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hymer
2017-06-02, 09:52 AM
We all know the crystal ball, and we probably all know that the same kind of functions can be insatalled in things like mirrors and surfaces of water.

I'm specifically looking for a shape that would fit the crystal ball owned by a D&D hag. Now, it could be shaped according to the one she plundered/stole/bought it from, but let's assume she made it herself, or at least personalized it a bit.
This particular hag is the swamp-dwelling kind, and not so much of a planes traveller.

Other ideas for variations on the crystal ball are also very welcome. :smallsmile:

Segev
2017-06-02, 10:17 AM
For a witch or hag in general, a cauldron. Stirred seething brew reflects what she wishes to scry.

For a swamp-dwelling hag, the approach a druid uses might work: find a still, stagnant pool with a good reflective surface.

Mirrors are traditional (and the Mirror of Mental Prowess can serve as a crystal ball, explicitly).

An eyeball-sized crystal ball serving as a glass eye might be cool.

Lord Torath
2017-06-02, 10:21 AM
Perhaps a magically-crystalized spiderweb? I'm thinkning the "traditional" round web, maybe something an Orb Spider (https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&biw=1852&bih=954&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=orb+spider+web+pictures&oq=orb+spider+we&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0l3j0i30k1.3278.5901.0.7912.9.8.1.0.0.0.150 .860.0j7.7.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.8.868...0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i13i5i30k1j0i67k1. YA6d_LwgcPE) would make.

Storm_Of_Snow
2017-06-02, 10:46 AM
Psychic communion with something like a raven or consumption of hallucinogenics?

If you want something others can see, smoke from a fire that shows the scrying, or dust motes, small airborne insects (midges/gnats/mosquitos etc) and so on.

What about a large tree or mushroom, with the plant's roots linking into the world's ley lines and allowing the scryer to see things, either in a crystal that it's grown up around, or in changing patterns in the plant's surface.

I like the spider's web idea too.

hymer
2017-06-02, 12:20 PM
Thanks for the suggestions so far!

I am definitely hoping for a physical object that others can look at, and which can be stolen.

Leewei
2017-06-02, 12:49 PM
A loom
The whispering, severed head of her sister hag -- stare into her eyes to scry
A tome or a book, which scries as you turn pages
A painting
A jug full of smoke or marsh mist. Remove the stopper and use the mists to scry. Fan them back inside and re-stopper it when done.

As an aside, someday I'd like to run a game where PCs find themselves riding a morning commute on the back of a colossal, infernal centipede, crowded with oblivious, muttering cacodaemons hunched over their crystal balls.

hymer
2017-06-02, 02:26 PM
As an aside, someday I'd like to run a game where PCs find themselves riding a morning commute on the back of a colossal, infernal centipede, crowded with oblivious, muttering cacodaemons hunched over their crystal balls.

As parody, social realism, or dystopy? :smallwink:
Thanks for the thoughts!

Honest Tiefling
2017-06-02, 02:48 PM
You could steal a page from the ol' haruspex. The hag stole a magical or sacred creature, let's say for now a unicorn. This unicorn is enchanted to stay with a bridle (which could be removed by brave members of the party) to ensure that it doesn't escape and looks like a nag.

When the hag wishes to divine something, she guts the unicorn and reads the entrails. Once done, she revives the unicorn to once again gut over and over, like like Prometheus.

hymer
2017-06-03, 02:30 AM
You could steal a page from the ol' haruspex. The hag stole a magical or sacred creature, let's say for now a unicorn. This unicorn is enchanted to stay with a bridle (which could be removed by brave members of the party) to ensure that it doesn't escape and looks like a nag.

When the hag wishes to divine something, she guts the unicorn and reads the entrails. Once done, she revives the unicorn to once again gut over and over, like like Prometheus.

Gruesome and low tech. Kiss me, I like it! :smallwink:
Probably not going to go with that one, though. How would I ever tempt PCs into looking for themselves?

Fri
2017-06-03, 06:22 AM
What about a literal giant eyeball? (Either a giant's eyeball, or an eyeball that is giant sized, like a dragon's eyeball or whatever)

JAL_1138
2017-06-03, 06:32 AM
The Lancre witches in Discworld weren't evil hags (although they sometimes deliberately spread the rumor), but they used a glass float from a large fishing net someone brought back as a souvenir from their time at sea. It's a fairly inconspicuous trinket that nonetheless functioned every bit as effectively as a genuine crystal ball for them.

