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Tuesday Magic Item – Ice Wyrm Bow

6 December, 2016

Cold as ice“This chill is seeping into my bones,” groused Voddick.

Gollaon tightened the scarf he was wearing.  “I am not found of it either but we had best keep moving.”

Voddick stomped forward.  “I cannot feel my toes.”

“Well, do not complain too loudly or our guide might make it the last thing you do.”

“Aye, she is a wicked one and that bow of hers is none too friendly either.”

Ice Wyrm Bow

These composite bows are made from pieces of the nastiest monsters the frostlands contain but mostly ice wyrm bone and sinew which gives them a ivory and pale blue color with sparkles of ice crystals.  They are bitterly cold to the touch no matter the surrounding temperature and should not be handled with bare flesh.

The Ice Wyrm Bow is a +2 Icy Burst Composite bow, the wielder of which takes 1d6 cold damage for each shot they take, if their wielder takes half their hit points or more in cold damage (from the bow or another source combined) they are sickened until the cold damage is fully healed.

When used in an ambient temperature below freezing, each hit by the bow strips 5 points of Resistance to Cold for the next 1d6 minutes.

The wielder of the bow becomes increasingly intolerant of warmer temperatures, suffering a cumulative -1 penalty to saves against fire and high heat (either natural or magical) for each year the bow is attuned (to a maximum of -5).  After five years using the bow, the wielder take 125% damage from fire and heat and cannot rest in temperatures greater than 50̊ f / 10̊ c.  The wielder also loses color as they use the bow, their skin and hair becoming pale.  These effects last even if the bow is abandoned or lost.

The bow itself, unlike its wielder, is functionally immune to fire (resistance to fire 80).

Aura strong necrourgy; CL 15th
Slot none; Price 50,000 + bow; Weight by bow
Construction Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, major curse, polar ray; Cost 25,000 + bow

For D&D 5e:

Weapon (composite bow), very rare (requires attunement)

Description as above.

The Ice Wyrm Bow has a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon and it inflicts 1d8 points of cold damage on a successful attack.  However, the wielder takes 1d3 cold damage for each shot they take, if their wielder takes half their hit points or more in cold damage (from the bow or another source combined) they are treated as if poisoned until the cold damage is fully healed.

When used in an ambient temperature below freezing, a target with Immunity to Cold damage must make a Constitution save equal to the cold damage rolled or have their Immunity reduced to Resistance for 1d6 minutes.  While a target with Resistance to Cold must make the same save or have their Resistance negated for 1d6 rounds.

The wielder of the bow becomes increasingly intolerant of warmer temperatures, suffering a cumulative -1 penalty to saves against high heat (either natural or magical) for each year the bow is used (to a maximum of -5).  After five years using the bow, the wielder take 125% damage from fire and heat and cannot rest in temperatures greater than 50̊ f / 10̊ c.  The wielder also loses color as they use the bow, their skin and hair becoming pale.  These effects last even if the bow is abandoned or lost.

The bow itself, unlike its wielder, is functionally immune to fire.

Notes: A weapon for winter and winter-oriented characters, it would make an excellent signature weapon for a villain (or hero).

Photo by Sergey Yakunin and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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2 comments

  1. Cool. [Get it?] And very crunchy. For 5e streamlining, I would recommend having the target’s Immunity to Cold reduced to Resistance for 1 minute, and having Resistance negated until the target’s next action. I would also go ahead and give the wielder Vulnerability to Fire damage after 5 years — 5e doesn’t like a calculation that involves percentages.

    I can also imagine a lot of questions/arguments about what constitutes “use” over that 5 years — does one use per year constitute “use”? For 5e, you could just change this to Attunement — that would be pretty elegant.


    • While yes, it is crunchy, taking out a villain’s immunity in two shots is terrifyingly powerful to my mind even with the limited duration. If you want to shift it, you can but I would worry about it being too strong.

      Equally, vulnerability is huge, and to fire as well would make it quite unattractive from a mechanical viewpoint. You could have it replace the save penalty entirely, I suppose but it would still be quite crippling, While I appreciate streamlining there should be room for flexibility in design.

      The attunement suggestion is excellent and has been incorporated.



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