PBE Games on DriveThruRPG

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Obelisk of Undeath

The Obelisk is a five foot tall block of dull silvery stone incised with necromantic runes squatting upon a pedestal of darker stone shot through with veins of reddish crystal. The entire construct easily weighs several thousand pounds. A palpable aura of dark magic hangs in the air around the Obelisk, even a Fair test of divination magic will reveal an evil aura and Legendary necromancy at work.

The Obelisk was created as the (mostly) failed attempt by a necromancer to achieve immortality. It is a potent nexus of necromantic power, capable of granting eternal life. Unfortunately there are consequences. The Obelisk is a self-aware artifact, driven by the trapped soul of its creator, intent on maintaining its own existence and power base. It operates as a sort of negative energy battery, accumulating necromantic energies from the dying and using them to raise Undead Guardians (see below) to serve it. It has the following characteristics:
  • The Obelisk has a base area of influence 50 feet in radius. 
  • The Obelisk is invulnerable to physical damage.
  • Any sentient creature that dies within the Obelisk's area of influence charges the Obelisk with 1d4 units of necromantic energy (possibly more if the dying creature is very powerful).
  • Provided it has energy available, the Obelisk will discharge one unit of energy to achieve one of the following effects (roll percentiles):
Raise an Undead Guardian. If no remains are available, treat this as a roll of 51.
Enhance an Undead Guardian. If no Undead Guardian is available, treat this as a roll of 100.
Send forth an Undead Guardian. If no Undead Guardian is available, treat this as a roll of 100.
Increase the radius of its area of influence by ten feet.

Destroying the Obelisk is at least Legendary test of dispel magic. As a unique artifact, its method of destruction should be singular as well.

Undead Guardians

Undead Guardians are created from the remains of the living that have died within the Obelisk's area of influence. They serve both as protectors, defending the Obelisk from anyone that might attempt to destroy it, and slaves, obtaining living sacrifices to feed the artifact's never-ending hunger.
Undead Guardians are much like zombies or skeletons in appearance, depending on the age of the remains used to raise them. They have the following initial characteristics:
  • Average toughness.
  • Average attack(s) with natural weaponry.
  • Mediocre movement speed.
  • Average physical drain by touch, reducing physical strength / endurance by one rank if successful. Drained vitality is recovered at the rate of one rank per hour.
Undead Guardians that are enhanced gain the following advantages (roll 1d12):
  1. Increased toughness.
  2. Resistance to one type of elemental damage.
  3. Resistance to physical damage.
  4. Improved physical attack or damage.
  5. Improved movement speed.
  6. Regeneration of physical damage.
  7. Improved physical drain.
  8. Fear aura 10 foot radius.
  9. Vampiric healing via physical attack three times / day.
  10. Paralyzing gaze three times / day.
  11. Become non-corporeal for 2d4 rounds.
  12. Summon / raise 1d4 undead skeletons or zombies 1 / day.
Each enhancement adds a new ability (base rank Average), increases the potency of a current ability by one rank, or increases the availability / duration of a current ability by 50%. Undead Guardians must stay within the Obelisk's area of influence unless they are sent forth by the Obelisk, which allows them to travel up to 10 times as far from the artifact.


Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

Definitely going into my megadungoen.

This and several other of your posts are really creative and cool. Keep'm coming.

Mark Thomas said...

Thanks! I really liked this one. I figure it could be a core feature of an entire level.