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Old 07-19-2019, 06:27 PM   #21
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: What does it take to neutralize a horrid skull?

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Originally Posted by Humabout View Post
This to a tee. The skull is a fancy off switch for an environmental hazard.
Sure. I started this thread because I was hoping to clarify exactly what you have to do to flip the switch. Whether it one combat maneuver or several combat maneuvers to "turn off" matters if there are other monsters around to stab you while you use other combat maneuvers on the glorified off-switch.
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Old Yesterday, 09:44 AM   #22
Bruno
 
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Default Re: What does it take to neutralize a horrid skull?

So, lets step away from smashing it. It is still technically a monster, with a classification of Undead and Truly Evil. This makes it vulnerable to special abilities that target Undead and/or Evil. It's also detected with Sense Spirit, so it may be affected by abilities that specifically target Spirits as well, GMs call of course.

The writeup specifically calls out being detected, which helps find where the heck the skull has been hidden - as noted in the monster writeup, it's almost never sitting out on a pedestal with a little sign on it saying "Horrid Skull" - they even suggest burying it. This makes a supernatural Sense[1], the only real way to find it short of sending in a gang of zombies or golems to demolish the area.

Turning affects creatures that are Undead and Truly Evil, and the Skull has a fantastic Will of 0 so you'll have to tank your roll to fail here. As the skull is immobile, you'd have to talk to your GM over whether the death field effect would be shut down as "it will do nothing but avoid you each turn" (me, I'd have it shut down the Skull because jeeze, 24 point power vs scrub undead with Will 0 and 5 HP).

The Rebuke Evil spell presented during the Kickstarter would work great here too, assuming you can uncover the Skull enough that it can "hear" the words of power.

Alternately, if you prefer to treat the Skull as a trap instead of a monster, it's likely to be disabled by an Exorcism, which can be done from a reasonably safe distance. The downside here is that an Exorcism takes 3 hours and is noisy (6 Wandering Monster checks, typical 9-, means the rest of the party has to face off against about 2 interruptions where they can't do any spell casting lest it spoil all progress on the Exorcism.

[1] or Earth Vision, some kind of xray vision magic item, etc etc.
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Last edited by Bruno; Yesterday at 09:56 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:54 AM   #23
Bruno
 
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Default Re: What does it take to neutralize a horrid skull?

Continuing, taking a peek at the Necromancy college as the Skull may arguably be a Spirit. Many of the following comments assume it is a Spirit entity.

Command Horrid Skull may be a specialized spell, but its resisted by Will (LOL). Pretty much the only use here is to turn off the Skull, which I would absolutely allow as it would be ~5 energy and 2 second casting time, plus the problem of 16 yard range penalties or taking damage while casting as you bravely go into the death zone. I might let someone learn this even if I decide it isn't a spirit if they really want it - you want to spend the points on a crazy super specialized not-cheap spell for zapping exactly one instance of one scrub enemy type? Go for it.

Repel Spirits, not quite the same question as Turn Undead - it has no Will, but it Repelled spirits don't leave on their own power - they are "expelled from the area on its first failure" by the magic. Potentially very funny, but really it's probably the Horrid spirit "living" in the skull that gets forced out, rather than letting you go bowling with Horrid Skulls. [1]

Turn Spirit - see Turn Undead.

Turn Zombie - this one does damage to "reanimated undead servitor[s]" in the area, and bypasses DR so fie on that entombed Skull's Cover! Assuming your GM decides to call it a reanimated undead servitor, this is a good spell. Personally, as it is a scrub undead, I'd decide on a case-by-case basis depending on the story behind the Horrid Skull. Is it created by someone to be a guardian? Then yes, it's vulnerable to Turn Zombie. If it's the result of a mindless angry psychic who refuses to go on to the afterlife, nope, no vulnerability. Technically that's dividing the monster writeup into two different monsters with otherwise identical statistics, but meh. Same difference.

Plot twist: What if the Horrid Skull is not a humanoid skull... but instead the skull of an Elder Thing?

[1] that SAID... having the flagstones get lifted up as the still-entombed skull goes plowing out the door of the chamber into the next area would be pretty cool. See also being blasted out of a plastered-over wall, or dragging a locked chest with it, etc.
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Last edited by Bruno; Yesterday at 10:00 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 04:49 PM   #24
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: What does it take to neutralize a horrid skull?

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Plot twist: What if the Horrid Skull is not a humanoid skull... but instead the skull of an Elder Thing?
DUN DUN DUN!

That is not undead which can eternal lie...
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