Thursday, February 23, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Amulet of Arachnid Control

At first blush, this seems like an over-specialized item with little practical application. However, it is important to note that it comes from the Spelljammer campaign setting. The setting prominently features neogi, a villainous race noted for being intelligent, powerfully magical, and arachnids. They, and their enormous spidery ships, are subject to the power of this amulet.


This amulet can control one giant or 1d10 normal arachnids of any type. This includes beings who have magically assumed arachnid form in whole or in part. Arachnids are allowed a saving throw if they have an Intelligence of three or better. Unlike the ring of arachnid control, all neogi (even the Great Old Masters) must make a saving throw vs. spell at a -2 penalty in order to avoid being magically compelled to obey the command of the amulet's wearer. (If successful, the neogi can choose whether or not to obey.)

This is an item that is most strongly useful in a themed campaign. Neogis are mentioned in the description, as makes sense for the setting. But, it would also make exceptional sense for a campaign that revolves around aranea or manscorpions (recall that scorpions are also arachnids, as are ticks). The most obvious choice would be drow, as almost goes without saying.

As a GM, one could also use this to give a villain a strong theme. Even if the villain is not a drow or arachnid herself, she could still make extensive use of spiders. Along with this amulet, add in a spider familiar and a couple spider-themed spells (e.g., web) and you have a very memorable NPC.

It would be tricky to find uses for this item that are beyond the obvious. Most people would want to use it to either make an arachnid a servant, or neutralize an arachnid that is an enemy. But, suppose you found some other use than merely as combatant? An alchemist could certainly make good use of this item, to safely gather venom. There might, perhaps, be some interesting options regarding the weaving of webs for magical purposes.

Some of the possibilities would revolve around some of the more unusual arachnids. One that sprang to mind immediately for me was the phase spider. A mount that could take into and out of this reality? That would be awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment