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Wondrous Items - Altars

Description Source: Inner Sea Gods
An altar is a stationary magic item used to focus the power of a particular deity into the world at a fixed point such as a temple, a monastery, a shrine, or the site of a miracle. An altar is normally about 10 feet by 5 feet by 5 feet at its widest points and is very heavy, usually weighing at least 150 pounds. It is often the central focus of an entire chamber, small sanctum, underground grotto, or forest grove. An altar is always fixed in place; it cannot be moved without losing its magical abilities. Most altars are secured to the floor, and a successful DC 25 Strength check is required to uproot or move them (or a higher DC, depending on their size and weight).

An altar has an alignment aura identical to that of its associated deity, and is the center of a magic circle effect or effects appropriate to that alignment (magic circle against evil for a good altar, both magic circle against evil and magic circle against law for a chaotic good altar, and so on). As a permanent religious fixture, it is a suitable target for effects such as consecrate or desecrate.

A worshiper of an altar’s deity may stand, sit, kneel, or lie prostrate within 10 feet of the altar and speak a prayer to gain a temporary blessing from the altar (treat this as speaking a command word to activate a magic item). The effect of this blessing is described in the individual altar entries. Unless otherwise specified, this blessing ends after 24 hours (or earlier, if dispelled or ended by the actions of the worshiper). The altar can provide its blessing only once per creature per day. Usually, this blessing is something suitable for making life easier for members of the altar’s associated faith (such as a skill bonus) and isn’t always something an adventurer would consider useful, though martially oriented faiths and temples in dangerous lands may have altars that provide protective blessings for their worshipers. Because an altar can affect many dozens of worshipers in a day, it is possible or even likely that all worshipers in a community may have that blessing each day; likewise, all members of a secret cult or evil monster lair may have a useful blessing.

Depending on the motivations of the deity and the altar’s creators, some altars may grant their blessings to non-worshipers who pray to the altar’s deity so long as the creature’s alignment is compatible with the deity’s alignment. Conversely, an altar of an evil deity might allow anyone to gain its blessing, as drawing power from evil can corrupt good and neutral folk. Accepting the blessing of an evil altar is an evil act, and likewise for blessings from altars with other alignment auras.

An altar is otherwise like any other permanent magic item and can be crafted with additional abilities, be intelligent, and so on.