Excerpts 03/03/2006

Tome of Magic Excerpt
By Matthew Sernett, Dave Noonan, Ari Marmell,
Robert J. Schwalb

Tome of Magic introduces three new magic subsystems for the D&D game. Any or all of these systems can easily be inserted into a campaign. Pact magic gives characters the ability to channel lost souls, harnessing their abilities to gain supernatural powers. Shadow magic draws power from the mysterious Plane of Shadow. Truename magic gives characters that learn and properly use the true name of a creature or object immense power over it. All three systems introduce new base classes and spellcasting mechanics. Also included are new feats, prestige classes, magic items, and spells.

The excerpts below include information about each of the three new systems, a couple of vestiges, the noctumancer prestige class, a weapon special ability, the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind list, and a creature. For more from the main introduction in this book, check out the February 2006 Preview.

Geryon, the Deposed Lord

Once a devil of great power, Geryon now exists only as a vestige. He gives binders powers associated with his eyes, as well as the ability to fly at a moment's notice.

Legend: Most scholars of the dark arts know of Geryon. As one of the legendary Lords of the Nine, he ruled Stygia, the frozen fifth layer of Hell. During a great upheaval known as the Reckoning, Geryon secretly supported the greatest of the arch devils, Asmodeus , against his rivals. When the armies of the opposing lords met to decide who would take Asmodeus's power, Geryon blew his horn. At his signal, the armies turned against their leaders, the usurpers were thrown down, and Asmodeus reestablished his right to rule all Baator. Knowing he had taught the usurpers a lesson they would not soon forget, Asmodeus returned them to power. Rather than reward Geryon, however, he inexplicably gave his lone supporter's power and position to another.

Geryon's fate after losing his position is unclear, but some binder scholars maintain that Asmodeus held one more betrayal in store for him. The story goes that Geryon, bewildered and stunned, lost all hope for the future. He began to question the purpose of his actions and, in a moment of weakness, even the point of his own existence. It was then that Asmodeus struck. The ruler of the Nine Hells had always hungered for the souls of those who had lost their faith, and Geryon's powerful soul made a fine meal.

Special Requirement: Geryon answers the calls of only those summoners who show an understanding of the relationship between souls and the planes. Thus, you must have at least 5 ranks in either Knowledge (religion) or Knowledge (the planes) to summon him.

Manifestation: Geryon arrives in a flash of sickly green light. A strange conglomeration of forms, his body resembles three ogre mages standing with their backs to each other and melded into one being. He has three legs, each with two feet, and three arms, each with two hands. Three brutish faces gaze out from equidistant points on a single head, which sits upon a neck jutting upward from three shoulders. One face has a furrowed brow and looks angry, another appears agitated, with wildly rolling eyes, and the third seems thoughtful, often staring into the distance as though thinking of something else.

Geryon speaks from only one of his three faces at any given time, and each of the three has a different personality and voice -- a deep voice for the angry face, a babbling, hysterical voice for the agitated one, and a quiet voice for the thoughtful one. All three, however, are Geryon. Whenever his mood changes, Geryon turns his body so that he can speak to his summoner with the face that best represents his feelings at the time.

Sign: Two extra pairs of devilish eyes with green lids and yellow, catlike irises open on your head. Located at the level of your own eyes and equidistant from them, these bloodshot orbs grant you the ability to see all around yourself. Your own eyes take on the same appearance as the new ones.

Influence: While influenced by Geryon, you become overly trusting of and loyal to those you see as allies, even in the face of outright treachery. Because he values trust, if you make a Sense Motive check or use any ability to read thoughts or detect lies, you rebel against Geryon's influence and incur the normal penalties.

Granted Abilities: Geryon gives you his eyes and his baleful gaze, as well as the ability to fly.

Acidic Gaze: The gaze of your devilish eyes can cause foes to erupt with acid. When you use this ability, each opponent within 30 feet of you must succeed on a Will save or take 2d6 points of acid damage. Opponents can avert or close their eyes to protect themselves, as normal for a gaze attack. You can still take a standard action to focus your gaze on a target creature, as normal for a gaze attack. You can choose not to affect specific creatures within range of the gaze attack, such as your allies, if desired. You cannot use this ability if you do not show Geryon's sign.

All-Around Vision: Your extra eyes allow you to look in any direction, granting you a +4 bonus on Spot and Search checks. Opponents gain no benefits when flanking you. When confronted by a creature with a gaze attack, however, you cannot avert your eyes, though you can still close them. You cannot use this ability if you do not show Geryon's sign.

See in Darkness: You can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, even that created by a deeper darkness spell. You cannot use this ability if you do not show Geryon's sign.

Swift Flight: You can fly for 1 round at a speed of 60 feet with perfect maneuverability. Activating this ability is a swift action. Once you have used swift flight, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.

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