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Tuesday Magic Item – Bone Shield

18 October, 2022

Made of theseVoddick turned away soon followed by Gollaon.  “I know dead is dead, but still it seems . . . disrespectful,” said Voddick once they were well away.

“For some people survival and winning are the most important things,” replied Gollaon.

Voddick shooks his head sadly.  “Some prices may be too much.”

Bone Shield

These shields look, are, made of woven bones and sinew any attempts to disguise that fact is doomed to failure, paint flakes away, covering and torn and tattered within hours, even magic fails to fully disguise the true nature of the shield.

The bone shield is a +2 ghost touch heavy shield.

Which all seems good except that to keep the magic of the shield active, it must be feed 12lbs (5kg) of fresh meat and bone, dead no longer than five minutes, every week to maintain its magic, not feeding it for a week and it loses the ghost touch ability, another week costs it a +1, after another two weeks, it is just a masterwork shield.  All of the meat that it had missed must be fed to restore it to its full abilities.

Nor is the shield’s eating subtle, it slurps and gulps, cracks bones and chews noisily.  It eats five pounds (2kg) of meat and bone a minute, leaving nothing behind.

However, if the bearer of the shield is willing to feed it more, it will provide gifts in return.  The bearer knows instinctively the benefits offered but not the costs.

If allowed to consume the entirety of a freshly killed being, it gives its wielder temporary hit points equal to the hit dice of the creature +5 for each size category the creature had above small.  These temporary hit points last for a week and stack with themselves (to a maximum of ten + the wielder’s level x 3) and while the wielder has even one of them left, they gain a +2 profane bonus on Fortitude saves.  Once the wielder has done so, even once, the food required to maintain the magic of the shield doubles.

The shield’s bearer may also join in the feast, taking the same amount of time as the shield takes to consume the meat, doing so heals the bearer 1d4+1 points of damage per size category above tiny it was and as long as they have temporary hit points from the meal, they gain a +2 profane bonus to Strength and have no need for other food.  However, once they have partaken of such a meal, no other food will give them sustenance and, in fact, will sicken them (for 1d4+1 minutes) if they eat more than a taste.  Even getting rid of the shield will not stop this unfortunate dietary requirement.

Aura strong necrourgy; CL 13th
Slot shield; Price 42,000; Weight 10 lb
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Items, bestow curse, create undead (?), planar ally (?), shield; Cost 21,000

For D&D 5E:

Armor (shield), very rare (requires attunement)

First paragraph as above.

The bone shield provides an additional +2 to the bearer’s armor class and resistance to necrotic damage.

Which all seems good except that to keep the magic of the shield active, it must be feed 12lbs (5kg) of fresh meat and bone, dead no longer than five minutes, every week to maintain its magic, not feeding it for a week and it loses the resistance to necrotic damage ability, another week costs it a +1, after another two weeks, it is just a masterwork shield.  All of the meat that it had missed must be fed to restore it to its full abilities.

Nor is the shield’s eating subtle, it slurps and gulps, cracks bones and chews noisily.  It eats five pounds (2kg) of meat and bone a minute, leaving nothing behind.

However, if the bearer of the shield is willing to feed it more, it will provide gifts in return.  The bearer knows instinctively the benefits offered but not the costs.

If allowed to consume the entirety of a freshly killed being, it gives its wielder temporary hit points equal to the hit dice of the creature +5 for each size category the creature had above small.  These temporary hit points last for a week and stack with themselves (to a maximum of ten + the wielder’s level x 3) and while the wielder has even one of them left, they gain advantage on Constitution saving throws.  Once the wielder has done so, even once, the food required to maintain the magic of the shield doubles.

The shield’s bearer may also join in the feast, taking the same amount of time as the shield takes to consume the meat, doing so heals the bearer 1d4+1 points of damage per size category above tiny it was and as long as they have temporary hit points from the meal, they gain a +2 bonus to Strength (to a maximum of 21) and have no need for other food.  However, once they have partaken of such a meal, no other food will give them sustenance and, in fact, will poison them (for 1d4+1 minutes) if they eat more than a taste.  Even getting rid of the shield will not stop this unfortunate dietary requirement.

Notes: What the shield actually is, weird magic item, bound demon, a strange form of the unliving, or something else, as best fits into the GM’s campaign and will lead to further adventures and complications.

Image from the British Library’s photostream and has no known restrictions.

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