Author Topic: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item  (Read 2119 times)

Offline Power

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[PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« on: May 26, 2020, 05:49:38 AM »
So I saw this PF item and I wondered how one might go about abusing it:

Quote
PERILOUS PUZZLE BOX
Price 5,000 gp; Slot none; CL 9th; Weight 1 lb.; Aura moderate conjuration
Source Horror Adventures pg. 222

Brass latticework decorates the faces of this cubical mahogany puzzle box. While in its solved configuration, the puzzle box is safe to open and close, and the user can access an extradimensional compartment that can store up to 10 pounds of objects. The user can store a single touch spell of 4th level or lower in the box by casting the spell and touching the box. This spell has no effect until the box is changed to an unsolved state and someone subsequently tries and fails to solve it.

Any creature can close the box and twist its segments, at which point the puzzle box becomes unsolved and requires a successful DC 20 Intelligence check to solve and open. Each subsequent consecutive round spent randomly twisting the segments increases the number of Intelligence checks needed to solve the puzzle, to a maximum of three checks after 3 rounds of scrambling. As soon as the creature ceases twisting the segments, it is no longer safe to change the configuration. Thereafter, twisting any segment triggers a 1-minute timer, during which the holder can safely attempt to solve the puzzle with a series of Intelligence checks. This requires two hands and a full-round action for each Intelligence check. If the timer runs out before the puzzle is solved or the creature pauses for 1 round in the middle of attempting to solve the puzzle, the touch spell stored in the perilous puzzle box (if any) discharges, automatically hitting any creature holding the box.

Unless the attempt to solve the puzzle succeeds, after 1 minute, the box automatically reverts to the configuration it had before the attempt to solve the puzzle and locks itself for 24 hours. If a perilous puzzle box is destroyed (hardness 10, 20 hp), any contents stored in the extradimensional space are lost on the Ethereal Plane.

A found puzzle box has a 75% chance of having a touch spell stored within it, usually bestow curse, contagion, or inflict critical wounds.

CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
Cost 2,500 gp
Craft Wondrous Item, imbue with spell ability, secret chest

I think the interesting part is that you can use this to store a single touch spell of 4th level or lower. Spells that come to my mind so far include Plane Shift (Medium list, Oath against Fiends Paladin), Restoration, Invisibility, and Fly.

Offline Nanashi

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Re: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 03:55:10 PM »
The natural guess is finding a touch spell of level 4 or lower that has a long casting time, since this seems to ignore the casting time.

Offline Garryl

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Re: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 04:04:26 PM »
It's got a one round delay from when you start using it until it actually triggers, so it's less than perfectly useful in an encounter. You'd usually only want to use it out of combat, barring emergencies.

The box is way cheaper than any other spell storing option. The only other one in its price range I could find was the cracked Vibrant Purple Prism ioun stone, which is 2000 gp for only 1 spell level stored.

It's not a good trap, though. The spell is a touch spell, but disarming it is as easy as starting the solve, then putting it down and backing up a bit during the one round of pause in your solve attempt. The spell discharges, doing nothing to you because you aren't touching it, and then you can pick it back up and solve it in the remaining 8 rounds or at your leisure the following day with no more spells stored inside.

The spell automatically hits any creature holding the box. Does it hit all creatures holding the box? Does this let you share touch spells across more recipients than they would normally allow?

Offline Nanashi

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Re: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2020, 12:29:18 AM »
I wouldn't say only useful out of combat. Remember how Dragonfire Adept got Geas (alas too high a level for this) as a standard action? There's plenty of spells with no save powerful effects but a long casting time. Very few spells would be useful, but there's certainly got to be some.

(Extended?) Beguiling Gift can force an enemy to use it.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 12:31:22 AM by Nanashi »

Offline Power

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Re: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2020, 04:35:20 AM »
Extended Beguiling Gift can force an enemy to use it but then it spends two rounds using it and after that it can throw it away before it triggers. On the bright side of things it does let you use a first-level spell to CC an enemy for 2 turns, but that's assuming you use a metamagic reducer, and the proximity requirements force defensive casting plus you have to hold your gift, which means you probably want a Quick Draw feat too. I'm pretty sure you can use Unseen Servant to activate a Puzzle Box though, since the goal here is to fail the puzzle in order to trigger the stored spell.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 04:51:29 AM by Power »

Offline Garryl

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Re: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2020, 12:53:40 PM »
I wouldn't say only useful out of combat. Remember how Dragonfire Adept got Geas (alas too high a level for this) as a standard action? There's plenty of spells with no save powerful effects but a long casting time. Very few spells would be useful, but there's certainly got to be some.

Not useless, but of limited or restricted value. It takes about 3 turns to trigger:
1: Drop or sheathe whatever you're holding, move action to take out the box. Ned both hands free to manipulate the box next round.
2: Full-round action to start solving.
3: Pause solving. Return to your normal actions, but you probably have to still hold the box if you want it to buff you.
Spell triggers at the start of your turn on the 4th round.

Extended Beguiling Gift can force an enemy to use it but then it spends two rounds using it and after that it can throw it away before it triggers. On the bright side of things it does let you use a first-level spell to CC an enemy for 2 turns, but that's assuming you use a metamagic reducer, and the proximity requirements force defensive casting plus you have to hold your gift, which means you probably want a Quick Draw feat too. I'm pretty sure you can use Unseen Servant to activate a Puzzle Box though, since the goal here is to fail the puzzle in order to trigger the stored spell.

You've got 1 round to cast the Beguiling Gift spell after you pause solving the box and before the spell goes off. During that round, you cast the spell and the target takes the box from you.

Offline Power

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Re: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2020, 08:06:26 AM »
Ah, so you activate the box yourself and then hand it to the victim. Should work, I suppose, but that's a very finicky way to use a puzzle box. Works better with an Unseen Servant or animal companion/familiar to do most of the work for you.

Offline Power

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Re: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2020, 09:38:23 AM »
Hm, may as well post up a list of solid buffs and utility spells that are usable with Puzzle Box:
If you have the opportunity, combat buffs can be applied right before initiating combat. Looking at it like this, Perilous Puzzle Boxes are some pretty solid utility items for unused spells at the end of a day, considering how cheap they are for the spell storing effect.

For hostile effects, Plane Shift, Bestow Curse (Major variant as Mesmerist is best), Aboleth's Lung, and Green Caress come to mind.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 04:55:17 AM by Power »

Offline Power

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Re: [PF] Perilous Puzzle Box item
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2023, 11:41:44 AM »
Extended Beguiling Gift can force an enemy to use it but then it spends two rounds using it and after that it can throw it away before it triggers. On the bright side of things it does let you use a first-level spell to CC an enemy for 2 turns, but that's assuming you use a metamagic reducer, and the proximity requirements force defensive casting plus you have to hold your gift, which means you probably want a Quick Draw feat too. I'm pretty sure you can use Unseen Servant to activate a Puzzle Box though, since the goal here is to fail the puzzle in order to trigger the stored spell.
On the long-lasting Beguiling Gift front I feel like pointing out that if you are playing a Spell Sage Wizard (or use the Samsaran race's Mystic Past Life), you can cast Beguiling Gift with Blissful Spell and then use the Magaambyan Arcanist prestige class's Lasting Goodness ability to extend its duration by your Magaambyan Arcanist class level. That will give you a long-lasting Beguiling Gift even before mixing in Extend Spell.