spike intended as a 2nd hand grip. The pewter grip has a sheath extending acouple inches up the blade with a thick spine extending half way down the back edge of the flared-ended blade. The Chat angles slightly towards the sharpened edge though nowhere near as angled as the Tou. This massive weapon automatically applies a Knockdown effect with each hit that the victim must make a Strength check as though one size smaller and at the DC established by the damage delivered by the weapon or be rendered prone.

Weapons crafted in each of the six centers of ancient hobgoblin civilization had specific powers ensorcelled into them. The following are ordered in productivity order with Bouget creating hundred of Dou Joks and Pripogog creating only a dozen.
Bouget: Any elf cut is subject to a Slay Living Fort DC15 (death/3d6+9). Damage must be dealt by the weapon for this effect to trigger. Each successive hit from a weapon with this ability increases the DC+1 for the existence of the elf. Bouget was remote from elven power but subject to frequent raiding by elven heroes until they organized kill squads to hunt and eradicate isolated elven packs.
Inpotoga: Any elf struck by the blade is the center of a 15’ wide force blast (2d4+4) effect. Any attack that surpasses the touch AC triggers this ability. The force wave adds the force damage to a base DC15 for a bullrush Str check. A Fort save (alt concentration) DC15 is needed to remain conscious (failure = damage number of rounds out), then a Reflex save (alt tumble) DC15 + total damage to avoid knockdown, then Will save DC15 + force damage to avoid being dazed (total rounds = amount missed by). The weapon wielder can choose to stay within striking distance of any moved victim of the force blast to continue strikes within a full round attack. This movement is instantaneous and does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Inpotoga was between two mighty elven kingdoms that fielded great armies with superior formations of troops. This weapon was instrumental in battles to prevent unit cohesion from overwhelming goblinoid hordes.
Kikechu: Any elf cut is beset with the tormented spirits of slain goblinoids. Black shadows surround the victim as vague hands and leering faces accost the elf. A failed Will save DC15 locks the soul of the unfortunate elf into the Dou Jok weapon and allows a goblinoid tyrant control of the elf’s body for 15 minutes under a barbarian rage. It was not uncommon for the tyrant spirits to commit suicide before losing their connection with the elf’s body. A succesful Will save results in effectively blinding the victim for damage number of rounds. Kikechu had been a religious center with many blood sacrifices of slaves/prisoners and live embalmings/immolations of fanatical zealots. The connection to the afterlife was central to all aspects of the goblinoids’ lives in Kikechu and, thusly, the ultimate weapons meant to protect it.
Tajik: Any elf cut is subject to a Flesh to Stone Fort DC15 (Petrified / (damage) rounds Slowed). Damage must be dealt by the weapon for this effect to trigger. Each successive hit from a weapon with this ability increases the DC +1 for the existence of the elf.
Chada: Any elf cut is subject to a Dominate Person DC15 ((damage) days controlled / ability damage to all mental attributes ). Damage must be dealt by the weapon for this effect to trigger. Each successive hit from a weapon with this ability increases the DC +1 for the existence of the elf.
Pripogog: Any elf struck by the weapon is assaulted by the five arcane energies (fire 1d6, acid 1d6, sonic 1d6, cold 1d6, shock 1d6 / Reflex save DC15 for half damage). Any elf cut by the blade is engulfed by the energies (fire (damage), acid (damage), sonic (damage), cold (damage), shock (damage) / Reflex save DC15 for half damage). The wielder is immune to the five arcane energies. Pripogog was the first to enter into open war with the elves believing their use of arcane magics and technologies were superior to the elves. A few weeks later Pripogog, deemed the mightiest of the goblinoids power centers, was no more.

Fairy Glass is magically enhanced and hardened obsidian which was crafted through a lost process into useful shapes that natural obsidian cannot be crafted into or be usefully useable thereafter. Any item made of fairy glass is considered as hard and durable as an iron item. All Dou Jok weapons are made of fairy glass though not all fairy glass weapons are Dou Joks. Hobgoblins were the innovators of fairy glass but have since forgotten this process in antiquity though much of their handiwork has fallen into the hands of druidic and nature worshipping people, chief among them the fey with their dire aversion to iron. No known connection exists between the sylvan peoples and goblinoids but a surprising number of fairy glass artifacts are in the hands of fairies. So much so that many peoples believe fairy glass to be an innovation of faries.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
Go to Top of Page

SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
225 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2019 :  01:25:59  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sune's Sword of Splendor is a much more recent artifact which I feel I cannot do justice without describing some of the mythos of its origin & discovery in the spring of 1369 DR.

