Equipment: Totems

Totems are rustic magic items that can create with the Craft Totem feat. Crafting a totem requires the character be of the specified caster level, have ranks in certain Craft skills, and sacrifice time and experience. Unlike other magic items, totems do not require spells or gold to create. However, most totems can only be used under certain conditions or by certain individuals or retain their magic for only a short time before becoming mundane objects again. All level-based effects of totems, such as Difficulty Class and number of times, are based on the creator’s caster level at the time of the totem’s creation.

Totems fall into three categories: Personal totems, such as spirit masks, which can only be used by the character who crafted them; communal totems, like dreamcatchers, which can only be used by the creator and those designated during creation; and territorial totems, such as cave paintings, which only function in a fixed location. In the hands of others, personal and communal totems simply radiate faint magic (until their magic fades entirely) but do not function – shrunken heads are simply gruesome ornaments and medicine pouches are bags of twigs – while territorial totems lose their magic if moved from their fixed location.

Totems cannot be crafted for monetary gain; if a character creates a totem in exchange for gold or material profit, the totem loses its enchantment the first time the designee attempts to use it and the creator suffers an additional loss of experience points equal to 25% of the original cost. As such, totems do not have Market Prices or material value to others – except as cultural curiosities or examples of folk art. Totems can, however, be crafted in exchange for the recipient performing a geas/quest.

Animal Token [Personal Totem]
Requirements: Level: 2 (badger), 4 (eagle), or 6 (others); Craft: Sculpting or Woodcarving 4 and Painting 2; Time: One day (Woodcarving) or Three days (Sculpting); XP: 20xp/level. Description: The character sculpts a small, fist-sized wooden or stone figurine of one of the following animals: ape, badger, black bear, boar, eagle, leopard, or wolf (or regional equivalents). After creation, the character can throw this token on the ground as a standard action and verbally command it to come to life - and it does, as if the character had cast the appropriate summon nature's ally spell, with the caster level of the spell equal to the caster level of the creator at the time of creation. The animal fights and acts as the character commands for 1 round per caster level at the time of creation. If the animal is killed, if the duration ends, or if the character so commands, the animal reverts to its token form.

A character may possess up to three different tokens at a time but can only have one activated at any given moment. Each token can be activated once per day for a total number of days equal to the character's caster level at the time of creation. To those other than the token's creator, an animal token radiates faint magic but cannot be activated. It loses its magic entirely after one month (carved tokens), three months (sculpted tokens), or after having been activated its maximum number of times.

Burial Ground Marker [Territorial Totem]
Requirements: Level: 9; Craft: Woodcarving 3; Time: Three days; XP: 327xp. Description: A burial ground marker is a staff-like object of crossed sticks adorned with feathers and animals skins and topped with the skull of a Small or larger Animal or a Humanoid. Within 12 hours of completion, the marker must be driven into ground where, within 20 feet of the marker, there are three or more humanoids corpses buried. The burial ground marker’s creator must personally know, be related to, or be from the same tribe as at least one of the corpses.

Twenty-four hours after being planted, the marker begins warding the area as a sacred burial ground. This protection lasts as long as the marker remains standing, protecting any corpses buried or subsequently buried in the affected area. In most outdoor environments, unless physically knocked down, burial ground markers persevere weather and animals for 2d6 years before needing to be replaced. In deep caves or other sheltered environments, however, burial ground markers can last centuries. When the marker falls or ceases to provide its protections, the character who crafted it feels a mental ping. A character can only have up to two burial ground markers in place at any one time. Replacing one of the character’s own damaged or worn markers costs only one-third the normal XP cost. Within 20 feet of a marker, the following effects occur:
  • Any creature who views the marker for the very first time must make a Will save (DC 13 + creator's caster level) or be shaken while in the protected area and for 1d4 rounds after leaving the area. The marker's creator is immune to this effect.
  • All saves against Fear effects in the area are made at a -2 penalty. The creator is immune to this effect, and it has already been figured into the save against being shaken.
  • As if in hallowed ground, corpses buried in the protected area cannot be turned into undead creatures – except by the marker's creator.
  • Any speak with dead spell cast on a corpse buried in the protected area lasts up to 1 hour and allows the creator to ask three questions per level.
  • Any reincarnation spell cast on a corpse buried in the protected area functions as true reincarnation, granting the caster greater control over the type of creature that results.
  • Any raise dead spell cast on remains buried in the protected area functions as resurrection, allowing its caster to raise the corpse no matter how long it has been dead.
  • Any intelligent creature except the marker's creator that knocks over or destroys a burial ground marker must make a Will save (DC 13 + creator's caster level) or suffer a curse as if the creator had cast bestow curse upon the victim. The marker's creator designates the nature of this curse during the totem's creation.

