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Art and Music
7 Votes


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Comments: 4
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.0714
Condition: Normal
ID: 405


October 29, 2005, 12:29 pm

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Crystal Lute


A lute form of living crystal, powerful and ultimately fatal to the wielder…

The Crystal Lute is an artifact from ancient days, crafted from the living, growing crystals deep beneath the earth without ever being cut. Strung with strands of precious metals, the sound of the lute is the sweetest and most beautiful sound imaginable. In the hands of a skilled lute player, the sounds seem to become almost solid, and it’s almost painful for the music to end; many times this fantastic insturment has been found cradled in the hands of the skeleton of the last owner, who couldn’t bear to set it down.

Magical Properties:

  However, the music is only the lesser of the Lute’s powers. In the hands of a true bard, one who can wield magic, the Lute becomes far more formidable, as the Lute can be used to play songs that can produce magical effects. The musician should specify the effect they want before they begin playing; the number of creatures to be affected, and the magnitude of the effect both influence the difficulty of the skill check. Lighting a campfire is just a quick verse; burning a castle to the ground is a spellsong that would take hours of constant playing, and likely leave the bard’s fingers flayed to the bone.

  The Lute’s powers are limited, however - the spellsong cannot kill intelligent creatures, although it may lull them to sleep; the range is also limited, as the target(s) must be within earshot of the musician. It also won’t work on creatures who cannot hear, although creative players can still tag them with side effects of the spells.

  Finally, the Lute is both addictive and draining to use. Each spellsong drains 1D6 hitpoints from the musician, which can only be healed through the passage of time; magic will simply fail to heal the injury.

  Any musician with the Lute must, each time they use it, succeed in a Willpower check or become addicted to the power and the sound of the Lute, not caring that they slowly die as they use it. (Nonmagical characters waste away without eating or drinking unless forced down their throats; magic-using musicians will find themselves playing spellsong after spellsong, draining themselves into a lifeless husk.)
  Anyone who dies while holding the Lute will find their spirit drawn into it, forever surrounded by the sweet music of the insturment, used to help keep the insturment in perfect condition as it waits for the next bard to come along and claim it.

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Comments ( 4 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

April 11, 2005, 20:31
Not bad, not bad at all. A bit cliche' with the "owner loving item obsessively", but 'tis creative about it, and a very interesting item. This would be good for bards obviously, but if not carefully controlled it might become a problem with overpowerment...But a good GM shouldn't have any problems with that sort of thing.

4/5 - Good item, good description
Dragon Lord
April 12, 2005, 8:06
Potentially very powerful - but at a terrible cost - I like it

*evil little GM mind overheating*

Definitely a 4/5, but upgraded to 5/5 for originality
Voted Zylithan
November 29, 2005, 16:36
Solid item with open-ended (aka DM controlled) powers. I think it would be very nice to make it clear to the PC this was dangerous, but not give him/her what was possible... the PCs might be afraid to use it even to do simple things like light a campfire... that's a great way to control it.. better than actually punishing them for overuse is to make them so afraid they dont use it much ;-p
Voted valadaar
April 26, 2008, 20:07
Tis pretty cool!

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

the dead mechent of death

       By: celticring

To Dougles Nye money is power, a powerful wizard only newly into lich-hood

Originally the son of servants to a noble family, yet he found that life humiliating. "How could anyone stand to serve another?" he often wondered. His father, was a greedy man who offered an explanation one day “It’s all for the coin, every demanding, humiliating thing. It’s for the coin, boy."

So when Dougles began developing the potential for magic, he found a way out of a life of servitude. Learning magic though stolen books, he made his escape. Taking the all the possessions of the lord’s vaults with him. He set out to gain as much money as possible.

His gifts for magic allowed him many advantages other merchants could only dream of. Capitalized on the use of deviation magic, allowing him to always having what the city he is in needs most, whether that is wheat or weapons, poison or drug doesn’t matter to him.

Some would say he follows war, disease, famine, and political strife like a vulture looking for a nice carcass to claim. What they don’t know is he has a hand in the conflict he supposedly follows. Assassinating ruler to incite wars, casting spells that decimating crops, acting as an information broker to both sides in a conflict. Dougles is known as a man who can get what you need to some, to other a monster who capitalizes on the suffering of others.

The lich know as Dougles Nye, prefers the title ”The Merchant of Death” for that shows just how much power money has earned him.

Ideas  ( NPCs ) | January 7, 2010 | View | UpVote 4xp

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