Upriver of Julkuon is a haunted tributary that echoes nightly with rumbling low calls that emanate near the headwaters in the High Forest. Animals had fled the area as a precursor to the groaning sounds and no known natural critters are found anywhere near the area. Even the elves are spooked and have avoided the area. Some rivermen claimed that a cloud fell from the sky near there a few tendays back and ever since the rumbling calls have begun after sundown. DC20 Know Geography the headwater is the site of a long abandoned human settlement, Kirksawa, around a temple. DC25 Know Religion or DC20 Know History to identify an old Kingdom of Man settlement around a temple to Sune that had been besieged and then abandoned by the Kingdom of Delimbryan for some crime of heresy. DC35 Know Religion or DC30 Know History to know that an artifact was created there that the goddess Sune herself had declared as sacrilege. The accounts of what transpired is nothing less than a slaughter of the entire population and a loss of nearly a quarter of the squad that carried out the mission.

Below is the final excerpt of a journal for a rival treasure hunter that had gone missing while hunting for an artifact of power thought to be in the area. It is believed it was his small Halruann Skyship crashing that the witnesses described as a falling cloud. The journal is proof that he survived the crash, but... well, read on.
quote:
An arming sword of human craft, constructed from gleaming golden & silvery metals. The grip is Mother of pearl with gold droplet beading and solid gold, engraved straps to divide the panels. The langet has an eagle surmounting a shield blazon. The blade is beyond masterwork quality steel with gold wash. The center fuller is buffed and re-etched with a full standing armored soldier and 17 inches of high grade decorative scroll and foliate. The obverse has a human soldier with raised shield and sword while the reverse has a human soldier with only a raised sword in a defensive stance. There is a white frosted panel etched with florid lettering (see below), followed by a helmet and scrollwork. The entire background is gold. The scabbard is highly decorated with applied decoration. The top mount has fixed carry attachments, a leaf background displaying a bust of a beautiful human woman, possibly an embodiment of the goddess Sune. The center plaque is a raised relief stand of arms with arrows, swords, and banners, The middle carry mount is the leaf background with arms and an eagle surmounted shield, below is a magnificent stand of arms with the liberty cap and draped banners. The drag design has three draped banners.
The writing is from the human language Chondathan: "To love is to protect, to defend with one's life is to cherish above all."
My magicks can only divine in as much as the following regarding the properties of Sune's Sword of Splendor. The human artificers imbued the weapon with a holy aspect of the goddess, Sune, through a method which has not been duplicated and has indeed been suppressed in all faiths across pantheons – the gods took notice of this blasphemy and the clergy threatened ex-communication to any who would try replicating this sinful craft. Beyond the vile deed, the crafters put much effort into making a beautiful weapon.
As a weapon, the design is only marginally better than the best elven craft has to offer. The clean lines and attention to detail must have been the effort of many top craftsmen from across a kingdom to create. The materials are of differing metal alloys requiring cooperation from more advanced races of smiths with steel hardening techniques of the dwarves and alchemical practices of the gnomes to achieve the brilliant and resilient metal blade. Even without dweomercraft the sword would be sharper than many magical blades and resistant to corrosion or dulling for centuries.
Ensorcelled as the weapon is, the appearance of supernatural power is deceptively absent. Within this sacred relic rests the fractured intelligence of a malignant entity. Sune's Sword of Splendor reveals its power to her wielder but no wielder has been able to control her. The weapon is dimly aware of the world around her but is not able to directly interact with that world as far as my divinations have been able to reveal. What lore I have been able to ascertain reflects some extrapolations and hypotheses mixed with known facts and incidents from the legends I have researched prior.
Sune's Sword of Splendor seems like she can touch the mind of whoever is holding her. First, she would love her master. Humans can make their love known through many forms of communication - spoken words, gestures, facial expressions, and actions. A partner dominating their lover - to make sure his lover is his for all eternity, he killed his lover. Everyone has their own way to love, which may be viewed as right or twisted by others but is none the less recognized for what is trying to be accomplished.
But Sune's Sword of Splendor is a blade. It was imbued with the desire to love. A purpose to love without form, placed in a vessel that is not a body, frustrated the nascent will of the weapon. She just wanted to touch humans, to be one with her lover's body. The craving need to love and the rising frustration increased her desire to permeate her lover's being; she wants to enter her lover's body. The way the weapon can slake these feelings to convey her love is by slashing humans. The act of cutting may last only an instant but in that brief period of time she can have contact with any human - and eventually every human. To the body… To the blood… To the heart… And to the soul…
The weapon would reach for the mind of her wielder, try to embrace every thought and conscious impulse he had to make him understand her love but in doing so she would overwhelm his sense of self and crush his spirit. The loss would cause a reaction of despair within the weapon and desperation to find another human to accept her love. She would control the body of her wielder and find more lovers, to let her love take form by endlessly slashing them in confessions of her love. To make sure her lovers never forget her she would create a wound in their hearts.

