Excerpts 07/01/2005


Weapons of Legacy
By Bruce R. Cordell, Kolja Raven Liquette,
Travis Stout



Add depth to your campaign's weapons that will make each PC treasure these items even more! This supplement provides a wealth of information on magic weapons with rich histories. The book includes many predefined weapons, outlining their names, history, powers, stats, necessary rituals for unlocking their powers, and adventure hooks. How the weapons can gain power is discussed, as well as the feats with which they might be used. Also included are discussions of other magic items such as magic armor, rings, and staves. The excerpts below include introductory information, three sample weapons, plus a creature who has some unusual abilities. For more excerpts from this book, check out the June 2005 Preview.

Monsters of Legacy

Shuluth

Just as some items take on legacy abilities when tempered in the fire of extreme experience, certain creatures sometimes undergo experiences so extreme that their very bodies can become imbued with legacy abilities.

Shuluth

This example uses an illithid as the base creature.

Shuluth the Illithid
Shuluth, Mind Flayer of Legacy
Medium Aberration
Hit Dice: 8d8+8 (44 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+2 Dex, +3 natural, +1 deflection), touch 13, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+7
Attack: Tentacle +8 melee (1d4+1)
Full Attack: 4 tentacles +8 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, extract, mind blast, psionics
Special Qualities: Deflection, mirror image, omen, see invisibility, spell resistance 25, telepathy 100 ft.
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +9
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 19, Wis 17, Cha 17
Skills: Bluff +11, Concentration +11 (+15 casting defensively), Diplomacy +7, Disguise +3 (+5 acting in character), Hide +10, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (arcana) +12, Listen +11, Move Silently +10, Sense Motive +7, Spot +11
Feats: Combat Casting, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary, pair, inquisition (3-5), or cult (3-5 plus 6-10 grimlocks)
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: Double standard
Alignment: Lawful evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: --

Shuluth has the distinction of having survived a harrowing encounter with the Band of Lavender, a group of githyanki and elan adventurers who had made a name for themselves exterminating mind flayers. Not only did Shuluth survive (barely), it also managed to exterminate every member of the group by means of a fiendish trap.

Because the Band of Lavender had such a long and illustrious history, and because Shuluth devised such a cunning and lethal trap, the illithid became a monster of legacy. Now, Shuluth thrills to the continued beat of its own heart, realizing that its victory was a spectacular event that might eventually become a legend.

Combat

Shuluth enhances the normal combat tactics of an illithid with its improved defensive abilities.

Extract (Ex): If Shuluth begins its turn with all four tentacles attached and makes a successful grapple check, it automatically extracts the opponent's brain, instantly killing that creature.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, Shuluth must hit a Small, Medium, or Large creature with its tentacle attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and attaches the tentacle to the opponent's head.

Shuluth can grab a Huge or larger creature, but only if it can somehow reach the foe's head.

If Shuluth begins its turn with at least one tentacle attached, it can try to attach its remaining tentacles with a single grapple check. The opponent can escape with a single successful grapple check or an Escape Artist check, but Shuluth gets a +2 circumstance bonus for every tentacle that was attached at the beginning of the opponent's turn.

Mind Blast (Sp): 60-ft. cone, stun 3d4 rounds, Will DC 17 negates. This ability is the equivalent of a 4th-level spell.

Psionics (Sp): At will -- charm monster (DC 17), detect thoughts (DC 15), levitate, plane shift, suggestion (DC 16). Caster level 8th.

Deflection: Shuluth enjoys an inherent +1 deflection bonus to its AC.

Mirror Image (Sp): Once per day by uttering a vile command word, Shuluth can use mirror image as the spell. Caster level 5th.

Omen: All creatures within 15 feet of Shuluth that have a language "hear" dire mental whispers forecasting their sudden and painful demise. Shuluth can suppress or emit this telepathic aura as a free action.

See Invisibility (Sp): Once per day by uttering a vile command word, Shuluth can use see invisibility as the spell. Caster level 5th.

Telepathy (Su): Shuluth can communicate telepathically with any other creature within 100 feet that has a language.

Creature Competition: Head-to-Head

Bruce Cordell nominated the mind flayer for this competition, using a slightly advanced version of Shuluth. As part of the forthcoming Weapons of Legacy spotlight, we asked him and Stephen Schubert about the Mind Flayer/Succubus match-up:

Wizards: Granted, this isn't a combat competition, but who do you really think would come out on top between Shuluth and the Succubus Paladin?
Bruce: Depends on whether the succubus fails its save against Shuluth's mind blast...

Stephen: Well, the succubus would have ridiculous saving throws, owing to her Charisma bonus and strong base saves for being an outsider, so it would seem that Shuluth would be challenged to affect the reformed demon with any psionic powers. Shuluth as presented in Weapons of Legacy might just need to try a mind blast and plane shift away if it fails. But Shuluth is cunning, and the creature competition indicates that he may have picked up some psion levels since his stats were captured for the book -- and with the right selection of powers, he could find the upper hand. Shuluth is a mastermind, and his archvillain persona would take out the do-gooder succubus before she even knew he was there. At any rate, I'd like Shuluth to win. I have a thing for mind flayers, and they make great minis, too!

Look for more Weapons of Legacy excerpts, coming soon. And for information on fighting illithids, consult the recent Tactics & Tips column: Winning Tactics against Mind Flayers.

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