Saturday, August 9, 2014

Staff of the Flesh Smith

An ancient wizard, well versed in the transmogrifies of living flesh, forged this staff as his penultimate achievement. It was a powerful tool, aiding in his mad quest to fold back the bounds of nature.

The staff itself is a strange combination of blackened bone, bronze, and lizard flesh. At its top, a large uncut ruby is embedded into the head of a fire-blackened thighbone. The bone is sunk into a long twisted haft of smoothly polished bronze. Towards the staff’s bottom, the dead metal slowly fades into living, scaled flesh ending in a razor-tipped claw. (Can be used a spear or staff). Any spell-casting class may use the Staff of the Flesh Smith (Clerics, Magic-users, Druids, Necromancers, Gnomes, or Whatevers [Though Druids and Lawful characters will feel a strong aversion to the staff]). 

The staff radiates powerful magic, to the point that even non-spellcasters can sense it. Those with the staff in their possession are subject to strange dreams each night. 

Roll 1d6:
1-2 - Dream of old bones, moldering under leaf litter on a forest floor. Every time a character has this dream, he or she will become more certain of where these bones are located. The compulsion to visit them will grow.*
3-4 - Dream of an old man dying in a strange tumult of arousal and fear.
5 - Dream the Whispered Command Word to [Roll Again: 1-5 Embed; 6 Transpose Flesh]. 
6 - Dream the Whispered Command Word to Mold Flesh.


If a character in possession of the staff becomes greatly angered by a living being (regardless of possessor’s class), the staff will Lacerate the subject of the possessor’s rage. When there is some confusion as to whether or not the possessor has lost his/her temper, the possessor may roll a d20. If the roll is under his/her Wisdom Score, the character maintains control of his/her temper. If not, the Laceration occurs.  

Lacerate (+1 Modifier) – Painful wounds suddenly burst open all over the victim’s body causing 2d6 damage. Additionally, the victim has a penalty of -1 on all actions until he/she has healed 1 hit-point. Save for ½ Damage. (This power also exists as a level 2 spell.)

Embed (+1 Modifier) – This power embeds a small item into the flesh of a living being. The item can only be removed by cutting it out or the use of Mold Flesh. If the item happens to be a wearable magical item (such as a ring or bracer), the subject does receive the benefit (or curse) of the item. (This power also exists as a very rare level 1 spell.)

Mold Flesh (+2 Modifier) – This power causes the flesh of its subject to become as malleable as soft clay in the hands of the caster for 1 turn. This can be used for the closure of wounds or more unusual or torturous effects. Unwilling victims can save at +2 to avoid this effect. If used to close-wounds/heal a victim, it can heal up to 4 hit-points worth of damage (up to 12 hit-points worth of damage if the caster has knowledge of anatomy). Regardless of the purpose to which the flesh molded, it is agonizingly painful experience. (This power also exists as an extremely rare level 2 spell.)

Transpose Flesh (+4 Modifier) – This extremely powerful effect causes the flesh (muscle, skin, claws, hair, horns,) of two beings to be swapped. Their skeleton and other internal organs remain in place and functional, but their outer layers of flesh will be permanently changed. (This power also exists as a level 5 spell. It is written in a single spell book, hidden away and lost. Though one could carefully study the staff to recreate this spell...)

Adjudicating Flesh Swaps – These effects are either gained or lost depending on how the swap works out for the victims. 
Scales or Thick Hide  + or - 2 AC
Strong/ Tough Flesh – + or - 2 to Strength and Constitution or Double/Half Damage and Hit Dice for Monsters.
Natural Attacks – One Victim may gain a natural attack of 1d3, 1d4, or 1d6 while the other victim potentially loses a natural attack (or now has a weaker attack). 
Additionally, there may be other consequences as dictated by the logic of situation and adjudicated by the Dungeon Master. (e.g., swapping the flesh of an octopus and a human may make the human unusually flexible and give him/her suction cup grips but require that his/her skin stays constantly moist. The octopus would probably die without its porous skin.) 

Example: Sir Havart’s flesh is swapped with that of the Black Dragon, Viscivialistross. Sir Havart now has supernaturally resilient flesh covered in glossy black scales (+2 to his AC, when unarmored and +2 to both his Strength and Constitution). Viscivialistross is now covered in tender, pinkish flesh (-2 to his AC, ½ Damage From Attacks, ½ Hit Dice); flesh that is so comparatively soft, it is beginning to split under his great weight.
All subjects of this spell (even willing subjects) must roll a Saving Throw. If either of the two creatures successfully Save, both suffer the effects of the Laceration Power at full (12) damage. Each subject will also be stunned for 1 round.

Charges - The Staff of the Flesh Smith doesn’t contain a certain number of charges; rather it works according to forgotten magical cycles, tied to the phases of the moons and stars. After every use of a Power, intentional or not, roll 2d6+ Modifiers. These modifiers are cumulative (so using Mold Flesh after twice using Lacerate means rolling 2d6 + 4). Any roll over 15 results in the staff being rendered   useless until the next full moon. The cumulative modifiers reset each day at midnight.

*If a character does find these specially enchanted bones** (those of the Staff’s creator), the Staff will attempt to Transpose Flesh. If the possessor fails his/her saving throw, the flesh will be ripped from his/her bones, and Andron Comutus the Flesh Smith will rise again!

**Andron Comutus actually carved both the subtle seeking spell and flesh stealing spell into his still-living bones while making use of the “Mold Flesh” spell. He was not a man to trifle with…