Malachai, the Messenger Star

And for today, it’s another horribly over-optimized intelligent item…

Malachai, the Messenger Star, brings the Light into the Darkness. He is a Voice crying out in the Wilderness to guide the lost to the way and the truth once more – and to sear and burn the wicked who refuse the call. For at the heart of the light is a flame, more pure and terrible than any sword. When Malachai’s tiny, stylized, gates are open, celestial radiance shines forth to aid the heroes of the Light.

Basic Magic Item Functions:

Adamant Phylactery of Faithfulness (1000 GP + 250 GP for the Adamant).

  • The user becomes aware of any action or item that could adversely affect his alignment and/or standing with his or her deity – including magical effects – if he or she considers the action or item for a moment in advance.

Shard of the Sun (MIC, 3500 GP, no slot, so no extra cost to add it, CL20, command activation).

  • Functions as a Holy Symbol.
  • Continuously (unless mantled) sheds Daylight, heightened to 5’th level, provided that the user is neutral good, lawful good, chaotic good, or neutral.
  • Fires two Searing Light spells at different targets when activated up to four times a day provided that the user worships a good solar deity and sacrifices eighth level divine spell slot to empower it for a day. (Note that Malachai, of course, fulfills these requirements very nicely).

Intelligent Item Functions:

  • Intelligent (Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 14, 120′ vision and hearing, 2 lesser powers, (4000 GP).
    • Lesser Power: Feat/Radiant Mastery (6000 GP): 1 1/2 d6 Mana as 3d4 (8) Generic Spell Levels, Specialized and Corupted; only usable as one eighth level Divine Spell Slot to be sacrificed to power the Searing Light function (3 CP), +1d6 Mana as 2d4 (5) Generic Spell Levels, Specialized/only to be bound into pre-prepared (charisma-based) clerical spells (3 CP).
    • Lesser Power: Feat/Ray Expertise (6000 GP): Luck with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/only to “take 20″ with ray attack rolls (6 CP).

That’s enough to always “take 20″ on attacks with it’s Searing Rays and to automatically critical with one of them – or to automatically critical with four of them and hit with one – when self-activating. I’d recommend some caution here though; having a self-activating item with a major offensive power and somewhat… rigid… moral views is potentially hazardous, rather like Animal Companions used to be.

At 20,750 GP Malachai is an expensive gadget, but – given that caster level 20 is built into relics and in no way a part of the requirements for making a relic – one that could turn up around level ten or so if you have a good crafter in the group. It would still be quite an investment, but it would almost certainly be worth it. Even if you don’t encounter many undead quite a lot of CR 10 encounters will be drastically shortened by 10d8 damage.

Malachai normally manifests an image of a “shoulder angel” to communicate (no actual effect, so no cost) – although once in a while, when his bearer has a REALLY bad idea, he will turn up as “shoulder demon” to explain – with EXTREME sarcasm – why something is utterly idiotic.

Abilities as a Level Six Follower:

Available Character Points: 168 CP (Base) + 18 (Bonus Feats) +12 (Duties; to spread enlightenment) = 198 CP. 36 SP for Int, +1 level bonus to Charisma, Siddhisyoga Equipment Allowance of 2800 GP (+2 to Chr, personal-only, 1400 GP, Protection From Evil, personal-only, 1400 GP).

Self-Enhancement: As an Intelligent Item, Malachai can be upgraded. That can be done with it’s own Character Points as well as with money.

