Spawning Shard (5e Equipment)

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Wondrous Item, artifact (Requires Attunement) The only Artifact that might not be unique! Okay, that's not true because someone made the Chaos Emeralds, but still!

Balance Note

Unless the character fails the saves or decides to seek out this set of Artifacts (Or your questline revolves around them) you probably shouldn't introduce more than one to your game. These shards could be anywhere in existence, and like all Artifacts they should be very difficult to gather.

Shards

A Spawning Shard is a fragment of The Spawning Stone, a rock famous for creating the Slaad and quite possibly being Primus' biggest failure (Not that a deity would ever admit they did a bad publicly). These shards were made from Death Slaads (Or whatever kind is the smartest and strongest in your game) being uncharacteristically clever as an extra measure to avoid the real Spawning Stone from ever being found and retrieved. To make the guise convincing, they used their Control Gems (Shards of The Spawning Stone in their own right) as the catalysts for this, killing themselves to do so. It is unknown why they willingly did this, despite the nature of Slaads.

The Shard has 1D20 charges, rolled each dawn by the DM. An Identify spell can reveal the amount of charges the Shard has left, but otherwise the wielder has no way of knowing. Casting Identify on the Shard uses one of its charges.

Abilities

Power Of The Mind. As an action, the wielder can make an Intelligence check to mentally move an object that it can see within 30 feet of it. The DC depends on the object's size: DC 5 for Tiny, 10 for Small, 15 for Medium, 20 for Large, and 25 for Huge or larger. On a success, the creature moves the object up to 5 feet plus 1 foot for every point by which it beat the DC. If the wielder fails the check, they can use 1 charge to move the object 5 feet, or multiple charges at the same time to move it up to 5 feet for every charge expended.

Alteration. As an action, the wielder can make an Intelligence check to alter a nonmagical object that isn't being worn or carried that it can touch. The DC is identical to the above for object size. On a success, the creature changes the object into another nonliving form of the same size, such as turning a boulder into a ball of fire. If the wielder fails the check, they can spend 1 charge to change the object anyway, but has no control over what it turns into unless they spend at least 2.

Order From Chaos. A spherical area 30 feet around the Shard cannot be transmuted in any way, unless the wielder allows it. This includes the planar effects of Limbo. A deity can ignore the Shard's influence and still transmute areas within the sphere.

Stabilize. As an action, the wielder can make an Intelligence check to stabilize a spherical area centered on themselves. The DC depends on the radius of the sphere, with a base DC of 5 for a 10 foot sphere, and each additional 10 feet raising the DC by 5. On a success, the wielder prevents the area from being transmuted in any way (unless they allow it) for 24 hours, or until the wielder uses this ability again. Unlike the Order From Chaos ability, this area doesn't move with the person, but is just as vulnerable to being outdone by deities. If the wielder fails the check, they can use a charge to stabilize the area anyway (with an additional cost of 1 charge for every 10 feet beyond the first).

Slaad Mark. Slaads that aren't Death Slaads (Or with a higher CR than Death Slaads, if that exists in your game) will refuse to attack the wielder, even if the wielder turns hostile to them. They may still attack if ordered to by a Death Slaad (Or a Slaad with a CR higher than Death Slaads). They will want to lead the wielder, by force if required, to other Spawning Shards.

Encroaching Power

Empowering Chaos. There are 8 Spawning Shards. If the wielder attunes to 1, they must make a DC 13 Intelligence saving throw and gain the following flaw, "I must gain the power of these Shards," on a fail. The wielder must make this saving throw again each time they come into contact with another shard, with a DC that is 1 higher for every shard they have, until they fail once or succeed while they wield all 8 shards. Each Shard has a unique power and appearance as detailed below. The wielder only needs to attune to one, and as long as they carry that Shard, they can use any of them that they have as if they were attuned to them. For each shard the wielder has beyond 1, they appear slightly more like a Slaad, in ways that are noticeable but don't affect mechanics, at the DM's discretion.

Shard 1. This shard is red, and its wielder can expend a charge to summon 1 Red Slaad at will, which acts under the wielder's control. The Red Slaad lasts an hour, until it drops to 0 hit points, until it infects a host, or until the wielder dismisses it as an action. The wielder can carry a Slaad egg and hatch it without being harmed, as the Tadpole emerges after carried phasing through the wielder's flesh. A Slaad born this way is always a Red Slaad, is the same alignment as the wielder (Except it is always Chaotic), lasts indefinitely as much as a normal Slaad, and always does whatever the wielder tells it to, unless it goes against it's alignment. A wielder can only birth and control one Slaad this way, including with Shard 2.

