Then there must be a way to bypass it. If the would-be thieves know all before them perished miserably, it will force them to do research. Hopefully they find the painting is the beast, and a way to avoid the curse.
...like, for example, the lowliest servant of the Evil guys?
This would make for a fine character background, and not necessarily one you would want to share around. Gives also some private information on 'The Enemy', right from the source. Gives a chance to get a stone easily. Go to Comment
It may not be exactly cliche, but what is unique about it? There are lots of similar items on other pages. It has a history you don't need to remember, and a few handy spells for any mage. If I try to think of a stereothypical powerful travelling wizard, he is likely to carry a staff like this. Go to Comment
Plus, while the monsters are quite dangerous themselves, few of them are directly man-eaters, or going out of their way to kill/harm people. Throughout the centuries they may have learned to co-exist with humans in some way.
"There's a giant grzfrz in your garden!"
"Well, if you don't disturb him, he won't disturb you."
"Come, sit, have a pipe. Where are you from, stranger? What is new in the world?" Go to Comment
If your world has some horrible forces alien to the human mind, this might be the result of meeting them. But we don't need Cthulhu for this. Even in a 'ordinary' war, some cannot bear the burden of things they have seen and maybe commited themselves. Also, some special monsters can drive you insane.
Why there are relatively many? Hm, good question. It may through the presence of these horrors. It may be a quirk of the world, that makes many who suffer horribly into the Lost. Maybe there is some spell or curse (possibly divine), that disrupts one's mind in this way.
If this happens from time to time, and adventurers are prime candidates, I can well imagine an adventurer's guild to be among the sponsors. Maybe someone wealthy hopes in curing of a close person. And the village can cover a part, if there is food in surplus. Go to Comment
What an oldie! The stats produce some involuntary twitches, but it is not at all bad. The plot hook attached to her is solid, and there are a few nice touches (like the Blueberry pies :) ).
It would be interesting to know the way in which her home can be healed... even if she doesn't really know. One option I could see, is that the forest would turn a hopeful character into a fairy (that could be a way out for a dying character, actually). Even more fun would be, if the helper wouldn't know it beforehand. :p Go to Comment
A set of variously-coloured marbles, each with a bond to a special type of magic. But how many marbles are there? Are there 10, 20, 50, 200 marbles?
a) All are still together, except maybe the last marble. No wonder, because this is the best way to study them.
b) Separated into smaller groups. Some keep various wizards, hoping to get those powers, some are lost.
c) Were purposefully separated, each one somewhere else, so no one can get this amount of power. Still, someone may be willing to gather them all. Instant campaign here: go to (n) dangerous places, and get those damn marbles together!
4d) The little boy around the corner plays with a sack of nice marbles...
Useless. Look as ordinary marbles, coloured, but who cares. May radiate great magic. Will need much time to fully control its powers.
'Gives complete knowledge about a field of magic'. What does it mean?
Does it give knowledge about all spells from that field of magic? Does it give you actually power to cast them? That would be way too much.
Making it work:
A wizard deposited his knowledge into these marbles. How to unleash the powers?
a) Is not possible anymore, the knowledge will fit only into the mind of that long-dead wizard. Makes a cruel joke for the poor players that hoped for unending power...
b) The process must be repeated. The wizard studies, wipes his mind clean, and binds the respective marbles to it. Will take a very long time.
c) The wizard must form a bond with each marble. While this will take long at first, it will require shorter and shorter amounts of time to bond with the others. This process will change the person in minor ways, make him/her more and more like the creator.
d) The wizard bonds with all marbles at once. Too powerful this option.
The last marble shall be cursed. In what way?
If anyone activates and uses the marbles, does it travel through a series of accidents to him, and drives him crazy? Maybe it lets him see that incredible power he wields, and as he looses the control, he commits suicide, or turns to madness. Makes for one more adventure, to kill the wizard-gone-wild, or find out why the suicide after a spectacular increase in magical powers.
Destroying the item:
Unknown. It may be necessary to call upon the spirit of the wizard, and make him remember at least a little bit about every type of magic. This may in turn produce a spellcasting spirit, but hey! You have destroyed powerful cursed item! Go to Comment
Just thinking, what happens if some heroes manage to get in, and then back again, and one of them (or all) starts to behave a bit... different. If their deeds were not entirely secret, people may well start to think they are carrying "IT", and will behave according to it.
Who will help you if you seem a madman?
And, what if you really are crazy? Heavy roleplaying here. Go to Comment
Yep. It could be anything. The only people who know for sure are totally mad. I actually like it that nobody knows, it just is. We can put out a number of theories, but we should never say this is right because it would kill the mystery and make it just another puzzle for the players to solve.
There is an easy and fast way to know...
...but then you are yourself a candidate for the Asylum. Go to Comment
In my world, there is a large location after some kind of magical disaster, with a cemetery-gone-wild included. I know it horribly cliche, but... oh doesn't matter.
Now, if some hero ever manages to get into the center of that cemetery, what would he find? Some powerful undead creature? Or perhaps something more exotic? This item is one possible answer to this question. Although as an answer, it produces more questions than I know to answer.
Hmmm... assassin tool. Strange but possible. Makes an instant haunted mansion too. Go to Comment