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Tuesday Magic Item – Serpent of Ambition

3 July, 2018

Clutching a serpent can be dangerous“I think we should get out of the contract as soon as possible,” said Voddick.

“Why?  It pays well,” replied Gollaon.  “And we are in a city again.”  He gestured to the beautiful buildings around them.

“Both true statement,” agreed Voddick.  “But I fear our employer is too ambitious.”

“We have worked for ambitious nobles before.”

“But this one embraces a snake as a symbol.”

Gollaon paused.  “True.  Let us start looking for ways to extricate ourselves from this situation.”

Serpent of Ambition

These magic item can be any type of jewelry by are usually a broach or ring, they always have a serpent prominent in their design while there may be other design elements partly disguising it, the serpent can always be seen.

The bearer of the Serpent of Ambition becomes exceptionally skilled in manipulating people, gaining a +5 competence bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks and a +5 competence bonus to Sense Motive Checks to determine what a person wants.

Additionally, the bearer can set the die roll on Charisma based skill check or a Will save to an amount equal to their Charisma or nineteen, whichever is lower.  This can be done after the die is rolled.  But doing so lets the Serpent of Ambition sink deeper into bearer’s mind and soul.  Each time they do so, the GM gains the ability to force the character to take an action to advance their ambition, agreeing to a plot, joining a conspiracy, and so on.  Hopefully, the GM will not need to force this and the player will happily join in on ramping up their character’s ambitions to every more dangerous levels.

Aura moderate enchantment; CL 9th
Slot as jewelry type; Price 22,500; Weight
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item or Forge Ring, detect thoughts, eagle’s splendor, mass charm person; Cost 11,250

For D&D 5E:

Ring or Wondrous Item (jewelry), rare (requires attunement)

First paragraph as above.

The bearer of the Serpent of Ambition becomes exceptionally skilled in manipulating people, gaining a advantage on Deception and Persuasion roll and to Insight rolls to determine what a person wants.

Additionally, the bearer can set the die roll on Charisma based skill check or a Wisdom or Charisma save to an amount equal to their Charisma or nineteen, whichever is lower.  This can be done after the die is rolled.  But doing so lets the Serpent of Ambition sink deeper into bearer’s mind and soul.  Each time they do so, the GM gains the ability to force the character to take an action to advance their ambition, agreeing to a plot, joining a conspiracy, and so on.  Hopefully, the GM will not need to force this and the player will happily join in on ramping up their character’s ambitions to every more dangerous levels.

Notes: This is the sort of item you give to a player who wants their character to have a tragic, but exciting arc, of clawing their way to power only to have their reach exceed their grasp (or not, maybe they can pull through in the end).  It should be fun collaboration, not a way to punish a player character.

Image by Rodrigo Paredes found on Wikimedia Commons and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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