It’s Ring Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest, a week devoted to the magic of the ring. Like many fantasy gamers, I first became infatuated with rings as a result of a famous story… you know the one. This article was in small part inspired by that story, and the idea that a ring could have a mind of its own, with its own ideas. The other part of the idea for this article came from the idea of creating a low-level monster that could be both threatening and interesting to players of any power level. Enter the ring spirit: a natural lightweight that inhabits a ring and both bestows powers on those that wear its ring, and derives might from those that take up its charge.
Emerging from a simple golden ring is a billowing gaseous form, almost humanoid, appearing to be clad in equally wispy black armor.
RING SPIRIT CR 1
N Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+1 deflection, +1 Dex)
hp 11 (2d8+2)
Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3
Defensive Abilities incorporeal; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses ring bound
Speed fly 30 ft. (average)
Melee incorporeal touch +2 (1d4)
Str —, Dex 12, Con —, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 13
Base Atk +1; CMB +2 (+79 to grapple); CMD 13
Feats Improved Initiative
Skills Appraise +2, Fly +6, Knowledge (local) +2, Perception +5
SQ bestow gift, ring strength
Organization solitary, worn (1 plus 1 other creature)
Bestow Gift (Su): A ring spirit grants benefits to the wearer of the ring it is bound to. The powers the ring grants depend on the wearer’s creature type, as well as her class and level, if any, as described below. Only certain types of creatures benefit from the ring’s gifts, and the benefits only go into effect after the creature has worn the ring for 24 hours.
Dragon: The wearer gains a +1 bonus to natural armor for every 10 Hit Dice she possesses (minimum +1).
Fey: The wearer gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls for every 10 Hit Dice she possesses (minimum +1).
Humanoid: The wearer gains a +1 luck bonus to saving throws for every 5 Hit Dice she possesses.
Monstrous Humanoid: The wearer gains 2 additional hit points for every Hit Dice she possesses.
Outsider: The effective caster level and saving throw DCs of any spells and spell-like abilities the wearer possesses are increased by 1.
Alchemist, Bard, Hunter, Inquisitor, Investigator, Mesmerist, Occultist, Skald, Spiritualist, Summoner, Warpriest: Each day, the wearer may prepare and cast an additional spell of each level she is able to cast.
Antipaladin, Bloodrager, Medium, Paladin, Ranger: The wearer’s caster level is equal to their character level; additionally, the wearer gains a +1 sacred bonus on saving throws for every 10 levels she possesses.
Brawler, Fighter, Monk, Slayer, Swashbuckler, Rouge, Vigilante: The wearer gains an additional skill point per level and gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls for every 5 levels she possesses.
Arcanist, Cleric, Druid, Shaman, Sorcerer, Witch, Wizard: The wearer gains a +1 bonus to her caster level for every 5 levels she possesses, and the saving throw DCs of all her spells are increased by 1 for every 10 levels she possesses.
Ring Bound: All ring spirits are bound to a single ring, usually a plain gold band, though there are exceptions. A ring spirit dwells within the ring it is bound to, and though it is free to exit the ring which it possesses and manifest itself, it can only a stray a short distance from the ring. A ring spirit can manifest itself at will as a free action. Once it does so, a ring spirit must remain manifested for at least 1 minute. A manifested ring spirit cannot stray more than 100 feet from the ring to which it is bound. Additionally, this binding imparts a number of vulnerabilities to the ring spirit. The ring spirit is bound to any creature that is wearing its ring. It is unable to attack the wearer of the ring and can be conjured forth from it for up to 10 minutes a day by the wearer (this time must be spent in 1-minute increments). When summoned in this way, the ring spirit is treated as though it had been conjured by a summon monster I spell. If a ring spirit is ever slain, it returns to the ring, where it lays dormant for 1 week, after which time it returns to life. Finally, destroying the ring a ring spirit is bound to destroys the ring spirit utterly and permanently.
Ring Strength: The ring spirit draws some strength from a creature that wears its ring. While the ring is worn, the ring spirit uses either its hit points or the wearer’s hit points, whichever are higher, to determine its maximum hit points. Furthermore, the ring spirit’s touch attack deals an additional 1d4 points of damage for every 5 Hit Dice the ring’s wearer possesses.
Ring spirits are undead manifestations, originating from living creatures who had a close tie to a ring at the time of their death. Typically a ring spirit is born from a person who recently received a ring of great importance, such as token from a king or emperor, or a person recently engaged to be married. Occasionally, however, ring spirits are born from other earthly attachments to rings, such as the last member of a family coming to possess a familial signet ring.
In general, ring spirits are fairly benevolent creatures, concerned mostly with the survival of their ring. At best, ring spirits retain a limited knowledge of the life they had before becoming a ring spirit, though many possess enough of an impression of their former self to form some kind of agenda, and they tend to have personalities similar to those they possessed in life. While some ring spirits retain knowledge of their names, others invent new names for themselves to reflect their new existence. Many ring spirits are curious about the changing world around them and are eager to explore, and so they often form partnerships with other creatures, inviting them to take up their magic-infused ring in exchange for showing them the world. Most ring spirits are choosey about their partners, however, and seek out only the worthiest candidates to hold their ring. Fairly social, ring sprits are generally good company unless angered. Ring spirits are inherently knowledgeable that their doom lies in the destruction of their ring and so they prefer to guard that secret and will take whatever measures they can to ensure that their ring survives.