Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Amulet of Amiability

I must say, I am quite happy with the range of items we are getting right off the bat here. Today, we get our first cursed item! Though, quite honestly, I'm pretty sure this one was not thought of as a cursed item by its creator.


This amulet of unassuming appearance emits a dweomer of magic, but there is no way to tell the exact effect of the amulet short of trying it on. Once the amulet is on, the wearer is unable to take it off unless remove curse or dispel magic is cast. Any person wearing the amulet regardless of race, class, or alignment becomes incredibly nice, kind, and thoughtful. While the wearer cannot do anything to hurt him or herself, the victim of this "blessing" does everything possible to help those around him or her and falls in with their plans and suggestions.
He or she freely gives away possessions, bestows spells, tries to be friendly with everyone (even monsters), helps others with camp chores—this character is "at your service." The wearer is appalled at the thought of theft and refuses to take treasure that belongs to someone else. The victim does not attack. If confronted by a monster or a hostile party member, gifts are offered and peace is sought. The character tries to explain to the attacker why everyone should live in love, peace, and harmony.
Note that the amulet does not actually alter a person's alignment, it only forces one to act in a friendly, helpful manner despite alignment. Actions under this enchantment do not endanger alignment in any way. The amulet also gives a +7 bonus to the existing Armor Class of the wearer and gives a bonus of +7 to all saving throws. The wearer is further endowed with the ability to conjure up infinite quantities of chocolate chip cookies (6 at a time) and fresh flowers (a handful at a time) simply by concentrating.

 I really have to chuckle at this one. I can think of a number of players that I would love to inflict this item on. Some because it would really piss them off. Others because they would have an enormous amount of fun with it!

There are a number of interesting effects going on here. Being helpful really isn't that much of a hardship for most of us. This obviously takes it to an extreme, but it isn't so terrible. The worst part of the curse, of course, is that it both prohibits killing things and taking their stuff. Blasphemy! On the other hand, the last two sentences are pretty awesome. +7 to AC, +7 to all saves, infinite food (tastier but not as nutritious as create food), and infinite flowers!

With those benefits, I would definitely want to get one of these amulets. Not to wear myself, of course. I need my killing things and taking their stuff too much. But, imagine if you got a hireling healbot and put this amulet on them? They would be super-helpful, taking care of everything in camp. They would always be handy with a cure light or bless. With the AC and save bonuses, you wouldn't have to worry about them getting nailed in the crossfire of a fight. And, of course, they would be only too happy to do all of this for free! (Okay, that last part steps over the line into potentially evil acts, so I'd just donate their pay to their temple.)

As a GM, I would also inflict this on a PC as a punishment from a temple. If the PC has done something that requires atonement, wearing this amulet for a time would be the prescribed penance. Naturally, I would get player buy-in before doing this, but it could be a lot of fun for a while.

The flip side, of course, is what happens when you encounter a monster wearing one of these? Imagine a small village on the edge of the kingdom. The PCs arrive in response to a letter asking for defense against a mind flayer. The mind flayer isn't running around slurping brains, though. He has an amulet of amiability on, and is helping the villagers! Of course, being an evil, manipulative being, his idea of help is a bit different. If anyone in the village is unhappy, the mind flayer simply fixes it with psychic surgery. When a trader comes to town, the mind flayer dominates him into distributing all of his goods for free. All of the villagers are desperately pretending to be happy, terrified of crossing Friend Computer Illithid.

What would happen if you put this amulet on an unintelligent being? Could you instantly tame an owlbear with this thing? (I would not want to be the guy hired to try to put it on!) If a gelatinous cube starts digesting someone with one of these amulets, would it then do its best to help everyone it comes across?

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