Friday, June 14, 2013

Eyes of the Overworld

With all credit due to Jack Vance.
Like this, only pink
Eyes of the Overworld are brittle, concave cups of a slightly pinkish material. The inner edge keeps itself moist through some mystical method or other.

When placed over the eyes, Eyes of the Overworld shrink to fit over the eye. Anyone wearing them is obvious; they look like pink globules over the eyes. They are very slightly sticky on the interior surface and so will stay in place through all manner of exertion after placement, but they are easy to remove, with a single Ready action per eye if done in combat.

When worn, the world appears a happier, more beauteous place to the world. Ordinary men and women appear as queens and kings, as does the wearer himself; the ugly is rendered beautiful. It affects all senses, so that the dumpy hermit with a speech impediment appears instead to have regal features and raiments and to speak with refinement. This has several beneficial effects:

  • Immunity to Sense-Based attacks. You cannot be affected by a basilisk's gaze or a ghast's stench while wearing the Eyes.
  • Immunity to Fright Checks and all fear effects.
  • Temporary annulment of some disadvantages like Chronic Depression or Manic Depressive
  • Other small effects as the GM sees fit. Examples might include a reduction in cost of living, since you're now satisfied with a broken-down hovel and slop, and a bonus to reaction rolls from some people since you're liable to treat them courteously.
However, there are a few drawbacks as well:

  • Between -5 and -10 on Naturalist, Hidden Lore, and other skills used to identify monsters and items, depending on how much the GM feels the Eyes of the Overworld change the appearance to make it presentable to you.
  • Complete inability to use Merchant or other value-appraisal skills.
  • The Eyes are very easy to shatter. Any attack to the eyes that does at least HP/10 points of damage shatters an Eye and drives the shards into your eye, causing an additional HP/5 injury.
  • The Eyes are mildly addictive. Each day spent continuously wearing them, the wearer must make a Will +4 roll or refuse to take them off. If they are forcibly removed, make another Will roll. the wearer suffers Chronic Depression (15 or less) for (24 +- margin of success) hours.
The Eyes must be worn on all eyes to be effective. If not enough Eyes are worn,  the user gets a splitting headache - treat it as being in Medium Pain for as long as the wearer keeps the Eye(s) on, and for 1d seconds after.

Nobody knows the origins of the Eyes of the Overworld. Some say that a wizard of old perfected a technique for creating them from the lenses of Eyes of Death. Others claim they are relics of a god who was slain for his beautiful scales, and these scales are the Eyes themselves. Still others claim they are excreted as spore casings by certain types of fungi that live at magical nexi.


  1. Very interesting. I'd replace "Immunity to Fright checks" with "Unfazeable", since that's the GURPS name for the mechanical effect.

    I'd also replace the damage required to shatter the eye with "HP/10" (it should be harder to shatter the larger lens on a dragon's eye than on a halfling's eye) and the result should be "giving +HP/5 injury". If it's damage to the eye, it gets the x4 skull modify for injury and everyone dies. Unless that's what you intend.

    1. Right on all counts. Thanks!

    2. Actually, going to look at it, Unfazeable merely gives immunity to Fright Checks. You're still affected by other 'fear' affects, like Supernatural Dread, the Fear, Terror, and Panic spells, and some Maledictions.

      The Eyes of the Overworld are proof against all of those.

  2. Dread is a fear effect? So a demon or undead with these could ignore True Faith? Hmmm... that's evil.