Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weird Arcana - Tefillin (New Arcane Bond)

Here’s a new Arcane Bond, inspired by various legends regarding phylacteries and stuff like the Slavic folktale of “Koschei the Deathless”. It’s quite strong, but it also imposes heavy penalties.

Arcane Bond (Tefillin) (Ex): You hid you heart away. Literally. Usually inside a cold iron chest, secluded somewhere far, but strangers things have been used as tefillin by wizards (like the inside of iron golems or living ducks).

You always know the direction where your tefillin is (if on the same plane of existence). Also, if any creature touches the compartment holding your heart you immediately get a visual flash of the offender – this is enough to cast a scrying spell. If the creature is actually holding the compartment, or your heart, he suffers a -10 penalty at the scrying save throw.

The tefillin is protect by special wards, a result from being bound directly to your soul. Because of this, it’s completely immune to divination magic.

Having a tefillin is a perilous gambit, but it provides several benefits.

At 1st level, the wizard can, once per day, as an immediate action, be healed instead of harmed by negative energy. This includes attacks of channel energy made by neutral or evil clerics, but doesn’t work against energy drain.
At 3rd level, the wizard gains the benefits of the Diehard feat.
At 5th level, the wizard can, once per day, as an immediate action, ignore the effects of a confirmed critical hit. Instead, he suffer damage as if hit by a normal attack.
At 7th level, the wizard starts to become something more than human. He doesn’t require food or water to sustain him.
At 9th level, the wizard becomes immune to diseases. Effects that impose the Exhausted condition leave the wizard just Fatigued.
At 11th level, he’s doesn’t breathe anymore and ignores the Exhausted and Fatigued conditions.
At 13th level, he becomes immune to massive damage.
At 15th level, he’s immune to poison.
At 17th level, he’s considered to be always under the effect of death ward.

This is powerful Bond, but one that has its (strong) drawbacks.

First, the wizard becomes cold and heartless. He suffers a –4 penalty to Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Ride and Sense Motive. Animals are always frightened around him.
Second, if the tefillin is ever brought within 30 feet of the wizard, he loses all the benefits of this Arcane Bond for the next 24 hours.
Third, if a person holds the tefillin in his hand, the wizard must succeed at a Will save (DC 25) or becomes beholden to the heart’ possessor, as if under the effects of charm person.
If the possessor cast a spell or use a spell-like ability against the wizard, he ignores any Spell Resistance or magical defenses. The wizard also suffers a –2 penalty against effects from the heart’s possessor.
The must succeed at a Will save (DC 20) every time he attempts a hostile action against the one holding his tefillin. It’s simply impossible for a wizard to destroy its won tefillin.
Finally, if the tefillin is destroyed the wizard loses all his spellcasting abilities and class features and must immediately pass at a Fortitude save (DC 20) or fall dead. If killed the wizard can only be brought back from the dead if a limited wish (or wish) is first used to reconstruct its heart (although some demon lords or archdevils are just too happy to assist a phylactery-less wizard in this regard).