Thursday, April 18, 2013

L is for Lich Lantern

Continuing our RPG design trek through the alphabet, here's another entry in the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. The entirety of this post is Open Gaming Content and is published under this license. Please give copyright acknowledgement to Steve Miller if you chose to reproduce the content.
   Although nominally designed for d20-based RPGs, this item is easily adapted to other games,.

The Lich Lantern (By Steve Miller)
Looted from within a labyrinth of tombs beneath a temple so ancient no one remembers the gods it was devoted to, this item is a storm lantern made from fused bones inset with glass that has a slight green tint. A sputtering black candle burns within, seeming to always be on the verge of going out yet never doing so. In other words, it always shines with a pale green light that can only be dowsed by covering it with a thick cloth or putting it inside a box. It radiates powerful necromantic and abjuration magic.
   The Lich Latern has the following effects:
   1/ All invisible creatures within the 20-foot radius of the lantern's light become visible.
   2. Ghosts and other non-corporeal beings lose any damage reduction, spell resistance, and abilities tied to being non-corporeal  while within the 20-foot radius of the lantern's light; these beings essentially briefly become corporeal..
    3. If the latched face covering on the lantern is opened while turned toward a ghost or other non-corporeal spirit, the creature must roll a Will save (DC 24) or be sucked into the lantern. The candle burns a little brighter for each entity so captured, and the person carrying the lantern gains a +1 bonus to Armor Class (or Defense Rating) for each spirit trapped.
    4. By spinning the lantern while spirits are trapped inside, the character causes it to send forth a burst of energy that harms all undead creatures within the 20-foot radius of the lamp's light. The damage is 1d6 for each ghost or spirit trapped in the lantern. This use destroys the trapped creatures.

The Lich Lantern is actually a lich's phylactery or soul cage. The spirit of a powerful and deeply evil necromancer slumbers within, having retreated into the item when the adventurers who first recovered the lantern destroyed his undead body. If the person carrying the lantern ever has more than five ghosts or spirits trapped within it at once, he or she must instantly roll a Will save (DC 24) or be possessed by the lich. The bearer's spirit is then trapped in the phylactery.

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