View Full Version : Tools of the Gods (18 Artifacts)

2007-02-01, 01:58 AM
Finally, after two and a half years of campaigning, the party I'm DMing has achieved not only level 20 but the means by which they shall break the barrier between Exceptional and Epic. A great need has arisen and an evil deity is taking over their continent. Her Chosen people, her most faithful servants, have been fought, defeated, and have arisen untouched before the party's very eyes. Rumor reached them of weapons blessed by the gods, tools which may allow mortals to overcome the power of a god.

The party found the dungeon and journeyed through it, 18 massive levels each representing a deity in my setting, built before any of the deities fell, when the deities were 18 Truths instead of 6 Truths, 6 Half-Truths, and 6 Untruths. They journeyed through the test knowing they were being tested, but unaware of the conditions of the tests or how they were being measured. They knew only the title of each floor, named for their respective Truth, as the dungeon demanded an answer as to how each person defined each Truth before entering each floor.

Finally on the final floor, the floor of Justice, the party faced no test but to understand how they measured in the eyes of the gods. It was there they earned 17 of the 18 Tools of the Gods.


Tools of the Gods

Powerful artifacts in their own right, the primary purpose of many of these is giving a mortal a fair chance against a deity. Thus, while many of the abilities of the artifacts will be familiar, the weapons and several of the other artifacts will speak of an ability I call GACK, an acronym meaning God, Avatar, and Chosen Killing. Two definitions will be established before pressing onward.

Chosen - A Chosen is, simply, a person to whom a deity has particular interest in, usually a faithful servant, which the deity grants numerous benefits, such as augmented abilities, spell resistance, and immunity to lethal damage. Good and Neutral deities are generally loathe to grant such favoritism, but evil deities are often willing to sacrifice one of their avatars (necessary) to acquire such a follower.

GACK - The ability of a weapon to bypass many of a deity's physical defenses, as well as allowing the weapon to deal "lethal" damage to a deity or its Chosen.
To a deity that means no Divine AC Bonus, Deflection Bonus from high Charisma, nor Natural Armor bonus augmented by Divine Ranks. Further, Divine damage reduction is bypassed and any fast healing and regeneration abilities are negated in regard to attacks made by a weapon with GACK. GACK weapons even bypass the Divine Shield salient ability.
However, high AC from normal magical equipment, high Dexterity, and armor are not bypassed. Likewise, Damage Reduction granted as a class ability or other normal means, such as by levels in Barbarian or certain Epic feats, are not bypassed by GACK weapons.

That said, here are the artifacts.


Benevolent Ward Heavy Mithral Shield
Enhancement Bonus = 2 x # of allies within 20 ft (up to +20)
1/day can cast Mass Cure Critical Wounds (CL20) on allies within 20 ft
+1 Enhancement to a Paladin's Aura of Courage ability
A longsword wielded with the Benevolent Ward gains an additional +1 Enhancement to the longword's existing Enhancement Bonus, if any. The weapon also gains the GACK attribute.

Andeas Hollow Axe Cold Iron Handaxe
1/day casts Delayed Blast Fireball (CL20, Ref DC25)
Melee: Enhancement Bonus +6, Flaming
Thrown: Enhancement Bonus +10, throwing, Distance, True Strike, Keen, Brilliant Energy, Flaming Burst
Weapon is GACK both in melee and when thrown.
If thrown, the axe explodes in a ball of fire (no additional effects to target) and is no more.

Grail Vitalus Wooden Cup
Grants holder Fast Healing 5
Empowers one Cure spell per day
Maximizes one Cure spell per day
Any water drank from the Grail Vitalus acts as a potion of Cure Critical Wounds (CL20)

Silent Reassurance Ironwood Quarterstaff
Enhancement Bonus +7, GACK
Abjuration and Divination spells cast by the wielder bypass a deity's divine defenses (SR, immunities) but not mundane ones (saves, class features)
50 charges. At 0 charges Silent Reassurance becomes a mundane Ironwood Quarterstaff
5 Charges: Foresight, Prismatic Sphere
4 Charges: Moment of Prescience, Protection From Spells
3 Charges: Greater Arcane Sight, Spell Turning
2 Charges: True Seeing, Greater Dispel Magic
1 Charge: Break Enchantment, Rary's Telepathic Bond
Free 1/day: Arcane Eye, Tongues, Detect Thoughts, Identify, Remove Curse, Dispel Magic, Protection From Arrows, Endure Elements
Spells cast at CL20 and DCs are set at 20 + # of charges spent

