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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    I am really fond of both masks and lamps as mystical object in fantasy. They look cool in art and I find them highly evocative when describing scenes and characters. And I also like that these two happen to form a nice opposing contrast, with one being concealing and the other revealing.

    So I am thinking of making them common forms that magic items take, instead of going with the standard mainstream swords and rings.

    Any cool ideas how masks and lamps could be magically enchanted? The obvious uses for lamps are to show hidden things and to help finding a path. Or the light and smoke might actually scare away certain creatures. Masks are for hiding your idenntity and also thoughts. And maybe looking through a mask could let you see certain things, but I think that would go against the otherwise nice contrast of concealing masks and revealing lamps.
    Any other neat ideas for magic items?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Maybe have a lamp that buffs everyone whose light it falls on. This would add some interesting tactical stuff to combat in tight areas where the light can be interrupted or in situations where you're trying to prevent its light from falling on your enemies.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Divination using the lamp's smoke comes to mind. It reveals what's happening in another time or place. Maybe a lamp to discover an obstacle's weakness. Masks don't only hide things. They also protect. So, maybe a mask that shields its wearer from the elements. Another to obscure motives.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by MrZJunior View Post
    Maybe have a lamp that buffs everyone whose light it falls on. This would add some interesting tactical stuff to combat in tight areas where the light can be interrupted or in situations where you're trying to prevent its light from falling on your enemies.
    Or a Bane Lantern, that gives all (ranger foe) in the light (30' or so?) -X to hit/AC/save/STR/etc. Oh, and the lantern needs hair or a few drops of blood or a scale or something from the (ranger foe) burning along with the oil to function.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
    Or a Bane Lantern, that gives all (ranger foe) in the light (30' or so?) -X to hit/AC/save/STR/etc. Oh, and the lantern needs hair or a few drops of blood or a scale or something from the (ranger foe) burning along with the oil to function.
    What's a (ranger foe)?
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by MrZJunior View Post
    What's a (ranger foe)?
    Sorry, meant favored enemy. Like, one of the entries from the ranger's favored enemy list.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    A lamp that sheds light visible only to creatures with Darkvision.

    A lamp that creates an anti-life shell when lit.

    A gorgon/Medusa mask that gives you the ability to cast Flesh to Stone 1/day.

    (or do similar things in the system you are using it it isn't D&Dish)

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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Some really neat ideas. I like them.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Surprised no one has mentioned the genie in the lamp yet.

    How about a lamp that summons a giant moth?

    Some serious ideas:

    - The Scholar's Lamp: any text illuminated by it is translated into the holder's native language.
    - The Light of Truth: reveals invisible objects and illusions.

    - The True Face: This mask twists to reflect the true nature of the person wearing it - on a good person it appears beautiful, on an evil person it becomes demonic and ugly. Might or might not alter the person's actual face.
    - The White Mask: Placed on a person, this nearly featureless cursed mask greatly reduces their individuality and free will, making them much easier to command (either by mundane or magical means). Will rolls are needed for the wearer to remove it, and the mask itself makes this difficult.
    - The Mask without Iron: A simple black velvet domino mask (a "burglar mask" that conceals only the area around the eyes). While wearing it, no one can recognise the wearer and will find it difficult to even remember their presence afterwards.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    And, of course, a lantern that magically produces pictures on a wall.
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    I actually think the summoning lamp is the best idea by far yet.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    The obvious magical use of a mask is to take on aspects of whatever creature or person the mask resembles. So if you put on a demon mask, you become a demon.

    Such masks would ideally, through law of contagion, have a connection with the things they resemble - the demon mask, f. ex., might've been made from a demon's skin.

    The danger of such masks could be taking the impersonation too far - the wearer forgetting who they are under the mask and hence becoming it for good.

    For lamps, their purposes are to illuminate, to blind and to signal information. So you could have a lamp which shows the safe path for the virtuous, but leads the wicked astray. Though it's also interesting to ask how a lamp would do any of this. A candle and a flashlight both shed might, but the mechanism through which they do it differs and has different applications in a pinch.

    So let's think of some more exotic power sources for a lamp. It could be a prison for a djinn or ifirit, who might be either a loyal servant or a dangerous foe if released, like in classic tales. It could be a mirror of captured moonlight, triggering lycantrophy or revealing special dwarven sigils. It could be a portal to some faraway sun, shining ultraviolet or infrared light instead of the common spectrum. It could be the severed eye of a Kryptonian, shooting beams of heat or x-rays. Or a radioactive rock held in a lead frame which slowly makes the bearer ill with radiation sickness.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    The obvious magical use of a mask is to take on aspects of whatever creature or person the mask resembles. So if you put on a demon mask, you become a demon.
    Or you just gain minor powers of a demon, like fire resistance and a frightful presence.

    I do like the reference to Majora's Mask implied here. Not concealing you, but "putting on" the essence of another creature.

    Not all lamps need to be about revealing things. They can be about spreading an effect in a radius. A lamp could create any of the "fog/cloud" type spells.
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Sweet! That opens the door to an entire magic system.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    The radius of bright light from the lamp could also encompass / project a protection effect, keeping whatever sort of creature at bay.

    Especially fitting if you're going with the "black depths of the forest" atmosphere discussed in the other threads.

