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ID: 6625

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February 20, 2012, 5:11 pm

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Peculiar Flask of Ever-Changing Oddities

By:

This ever-full, ever-surprising, ever-ridiculous flask contains a magical liquid that may be the best or worst thing you've ever drank. Handling with caution won't do you any good.

This multi-colored, stained glass flask weighs about 5 pounds despite being small enough to fit into your hand. The shape is irregular, something like an peanut-shaped eggplant. Tiny copper wires run in a web across the entire flask to hold the many tiny pieces of stained glass in place. A small button on the side of the flask slides downward to pull the stopper out and to the side to allow drinking. When the button is slid upwards, it pushed the stopper back into the mouthpiece. The smell it emits while open changes every time it is opened to a random scent that could smell like anything from sulfuric to pine or from a campfire to a fresh ocean mist.

Origin

During the reign of the ancient king Thaddial, the powerful seer and prognosticator, Bavmor, was appointed to be the king's advisor. With his uncanny ability to know the future of everyone he met, Bavmor led the king to victory time and time again. Bavmor grew weary of always knowing the his own future, and so he decided to find a way to change and obscure it. King Thaddial was equally intrigued by this venture and offered his support to Bavmor.

Being the diviner that he was, Bavmor knew where he would have to go and what he would have to do to acquire such an ability. He gathered pollen from the mystic Heartache flowers in the Durran Forests, he collected scales from the deadly dragonfang viper, he painstakingly gathered the first drops of Spring's dew from Mount Jorgordia and filtered them through the plucked eyes of a demonic Reaver Crocodile, he traded with the wood nymphs for their secret nectar and mixed it with the poison of a mutated Gorathian elephant spider, he captured the sound of a kitten's steps within a crystal, and he harnessed the power of a lightning bolt that struck in sunlight without a cloud to cast a shadow. He mixed all of these into a flask made of exactly fifty thousand grains of sand melted and dyed into 100 different colors.

Once completed, Bavmor tried to predict what would happen if he drank the flask. He could not. Elated by this incredible concept, Bavmor opened the stopper to the sweet smell of herbs and butter melting over a hot dinner. The king eagerly watched as Bavmor slowly put the flask to his lips and took a drink. A moment later, he lowered the flask as a frown crawled across his face. "Nothing hap..." he began to say, but he instead turned into a solid stone statue with the flask in his unyielding stone grip. Needless to say, the king eventually broke the statue's hand off to acquire the flask.

About a year later, the flask was taken when the king died in a siege on his castle. The flask was identified as evil when a priest saw a soldier drink it and grow wings. The soldier was executed, and the flask was buried in the catacombs under the cathedral in Redagara.

Side Quest

Bavmor's Folly. This quest will allow the players to remove unwanted negative effects from this list while loosing a few positive effects.

Magic Properties

The flask may only be used three times a day. Each day at dawn, the flask renews its powers and may again bestow its magic to a drinker. Every time the flask is drank, it has a random effect on the drinker. There is no possible way to divine or predict what effect the flask will produce next. Here is a list of 60 cataloged effects, though many more could exist. 

