The Crown of Blackmoor

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The Crown of Blackmoor

Postby Yaztromo » Mon May 08, 2017 2:15 am

I just found out this in Greyhawk Adventures by James M. Ward and I found it very surprising:
Crown of Blackmoor: This black, iron headpiece bears a large fire opal at the front. It was created by a powerful lich who used it to spread evil and destruction through the world, and now only the most wicked (or foolish) characters seek, its powers.
When the crown is placed on the head of a deceased evil character who had reached at least 18th level as magicuser, it animates the character as a lich. A system shock survival check is necessary, modified by - 1% per 5 years after the wizard’s death, or the wizard’s body disintegrates to dust can never be brought back to life again. The lich’s intelligence score starts at 0, but increases by one per day until supra-genius intelligence is reached. At that time the lich gains the full powers and abilities of its kind.
The character placing the crown has no control over the lich, so a reaction check is necessary, with the following cumulative modifiers:


A deceased PC who is brought back as a lich becomes an NPC under the Dungeon Master’s control. The lich may have been a friend and companion to the player characters, but will tend to leave their company to pursue its own path.
X.P. value: -- x.p. G.P. value: 80,000 g.p.

What do you think of this?
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Re: The Crown of Blackmoor

Postby Big Mac » Mon May 08, 2017 12:18 pm

Nice find Yaztromo.

I wonder if this is mentioned elsewhere in Greyhawk canon (or Blackmoor canon). If it is perhaps there might be a way to infer how this might work. :?

I wonder if the name of the crown is supposed to be a suggestion that any lich created by it has a desire to go to Blackmoor (or to do something connected to Blackmoor).

Normally a lich would have a phylactery, but this crown appears to bypass the need for one. So I wonder if the crown functions as a phylactery. And I wonder how the lich would be destroyed. Would taking the crown away be enough, or would the crown convert an item on the lich's person into a phylactery.

(I'm guessing that taking the crown away before the end of the transformation into supra-genius intelligence might be a way to destroy the lich before they are created. I'm also guessing that it would be possible for this crown to create more than one lich over time - although it could be possible that it can only create one lich at once. That's probably the GMs call as you could theoretically churn out dozens of liches with this thing and have them team up. :? )

There is an archlich in a Spelljammer product, called SJR1 Lost Ships who comes from Blackmoor. So it's possible that she might be old enough to know something about the original lich who created the crown.
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Re: The Crown of Blackmoor

Postby Havard » Mon May 08, 2017 1:12 pm

Great find!

Two things stand out. We need a Lich to connect this to, and someone likely to wear a crown, such as royalty or nobility perhaps? Although I suppose the Lich would not necessarily have to be the one who actually wore the crown?

One possible candidate could be Queen Margaine, that we talked about here at The Piazza, although no sources confirm that she became a Lich.

Another possibility is the Lich who mind controls a character from the NPC section of DA1 (Philo). Very little is known about this Lich Lord serving the Egg of Coot, although there is some speculation was done at the Comeback Inn.

Heck, it might even be possible that Queen Margaine is tied both to the Crown and the DA1 NPC mentioned above.


Big Mac wrote:I wonder if the name of the crown is supposed to be a suggestion that any lich created by it has a desire to go to Blackmoor (or to do something connected to Blackmoor).


Interesting. I assumed it would be a ruler from the region, but you are right that this does not need to be the case.

Normally a lich would have a phylactery, but this crown appears to bypass the need for one. So I wonder if the crown functions as a phylactery. And I wonder how the lich would be destroyed. Would taking the crown away be enough, or would the crown convert an item on the lich's person into a phylactery.


I don't think BECMI Liches need phylacteries, so it is hard to say whether Blackmoor Liches need them, but this is definitely a possibility.


There is an archlich in a Spelljammer product, called SJR1 Lost Ships who comes from Blackmoor. So it's possible that she might be old enough to know something about the original lich who created the crown.


Yes, we have a thread about Sharangar and her connection to Blackmoor here. She is a very different type of Lich, but I suspect she would know many things about Blackmoor and its artifacts and magical creatures.

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Re: The Crown of Blackmoor

Postby Yaztromo » Mon May 08, 2017 2:31 pm

Quite a lot of possible connections... this object could well be the centre of a campaign...
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Re: The Crown of Blackmoor

Postby ripvanwormer » Mon May 08, 2017 2:51 pm

There's another thread on this over here at the Comeback Inn.

I'll repeat here some of what I said there:

The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer revealed that the Crown of Blackmoor was created by the lich-lord Ranial the Gaunt (probably named for the Ran of Ah Fooh), who used the Crown in an attempt to wield Blackmoor's Oerthmagic against the armies of the Great Kingdom. It's not clear if the Crown had additional Oerthmagic-related powers or if it just uses Oerthmagic to transform its wearer into a lich.

There's some more background in Oerth Journal #5 (by the same author who later put him in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer). Ranial was a ruler of Dantredun whose family had been a noble house of Tenh. They had settled there in -176 CY, and Ranial led his rebellion a little more than 150 years later. Ranial was defeated at the Battle of Toadwash in approximately -20 CY, when he sank into the marsh. The Crown was rediscovered about 300 years later by Engren Erris, who transformed into a lich and ruled Blackmoor for three decades from his base in the town of Glendour until he was finally defeated by Archbaroness Morgaiste.
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Re: The Crown of Blackmoor

Postby Yaztromo » Mon May 08, 2017 3:41 pm

More pieces of the puzzle... thanks!
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Re: The Crown of Blackmoor

Postby Yaztromo » Mon May 08, 2017 4:40 pm

By the way, in Greyhawk Adventures there is this other magic object associated with Blackmoor and, although it does look slightly less impressive than the Crown of Blackmoor, it contains some kind of historical footnote that may be of some interest:
Paints of Blackmoor: This set of multicolored paints was enchanted when the city of Blackmoor was in full power.
After the city and castle fell into ruin, the magic-user used the paints to insure his own survival in the hostile land.
Each set has five applications of each color. Each color comes in a tiny jar held in a box of holding (as the smallest bag of holding). The paint is applied all over the body of the user and lasts for 24 hours. During this time its effects can only be taken away by a remove curse.
Red: transforms the user into a 7th level fighter with an AC of 2, a two-handed sword + I , and 70 hit points.
Blue: transforms the user into a 7th level cleric with an AC of 3, a footman’s mace +2, and 60 hit points.
Spells should be selected immediately: 3-lst, 3-2nd, 2-3rd, 1-4th
Green: transforms the user into a 7th level ranger with an AC of 4, a longbow +3, and 55 hit points.
Black: transforms the user into a 7th level thief with an AC of 5, a dagger +2, and 32 hit points.
White: transforms the user into a 7th level paladin with an AC of 1, a long sword +3, and 67 hit points.
Brown: Transforms the user into a 7th level druid with an AC of 6, a quarter staff +2, and 44 hit points.
Using the paints twice in a 24 hour period results in instant death for the user. Upon return to normal the user regains ld12 lost hit points. For purposes of operating in the assumed class, all ability scores are treated as at least the minimum starting scores required for the class for the duration of the effect. A transformed character has all the memories of the original character but the have the powers
of the new class. Failure to adhere strictly to the limits of the assumed class will break the magic and restore the original form. A transformed character is proficient in the new weapon magically acquired (which vanishes with the effect) and in any weapons they might have known before the transformation. (Note: X.P. value and g.p. value are
per pot of color.)
X.P. value: 300*** x.p. G.P. value: 2,500*** g.p.
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Re: The Crown of Blackmoor

Postby RobJN » Mon May 08, 2017 6:14 pm

Let's not forget about the Blackmoor Regalia.
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Re: The Crown of Blackmoor

Postby ripvanwormer » Mon May 08, 2017 7:17 pm

Just my personal opinion, but I assume the Paints of Blackmoor were created by Nolzur.
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