Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Bone armour, part 2: the Corselet of Zothul

On Monday I talked about the exciting discovery of bone armour from Siberia and opined that this could be the basis for some cool game items. Here is the first, statted for the D&D 3.5ish I use in my D&D game and grounded in my own campaign world.

The Bone Corselet of Zothul

Little is known of the mighty wizards who created the pact between the Empire and the Outer Dark. Some were annihilated by the powers their spell unleashed, erased not only from the world but from time itself. Still others became incurably mad and had to be put down. Yet others were destroyed in the following centuries, their names and histories suppressed by their victorious rivals. Such a one was Zothul the Cold, a master necromancer. It was Zothul who, when the Outer Dark took the city of Glory as its sacrifice, engineered the raising of every man, woman and child within its walls as undead creatures.

I swiped this photo of a classic Citadel figure from 
the excellent Lead Plague blog. Sorry, Asslessman!

Zothul commanded his Old Bone Legion in the wars that followed, clad in a suit of armour of his own design. Each plate of this armour was a bone taken from one of his victims. The reverse of each bone was inscribed with arcane sigils. This face was turned to the armour's leather backing lest mortal eyes see the sigils and be destroyed. Eventually, Zothul grew too powerful for the comfort of the other members of the Imperial Council. The Red Buffalo Legion destroyed the Old Bone Legion in a civil war that lasted nearly thirteen years. Today, to speak the name of Zothul would be to incur the wrath of the Immortal Buffalo General.

Zothul's armour was lost during the fighting. Most believe that it was destroyed when he died, but this is not so. It passed from hand to hand and out of the knowledge of history. No one knows where it rests.

The Bone Corselet provides protection as a suit of studded leather +1. Unlike most such armour, it provides no spell failure chance when the wearer casts spells from the Necromancy school. However, it applies an increased spell failure chance -- 30% instead of the usual 15% -- on spells from all other schools.

The spectral energy of the armour contaminates the soul of whoever wears it. For every week in which the wearer dons the armour regularly (ie in which it is his or her most commonly worn suit of armour) he or she suffers a cumulative -1 penalty on all Diplomacy, Gather Information, Heal, Perform or Sense Motive checks dealing with non-undead creatures. Penalty points disappear at the rate of two weeks of non-use per point. Once the cumulative penalty reaches -10, the wearer gains the Undead quality with all its various benefits. He or she can be turned as a ghoul with HD equal to his or her level. However, on a result that would normal destroy him or her, the wearer is only turned as normal.

1 comment:

  1. I love it, I really like when items get a good background as deep as character's and this one is brilliant.

    I practice Kendo (japanese fencing with armour) and I know the armours bear inscriptions hidden from sight inside th eparts to bring luck and strenght to the bearer, I like how this transpose in a fantasy setting and how it's used to make sense.

    Oh and thanks for quoting my work, much appreciated !