New Magic Item: Greedy Grimoire

Caliban

Rules Monkey
New item I'm thinking of handing out in a session or two, but I don't quite have the specifics nailed down yet. This is what I have so far:

Greedy Grimoire (Wondrous Item, Very Rare, Requires Attunement by a spellcaster that uses a spell book)

This rugged spellbook has a covers and a spine made of thick leather. The contours of of the leather are reminiscent of a face, with the mouth being the edges of the book, and all the pages being inside the mouth. (A series of interlocking metal clasps around the edges of the book are fashioned to resemble teeth.)

The book is AC 20, has 50 HP, and is resistant to all damage except Fire.

This book is sentient, with an Int of 8 + the highest level spell currently in the book. It's goal is the acquisition of more spellbooks, spell scrolls, and spell ink.

When found it will only have 1d6 first level spells in it, as it consumes all the other spells it contains when it is not attuned to anyone.

You can place scrolls within the book and they will immediately become new pages. If you are attuned to the book, you can prepare spells from the scrolls without using up the scroll. You can also cast any scroll-spell from the book, erasing them from the scroll as you do so. (The book will grumble and growl as you do this, and may resist using up a particularly high level spell scroll.)

You can also feed the book another wizards spell book, and it will add any new spells to itself, without you needing to spend the normal scribing costs. The rest of the spells (and the spell book) are gone forever, devoured by the Grimoire.

The Grimoire needs to be fed at least one first level spell per week (or 50 gp of spell scribing ink and paper) or it will start devouring it's own spells to feed it's hunger. If fed the minimum amount it will still be hungry and go looking for sustenance whenever the owner puts it down. The Grimoire has limited mobility, with a speed of 10. It will rifle through it's owners belongings and eat parchment, maps, books, spell ink, spell components, spell scrolls, or any spell books it can find.

You can use the spellbook as an Arcane Focus. Doing so will give a bonus to spell attack rolls and spell DC's equal to 1/3rd the highest level spell in the book.


You think this is something a wizard would consider worth an attunement slot?
 
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Caliban

Rules Monkey
I'm trying to decide if it would be better to remove the sentience, Spell DC bonuses, and attunement and leave it mainly as a magical spell book that you can put spell scrolls into, or if it's more interesting as a sentient spellbook that can help you cast spells (but will try to eat loose scrolls or other papers).
 

Redthistle

Explorer
Supporter
What a delightful concept!

The drawbacks might make a wizard hesitate, though.

Perhaps it could be reworked as some kind of possession or curse. By some game mechanic, perhaps the Greedy Grimoire could take possession of the wizard's own current spellbook?

Whatever direction you take with this, I see it as a wonderful exercise in creativity.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
What a delightful concept!

The drawbacks might make a wizard hesitate, though.

Perhaps it could be reworked as some kind of possession or curse. By some game mechanic, perhaps the Greedy Grimoire could take possession of the wizard's own current spellbook?

Whatever direction you take with this, I see it as a wonderful exercise in creativity.

Well, it could eat their spellbook and then have all their spells in it. They wouldn't be able to prepare them until they attuned to it (in the current version). :p
 

Redthistle

Explorer
Supporter
I'm trying to decide if it would be better to remove the sentience, Spell DC bonuses, and attunement and leave it mainly as a magical spell book that you can put spell scrolls into, or if it's more interesting as a sentient spellbook that can help you cast spells (but will try to eat loose scrolls or other papers).

Do both. Most copies would be the simpler versions that wizards may have heard of, and wizards look for a variety of the books as they are likely to contain different sets of spells, perhaps sorted by school tradition.

The Greedy Grimoire is a spirit that took possession of one of these simpler versions. You could whet the appetite of a PC wizard by letting them come across a few of the "kinder, gentler" spell books, then slip this one into the mix.

Perhaps a set of the books could be found on a shelf in a wizard's tower, akin to old sets of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Say you call it the Encyclopaedia Arcana, with volumes dedicated to Abjuration, Conjuration, etc. The Greedy Grimoire has been slowly eating its way through the abandoned collection.

The PC would likely look for the tome associated with his/her own specialization - make "G-G' the one just next to it.
 


Caliban

Rules Monkey
I think I'll have its Intelligence equal to highest level of spell in the book x2. So when it's found with only 1st level spells it has an animal intelligence and is non-verbal, but slowly become more intelligent and civilized as they add higher level spells.