Cave Painting [Territorial Totem]
Requirements: Level: 6; Craft: Painting 6 and Herbalism 6; Time: One day; XP: 180xp. Description: The character paints one of the following animals on a natural, unworked stone wall: brown bear, giant constrictor, giant crocodile, rhinoceros, or tiger (or regional equivalents). The wall used must be adjacent to an open area that can physically and easily accommodate the animal in question. During the painting, the character designates those individuals who will not trigger the cave painting, a list that can be as specific as just the creator, a list of names, or as general as "my tribe" or "all who dwell here." The enchanted painting, which radiates faint magic, may be placed among other mundane or magical paintings on the same wall. For the purposes of magical removal or relocation, cave paintings are treated as glyphs.

Twenty-four hours after being painted, the painting begins to ward the area from intruders. Any creature not designated by the creator and who passing within 15 feet of the wall triggers the painting cause the animal painted to spring to life as if it were greater glyph of warding holding a summon nature's ally V spell, with the caster level of the spell equal to the caster level of the creator at the time of creation. The painting then disappears into a swirl of smoke that materializes into a living version of the animal within 10ft of the wall and that then attacks the intruder; once that intruder is slain or flees, the animal attacks the next closest intruder. The animated animal cannot stray more than 30 feet from its wall location but defends the area for up to one hour before returning to its painting form. The animal will also revert to its painting form 5 minutes after the intruders have left the area or been slain or at the creator's verbal command. Once activated, a cave painting can't be triggered again for 24 hours. The painting loses all its magic after being activated three times.

Dreamcatcher [Communal Totem]
Requirements: Level: 5; Craft: Weaving 4; Time: Two days; XP: 202xp. Description: A dreamcatcher is a web-like pattern of netting within a small wooden or bone hoop that is then adorned with feathers, beads, and sometimes small animal bones. The dreamcatcher snares nightmares in its netting while pleasant dreams are allowed through a gap at the center of the pattern. Often used in homes or at campsights, the dreamcatcher must be positioned a few feet above the ground (to a wall, to a tree, above the bed, etc.) and left stationary to have any effect. An hour after being so positioned, the dreamcatcher begins to ward all within a 15ft radius from bad dreams. Phantasm spells or effects such as nightmare, phantasmal killer, and weird have no effect on creatures in the protected area. In addition, those protected receive a +2 sacred bonus to saves against hostile illusions. And finally, those who sleep under the dreamcatcher's protection recover double the hit points they otherwise would for a full-night's rest.

An area can only be warded by one dreamcatcher at a time. If the dreamcatcher is moved, its protections end until it has been properly repositioned and remains motionless again for 1 hour; if moved while protected creatures are sleeping, its benefit to hit point recovery is lost for that day, even if repositioned. While only the creator or those designated during the totem's creation can position the dreamcatcher, it benefits all within the protected area. After three months, a dreamcatcher's magic completely fades.

Headdress [Personal Totem]
Requirements: Level: 8; Craft: Weaving 8; Time: One week; XP: 88xp/level. Description: A headdress is a woven cap or headband threaded and adorned with a colorful and elaborate train of feathers. Each headdress is crafted for a specific Tribal Dance, often reflected in the colors of its feathers (red and yellow feathers for the Fire Dance, white and blue feathers for Medicine Dance, red and white feathers for the Bone Dance, etc.). Donning a headdress (which weighs 15 pounds) is a move-equivalent action that provokes an attack of opportunity. A character wearing a headdress can perform the related Tribal Dance for a full round and enjoy its benefits as if he had danced for 1 full minute. A headdress can only augment one dance per day (and only the specific Tribal Dance it was crafted for) and can augment a total number of dances equal to the creator's caster level at creation. After three months or after having been used the maximum number of times, the headdress loses its magic.

Medicine Pouch [Personal Totem]
Requirements: Level: 4; Craft: Herbalism 7 and Leatherworking or Weaving 2; Time: Two days; XP: 7xp/level. Description: A medicine pouch appears to be a simple leather or hemp pouch containing herbs and various roots; it is unremarkable to the eye in every way. To its creator, however, the medicine pouch has several mystical qualities. While the medicine pouch is worn, its creator receives +2 to all Heal checks (as if using a Healer's Kit) and can once per day, up to a maximum number of times per equal to the creator's caster level at the time of creation, effect one of the following spell-like abilities as a full round action: cure light wounds, delay poison, or purify food and drink. After 30 days or after being used its maximum number of times, the medicine pouch loses its magic.

Monkey Paw [Personal Totem]
Requirements: Level: 20; Craft: Herbalism 18; Time: One week (see description); XP: 2959xp (see description). Description: The monkey paw is the severed hand of an ape (the creature used by the first spellcaster to ever craft this totem) or any Large or smaller humanoid creature that has been soaked in a mystical brew until it is shriveled and blackened. The creator spends one day of the creation time preparing this magical broth, and then, within 24 hours of preparing the brew, must personally sever a hand from the living victim and place it into the mixture. (This time period is in addition to the above creation time.) The creator must actively tend and stew for the remainder of creation, stirring and chanting. Once finished, the monkey paw is often worn around the neck as a gruesome petrified medallion. The paw allows its possessor to make a single wish as a standard action by holding the paw and stating his desire. This incurs the normal experience point cost of the spell (generally 5,000xp, which is in addition to the paw's creation cost). After the wish has been made, the paw becomes nonmagical. The paw can endure for centuries if unused, long after its creator's death.

Unlike other personal totems, a monkey paw will function for other creatures – but as a cursed item. When used by a creature other than its creator, the wish takes effect as a perversion of the intent, regardless of how carefully worded or minor the request, and drains the normal experience points from the wisher (generally 5,000xp) as well as 1 point of Wisdom permanently. In addition, the monkey paw will attempt to perversely grant the most mundane, casual desire its possessor vocalizes, even if not phrased or intended as a wish and even if the owner is unaware of the paw's power to grant a wish. If the owner says aloud that she wants something to eat, for example, the monkey paw will grant that desire in a horrible way (a bowl of maggots appears, the owner's mount suddenly cooks alive, etc.), with the costs described above. While in possession of the paw, there's a 5% chance per day that its possessor will accidentally voice some mundane desire that the paw will make a perverted reality.

Peace Pipe [Communal Totem]
Requirements: Level: 5; Craft: Herbalism 6, Woodcarving 6, and Painting 2; Time: Three days; XP: 10xp/level. Description: A peace pipe is often used in communal settings, during negotiations, or at celebrations. Ranging in length from 8 inches to 4 feet, peace pipes are intricately carved and painted and often adorned with feathers. Regardless of the type of herb placed in its bowl, any creature that smokes from the peace pipe or is within 10ft of the pipe when it is smoked and who can smell the smoke is affected as if in a zone of truth or by calm emotions if it fails a Will save (DC 12 + creator's caster level at creation); creatures with the Scent special quality suffer a -3 to the saves. The effect is chosen by the first person who activates the pipe's magical qualities, which must be its creator or someone designated during creation. If no effect is chosen when the pipe is lit, it defaults to calm emotions. The duration of the effect is 5 minutes, although the pipe still functions as a pipe after the magical effect wears off. A peace pipe can be used once per day and takes a full minute to load, light, and take the first puff. Although its creator or one designated must be the first to smoke from the pipe for its magic to work, the pipe influences all in the area. After one year or after having been used a number of times equal to twice the creator's caster level at the time of creation, it loses its magic.