Shard 2. This shard is blue, and its wielder can expend a charge to summon 1 Blue Slaad at will, which acts under the wielder's control. The Blue Slaad lasts an hour, until it drops to 0 hit points, until it infects a host, or until the wielder dismisses it as an action. The wielder is immune to Chaos Phage, and can try to infect others with it as part of an unarmed strike, forcing them to make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be infected as entailed in the Blue Slaad's stat block. A Slaad born this way is always a Blue Slaad, is the same alignment as the wielder (Except it is always Chaotic), lasts indefinitely as much as a normal Slaad, and always does whatever the wielder tells it to, unless it goes against it's alignment. A wielder can only birth and control one Slaad this way, including with Shard 1.

Shard 3. This shard is green, and its wielder can expend a charge to summon 1 Green Slaad at will, which acts under the wielder's control. The Green Slaad lasts an hour, until it drops to 0 hit points, or until the wielder dismisses it as an action. The wielder can wield the magic of a Green Slaad's Innate Spellcasting as if the trait was theirs, but only while using the shard as their focus for the spells.

Shard 4. This shard is gray, and its wielder can expend a charge to summon 1 Gray Slaad at will, which acts under the wielder's control. The Gray Slaad lasts a minute, until it drops to 0 hit points, or until the wielder dismisses it as an action. The wielder can wield the magic of a Gray Slaad's Innate Spellcasting as if the trait was theirs, but only while using the shard as their focus for the spells. This Innate Spellcasting overrides that of Shard 3, and does not stack with it.

Shard 5. This shard is black, and its wielder can expend a charge to summon 1 Death Slaad at will, which acts under the wielder's control. The Death Slaad lasts a minute, until it drops to 0 hit points, or until the wielder dismisses it as an action. The wielder can wield the magic of a Death Slaad's Innate Spellcasting as if the trait was theirs, but only while using the shard as their focus for the spells. This Innate Spellcasting overrides that of Shards 3 and 4, and does not stack with them.

Shard 6. This shard is purple, and its wielder can expend a charge to cause themselves to regenerate 10 hit points at the start of each of their turns for 1 minute as long as the wielder has at least 1 hit point.

Shard 7. This shard is orange, and its wielder can expend a charge to gain advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects for 1 minute.

Shard 8. This obsidian shard glimmers a rainbow hue like its surface is covered in oil (Though it's not), and its wielder can use an action to absorb the shard into themselves, along with any others they have. The results depend on the shards they have. If they have Shard 1, they gain the Damage Resistances Slaads have. If they have Shard 2, they can try to inflict creatures with Chaos Phage with their unarmed strike (Or Claws attack if they have it). If they have Shard 3, they can use the Green Slaad's Hurl Flame attack. If they have Shard 4, they can use the Gray Slaad's blindsight and darkvision. If they have Shard 5, they gain the Multiattack, Bite, and Claws abilities of a Death Slaad, as well as a Death Slaad's Innate Spellcasting (Overriding the innate spellcasting of Shards 3-5, and not stacking with them). If they have Shard 6, they regenerate 10 hit points at the start of their turn as long as they have 1 hit point. If they have Shard 7, they have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. If they absorb the shards while they only have Shard 8, 7, or 6, they appear the same. However, if they have any of Shards 1-5 when they absorb the shards, they gain the statistics (Besides those that conflict with the above) of the highest CR Slaad whose Shard the wielder absorbs. Their Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma are unaffected by this, and they keep their alignment, personality, and languages. If the resulting Slaad they turn into can Shapechange, the wielder can as well, but only back to their original form, which ejects all of the shards they absorbed from their body back into their possession. If they absorb the shards while they have all eight, they have the statistics of a Death Slaad and all of the above changes, but are Large size, are exactly 11'3" tall, weigh exactly 1782 pounds (The random detrimental effects of this Artifact can alter this, and it can be changed later by normal means), and have each part of their body a completely random (But nonrepeating) color. All of their claws and spikes are the same color, and are still jet black, just like a Death Slaad's.

Hunted. Primus and his followers are hostile to any creature that wields more than one of the shards, and Primus becomes more and more aware of the wielder's actions as they collect more shards. Primus can be convinced by a wielder to be allowed to use them without being hunted down, at the DM's discretion.
Random Properties. The Spawning Shard has the following random properties:

  • 1 minor beneficial property
  • 1 major beneficial property
  • 1 minor detrimental property
  • 0 major detrimental properties



Destroying the Spawning Shard. If the last charge this item has is expended, roll a D20. On a 1, the Shard becomes an inert and mundane rock, incapable of regaining its magic. If any shard becomes inert while the wielder has absorbed it, the wielder and all the shards they've absorbed explode into a mess of flesh and sinew, disintegrating all the shards they've absorbed in the process. Absorbing the shards while they have all 8 also destroys the shards. If the shards are destroyed this way, the wielder can still use the abilities of the shards, except that they cannot use abilities that have to expend a charge, and can shapeshift back to their original forms without removing the shards (Keeping the statistics of their Slaad form, which is now their true form, and is what they revert to if they die.). The wielder is considered an aberration by spells that detect what type of creature it is, and the wielder can be affected by effects that target humanoids or aberrations. Finally, the wielder learns the location of the real Spawning Stone, if one exists in your game.


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