A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Corrupted Magic Items of the Necronomicon: Plague-Born Pouch

Corrupted Magic Items of the Necronomicon: Plague-Born Pouch by Ben Dowell is a role playing game supplement published by Fat Goblin Games through the Epic Level NPC publisher imprint. This is a supplement intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and, as such, is covered by the Open Game License with some material being considered Open Game Content as a result. This supplement covers a single corrupted magic item and uses material from Horror Adventures.

This is a seven page PDF which is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $1.50 but which was purchased at the reduced price of $1. One page is the front cover, one page the front matter and slightly over two pages are the Open Game License.

Corrupted Magic Items of the Necronomicon: Plague-Born PouchThe supplement begins with the plague-born pouch, giving details on constructing it and its effects, which are rather similar to those of a bag of holding, including the potential to create rips to the Astral Plane if it is placed in a portable hole.

There is more to the pouch than that though. Next covered is what happens when a character touches the item, and the must make a saving throw against bubonic plague with the incurable template. Both success and failure have problems. A failed saving throw means that the character is affected as normal, whilst a save still means that they have contracted the disease but suffer no effects for a month. Any creature encountered by the owner must make a save against catching the bubonic plague. The magic item increases in power as more creatures are infected, and the owner starts shifting towards evil and eventually die, with anything but wish or miracle bringing them back as a plague zombie.

Next is how to remove the effects of the corruption, which is difficult.

Finally are Manifestations. These are abilities gained as the pouch becomes more powerful; the owner has more abilities to spread disease but they come with negative consequences and the amount the pouch can store increases.

Corrupted Magic Items of the Necronomicon: Plague-Born Pouch in Review

The PDF has no bookmarks; it’s short enough that it doesn’t need them but they would have been useful. Navigation is okay. The text maintains a two column full colour format and no errors were noticed. There are also hyperlinks to d20PFSRD, which usefully, with an internet connection, link to relevant material. The sole illustration is of the pouch. Presentation is fine.

This is a truly nasty item. Simply coming into contact with it has a good chance of taking out a character. If they fail a save, they get the bubonic plague (which is probably not incurable, but this isn’t made clear) – and this is the best result. Should a character be fully affected, they will need to make constant saving throws every month in order to stop the corruption spreading. Eventually, they are going to die, and, barring access to really powerful magic, there is no way of stopping this progression and eventually falling under the GM’s control.

A bigger problem is that some of the language is unclear, from the point of view of the rules. Is the disease that affects players on a failed saving throw normal or incurable? What are the precise effects of failing the saving throws when failing to spread the disease, or ones made when encountering others? Do these definitely advance the corruption stage or not? These could have been better worded.

This is definitely not a magic item that is going to be suitable for every campaign; it is one that has more of the type of effects seen in a Call of Cthulhu game than Pathfinder – in this it succeeds in creating a dangerous item that really has no true benefits for its owner. For a more typical Pathfinder campaign, a player whose character touches this pouch is probably going to be pretty unhappy. Corrupted Magic Items of the Necronomicon: Plague-Born Pouch is a dangerous, and somewhat flawed, item that can be found by clicking here.

 

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