Mark Hall
2017-06-03, 08:41 AM
Perhaps a magically-crystalized spiderweb? I'm thinkning the "traditional" round web, maybe something an Orb Spider (https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&biw=1852&bih=954&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=orb+spider+web+pictures&oq=orb+spider+we&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0l3j0i30k1.3278.5901.0.7912.9.8.1.0.0.0.150 .860.0j7.7.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.8.868...0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i13i5i30k1j0i67k1. YA6d_LwgcPE) would make.

So, you'd be browsing the web, trying to find out what's going on in the world?

Would looking for someone be a web search?

AD&D had a 4th level priest spell called Reflecting Pool, which let you make a temporary crystal ball out of a pool of water.

Jay R
2017-06-03, 10:50 AM
Make it black, make it a Tolkienesque palantir, and allow more powerful beings to spy on or control lesser beings through it.

solidork
2017-06-03, 12:40 PM
A large sea (snail?) shell. When the hag holds it up to her ear it seems to tell her things, though anyone else only hears the ominous noise of moving water. The shell has numerous small holes, allowing it to be used as a musical instrument; the music she plays is said to be heard over vast distances of her marshy domain and can strike fear in the hearts of the bravest. When she wants to look at distant places she places it over a smoky fire, and the fumes emanate through the finger holes in the shell, forming swirling shapes that depict the information she seeks.

Kantaki
2017-06-03, 01:17 PM
A wooden bowl, carved from a really old tree (ideally one that grew in the swamp), filled with water from the hags swamp.
Alternatively a bowl carved from bones, filled with blood- quite possibly the blood of whoever or whatever the bones belonged to. Or the blood of whoever is doing the scrying.

Xuc Xac
2017-06-03, 02:30 PM
Perhaps a magically-crystalized...
Orb Spider (https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&biw=1852&bih=954&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=orb+spider+web+pictures&oq=orb+spider+we&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0l3j0i30k1.3278.5901.0.7912.9.8.1.0.0.0.150 .860.0j7.7.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.8.868...0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i13i5i30k1j0i67k1. YA6d_LwgcPE) ...

Why not take it a step further?

hymer
2017-06-04, 05:50 AM
Thanks for all the new suggestions! It's much appreciated, and interesting, too.


Why not take it a step further?

Would you elaborate on that?

Kantaki
2017-06-04, 06:38 AM
Thanks for all the new suggestions! It's much appreciated, and interesting, too.



Would you elaborate on that?

I think what Xuc Xac means is using a crystallized orb-spider instead of a cristallized (orb-)spider web.

Vercingex
2017-06-04, 08:03 AM
A few suggestions I didn't see for crystal ball substitutes;

A polished shield, helmet, or breastplate with some history that you can scry into a reflective surface (or through the helmet's eye slits)

A tankard, teacup, or wineglass that you can read the bottom of.

A candle or lantern that you can scry into the flame with, or a special herb that when burned can be used to scry.

Anything you can look through- glasses, a monocle, a magnifying glass, etc.

A magic animal- i.e. a chicken that eats randomly scattered feed in a way that foretells the future.

Lord Torath
2017-06-04, 09:18 AM
A few suggestions I didn't see for crystal ball substitutes;

A polished shield, helmet, or breastplate with some history that you can scry into a reflective surface (or through the helmet's eye slits)A character in a book had the first three inches of their sword blade polished to mirror smoothness just for this purpose.

Perhaps a magically-crystalized spiderweb? I'm thinkning the "traditional" round web, maybe something an Orb Spider (https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&biw=1852&bih=954&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=orb+spider+web+pictures&oq=orb+spider+we&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0l3j0i30k1.3278.5901.0.7912.9.8.1.0.0.0.150 .860.0j7.7.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.8.868...0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i13i5i30k1j0i67k1. YA6d_LwgcPE) would make.
So, you'd be browsing the web, trying to find out what's going on in the world?

Would looking for someone be a web search?Now you're getting it! :smallwink:

sktarq
2017-06-04, 11:15 AM
More and less classic

A bowl made from a skull cap of a large intelligent creature (Storm Giant, Dragon, Planetar). Large enough to be quite shallow and tough enough to be put over a small fire. Add oily tea to the bowl and the shimmers of the oil come into focus as the images.

A woven sheet of children's hair. Will float over a fire (and you toss an item linked to the target or an item that has been ritually infused with the idea of the target into the fire) and the billows of the sheet will resolve into images.

redwizard007
2017-06-04, 12:41 PM
A polished skull would be my go to.

A large egg could be interesting. Maybe a Roc's or a Hydra's.

If we are going with smoke, why not a pipe? Tobacco, of course. Gandalf's smoke rings be damned!

Jay R
2017-06-04, 02:34 PM
A shallow bowl of water like the Mirror of Galadriel.

hymer
2017-06-05, 02:13 AM
Another round of thanks go out to suggestion makers. :smallsmile: