View Full Version : Dual Identity Magic Item

07-09-2011, 10:55 PM
Dual Identity Magic Item

I have the idea for a magic item or magic weapon that some may think is cursed, and others might find a boon.

The idea is there is a secondary trigger/effect to a magic item or magic weapon. Say when the weapon rolls a critical hit, or the item uses a certain number of charges. At that moment the player using the item activates a secondary effect that causes them to switches places with another personality trapped inside the item/weapon. The other personality that is released could be an NPC, creature, or a 2nd PC the player gets to create and run.

So the gist of the idea is that at random moments the two personalities can possibly switch places in the middle of combat, a skill challenge, or role-playing encounter.

Eventually the magic item or magic weapon would lead to it's own adventure where the curse has to be broken to free the two personalities.

Has anyone come across a GM who has used this idea in a game? Or have you been a player who got caught in such a predicament? And if you have how did it turn out ingame?

Please let me know.

07-12-2011, 07:13 AM
I've never seen such a thing in action, though it has some appeal. A couple comments I have about it though...

When the change happens, is it obvious to the rest of the group? Clearly the person who switch places has some idea what happened, but if its just a mental/personality change the rest of the party would be clueless. I would think that teleporting their physical bodies would remedy that problem, since that change would be obvious to all.

What happens to the character that goes into the weapon, is it like a prison or some other plane of existence? The concern I'd have is that the player should still be able to do something after the change, and having a split party isn't always easy to manage. I'd think the best course would be to have character in the weapon in some kind of stasis, while the player has a second character that's released.

07-16-2011, 01:09 AM
mirror of life trapping has a similar effect, though quite different visually and mechanically.

I have a character that uses a power from an obscure source to possess edged weapons... use mind switch and you have the exact effect you describe, though again, mechanically different. here is the source (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/wn/20030618a).... now make it a changeling or doppleganger psion with high ranks in bluff and disguise.... ^^ make for a nice villain. or make them a chameleon to be able to pass themselves off as almost anything.

i suppose you could repurpose the power and have it use that power as the basis, but make it cursed and it traps the person who wields it, then it would switch persons as if magic jar if there is already a personality in it. or just use the magic jar spell as your basis for the curse. an intelligent weapon would be interesting, if that was it's special power... the weapon possesses the wielder.

07-20-2011, 06:26 AM
I have a GM that was overly fond of taint. We had a case of a raise dead that gotten "infected" with another soul. No, i don't think it worked well. I was not the affected player.

07-20-2011, 12:45 PM
I have seen it used - and actually REALLY dislike the idea.

When I roll up a character, I establish a backstory and reasons for this character to be out adventuring. I create TIM - THE SORCERER. Now, just for picking up a device and trying to use it, I am now forced to play IBIGORE ZBINSKI??! It's like playing soccer and advancing the ball to midfield - and being handed a pair of dice and find yourself playing Monopoly.

If it's something that can be resolved in THAT SESSION, then it's one thing - but something that stretches over several sessions, in my opinion, is not something I would find acceptable at all.

07-21-2011, 01:27 PM
I have to agree with Malruhn, its not fair to the player. Even if it were 2 PC's the player liked, now you are dividing the party in terms of experience, treasure, etc and introducing situations where you just cannot trust the fundamental party composition to be the same... meaning planning is pretty much f-ed up. As a one shot, it may be fun... but not for many players (i certainly would hate it if it was not done tactfully). I'd say forgo somethign like this for the vast majority of groups unless you really think you have a party powerful enough, clever enough, and mature enough to handle the chaos.

07-21-2011, 06:22 PM
After thinking about this some more, the closest to a situation like this that I would get were to be to have the player take on some different personality traits (like Rogue in X-Men, who took on some of the personality traits of those she "absorbed"). Tell the player to speak in a pirate voice... or get more martial... or sneaky... anything that is out of character for them. Imagine "Sam the Heathen" suddenly scream out that he hoped that everyone in the bar is blessed by Timmy the Chaste!!

Again, I still wouldn't do it for very long - and I'd do it like a personality conflict with a magical item, but NEVER a quasi-permanent thing (pending removal via remove curse/whatever).

BUT - this is just my opinion.

07-22-2011, 09:39 AM
Here is how I thought the dual identity magic item would work in and out of game.

Out of game I asked the whole group/party if they would have a problem with a dual identity magic item, which would cause one of the PCs in the party to unleash a second PC personality. I told the group the second personality would appear somewhat randomly when the PC with the item either rolled a critical hit, used a random number of charges or uses of the magic item known only to me.

The party agreed this would be an interesting item and foundation for a good adventure.

Part of the idea of the item is to take the party to a far flung exotic corner of Golarion and to one of the less known and used countries/kingdoms.

I next asked each player IN PRIVATE if they would be interested in being the PC who found the dual identity magic item, which would cause them to unleash a second PC personality. I gave the group 5 days to think about it. Then I said whoever got back to me first on day 6, or whoever came up with the best second PC idea, would be the PC to find the item and WORK WITH ME in crafting the second PC personality as well as part of the adventure.

Currently I am working with the PC who got back to me first about the item. We are working together to come up with where the PC is from on Golarion. Why the second PC is imprisoned in the magic item. Who imprisoned the PC in the magic item, but not how to break the imprisonment.

We have agreed the second PC must fit the personality of the party and not be completely opposite the other PCs. The goal is not to wreck havoc and destroy the party, which could be another way to go with the dual identity magic item in someone else's campaign. The idea is to create an interesting second personality and adventure for the party with the possibility of a bit of chaos around each corner.

As GM I will be coming up with how the magic imprisonment in broken and the second PC freed, as well as the lair and stat block for the villain behind the imprisonment.

The dual identity magic item will be found in the middle of the next adventure and will carry through that adventure and into the adventure about the second PC and the magic item.

The player and myself are discussing what would happen if their current PC or the second PC were to be killed. The thought was if one of the two were reduced to 0 hit points, or took massive damage, that would be one of the triggers for the two PCs to switch places.

---------- Post added at 10:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:35 AM ----------

The two PCs are different physical beings. There is no personality change, though that is one way to handle the idea.

I was going with the two PCs physically switch places. The second PC comes out of their suspended stasis within the magic item, with the first PC no going into stasis.

That's not to say the second location could not also be a physical location on Glorarion, or on another plane. Also, good hooks for the second PC and the adventure.

08-27-2011, 05:32 PM
Don't think that this is quite what you meant, but I had a magical sword that I invented that would get better with a good attack and worse with a bad/failed attack. If the user succeeded in the strike, it added +1 to it's attacks and if it missed it added -1 each time. So it was blessed and cursed equally, depending on it's success in battle. As it got worse, it also appeared worse (worn, rusted), and as it got better it cleaned up, shined more....

08-29-2011, 11:25 PM
well, if the item is the one with both personalities, and the party had an idea as to what triggers the changes between personalities, it might be workable. amusing to have a claustrophobic weapon in a dungeon, or one afraid of rats or slimes.... should probably be played as a voice-only cohort or npc or something. unless one of the players is feeling inspired.