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RPG Superstar 2015

The Shroud of Old Souls


Round 1 - Open Call: Design a wondrous item

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8 aka Iourn

The Shroud of old Souls

A seemingly unremarkable burial shroud woven of coarse white fibres. If the shroud is held close a faint susurration can be heard.

If the Shroud of Old Souls is laid over the body of any dead creature of medium-size or smaller, the essence of that creature is imprinted into the fabric. The outline of the creature's body is faintly visible on the inside of the shroud. Once imprinted, the shroud can be used instead of a body for the purposes of raise dead and similar magic.

The amount of time a creature has been dead has no effect on the power of the Shroud. Any attempt to raise or resurrect an imprinted creature will succeed regardless of the length of time the creature has been dead, as long as the deceased is willing.

The Shroud of Old Souls can only contain one imprinted creature at any time. If the dead creature is resurrected by another means before the shroud can be used, then the imprinted image fades from the shroud and item can be used again.

Moderate necromancy; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, gentle repose, raise dead; Price 36,000 gp; Weight 1 lb

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Interesting item. Not sure what to make of it. It's not as useful as one might hope, as it does nothing for adventurers whose body is destroyed at their death (since it only works on a corpse).

Have to think about this one a bit.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Wow. I think that is a really really neat item. That is a wondrous item. Limited, focused, tight theme, doesnt try to do it all but what it does do is unique and useful. That is a great solution to a pretty common (in my game anyway, mooohaaaahaaaahahaaaha!) situation--PC death and the problem getting the body out. I like the text, it is well written. The mechanics are good. And I like the creation and costing info.

I vote keep.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Yeah, I really like this one as well. The idea of the dead character's face showing up on the shroud is creepy, and I like how there's a faint wind sound when you hold it up to your ear, as it makes the creepiness a little more unsettling. And that's almost always a good thing.

It's headed for the Keep folder.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Kept.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

I like this kind of item for the sort of campaign it implies. Lots of RP hidden deep in something like this.

Dark Archive

This is another cool item. I really like the flavor of it.


This has so many cool aspects to it. It is almost like a DNA collection/cloning tool -- but it is creepy and sinister at the same time. Almost makes you wonder what sorts of powers you are dealing with in order to get an imprint of a person's body like that???? Love the flavor and the writing for this one.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Dark wrote:
This has so many cool aspects to it. It is almost like a DNA collection/cloning tool -- but it is creepy and sinister at the same time. Almost makes you wonder what sorts of powers you are dealing with in order to get an imprint of a person's body like that???? Love the flavor and the writing for this one.

I could see my PCs finding it at levels 10+ imprinting the dead fighter, and then raising him later, but forgeting to take his gear with them... then they raise him from the shoud to find him sitting there ,naked....

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 aka adanedhel9

I really like this item. Immediately after reading, the wheels began turning on fun ways to use this. Fantastic.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Huh? Shroud of Turin?? Still kinda cool.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Well, Turin of course was not the only shroud, but I suspect it was at least a major part of the inspiration for this.

Scarab Sages

I love the Shroud of Turin flavor to this item. The flavor is cool and its ability is really useful. I enjoy the fact that you can lay this over your friend, give him a decent burial, and then fold up the cloth and get him raised. It's much more dignified then having to heft a gory body over your shoulder and hoof back to town. It's nicely creepy, but with kindova' ambiguous holy aire to it. I could imagine angelic whispery voices as easily as ghostly ones.

The one problem I have with it is that it does away with time limits on raising the fallen character. That seems a little too powerful. You could put this over a mummy from Osirion, take it to the cleric, have raise dead cast on it and poof! Good as new guy from 10,000 years ago.

I would argue that perhaps a good amendment would be that you can drape it over a person before they die, and it would still work, hence what to do about folks who are disintegrated or buried in cave-ins and cannot be shrouded after the fact. I also think it would be neat if the Shroud could be used as the flesh "sample" for spells like Clone. That would be cool.

I would still say though, one way or the other, that the time from imprint to raise attempt would be dealt with exactly as though it were an actual dead body, rather than making the corpse-impression timeless.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well I realize Turin isn't the only one. It is the one most people have heard of though.

Grim, I really like the before death and cloning aspect.


Grimcleaver wrote:


The one problem I have with it is that it does away with time limits on raising the fallen character. That seems a little too powerful. You could put this over a mummy from Osirion, take it to the cleric, have raise dead cast on it and poof! Good as new guy from 10,000 years ago.

I personally like this aspect of it from a DM plot hook standpoint. "Oh no," says city leader, "we're under attack from evil forces we cannot hope to defeat! You adventurers must A) find magical shroud, B) take it to the tomb of Long-Dead Mythical Hero, and C) resurrect him so he can save us!"

But another way around it might be to say the shroud has to be placed on the body soon after death, but once that's done you can resurrect whoever is imprinted in the shroud 1000 years later if you want to.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I just love this item. It brings back memories of a similar one I designed for a campaign I ran a few years back, only in my version you put the body in the shroud and poof! it vanished without a trace. You needed another command word (and folding the shroud in a different way) to get the body to reappear, at which point you could bring the person back to life.

I would also make the modification of allowing a living person to be imprinted. Otherwise, it is just great! Congratulations!