In my campaign world there is a city run by wizard Alchemists that specialize in transforming elements, objects, and living creatures. They are known for high-end potions and rather bizarre magic items created from living creatures. I think the Greedy Grimoire will be prototype or failed version of a high-end spell book they create.

The PC's will find the book literally chained down (the group that currently has it doesn't have any wizards among their number, but hey, treasure is treasure), but upon smelling the wizards spell book it'll wake up and try to break free. I'll try to arrange to have it eat the spellbook before the wizard realizes what's up.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
I gave out the Greedy Grimoire in today's session. I was in the mood for something weird, so they ended up in the domain of a crazy beholder named Rupert that worshiped an entity from the Far Realms that it called "Mzpacman", believing her to be the perfect form for a beholder. A perfect yellow sphere, with a large mouth and eye, the ten eye talks tastefully concealed by her red bow.

Rupert created a stone maze patterned after the Pac-Man video game, complete with an yellow undead zombie beholder. (No eye rays - instead it has extra movement, an Engulf attack as it moves over you, and it's central eye gives you disadvantage on Dex saves. Plus it's bite attack.) The maze has yellow spore pods every 10 feet that the zombie beholder harvests by "eating" them as it moves through the maze. The spore pods are Rupert's favorite snack.

At some point in the past, a party of 4 adventurer's stumbled into his domain and he killed them and entombed them in the center of the maze. Unfortunately, the arose as malevolent flaming skull spirits that hunted his undead beholder as it harvested, but he found a solution for that - He found a mutated version of the spore pods that could power up the undead beholder, making it immune to the attacks of the ghosts and allow it to catch and eat them.

The PC's stumbled into this maze and managed to defeat all 4 ghosts and the yellow zombie beholder, laying the ghosts spirits to rest by promising to take their remains back to civilization and giving them a proper burial. On of the ghosts had had a "Living Spellbook" when he was alive, but they had been entombed so long that the spellbook had gone feral. While they were looting the bodies, it was able to make a suprise attack and eat the wizard's spellbook (he kept it chained to his waist). Now he has the Greedy Grimoire, but he has to tame it (and attune it) before he can access his spells.

Next session they will have to deal with Rupert himself.
 

Redthistle

Explorer
Supporter
I gave out the Greedy Grimoire in today's session. I was in the mood for something weird, so they ended up in the domain of a crazy beholder named Rupert that worshiped an entity from the Far Realms that it called "Mzpacman", believing her to be the perfect form for a beholder. A perfect yellow sphere, with a large mouth and eye, the ten eye talks tastefully concealed by her red bow.

Rupert created a stone maze patterned after the Pac-Man video game, complete with an yellow undead zombie beholder. (No eye rays - instead it has extra movement, an Engulf attack as it moves over you, and it's central eye gives you disadvantage on Dex saves. Plus it's bite attack.) The maze has yellow spore pods every 10 feet that the zombie beholder harvests by "eating" them as it moves through the maze. The spore pods are Rupert's favorite snack.

At some point in the past, a party of 4 adventurer's stumbled into his domain and he killed them and entombed them in the center of the maze. Unfortunately, the arose as malevolent flaming skull spirits that hunted his undead beholder as it harvested, but he found a solution for that - He found a mutated version of the spore pods that could power up the undead beholder, making it immune to the attacks of the ghosts and allow it to catch and eat them.

The PC's stumbled into this maze and managed to defeat all 4 ghosts and the yellow zombie beholder, laying the ghosts spirits to rest by promising to take their remains back to civilization and giving them a proper burial. On of the ghosts had had a "Living Spellbook" when he was alive, but they had been entombed so long that the spellbook had gone feral. While they were looting the bodies, it was able to make a suprise attack and eat the wizard's spellbook (he kept it chained to his waist). Now he has the Greedy Grimoire, but he has to tame it (and attune it) before he can access his spells.

Next session they will have to deal with Rupert himself.

What a wonderful transformation. I think Gygax himself would be proud of you for this adventure idea.
 

QuietBrowser

First Post
I'm sorry for not speaking up about this sooner, but I actually quite like this. It reminds me of some of the spellbooks I read about and watched when I was younger, the kind that are full of so much magic they're virtually living things. In fact, I've been contemplating my own interpretation for a while but just haven't been able to work out. In fact, I might start my own thread for it...
 

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