View Full Version : Spiteful little doo-dah

2007-06-23, 11:25 PM
I'm looking to make a minor intelligent magic item for a group of PC's to find, but I'm having trouble with some of the details, so I came her for inspiration. Here's what I've got so far:

1) I'm looking for it to be something non-weapon or armour, I'm thinking maybe an amulet or possibly something 'slotless' (like an Ioun stone). I was even thinking of the possibility of it being a pack of cards, but wasn't sure of the viability of that (with the possibility of losing individual cards).

2) Alignment: either Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil. As the title of this topic suggests, the item is not going to be particularly pleasant...in fact rather nasty at times. Personality-wise, I'm thinking that whatever this item is, it has had a Quasit (or similar chaotic, trickster type demon/spirit) bound into it, giving it sentience. Over the years, the sentience has lost a lot of it's more spiteful attributes, but still cares little for others' well-being. It prefers not to reveal it's nature as an intelligent item and will refrain from anything overt or obvious. If discovered doing something 'intelligent', it will admit to its sentience, but do it's utmost to persuade its owner not to reveal this fact. When it has an owner, it will use it's empathic/telepathic abilities to try and influence its owner to perform bigger, more elaborate 'tricks'...for fairly obvious reasons, it prefers to be owned by capricious/free-spirited creatures over more rigid, unimaginative beings. Ego may or may not be high, I haven't decided yet.

3a) Magical Properties: This is going to be a fairly minor magic item, something along the lines of the contents of the Minor Wondrous Item table (not including the whole Intelligent item thing or the powers associated with that). However, I'm not entirely sure what might be a good ability for this item to grant. Given the 'trickster' nature of it, maybe something like the Hand of the Mage or Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments (except usable X/day rather than fixed amount) would be appropriate. I dunno though...suggestions?

3b) Abilities: What powers (as in those granted by being an Intelligent magic item) would be appropriate for a spiteful item of this sort? I'm thinking 3 lesser powers and 1 greater power at most. I'm not limiting powers to the list given in the DM's guide, but those lists would be a good guideline. I'm thinking 10 ranks of Bluff is a must (to persuade it's way out of any accusations), but I'm at a bit of a loss as to exactly what might be good. Again, looking for suggestions.

O.k. maybe I should do a bit of background for this item; this seemingly innocent trinket was made by a fervant follower of Beshaba, the Maid of Misfortune...do I have to say more? Oh alright then...it (and many like it) was created to spread Beshabas "blessings" far further and for longer than the creator could ever acheive in his own lifetime. Each one of these items was a fairly minor magical item; minor to reduce the likelihood of discovery by anyone opposed to the Maids' agenda...this particular item was, perhaps, one of the more powerful ones. Over the years, these items have been scattered across the plains, some destroyed or lost, but most still exist, spreading their particular brand of 'joy', long after their creators death.

Anyway, that's all I got so far. It needs some bulking out and specifics filled in and I was hoping some of you guys might be able to help.

2007-06-24, 04:39 AM
A Hat of Disguise could be another option. It's tricky, it's chaotic, and it's easy to be spiteful. If it doesn't work, it's not a huge loss.

2007-06-24, 07:02 AM
Why not base it off of a Robe of Useful Items? It's not a very power effect, and it's semi-random nature would play into the whole "I'm not sentient, nope nope nope!" aspect. You could have the wearer recognize some of the patches (like, say, a lantern), so they would not pack a light source. They need a light, and they can't find the patch anymore. Alternatly, the item obtained doesn't quite meet the needs of the wearer. For example, they pull off the ladder patch and the ladder is rotted and dangerous to climb, or they pull off the door patch, and then they have to batter through the door because it won't unbar.

All in all, minor effects, but could be quite annoying without being obvious about it, thus neatly fulfilling the goal of misfortune.

2007-06-24, 07:16 AM
A deck might be amusing, if only for the possibility of losing cards, and that being the reason for the nature of the sentience. A few cards short, you see...

