Friday, 13 July 2018

Magic item: knife of betrayal

Found here and cropped
Found by our party wizard during last session. Statted out for Pathfinder, but easy enough to translate to your own heartbreaker system. After writing this up, I realized the knife behaves like a variant on Dungeons & Druggies - check that out to hook your characters on sweet combat drugs.

Also: Jesus H. Christ this is longwinded. "Steals souls, each hit die stolen is a spell casting die you can use once" would work for a GLOG-ish item.


knife of betrayal - cold iron dagger +2


Rusty knife, doesn't clean up and smells faintly of blood. Sizes with its user down to medium size (the demon that powers it was aiming for the ancient giant civilization and their elf slaves. Doesn't size for smaller grubs but will work for them nonetheless.)

The knife is a gift from Jorr the Drinker, demon of murder. It's a loss leader for him to produce, and he first tests prospects by giving them a (true) vision of an upcoming betrayal. If the mark would kill to prevent it, they wake up from the vision with the knife under their left hand. Or appendage. Jorr tries to be inclusive.
  • bleed damage 2/round (doesn't stack with itself) if used on a flat-footed or flanked target
  • enhancement bonus & bleed becomes +4 if used on target that considers you an ally (obviously, for one attack only)
  • user can cast death knell 3/day as part of an attack (target must be at negative hit points, or running trauma or other injury from a death & dismemberment table
  • +4 to difficulty to resist a coup de grace with this weapon

soul theft
  • steals the soul of all sentients it kills via death knell or coup de grace. Track hit dice sacrificed this way
  • sacrificing a summoned sentient creature this way only nets you hit dice equal to the level of the summoning spell; in case of multiple creatures summoned, gotta catch 'em all
  • track only hit dice of sentient living creatures; ignore animals, undead, constructs, oozes, plants and other soulless critters

spell gift
  • as a standard action, you can have the dagger cast a spell for you from any spell list or level. Casting a spell this way costs [2x spell level] of hit dice sacrificed - deduct from the total. You can request a spell that would cost more than the amount of hit dice stored, but there will be consequences. Hit die debt = spell cost - hit dice stored
  • in addition, asking for spells of higher level than you can cast yourself, or from outside your spell list, forces a Will save, DC 15 +[2x spell level]. The spell still works, but there will be consequences. Hit die debt is equal to spell level
consequences
(highlight to read; players beware spoilers)
All options only work for negative levels gained because of the knife of betrayal. No luck getting rid of vampire suckage this way.
  • gain a temporary negative level for every hit die of debt to the dagger. For every negative level, save Fortitude against difficulty 15 + 2x spell level at the next midnight or turn this temporary negative level into a permanent one
  • can sacrifice 2 hit dice to turn a permanent negative level into a temporary one; and 2 hit dice to lose a temporary negative level.
  • murdering summoned creatures sours their attitude. Make a spellcraft check (difficulty 15 +2x spell level) when summoning them again or have them turn hostile and indismissible. Creatures summoned by a spell cast from the dagger do not turn on you
  • when you have as many negative levels as you have levels/hit dice, you die and your soul goes straight to hell - no resurrections. When you die of other causes after having used the dagger to sacrifice at least one person, likewise go straight to hell.