Souls as Power|
Souls are the incarnate manifestation of life energy. As such, they contain a vast amount of power. Their power is so great, in fact, that they serve as currency on the Lower Planes. Night hags or fiends gather evil souls in the form of larvae, then sell or trade them for goods, services, or simply tribute to more powerful entities. Huge infernal machines and demonic devices are powered by souls in those dark realms.
Souls can be used as spell components, if the caster knows how, and they can also replace experience point expenditures when creating magic items. Each soul is the equivalent of 10 experience points needed to create an item. When the creator finishes making the magic item, it is tainted with lasting evil as described in Lingering Effects of Evil (in the BOOK OF VILE DARKNESS, Chapter 2). Magic item creators can use souls in conjunction with dark craft experience points and dark craft gold pieces.
To use a soul in any way, it must be properly prepared and stored. The best way to do this is in a proprer receptacle, such as the gem involved in a soul bind or trap the soul spell, or the storage object used in an imprison soul spell. The dark altar stone magic item is also useful in this regard. Subdued or captured larvae, or other extraplanar spirits of the dead (often called petitioners), can serve as souls if properly prepared. Even incorporeal undead can be used in this way if they can be imprisoned somehow.
Using a soul in any way other than simply transfering it as barter consumes it completely, destroying it forever. Destroying a soul is an evil act of the blackest sort, even if the soul was evil itself.
Drugs function like poisons, allowing the imbiber an initial and a secondary saving throws to resist their effects. Delay poison, neutralize poison, and similar effects negate or end a drug's effects, but they do not restore hit points, ability scores, or other damage caused by the substance.
A creature that willingly takes a drug automatically fails both saving throws. It is not possible to intentionally fail the initial save but attempt a save against the secondary damage, or vice versa. DCs are provided for situations in which a character is drugged against his will.
Drugs in Your Campaign: Depending upon your campaign, drugs may be difficult or easy to obtain—the decision is a matter of taste. However, whether drugs are illegal (as might be the case in a restrictive but good-aligned civilization) or commonplace, pushers will exist.
Pushers are those directly or indirectly want to see a drug dispersed into a population. Usually profit motivates them. A pusher's typical tactic is to offer a drug at only 1/10 of its normal price (or even free) to potential new customers, in hopes of addicting the customer to the drug. Once the customer seeks out the pusher for the drug (usually, once he is addicted), then the pusher charges full price for the drug, or even a premium.
Adding drugs into your campaign is probably most easily accomplished through a nonplayer character (NPC) pusher. Player characters (PCs) can expect to run into pushers illicitly in a civilization where drugs are outlawed, or in bazaars in a society where drugs are common. In a society where magic potions are commonplace, drugs might be legal, too.
Drug addition functions much like diseases as described in the DUNGEON MASTER'S GUIDE. Upon initial exposure (anytime a character imbibes or applies a drug with an addiction rating), the character must succeed at a Fortitude save or become addicted, as shown below. Addiction proceeds like a disease—while addicted, the character takes ability score damage each day unless he succeeds at a Fortitude save against the given DC.
Satiation: Each time a user takes a drug to which he is addicted, he is satisfied and staves off withdrawal symptons for the given period of time. After the satiation period wears off, the DC of the Fortitude save to resist the effects of addiction increases by +5. The dose in which a character becomes addicted counts for satiation. For example, a character unfortunate enough to become addicted to devilweed (low addiction) on his first use of the drug must succeed at a Fortitude save every day or take 1d3 points of Dexterety damage. As long as he continues to smoke devilweed every 10 days, his saving throw DC is only 6. If he stops smoking devilweed for more than 10 days, the DC of the addiction saving throw increases to 11. If he starts using it again, the DC drops back to 6.
Damage: Addiction deals the listed damage each day unless the character succeeds at a Fortitude saving throw or is satiated. Ability score damage is temporary, and characters naturally heal 1 point in each ability score per day.
Recovery: If a character makes two successful saving throws in a row, he has fought off his addiction and recovers, taking no more damage. Of course, he can always become addicted again later by taking another dose of the drug and failing his Fortitude save to resist addiction.
A lesser restoration or restoration spell may negate some or all the ability score damage caused by an addiction, but on the next day the victum may accrue more ability score damage if he continues to fail his Fortitude saves. Remove disease immediately causes the user to recover from the addiction, but it does not restore lost ability score points. Greater restoration or heal causes recovery and restores all ability score damage from the addiction.
Other characteristics are spelled out in a text entry for each drug. After a general description of the drug, the following characteristics are provided.
Initial Effect: The effect of the drug if the initial saving throw is failed. If multiple effects are given, the result of one saving throw indicates whether all or none of these effects occur.
Secondary Effect: The effect of the drug if the secondary saving throw is failed. If multiple effects are given, the result of one saving throw indicates whether all or none of these effects occur.
