Al-Qadim (Forgotten Realms)

Vizierís Turban


Vizierís Turban
Climate/Terrain:Any land
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Diet:Special (see below)
Intelligence:Genius (17-18)
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:See below
Hit Dice:See below
No. of Attacks:0
Special Attacks:Nil
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:See below
Size:S (2-4í long)
Morale:Elite (13-14)
XP Value:2,000

The vizierís turban is a symbiotic creature which attaches itself to a wizard. It provides its partner with greatly enhanced spellcasting potential and magic resistance. In return, the wizard agrees to a permanent loss of hit points, which are used by the creature to sustain itself. The potential power to be gained by bonding with a vizierís turban far outweighs the sacrifice to the wizard. The vizierís turban cannot bond with a shaíir (desert mage specializing in genies).

A vizierís turban looks like a turban (of any color) secured by two bright jewels (its eyes). Its skin resembles fine cloth. It can change color to suit its partnerís attire and can reshape itself somewhat to look more like a scarf or veil for female wizards who prefer such attire to turbans. A vizierís turban enjoys watching what goes on around it from its vantage point atop its partnerís head and communicates telepathically with its host.

The wizard decides how many hit points (up to a maximum of 10) to permanently give up to his or her vizierís turban. One hit point may be given to the symbiote whenever the wizard gains a new level, so it is possible to find an 11th-level wizard whose vizierís turban has 10 hit points, or a 9th-level wizard who has one with only 2 hp. The number of hit points the symbiote has is a function both of how many its wizard sacrifices to it and at what point in the wizards career the vizierís turban met and bonded with the wizard.

Combat: Vzzierís turbans make no attacks and cause no damage. For all practical purposes, the vizierís turban and its host function as a single being. The symbiote is content to let its partner control the thinking, movement, and body functions. It will give advice only if specifically asked.

The potential power which a vizierís turban can bring to its wizard is a function of how many hit points it has. It saves as a wizard of the same level as it has hit points, so a vizierís turban with 4 hit points would save as a 4th-level wizard. It also provides its host with 5% magic resistance for every 2 hit points it has, up to a maximum of 25%. Vizierís turbans cannot have more than 10 hit points; extra hit points sacrificed to it are lost as if the wizard were wounded and can be healed normallv.

For every hit point it receives, the creature enhances its chosen wizardís spellcasting abilities, as detailed on the following chart:

The maximum benefit a wizard can derive from a vizierís turban is thus one 1st-, one 2nd-, one 3rd-, one 4th-, and one 5th-level spell per day plus a magic resistance of 25%. Vizierís turbans do not know any spells themselves, nor can they give their partners access to spells the wizard does not already know or is not usually allowed to cast. All restrictions as to elemental provinces, spell schools, and other limiting factors remain in force. The vizierís turban in no way allows its partner access to clerical spells, nor does it enhance such spells should its partner be a wizard/priest. These symbiotes provide no benefits to shaíirs at all and cannot bond with them.

Damage to its host from weapons, whether normal or magical, has no effect on a vizierís turban. Even if struck directly by a weapon, the damage passes right through the creature and affects its host instead. Secondary effes which emulate spell effects (such as an electrical attack which occurs when the sword strikes) are handled similarly to magical attacks against the symbiote or its host.

Spells and magical items which produce spell-like effects may affect a vizierís turban. Single target spells (such as charm person) and nondamaging area-of-effect spells (such as chaos) have no effect on a vizierís turban, even if the creature is the primary target of such a spell. If its partner fails the magic resistance roll provided by the vizierís turban and also fails his or her saving throw vs. a damaging area-of-effect spell, then the symbiote must also make a saving throw vs. spell. If it fails, the creature is affected by the spell as a separate entity, which almost guarantees its demise. If it successfully saves, it is affected as if it were a natural part of its partner, with its hit points being the last to be lost.

For example, a host mage with 24 hp has given 2 hp to his vizierís turban, leaving him with 22 hp. The mage is hit by a fireball for 23 points damage and fails both his magic resistance check and saving throw, meaning he takes full damage. The symbiote now saves and, if successful, takes only 1 point of damage (the amount by which the spell damage exceeded the mageís hit point total). Since the vizierís turban would still be alive, it could find another host. Had the fireball done 24 or more points, the symbiote would be dead. If it had caused 22 or fewer points, the vizierís turban would have been unharmed. Had the mage made his saving throw or his magic resistance check, the vizierís turban would have been completely unaffected, even if its host had been killed by cumulative damage.