Shrunken Head [Personal Totem]
Requirements: Level: 7; Craft: Herbalism 10; Time: One week; XP: 33xp/level. Description: The shrunken head is as it sounds: the disembodied head of some humanoid that has been soaked in a mystical brew until it resembles a shriveled, apple-sized version of its former self. The creator spends one day of the creation time preparing this magical broth, and then, within 24 hours of preparing the brew, must personally place a severed head into the mixture. (This time period is in addition to the above creation time.) The creator must actively tend and stew for the remainder of creation, stirring and chanting. The creator need not be the person responsible for the death of the owner of the head, but the owner must have died within 24 hours of the head being placed in the broth. Once finished, shrunken heads are often hung from leather straps on belts, worn as gruesome medallions, or tied dangling to staffs. When held aloft by its creator as a standard action, a shrunken head's withered eye sockets glow with an infernal red light as it unleashes a cone of fear (DC 13 + caster level at time of creation). The shrunken head can cause fear a total number of times equal to the creator's caster level at the time of creation, and up to three times in a single day. After three months or after it has been used the maximum number of times, the shrunken head becomes a grotesque nonmagical bauble.

A character can prepare up to four additional heads in the same brewing and use the group as a single head bundle. Each additional head increases the base experience point cost to create by 15%, the total number of times it can cause fear by 2, and the DC by +1. A five-headed bouquet created by a 10th-level spellcaster, for example, costs 528xp to create (330xp + 60%), can be used up to 18 times (10 + 8), and has a DC of 27 (DC 13 + 4 + 10). However, shrunken heads that are intended to operate independantly as separate totems must be created one at a time.

Spirit Mask [Personal Totem]
Requirements: Level: 4; Craft: Woodcarving 7 and Painting 5; Time: Three days; XP: 5xp/level. Description: Large (around 30 pounds) and ornately carved, painted, and adorn with feathers, spirit masks bear the horrible face of an evil spirit, a visage so horrible that it frightens those who view it. The spirit mask's creator can don and activate the mask (a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity) to cause a scare effect (DC 12 + caster level at creation) as the face on the mask animates, scowling, screaming, and hissing at the targets. The character can initiate this effect once per day, and it lasts for a number of rounds equal to the caster level at creation as long as the mask is kept on. While wearing a spirit mask, the character suffers a –3 penalty to Spot checks, all Charisma-based skill checks (except Intimidate), and any skill checks reliant on vision. Initiating the scare effect on subsequent rounds after the mask has been donned is a move action.

If the character also has 8 ranks in Craft (Weaponsmithing), a spirit mask can be carved onto a wooden shield, increasing the experience point cost of the totem by +50%. Doing so allows the creator to initiate the scare effect without needing to physically don the mask and without the resulting penalties to skill checks. After three months, the spirit mask (or shield) loses its ability to scare.

Totem Pole [Territorial Totem]
Requirements: Level: 15; Craft: Woodcarving 15 and Painting 8; Time: One month; XP: 2500xp. Description: Totem poles are markers most often used to protect villages from rival tribes, marauding goblins, wild wolf packs, and other threatening creatures. A totem pole is an intricately carved and painted log at least 1 foot in diameter and ranging in length from 10 feet to 18 feet. The pole is carved with the faces of the creator's ancestors, legendary warriors of his tribe, ferocious animals, protective spirits, etc. During creation, the character designates one alignment, one creature type, or one enemy tribe that will be affected by the totem pole. For an additional 1000xp cost, the character may designate one additional alignment, type, or tribe.

Once the pole is completed, it must be set into the ground, usually placed in a hole at least two feet deep, firmly packed in, and surrounded by a mound of piled stones to keep it erect. The pole must be placed "in the earth and beneath the sky." After 24 hours in the ground, the pole begins radiating an antipathy effect in a 300 foot radius (DC 15 + caster level at creation), targeting the creatures designated during creation. If a totem pole is ever set afire, destroyed (it has hardness 5 and 40 hit points), moved, or knocked over (Strength check DC 28), its protection ends and the totem pole forever becomes mundane wood. The character who created the totem pole, if still alive, feels a mental ping when the pole is so disabled. In typical environments, an unmolested totem pole can endure for centuries.

