Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Magic Item of the Week - Magekiller

  No, not all of my magic items are low power or non-combat.

  One of the most terrifying NPCs in my Blackstone campaign is the Undying Witchking, Emperor of Zangara. The legends surrounding him are many, but they all agree - he is not undead but he can't die. He's been stabbed, punctured, burned, decapitated, and more and always appears fresh as a daisy a few rounds later. He has also ruled Zangara with an iron fist for 2 centuries and does not appear to age (he is ostensibly human).
  Note: Since he is one of the top BBEGs of the campaign and I assured the party I follow the rules very closely for NPCs a major meta-plot was them doing serious rules research to figure out how I did it. I am proud to say that, as hard as it was, they did figure it out.
  Two generations ago a conspiracy of Zangaran wizards and clerics worked for decades to create a weapon capable of destroying the Witchking regardless of the methods he uses; the result was Magekiller. The conspiracy was betrayed and killed before they could locate a hero to wield the weapon. The last survivors of the group, a father and son, fled in a ship that was destroyed by water elementals summoned by the Crimson Watch, the Witchking's personal guards (various wizards, clerics, thieves, and fighters). Magekiller was thought lost to the sea.
  Just a few years ago a barbarian warrior in a frontier district of the continent of Ansar began to rise in local prominence, eventually founding his own small fiefdom on the utmost border of civilization. He is a swordsman of great renown, considered by some to be the greatest living master of the zweihander. The sword he wields is rumored to be Magekiller, returned from the sea.

  Note: the Blackstone campaign is AD&D 2nd edition with all player's options books.

Magekiller
  +3 two-handed sword; +4 vs. creatures with spell-like abilities; +6 vs. any creature capable of casting arcane spells, summoned or conjured creatures, animated objects, constructs, familiars, and golems.

  Int: 17 Ego: 25 Alignment: Neutral Good Special Purpose: Destroy evil arcane spellcasters

  Can communicate telepathically with its wielder, can speak, read, read maps, and Read Magic
  Can speak and read: Bandur (the Western Common tongue), Kadathi (the language of arcane spell casters in the campaign), Zanzur (the Eastern Common tongue), Borelath (a creole common to elves, gnomes, and halflings), Low Pidgin (a language common to orcs, goblins, kobolds, etc. with no written version), and Denek (dwarven)

  Magekiller can see normally out to a range of 60' and has mystical sight that allows it to see normally in complete darkness (but not magical darkness) up to 10'. Magekiller has a field of view roughly equal to that of a person but can 'look around' like a character by altering its direction of sight. Magekiller cannot see through solid objects, etc., although it is possible to, for example, extend the sword's blade past a junction so that it can 'look around the corner'. Anything seen by Magekiller must be communicated to the wielder or spoken aloud; it cannot share its senses.
  Magekiller likewise automatically senses all magic within 30'.
  Magekiller can automatically detect if a creature has spell-like abilities or can cast arcane spells within 10'.
  Magekiller can detect alignment on arcane spellcasters (only) within 10' automatically.
  Much like vision, Magekiller must communicate what it senses to its wielder.
  Lastly, Magekiller automatically knows if its wielder is under the effects of a Charm, Quest, Geas, or similar spell.

  When worn or held Magekiller;
-Acts as an Amulet of Proof vs. Detection and Location
-Grants its wielder 20% magic resistance
-Grants its wielder a +4 on all saves vs. magic
-reduces all damage from spells or spell-like effects/abilities by 2 h.p./die (to a minimum of 1 h.p. per die); if the attack is set damage, etc., the damage is reduced by 1/4th.

  When held and the blade is bared the wielder may choose to activate the sword's power of Spell Turning. This is identical to the Ring of Spell Turning. While this power is active Magekiller does not grant any magic resistance, saving throw bonuses, or reduced damage from spells. The wielder also cannot engage in melee combat with Magekiller while Spell Turning is active, although he can move or fight with other weapons.

