Item feedback please!

Item feedback please!

Item feedback please! A few sessions ago my players convinced an NPC who was a part of a militant order of exorcists to join them on their travels. She carries the bound skull of a lich as her reluctant travelling companion. I have treated the skull as a bag of books 3x/session, that is not always cooperative, and sometimes asks for the sacrifice of small animals in return for information. That said, I’ve been feeling like I should maybe up the anti with something like:

When you consult the Lich’s Skull roll +CHA. On a 10+ take +1 forward on Spout Lore, as the Lich’s Skull shares it’s arcane secrets. On a 7-9 take +1 forward on Spout Lore, but the Lich’s Skull takes 1 hold on you. On a 6- the Lich’s Skull takes 2 hold, and tells you an awful truth. When the Lich’s Skull has 10+ hold on you, and every time the number of hold reaches 10+ roll Last Breath. If your character succumbs to death, the Lich’s Skull can now use your body as it’s own.

7 thoughts on “Item feedback please!”

  1. When you ask a question of the Lich’s skull, the lich will grant you a horrifying vision that answers your question. Then roll+CHA. *On a 10+, choose one. *On a 7-9, choose two. *On a 6-, you get all three.

    – The answer is unclear and shrouded in symbolism.

    – The lich will ask you to do something for it before it will answer again.

    – You must mark a consequence.

    The GM will describe your vision to you, answering your question as clearly as the choices allow. You take +1 forward when you act on the information you received.


    [ ] Animals will either flee in terror or turn hostile at the sight of you.

    [ ] You become increasingly paranoid, and you refuse to let the skull out of your possession. Take -1 ongoing to Aid Another.

    [ ] You begin to hear the lich’s voice even when you’re not addressing the skull … and the lich asks you to do things for it.

       [ ] The lich gets very angry if you don’t do what it demands.

    [ ] Your voice becomes a rasping whisper, and your skin becomes chalky pale and sickly.

    [ ] The lich’s responses become more abusive, and it starts revealing unwelcome truths at inconvenient times.

    [ ] The lich’s spirit takes control of your body as your own. Take your Last breath. If you survive, your soul is shunted into the lich’s skull until you get your body back somehow.

  2. Joshua Faller  & Peter J  Fantastic Artifact and great mechanics, I love artifacts with a cost and a consequence for using.

    I think I would keep the Consequences secret for the players, letting them discover them one by one 🙂

  3. My answer is for people who like using the NPC cards.I like this item and may steal it at some point. But if it is an NPC’s item, why is the NPC letting them use it? I would make the NPC asking the Lich a question their move and the cost for the hireling be destroying or quelling the undead. If their loyalty went to 0 then the Lich takes hold of their body. Not revealing the NPC’S loyalty to the party could make things more tense when using it.

  4. Fantastic picture.  It does sound like things would be more awesome all round if the PC had the lich’s skull, not a lame travelling companion.  Or else, if you prefer keeping the NPC in control, make the NPC more difficult and frightening to deal with.  “Hey, guys, you hear the innkeeper searching for his daughter.  And, um, you can’t see your crazy lich-bearer companion anywhere.  What do you do?”

  5. Oh! You could treat the skull as a follower (using Perilous Wilds rules):

    Jorbror Lightbane, lingering demilich

    sorcery-wise, history-wise, magical, cautious, cunning, devious, connected [dark powers]

    Quality +2, Loyalty -1

    Cost dark acts performed at its command

    Instinct to lead astray

    • Reveal just enough to suit his purposes

    • Give a cryptic answer, unclear or symbolic

    • Exert a subtle influence in the spirit world

    (Damage n/a, HP 9, armor 4)

  6. Jeremy Strandberg​ that has been how I have been playing him so far (without the clever hireling mechanics)! Now I’m working on gamefying that ‘subtle influence’. Thanks for the input! colin roald​ the party will have to deal with the thing if anything untoward happens to the travelling companion. I’d prefer the party to start making an emotional attachment to her before i dump the skull in their unprepared hands.

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