Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Curse of the Berserk Armor


Berserk 27 showcases what a cursed item can be. First off, look at the cover here. Notice that the experience of using it has given Guts a white streak.
Inside, Guts is essentially consumed by the armor's persona, becoming an engine of rage and carnage. Defense? No needed. Defending others who can't fight the same foes? Not needed.
Guts is pulled out of this trap by his new comrade, a young female witch known as Schierke. She sends her astral self into the armor and it's a place of pain and anguish. It showcases how Gut's ego is almost dissipated into the armor's curse.
This gives the reader a first hand visual of what is going on in the cursed item.
If in your campaign you're using a cursed magic item, what does it feel like when the curse takes place? Is the user trapped in his own head like Kyle was during his episode as Parallax? Is the person's personality destroyed as Gut's almost is? Does the person have no memory of the actions done as Elric when he accidentally slays his friends while in a feeding frenzy for his soul stealing sword Stormbringer?
What about the visual of the item? Guts Berserk armor initially does not resemble it's final form. This form is an combination of the initial Berserk armor and Gut's own personal hell hound that's been haunting him for several issues. The helm looks like a wolf's face with sharp teeth and the arm is
Another defining point of the armor, is that it doesn't stop. As Guts is walking along the beach, he notices a trembling of his hand. More powers of the armor?
Next up, villain motivation. With Griffith back to the real world, it would seem all of the Apostles follow him. Wrong. There is one, conviently, the leader of the Kushan army invading Midland, who figures, "To hell with him. I've got the largest empire in the world and he's going to have to fight me for domination of the world." It's a good show case that not all bad guys get along together even if they're from the same race and breed. There's always someone who wants more and is willing to fight for it.
It also showcases that even for those who serve, there may be a turning point. A young price of an exiled clan of assassins is shown that his ruler, the emperor of the Kushan empire, is breeding demonic forces in a manner that no human could endorse. Since this young exiled prince is human, it calls into question his future loyalty. Will he continue to serve in some vain attempt to please this mad demon king emperor or ?
Keep things moving in the game. Don't be afraid to showcase the power and peril of magic items and how they can continue to effect the user long after he thinks the item's worst spells are over.