The Slugstaff

A peach-wood quarterstaff inlaid with golden slugs crawling up and down its length and a pair golden “eyestalks” on top surmounted by matched yellow topazes. Grants new attack modes to a wizardly wielder, including spraying slug slime and the “slug-spitting curse” straight out of Harry Potter. The wielder can climb walls on a slime trail, and may cast the staff to ground to become a giant banana slug that will fight at their level or be ridden at surprising speed (10mph). This latter power requires charging with a day’s worth of magical energy before use.

This item is meant to be moderately powerful, but thoroughly disgusting. It’s a fine way to see how player characters react: will they sacrifice style for advantage? Will they try to sell it (in which case, they may face it again in combat)? Will they try to make it go away forever?

Winestaff

A cedar quarterstaff draped with living grapevines and honeysuckles, headed with a cluster of violet garnets set in gold in the configuration of a cluster of grapes with golden honeysuckle flowers. Can be struck into the ground and fed priestly energy to grow the vines into the surrounding area, where they will twine around any available vessel and produce wine or mead. Multiply the wielder’s attunement or wisdom stat by the square of the number of attunement points/spell levels spent to get the number of servings of booze created. (Using up most of your power for the day should be sufficient to get a very large crowd quite stonkered.) Can be used in combat for quarterstaff or entanglement damage (wielder’s choice, declare before striking).

Staff of Ulgonath

A gnarled black staff of dírwood, five feet high, with bronze claws clutching a 5” orb of green malachite. When the staff’s powers are used, the orb glows from within, showing the silhouette of a horned skull.

Whenever a spellcaster picks up the staff who has never done so before, it contacts the Demon Lord Ulgonath, Master of Vengeance. He will appear to the victim as a large, muscular, horned silhouette with glowing red eyes, against a background of flames. Ulgonath will often refer to himself in the third person, and will offer power, wealth, knowledge, and revenge to the person, if only they will kneel before him and swear to his service. If they refuse or stall, he’ll be enraged: “If you will not be my servant, then you will be my slave!” followed by an attempt at mind control. If either method of making this person his pawn works, the staff attunes to the wielder and the following powers become available:

  • Significant boost to magical power, including stored energy and battle damage.
  • Access to green lightning blast that causes festering burns.
  • Access to a damage aura of same.
  • Shortcuts for summoning demons of vengeance, including scouts, planners, and teachers.
  • Soul vision, negating normal darkness and giving the same information a demon might see.
  • Projecting and shaping darkness.
  • Enslavement and torture effects.

If they do not attune to the staff, it will zot them with a blast of the green lightning, and will only act as a quarterstaff in combat, able to hit beings with immunity to normal weapons. (For extra fun, work out a sliding scale of engagement with Ulgonath that grants powers incrementally... but make sure there are lots of opportunities to interact with the demon lord’s massive ego.)

The item is invariant: if destroyed, it will just pop up somewhere else. The easiest way to unmake it— the most obvious one to someone casting an Identify spell or performing laboratory investigation— is to dip it in the heart’s blood of a demon lord (summoned will do; tracking it to its home plane for a permanent death is not required).

The item was actually crafted as a maneuvering of the Demon Lord Garzax, Master of Backstabbing, who wants to muscle in on Ulgonath. The staff subtly enhances Ulgonath’s more annoying qualities; most player characters will not be dumb enough to swear service to Ulgonath, but might get seriously irked at him and be willing to scheme against him.

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