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    Default Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    The room we entered... well, it was the most horrible thing we had ever seen; nothing lived in there. Not even flies, as you would expect with all of those corpses lying around...

    Nothing.

    In the center of the room, there hangs a man from a meathook; it turned to look at us, and we felt fear, like we never had in our lives.

    Then, at the corner of our eyes, the corpses started moving...


    No-one knows where the Corpse-Hook arose, or how the horrid ritual that expands its influence works; given their general hatred and dismissal for positive energy based life, it is not surprising that interviews tend to not last very long.

    Visually, a Corpse-Hook is not very imposing, at least not at first; all it looks like is a simple meat-hook, made from some sort of bone. There is no aura to warn of its power, and, since it has no intellect of its own, it is almost impossible to detect in its latent form.

    When a lone humanoid encounters one that has not been activated, that humanoid must make a DC 25 Will save, or immediately pick up the meat-hook, find a suitable place, and then fasten the hook to the ceiling (the means are unknown; it seems to use similar magic to an Immovable Rod, but the bond can take an almost unlimited amount of weight. No upper limit has been found, and since testing is so dangerous, it is unlikely one will ever be found), then finally driving it through their lower jaw straight into the middle of their head, killing them instantly.

    A suitable location is defined as a public area that is out of the way, yet where people tend to visit often; examples include store-rooms, bathrooms, and side hallways. No one notices a few missing servants, after all.

    The soul of the poor humanoid is prevented from moving on by the hook, and is fashioned into a semblance of a new soul for the hook itself to use. The Hook inherits the Hit Dice and the mental ability scores of the "host"; it uses the Hit Dice of the host as the beginning of its "reclamation army."

    A Corpse-Hook may create Undead in a rather unique manner; it simply materializes them from its reservoirs of Hit Dice; luckily for most intelligent races, it only begins with the ability to create Zombies, Skeletons, and Necropolitans of the same race as the poor soul that picked it up. Unluckily, the Corpse-Hook is filled with a need to improve itself and all of its "children." It can do this through a two step process; it must first harvest Hit Dice from living creatures (a fact that sorely offends the Hook, if it could be called capable of being offended), which it does through its Room-Aura (see below); it can then perform research or modification upon itself.

    A Corpse-Hook can modify itself with ease, being able to spend Hit-Dice to increase its mental ability scores much like adding points to a point-buy generated score; it can also "research" new undead by spending one week and hit dice per hit dice of the resultant creature. It already begins with the ability, if it so chooses, to replace the mindlessness of an unintelligent undead that it creates with an Intelligence score equal to the Hook's Intelligence modifier (minimum 1), and can also affect undead that it creates as with a permanent, non-magical Disguise Undead spell. It has total control over every undead creature it creates; though any intelligent undead it crafts are not mind-slaved to the hook, they still worship it as a god and obey its plans to the letter.

    Strategically, a Corpse-Hook will create a Necropolitan of its Host, which then will lure its former friends and family into the room where the Hook resides, allowing the Room Aura to claim them, effectively allowing the Corpse-Hook to take control of an entire household, which will then attempt to perform the Ritual of Putrifaction, and who will in turn lure unsuspecting innocents into the lair of the Hook.

    Once it has established itself, a Hook will show off a terrifying new ability; it can synthesize any disease that it pleases out of the Hit Dice that it has harvested, allowing it to weaken any living attackers that may show up. It requires one day for every 2 points above 10 that the save DC for the Disease may have to create it, and may spend one Hit Die to attempt to infect a creature within its Room Aura with the disease; a disease created in this manner is treated as Supernatural disease.

    Room-Aura
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    A Corpse-Hook has a sinister presence, that extends far past the natural into the obscene; the room or hallway in which the Corpse-Hook is hung is treated as if it were affected by the Room-Aura of the Corpse-Hook.

    Within the Room-Aura, Turning and Rebuking Undead ceases to function; in addition, the Detect Undead spell registers an Overwhelming Aura of Undeath, preventing the spell from giving any useful information at all.

