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Tuesday Magic Item – Betrayer’s Gift

7 December, 2021

BetrayalGollaon frowned as he looked over the royal guardians.  “Something is wrong, I feel it but I cannot see it.”

Now Voddick was also frowning.  “I have come to trust your intuition.  Any thoughts on how to reveal the wrongness?”

“There are a variety of techniques but I do not know if the guardians will let me try any of them.”

Voddick glanced over them.  “You are correct, they seem . . . less than likely to trust the intuitions of strangers.”

Betrayer’s Gift

These items are crafted for ill purposes, they are subtle and cruel, and deceptively simple, usually a single rune on gossamer thin cloth.  Set onto an item, they vanish, melding into the item, unseen, waiting.  Their magic is primed when the item they are attached to is given as gift, the final magic is triggered by a command word.

These items are almost impossible to detect, once placed they are invisible to magic, requiring unusual substances to detect, based on the person who placed them.  For a fae lord of flower, it might require rose water, for a lich, bone dust, as examples.  Though exceptional magical skill might suffice to work out what is needed to reveal such an item (Knowledge (Arcanca) or Spellcraft DC 30 if you must default to a skill check).

A person may have as many Betrayer’s Gift active as one third their level (rounding down, minimum one) plus their Charisma modifier (if positive) but each saps a minute amount of life energy, reducing the user’s maximum hit point by one for each Betrayal’s Gift that is active.

The Betrayer’s Gift is triggered by a command word (a free action) and has the following effects:

  • The magic of the item, if any, is suppressed for 1d6+4 rounds.
  • The bearer of the item cannot drop or get rid of it, without physically tearing it off (requiring a Strength check of DC 17 or more depending on the item and causing 1 point of Constitution damage and 1d4+1 points of bleed damage).  While it is still held, any physical actions and Reflex saves made by the character are at a -4 profane penalty as the item impedes their movement (this includes Initiative rolls) additionally they suffer a -2 penalty to their armor class and their movement speed is halved..

Once triggered, the Betrayer’s Gift is revealed and can be retrieved and used again.

Aura moderate illusion and necrourgy; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 15,000; Weight
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, bestow curse, dispel magic, non-detection; Cost 7,500

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item (rune), very rare (requires attunement, but see below)

First paragraph as above.

These items are almost impossible to detect, once placed they are invisible to magic, requiring unusual substances to detect, based on the person who placed them.  For a fae lord of flower, it might require rose water, for a lich, bone dust, as examples.  Though exceptional magical skill might suffice to work out what is needed to reveal such an item (Arcane DC 22 if you must default to a skill check).

A person may have as many Betrayer’s Gifts active as their Proficiency bonus plus their Charisma modifier (if positive) but each saps a minute amount of life energy, reducing the user’s maximum hit point by one for each Betrayal’s Gift that is active.  The Betrayer’s Gifts, collectively, count as one item attuned.

The Betrayer’s Gift is triggered by a command word (which costs no action) and has the following effects:

  • The magic of the item, if any, is suppressed for 1d6+4 rounds.
  • The bearer of the item cannot drop or get rid of it, without physically tearing it off (requiring a Strength roll of DC 16 or more depending on the item and causing 3d6 points damage and at the start of each of the character’s turn, they take 1d4+1 necrotic damage from bleeding and can make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw to end the effect, a DC 16 Wisdom (Medicine Roll) by the character or someone adjacent to them will also stop the bleeding damage).  While it is still held, any physical actions and Dexterity saves made by the character are at disadvantage as the item impedes their movement (this includes Initiative rolls) additionally they suffer a -2 penalty to their armor class and their movement speed is halved.

Once triggered, the Betrayer’s Gift is revealed and can be retrieved and used again.

Notes: Gifts are one of the themes for the month, though this is an il-aspected gift if ever there was one.  Suitable, perhaps, for a day that will live in infamy.  If you need an explanation for how the villain disables the elite guards around the person they must kill or kidnap, here you go.

Image “betrayal” by fictures is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

 

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