If the vizierís turban has more than 1 hit point left at any time that its host wizard is badly injured (i.e., reduced to half or less of his hit points total), it can return all but 1 of its hit points to its host. These regained hit points function just as if a healing spell had been used on the wizard and had restored that many hit points. Once the wizard is restored to full hit points, he or she must return these hit points to the symbiote. One hit point is always lost permanently in this exchange, reducing the wizardís total by 1, so this exchange is not made frivolously. Furthermore, returning the hit points to his or her symbiote wounds the wizard for that many points of damage Ė damage that can only be healed magically. The 1 hit point lost in this exchange cannot be restored by any means short of a wish.

Habitat/Society: There are several theories as to the origin of vizierís turbans. One theory suggests that the turbans are actually lesser genies of some sort, either condemned to serve wizards for some transgression against other genies or specifically shaped to perform the duties they do (much like tasked genies). Another theory contends that vizierís turbans were originally just that Ė magical headgear which somehow developed both intelligence and a sense of self while retaining their magical properties. The theory which has gained the most acceptance is that the creatures were originally some sort of familiar.

Whatever their origin, vizierís turbans do not appear to reproduce in any discernible panner, and no mated pairs have ever been found. When two vizierís turbans meet (usually while traveling with their bonded wizards), they will greet one another politely but refrain from long conversation, as though they had no interest in one another. They seem to have no differentiation of sex, adopting a male or female outlook to match that of their host. It has been theorized that the creature may reproduce by fission, forming a duplicate which is then left to fend for itself. Until it bonds with a wizard, the vizierĎs turban is considered to have only a single hit point.

Though it recognizes that it is a separate being from its host, a vizierís turban takes its personality and reactions to situations directly from its partner. It wiU never disagree with a decision made by its host unless asked to give its own opinion. It has no opinions about what spells the wizard should study or which ones he or she should cast in a given situation, since it does not itself have any spellcasting talent. It does not understand and cannot read the spells which its wizard learns but instead derives a sense of satisfaction from feeling its wizardĎs emotional response to both learning and casting spells.

The vizierís turban seems to have no fixed ethical sense, changing alignment to match that of its host and adopting his or her point of view. When not with a host, the creature alignment detects as being true neutral. If a vizierís turban changes hosts, it will change its alignment to fit that of its new host, if different.

A vizierís turban exists on the hit points given to it and on the companionship of its chosen wizard. It eagerly engages in philosophical discussions with its host if the wizard initiates the conversation. It has no need to eat or drink but does enjoy being bathed, and it likes to rearrange itself into different styles of turbans when given the chance.

Keenly curious, a vizierĎs turban is always happy to travel with its host to see new places and things. It is very observant, though it reacts to stimuli with a never-ending sense of wonder rather than logically. If it sees a lion charging its wizard, for instance, it does not warn the wizard but rather goggles at the wondrous creature rapidly approaching.

A vizierís turban is least happy when separated from its partner, and mourns if it is taken off and left behind when its wizard goes out. A vizierís turban that is ignored by its wizard becomes depressed, and if not allowed to participate more fully in its wizards life will eventually leave and seek a new partner. If a vizierís turban leaves its wizard, it takes half the hit points it has received away with it. The wizard regains the other hit points but permanently loses those retained by the turban.

Although they can be found almost anywhere, it takes a keen eye and a desire to bond with one to locate a vizierís turban. Even then, its rarity makes it unlikely that a wizard who is not spending every waking hour searching for one will find one. They are virtual masters of disguise since they look like strips of material when unwound and like scarves, turbans, or veils when posing.

This odd creature does not detect as magical but can be found via spells or devices which detect life or alignment. Its sense of humor is such that it is amused by the antics wizards go through to locate it. Indeed, its attempts at disguise and camouflage may be a test to see if a particular wizard is clever enough to find it and therefore worthy to become its partner. When its eyes are closed, it is indistinguishable from any other item of clothing. Favorite hiding places for vizierís turbans are at cloth markets, inside wardrobes, in rag bags, and among caravan trade goods. Since it can change color at will, it can be quite difficult to spot one should it wish to remain hidden.

Ecology: Vizierís turbans have no real effect on their environment other than upon the wizards they bond with. They occupy a unique niche. No one has ever seen a vizierís turban die of natural causes, so it is impossible to estimate how long they live. They might even be immortal.

Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 12:06:33 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition

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