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Epic Special Purpose Items

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Epic Special Purpose Items

An item’s purpose must suit the type and alignment of the item and should always be treated reasonably.

Table: Intelligent Item Purpose
d% Purpose
  1. The purpose of the neutral (N) version of this item is to preserve the balance by defeating/slaying powerful beings of the extreme alignments (LG, LE, CG, CE).
01-20 Defeat/slay diametrically opposed alignment1
21-30 Defeat/slay arcane spellcasters (including magic-using monsters)
31-40 Defeat/slay divine spellcasters (including divine entities and servitors)
41-50 Defeat/slay nonspellcasters
51-55 Defeat/slay a particular creature type
56-60 Defeat/slay a particular race or kind of creature
61-70 Defend a particular race or kind of creature
71-80 Defeat/slay the servants of a specific deity
81-90 Defend the servants and interests of a specific deity
91-95 Defeat/slay all (other than the item and the wielder)
96-100 Other

Special Purpose Power

A special purpose power operates only when the item is in pursuit of its special purpose. This is always up to the purview of the item. It should always be easy and straightforward to see how the ends justify the means. That is to say that if the player’s reasoning for how a particular action serves the item’s purpose is not completely believable, the item won’t allow it.

Table: Intelligent Item Special Purpose Powers
d% Special Purpose Power
  1. This power affects the opponent of the item’s wielder on a successful hit unless the opponent makes a Will save at the listed DC.
  2. Choose an ability score of the item (usually the highest) at the time the item is created or randomly generated. Add that ability’s bonus to the listed DC.
01-10 Blindness1 (DC 172) for 2d6 rounds
11-20 Confusion1 (DC 192) for 2d6 rounds
21-25 Fear1 (DC 192) for 1d4 rounds
26-55 Hold monster1 (DC 192) for 1d4 rounds
56-65 Slay living1 (DC 202)
66-75 Disintegrate1 (DC 212)
76-80 True resurrection on wielder, one time only
81-100 +4 luck bonus on all saving throws, +4 deflection AC bonus, spell resistance 30

Item Ego

Ego is a measure of the total power and force of personality that an item possesses. Only after all aspects of an item have been generated and recorded can its Ego score be determined. Ego is a factor with regard to the dominance of item over character, as detailed below.

Table: Item Ego
Attribute of Item Ego Points
  1. If uses per day are doubled, Ego points are doubled as well.
Each +1 enhancement of item up to +5 1
Each +1 enhancement of item above +5 2
Each +1 bonus of special abilities 1
Each primary ability1 1
Each extraordinary power1 2
Each awesome power1 6
Special purpose 4
Telepathic ability 1
Read languages ability 1
Read magic ability 1
Each +1 of Intelligence bonus 1
Each +1 of Wisdom bonus 1
Each +1 of Charisma bonus 1

Items Against Characters

When an item has an Ego of its own, it has a will of its own. The item is, of course, absolutely true to its alignment. If the character who possesses the item is not true to that alignment’s goals or the item’s special purpose, personality conflict—item against character—results. Similarly, any item with an Ego score of 20 or higher always considers itself superior to any character, and a personality conflict results if the possessor does not always agree with the item. When a personality conflict occurs, the possessor must make a Will saving throw (DC = item’s Ego). If the possessor succeeds, he or she is dominant. If he or she fails, the item is dominant. Dominance lasts for one day or until a critical situation occurs (such as a major battle, a serious threat to either item or character, and so on). Should an item gain dominance, it resists the character’s desires and demands concessions such as any of the following:

  • Removal of associates or items whose alignment or personality is distasteful to the item.
  • The character divesting him or herself of all other magic items or items of a certain type.
  • Obedience from the character so the item can direct where they go for its own purposes.
  • Immediate seeking out and slaying of creatures hateful to the item.
  • Magical protections and devices to protect the item from molestation when it is not in use.
  • That the character carry the item with him or her on all occasions.
  • That the character relinquish the item in favor of a more suitable possessor due to alignment differences or conduct.

In extreme circumstances, the item can resort to even harsher measures.

  • Force its possessor into combat.
  • Refuse to strike opponents.
  • Strike at its wielder or his or her associates.
  • Force its possessor to surrender to an opponent.
  • Cause itself to drop from the character’s grasp.

Naturally, such actions are unlikely when harmony reigns between the character’s and item’s alignments or when their purposes and personalities are well matched. Even so, an item might wish to have a lesser character possess it in order to easily command him or her, or a higher-level possessor so as to better accomplish its goals. All magic items with personalities desire to play an important role in whatever activity is under way, particularly combat. Such items are rivals of each other, even if they are of the same alignment. No intelligent item wants to share its wielder with others. An intelligent item is aware of the presence of any other intelligent item within 60 feet, and most intelligent items try their best to mislead or distract their host so that he or she ignores or destroys the rival. Of course, alignment might change this sort of behavior.

Items with personalities are never totally controlled or silenced by the characters who possess them, even though they may never successfully control their possessor. They may be powerless to force their demands but remain undaunted and continue to air their wishes and demands.