Something I introduced in my campaign recently that I thought might be worth sharing as we got some good situations out of it (thanks of course to HP Lovecraft):
The Lexicon Mortis is sentient book of Magic (Lawful/Evil) with it's own objectives (relative to your campaign) and a human face capable of speech on the front cover.
The book allows the owner to cast any spell that appears in your own sourcebooks. However casting a spell requires a saving throw vs. magic. Failure means the owner becomes possessed by the book and will be their slave.
A suitably disturbing image of the book is here:
A simple concept - but one that doubled the drama when the PC's found themselves in a very, very tight spot...
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? Responses (7)
This certainly looks like something with a lot of potential, I think. It's got power for a price, but I would have to ask if it has any specifice objectives. Does it want to rule the world? Does it have a master it wants to bring back into the world? Does it just happen to like the taste of demi-human flesh?
Worthy questions Siren, I particularly like the return of a past master concept. However, it's open to use as best compliments your campaign.
I for one would be very careful when using that book.
Okay, but very thin.
I see no real reason to make the book intelligent, but I do like the risk/reward balance it presents. It's also very powerful, and the limitations are not very well defined though I suppose that is intentional. This makes a better idea than a submission.
This is a descent idea seed and point of discussion. One reason to make an intelligent book would be information you could interrogate and discuss. One of the dangers of just reading (what was considered dangerous back in the early days of writing) is that you get a single view point. A greater intellectual exercise is arguement. Just look at the internet now, it is being spoiled by snowflakes who wall themselves off from descent.
Did Lovecraft ever describe the necronomicon as having a face? I honestly don't know?
A) Limitations? Can a possessed human still use it, or can only those with free will cast the spells? Any limits to spells cast per day?
B) Direct mind control is somewhat heavy-handed, but understandable due to the overly powerful nature of the item. Perhaps more interesting would be a book with tons of occult lore, but sapient, and subtly manipulating the players into acting according to its agenda.