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Prebasang’s melancholy marionette (new magic item)

December 17, 2013

A useful item, especially if a character needs to play for time while reinforcements arrive, a potion or spell wears off, etc.

Prebasang’s melancholy marionette

A foot-tall wooden marionette, carved and painted to look like a child with a sad face. When operated (the puppeteer can take no other action while working the marionette, but can move at half speed), the doll’s doleful expression and mournful movements strike a poignant chord in any human, demi-human or humanoid onlookers within 20 feet. Those who fail a saving throw vs. wands can only stand and gaze at the marionette in sorrowful silence, contemplating the pathos of this fragile figure amid the brutish cruelty of the universe. Grizzled veterans may shed tears.

The effect lasts as long as the puppeteer continues to operate the marionette, plus one round. If the affected creatures are attacked, the enchantment is immediately broken. It is also possible for their unaffected companions, if there are any, to slap some sense into them. Make a new saving throw for each round of shaking and shouting, “Come on, Thorax the Mighty! For Crom’s sake snap out of it!”

Optional extra rule: Lawful (or good) creatures do not receive a saving throw. Neutrals do, and are unaffected if they succeed. Chaotic (or evil) creatures save at +2 and, if successful, may be roused to violent fury (50% chance, +2 bonus to hit) for 1d6 rounds.

Image from The Comb (1990) by the Brothers Quay

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