  1. The drinker turns into a zombie.
  2. The drinker grows two additional arms.
  3. A plant immediately sprouts from the drinker’s mouth. The drinker cannot speak or drink anything until the plant retreats into the drinker’s stomach in several minutes. The strange plant blooms several flowers and vines that the drinker can control like tentacles.
  4. The drinker becomes incorporeal for several minutes. Anything that the drinker was wearing or carrying falls to the ground as it has nothing to hold it up.
  5. The drinker begins emits a stench that lasts for several hours that causes everyone nearby to become nauseated and sickened. Excessive vomiting could result in dehydration or even rupture of internal organs.
  6. The drinker has a stroke.
  7. The drinker’s eyes glow red for for several minutes. If the drinker stares intently at anything, it bursts into flames.
  8. The drinker is immediately aware that he is drinking acid. The drinker may drink fill his mouth with acid and spit it as far as 100 feet. This usually completely burns out the drinkers mouth though.
  9. The drinker sprouts wings. It is randomly white feathered wings, brown feathered wings, bat wings, or insectoid wings. With practice, the drinker can use these to fly.
  10. The drinker gains an irrational fear of something. This could be anything from spiders to lightning to girls.
  11. The drinker gains complete access to his own memory for several hours. He can also recall any details from his life with perfect clarity and can remember even complicated details.
  12. The drinker begins floating. He has no control over where the wind pushes him. Most often, the drinker will drift slowly upwards like a balloon. After several minutes, the drinker abruptly stops floating.
  13. The drinker's mind is flooded with memories that are not his. He remembers experiences and skills that belong to someone else nearby.
  14. Once the drink is taken, the drinker's shadow steps away of his body and acts on its own. It can speak but cannot touch or move anything. The shadow may follow its creator and taunt him endlessly, or the shadow might decide to be helpful and be a scout for him. The shadow dies if it is in direct sunlight for an extend period of time.
  15. The drinker sees everything for several hours. He can see ghosts, ley lines, illusions, and magical auras.
  16. The drinker's body turns into the body of a fire elemental for several hours.
  17. Once the fluid reaches the drinker’s stomach, it multiplies in weight until weighs more than the drinker can bear. The drinker is unable to move due to the weight and pain until the fluids pass naturally. This is noted as a very uncomfortable experience.
  18. The drinker’s mouth foams violently and the foam expands and thickens until the drinker is completely surrounded in a giant glob of thick, yellow, mucous-like foam. No one can see through the foam, but the drinker can move fairly easily since the foam is nearly weightless. If the drinker should happen to fall of a cliff, the foam acts as sort of a parachute as well as a landing pad making any falling distance near harmless. It takes a great deal of solvent and cleaner to get the mucous foam cleaned off.
  19. The drinker’s skin turn metallic and reflective. The actually hardens to a near iron toughness without loosing any flexibility. This effect lessens each time the drinker is submerged in water until, eventually, he is back to normal.
  20. The drinker’s muscles and instincts tone and sharpen. He gains a keen scent and wolf-like instincts and reflexes. After several hours, he returns to normal with very sore muscles.
  21. The drinker turns into a gaseous form for several days. With extreme effort, he can focus the gases comprising his body enough to interact with the world. A strong wind can shred him to pieces.
  22. The drinker melts into a nasty ooze for several hours. He is basically instantly turned into an amorphous blob. He can still move by sliding across the floor, and he can fit through any size opening. After several hours, his body begins slowly reforming.
  23. The drinker begins freezing as the icy fluid moves through him. His mouth, throat, and chest begin sprouting ice crystals that move to cover his whole body. For several hours, the drinker's body is covered in ice so cold that everyone nearby is bitten by the bittern cold flowing off of him. The drinker is unharmed by the coating of ice.
  24. The drinker's wounds are all instantly healed. Any disease, ailment, or defect is instantly cured.
  25. The drinker gains an overwhelming sense of self-respect and is immune to intimidation. After several days, these effects wear off leaving the drinker to think that he was acting a little crazy.
  26. The drinker immediately grows a third eye in his forehead that shoots bolts of fire at any living thing it sees. The drinker cannot control what the eye shoots at, but he can turn his head to make sure the crazed eye only attacks in a certain direction. If no living thing is in sight, the eye begins shooting at random objects. After exactly 1 full day, the eye recedes back into the drinker’s head and leaves no sign that it was ever there.
  27. The drinker vomits a swarm of wasps that are under the drinker’s complete control for about an hour. Afterwards, the swarm becomes hostile and begins attacking anyone it can find.
  28. The drinker’s skin turns green and his muscles bulge out of control shredding any clothing that cannot expand to contain it. The drinker gains incredible strength, grows several feet taller, and looses his ability to think rationally. While affected, the drinker knows no fear and cannot feel any pain inflicted on him. All effects wear off together after several hours.
  29. The drinker’s body becomes rigid and is turned to stone.
  30. The drinker becomes obsessed with drinking and must constantly drink something magical or alchemical. Water, alcohol, and other drinks will only suffice if the drinker can’t drink something magical or alchemical. The drinker is afflicted by rage and intense pain if he can't find anything to drink.
  31. The drinker gains a magical boon that will negate the next thing that attempts to harm him.
  32. The drinker grows an extra finger or toe.
