Generally speaking, weapons and armor are all about death: weapons kill, and armor keeps you from dying. But despite being so intrinsically linked with death, weapons and armor rarely seem to actually be about death in the abstract. In this week’s Magic Market, we examine briefly what items about death and undeath might look like.
SKULL’S PLATE PRICE 4,650 gp
Slot armor; CL 7th; Weight 50 lbs.
Aura moderate necromancy
Made of dark iron and decorated with actual human skulls, this plate radiates necromantic magic that makes those that don it feel uneasy. Regardless of the temperature, this armor always feels cold to the touch.
While always functioning as a suit of +1 full plate, skull’s plate has additional magic which only functions when the wearer is slain. Whenever the wearer is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, she may choose to die. If she does, her body is immediately animated by the magic of the armor, temporarily returning her to the world of the living as a zombie. The wearer retains proficiency with whatever weapons and armor she possessed when she died. The zombie remains for 1 minute or until slain, and attacks the creature that reduced it to 0 or fewer hit points, as well as any other enemies of the creature it was in life. When the zombie is slain, or after 1 minute, the armor breaks in half, gaining the broken condition. It must be repaired before this ability will function again.
None of a skull’s plate’s unique abilities count as an enhancement bonus equivalent, and it is treated as a +1 armor for the purposes of the cost of further improving its magical abilities.Construction Requirements Cost 3,150 gp
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate dead
SHIELD OF THE SPIRITS PRICE 150,170 gp
Slot shield; CL 15th; Weight 15 lbs.
Aura strong necromancy
This large polished disk of ivory is hard as steel and heavy for its size, as though weighed down with souls of the dead. When taken up, the shield surrounds the bearer in a shimmering golden light.
In addition to functioning as a +5 ghost touch heavy steel shield, a shield of the spirits protects the bearer from attacks of spiritual creatures. So long as he wields this shield, incorporeal touch attacks made against him are resolved against his full AC, including bonuses to AC that are not normally included for incorporeal touch attacks, such as armor or natural armor. Further, as long as he wields the shield, he cannot be possessed or controlled by incorporeal creatures. Additionally, the shield’s bearer can present the shield strongly as a standard action. While presenting the shield in this way, an incorporeal undead creature cannot attack the shield’s bearer unless it succeeds on a Will save (DC 20). Finally, when the shield is presented in this way, the bearer can attempt to command a single incorporeal undead creature as with the spell command undead, unless it succeeds on a Will save (DC = 13 + the bearer’s Charisma modifier).
None of a shield of the spirits’ unique abilities count as an enhancement bonus equivalent, and it is treated as a +8 shield for the purposes of the cost of further improving its magical abilities.Construction Requirements Cost 75,170 gp
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, protection from evil, command undead
HAMMER OF SOULS PRICE 30,312 gp
Slot none; CL 11th; Weight 5 lbs.
Aura moderate necromancy
This beautiful golden hammer features squared edges on both sides of the hammer’s head. The perfectly balanced weapon bears numerous inscriptions of holy prayers.
In addition to functioning as a +1 ghost touch warhammer, a hammer of souls can confirm critical hits against incorporeal creatures, even though they are normally immune. Additionally, all attacks with a hammer of souls deal double damage to incorporeal undead creatures (or 4 times normal damage on a critical hit).
None of a hammer of souls’ unique abilities count as an enhancement bonus equivalent, and it is treated as a +2 weapon for the purposes of the cost of further improving its magical abilities.Construction Requirements Cost 15,312 gp
Craft Magical Arms and Armor, undeath to death