    The Corpse-Hook is aware of any living creature within its Room-Aura, and there is one, final, horrifying affect of the Room-Aura; the Corpse-Hook has a "Gaze Attack" that inflicts a Negative level, with a DC 25 Reflex save to avoid looking at the Hook, and thus avoid the gristly fate that is in store for you. Because every single negative level inflicted by this "Gaze" grants the Corpse-Hook one more Hit Die for it to play with. The range of the Gaze is unlimited; however, it is blocked by anything that would block Line of Sight, and does not affect creatures outside of its Room-Aura.

    Finally, living creatures within the Corpse-Hook's Room-Aura are treated as if they were affected by the Attraction power, with a DC 25 Will Save to avoid it; the object they are drawn to is the Corpse-Hook itself.


    Ritual of Putrifaction
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    The Ritual of Putrifaction is disgusting rite performed by the undead created by the Corpse-Hook; in it, they smear refuse, faeces, and other sundry filth upon the walls adjacent to a room affected by their master's Room-Aura, allowing the Room-Aura to fill that room or hallway as well, while the refuse and filth slowly spreads to coat all the surfaces of the room. This ritual cannot be used to expand a Room-Aura outdoors; however, given that undead are tireless and obedient, a Room-Aura can be extended through underground tunnels dug to adjacent homes, allowing entire villages to be rapidly subsumed into the Corpse-Hook's forces.

    The Ritual of Putrifaction can be reversed; all that is necessary is that the walls are completely washed off with pure water (such as what is created by the Create Water cantrip); this process only works on the outermost layer of walls, as any internal rooms purified in this manner simply get re-coated within a minute. However, a room can be permanently cleaned off by washing the walls in holy water, thus allowing intrepid adventurers a chance to have a breather.


    Defeating a Corpse-Hook is simple; all you must do is remove the corpse acting as its host from the Hook (a simple DC 15 Strength check), or destroy that corpse; if this is done, the Hook drops from the ceiling, all Intelligence fades from it, every Undead it made is destroyed, and every disease it spread simply cures itself.

    The Hook itself? Why, it can be destroyed by merely sprinkling it with holy water mixed with the ashes of a saint, and then snapping it in half.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    so more a BBEG then a artifact? seems a good way to run an adventure... but I kinda wish there was a way to flat out destroy the thing. like expose it to sunlight, or hang a corpse on it(its dead, so implosion?), or soke it in a heated holy stew pot till the bone crumbles(just stew it long enough...). something to avoid WoW style victories were the heroes win, then they fight the foe again when the sever reboots. (see there).
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Well, there is always the standard method of getting the Tarrasque to eat it; also, if you can destroy all of its undead, and seal off its room, it is pretty much stuck as a Sealed Evil in a Can, as it were.

    And of course, here's the thing... a strong warrior would probably be able to snap it over his knee; it is not any more physically resistant than any object made of bone.

    Of course, getting past the soulless eyes of its guards to actually get to the thing, and then surviving the slow draining of your life long enough to lift the corpse off the hook is an adventure in and of itself.

    And one thing I didn't mention... though it takes a humanoid to start the process, it can feed off of anything that doesn't have immunity to negative levels.

    But if you think it is necessary, I will include rules to remove Room-Aura from rooms affected by the Ritual of Putrifaction, and also rules for destroying the damn thing...

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    This is appalling. How many PCs will be in a dark horror mystery game, find the victims of this abomination, and mistakenly focus their investigation on a blood-crazed whisper gnome or a fanatical necromancer or some other patsy. The fact that it can actually create undead not only makes it more dangerous but also serves as another potential distraction. If a foe capable of hindering or destroying it appears, all it has to do is let that foe kill a reasonably powerful undead spawn and then lay low for a while, creating the impression that the undead was the cause of (and not a symptom of) the Corpse Hook's onslaught.

    Oh, and the disease thing is just cruel.

    Defeating a Corpse-Hook is simple; all you must do is remove the corpse acting as its host from the Hook (a simple DC 15 Strength check), or destroy that corpse; if this is done, the Hook drops from the ceiling, all Intelligence fades from it, every Undead it made is destroyed, and every disease it spread simply cures itself.

    The Hook itself? It disappears to some unknown place, to start the cycle over again.
    Deceptively simple. Is the disappearing effect meant to mechanical? (That is, could you block it with any ability that shuts off either magic or teleportation?)