<inexplicable break in the writing and the style of handwriting suddenly becomes crude, disjointed, and erratic from this point onward.>

Humans
Love
Wish
Want
Cut
So strong, wrong, cannot, control.
Love, humans, strong, who
Wish, I, mother, mother
mother mother mother
mother mother mother mother mother mother
mothermother mother mother mother mother mother
mother mother mother mother
mother mother Mother
Continue. Slashing. Want. Stronger.
Moremoremoremmoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremore Killed.People.But.Not.enough


<another inexplicable break, but the writing becomes more legible and initially calm but grows more agitated as the writing continues>

I slashed someone last night.
Found it
Goal, love, found it
Trin
Finally. Closer. My. Love.
Goal. Found it. Love. Found it. Trin. Trin. Trin.
I love Trin want to kill Trin
I want to kill Trin
I love Trin For love for love for love for love for love for love Trin Trin Trin Trin Trin Trin Trin Trin The one I must love. Trin
I am seeking my love.
Should be strong enough.
I want to slash tomorrow.
I want to slash.

I want to love again after so long alone.
My lovers were too weak before.
The darkness was too long and lonely.
Only strongest can keep mother from darkness.
Who is the strongest?
Appear
Appear before me once again
I want to love Trin
If I can love Trin then I will surely love this city. This Revenholt where humans live.
Let's love him together.
Mother has given me an order.
My sister will rise.
My sisters arise, arise!
Mother has given us orders.
Bear more daughters into the world.
I know where Trin is.
Mother is happy! Happy!
HappyhappyhappyhappyhappyHAPPY happyhappyhappyhappyhappyHAPPY
want to love want to slash soon love soon slash
If you don't come out I will love somebody else.
I will lovelovelovelovelove everyone in Revenholt

I love you, Trin.
I will love you.

<This last page of writing is spattered by what looks like an arterial spray of blood. The following blank pages are completely stained as though they sat in a pool of blood.>



This sword is constructed from gleaming golden & silvery metals. DC15 Metalcraft: The grip is Mother of pearl with solid gold, engraved straps to divide the panels. There are solid gold droplets on the mother of pearl. The langet has an eagle surmounting a shield blazon. The blade is beyond masterwork steel with gold wash and a center fuller that was buffed and re-etched with a full standing armored soldier with raised sword and 17 inches of high grade decorative scroll and foliate. The reverse has a human soldier with raised shield and sword. There is a white frosted panel etched with florid lettering, followed by a helmet and scroll work. The entire background is gold. The scabbard is highly decorated with applied decoration. The top mount has fixed carry attachments, a leaf background displaying a bust of a beautiful human woman. The center plaque is a raised relief stand of arms with arrows, swords, and banners, The middle carry mount is the leaf background with arms and an eagle surmounted shield, below is a magnificent stand of arms with the liberty cap and draped banners. The drag design has three draped banners.

Sune's Sword of Splendor is an intelligence fractured - it was imbued with the desire to love but bereft of the means in which to express that love. As a weapon, Sune's Sword of Splendor could only conclude that to love is to cut. Its senses to the outside world were only through the imperfect blindsense and in the telepathic communication with the holder whose will was instantaneously crushed by the overpowering ego of the sword. Thusly, Sune's Sword of Splendor, started building an army of love as soon as it was grasped and will do so again unless it is subdued. The means to destroy this artifact are on another plane of existence.

Sune's Sword of Splendor: longsword 1d8+1, 19-20 x2, medium one-handed weapon. Int 16 Wis 4 Cha 28, Telepathy only, 60' blindsense, special purpose to love people, 10 ranks Intimidate (+24), 10 ranks Diplomacy (+24), Hold Person 3/day, Dominate Monster on "loved ones" that are cut DC33, Ego 33.

My players all found this spooky and were especially alarmed since they knew who Trin was and the deadly threat he already posed to everything they held dear. I wish I could take credit for the idea of this artifact but that goes to an anime called Durarara.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2020 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000