    Take it to the extreme, and think of the scenes in Pitch Black where the little light someone has is the only thing keeping the horde of ripping tearing ravenous starving predators at bay, lurking there just outside the meager radius of light, waiting for it to go out...
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    I came up with an item I called simply "The Ghost Lamp." It had a whole setting specific thing and a history of use, but it's main ability is that any spectral undead in its (relatively small) bright light radius was automatically rendered visible and corporeal. This meant players could corner a ghost and grapple it to force it into an exorcism, or at least a magic circle, and once I had some wraiths slam face-first into a wall over and over again, not smart enough to understand they couldn't pass through stone anymore.

    The Hand of Glory is a classic. I'd make it so some number of people can attune to it, and only those attuned can see the light the hand gives off.
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    I had totally forgotten about that. But it really is a lamp for all intents and purposes.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Featureless masks that come in pairs. When the user puts one mask on the face of an inanimate statue and wears the other one they activate. The users mask changes into the material of the statue and the statueís mask becomes the userís face and animates under direct control. The users body stiffens in its current pose and the animated statue is effectively their new body with all the durability of whatever material it is made from until the mask is removed from one of them.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    The was a type of mask I read about in 2nd Ed I liked. A group of elven rangers would wear masks they made themselves from wood & other natural materials. The masks could be fitted with various customizations, like placing magical lenses in the eye sockets, or a satchet of purifying herbs in front of the mouth & nose to give a bonus vs inhaled poisons, etc.

    Since each mask was unique, the owner could be identified by it. So if the players came across one, and wore it openly, they would eventually get a visit from a group of powerful rangers who were really keen to find out how they happened to come by their friend's mask, and where he might be now.

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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    As an addition to taking on features of a mask, how about taking on, let's call them social aspects. Go into the carneval theme.

    Imagine a mask, let's call it The Green Man Mask. Or some other sufficient symbol of wildness/barbarity. While you are wearing it, people will forgive you social trespasses. You can be rude to the king, eat with your hands, talk during a ceremony, all those things, and no one will bat an eye.

    The mask of the Philosopher. Whatever you say, people will consider it as a piece of profound, if perhaps weird, philosophy. Not that they'll do what you say, but they will think about it.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2018-11-08 at 11:56 AM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    BTW, Yora, this has been a good thread for me, too, as there's a culture that I'm trying to work out masks as an element for -- more in terms of cultural and social norms, expected behavior, etc, than in the magic side, but talking about the details always helps.

    They're a notably high-context culture, with language and behavior to match. There's a lot of implication and metaphor and multiple layers of meaning in each thing said, and the underlying meanings and messages are to be understood while not explicitly spoken.

    Likewise, with the masks, it's supposed to be understood who it is that's behind the mask, and it's expected that you'll imply and signal that you know, but it is considered "uncouth" to simply say it.

    So a conversation between two people from this culture, wearing masks, would seem to an outsider to be about one thing, or about nothing, while underneath they were "saying" a lot to each other and quite clearly.
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    That had me think of this:

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    I don't know why, but a lamp to drive people insane was the first idea that popped into my head. Perhaps because it could easily explain why some mines are 'haunted' if someone swapped out an ordinary lamp for one of these. It could simply enhance normal paranoia and fears or make illusory things in the corner of one's sight.

    Through if lamps are such a big deal in this culture...Maybe you should ask what the hell is hiding in the darkness. Perhaps there's a reason lamps became so important.

    As for masks, are you talking full face masks or partial masks? I mean, few cultural practices arise for no reason at all. What did people of this culture have to hide at first? What if the founders of the culture weren't entirely human, but figured masks could hide their differences long enough to spread into the 'normal' population. Or a plague that was disfiguring, but granted magical powers. Or a race, benign or not, that didn't exactly like the sun.
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    A lamp that moves the light level toward a certain level. Like, if it's dark it works like a normal lamp, but if its very bright out it makes the area darker

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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    comedy and tragedy masks that cast good hope and crushing despair on their wearers, respectively

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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Okay, here comes my superheroic fanboyism.
    A green lamp that has several powers. It lets the owner cast Detect Evil. Also, it can cast Fear on evil creatures. And it can power another magical item, say, a green mask, when it's exposed to the lamp's light.
    The mask, in turn, gives the wearer control over green-colored items (I imagine plant control would be useful). Beware its yellow vulnerability.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bastian Weaver View Post
    Okay, here comes my superheroic fanboyism.
    A green lamp that has several powers. It lets the owner cast Detect Evil. Also, it can cast Fear on evil creatures. And it can power another magical item, say, a green mask, when it's exposed to the lamp's light.
    The mask, in turn, gives the wearer control over green-colored items (I imagine plant control would be useful). Beware its yellow vulnerability.
    Special vulnerability to fear effects?
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    Special vulnerability to fear effects?
    Absolutely! I think some kind of Will saving throw would be required.
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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    A lamp that only illuminates magical effects, like glyphs, wards, magic items, etc., sort of a Detect Magic spell in item form. Maybe it could even illuminate things Detect Magic couldnít, so maybe also functioning as a Lantern of Revealing, or seeing through Nondetection and Nystulís Magic Aura.

    For any of the magic lamps in this thread, the utility could be limited by a difficult-to-obtain or even morally-questionable consumable fuel, like Aboleth oil or unicorn tallow.
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2018-11-10 at 08:19 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ideas for Magic Lamps and Masks

    Craft Magic Candle -- Should have 50 rounds burn time, emits a spell effect. Could cost comparable to a wand.

    Simple Magic Lantern -- holds a magic candle with a 360 degree effect area, 40' radius

    Bullseye Magic Lantern -- holds a magic candle, 40' cone effect area

    Obscuring mask -- makes you immune to magic candle effects
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