Weighted Hope Necklace
Deflections AC Bonus = 1 x # of beads intact on the necklace
Each bead grants a Divine Bonus to a stat depending in its color. This bonus stacks with any other enhancement, including itself. There are 8 beads to begin with.
2 Blue: Intelligence
2 Violet: Charisma
2 Turquoise: Constitution
2 Pearls: Wisdom
Each bead may be crushed and sprinkled onto a bundle of projectiles which grants those projectiles GACK

Joy & Laughter Harmonica and Harp
Each provides a +5 Enhancement Bonus to Perform checks with the relevant instrument.
Once a day these may be activated. The user is entranced for 15 rounds as they perform a song. They may move their land speed, but may take no other actions. The effect of the song depends of the user's Perform Check and which instrument they use.
Joy - 0-9: No Effect, 10-19: +4 to Attack Rolls and Damage Rolls, 20-29: Weapons gain GACK, 30+: Performer is immune to damage and spells for the duration of the song
Laughter - 0-9: No Effect, 10-19: +4 to spell DCs, 20-29: Spells bypass Divine defenses (SR, immunities), 30+: Performer is immune to damage and spells for the duration of the song
Effects stack with Bardsong when applicable. Music affects all allies within 30ft of performer.

Passing Sentence Cold Iron Shortsword
Enhancement Bonus +7, Keen, GACK
When a person strikes the wielder of Passing Sentence and deals damage, the weapon labels that person as "Guilty" for 24 hours.
Against a Guilty foe Passing Sentence deals an additional 2d6 points of damage and casts Hold Person (Will DC 25, 2 rounds)
Passing Sentence can become any of the following weapons as a free action: shortsword, longsword, bastard sword, greatsword, two-bladed sword, handaxe, throwing axe, battle axe, Dwarven waraxe, greataxe, Orc double-axe, kukri, scimitar, falchion, kama, scythe, halberd, guisarme, or glaive.

Dictum Loyaltae Circlet
Enhancement Bonus +2 Wisdom, +2 Intelligence
1/day Major Creation (CL20)
3/day Dominate an unwilling subject Will DC25 (Dominate Monster, CL20)
1/round Order willing subject. Subject gains +2 to Attack and Damage Rolls for one round and weapon gains GACK.
Any axe weapon wielded by the wearer of the Dictum Loyaltae gains an Enhancement Bonus of +1 which stacks with the axe's existing Enhancement Bonus, if any. The weapon also gains the GACK attribute.

A Helping Hand Book
Ten people may read from the book. Each person may read three chapters. Each chapter grants the reader either 20 ranks in a class skill or 10 ranks in a cross-class skill, neither of which may exceed the person's normal max ranks in a skill.
The books divides similar chapters into parts. Characters generally do not know what skill a chapter pertains to until they read it, though the titles are usually obvious.
The chapters are as follows:
Part 1: Getting Around
Chapter 1: Scaling Walls and Other Obstacles (Climb)
Chapter 2: Clearing Unfortunate Gaps (Jump)
Chapter 3: When You Have No Boat... (Swim)
Chapter 4: Moved But Not Seen (Hide)
Chapter 5: Moved But Not Heard (Move Silently)
Chapter 6: Using Someone Else's Legs (Ride)
Chapter 7: If You Want To Show Off... (Tumble)
Part 2: Expand Your Mind
Chapter 8: People and Places (Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty, Geography))
Chapter 9: Gods and Their Habitats (Knowledge (Religion, The Planes))
Chapter 10: Important Facts About Civilized Structures (Knowledge (Dungeoneering, Architecture & Engineering))
Chapter 11: People and Where They Come From (Knowledge (Local, History))
Chapter 12: The World We Live In (Knowledge (Nature, Arcana))
Chapter 13: What Manner Of Sorcery Be This!? (Spellcraft)
Chapter 14: For Further Reading... (Decipher Script)
Part 3: Dealing With People
Chapter 15: Knowing the Right Words (Speak Language)
Chapter 16: Finding the Right Words (Diplomacy)
Chapter 17: When the Right Words Aren't Enough (Bluff)
Chapter 18: When Words Aren't Necessary (Intimidate)
Chapter 19: Getting To Know One Another (Gather Information)
Chapter 20: Lending An Ear (Listen)
Chapter 21: Not Everyone's As Trustworthy As You... (Sense Motive)
Chapter 22: Not Everyone's A Person... (Handle Animal)
Part 4: Something Useful For A Change
Chapter 23: Keeping Your Eye On The Prize (Concentration)
Chapter 24: Preventing a Tricky Situation (Disable Device)
Chapter 25: Getting Out of a Tricky Situation. (Escape Artist)
Chapter 26: Getting In Again (Open Lock)
Chapter 27: First Aid (Heal)
Chapter 28: Don't Leave Home Without It (Use Rope)
Chapter 29: When Noone Else Is Around (Survival)
Part 5: Make Something of Your Life
Chapter 30: Be A Smith! (Craft (Armor, Weapons, Blacksmithing))
Chapter 31: Be An Actor! (Disguise, Perform (Actor))
Chapter 32: Be An Explorer! (Search, Profession (Guide))
Chapter 33: Be An Artist! (Craft (Painting, Sculpting, Jewelry))
Chapter 34: Be A Musician! (Perform (Strings, Wind Instruments, Keyboards))
Chapter 35: Be A Sailor! (Spot, Profession (Sailor))
Chapter 36: Be A Merchant! (Appraise, Profession (Shopkeeper))
Chapter 37: Be A Scribe! (Forgery, Profession (Scribe))

