Today marks the end of Villain Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest. For those of you who aren’t already aware, we’re celebrating the release of our latest product, Insidious Intentions: The Book of Villainy, Volume I. This book provides extensive new archetypes and class features for truly vile and heinous characters of the alchemist, barbarian, rogue, summoner, and witch classes, which focus on dialing the evil up to 11. Whether you’re looking for ideas (and some mechanical crunch) for your next campaign villain, or are planning on finally doing that evil campaign your group has always been talking about, this book will not only fill your head with all kinds of horrible things to do, but also give you the mechanical ability to do them.
Of course, all good villains love their toys (even if they’re not good at sharing them) and while yesterday may have been devoted to toys of a physical nature, we all know that arch-villains have a disproportionately high number of spellcasters among them, and that spells can be toys too (at least, they can in the eyes of a megalomaniacal madman). Here are a pair of truly wretched (and somewhat wordy), villainous spells that only the black-hearted would cast.
SLAY LOVED ONE
School necromancy [death, emotion, mind-affecting]; Level cleric 7, sorcerer/wizard 7, witch 7
Casting Time 1 round
Components V, S, M (a thorny branch or stem, twisted into a knot)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./level); see text
Target two living creatures; see text
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates and Will partial, see text; Spell Resistance see text
You send deadly magic through a nearby creature, causing the magic to pass along a bond of love or friendship from the initial target to one of that creature’s closest friends or family, killing the hapless victim and burning the image of the death indelibly in the initial target’s mind.
The initial target of the spell must be within close range, and must be a living creature. If the initial target has spell resistance, it must be overcome, or the spell has no effect. Once the initial target’s spell resistance (if any) is overcome, the spell seeks out one of the initial target’s closest friends or family members (determined randomly, or chosen by the GM. In the unusual case that the target legitimately cares about no one but himself, he is treated as both the initial and secondary target). This secondary target can be affected regardless of distance, but must be on the same plane of existence as you in order to be affected.
The secondary target’s spell resistance (if any) also applies to the spell, and the secondary target is entitled to a Will save to resist the spell’s effect (this is treated as a death effect, but this part of the spell is not a mind-affecting or emotion effect). If he succeeds, the spell has no effect. Otherwise, the secondary target suffers an amount of damage equal to your caster level. The secondary target continues to suffer this damage at the beginning of your turn each round for a number of rounds equal to your caster level (he does not receive any additional saving throws to resist this ongoing damage).
Assuming the secondary target fails his saving throw, the initial target is flooded with heart-wrenching mental images of his loved one suffering. He must succeed on a Will save at the beginning of his turn each round, or be staggered for 1 round (this is treated as an emotion and mind-affecting effect, but this part of the spell is not treated as being a death effect). This continues until the end of the spell’s duration, or until the secondary target dies, whichever comes first. If the secondary target dies while the spell is in effect, then the initial target is struck with an overwhelming surge of grief, and must succeed on a final Will save, or be stunned for the remainder of the spell’s duration.
School necromancy [death, evil]; Level sorcerer/wizard 9, witch 9
Casting Time 1 round
Components V, S, M (a miniature doll and a gem worth at least 1,000 gp per Hit Dice the target possesses)
Target one living creature; see text
Saving Throw Will partial, see text; Spell Resistance yes
You steal the target’s soul and use it to empower a small, animated doll, which retains the subject’s memories and experiences, and can be forced to serve your purposes. This spell only functions when cast on a living creature that is intelligent (has an Intelligence score of 3 or higher), and has a soul (typically, most outsiders do not have souls that are separate from their bodies, making them ineligible targets. In certain campaign settings, other types of living creatures may specifically have no souls and be unable to be affected by this spell). Finally, the target must have fewer hit points remaining than 5 per caster level you possess (to a maximum of 100 hit points at 20th level), or else the spell has no effect.
The target is entitled to a Will save to resist the spell. If he succeeds, he loses 1/2 his current hit points, rounded up, and the spell has no other effect. If he fails, then he immediately dies, and his soul is transported into the gem and doll that serve as material components for the spell. These fuse together to form a soulbound doll (Pathfinder Bestiary 2), which has all of the target’s personal memories and personality traits. For every 3 class levels that the target possessed, the soulbound doll gains one class level. All class levels gained by the soulbound doll must be from classes that the target had levels in.
At any time, you can issue verbal commands to the doll, which it must carry out to the best of its ability. Once per day, when you issue such a command, the doll can attempt a Will save (DC equal to soul doll’s DC) to resist the command, in which case it is able to refrain from following the command, and cannot be given those orders again for 24 hours. A doll created in this way is completely incapable of deliberately harming the creature that cast the spell that created it.