  33. The drinker’s stomach swells and glows a fiery red for several hours. The drinker may breathe fire like a dragon.
  34. The drinker’s index finger glows gold. The next things that he touches with that finger turns to solid gold. Living things touched have a small chance to partially resist this, but even if they succeed, a large chunk of themselves will still be turned to solid gold which may result in their death anyway. The gold finger ends once something has been touched.
  35. The drinker withers and clutches at his head in agony. The drinker's mind and body are permanently crippled unless they can be magically restored.
  36. The drinker suffers a random curse. One such curse is that the victim 
  37. The drinker gains the ability to fluently speak a random language.
  38. The drinker feels fantastic and is immune to anything that would harm his mind or body (except for other effects caused by this flask). He could harmlessly wash his hair with molten lava. After several hours, he begins doubting himself and his indestructibility fades away. He then becomes very depressed for several days.
  39. The drinker gains a hatred for all creatures that are unlike himself for several hours. 
  40. The drinker is confused and unable to remember who he is or what he should be doing. He can only follow simple commands, and he will forget what he is doing after a few seconds. If he every touches another living person, the confusion instantly moves to whoever was touched and stops affecting the drinker. That person can pass the confusion to the next person and so on, and this effect continues forever until the person currently bearing the confusion dies.
  41. The drinker becomes invisible for several days. Each day that passes, he becomes a little more visible.
  42. The drinker’s aging process is permanently reversed, and the drinker begins growing younger instead of older. If the drinker was already growing younger, he instead begins growing older again. After he returns to 0 days old, his body and organs begin undeveloping until his is nothing but a single cell.
  43. The drinker’s breath becomes flammable for several hours. With a fire source to ignite his breath, the drinker can breath fire and spit flaming spittle.
  44. The drinker is contentedly satiated for the next week and does not require any food or water.
  45. The drinker begins to flicker in and out of reality. One second, he will be there, and the next second, he will be lost in a different reality. After several hours of this terrifying ordeal, the flickering becomes less frequent and eventually stops. Nightmare of otherworldly beings will always haunt him.
  46. The drinker’s body is violently catapulted in some random direction. The drinker is surprisingly unharmed by the abrupt launchings and landings. With some effort, he can control the direction that he is catapulted, and he can even use his own body as a battering ram. He is usually flung only seconds after he stands up from the last violent flight, and even though he can feel it coming, he cannot control when the next thrust will occur. If he does not learn to control the direction he is hurled, the magic begins trying to hurl the drinker through the nearest window or off the nearest cliff or at anything that would prove comical.
  47. The drinker must eat a full meal every hour or begin starving.
  48. The drinker’s body begins consuming itself. This horrid wilting disease slowly and painfully eats at the body until death in about 3 to 5 days.
  49. The drinker’s skin permanently changes color. It could be green, red, blue, purple, orange, white, brown, or even translucent. 
  50. The drinker emits an aura that makes everyone nearby happier. Anyone made happier in this way cannot bring themselves act offensively. The drinker, however, is not made happier and made harm any of the overjoyed people nearby only to be forgiven and probably wished a pleasant day. This effect lasts for several hours.
  51. The drinker is unnaturally quickened and moves with blurring speed for several hours. It was said that he could even outrun an arrow.
  52. The drinker feels blessed by a spiritual being. Evil creatures and people avoid him at all costs, and he is unnaturally lucky. This blessing lasts for several hours.
  53. The drinker’s legs fuse together into a single fish tail. The drinker, now a merfolk, can swim and breath water as well as  breathe air. After several minutes of no contact with water, the tail splits into legs again, but any contact with water caused the tail to reform.
  54. The drinker’s blood turns a gold color. Whenever the drinker is cut, stabbed, or otherwise is caused to bleed, the blood solidifies into gold after leaving the drinkers body. After several hours, this effect ceases, but all gold outside of the drinker’s body remains as gold.
  55. The drinker becomes horribly sick from a bloating in his abdomen. He can hold it for as long as he wants, but it won't go away until he lets it out. When he is ready, he may fart so hellishly that it creates a windstorm that blasts everyone and everything with wind so strong that it sends them flying through the air. Anyone nearby is in danger of being deafened by the blast. The stench created is even worse, and anyone that does not get away from the horrible smell will die from it. As with most farting, he who dealt it is somehow immune to its effects.
  56. The drinker exhales a random toxic gas for several hours. Anyone nearby must hold their breathe to resist the terrifying fumes. The drinker becomes permanently immune to that specific toxic gas. 
  57. A burst of energy surrounds the drinker and heals wounds of anyone nearby. The burst repeats every few minutes for several hours.
  58. The rancid drink burns out the drinker’s taste buds permanently with no other effect except leaving that horrible taste in his mouth forever.
  59. The drinker’s body envelopes in electricity for several hours. Anyone who approaches too closely is electrocuted. The drinker can focus the electricity to hurl lightning bolts. 
  60. The drinker becomes unrestrained by mortal physics for several hours. He can fly without any noticeable propulsion, and he can teleport himself with a thought.