Guilty Knowledge Ironwood Club
Enhancement Bonus +7, GACK
Enchantment and Illusion spells cast by the wielder bypass a deity's divine defenses (SR, immunities) but not mundane ones (saves, class features)
50 charges. At 0 charges Guilty Knowledge becomes a mundane Ironwood Club
5 Charges: Shades, Dominate Monster
4 Charges: Greater Shadow Evocation, Mass Charm Monster
3 Charges: Mass Invisibility, Mass Hold Person
2 Charges: Permanent Image, Greater Heroism
1 Charge: Seeming, Hold Monster
Free 1/day: Illusory Wall, Displacement, Minor Image, Ventriloquism, Confusion, Deep Slumber, Touch of Idiocy, Hypnotism
Spells cast at CL20 and DCs are set at 20 + # of charges spent

Spritan's Bounty Belt
Natural Armor AC Bonus +7
Speak to Animals and Plants at will
Summoned Monsters are effectively GACK

Phantom Charges Earrings
Divine Enhancement to Dexterity +4 (stacks with any other Enhancement)
5/day casts Invisibility on self (CL20)
1/day casts Greater Invisibility on self (CL20)
Once per casting, the Phantom Charges will allow the wearer to ignore an action that would usually end an Invisibility spell
Daggers, Darts, and Kukris wielded by the wearer of the Phantom Charges gain an Enhancement Bonus of +1 that stacks with any existing Enhancement on the weapons, if any. The weapons also gain the GACK attribute.

Dangerous Ward Adamantine Greatsword
Enhancement Bonus +7, Defending, Vorpal, GACK
The Dangerous Ward also grants the wielder a Shield AC Bonus equal to their Strength modifier.

Glorious Sustain Gem
When swallowed, the Glorious Sustain grants a person the following benefits permanently:
Unarmed attacks and natural weapons become GACK
Fast Healing 1
Luck Bonus +5 on all saves
Immunity to all diseases, poisons, and polymorphing against your will
Food necessity reduced to one meal per week
Water necessity reduced to one glass per three days
Sleep necessity reduces to one hour per day and a half
Aging slows to 1/4 rate, life extends accordingly

Dismal Song Mithral Flail
Enhancement Bonus +7, Disruption (Will DC25), GACK
2/day casts Darkness (CL20)
Constantly emits light as a torch which only its wielder can see. Light penetrates even magical darkness.
Mithral treated as alchemical silver for the purpose of bypassing certain types of damage reduction.

Bittersweet Barrage Composite Longbow
Enhancement Bonus +7, GACK
Composite Strength value conforms to wielder
Arrows switch between two types automatically after each shot.
Attack type: Icy Burst
Healing type: Ranged Touch Attack bestows Cure Moderate Wounds (CL10) on the target.

Concealed Intentions Mithral Dagger
Enhancement Bonus +7, GACK
Mithral is treated as Alchemical Silver for the purpose of bypassing certain types of Damage Reduction
Necromancy and Transmutation spells cast by the wielder bypass a deity's divine defenses (SR, immunities) but not mundane ones (saves, class features)
50 charges. At 0 charges Concealed Intentions becomes a mundane Mithral Dagger
5 Charges: Wail of the Banshee, Time Stop
4 Charges: Iron Body, Horrid Wilting
3 Charges: Statue, Waves of Exhaustion
2 Charges: Disintegrate, Undead to Death
1 Charge: Telekinesis, Waves of Fatigue
Free 1/day: Stone Shape, Haste, Knock, Expeditious Retreat, Bestow Curse, Gentle Repose, Spectral Hand, Ray of Enfeeblement
Spells cast at CL20 and DCs are set at 20 + # of charges spent

Illusvatar Longsword
Enhancement Bonus +7, GACK, Frost (+2d6)
An Outsider struck by Illusvatar must make a Fortitude Save DC25 or die instantly (usually, simply sent back to home plane)


The relevant Truths for each weapon are, respectively: Humility, Mercy, Compassion, Charity, Balance, Happiness, Justice, Loyalty, Growth, Wisdom, Life, Action, Protection, Health, Death, Love, Change, and Purity.

