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Friday, April 16, 2010

Paquin's Black Book

This is a bit of a departure from my usual article. This tome is from a 2nd edition AD&D game I ran a few years back. I keep meaning to adapt it to my usual system, and then letting it sit in my queue for another month, so I decided I would post it up as is. Most of the material here should be familiar to any D&D player, and easily adapted to any D&D-flavor game.

This is a book of black stained leather, bound with bronze and silver fittings. The book radiates both strong magic and evil. It contains the collected writings of the mage Paquin, a vile black sorcerer from the early days of the Empire. The main book is actually five volumes within a single binding. Each sub-book is protected by a shell of chitinous leather and guarded by a magical seal (except the first, which is open).

Within each sub-volume is the specific ritual that will unlock the next section. Each time the ritual is performed, there is a 50% chance the guardian spirit of the section being opened will be invoked. Discovering the ritual for the next section should be treated as discovering a spell within the book. Each week spent studying a sub-section of the book has a chance of revealing one of the contained spells or some useful piece of information (chance equal to chance to learn a spell). Each week of study also has a 25% cumulative chance of invoking the demonic spirit that guards the particular sub-volume.

The book's guardians are permanently bound to the volume. If defeated they disappear, but can be reinvoked after 1 day has passed. If a guardian is invoked it appears in a pillar of fire and smoke that bursts from the book, choking and blinding anyone within a 10'R for 1d4 MR (ST vs. spell to avoid).
The book cannot be destroyed by any mundane means. Only the burning breath of a dragon will destroy it and send its guardian spirit back to the nether planes.

Volume I

Guardian: Hook Horror (HP: 30 AC: 3 Dam: 1d8/1d8 THAC0: 14)
  • Mount (1st)
  • Paquin's Ghoul Touch (1st)
  • Detect Undead (1st)
  • Clay Flesh (2nd)
Volume II

Guardian: Shadow Demon (HP: 40 AC: 9/5/1 Dam: 1d8/1d6/1d6 THAC0: 12)
  • Summon Swarm (2nd)
  • Irritation (2nd)
  • Fools' Gold (2nd)
  • Paquin's Vortex of Terror (3rd)
Volume III

Guardian: Doombat - enhanced (HP: 50 AC: 4 Dam: 1d6/1d4, shriek THAC0: 10)
  • Dispel Magic (3rd)
  • Protection from Evil 10' Radius (3rd)
  • Protection from Normal Missiles (3rd)
  • Paquin's Rain of Horror (4th)

Volume IV

Guardian: Guardian Daemon (HP: 60 AC: 1 Dam: 1d6/1d6/2d12 THAC0: 8)
  • Enchanted Weapon (4th)
  • Phantasmal Killer (4th)
  • Contagion (4th)
  • Paquin's Fire Tornado (5th)

Volume V

Guardian: Necrophidius - enhanced (HP: 70 AC: 0 Dam: 1d8 (ST vs. magic or paralized) THAC0: 6)
  • Conjure Elemental (5th)
  • Major Creation (5th)
  • Domination (5th)
  • Reincarnation (6th)
Paquin was a historic figure of legend in my campaign, a mage who once advised the Emperor, he fell from grace and was eventually hunted down and slain. His name is considered curse, his works tainted by demonic forces and blackest magic.

I've written about Paquin and some of his leftovers previously,
As for Paquin's Rain of Horror, that's right here in its original form:

Paquin's Rain of Horror

This spell causes a rain of protoplasmic globs to rain from the skies within a 30 foot radius circle. These blobs are acidic in nature, searing flesh and eating away at metallic objects. Once they land the globs animate, becoming gooey worm-like creatures, each seeking the nearest living target to sear and feed upon. 1d4 globules fall in each 5 foot square within the area of effect. Each globule must be slain (HP: 1 AC: 8 THAC0: N/A, Damage: 1d4) before they cease movement. This spell has a 200 foot range, and a full round cast time.
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