Wondrous Item, artifact (requires attunement)
Simply touching this red and blue crystal orb fills you with a strange sense of empowerment, as if nothing is beyond your abilities; however, it also has an aura of danger about it. It was created by an ancient sorcerer who sought to test the limits of mortal life, and to exceed them at any cost. Some say this artifact is a prototype, an imperfect version of the sorcerer's true goal; however, there is no evidence to support this theory. If you wish to attune to the orb, you must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw; on a failure, you suffer one level of exhaustion and must wait 1d4 days until you can make another attempt to attune to the orb. The orb has 1 charge, and once the charge is expended it takes 2d4 days to recharge. An attuned creature can use an action to speak the orb's command word and expend the charge to activate it. The orb will deactivate if the command word is spoken again, if the user drops to 0 hit points, or if the user fails a Constitution save (see below).
While activated, the orb grants you the following benefits:
- You are immune to all effects of exhaustion, including death (exhaustion is not removed, however).
- All of your ability scores are increased by 10. An ability score increased in this way can exceed 20 but not 30.
- Your hit points and hit point maximum are not increased. Hit points that would've been gained from the Constitution increase are instead given to you as temporary hit points.
- All of your movement speeds have their base values doubled.
- You gain one additional action, bonus action, and reaction per turn (including the turn the orb is activated).
- You become cloaked in a burning red aura that sheds bright light in a 10 foot radius, and dim light for an additional 10 feet.
This power, however, comes with significant risk:
- At the end of every turn, if the orb is still activated, you gain one level of exhaustion.
- If the orb deactivates while you are at exhaustion level 6, and you have at least 1 hit point, instead of dying you drop to 0 hit points and start making death saving throws, and your exhaustion is reduced to level 5. If the deactivation was involuntary, you start with 1 failure.
- If the orb deactivates as a result of you dropping to 0 hit points, and you are at exhaustion level 6, you die, and your body disintegrates.
- Any effect that would normally reduce exhaustion will instead grant you advantage on your next saving throw against the negative effects of this item.
- After each turn, you must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 8 + (2 * your current exhaustion level). On a failed save, the orb deactivates, and if your exhaustion level is less than 5, it increases by 1.
- If, at the beginning of your turn, you have already been at exhaustion level 6 for three or more turns in a row while under the orb's effects, the DC for the Constitution saving throw increases to 24, and your aura becomes a brilliant blue, shedding bright light in a 30 foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet. On a failed save, in addition to the orb deactivating, your body self-destructs in a violent explosion of energy, killing you and dealing 5d10 force damage to everything in a 60-foot sphere centred on you. Your body is disintegrated.
- You may choose to willingly fail this save. Doing so will increase the damage of the explosion to 10d10 and the radius to 90 feet, and will force all creatures hit to make a DC 20 Constitution save or be pushed 5 feet away and knocked prone.
While the theory of this orb being a prototype of a more powerful artifact is rather unsubstantiated, there is no doubt that the orb itself is imperfect. Whenever you speak the command word, roll a d20. When a 1 is rolled, the orb activates and will not deactivate until the attunement ends, the user drops to 0 hit points, or the orb is destroyed. At the end of every turn, you can attempt to end attunement immediately with a DC 25 Constitution saving throw. On a success, the orb deactivates and attunement ends. Every time you end attunement in this way, the DC for the Constitution saving throw to attune to the orb again increases by 5 for you.
Destroying the Orb of Limits. When you manage to spend 13 turns in a row under the orb's effects at exhaustion level 6, you have truly broken past your limits. All levels of exhaustion are removed from you, the orb deactivates, and you gain a permanent +4 boost to all ability scores (can exceed 20 but not 30), as well as a 15-foot increase to all your natural movement speeds. The orb then disintegrates. Alternatively, if you have spent at least 1 turn under the orb's effects at exhaustion level 6, you can spend an action to turn the orb's energy against itself and destroy it. This also removes all levels of exhaustion from you, but grants no other benefits.