  When fighting evil arcane spellcasters Magekiller may invoke its special power of Cancellation when it strikes such a target. When used the weapon's blow does no damage but all spells and spell-like effects active on the creature struck are 'turned off'; the creature struck gets no save vs. this spell although magic resistance does apply at 1/2 strength. Cancellation may only be used once a day and only when Magekiller itself decides to use it.

  Example: Lord Doomsman and his companions had finally penetrated the catacombs beneath the Obsidian Fortress and cut their way through the hordes of undead - all that remained were the Necromancer Lord Pathin the Foul, his henchmen, and their personal guards.
  As the two groups closed with each other Bishop Darkwalk and Mournglow the Mage immediately began casting, their personal henchmen guarding them, while Ember the Pyromancer, always unpredictable, cloaked himself in fire and charged with his flaming sword bared, his henchmen trailing behind. Stardust had simply vanished, as usual. Doomsman charged the cluster of men surrounding Pathin, eager for battle, his lieutenants guarding his flanks as he cut down enemy mercenaries.
  The vast cavern flashed with terrible magics as the Death Priests and Necromancers sought to hold off the forces of good. Doomsman saw a Death Priest cast a warding upon Pathin as the necromancer lord drank a foul brew. A blast of shadow swept over Doomsman, Magekiller protecting him from the foul curse. He saw Stardust appear from nowhere and slit the throat of a Plague Priest before she vanished back into the darkness. Mournglow and Darkwalk were both blasting foes and protecting each other from counter-attacks. Ember was laughing with joy as he cut down enemy spellcasters with the cleansing flames of his blade and cloak.
  Doomsman and his men slammed into Pathin's personal guard like a hammer, cutting through rapidly. Some of his men froze, gripped by spells cast by the Death Priests, but Doomsman felt the magic glide past him like a breeze as Magekiller shielded him again. Pathin, obviously afraid of the tall barbarian lord, cast a spell that caused him to be surrounded by a shell of shadows.
  Doomsman was finally through the last guards and lunged toward Pathin. The necromancer also leaped forward with magical quickness, touching Doomsman's arm; there was a muted flash of green light and, once more, Doomsman felt Magekiller protect him. As Doomsman's first stroke lashed out he heard Magekiller's voice in his head,
  "Strike true"
  The blade hit but Pathin was unharmed; instead the shell of shadows, the green nimbus on his hands, and all the rest simply vanished [Magekiller Cancelled the spell effects of Prayer, Aid, Bless, Spirit Armor, Ghoul Touch, and Contingency as well as the effects of a Potion of Speed]. Pathin recoiled in terror as Doomsman's backstroke slashed across his torso, almost disemboweling him. The spellcaster staggered back and opened his mouth but the third stroke decapitated him before the scream could start.

  Magekiller's personality is very subdued; it almost never speaks aloud and is very taciturn even with its wielder. It will not allow itself to be wielded by an evil creature nor a creature capable of casting arcane spells; in the former case it 'turns off' it powers and uses its telepathy to make the wielder uneasy and fearful of it until it is sold or given away. For the latter it will telepathically urge that it be given to 'someone more suited' as well as 'turning off' its powers.
  Magekiller prefers to be wielded by fighters, then multi-class fighters (not including fighter/magic-users or such!), and then those clerics that can use a two-handed sword.
  Magekiller will usually only come into conflict with its wielder if the wielder has been Charmed, Geased, etc. If that occurs Magekiller will attempt to 'take over' and force the wielder to seek out counterspells. Note that Magekiller cannot use its Cancellation power on any creature that cannot cast arcane spells!
  Magekiller could potentially also come into conflict with a wielder who refuses to oppose arcane spellcasters at all.

  Anyone wielding this powerful weapon should expect to fact threats ranging from other who desire to own it to the enmity of virtually every evil mage to the machinations of the Crimson Watch.
  [The party that has it is justly paranoid of 'Witchking Infiltrators'].

  Some sages suspect that if Magekiller were to destroy the Witchking that the sword itself may become 'depowered', its purpose completed.