Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Medallion of the Priests of Achlatea

Copyright © 2009, Ramsey Dow. All Rights Reserved.

Known as "The Eyes of Achlatea," this medallion is worn by the priests of the spider god. It is fashioned from six oval discs connected by a fine, silver chain. The discs are metal, the rims a wide band of silver with the center obsidian. Wearing this necklace confers enhanced senses: 1) sight — larger area of perception, range, and detail; 2) sound — greater range, finer sensitivity; and 3) touch — can feel vibrations much more distinctly. These enhanced senses combine to reduce the likelihood of the wearer being surprised to 1 in 6 while worn.

This item is cursed by Achlatea so that the user will slowly go mad—the enhanced senses are perceived as if by a spider. This seriously messes with human minds. There is a base 5% chance of insanity + 1d4% per week. These percentages are cumulative, so it is not unreasonable to expect a 9-21% chance of going permanently insane after use for a month. Once a player character goes insane, they will immediately attain non-player status. Their madness will compel them to slink away in the dark to find a secluded place, where they will commit suicide. From their remains will be born a thousand spiders.

The item is cold to the touch—not vastly so, just a few degrees less than one might expect such an object to be in present environmental conditions. Under drastic conditions (such as in rain or a snow storm) it is next to impossible to note the object's coolness.


davidbhoward said...

This is massively cool.

Just one thing: why is it, whenever someone goes insane in an RPG, they are made into an NPC? Why not let your players deal with having a character go utterly around-the-bend bonkers?

Yesmar said...

Good point. I suppose I could let the player continue to play their character, just with a shift in role. In fact, I did this recently when a player character got dominated psionically with id insinuation. He ended up turning on his comrades with ferocity. All I did to trigger this was send an IM. The player relished the action and I had a lot of fun watching it unfold.

In truth, I suppose it depends a lot on your players. If their level of attachment is such that they can let go and do terrible things to/with their character, then you can let them control the mad character. Generally I think it's easier all around if I pull the strings. This is definitely something that should be explored more.