    I really like the idea of a Ritual of... Anti-Putrefaction though.

    If the Hook is defeated, is the soul of its primary victim released into the afterlife?

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    um... artifacts are super magic items... and magic items are incrediply snap resistant. checked, and they are as normal... might want to point this out. The paliden snaping the thing over his knee sounds good. but I do love the idea of a crock pot disintegration...


    also, there is the "disappears once you beat it" thing I am pointing out.
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    I'll make some of the modifications that you have suggested; and yeah, this thing popped up when I was trying to take my mind off of a massively stressful situation, and I dreamed up the idea of "Dread Engineers", who go about modifying the world around them in gristly ways.

    And I'm glad you find this horrifying; it is, after all, an evolving, sentient, undeath-bringing artifact of shear horror.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    You can now destroy the thing! And reverse its taint!

    Now, if only it didn't just register as a valuable piece of bone; I know of at least a couple players in my group who would totally stick this in their bags, where it can be easily stolen by a thief...


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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    this? this I want to make a campaign setting around. a living society is facing destruction, faced by a clock work army(see tome of horrors). the adventures run into the resulting war front, as the society slowly sacrifices themselves to a meat hook to fuel an army. for a horror bent add 1000 years to the war, as the hook supports a soul farm of a town against the hammering of the constructs. two inhuman minds, no morals, and total war. that, that is a campaign setting in the makings...

    from an artifact and a monster... a lesser artifact at that.
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    This seems like something that I'd expect to see as an SCP. Scary, creepy and quite interesting. I do however think that the destruction method as currently listed may be a bit too difficult- saints aren't that common.

    Can the Hook pick up Corpsecrafter feats or similar benefits?
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Seriously though, if this thing ever came round my neighborhood, I'd shoot it.

    Can the Corpse Hook protect itself magically in any way? Like, can it turn itself invisible or project more complex illusions than disguise undead? I like plugging Elder Evils lately, so I'll do it here. One of the properties described in that book is called 'anathemic secrecy', which basically renders the creature immune to divination abilities. I feel like something this blasphemous should fend off low-level divination..

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    ... this needs a PrC based on finding the hook, resisting it's curse (the initial one where you kill yourself), and stabbing yourself with it anyway (not in your head). It'd be an interesting idea I think.

    Add in the monsterLector from one of the Tomes of HorrorDread Codex that incorporates cursed items into its form to grow stronger and you may just have the ultimate enemy for a good party.
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    This is horrific, dreadful and magnificent. It's the stuff horror stories are made of. If you decide to become a writer you should definitely incorporate this. Good job.

    Using things like this can make the players genuinely scared. A great feeling for a DM.
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Creepy item and while it isn't something I would necessarily use, it might be interesting. It does have a few issues though.

    Using the hook seems to have a lot of checks, but you didn't list them.

    First, fastening the hook to the ceiling could be a a Dex check or UMD check or Balance check (DC 15?). Second, it seems a Str check would be made to see if the lone humanoid actually manages to kill itself with the hook (DC 10? ). I have no idea what the appropriate DC would be but, it seems it shouldn't be difficult. Obviously, this is meant for NPC but it could be a lone PC and that makes it harder for me to want to use this device. Also what is the minimum amount of time it would take to take the hook, find a suitable place, hang the hook and then commit suicide? It sounds like at least 3 rounds and what happens if the lone humanoid is interrupted? Does he or she get another save? Does he or she have any recollection of the events? I would think it would it would be a minimum of 3 rounds to accomplish that even if the compelling negates the needs of any of the aforementioned checks.

    Snapping the hook in half should have the following information: what is its hardness and how many hit points does it have? Or can someone break it with a Str check (DC?) ? I also think that getting a saint's ashes isn't necessarily something I would define as "easy."

    Servants going missing are generally noticed unless there is a redundancy of them. Most places have specific jobs handled by specific servants. Moreover the staff usually knows who all those people are even if the master is clueless or uncaring. People who aren't noticed generally don't fit in society such as homeless transients or shut-ins. People with contacts generally are usually missed. The housekeeper will notice if one of the maids hasn't shown up to do her job for example.

