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Items
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Magical
3.55
10 Votes

35xp


Hits: 2881
Comments: 12
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.55
Condition: Normal
ID: 3848

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Updated:
January 26, 2009, 4:34 am

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Cheka Man
Silveressa

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The Thing That Goes Beep

By:

Well it’s got to do something, but I’ll be damned if I know what

Players Description

A small slab of polished granite about 7 inches long by 3 inches wide by half an inch thick, with hieroglyphs engraved on one face. The hieroglyphs are recognisably part of an ancient language, now unreadable to all but a very few (highly specialised) sages. There are no other identifying marks.

There are no moving parts or mechanisms of any king. However the slab does radiate a faint magical aura, which is visible to those who can detect such things.

When any of the hieroglyphs is touched the slab emits an audible "beep", of the type that would be called "electronic" in a more technical universe, but nothing else appears to happen. There is no variation in tone or note between the hieroglyphs, all of the hieroglyphs producing exactly the same sound.

GMs Description

The slab is actually the control unit to an ancient magical device or mechanism of some kind (think TV remote control). This can be almost anything the GM can envisage (a slave golem, an air conditioning system, an entertainment device, whatever). Unfortunately, the device is long since lost so the controller now does nothing at all.

Oh, and the beep sound was included by the original enchanters as a kind of "feedback" to confirm to the user that a hieroglyph had been touched.

Plot Idea

Just drop this into a treasure hoard somewhere then sit back and watch your players get really confused.



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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Dozus
April 23, 2007, 5:36
0xp
A neat and useless little gadget.

What might be even more entertaining is to have it actually *do* something, just something very subtle or out of the sight of the PCs. Have you seen that one commercial where the guy keeps hitting the switch on his wall trying to figure out what it does when it ends up opening and closing his neighbor's garage door on top of her own car? Mayb esomething like that: a garage door opener in some far-off star system. When the PCs push the hieroglyphs, the door smashes down on the aliens' starcruiser, setting off an intergalactic war unbeknownst to them.
Voted manfred
April 23, 2007, 6:36
0xp
Heheh. Nice one! Oh, and please add it to the Red Herrings codex.

Nothing above having a little fun with the players. :)
Dragon Lord
April 23, 2007, 7:06
0xp
Glad you liked it

and you're right, it's a classic red herring, so added to the codex as suggested
Voted Scrasamax
April 23, 2007, 11:36
0xp
It's got to do something important, we can't read it, it radiates magic and beeps...

Add in a touch of trickery and watch the paranoia bloom.
Voted Cheka Man
April 23, 2007, 17:23
0xp
LOL Funny and the PCs would be bemused by it.
Voted Murometz
April 23, 2007, 18:03
0xp
hehehe, a classic red herring.

"Its important, i'm tellin' you! I just havent figured out why or how, but damn it! Its important! Look! It just beeped, for chrissakes!"
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
November 9, 2007, 8:54
0xp
I will remember this and use it once. I will only change the sound, "beep" is a little too modern for me.
MoonHunter
November 9, 2007, 10:27
0xp
Well the tone of a bell or chime works.

Actually I would keep the beep simply because it "trigger" something in the modern player's minds. They will think this is an item of technology that has somehow found its way to the world (or high tech from an earlier age). They will confidently work with it, thinking that their modern minds will be able to figure out what it is for.

"It is a universal remote in a cool synthetic material that looks like granite, but what is it for?"
Voted Peppe Pepis
August 18, 2009, 11:34
0xp
Funny! Same kind of situation as with those locked, unbreakable, fake doors attached onto walls...
Even funnier, GMs might put something actually controlled with it might in the most absurd place, many adventures after, where the PCs would never expect it!
Voted Silveressa
January 10, 2011, 0:35
0xp

Endless fun, especially in a steam punk setting. I can imagine a huckster selling this as a device that grants bodily control over goblins or some such. (Especially if he has a trained goblin or halfling dressed as a goblin to help with the ruse.)

Voted Ramhir
January 12, 2011, 13:34
0xp

Oh, neat! I'm going to have to put this in my campaign and give it to the players!

Voted axlerowes
April 4, 2013, 11:08
0xp
Nice one.....wish I'd thought of it year ago.

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Strolen

In nature, for instance, a rhino has flies and ticks etc, that live on the hide and live off the blood. Rhino will visit and lie in ponds where turtles will clean the underwater portion of the ticks and a species of bird will clean the the top of ticks and other parasites. What if where the characters camp there were a species of animals that lived off wounds of the creatures. PCs camp. Anybody with wounds on there body are soon covered with small rodent - insect - shadows - whatever. Would immediately see it as a threat I would imagine. But perhaps one of the wounded didn't wake up when it happened, and when they did finally wake they were completely healed. Perhaps somebody was warned of something attacking them but they were able to notice that the wound was actually getting smaller instead of larger. Or maybe they successfully beat the creatures off them and don't notice an improvement, marking this place never to rest at ever again....later learn that villagers send their wounded there but they keep it a guarded secret because they don't want all the attention or traffic and what comes with such a special gift. Could turn into something more too if characters decide to start blabbing about it.

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