The party missed out on Purity.

Many of the effects of the weapons (such as Dictum Loyaltae's Major Creation 1/day and Bittersweet Barrage's attack arrows' Icy Burst) don't make much sense without going into detail on the character of each deity.

Some things to point out: First, in my setting deities don't really die. A more accurate description would be that they slip into enforced inactivity for a time, often a century or so. Mortals do not become deities, or at least the procedure for doing so has not yet been considered or tried.

Second, this is the first batch of truly powerful weapons this party has every really gotten. I'd like to think I haven't been too stingy and that I give rewards regularly enough (I mean, they're still around after two and a half years, right?), but this is pretty huge for them. Bickering is bound to ensue over who gets what, but they are pretty gracious and will come to an agreement. The fact is, though these artifacts are pretty nuts against most mortals, a deity is still a deity. Their problem deity is herself of 17 divine ranks. I'm not sure that, at level 21, they can really even take on her avatars. Still, it will be fun to experiment with.

I'm willing to elaborate on any points and accept criticism.

2007-02-01, 02:19 AM
I like em. The book in particular is really cool, as it could be given as a singular reward, and then divided among a party, trying to figure out some of the chapters, especially "For Further Reading... (Decipher Script)", and "Getting In Again (Open Lock)" as well as several others, which they may not figure out. I'm definitely considering this for my own PCs, once they level....a lot.....

What exactly do you mean by deity of 17 divine ranks, as well as the term avatar? If you made this system, I have been searching for a good Diety-God ranking system, so I would hope you could share how it works, and if it is from a book, could you please tell me which one so I can go look at it?

2007-02-01, 10:20 AM
Chapter 30: Be A Smithy! (Craft (Armor, Weapons, Blacksmithing))

Be a smithy? I think you mean a smith, a smithy is a smith's workshop... so, my lungs become the bellows, my hands become the hammers, and I don't want to know where you're going to stick that sword to quench it... :smallbiggrin:

(Oh hey, what do you know. Exactly one of the five dictionaries at dictionary.com that define 'smithy' says it can also mean a blacksmith. Ah well. The joke stands. :smalltongue:)

What exactly do you mean by deity of 17 divine ranks, as well as the term avatar? If you made this system, I have been searching for a good Diety-God ranking system, so I would hope you could share how it works, and if it is from a book, could you please tell me which one so I can go look at it?

I'm guessing he's using the official Divine rules. I don't think they were technically updated to 3.5e, but they are part of the SRD, so you can see them at d20srd.org (http://www.d20srd.org/) or your favourite other SRD source. (Divine ranks (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/divine/divineRanksAndPowers.htm#divineRanks), avatars (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/divine/divineAbilitiesFeats.htm#avatar).)

Green Bean
2007-02-01, 10:44 AM
You may also want to give the artifacts something that limits deities' portfolio sense with regard to characters. For instance, a high DR god of death will be able to foresee someone trying to kill it weeks in advance, and would certainly try to stop the party before they even started looking for the artifacts.

2007-02-01, 11:56 AM
You think so? First of all, if I were a god of death (especially a high DR one), the notion that mortals wanted me dead would amuse me more than anything. Not to mention that a god of death probably has difficulty counting all the people who wish him dead at any given moment, especially if he's been up to some mischief that warrants finding artifacts to do battle with him.

However, honestly, that argument is mostly intended to cover my tracks. My consideration for deities' relation to their portfolios was limited at best. So yes, that is something to consider.

And yes, Icewalker, Peregrine was correct. I used the system described at the SRD to create my deities. The system has few changes from Deities and Demigods, the 3.0 supplemental book, so that's also useful. The changes that need to be made are usually pretty obvious, though some are simply DM's discretion.