I would make it a deck where each card has an object on it, maybe things from rope to an animal etc., that then can be summoned up. Problem is, the card they want always has a chance of not being there ("I KNOW I saw a ladder in here this morning! Where is it?!") Just for fun, I would make certain there were related cards, just to give the players options if they think out of the box, specifically options that amuse me. You want a vicious attack dog? Hmmm can't find that card... you did find a very nasty weasle on an 8 of spades, and what looks like a pleasant but ugly goat on the 3 of hearts...

The "aha!" moment comes when they start tracking what picture is on what card, then realize that those pictures change, as well as the suits. They might then put together that the deck is sentient, and essentially impish.

Sounds like fun.

2007-06-24, 02:31 PM
A few cards short, you see...

Heh heh heh...I like it.

Wehrkind and technomancer; both your ideas are similar and I think it's a good one. I think I will go with the deck of cards and the 'thing summoning' idea. After I wrote the OP I did have an idea that whatever the item was, it granted Invisibility (Quasits having an Invisibility SLA and all), but in retrospect that's a little unimaginative.

So...here's what I've got (with credit to you guys)

Vael'Kplax; The Deck of (not so) Useful Things

Vael'Kplax appears to be a rather worn and tatty deck of illustrated cards with faded designs and frayed edges. Upon counting the cards, there is usually about 20, but occasionally there are slightly more or less. If a card is drawn from the deck, randomly or not, and thrown to the ground (or any hard surface, like a table), the image on the card becomes a real and useful manifestation. However, bound into this deck of cards is a somewhat mischievous sentience; Vael'Kplax.
Vael'Kplax was once a rather minor demon or spirit, he's not entirely sure any more of what he was; it was such a long time ago, whos mind was bound to this deck by a fervant follower of the Maid of Misfortune, Beshaba, to spread her "blessings" across the Planes. Vael'Kplax himself is not religious and has no care for Beshaba himself, but he shares many of her setiments and delights in playing pranks and causing little misfortunes. He has the ability to change the images on each of the cards and what they produce, but he also has the ability to disguise a card so that the owner believes he is summoning one thing and will get something entirely different. Vael'Kplax prefers to keep his identity a secret from his owners, but if discovered, will continually attempt to persuade his owner to play tricks and practical jokes on those he or she meets.

Magical Properties: Five time per day, the user of The Deck of (not so) Useful Things can select a card from the deck and throw it onto any hard surface to produce the item depicted. The available items are listed below. The user can try to produce the same item five times in one day, five different items or any combination of up to five items. Searching the Deck for a particular card is a move equivalent action that provokes attacks of opportunity. Throwing a card (to produce the item) is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
When The Deck is first found, randomly select the 20 cards that are currently depicted from the list of available items. Whenever the user of The Deck tries to find a particular card, there is a 20% chance that Vael'Kplax has changed it for another, randomly determine what the card has been changed to. Duplicate cards are possible.
After use, a card can be picked up and used again. If a card is lost or left behind, 1d10 hours from the time it left The Deck it disappears and another card appears in The Deck (randomly determine what it depicts) as if it had always been there.

