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New Magic Item -- The Hammer of Concussion

by Bruce Heard

This magical weapon, which in truth may be any blunt weapon besides a hammer, normally is provided to a hero by a clerical order or the herald of an immortal to accomplish a mission. The Hammer of Concussion is a tool to help defeat all manners of possessions*. In short it is a warrior's weapon to perform exorcisms.

Like bad "Klingon Opera", this weapon's magical manifestation is vastly overstated -- not the sort of magical item one might want to use discretely. When it isn't used, the item appears as a normal weapon. In fact, it acts as a +1 magical weapon, +3 vs. evil when held by a good-aligned character (read "lawful" for OD&D). Its true powers need to be summoned, which takes a full round. The warrior raises the weapon and calls upon the holy name of its divine maker. A golden aura then surrounds the weapon, acting as a 15' radius light spell and protection vs. evil. Illusory devas** appear above head, singing religious psalms for as long as the weapon is used (replace devas by "archons" for OD&D game), which acts as a bless spell.

When its powers are summoned, the weapon has the ability to strike directly at the spirit/entity inhabiting a host, without harming the host itself. When the host is properly restrained, attacks automatically succeed, else the attacker must succeed an attack roll against either the host or the spirit/entity, whichever is toughest. Each time a hit is scored, one of the weapon's magical charges is spent and an ear-splitting thunder rocks the neighbourhood. The weapon comes with 3-18 charges (roll 4d6 and discard the lowest score). The spirit/entity is then knocked out of its host.

The success of the attack determines the spirit/entity's initiative score on the following round. If rolling d6's for initiative, subtract the required hit score from the character's attack roll and add +1. The resulting number is the spirit's initiative score on the next round. If rolling d10's, multiply the result by three (etc).

On the next round, all other characters involved in the battle may direct one attack at the spirit/entity provided their initiative scores are good enough. If the spirit isn't destroyed, it makes its own attacks (if any) and returns to its host afterward. The shock of its return causes the host to temporarily lose a point of CON. At zero, the host dies. If the spirit is destroyed before the weapon runs out of charges, then the host is free and its true soul is returned to its body.


(*) For example, it can be used to force demonic spirits out of a host's body, or to undo the effects of a magic jar, or again, to force a dryad out of its host tree.

(**) The devas/archons act in a rather Monty-Pythonesque way while the action takes place below. They chat amongst each other with an English accent, quipping about what is going on below, taking bets, commenting about each other's appearances, making nonsensical jokes, etc.