5E Princess Langwidere Inspired Character

MechaPilot

Explorer
I normally DM, but I may get the opportunity to play in an upcoming game. I had an idea for a character inspired by Princess Langwidere from the Wizard of Oz.

Princess Langwidere was originally the character who had interchangeable heads(video for reference); the characters of Princess Langwidere and the witch Mombi were merged in the film return to Oz.

[video=youtube;QBfmR4rEeHU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBfmR4rEeHU[/video]

I'm trying to conceive of a way to have a character with interchangeable heads, like Langwidere. I am considering a ritual to keep the heads alive and that allows them to be changed: a ritual involving fitting the necks with a collar that can lock into place on a collar on the neck of the character's headless body.

Naturally, my primary concerns are
1) What costs (in time & materials) should the ritual have?
2) Should the character have short-range blindsight to allow her to function in a limited capacity without a head in place?
3) Should there be any benefits to switching heads, apart from simply changing her appearance?
4) Should there be any penalties, beyond having one's senses of hearing, vision, and smell located in a removable head (and presumably losing access to those senses when not wearing a head)?

Any comments, concerns, or constructive criticisms are welcome.
 

Lanliss

Explorer
1) There should be a flexible cost-per-head, dependent on what you want out of it. For example, if you wanted a head with Darkvision attached, You would look at the Goggles of Night. For one with immunity or resistance to creatures prying into its mind, look at the Amulet of Mind Shielding (or was it a ring? I forget). As for time, I would say at least 3-4 long rests (Assuming they are a week long) spent with the head. Perhaps you might also want to talk with your DM about heads you had in the past that were taken for some reason, so you can have more than one way to build your collection.

2) No, IMO. That would completely invalidate the fun of losing your heads. I would keep the senses centered on your head though.

3) If you want minor benefits, Skills. Different heads have different proficiency. Puts a whole new meaning in "Putting on your thinking cap". I might even go as far as to have each head have a different minor feat, though that may be stretching it a bit, depending on the relative power level of other players.

4) Different agendas, so putting on a new head in the middle of a quest could cause all sorts of friction with your party, as it wanted to go North, not East. Possibility of something possessing one of your heads without you knowing, so putting it on results in a betrayer in the party. Possibility of your heads being stolen, so you have to try and get them back. Increased susceptibility to mind based effects, if your heads are near you at the time of something like a Mind Blast. I would probably keep track off psychic damage dealt to each individual head, that way when you put it on you take that amount of damage.

Altogether, sounds interesting and fun. Maybe work on your Multiple Personality behavior, or keep a notepad with bullet lists of each heads agenda, to help keep them separate and add a bit of extra fun to the idea.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
1) There should be a flexible cost-per-head, dependent on what you want out of it. For example, if you wanted a head with Darkvision attached, You would look at the Goggles of Night. For one with immunity or resistance to creatures prying into its mind, look at the Amulet of Mind Shielding (or was it a ring? I forget). As for time, I would say at least 3-4 long rests (Assuming they are a week long) spent with the head. Perhaps you might also want to talk with your DM about heads you had in the past that were taken for some reason, so you can have more than one way to build your collection.

2) No, IMO. That would completely invalidate the fun of losing your heads. I would keep the senses centered on your head though.

3) If you want minor benefits, Skills. Different heads have different proficiency. Puts a whole new meaning in "Putting on your thinking cap". I might even go as far as to have each head have a different minor feat, though that may be stretching it a bit, depending on the relative power level of other players.

4) Different agendas, so putting on a new head in the middle of a quest could cause all sorts of friction with your party, as it wanted to go North, not East. Possibility of something possessing one of your heads without you knowing, so putting it on results in a betrayer in the party. Possibility of your heads being stolen, so you have to try and get them back. Increased susceptibility to mind based effects, if your heads are near you at the time of something like a Mind Blast. I would probably keep track off psychic damage dealt to each individual head, that way when you put it on you take that amount of damage.

Altogether, sounds interesting and fun. Maybe work on your Multiple Personality behavior, or keep a notepad with bullet lists of each heads agenda, to help keep them separate and add a bit of extra fun to the idea.
I like those suggestions (especially the heads granting a proficiency, and the different personalities/agendas per head), but I'm concerned about the heads coming off too frequently. What kinds of things do you think should result in a head coming off, or having a chance of coming off (and what should the chance be if there is a chance)?
 

Lanliss

Explorer
I like those suggestions (especially the heads granting a proficiency, and the different personalities/agendas per head), but I'm concerned about the heads coming off too frequently. What kinds of things do you think should result in a head coming off, or having a chance of coming off (and what should the chance be if there is a chance)?
Without anything holding them on, I would say they could come off on a Crit against you, or if you crit fail. In many situations this would be irrelevant, but some interesting terrain could screw you over. Fighting uphill, and roll a 1 on an attack, suddenly your head is rolling away. In normal terrain, where your head sticks around wherever it landed, I would maybe give a disadvatange to dexterity saves, but would only consider you blind if you are fighting in tall grass.

As for chances of them coming off, I would make it the damage dealt by the crit. A measly 8 damage? you roll a percentile, and the head comes off on an 8 or lower. 20-30 damage? much more likely to lose your head. For a critical fail on your part, I would roll the percentile dice. If the first roll is more than 50, you are safe. However, if the first roll is under 50, you roll again. Rolling under your first roll results in losing your head. For example, lets say you rolled 35 on your first roll. Now your second must be 36 or higher to keep your head.

You could invest in harnesses though, with the most basic being a hat with strings hanging off of it, and some spots on your shoulder to tie it to. I would allow such a hat to hold your head on during a Crit fail, but a crit would still lop of your head. Maybe have an upgrade to a metal version with a helmet and chains, which gives you resistance to the damage triggering the percentile roll (only for the purposes of the percentile roll), so something like a 20 turns into a 10. Lastly, you can have a fancy collar for your heads, which twists into place to better hold your head on, which I would consider to remove all risk of your head accidentally falling off. Of course, an enemy who knows your secret might still grapple you and specifically untwist your head.
 

Redthistle

Explorer
What a delightful character concept!

Warforged?

The 13th Age version of the warforged is the gearforged. Unlike a warforged, the gearforged are entirely metallic. All their knowledge is encoded on metallic ribbons that spool within them. The ribbons can be switched out, thereby fully or partially changing the memory, skills, and even the whole identity of the character.

Adapting something along the line of those concepts to a magical/organic creature should be doable, switching heads instead of ribbons.

Some of your character's sentience will need to be inherent to the body, with some way of sensing the location of any of its detached heads.

A memory just came to mind ... did you ever read the Dr. Seuss book, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins? Using some of the ideas @Lanliss proposed above for losing a head, what if every time your PC lost one, another one just popped up in its place? Your initial rolls would be at disadvantage, as you tried to get your bearings in that "WTF?" round.

A specialized Bag of Holding or Handy Haversack could be used to store the heads that came off. (Bag of Beheading? Heady Haversack?)

With leveling up could come an increased level of control over which head returned to prominence.
 
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Redthistle

Explorer
Btw, thanks for the reminder of Return to Oz, with that performance by a young Fairuza Balk.

If you haven't heard it, several years ago, with the band Armed Love Militia, she wrote and recorded a song called Stormwinds. It's well worth a listen.
 

Cyrinishad

Visitor
Wow! A thread that includes Princess Langwidere AND Bartholomew Cubbins! +1 to everyone involved for excellent literary references!B-)

For whatever reason this thread concept for a Warforged immediately made me think of the Quintesson Judge from Transformers...
Here are pictures for your reference:


 
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