  • Innate Enchantment (82,000 GP value, 83 CP). This is a LOT of innate enchantment, but then this is a magic item – so it’s entirely appropriate.
    • +9000 GP Intelligence Upgrade (Int 19, Wis 10, Chr 19 (20 with L4 bonus, 22 with gear bonus), Speech, Telepathy, reads languages and magic, 120 ft Darkvision, Blindsense, and Hearing, four lesser powers, and three greater powers. Much more importantly, those lesser and greater powers gain the benefits of caster/user level 20 without having to pay for it. That’s pretty important, and well worth the extra cost of going through Innate Enchantment to buy the those abilities.
    • Lesser Power (Bonus Feat, 6000 GP): Radiance of Heaven: Positive Energy Channeling (1 + Cha Mod) Uses/Day. Defaults to the Damaging Turning option – providing (Magnitude)d6 of divine damage to distribute between eligible targets within 60′ up to a maximum of (Intensity) per target (6 CP).
    • Lesser Power (Bonus Feat, 6000 GP): Radiance of Heaven II: +2d6 Magnitude on his Positive Energy Channeling (6 CP), for a total of 4d6+26 (fixed at 40).
    • Greater Power: Advanced Intelligence I (25,000 GP): Radiance of Heaven III: +(Cha Mod x 2) uses of Positive Energy Channeling (12 CP), Intensity +2 (3 CP, fixed at 20). Also, Innate Enchantment / Detect Evil and a Reliquary Holy Symbol (3 CP). Also, +(Int Mod x 2) Skill Points and +(1d6 + Cha Mod) HP.
      • That’s 40d6 of Divine Damage, inflicting up to 20d6 on any one undead target – with no roll to hit required and no save. That’s less useful than normal turning against swarms of minor undead, but better against big ones.
    • Greater Power: Advanced Intelligence II (25,000 GP): Calling upon the Light: 3d6 Mana as 6d4 (15) Generic Spell Levels, Specialized for Double Effect (thirty generic spell levels) / only to be bound into pre-prepared (charisma-based) clerical spells (18 CP). Also, +(Int Mod x 2) Skill Points and +(1d6 + Cha Mod) HP.
      • While 30 (35 with Radiant Master) spell levels is not a lot, having a caster level of twenty allows Malachai to use spells of up to level nine. Unfortunately, he’ll need to buy some way to avoid material and somatic components to really get much use out of this.
    • Greater Power: Magic Circle Against Evil at will (11,000 GP). It’s hard to get more appropriate than THAT.
    • Malachai is dedicated to defeating evil, but that isn’t technically a “special purpose”.

That’s all we can buy that will have that free user level – but we still have 115 CP to spend… First up, some modifiers that do not rely on the user level:

  • Ray Mastery. +12 Bonus Uses for Luck, , Specialized and Corrupted/only to “take 20″ with ray attack rolls (6 CP). That’s enough to make all it’s Searing Rays automatic critical hits. That’s not overwhelming for a device at this level, but it’s enough to be relevant.
  • Divine Fury: Immunity/Having to buy Censure to target different types of creature with Positive Energy Channeling (Common, Minor, Grand, 12 CP). This allows Malachai to blast pretty much anything that he pleases.
  • Selective Wrath: Immunity/having to convert to spells to Heal with positive energy (Common, Minor, Grand, 12 CP). This allows Malachai to choose whether to heal or damage each creature he targets with his Positive Energy Channeling – allowing him to provide emergency healing / stabilization for allies while continuing to blast the foe.
  • Fist of God: Circle of Power (May affect a 20′ radius with Channeling Effects, 6 CP). This turns Malachai into an engine of destruction capable of smiting small armies.
  • Divine Benison: Spell Conversion to a set of four level six spells (15 CP), Blade Barrier, Channel Coure (L2 Specific Summon, +1 level for Channeling, +3 levels for twenty-four hour duration), Globe of Invulnerability and Heal.
    • Where these abilities are superior to those of the host channeling a Coure provides: 60′ Flight, +4 Natural Armor, immunity to electricity and petrification, magic circle against evil, resistance to acid 10 and cold 10, tongues, ability modifiers of Dex +14, Con +2, Int +2, and Cha +4 where these are superior to the host, Concentration +6, Diplomacy +9, Escape Artist +12, Hide +24, Knowledge (the planes) +6, Listen +5, Move Silently +16, Sense Motive +5, Spot +5, Survival (2 on other planes) +0, Use Rope (9 on bindings) +7.
    • Any weapons a coure wields are treated as having the chaotic and good alignments for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
    • Spell-Like Abilities: At will—dancing lights, detect evil, detect magic, faerie fire; 3/day—magic missile, sleep (DC 13). Caster level 4th. The save DCs are Charisma based.
    • Alternate Form (Su): A coure can assume the form of an incorporeal ball of light at will. This transformation counts as a standard action. In this form, the coure can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. In this form, the coure has a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source, except for force effects or attacks made with ghost touch weapons. A coure in this form can pass through solid objects, but not force effects, at will. While incorporeal, its attacks ignore natural armor, armor, and shields, but deflection bonuses and force effects work normally against them. In this form, a coure always moves silently and cannot be heard with Listen checks if it doesn’t wish to be. While incorporeal, the coure sheds light if it wishes, providing illumination with any radius it wishes up to 30 feet. Changing the amount of light it sheds is a free action that the coure can perform once per round.
    • Magic Circle against Evil (Su): A magic circle against evil effect always surrounds the coure, as the magic circle against evil spell cast by an 8th-level sorcerer. (The defensive benefits of the circle are not included in the statistics above.)
    • Skills: Coures have a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks (included in the statistics above).
  • Divine Wordsmith: Easy Metamagical Theorem (Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost/Only usable to buy off the need for Somatic and Material Components, only applies to spells drawn from it’s powers as an Intelligent Item (2 CP), and Streamline (Specialized for Double Effect; Only to remove the need for somatic and material components, Corrupted for Reduced Cost, only applies to spells drawn from it’s powers as an Intelligent Item (4 CP).