Please feel free to add any additional effects that you can think of.



Additional Ideas (2)

61-The drinker turns into a small unicorn pony with the power of speech, and if she or he had it allready, the power of magic.

62-The drinker cannot tell lies without giving it away by blushing scarlet.

63-The drinker does what he or she wants for 24 hours unless restrained, no matter how illegal, stupid or dangerous it is.

64-The drinker becomes hyperactive for days.

65-The drinker becomes a transexual and thinks he or she is the opposie sex

66-The drinker can read the thoughts of others for an hour.

67-The drinker can easily seduce the opposite gender

68-The drinker becomes immune to all but the strongest poisons.

69-The drinker becomes very good at singing.

70-The drinker now cannot sleep without sleeping pills.

0xp

2012-02-13 10:44 PM » Link: [6625#80352|text]

71-The drinker thinks he or she is a Messiah

72-All the drinker's skills greatly improve

73-The drinker's sword skills improve

74-The drinker gets eczema

75-The drinker can make others see hallcinations

76-.backwards talks drinker The.

77-The drinker now loves going to parties

78-The drinker becomes senile

79-The drinker stops looking for jobs and waits for them to show up.Is likely to fall for scams.

80-The drinker bcomes serville.

0xp

2012-02-14 09:47 PM » Link: [6625#80365|text]
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Comments ( 21 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

OmegaDraco
February 13, 2012, 21:37
0xp
Update: Fixed a few typos and added "There is no possible way to divine or predict what effect the flask will produce next."
Voted Cheka Man
February 14, 2012, 21:51
0xp

Most people would be too scared to drink from this.

OmegaDraco
February 14, 2012, 23:21
0xp
With ingredients like dew filtered through the plucked eyes of a demonic Reaver Crocodile and nectar poisoned with the mutated Gorathian elephant spider venom, you're pretty much lucky you don't just die. I completely agree with your conclusion. You'd have to be pretty crazy to drink from this ... if you knew what the effects might be (insert evil GM grin).
EchoMirage
February 16, 2012, 10:38
0xp

Well, this is just a Wand of Wonder, no?

OmegaDraco
February 16, 2012, 11:26
0xp
The idea of an item that has random effects is not novel. This is just my own creation of such an item and a bunch of interesting random effects. If you were to suggest improvements, what would you say?
EchoMirage
February 17, 2012, 2:39
7xp
If I were to suggest anything - rolling on a table and applying results is... boring.
*roll* haha, George is green!
*roll* haha, Fred grew a tail.
*roll* haha, I died. I better make a new char.

Well, does it make for a good story?
No. Because stories should be about heroes making choices.

If you want to improve it:
a) make it thematic - all the results are in the same general direction (mutation, mental quirks, elemental effects).
b) give it an use in the story beside applying mindlessly a random effect (the cult of Fnord wishes to taint the water supply!)
c) make it seemingly random, but get some genius to actually draw up some very complicated puzzle that allows you to predict the next effect.
d) make it about choice - say, a character may choose to accept or refuse the bottle's boon, but if he refuses, he may never drink from it again and forgoes any of those awesome boosts.
OmegaDraco
February 17, 2012, 8:24
0xp
Good advice. Thank you.

Quest accepted. I will revise and attempt to improve this sub in the near future.
Voted EchoMirage
February 16, 2012, 10:43
0xp

Le vote.

Voted Murometz
February 16, 2012, 22:50
5xp

I don't have any suggestions on how to improve it, but I can't help but agree with Echo. These are fun to write, and believe me, no one has more fun torturing PCs with weird, random effects than I do, but i dunno, ring/wand/potion/etc...they all seem to be just another version of randomness and an excuse to make a list. However, as you say, this is *your* version, so thumbs up. I guess the "take-away" i get from this, is reading through the effects and finding some "cool" ones, i haven't seen or encountered before. In that vein, I like #54, #46, #30 (gives me an idea for an npc :)), #17, and #11

OmegaDraco
February 17, 2012, 8:22
0xp
#46 is my favorite
Voted axlerowes
February 17, 2012, 11:41
0xp

I have played and GMed with these types of lists before. Most recently with women who insisted she have a "wild magic misshap list".  I find that these things tend to be show stoppers.  (Aside from Echo's point that the game play should be about heroic choices....which I completely argee with and thought was well said.)  You have to stop the scene, roll on the list bring about the results and when the results are this powerful it can really structure the whole scene.  I guess you could do this as something the PCs do to NPCs, as a joke or cruel trick.