Voodoo Doll [Personal Totem]
Requirements: Level: 15; Craft: Sculpting or Weaving 2 and Herbalism 5; Time: One day; XP: 933xp. Description: A voodoo doll is a crude figuring of the intended victim that incorporates something from the victim. The creator must have a corporeal sample of the intended victim of a voodoo doll – a lock of hair, toenail clippings, a severed finger, etc. – and must have met the victim at least once. The creator incorporates this component into the construction of the small doll, sewn from fabric or carved from wax, that need only very crudely resemble the victim. Once completed, the creator can use the doll to make a single attack on the victim. The victim must be on the same plane as the creator at the time of the attack, and the attack must take place within 24 hours of the doll's creation, or the effort is wasted. When the voodoo doll is used, its creator selects an attack from the following:
  • Blind: By removing the doll's eyes or covering its head in cloth, the creator can inflict permanent blindness as if blindness/deafness had been cast on the victim. The victim is entitled to a Will save (DC 12 + caster level at creation) to shrug off the effect. The blindness lasts until the creator restores the doll to its original condition, the doll is destroyed, or the victim has the blindness removed by the appropriate magic.
  • Curse: The creator can inflict a curse upon the victim as if via bestow curse. This is usually accomplished by binding or impairing the doll in some way – tying its legs together to affect Dexterity, strapping its arms down to affect Strength, removing some stuffing or hollowing the wax chest to affect Constitution, etc. The victim is entitled to a Will save (DC 13 + caster level at creation) to shrug off the effect. The curse lasts until the creator restores the doll to its original state, the doll is destroyed, or the victim has the curse removed by the appropriate magic.
  • Disease: By stuffing the doll with dead flies or maggots or by burying it with a diseased corpse, for example, the creator can infect the victim with a malady as if contagion had been cast. The victim is entitled to a Fortitude save (DC 13 + caster level at creation) to shrug off the effect. The disease lasts until the creator restores the doll to its original condition, the doll is destroyed, or the victim has the disease removed by the appropriate magic.
  • Kill: By maliciously damaging or destroying the doll, such as by piercing it with pins or throwing it into a fire, the creator can inflict similar damage, even fatal damage, upon the victim. By damaging the doll in a corresponding manner, the creator can attempt to inflict one of the following types of damage on the victim: acid (dipping it in acid), fire (throwing it into flames), piercing (riddling it with pins), or slashing (chopping it in half). The victim is entitled to both a Will and Fortitude save (DC 10 + caster level at creation). Succeeding at both saves allows the victim ignore the effect entirely, except for experiencing a sudden sense of alarm. Failing one of the saves inflicts subdual damage upon the victim equal to her current hit points +1, leaving the victim unconscious. Failing both saves inflicts actual damage of the type inflicted upon the doll equal to 10% of the target's current hit point total multiplied by 4d4; creatures that suffer damage that brings their hit points below -10 are instantly slain. (Note: If the creator chooses another form of attack with the doll, such as Blind or Disease, then subsequently destroying the doll merely ends that attack. Destroying the doll only inflicts damage if the creator specifically chooses the Kill attack.)
  • Summon: By keeping the doll in physical possession at all times, the creator can summon the victim as if the victim had been sent a demand. This demand can include no information other than the creator's location and, if desired, identity. The victim sees an image of the creator summoning it and, if it fails Will save (DC 15 + caster level at creation), immediately begins to trek toward the creator by foot, sea, or spell – by whatever means it has access to. The summons persists until the creator sets down the doll, until the doll is destroyed, until the victim reaches the creator, or until the duration of the demand expires. If the creator casts a lesser geas or geas spell upon the victim within 10 minutes of its arrival, the DC of the spell is then +3.


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