The Alexandrian

Gilted Fiends – Part 3

July 13th, 2011

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Jacques de Gheyn - Vanitas Still Life (1603)COIN OF THE DOPPLEGANGER

A coin of the doppleganger is a very powerful magic item, specially enchanted by denizens of the outer planes hoping to work their dark designs upon the material realms. Although difficult and expensive to make, the coin of the doppleganger exceptional utility have, nevertheless, resulted in the creation of many of these evil objects.

When a coin of the doppleganger is touched by a sentient creature, its powers are activated. 1d20 rounds later, the coin will use its sleep ability (DC 20 to save) on as many creatures in the area as possible. It will repeat this action every 1d4 rounds after that until all of the creatures in the area have been rendered unconscious, or until the sentient creature which activated it moves more than 15 ft. away from the coin.

Once this has been accomplished, the coin will proceed to its true intention: Cloning the body of the last sentient creature to touch it. When the clone is completed, the coin will then summon forth the soul of an evil creature from the outer planes, and use its magic jar ability to transfer the creature into the cloned form. The newly “possessed” clone will then leave the area – usually (but not always) taking the coin of the doppleganger with it in order to plant it in a new location where a worthy host will be able to find it.

Upon awaking, the only indication the victimized character will typically have that something abnormal has occurred is the small wound on the inner thigh which is expended by the coin as a necessary material component in the creation of the clone body. (Spot check, DC 17, to notice the wound.)

Caster Level: 17th
Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, clone, magic jar, sleep, summon monster IX
Market Price: 400,000 gp



Coins of contagion are relatively straightforward cursed items, designed to ravage their victims with disease. Each coin is keyed to a specific disease (blinding sickness, cackle fever, filth fever, mindfire, red ache, the shakes, or slimy doom). When a character’s skin is exposed to a coin of contagion they must make a Fortitude saving throw – failure indicates that they have contracted the disease. (See pg. 187 of the DMG for descriptions of the diseases.)

Some coins of contagion are designed so that the disease strikes immediately (no incubation period) – these are typically placed inconspicuously among other treasure, as a protection against would-be thieves. (The rightful owner can detect the coin of contagion with a detect magic spell, or similar ability, and remove it safely before accessing the treasure themselves.) Other coins of contagion, however, have been specifically created so as to maintain the disease’s incubation period. These coins were typically created by evil spellcasters, who then introduce their coins into a population area: As the coins are spread from one person to another, so, too, does the disease.

Some evil spellcasters have even been known to keep carefully quarantined caches of coins of contagion as part of their hidden treasuries – knowing that, if they are ever defeated, the coins will provide one final revenge upon the world as the would-be heroes who looted their towers spread chaos through the countryside by means of their “ill-gotten” wealth.

In other cases, coins of contagion which have long rested in the bottomless pits of the earth have been brought to light by unwary adventurers – spreading horrible plagues in their wake. Areas which have been struck by these coins of contagion before will most likely be extremely suspicious, if not absolutely terrified, by adventurers bringing antique coinage into their community.

Caster Level: 5th
Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, contagion
Market Price: 30,000 gp

Continued tomorrow…

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2 Responses to “Gilted Fiends – Part 3”

  1. Keith says:

    Coin of the Doppleganger looks potentially interesting, but if I’m not mistaken sleep works only on very low-level creatures. For this to be of effect in the field probably means that it’s used against weak creatures and low-level parties.

    It could still be useful after an adventure ends, of course. Whoever ends up with the coin could be the ‘victim’ that gets cloned. Simple and still useful. I suspect the sleep effect is not needed.

  2. strange7 says:

    Well, if it’s a high-level character who activates the coin, doesn’t that just mean they’ll be creeped out by all the peasants around them passing out when they go back to town?

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