Monday, January 19, 2015

Cyllibrym, or "Let's make a wand of paralysis more bad-ass"

Yet another magic item from my current game. Written for use with the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Because paralysis in the real world is often a lot scarier then ye olde lame hold person spell makes it seem.


This short wand is carved from a willow branch, then wrapped with a willow frond, and lacquered to hold it in place. The command word, “Cyllibrym”, is inscribed in elvish script on the shaft. Any character able to read and speak Elvish (Espruar) may use the wand.

Speaking the command word causes the wand to emit a thin beam of yellow-green light which twists, turns, and bends to unerringly strike a single target within 60 feet. The target must make a Charisma save (DC 15) or become paralyzed. Each round the target may make another save, with a successful save ending the effect.

The paralyzation of the victim’s muscles caused by Cyllibrym is not limited to those related to movement. The character appears dead to any cursory examination—their heart does not beat, their lungs do not inflate, their eyes do not move. Only the fact that they are still standing, rooted in their last pose, gives any indication that they may still be alive. A successful Wisdom (medicine) check against DC 15 will reveal the exact nature of their affliction.

The subject can remain alive for only a short time in this state without intervention. The paralyzation of the target’s heart means that the victim immediately begins suffocating (see pg. 65 of the Basic Rules pdf), though the paralyzation of the lungs means that the character is effectively holding their breath. A character with high Constitution may survive without oxygen traveling to their brain for as long as six minutes.

The wand has 5 charges