Hello to everyone, right from me and my lunch-break:
I like Eric´s idea of a protective spirit bound into a bookplate so much that I just made up 20 possible ways a guarding spirit could act. Please consider this a “work-in-progress”, as I am currently planning to turn these into spells and effects that will be fully compatible to Labyrinth Lord™. Likewise, the “titles” are just working titles as well.
01# Minor Guide Spirit
The owner has summoned a minor ancestral spirit or a spirit with a „keeper” concept and bound it into the bookplate. The owner can summon the spirit and it will tell the owner the direction in which the book can be found together with an indicator to its distance (“a few steps away” or “a days travel” or “in a far country” are all valid answers). In theory, this allows the owner to track down the book.
02# A minor spirit of closing
A very stubborn spirit is bound that keeps the book from being opened unless the spirit was given the allowance by its owner. In theory, it is possible to pry the book open (forcing doors, +5) but the spirit will slam it shut again at the very first opportunity
03# A mesmerizing spirit
The book is guarded by a spirit that clouds the minds of those that try to read it. A character that tries to read the book must pass a saving throw vs. Wands or will forget what he just read in mere moments.
04# Cursing spirit
The spirit that was bound into the book curses those who took it from its rightful owner. If the book was not sold or gifted by the owner itself, the person who carries it or reads it will be the target of a Curse-Spell
05# Vengeful flames
Once per day, the spirit bound into the book will set something in the vicinity of the book aflame, targeting other books first.
06# Blinding book
The person reading the book must pass a saving throw vs. Spells or will become blind as per the spell
07# Withered, inky finger
The person reading the book will have his index fingering wither and turn blue for days. Every arcane scholar and most members of the clergy and the important academies will know this to be the tell-tale of a thief of arcane books.
Reading the book turns the reader mute
09# Illusion of blankness
An illusion lets the book appear blank unless a certain key phrase is spoken
An impish spirit will plague those who read the book with nightmares
An impish spirit will add mistakes into the content. Those are not mistakes of writing, but mistakes in the content. Every attempt to cast a spell learned from this book or to use an alchemical recipe from it will fail spectacular!
12# You should bring me back
A voice will haunts the one who reads the book and tell him repeatedly that “this is wrong” “you should bring the book back” “you won´t be punished if you bring the book back” “that is not how knowledge should be gained” “you are a shame onto every men and woman who has learned to read and write” etc. The lecturing is constant and annoying (-2 to all Wisdome based tests)
A spirit of earth lends the weight of granite to the book. Multiply its weight by five or set it to 10 lbs (whichever is higher).
The book turns its pages and makes it thereby impossible to read it. If the page is weighted down, the paper will pull itself out under the weight. If it is held by hand, the page will begin to tear as it tries to pull itself free from the grip.
15# Lighting strike
A spirit of thunder was bound into the book that can summon a lighting strike once per day on those who read it. The lighting strike will come out of the book itself.
16# Book of command
A spirit of mastery was bound into the book. Those who read it will be put under a gease to bring the book back to its owner. And the spirit will not care if said person just picked up the book from a corpse…
17# Biting book
The book will turn into a living jaw trap, forming sharp teeth around it edges within seconds and snap SHUT. The reader must check for surprise or it will suffer 1d4 points of damage. A saving throw vs. death must be passed, or the victim will lose as many fingers, too!
18# Curse of ages
The bookplate states that this book “robbed me of years of my life” and this is poetic punishment the owner thought to bring upon a thief: those who read the book will age ungracefully by 3d6+3 years. The rightful owner might lift this curse.
19# An ancestral spirit is bound into the book… and it will try to talk to an ancestral spirit of the thief to talk some sense into him! If there is at least ONE honorable soul in among those not more than five generations away from the thief, he will be hunted by this spirit who mourns to him that he cannot rest with this shame upon his bloodline. How long can thief stand the lecturing of his own grandmother?
20# Obsessive spirit
The person reading the book becomes obsessed with it. He will be forced to read it over and over and over again, unable to do anything else. If somebody tries to pry him away from the book, the person will become violent. At some point, the thief will collapse. “If reading this book was worth robbing it from me, you SHALL read it!”