Adaption (5e Equipment)
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Wondrous item, artifact (requires attunement)
This mask in the shape of a cold and beautiful face of a drow priestess functions similar to a helm of telepathy, except being in the shape of a mask instead of helm.
Cursed, Sentient Item. The soul of an evil drow priestess, a ruthless supremacist utterly believing in the supremacy of drows and Lolth, resides in this mask. She subtly tries to take control of her host as soon as she reawakens from her sleep. Insidiously, she tries to erode your self confidence as well as your sense of self, weakening you, so she can take over your body. The effects of the curse begin at the first stage and numerically progress to the third stage. Adaption is a sentient, chaotic evil item with an Intelligence of 13, a Wisdom of 17 and a Charisma of 18. She has hearing and darkvision out to a range of 120. She can communicate telepathicaly with her wielder, regardless of language and can speak, read, and understand Elvish and Undercommon.
Personality. The drow priestess is patient, waiting for the right moment to strike. She does not reveal herself (unless in immediate danger) until the second stage, where she will demonstrate her caustic personality, insulting her wielder for every flaw she can find. A ruthless sadist and perfectionist, she will dishonestly take any position that does not insult Lolth or drow and conflicts with the wielder's worldview. She never argues in good faith with a non drow, using pedantic loopholes and overblown rhetoric to win her arguments. She is utterly devoted to Lolth's faith. Come the third stage, she will try to separate her wielder from the group, preferably after handing them over to other drow.
First stage. If you are not a priestess of Lolth and, while being attuned to the mask, attempt to read the thoughts of a drow, the priestess wakes and the curse of the mask activates: it floods the bearers mind with terrifying visions of all the ways their species and faith are supposedly inferior to drow and their religion. These visions are framed as the basic truths and facts the particular drow has. You must succeed on a DC 15 Charisma saving throw. On a success, nothing happens and the saving throw is repeated the next time you read the thoughts of a drow. On a failure, you are, on a subconscious level, convinced of your inferiority compared to drow. You are considered charmed by all drow. This behavior may not be obvious immediately, depending on your personality and circumstances. The curse enters the second stage.
Second stage. The mask continues to influence you, showing you vision of the glory of the drow in your dreams. It promises that you will become one of them, if you serve her faithfully. You are now unwilling to part with the mask. However, the control is not perfect: If a creature manages to convince you that the mask lies, the curse ends, but the mask is whisked away by an unknown force, possibly Lolth. This happens as soon as the mask is unattended for at least one minute. After a week without finding a cure, you repeat the saving throw. On a success, you realize what is going on. Your attunement to the mask ends, as it crumbles to dust and its curse, along with all the previous effects, ends. The spirit of the priestess dies and can only be brought back by a wish or similar magic. On a failure, your alignment changes to chaotic evil as you plan to betray your friends and family to Lolth at the next possible opportunity, planning to come into the good graces of the drow goddess. The curse enters the third stage.
Third stage. After a month of staying attuned to the mask in this state of the curse, you transform into the drow priestess of Lolth, as she takes control of your body and soul, while your consciousness is subdued. In the span of a night, your physical appearance changes to that of a female drow, but your body retains your racial feature and does not gain the racial features of a drow. You lose control of your character until the curse is cured. A remove curse can remove all the effects of the curse, except the physical transformation, for which a greater restoration is needed.
Destroying Adaption. On the one hand, adaption may be destroyed by succeeding on the second saving throw. However, if a character manages to find out about the drow priestess before that, they can try to redeem her. If the priestess renounces Lolth. She is released from the mask and the mask crumbles to dust and is carried away by the wind, forever destroyed.
Optional rule: Prisoner of the Mask
At the third stage, instead of being subdued, your mind becomes trapped in the mask, which changes to the shape of your face. The other effects of the curse end for you. You become a sentient helm of telepathy, retaining your Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom scores, as well as your languages. If another humanoid attunes to you, you can choose to overtake them in the same manner as the priestess did, but instead of a drow, you activate when the thoughts of a member of your species are read. Doing so is an evil act. After taking control of another body, you reacquire your Strength, Dexterity and Constitution score, as it slowly transform into your old body. On the other hand, you can reveal your presence from the start and try to coexist with your bearer instead of trying to control them. If placed on the face of your original body, you reclaim it within one minute, returning to normal and ending all the effects. You can not be restored by other means, except a by wish spell.