 

But as everyone has said, these thing have been around since GG gave us the deck of many things.  There is a place for them in the gaming world, and this is simply your take on it. 

Murometz
February 17, 2012, 13:13
0xp
technically, i'd have to say..."since GG gave us the wand of wonder". The deck of many things was a little more hard-core :)
axlerowes
February 17, 2012, 13:57
0xp
Nothing says 1st edition to me like a deck of many things it is the most random of the random encounter tables, I really saddened to learn that. I feel like my neighbor felt when I explained to him about time zones.

Ax "Well Rob, it wasn't really 4:20 everywhere, you know cause of time of time zones."

Rob "Oh man ...that is lot less cool."

Eventually I guessing he learned that it was always 4:20 somewhere, and perked up...or just forgot the conversation.
Murometz
February 20, 2012, 23:22
0xp


No, no. I must disagree. Deck of Many Things was based on a deck of cards. So, you knew that "Donjon" meant bad news, Ace of freaking Diamonds on the other hand, two thumbs up. Wand of Wonder: Roll percentile dice. 31-37: You make a rainbow. Everyone is happy. 38-39: A 16d6 fireball erupts around you killing everything in a 100' radius. NOTHING was (or ever will be) more random than a Wand of Wonder. The wand (rods, staves, wands) even came before the "deck" (miscellaneous magic) technically.

axlerowes
February 21, 2012, 5:29
0xp
Like I said....time zones
Voted montreve
February 20, 2012, 14:00
5xp

As a GM I feel there is some use to these things based solely on the fact that you can fudge dice rolls...

You cannot do it every time of course, and as such you need to be a little more controlled in your list (like not making things that outright kill people, or things that make PCs overpowered), but I like the idea of at least pseudorandom effect.

The first one or two times you give them random effects to give them a reason to think of it as a potentially useful tool in their arsenal. Then some time in the future you give them specific things that lead to more plot development. These things probably shouldn't be main quest things, but could lead to nice side adventures.

To go with what others have said though, there are definitely some pretty strong down sides to things that are truly random, and have the ability to significantly affect the game. More than anything it just comes down to putting it into your game in a good way.

All that aside, I really like the flavor of the item and the events leading up to its creation, better than just the 'artifact from a bygone age' story.

Things that I would probably omit if I were adding this to a game would be... 1, 2, 6, 9, 21, 29, 46 (maybe), 48, 53. Basically anything with permanent effect (including death or any variant on that), unless it is very minor.

OmegaDraco
February 20, 2012, 17:11
0xp
Update: Added link to Bavmor's Folly and added that the flask may only be drank 3 times a day.
OmegaDraco
February 20, 2012, 17:33
0xp

Thank you to everyone who commented. You have inspired me to excel beyond the normal "random effect item". Check out Bavmor's Folly.

Voted Dossta
June 27, 2012, 11:54
0xp
I enjoyed reading this one. The item has a very solid write-up, with a unique description and backstory. I could easily describe this to my players, and the list of random effects is pretty fresh. I did see a few old favorites in there (the victim changes color), but some were very unique (I loved #40!). Well done.
Voted valadaar
March 19, 2013, 13:01
0xp
It depends on the nature of the campaign. Back when I was young, roleplaying took a backseat to simply playing the game, and so such things as magic items that simply killed you or otherwise had severe impacts were part of the territory.
 My PCs had lots of fun with Deck of many things as they managed to avoid the absolute worst outcomes, and even the Dunjeon card simply opened a door to a different adventure.

Now we seem more invested in the storytelling aspect of the game, which is both good and bad. When it goes well, it can be a work of art, but we tend to gloss over or fudge things that go against our preconceptions. 
 "Hmm, that trap will kill Bob, but he's the party leader, and I have 15 plot ideas hanging off him..." 
Crap, that spell will cause Baron Whatsit to spill the beans too soon. - "He saves.." 

I'd personally tone down some of the worst to become crises that can be solved, stopped, though at cost.

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