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Tuesday Magic Item – Rapnos Bell

25 October, 2022

You rang?Gollaon wrapped the silver chain around their offhand.  “Ready?”

Voddick checked the wards on his shield.  “As I am likely to be.  Hunting the unliving is not my favorite thing.”

“But it has to be done, they are like a plague, consuming and destroying, nothing good comes from it.”

“Aye, I agree,” nodded Voddick.  “Still a nasty job.”

“Wich is why it is paying so well.”

Rapnos Bell

These bells are handheld though a little large for easy carrying but not impossible.  They always seem ancient, even newly made ones acquire the appearance of decades of existence within days of being made.  They are often decorated with symbols of protection and a restful death.

The bell sounds a lonely chime when one of the unbound (incorporeal undead) approaches within 60′, though it cannot sense spirits through solid objects so this range will be limited indoors.  The sound is different for different types of spirits but it takes time and experience to learn the tones.

The primary power of the bell can only be called upon once a day by ringing the bell (a standard action) and the effect it has is the following:

  • All unbound are drawn to the sound and back into the mortal world,  All unbound within 120′ must make a Will save (DC 20) or be drawn toward the bell, spending their next turn moving as far and as quickly toward it as they can.  Once they are within 60′ they must make a second Will save (DC 20) or become corporeal for one round for each point they failed the save by.
  • While any unliving (corporeal undead) within 60′ hearing the bell becomes lethargic and sluggish, they must make a Will save (DC 20) or be slowed for one round per point the save was failed by, on a successful save, it just suffers a =2 penalty to Initiative.

If the bell ringer has five or more ranks in Perform (Percussion) or is a Bard, the DC to resist the effect of the bell is raised by one.

Aura strong divination and necrourgy; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 20,000; Weight 3 lb
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Items, alarm, control undead; Cost 10,000

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item (bell), rare (requires attunement)

First and second paragraphs as above.

The primary power of the bell can only be called upon once by ringing the bell (an action), then it cannot be used again in this fashion until the bell ringer has had a long rest.  The effect it has is the following:

  • All unbound are drawn to the sound and back into the mortal world,  All unbound within 120′ must make a Charisma saving (DC 16) or be drawn toward the bell, spending their next turn moving as far and as quickly toward it as they can.  Once they are within 60′ they must make a second Charisma saving throw (DC 16) or become corporeal at the end of each of its turns, the unliving may make a new saving throw to end the effect.
  • While any unliving (corporeal undead) within 60′ hearing the bell becomes lethargic and sluggish, they must make a Charisma saving throw (DC 16) or be slowed, at the end of each of its turns, the unliving may make a new saving throw to end the effect, while on a successful save, it just suffers disadvantage on its next Initiative roll.

If the bell ringer has proficiency in the Hand Bell or is a Bard, the DC to resist the effect of the bell is raised by one.

Notes: Such items are prized by ghost hunters such as the Ghostchaser family of Taren Kost.  Also, broadly fitting into the monster theme for the month.  The name is from the misheard lyrics of Grim Grinning Ghosts from Disney’s Haunted Mansion.

Image photograph Gold-Covered Buddhist Ceremonial Bell (Kongōrei): Pagoda Finial Bell (Tōrei) Type from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and used under a Public Domain Dedication (CC0).

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