Side Effects: Side effects, if any. These occur immediately upon taking the drug.
Overdose: What constitutes an overdose and the effects of the same.
Agony (Liquid Pain): This thick, reddish liquid is the distilled essence of pain, captured using special spells or items. It is highly sought after by outsiders.
Initial Effect: User is stunned for 1d4+1 rounds and can only take partial actions for 1d6 minutes after that.
Secondary Effect: 1d4+1 enhancement bonus to Charisma for 1d10+50 minutes.
Side Effects: Feelings of intense pleasure last for 1d4 hours.
Overdose: If more than one dose is taken in a 24-hour period, the user immediately falls unconscious for 1d4 hours (Fort DC 18 negates).
Baccaran: This pasty substance is dried and kept as a powder or sometimes left as a paste. The ingrdiants are numerous and difficult to obtain.
Initial Effect: 1d4 points of temporary Strength damage.
Secondary Effect: 1d4+1 enhancement bonus to Wisdom for 1d10+15 minutes.
Side Effects: Those under the effect of baccaran take a -4 circumstance penalty on saving throws involving illusions for 2d4 hours after using this mild hallucinogen.
Overdose: If more than one dose is taken in a 24-hour period, the user immediately takes 2d6 points of damage and the side effect is doubled.
Devilweed: Leaves from the wyssin plant are dried and rolled into a tobaccolike substance and smoked.
Initial Effect: 1 point of temporary Wisdom damage.
Secondary Effect: The smoker gains a +2 alchemical bonus to Strength for 1d3 hours.
Side Effects: A creature under the effect of devilweed is easily confused and acts skittish (treat as shaken).
Luhix: Powdered stalks of plants that grow only in the Abyss, luhix is normally sprinkled onto a bleeding, self-inflicted wound. The the wound is sealed with magical healing or tightly bound bandages.
Initial Effect: 1 point of temporary ability damage to all ability scores.
Secondary Effect: The imbiber gains a +2 alchemical bonus to all ability scores for 1d2 hours.
Side Effects: For the first minute of application, the user feels intense pain. During the time the secondary effect is in effect, the user is immune to pain (including the effects of spells such as symbol of pain). The character takes damage as normal, but may not react normally to that damage.
Overdose: Those who take this drug more than once in 24 hours must make a seperate save (Fort DC 25 negates) or die in terrible pain.
Mordayn Vapor ("Dreammist"): Made of roughly ground leaves of a rare herb found in deep forests, mordayn is so potent that it is taken by steeping a small amount in hot water, and then inhaling the vapors of the resultant tea. Raw mordayn powder and mordayn-tainted water are deadly poisons; taking the powder directly or drinking the water produces an immediate overdose. Dreammist is renowned for the beautiful visions it induces and the deadly peril of its sinsiter embrace.
Initial Effect: Exotic visions of incredible beauty enthrall the user for the next 1d20+10 minuts. During this time the user has a 50% chance to loose any action he attempts, as described in the bestow curse spell.
Secondary Effect: 1d4 points of temporary Constitution damage and 1d4 points of temporary Wisdom damage.
Side Effects: The visions of a dreammist user are incredibly beautiful and poignant. His normal life seems drab and futile in comparison, and he aches to experience the transcendent beauty of his drug-induced dreams again. When the dose wears off, the user must succeed at a Will save (DC 17) or fall under the compulsion to do whatever is necessary to repeat the dreammist dose (treat this as a compulsion similar to that of a suggestion spell). This compulsion lasts for 1d4 hours before fading.
Overdose: If two doses are taken within the space of an hour, or if raw mordayn powder or mordayn tea are ingested, the drug is a deadly poison (ingested DC 17, 1d10 Con/1d10 Con). Mordayn vapor addicts often throw out the tea as soon as they inhale and make sure that only one dose is available at a time in order to make sure they cannot overdose on the deadly drug.
Mushroom Powder: Taken from a rare blue mushroom, this powder must be inhaled. It is popular among arcane spellcasters.
Initial Effect: +2 alchemical bonus to Intelligence and Charisma for 1 hour.
Secondary Effect: 1 point of temporary Strength damage.
Side Effects: This is a mild hallucinogen. The user take a -2 alchemical penalty to Wisdom for 1d4 hours and a -2 alchemical penalty to Strength and Constitution for 2d4 hours.
Overdose: If more than one dose is taken in a 12-hour period, the user takes 2d6 points of damage. Using it four or more times in a 24-hour period deals 4d6 points of damage and paralyzes the user for 2d4 hours.
Redflower Leaves: These crushed leaves of a tiny red bog flower are known for their ability to improve hand-to-ey coordination.
Initial Effect: None
Secondary Effect: As a move-equivalent action, the user may focus his attention upon a particular creature. If he follows that action with an attack against the creature, he gains a +4 competence bonus on the attack roll. This ability lasts 10 minutes.