00-01|Treasure Horde|1d10 gems (100gp value) and 5d20gp
02-03|Comfy Bed|A somewhat worn, but extremely comfortable bed, big enough for two medium creatures. Disappears after 8 hours.
04-05|Dark Hole|An open pit with a permanent Darkness effect (as the spell) filling it, 10ft diameter, 15ft deep. Extradimensional space. Expires after 1d20 days.
06-07|Cold Dinner|A highly nourishing meal of rather bland food. Anyone eating the meal will not require further sustenance for the next 24 hours.
08-09|Warm Dinner|An extemely tasy dish of anti-nourishing food. Anyone eating the meal must eat twice as much food as normal for the next 24 hours.
10-11|Tangled Rope|50ft of silk rope. Disappears after d% minutes.
12-13|Coiled Rope|50ft of silk rope. Disappears after 4 hours.
14-15|Bouquet of Flowers|A bunch of freshly cut, sweet smelling flowers.
16-17|Blood-Stained Dagger|A MW dagger. Blood-stained. Lasts for 1 hour.
18-19|Puddle of Grease|A 5ft square of grease (as the spell).
20-21|Pretty Colours|An area, 10ftx10ftx10ft, of continually changing coloured, insubstantial lights. Illuminates 5ft beyond the area clearly and a further 5ft in shadowy illumination.
22-23|Red-Eyed Rat|A normal rat.
24-25|Green Potion|A random potion from the Minor Potions and Oils table.
26-27|Red Potion|A random potion from the Medium Potions and Oils table.
28-29|Blue Potion|A phial of water.
30-31|Black Potion|A phial of ink.
32-33|A Rock|A rock. Roll 1d6; on an odd result it is small enough to pick up in one hand and throw easily (for a Small or Medium creature), on an even result it is 10ftx10ftx10ft.
34-35|Bent-Backed Serf|A Human Commoner 1, dressed in rags, that does your every bidding as if you had succesfully cast Dominate Person on it (Caster Level equals your Character Level).
36-37|Peasant|A Human Commoner 1. Clothed.
38-39|Naked Peasant|A Human Commoner 1. Un-Clothed.
40-41|Angry Peasant|A Human Commoner 1, clothed and armed with either a scythe, pitchfork or burning torch (equal chance of each). Hostile.
42-43|Indeterminate Coin|A coin; roll 1d4 to determine it's value: 1-Copper, 2-Silver, 3-Gold, 4-Platinum.
44-45|Merry Campfire|A campfire about 2ft square. Burns for 8 hours unless extinguished (possible by any normal means).
46-47|Ladder|A ladder. 10ft long. Disappears after 1 hour.
48-49|Broken Ladder|A ladder. 10ft long. Broken into two 5ft halves. Dissapears after 2 hours.
50-51|Empty Backpack|A Backpack. Empty.
52-53|Bulging Backpack|A Backpack with 14 days of trail rations (for a Medium creature). Both the backpack and the rations disappear after 1d20 days (unless already consumed in that time).
54-55|Grappling Hook|A grappling hook. Disappears after 1 hour.
56-57|Lump of Chalk|A piece of chalk.
58-59|Lump of Coal|A piece of coal.
60-61|Tankard|A pewter tankard full of good quality ale. The tankard dissapears when empty.
62-63|Waterskin|A full waterskin. Disappears when empty.
64-65|Holy Waterskin|A waterskin with various holy symbols designed onto it. Filled with Holy Water. Disappears when empty.
66-67|Shovel|A shovel.
68-69|Broken Shovel|A shovel with the handle broken.
70-71|Rusty Miners Pick|A miners pick.
72-73|Shiny Miners Pick|An adamantium miners pick. Disappears after 1d8x1d10 minutes.
74-75|Cart|A cart. Disappears after 8 hours.
76-77|Worn-Out Cart|A cart. Automatically breaks if moved more than 5ft from its creation location. Disappears 1 minute after being broken.
78-79|Mule|A docile mule with bit and bridle. Disappears after 24 hours.
80-81|Kicking Mule|A hostile mule. Disappears after 24 hours.
82-83|Bow and Arrow|A Composite Longbow (+0 Str bonus) and a single MW arrow. Both dissapear after 1 hour or the arrow has been fired (whichever comes first).
84-85|Quiver of Arrows|20 Arrows in a quiver. All disappear 1 round after the last arrow is drawn from the quiver.
86-87|Lit Lantern|A lit bulls-eye lantern with 6 hours worth of oil in the reservoir. Disappears when the reservoir is empty.
88-89|Un-lit Lantern|A hooded lantern. Disappears after 24 hours.
90-91|Official Looking Document|A piece of parchment with indecipherable writing. If handed to an official or similar authoritarian figure, it will grant one creature passage over a single border, through a single gate or portal, for one ships journey or other similar effect as if it were the required official document. DM's discretion. This is a mind-affecting effect. Disappears after use.
92-93|Stack of Paper|20 sheets of parchment; blank.
94-95|Hooded Hawk|A trained hawk. Any Handle Animal check you make in regard to it is automatically successful (even if you are untrained). Disappears after 24 hours.
96-97|Fine Sword|A highly decorative MW Longsword. Disappears after 1d4 days.
98-99|Oak Wardrobe|An oak wardrobe with a wide selection of fine clothes and jewellery, enough for 10 outfits (Nobles, Courtiers, Clerics or Entertainers). The wardrobe disappears 10 minutes after any outfit is taken from it unless that outfit is returned within that time. Any outfit taken from the wardrobe disappears 2d6 hours after being removed from the wardrobe.[/table]

