The Lonesome Road

Climate/Terrain:Temperate to subtropical towns and cities
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Day
Diet:None? (Omnivore)
Intelligence:Exceptional (15-16)
Alignment:Neutral evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:8
Hit Dice:5
No. of Attacks:1
Damage/Attack:By Weapon
Special Attacks:Nil
Special Defenses:Spells, +1 to Hit
Magic Resistance:20%
Size:M (6')
Morale:Unreliable (3)
XP Value:1,400

The poor know nothing of greed. True avarice is only possible after you have tasted weatlh, however fleetingly.

Radek Hodosa

A glitterman appears to be a human male of exceptional charisma and great wealth. Although not astoundingly handsome, glittermen have twinkling eyes and knowing smiles. This contributes to their personal magnetism, as does their grace and charm. A glitterman always appears dressed in the most opulent fashions, and makes a show of flashing his wealth needlessly in front of onlookers. He can often be seen enjoying the finer things in life, from a fine cigar in his hand to a lovely lady on his arm.

A glitterman can speak any of the common tongues in the region which it haunts.

Combat: Glittermen shun combat. They almost always elect to flee if possible, and their abilities assist them in this endeavor. Thus, though not physically powerful, glittermen can prove to be slippery foes indeed.

A glitterman can use the following abilities at will, one spell per round: blink, cantrip, suggestion, ventriloquism. Three times per day, a glitterman may use blur and ESP. All spells are utilized as if the glitterman was a 7th-level wizard. Additionally, a glitterman can only be struck by weapons of at least +1 or greater enchantment. If unable to flee his attackers for any reason, a glitterman may attack with a short sword or dagger. Although glittermen do not normally attack others, they are completely unable to directly harm anyone who does not understand the concept of wealth. Thus, very young children and individuals from cultures without private property are safe from harm. Such people may, however, be indirectly harmed by a glitterman through its scheming, as well as targeted by its spell-like abilities.

Habitat/Society: Despite their pleasant appearance and demeanor, glittermen are creatures of pure evil. They are driven by an intense desire to incite hatred, suspicion, and violence through a single means: greed. They use their abilities to construct elaborate plots that play off of the greed of others and culminate in discord and destruction.

At the root of such schemes is the glitterman’s fool’s gold ability. Though similar to the wizard spell of the same name in general application, the glitterman’s illusion is much more potent. The glitterman may use this ability at will to make any mundane substance appear to be material wealth of the type appropriate to the area. The materials used need not even match the desired illusion’s exact shape and form; it must merely be of similar size and have similar material properties. Thus, the glitterman could make a handful of iron bolts appear to be gold coins, or dried leaves appear as paper bills. The illusion is perfect in every way, right down to the details of local coinage. The fool’s gold can last up to twenty-four hours, but the glitterman may end the illusion at any time if he so chooses. A glitterman can create fool’s gold at will, and can maintain an indefinite number of illusions at any one time. Adjucation of this illusion is not as essential as other instances of illusionary effects, but some players may want to disbelieve the glitterman’s illusion. Such is the power and seduction of the fool’s gold, however, that attempts to disbelieve it are made at a -6 penalty. Those who understand the glitterman’s nature, having been made aware of the ruse, may automatically “disbelieve” the illusion, though the illusionary effect remains. Individuals who understand that fool’s gold is nothing but worthless materials can contribute a modifier to others’ disbelief if the DM wishes, based on the individual circumstances.

Though the fool’s gold might seem limited in its application, glittermen have found hundreds of perverse uses for their ability. The simplest of of such cruel jokes is to trick a destitute individual or family into believing that they “found” a sizable sum of money, unguarded and apparently without an owner. While they celebrate their good fortune, the glitterman will remove its illusion and gleefully watch as the poor soul comes crashing from exultation to emotional and psychological despair when the money vanishes.

Of course, this kind of prank is far too inelegant for most glittermen. They savor the meticulous creation of lurid human dramas, seeing themselves as artists of avarice. A supernatural ability to detect greed is often attributed to glittermen; in truth, it is their keen perception alone that enables them to spot every opportunity for mayhem. For instance, two rival shopkeepers with a grudge may be targeted with identical patterns of illusionary wealth and subtle suggestions, prompting them to a confrontation and perhaps even bloodshed. A glitterman has a Charisma of 16 for the purposes of interaction with individuals unaware of its nature. Many glittermen struggle to create a magnum opus of greed, convoluted plots of perceived betrayal, theft, and violence involving dozens of parties.

Glittermen are truly nomadic, wandering from one unsuspecting village to the next. They patron fine inns, shops, taverns and restaurants to fritter away their nonexistent wealth, all the while engineering a dozen tragedies a night. There are no records of contact between more than one glitterman, but is equally possible that they would ignore or victimize one another, or even regale each other with amusing tales of their schemes.

Ecology: Glittermen do not appear to reproduce, and indeed, neither female nor young glittermen have ever been reported. Instead, glittermen seem to appear “naturally” in cultures that use a monetary system in their trading. The Vistani call them midasites, and believe them to be the product of the collective avarice of giorgios given a material form.

Glittermen are living, breathing creatures, but do not require sustenance to survive. This is not to imply that they cannot partake of food or drink, and indeed, they often enjoy the finest delicacies that their “money” can buy. A glitterman affects its surroundings much as a normal human, but their foul money and vile plots often leave a noticeable wake of destruction behind them.

The Lonesome Road

Last Modified: January 27, 2014, 23:07:26 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition

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