Sigil of Algos
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting]
Skill Check: Knowledge (arcane lore) DC 32, 6 successes; Failure: Two consecutive failed skill checks; Components: V, S, M, XP; Casting Time: 60 minutes (minimum); Range: Touch; Effect: 60 ft. burst centered on magic rune (see text); Duration: 12 minutes (and see text); Saving Throw: Will negates (DC 16 + caster’s Charisma modifier); Spell Resistance: Yes
This incantation, named after the Greek god of pain, allows you to scribe a potent rune of power upon a surface. When triggered, the sigil of Algos causes one or more creatures within 60 feet of the rune (treat as a burst) to suffer wracking pain if they fail a Fortitude save. The pain imposes a –4 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws. These effects last for 12 hours after the creature leaves the area of the spell.
Once triggered, the symbol becomes active and glows, lasting for 12 minutes. Any creature who enters the area while the sigil of Algos is active is subject to its effects, whether or not that creature was in the area when it was triggered. A creature need only save against the symbol once as long as it remains within the area, though if it leaves the area and returns while the symbol is still active, it must save again.
Until it is triggered, the sigil of Algos is inactive (though visible and legible at a range of up to 60 feet). To be effective, a sigil of Algos must always be placed in plain sight and in a prominent location. Covering or hiding the rune renders it ineffective (unless a creature removes the covering, in which case the sigil of Algos works normally).
As a default, a sigil of Algos is triggered whenever a creature does one or more of the following, as you select: looks at the rune; reads the rune; touches the rune; passes over the rune; or passes through a portal bearing the rune. Regardless of the trigger method or methods chosen, a creature more than 60 feet from a sigil of Algos can’t trigger it (even if they meet one or more of the triggering conditions, such as reading it). Once the incantation is complete, the triggering conditions cannot be changed.
In this case, “reading” the rune means any attempt to study it, identify it, or fathom its meaning. Throwing a cover over a sigil of Algos to render it inoperative triggers it if it reacts to touch. You can’t use a sigil of Algos offensively; for instance, a touch-triggered rune remains untriggered if an item bearing the sigil of Algos is used to touch a creature. Likewise, a sigil of Algos cannot be placed on a weapon and set to activate when the weapon strikes a foe.
You can also set special triggering limitations of your own. These can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. Special conditions for triggering a sigil of Algos can be based on a creature’s name, identity, or allegiances, but otherwise must be based on observable actions or qualities. Intangibles such as level, class, Hit Dice, and hit points don’t qualify.
When scribing a sigil of Algos, you can specify a password or phrase that prevents a creature using it from triggering the rune. Anyone using the password remains immune to that particular rune’s effects so long as the character remains within 60 feet of the sigil of Algos. If the character leaves the radius and returns later, he must use the password again. You also can attune any number of creatures to the sigil of Algos, but doing this can extend the casting time. Attuning one or two creatures takes negligible time, and attuning a small group (up to ten creatures) extends the casting time by 1 hour. Attuning a large group (up to 25 creatures) takes one day. Attuning larger groups takes proportionately longer, as the GM sees fit. Any creature attuned to a sigil of Algos cannot trigger it and is immune to its effects, even if within its radius when triggered. You are automatically considered attuned to your own sigils, and thus always ignore the effects and cannot inadvertently trigger them.
Read magic allows you to identify a sigil of Algos with a successful Spellcraft check (DC 16). Of course, if the sigil of Algos is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.
The sigil of Algos can be removed by a successful dispel magic targeted solely on the rune. A clean spell has no effect on a sigil of Algos. Destruction of the surface where a sigil of Algos is inscribed destroys the rune but also triggers its effects.
Note: Magic traps such as sigil of Algos are hard to detect and disable. Characters can use the Search skill to find a sigil of Algos and the Disable Device skill to thwart it. The DC in each case is 31.
Material Component: Rare alchemical paints and herbs (purchase DC 20).
Experience Point Cost: 500 XP.
Failure: Reversal. The sigil affects anyone, including the caster and any bystanders, who looks at it or reads it.