Al-Qadim (Forgotten Realms)

Vizier’s Turban

2158



Vizier’s Turban
Climate/Terrain:Any land
Frequency:Very rare
Organization:Solitary
Activity Cycle:Any
Diet:Special (see below)
Intelligence:Genius (17-18)
Treasure:Nil
Alignment:Any
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:See below
Movement:3
Hit Dice:See below
THAC0:0
No. of Attacks:0
Damage/Attack:Nil
Special Attacks:Nil
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:See below
Size:S (2-4’ long)
Morale:Elite (13-14)
XP Value:2,000

The vizier’s 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 vizier’s turban far outweighs the sacrifice to the wizard. The vizier’s turban cannot bond with a sha’ir (desert mage specializing in genies).

A vizier’s 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 partner’s attire and can reshape itself somewhat to look more like a scarf or veil for female wizards who prefer such attire to turbans. A vizier’s turban enjoys watching what goes on around it from its vantage point atop its partner’s 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 vizier’s 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 vizier’s 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 vizier’s turban met and bonded with the wizard.

Combat: Vzzier’s turbans make no attacks and cause no damage. For all practical purposes, the vizier’s 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 vizier’s 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 vizier’s 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%. Vizier’s 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 wizard’s spellcasting abilities, as detailed on the following chart:

The maximum benefit a wizard can derive from a vizier’s turban is thus one 1st-, one 2nd-, one 3rd-, one 4th-, and one 5th-level spell per day plus a magic resistance of 25%. Vizier’s 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 vizier’s 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 sha’irs at all and cannot bond with them.

Damage to its host from weapons, whether normal or magical, has no effect on a vizier’s 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 vizier’s turban. Single target spells (such as charm person) and nondamaging area-of-effect spells (such as chaos) have no effect on a vizier’s turban, even if the creature is the primary target of such a spell. If its partner fails the magic resistance roll provided by the vizier’s 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 vizier’s 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 mage’s hit point total). Since the vizier’s 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 vizier’s turban would have been unharmed. Had the mage made his saving throw or his magic resistance check, the vizier’s turban would have been completely unaffected, even if its host had been killed by cumulative damage.

If the vizier’s 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 wizard’s 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 — 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 vizier’s 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 vizier’s turbans were originally just that — 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, vizier’s turbans do not appear to reproduce in any discernible panner, and no mated pairs have ever been found. When two vizier’s 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 vizier‘s turban is considered to have only a single hit point.

Though it recognizes that it is a separate being from its host, a vizier’s 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 wizard‘s emotional response to both learning and casting spells.

The vizier’s 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 vizier’s turban changes hosts, it will change its alignment to fit that of its new host, if different.

A vizier’s 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 vizier‘s 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 vizier’s 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 vizier’s 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 vizier’s 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 vizier’s 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 vizier’s 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: Vizier’s 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 vizier’s turban die of natural causes, so it is impossible to estimate how long they live. They might even be immortal.


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition


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