    Otherwise, it's a suitably creepy item.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Servants going missing are generally noticed unless there is a redundancy of them. Most places have specific jobs handled by specific servants. Moreover the staff usually knows who all those people are even if the master is clueless or uncaring. People who aren't noticed generally don't fit in society such as homeless transients or shut-ins. People with contacts generally are usually missed. The housekeeper will notice if one of the maids hasn't shown up to do her job for example.
    I'll address the rest of your concerns soon, but I just want to comment on this...

    It plays right into the hook's non-existent hands.

    I'll alter that bit of flavor text, though.

    I actually had a post addressing most people's concerns, but it got swallowed by the forum last night.

    The stuff I can remember:

    1. The SCP foundation is actually something I am rather obsessed with, and looking back, this item kinda reminds me of the "Flesh that Hates" (I advise not looking at that one alone or at night.)

    2. Anathematic secrecy is actually a property that would kinda fit, though maybe an altered form that causes any divination spells to simply detect it as something fantastically valuable and beneficial...

    3. That campaign setting sounds absolutely badass; I kinda think that it would need an invasion by Ethergaunts to be totally horrific, though...

    4. I kinda was thinking about allowing the Hook to benefit from any undead-creation-altering feats that the Host may have had; it makes sense that it would be even more dangerous when it was drawing out the essence of a necromancer than if it just used some random fellow off the street.

    5. Funnily enough, I'm submitting a writing sample to see if my material is publishable later this week.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Is it weird that my first thought was of a god of undeath fishing from above the clouds using one of these?

    My second thought was that I might be disturbed.

    Then the creepiness set in and my third thought was how I'm probably going to have nightmares with this in it.
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Quote Originally Posted by Hipho View Post
    Is it weird that my first thought was of a god of undeath fishing from above the clouds using one of these?

    My second thought was that I might be disturbed.

    Then the creepiness set in and my third thought was how I'm probably going to have nightmares with this in it.
    Thanks for the compliment

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    I'm going to use this and those extra abbernt feats in mt wendsay campain Those little guys don't know whats comming for em. Thanks for giving me the abillity to creep em out/terrorize em even more
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Please tell me how it goes.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimsage Matt View Post
    I'm going to use this and those extra abbernt feats in mt wendsay campain Those little guys don't know whats comming for em. Thanks for giving me the abillity to creep em out/terrorize em even more
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    @Amechra: I'm going to try to make a PrC based on this artifact, it'll be an interesting way to get some use out of it rather than it getting a use out of the character.
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    good thing they did body attribute instead of Physical attribute, otherwise the stats would look like:

    P. hysical
    M. ind
    S. pirit

    XD

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Go right ahead; just shoot me a link when you are done.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Go right ahead; just shoot me a link when you are done.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    it's not a forum game, it's my high school's D&D club. but I'll tell ya how it goes should be as funny as that lovecraft rip off of the goat with a thousand young I pulled on them once (Goat that's immune to convential damage, by which I mean, they damaged it, it healed that much, and spawned that many copies of itself And they kept criting)
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    I heard that if you introduce this item into your campaign setting, that allows it to cross over into the real world.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    exellent.... always wanted to rob a saints grave. and now i'll have a legitimite excuse for doing it
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    My DM used this recently, and it was horrifying and a ton of fun. I have a quick question though, just to clarify on the whole "destroying it" bit. Do the ashes of the saint have to be the entire saint, or if a portion of the saint had been reduced to ashes would that qualify? I don't really feel comfortable carrying it around on my character, and saints are hard to come by.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    You don't need an entire saint; about as much as you'd get from incinerating a hand would be enough.

    Glad you enjoyed it!

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    Awesome, thanks. Had a great time with the hook, even if it almost TPK'd us. Very nice piece of homebrew, and thanks for the quick response.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    I happened to be glancing at the boards at just the right time, I guess.

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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    nobody cares if i use this for a horror campaign im running right? i might just use it, i might not tho. But its an idea thanks
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    Default Re: Meathooks of Bone, Horrors of Flesh... [3.5, Artifact, Horror]

    I can't imagine what would happen if one of these researched some sort of undead that can create copies of magical items, including minor artifacts. There probably aren't any undead like that, but if there are...
    A sufficiently poorly-written vampire will, when exposed to the sun's rays, turn into a purple unicorn.
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