To go with these.
The DM may consider allowing his players the chance to find or actually create a few of these items with the proper ingredients, time, and rituals.
A hollow thighbone of a ghoul with finger holes and sigils carved into it. When played the flute summons 1d6 ghouls to the location of the flutist. The location must be somewhere that ghouls congregate, such as a cemetery or necropolis, and the flute must be played until the ghouls arrive. The time of arrival is at the DM's discretion; if no ghouls are near the flutist may play to exhaustion without success.
Once the ghouls are drawn to the flutist he can bargain, threaten, etc for their services. They are not bound to serve, the flute only draw them, it does not bind them.
Brand of Subjugation
This black iron brand is used to control unwilling victims. When heated and pressed to the flesh of a human, demihuman, or humanoid the brand scars the victim doing one point of damage and forces the victim to make a Saving throw. If failed the victim must obey any commands to the best of his or her ability. This control lasts until the brand is removed. The branded cannot remove it themselves and removing it causes 1d2 points of damage. If the Saving throw is made the victim still takes damage and is branded but is not compelled to obey.
The brand is usually placed on a part of the body easily covered by clothing allowing the subjugated to blend in with those around him or her.
Coffin of the Sainted Lazarus
A coffin of ancient wood and rusted iron bands. It is a powerful healing relic. Living beings locked inside the coffin heal 1d6 hit points per hour in the coffin or regain a level which has been drained if they spend a full eight hours in the coffin. The effect is cumulative. Twenty-four hours in the coffin rejuvenates three drained levels, etc.
Cylinder of Summoning
A red wax cylinder played upon a gramophone or Victrola device. The recording is of a deep chanting voice reciting a spell to summon a dark spirit, a banshee. After five rounds of play the banshee appears near the device and launches a contest of wills on the person who started the recording: each must roll a Saving throw, modified by Wisdom bonus or penalty. The winner is the one who makes their Saving throw and rolls highest. Ties are re-rolled. If it wins the banshee will attempt to kill everyone present, beginning with the person who started the device, then destroy the cylinder and free itself. If the banshee loses it will follow the instructions of its new master. The creature will remain in the world as long as the cylinder continues to play. If it is shut off or destroyed the banshee immediately fades away. If the banshee is brought to zero or less hit points the cylinder cracks and crumbles into uselessness.
Summons a specific ghost whose bones are used for the chime. When chimed at midnight of the deceased's death anniversary the ghost appears within 1d6 rounds and will remain for 1d4+2 rounds, answering one question per round. The ghost only has the knowledge it had in life. When the effect ends the ghost fades away and cannot be summoned this way again.
A bottle of thick makeup paste, created from various herbs and ahes and fluids of the dead. Once applied it will allow the appearance of being undead for one hour. Allows the user to move among low or non-intelligent undead. The bottle will contain 1d4 doses.
A large silver coin with the image of an eye on both sides amid decorative print of chains. The coin, when flourished in front of a human, demihuman, or humanoid, will hypnotize a target unless a Saving throw is made. The target will follow all commands given. The effect lasts for one hour. The victim will not remember what has happened to them if commanded to forget and they fail a Saving throw. Harmful commands such as murdering a friend or killing themselves will warrant another Saving throw to avoid the attempt. If it is made they will not carry out the order even if given to them again, no Saving throw is required this time. They will still be under the influence of the coin but will be confused until another command is given to them.
Summons a specific ghost whose fat, ash, or dust are mixed into the wax of the candle. Functions exactly as Ghost Chimes. The candle burns rapidly and is completely melted at the end of the effect.
Violin of Summoning
A battered violin of unremarkable appearance. When played for 2d6 minutes of uninterrupted play the violin summons a demon n a whiff of sulphur and crackle of electricity. The demon can only be summoned once every three days and remains as long as the violin is played or the demon is dropped to zero or less hit points. While summoned the demon is linked to the violinist and will know what his master desires and will carry this out to the best of its ability. This link also allows the violinist to know when the demon has been defeated.
After the first hour of frantic playing the violinist must roll a Constitution check to keep the tune. This must be re-rolled every ten minutes (turn) after the first roll. Once failed the violinist collapses and the demon is sent back from whence it came.
The Demon of the Violin
A man-sized, cancerous looking toad-thing with massive fangs, frog legs, and a body full of muscular tentacles with a ten foot reach. It is often used for assassination or thievery.
Damage: 1d6 bite, 1d4 four tentacles, possible constriction
Special Abilities: constrict, immunities, spell like abilities
The demon's primary attacks are its vicious bite and four tentacle attacks per round. The tentacles can attack four different targets and if two hit the same target they wrap around the victim, constricting for an automatic 2d4 damage per round until a Saving throw is successful. The victim can take no other action in the rounds he or she is trying to break free.
Due to its otherworldly nature the demon only takes half damage from attacks other than iron, magic, electricity, or cold. It is immune to fire. The demon can see in the dark up to 90' and has a number of spell-like abilities (dimension door, invisibility, spider climb) which it can use at will with the spells' normal restrictions.
The coins are of aged bronze with a death's head on the face and a pair of crossed scythes on the flip side. When found they come in a set of 1d6+2. The coins allow a living being to control zombies. By placing one coin under the controller's tongue and one under each zombie's tongue the controller can command them. The controller cannot move more than a walk and can only concentrate on controlling the zombies. He cannot attack, defend, or cast spells. The magic of the coin allows the controller to see and hear through the zombies and he can control them all at once. Once a zombie is destroyed the coin can be reclaimed and reused.
A Note on Dust and Powders...
Dust and powder have a rich tradition in folklore. Voodoo zombie powder, hoodoo goofer dust, witch powder, etc.
These can be simulated in a variety of effects in game with necromantic flavor.
The magical treasure section of most old school rule books contain the Dust of Appearance and Dust of Disappearance.
Here are a few more ideas:
When poured on the ground it creates and undead barrier. Undead of five HD or less cannot cross. Those of six or higher must make a Saving throw to do so.
Dust of the Black Lotus
When ingested acts as a Confusion spell.
Dust of Harm
When flung at incorporeal creatures, living and dead, it does 2d6 damage per dose.
Powder of Reanimation
When poured into the mouth of a corpse no more than three days dead it creates a servant zombie.