Intelligent Item Powers: Int:17, Wis:10, Cha:17, 120ft Darkvision and hearing, 10 Ranks in Bluff, Locate Object 3/day, Minor Image 3/day, Faerie Fire 3/day. Alignment: Chaotic Neutral. Ego: 13

Vael'Kplax can communicate telepathically or vocally (languages known: Common, Abyssal, Infernal and Draconic) and can read the languages it can speak. He uses his Minor Image SLA to change the apparant pictures on cards as users of The Deck try to use them so that they use cards that they didn't want to. He uses his Locate Object ability to find items that might be useful in a practical joke or other planned mishap. He rarely uses his Faerie Fire ability because it's a bit too overt for him, but on occaision he will use it simply for the expression on peoples faces when they suddenly light up for no apparent reason.

2007-06-24, 07:27 PM
Heh, that's pretty cool

What happens to the cards after being drawn/played? Can they be picked up again? What about those things that do not have a disappearing time, can they be used over and over?

I believe it might be useful to have ALL effects disappear at some point - maybe with the exception of the coins, as that would make the item too much of a book-keeping hassle - and maybe the potions... But especially those commoners, you could make flocks of them this way, that has a good chance to wrong somehow.

Anyhow, cool idea and item though... My char (who's CN and daft) wants one!

2007-06-25, 10:59 AM
Well ElHugo, first and foremost this item is a "he", not an "it"...an Intelligent magic item is for life, not just for christmas :smalltongue:

About the cards after they're used, I forgot to mention that you can pick it up again to be used again or, if you forget about it or leave it behind, it eventually disappears and a new one appears in the deck as if it had always been there (hence the bit about not being sure exactly how many cards there are supposed to be).

On the whole longevity of the things produced, I did consider having a catchall "All items disappear after (X amount of time), unless otherwise noted" in the general description, but I think you'll notice that all the permanent effects are not amazingly useful. For Example: the Bouquet of Flowers has no time limit, but will eventually wilt. The Peasant and the Naked Peasant have no loyalty to the user of the Deck, they just appear; if the user want them to do what he tells them to do, he's going to have to persuade them to do it.

There may be a couple in there that I mant to put time limits on but forgot, but I think for the most part it's about how I wanted it to be. Also, don't forget that every time you try to find a particular card there's a 1/5 chance that it will change. This means that according to probability, the most you should get out of the "Treasure Horde" is 4d10 gems and 20d20gp. Likewise you should only be able to produce a maximum of 4 "Bent-Backed Serfs". There is the potential for some game breaking effects if the 20% doesn't come up, but I think they're limited and don't forget that the DM has the ultimate veto on this item in the form of Vael'Kplax himself, who can stop any 'brokeness' by changing the apparent effect to something else with his illusory ability.

Remember; this item isn't about getting rich and powerful or helping you out of every situation...it's about making the user think that they can use it to get rich and powerful or get out of any situation...and then turning it around on them for jocular purpose.

Hee hee hee....keep up the daftness. Where would we be without it?

2007-06-25, 11:18 AM
A Hat of Disguise could be another option. It's tricky, it's chaotic, and it's easy to be spiteful. If it doesn't work, it's not a huge loss.

That was my first thought, but now I've got the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter stuck in my head... although it might be amusing for a bit for the Sorting Hat to suddenly shout out "Slytherin!" or "Hufflepuff!". Particularly if the owner is trying to do something sneaky, like Moving Silently, or hiding as a harmless beggar. That would cause some considerable complications to the "I'm not intelligent!" argument... better give it a +30 to Bluff just in case.

"Sorry, Lidda, but the hat rolled a 43 on its Bluff check. You are absolutely convinced it's a fedora with a malfunctioning Magic Mouth spell cast on it."