The Guise of the Dead is composed of the flesh of an undead creature (this can be any race but it must be humanoid). This creature is skinned and the skin must be treated with special potions and rituals to preserve it's undead nature. It must also be routinely taken care of with a special herbal mix to retain it's elasticity and moisture.
The first of these was created by a necromancer whose fixation with the undead lead him to create something so that he could walk amoung them, not as master but as equal, and really get to understand them. This same man wrote many books on the subject of undead 'culture'.
Only those people with a special disposition (alignment) would ever even consider using such a grotesque item.
The wearer pulls the skin over their own. The Guise then molds itself to the wearers shape and seals itself closed. For all intents and purposes, the wearer will resemble the race of the creature their guise is made from, an undead member of that race.
Any undead creatures encountered will ignore the wearer, sensing them as 'one of their own'. The effects of the Guise will wear off after a while, the skin will begin to unseal itself and they will eventually be exposed for what they are. The overall lifespan of the piece is a few months up to a year, depending on wear-and-tear and the dilligence of maintaince.
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? Responses (15)-17
Eh. That's one of those sort of ideas...
It's good, but I'm not much for it.
Still, it's an okay idea.
This is the kind of item im not going to put in the game ahead of time, but if a PC wants to find someone to make one they can by all means do so.
...Or better yet I could have the PCs encounter a group of undead, little do they know one of they is a powerful necromancer. Its an interesting concept at the least.
I love where this item can lead. For example, this allows some desperate hero who needs to rescue some maiden from the clutches of an evil necromancer to slip among his minons, provided he don the thing and can deal with someone who can make the thing as well.
Also, a cursed, or even more cursed version, that the soul of the being skinned still inhabits it and consumes/ fights for the soul of the wearer to take his body for his own.
Or reverse it. A skin that lets the undead seem as the living for a time. What a lovely new friend you have. Here, he seems to have dropped this finger...
Thanks everyone for commenting. Glad you found the idea interesting (at least). Agar, those are some neat ideas to go with it. Especially the cursed skin. That could turn interesting.
An additional feature: There is a small chance that the first time someone puts on the Guise, that the Guise will refuse to come off and the wearer will begin to slowly turn into an undead creature themselves.
Hmmm... someone hiding between zombies...
...might be a nice way to spy on the heroes:
'Man, these are so weak and slowly. We don't even have to use our super anti-undead dingus to kill them! Simply chop them apart and...'
A thief or a warrior on the other hand, might casually shuffle and do a fast attack (or backstab).
Very interesting item. Seen my Ring of Iron?
Damn, the word interesting was sure used alot in these comments...
and i find that interesting.
A question that won't let me go...
...what happens if someone dies while inside?
Sounds almost unavoidable that he will transform into that undead.
Heh, in one of my campaigns, I came up with an amulet that did just the same thing - the effect is equivalent, but this is more gross. Sweet!
Not sure why, might be my recent movie viewing, but this idea is GREAT!
I think this an excellent item myself.
I would definately add additional drawbacks, such as the wearer has the viewpoint of undead, so life is both visible, hunger-inducing, and induces hatred. The wearer would need to have strong willpower to avoid falling into the mind-set of undead.
Does this work for skelitons or Ironbones?
Very Ed Gein like... yuck! Nice job though!
"It must also be routinely taken care of with a special herbal mix to retain it’s elasticity and moisture."
makes me think of a Zombie using a moisturizing lotion and putting cucumber slices on its decomposing eyes... :D
I double valadaar's idea on the drawbacks, though.