Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Horrible Skulls

Inspired by skull postings here and here I whipped up a couple of magical skulls aimed at aiding magic-users with necromantic leanings and few moral restrictions in their magical practices.
These magical items are meant to be significant items that boost the capabilities of a spell caster and shouldn't be considered common magical items.

Whispering Skull
A whispering skull appears to be a humanoid skull covered in tiny runes and glyphs. It is in the simplest form of explanation a spell book; a horrible spell book indeed.
Spells inscribed in a whispering skull will quickly leap into the mind of its owner when grasped in both hands and if one stares into the hollow eyes. Those standing within 60' will hear horrible whispers and utterance and must save vs wands or flee in fear for 1-6 turns. The possessor of a whispering skull will be able to ready any spell inscribed on the skull much faster then normal. But one minute of concentration per spell is required to convey the knowledge held within the skull to it's owner. (if your game uses a quick method of spell memorization/readying the skull can allow one to do so in half normal time or quicker)
A whispering skull can hold 30+3d6 levels worth of spells. A whispering skull will often be found 50% to 100% full.
Inscribing a new scroll requires the same cost as normally required to inscribe a spell plus the blood of a sentient being.

Magus Skull
A Magus Skull appears to be a skull scorched black and engraved with glyphs of power upon it's crown.
A Magus skull allows it's owner to cast spells contained within it as if the user memorized the spells contained within. It takes an hour to "teach" the Magus Skull a spell. When the Magus Skull is in use it will float in a 4' circle about it's master. Attacks may be made against it as if it were AC 2, any successful attack of 5 points or more will knock it to the floor forcing it's master to spend a full round to reclaim it.

A Magus skull is manufactured from the severed head of a wizard of 9th level or higher in power. The Magus skull will be able to memorize/ready spells as if it were a magic-user 1/2 the level of the living caster the skull was wrested from.
Drawing forth spells from a Magus Skull is not without risk. If more then one spell is cast from a Magus Skull in a 24 hour period there is a 3% (non cumulative chance) per level of spell on each successive casting of the skull being animated by a hostile spirit that will turn against it's owner. The animated and angry Magus Skull should be treated as Spectre with the ability to cast each spell it holds once per day.

A Magus Skull may be targeted by a clerical undead turning as if it were a Lich specifically aimed at the skull. If in the possession of a MU the Magus Skull is allowed a save vs spells to thwart this turning attempt. If the skull is turned all spells contained within are lost but the skull only loses it powers permanently it is destroyed by a turning attempt.

Chattering Skull
A chattering skull appears as a skull wearing a circlet of iron chain. A chattering skull allows a spell caster to send forth a specially prepared animated corpse to cast a specific spell and then return to it's master.

To prepare a chattering skull it's owner must cast find familiar (or use similar procedures as available in your game system) upon the skull and replace the head of a freshly slain being with the chattering skull and then animate the corpse with the appropriate magics. There after the master of the chattering skull will be able to begin casting a spell and then send off the chattering skull to seek the target of the spell. The chattering skull will return to it's master after the spell is cast.

An animated chattering skull will have the 2hp per level of it's master and may be turned as a wraith. If forced to fight to find it's target it will inflict damage but not drain levels in combat as a wraith. A turned chattering skull will return to it's master who must make a save vs death when it returns to regain control or face the wrath of an actual wraith.


  1. Very well done! Don't forget Dave's (Tower of the Archmage) skulls! He did a bunch of them. Now I need to crank out a few more.