2007-02-01, 05:39 PM
The only problem is that high-DvR deities can really see the future, so they really do know that, unless they do something about it, the mortals really will kill them. My favorite method of getting around this (albeit one I've never actually had to use before) is simply stating that the deities can only see what happens without their own intervention (which also prevents a few nasty paradoxes), so a deity of the forest will be able to predict a bunch of mortals burning it down, but nothing prevents her from telling her favorite clerics and preventing it. Since obviously they will be actively involved in anything that ends up killing them, they are effectively blind to anything that directly concerns them: Therefore, they will not be able to predict their own assassinations nor anything that requires their direct presence (certainly not with any degree of accuracy: They may be able to tell if someone's plotting something, though).

2007-02-04, 10:31 PM
Or maybe you could make it that the gods can do nothing to prepare themselves. How about a higher law that says that prohibits the god from doing anything?

2007-02-04, 10:52 PM
That's a bit of a cheesy Deus Ex Machina cop-out. You might as well include a "higher law" that states all gods must never use their deific powers when fighting a mortal.

Incidentally, the OP may want to consider making the PCs rank 0 Quasi-Deities. They're not really gods, so to speak, but they're no longer considered "mortals," which nullifies several important SDAs and other deific powers. There's no need to worry about ruining the god creation system, since rank zero yeilds no SDAs, no divine spell granting, nor most other things that are considered "deific" save protection from nasty things like "instant death no save" or possession that most high-level deities can throw at you. I think you also get other miscellaneous deity things, like max HP and deific speed (at least, the Abominations, which are DvR 0, seem to get them), but frankly they'll need them to successfully stand against a god.

2007-02-05, 06:49 AM
Do you use psionics? if so, wheres the entry in that book about Knowledge (psionics)? call it "tapping the powers unknown" or "free your mind".

if not, disregard the post.

2007-02-05, 06:48 PM
Heh, well, my setting has no psionics to speak of, mostly because I'm too lazy to learn psionics.

Mewtarthio, you make a good point. However, correct me if I'm wrong, but they can only see the future as involves their own portfolios, right? Therefore, wouldn't the only deity that can foresee his own death be the one with the Death portfolio? Simple solution: don't try to kill the god of Death.

Of course, if he's buddies with the deity you are trying to defeat, he'll probably let his buddy know. But that's circumstantial, especially in the wacky world of deity politics.

However, in my particular case in which deities don't technically "die", such a predictive ability would be useless based on that technicality. So long as the deity is staying in his or her own personal plane of existence, their knowledge of their own realm would be their better defense.

The tools are not meant for God-hunting, though. They are meant for defending the material plane from rogue deities who overstep their bounds. Even then, deities are usually loathe to leave their own realms. The Avatars and Chosen they send in their stead to do their dirty work are much more vulnerable to these weapons.

I actually don't intend for my players to be able to kill a god. They will fail if they try, especially right now. They just have to kind of hinder it a bit.

Giving them a Divine Rank 0 had occurred to me, but I decided against it. It would have solved a number of problems, but I really want to keep my people mortal. Superhuman, maybe, but mortal. Personal choice. =)

2007-02-05, 07:08 PM
Mewtarthio, you make a good point. However, correct me if I'm wrong, but they can only see the future as involves their own portfolios, right? Therefore, wouldn't the only deity that can foresee his own death be the one with the Death portfolio? Simple solution: don't try to kill the god of Death.

True, but any deity worth its DvR will surround itself at all times with enough portfolio-related paraphenalia to trigger its portfolio sense (unless, as I suggested above, it can't see anything that it directly affects). The point's basically moot, though, since you've just mentioned that they won't be attacking the deity itself but rather proxies and the like (I was wondering how they'd take on a DvR 17 goddess and live to tell the tale).

By the way, what's the goddess's portfolio? What about SDAs? A nice, healthy dose of Life And Death can really put a damper on adventuring.

2007-02-07, 12:14 AM
I'm not sure exactly what portfolios I gave her, but she's a fallen goddess of Love who has since become a manipulative, cunning ice goddess who wields bows. Make of that what you will. I'm probably going to have to reassign portfolios to my deities at some point, since I've not a clue what I did with my old list.

She hasn't Life and Death or anything similar, though. Her abilities are mostly martial in nature, with things like Battlesense, Divine archery, Mass Divine Blast, etc. The Divine Blasts are generally enough on their own, dealing an automatic 324 damage with a touch attack. No, no, players simply don't stand a chance.

Her avatars, having much fewer salient abilities, are even more focused on martial abilities, particularly bows. Though Mass Divine Blast is still a big problem (high Charisma for the goddess of love), 18d12 is still more manageable than certain dragons' breaths. I know my players. They'll wear her out.