Side Effects: None
Overdose: Taking a second dose before the first has worn off causes the user to be nauseated for 1d4 x 10 minutes.
Sannish: A bluish liquid distilled from wolve's milk and powdered desert plant, this concoction is very popular. Addicts are easily found by the permanent blue stains on their lips.
Initial Effect: 1 point of temporary Wisdom damage.
Secondary Effect: The user becomes numbed to pain for 1d4 hours, immune to pain-induced penalties (such as from a symbol of pain).
Side Effects: Sannish causes euphoria. While the drug is in effect, the user takes a -2 penalty on all initiative checks.
Overdose: A second dose taken while the first dose is still in effect causes a numbing stupor for 2d4 hours. The user can only take partial actions untill the stupor wears off.
Terran Brandy: A potent alchohol, this magical drink is favored by heartless spellcasters of all types. This green liquid is distilled from the essence of dying fey.
Initial Effect: +2 alchemical bonus to effective caster level for 1d20+20 minutes.
Secondary Effect: 2 points of temporary Constitution damage.
Side Effects: None.
Overdose: If more than one dose is taken in a 8-hour period, the user immediately takes 1 point of temporary Constitution damage.
Vodare: An extremely bitter brown powder, vodare is usually mixed with honeyed water or sweet wine to dilute the taste. It is made from the crushed petals of a flower that grows only on the graves of those who dedicated their lives to the worship of Rallaster.
Initial Effect: +2 alchemical bonus on Intimidate checks and saving throws against fear effects for 1d4 hours.
Secondary Effect: -4 alchemical penalty on Diplomacy and Bluff checks for 2d4 hours.
Side Effects: Mild euphoria and fierce confidence while the drug is in effect.
Overdose: If more than one dose is taken in a 4-hour period, the user becomes catatonic (Fort DC 15 negates).
For an extra 10 gp, any material component can be magically preserved, retarding normal decay and decompisition for 24 hours.
Some evil spell components are optional (and not mentioned along with the other components in the spell's descriptive text). These components sometimes increase the potency of an evil spell; the component is consumed whether it helps or not. A spellcaster can use only one optional component in the casting of an evil spell, so using two humanoid hearts, or a humanoid heart and brain, won't improve the spellcaster's chances.
As with any spell component, the caster must be touching an optional evil spell component and have it displayed prominently for it to function. These optional components can only be applied to spells with the evil descriptor.
Descriptions of the optional components on the Evil Spell Components Table are provided below.
Agony (Liquid Pain): Pain in distilled liquid form, as extracted by certain spells or items, automatically increases the effective caster level of a single spell by +2. This increase doesn't stack with previous applications of liquid pain or any other such bonuses to effective caster level.
Chromatic Dragon Heart: If a spell this component is applied to deals damage, there is a 30% chance that the spell deals an additional +2d6 points of damage to a good-aligned target. The heart must be from a dragon of at least 15 HD, and it must be dried and hardened into a gemlike object.
Demon Heart: A spell that this component is applied to has a 25% chance to have any damage the spell deals increased by +10%. The heart must be from a demon of at least 6 HD, and it must be dried and hardened into a rocklike object.
Devil's Heart: A spell that this component is applied to has a 10% chance to remain prepared even after being cast. Caster who do not prepare spells gain no advantage from this component. The heart must be from a devil of at least 6 HD, and it must be dried and hardened into a rocklike object.
Humanoid Heart: A spell that this component is applied to has a 25% chance to have its effective caster level increased by +2. The heart must be intact and well preserved (still bloody).
Humanoid Brain: A spell that this component is applied to has a 50% chance to have its range doubled. The brain must be intact and fresh (or preserved).
Humanoid Child's Eye: A spell that this component is applied to has a 20% chance to have its duration doubled. The eye must be intact and fresh (or preserved).
Humanoid Finger: If a spell that this component is applied to requires a touch attack (melee or ranged), there is a 40% chance to receive a +1 profane bonus on the attack roll. The finger must be intact and well preserved (still bloody).
Metalic Dragon Heart: A spell that this component is applied to has a 30% chance to have its saving throw DC increased by +1. The heart must be from a dragon of at least 15 HD, and it must be dried and hardened into a gemlike object.
Soul in Larval Form: A spell that this component is applied to has its saving throw DC increased by +2. Souls in larval form are usually found naturally only on one of the Lower Planes.
Soul in Receptacle: A spell that this component is applied to gains a +10 profane bonus on caster level checks to overcome spell resistance. Souls in receptacles normally result from the use of spells such as soul bind and trap the soul.
Yugoloth's Brain: A spell that this component is applied to has a 10% chance to allow no saving throw against its effect. There is also a 10% chance that the spell affects the caster as well as the target or area, with no saving throw allowed. Make two checks independently of one another. The brain must be from a yugoloth (or some other neutral evil fiend) of at least 10 HD, and it must be dried and powdered.