Liberty's Edge

This'd be a good item to bring back an evil ancient wizard from thousands of years ago.


It's not just a good way to bring back the ancient dead... it is a great way to have a "master tape" of a person. Say that Dude, 5th level fighter, is killed. His pals use the shroud, and Dude is back. Jump forward 15 levels, and Lord Dude is disintegrated by a villain. Now all the heroes have to do is resurrect him from the shroud.

The text says that it stops working only if the person is resurrected in some other way before the shroud is used.


Very evocative...It seems like it should play a major role in a Ravenloft novel....


It both seems too useful and not useful enough. which means maybe I am just hard to please. But I won't add this to my games.

I -might- add a one-shot artifiact that did this once, accidentally, to a major historical figure as a plot point. But never as a generic or recreatable item.


Nice item. The cost seems off though. Way too high.

Won't a bag of holding or portable hole do much of this?

Mark

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Mark Brehob wrote:

Nice item. The cost seems off though. Way too high.

Won't a bag of holding or portable hole do much of this?

Mark

it would bring the body, but if you take too long and you can no longer restore them, you'll wish you had the shroud

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka darthfrodo

Well thought out item. This has come up in oh so many games I've been a part of. I could even see a use for those times when your rogue has been executed and you are given the right of burial. Place him in the crypt. Take the shroud home and poof, Mr. or Ms. Hand in the Cookie Jar is back!
I look forward to seeing your city. Good luck.
Darth Frodo


Grimcleaver wrote:


I would argue that perhaps a good amendment would be that you can drape it over a person before they die, and it would still work, hence what to do about folks who are disintegrated or buried in cave-ins and cannot be shrouded after the fact.

I'm going to have to disagree with you there. I see too many players saying "Yeah what the hell, I'll just run up to the dragon and kick it in the snout. After all, I have my guy "saved" in the shroud back at HQ."

But I do like the idea of extending the powers to clone.

This is just the kind of thing that says to me "wonderous" item. Something that will come in handy in dire straits, but not really useful every day. The kind of thing you end up saying "Wow! Thank God we had that thing tucked away."


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

A winner! Heck, I can think of a neat complex plot where an assassin kills someone, shrouds them, destroys the body, leaves undetected, and "sells" the shroud back to the victim's family as a form of extortion...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like this item. I like the fact that you could, in theory (if there was a corpse) bring back a 10 000 year old dead guy. I wonder though, if there should be a disclaimer that the body must be mostly intact or something of that nature.


Mothman wrote:

I like this item. I like the fact that you could, in theory (if there was a corpse) bring back a 10 000 year old dead guy. I wonder though, if there should be a disclaimer that the body must be mostly intact or something of that nature.

Or maybe that the body must have been killed in the last 24 hours?

The Exchange

I read this and spent the next few minutes thinking of ways to use it in my campaign. It is simply super.

The idea of bringing back a long dead evil or good is .. is ....

..words fail me its that bloody good.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka JoelF847

Wow, great item. Like others, the plot hook aspects of it are amazing, either for bringing back an ancient hero or villain.


Very creative and interesting item which I have been thinking about for a few days. IMO it is a little pricey for the utility for a party of adventureres. This seems more like a plot or quest driven item in most campaigns "Recover the shroud of the missing hero" from the bad guys so it would let the players be heroic. Seems like it would see the most use in a ECS campaign where there are so few clerics able to raise dead and lots of travel time trying to track one down.

Just a few thoughts but if it was based on Repose and the Reincarnation spell (which will make a random body normally) and the Shroud "could be" (not necessarily would be) consumed as the material component for the future Raise Dead spell or a House Jorasco ressurection altar in ECS the price could be dropped quite a bit more particularly if a very broad, very general 30% cost reduction mechanic was applied something like (Good, devoutee of a campaign pantheon like the SH in ECS, citizen of a certan nation).

Looking forward to seeing your country.


This one, while at its heart being a "utility" item, really does what a magic item should, which is, to feel like a magic item, and not just feel like a way around the standard rules. That's not to say that magic items shouldn't be about utility, or shouldn't help "bend" the rules, but the best items do this without clubbing you over the head with the idea that its all about mechanics.

It really does make me think of interesting ways to use the item in a campaign outside of the obvious, which I think is definitely a good thing.


French Wolf wrote:
..words fail me its that bloody good.

Couldn't have said it more aptly.

Now I can't decide whether I like this or Charts of the Shadow Voyage better...

Awesome item. I can't wait to read up on your country.

:-j(enni)


Matrissa the Enchantress wrote:
Now I can't decide whether I like this or Charts of the Shadow Voyage better...

After due consideration, I decided that the charts win me over a bit more so this ended up in the third position on my list of personal favourites.

And, as such I fully expect to see great things in your country submission Neil. :-D

:-j(enni)


This is a very creative and very interesting item and I am looking forward to the country submission.

I appear to be playing in comparatively low magic games and am curious at what levels it would normally start turning up as treasure in other player's games? Thanks.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

Like a lot of other posters, I immediately conjured up thoughts of the Shroud of Turin as I read this. I agree with at least one other poster that this particular item might work best as a plot device. In any case, it's got a cool mysterious vibe. I dig it.

Chad

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