Intelligent Item Survival Package (24 CP).

  • Returning (6 CP): Simply breaking the Phylactery will not keep Malachai down for long. To truly banish him to the outer planes you must eliminate his current “owner” within three days – otherwise Malachai will just reform his phylactery- body and return to his owner’s service from the Celestial Realms.
  • Reflex Training/3 Extra Action per Day variant (6 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized / only for Saving Throws (6 CP)
  • Finesse: Bases HP on his (Cha Mod) (6 CP). (2d6 + 6d4 + 42 (8 x Cha Mod) plus Hardness 20 and 5 HP for being a little box made of adamantine = 75 HP).

Minor Abilities:

  • Witchcraft II, with +6d6 (24) Power, the Advanced Sanctify ability, and the Duties Pact (24 CP).
    • The Inner Eye/Specialized in no-cost Lie Detection.
    • Shadoweave/Specialized in generating light, for illumination up to the blinding level at 1/hour.
    • The Adamant Will.
  • Adept (Knowledge/Religion, Knowledge/The Planes, Spellcraft, and Spot, 6 CP).

Available Skill Points: 52 (Int Mod x 13) +4 (4 CP). = 56


  • Decipher Script: 9 (9 SP) +4 (Int) = +13
  • Diplomacy: 9 (9 SP) +6 (Cha) = +15
  • Knowledge/Architecture and Engineering: 2 (2 SP) +4 (Int) = +6 (Mostly Temples)
  • Knowledge/History: 2 (2 SP) +4 (Int) = +6
  • Knowledge/The Planes: 9 (4 SP) +4 (Int) = +13
  • Knowledge/Religion: 9 (4 SP) +4 (Int) = +13
  • Knowledge Arcana: 9 (9 SP) +4 (Int) = +13
  • Perform/Oratory: 9 (9 SP) +6 (Cha) = +15
  • Spellcraft: 9 (4 SP) +4 (Int) = +13
  • Spot: 9 (4 SP) +0 (Wis) = +9
    • Speaks: Common, Celestial, Infernal, Sylvan, and Draconic.
    • +3 Specialities in Knowledge/The Planes/The Celestial Realms, Knowledge/Religion/Sun Gods, Perform/Oratory/Preaching, and Spellcraft/Light Magic (4 SP).

Malachai is not even remotely reasonable. Like many other high-end optimized designs he’d pretty much wreck a standard game. Also, of course, like many other high-end optimized grounds he is more or less built around a single trick – using the base caster level of 20 that comes with a relic to massively boost his own powers. Without that, he’d be a lot more reasonable – and possibly even reasonably well suited to a standard game.

3 Responses

  1. You know, seeing this build, I realized that you can have a lot of exotic items…

    I really like what this build does and could do, especially at later levels. I mean, it’s next follower level would give it 26 additional CP for Innate Enchantment…
    That’s 26000 gp.
    Now I don’t use Innate Enchantment that much myself, but that means it could, for example, gain +6d6 Magnitude and/or +6 Intensity 3/hour for 14000 gp via Hearts of Light, double the healing-speed of all living creatures nearby and consecrate an area by being there for a week via a level 3 Light Crystal for 4500 gp and gain a range 120 feet 6d6 +2d6 against Undead attack via a deathbane firelance for 3000 gp
    (all from ).

    And then it would still have 4500 gp left…

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