More Than One Way To Die, Lich-ish, and Don’t Look Down…

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ’em, like ’em, share ’em, and comment.


How do you kill a god?

Teller didn’t know. She’d killed giants and monsters and horrors, she’d killed the Great Black Bear and the Creeping Death of the Irewood. But, standing before this creature, his wings gloriously spread in an almost peacock-like fasion, perfectly made and without a hair or blemish or sign that he’d ever stepped foot into the world of real things… she was cowed.

Even if only for a moment.

The light that poured off of him was every good night’s sleep she’d ever had and the thane she’d kissed before her father died and she took up his work. It was a stew she’d eaten in Zoa. It was a joke she’d heard Broadways tell. It was being born. It was dying loved.

And it meant to kill them all.

Scael Grotte, their warlock, stood (wisely) behind the barbarian as she stared at the angel floating silently and seriously toward them, great flaming sword in hand.

“Use the thing, Teller” Scael whispered in his oily, gurgling bass, “trust me… we can’t beat him, but we can convince him to go away. Use the thing. I had a talk with the Devourer of The Heart of the Stars today, and he thinks its a fine bet.”

She shuddered at the thought of the warlock’s Patron having any opinion at all, unnatural thing it was, and equally at the thought of using the vibrating weapon it created.

Subject: The Shudderwein fell from the outer stars, the dimension of gray and infinite wailing that borders the lands of the dead and the realm of the God of Eternal Night. The weapon is a greyish-green greatsword with a serrated edge on both sides and a hilt made of a soft and tacky white substance wrapped around a solid cored. The white spongy flesh of the hilt has a pulse and it is fantastically unnerving to hold.

Attunement requires a quiet warlock ritual one must only be present for as the weapon is concecrated and the first to touch it after is attuned.

Once attuned, the Greatsword is a +1 magic weapon that destroys the essence of a creature as surely as it destroys their body. Every successful attack against a creature splits damage. Half, rounding up, goes to their physical form (normal HP) and the remaining half goes to the pattern of their being in the metaphysical expanse of the universe (which has a second set of hit points equal to the max HP of the creature). Should either of these HPs reach 0 the creature is killed. Note that magical healing only effects the normal HP of a creature.

By spending a Hit Dice (after the hit is confirmed, before rolling for damage), one can choose to have the sword to full damage to one of the two HPs.

Lesser Phylactery

“One day, you son of a bitch, one day you’ll kneel and scrape and call me master!”, Willie snarled at his companion in the cart as they rolled along under the Fall sun with the breeze at their back and the scent of plum trees from an orchard a quarter mile behind them.

“Daughter of bitch, please… and I’m sure I will”, Teena peeled a plum carefully while the cart rocked back and forth–her paring knife deftly shaving the thin layer from the nearly overripe fruit.

They rode in silence for another mile while the sorceress noisily finished the delicious treat (after a week of corn rations, she savored it). The air was pregnant with Willie’s discomfort and his posture shifted this way and that the whole time.

Another hour passed before he spoke up.

“I’m sorry I called you a bitch, T. Its just so hard, you know? So little sleep, all the reading, I’m almost out of ink…”

“You called my mom a bitch, Willie–to be sure–and I don’t know what you’re complaining about. Seems like a lot of trouble to go through just to live forever. All that study and drawing and all that… pfft. I’d get bored.”

The pair rolled along the road, Willie had wished he had knicked a plum as well.

System: A Lesser Phylactery is a darkly arcane creation. An item requiring patience and time and a phenomenal amount of forture to use properly. Created by Krin the Despised (also the Horror of Dragons and the Destroyer of Riches) in attempt to ascend to lichdom, it proved to be a less certain and too difficult path to achieve that end. His studies, so the legends say, went another route…

The Phylactery itself is a conspicuous emerald ball, with magnificently cut facets and features that should capture and reflect and refract the light in an awe-inspiring display–but, it rests dull and almost as though it drinks the brightness of things around it a little. To use it, one must attune to it through the initial investment of HP (possible only when one levels, up to the amount rolled or taken for that level). Invested HP is not usable and subtracted from max HP.  Should the Lesser Phylactery be destroyed (it has HP equal to the investment and is resistant to all damage, AC 10), that HP is lost.

Once 100 hp has been invested into the Lesser Phylactery, the very next level one earns through experience points causes a catastrophic change and an unparalled storm of arcane chaos that burns flesh and necrotizes souls and the PC may adopt the “Lesser Lich” template (a compromise of traits, resistances, spells, abilities, etc. from the Lich creature; sans Legendary Actions).  DM’s are encouraged to craft that version of Lich (lesser) that best fits their game.

The Driftcloak

“Do NOT look down, Harold!” Hax’s voice was a mixture of fear and commandment.

“Whatever you do, just keep your eyes shut and do not look down!”

Harold did as the mage bid, he had learned every more than long ago that it was just a good idea to do as he was told. He could slip a purse as well as anyone and skiv a rope and hide in a pickle barrel, but when it came to doing fancy things or weird stuff…

…well, better led than dead.

He felt a hand grab his arm and pull him.

“There we go, just keep ’em shut, pal.” the wizard’s soothing demeanor took over from the shouting one.

Eyes (and fists) clenched tight, Harold tried not to think about the fall that must be down there–and then screamed like a tiny, pretty girl when another hand grabbed his ankle.

System: A failed experiment of the College of Great Builders–the magewright academy that labored under the desire to construct a better world, one magnificent architectural project at a time. The hope had been to create a cloak that would mimic the soft falling abilities some wizards were able to conjure up with a little practice, but in mass production there are corners cut.

The Driftcloak must be attuned after a fall, unaided and natural, of at least 20 ft. to fully expose the garment to a free fall moment. Afterward, worn by the attuned creature, it allows the expenditure of one’s Reaction to arrest one’s fall so long as one doesn’t look down and keeps their eyes shut. The result is hovering in the air, drifting casually around in a space of a foot or two, turning lightly in the lack of gravity, totally free.

The effect can be kept up for as many rounds as one has proficiency bonus and is ended the moment they open their eyes. They cannot move about on their own power (in any way, naturally or arcanely), but may be moved by others. They are considered “Blind” for all other circumstances, so long as their eyes are shut.


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