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Comments: 15
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.2778
Condition: Normal
ID: 2437


March 29, 2006, 11:34 pm

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Michael Jotne Slayer
Cheka Man

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Spectral Tablets


Sometimes, the simplest things are the ones that get you in trouble…

Full Item Description

Spectral Tablets are small white pills roughly the size of Asprin, so to be easy to swallow. They are simple in form and look, and generally carried in a small container with a cap of some sort.


There once was a spiritist named Nap who wished to be able to see and affect the spirits that he could only hear, for their spiritual wavelength was and is beyond what the physical can see and touch. To do so, Nap determined that he would have to change his own spiritual wavelength to match that of ghosts and other spiritual beings. As with all such problems, a perfect solution came to mind almost instantly: create an object to do so. A pill format was chosen, that way the effects will wear off after a short while.

With the help of an alchemist and dark magic, he succeeded in bringing spiritual matter into the physical realm while preserving it wavelength, the most cruicial part of the experiment. Enchantments were woven to keep the spirit matter within the physical realm, for otherwise it would just go back to the realm of it’s birth and be of no use. The creation was finished, now it had to be tested.

It worked beyond Nap’s wildest dreams, for not only could he see and touch ghosts, but he could manipulate the strings of the spirit world* himself, much like a ghost would, causing effects that no normal eye could see.** More than satisfied, Nap thanked and paid the alchemist for the recipe to continue making the Spectral Tablets, as he called them, and got to work documenting all he could about the spirit world.

The effects of the tablets are short lived, however, for the physical matter of Nap’s form soon reverted to it’s normal spiritual wavelength, and soon he needed more tablets. Having bought the formula from the alchemist for just this circumstance, he had the means to make his own, and did so. Soon things went downhill.

Whether it was a copy error or something else, perhaps even the spirit world rejecting the unnatural interferance of a mortal, the formula was subtly wrong, and the tablets were miscreated. They performed their intended effect, but they also attracted spirits of the nastiest sort. Demons that had escaped to earth from the Divine War*** were attracted to Nap, and they had much more spiritual muscle than he. The pills from the second batch never seemed to wear off, but though he could constantly see the spirit world, Nap could not affect it without constantly eating the tablets, and soon he was driven to near madness from constantly being on the run from demons who wish to tear his soul to ribbons and feast upon it.

Magic Properties

Spectral Tablets are a simple object that one merely must swallow to gain the effects of. Within a minute, once the spirit matter in the pills is released, it will change the user’s spiritual wavelength to a higher state, allowing them to see and affect the spirit realm.

Long term use will, as in the case of Nap, cause the user to be able to constantly see the spirit realm due to a permanent wavelength change. However, the difference in wavelengths is still such that while one can see the spirit realm, one cannot affect it without the pills. Long term use will also attract attention from the “nastier” denizens of the spirit realm, and such a person will be forever hounded by spirits and demons wishing to eat their soul.


*The spiritual realm is the spiritual side of the physical realm, where spirits and other supernatural creations reside. Objects within the physical realm can be manipulated through “spiritual strings” (hence the phrase “pulling someone’s strings”) which are invisible to the normal eye, but visible at the spiritual wavelength.

**While one can create and manipulate “spirit strings” to cause effects, it should be noted that doing so requires spiritual muscles, which most mortals will not have. The only way they can be developed is through manipulation of spiritual matter, much as normal muscles. Anything done in the spirit world requires an equal amount of spiritual effort as a similar physical act would.

***See Coivn for more information about the Divine War.

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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Roack
March 29, 2006, 23:45
I like it, it's original and useful, though not too easily applied out of its setting, which, I might add, I would love to see filled out fully.
Voted Cheka Man
March 30, 2006, 11:26
Useful if PCs want to talk to ghosts.
Voted Pariah
March 31, 2006, 22:57
I like it, it's great for a world where the spirits are as unreachable as the stars in the sky.

'The only way they can be developed is through manipulation of spiritual matter, much as normal muscles'
Oh and does this mean the user has to lift spirital weights?
March 31, 2006, 23:12
Ah, I suppose so. I meant it in that you must do "spiritual" labor (work with spirit strings) to be able to do more. *shrugs* I'd expect that if a GM wished to include that, he could definitely do so.

I, however, am including these as a part of a character write up, something that deserves to be detailed on it's own, since the characters might encounter it afterwards.
Voted Scrasamax
March 31, 2006, 23:06
An interesting item, something between a bad acid trip, a trip to the pharmacist, and too long in the indian sweat lodge. I can see them being outlawed in most places since they can be...disruptive.
March 31, 2006, 23:15
As I responded to Parah, these are something of a "unique" item, used only by one NPC. The PCs, however, might get their paws on them In-Game, hence the write-up.
Voted Murometz
March 31, 2006, 23:09
This is one of my favorite subs of your Chaos! Happy Pills! (so to speak)
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
June 15, 2006, 19:31
A great post that I finally voted and commented upon;)
Barbarian Horde
August 26, 2006, 4:57
hmm i like the web i just not sure cause i'm new is this basically a design for reality or a basis of game knowledge that would be introduced
please can you confirm one of my answers
October 14, 2006, 21:21
I'm not quite sure what you were asking, but I believe you were wondering as to what the purpose of the item was, am I correct?

To answer, the purpose is to detail an item that a certain NPC is based around, and to explain the workings behind the item. In this case, the background details are kinda funky in that they're a system, but they /are/ just background details. The essense of the item is unchanged regardless.
Michael Jotne Slayer
November 8, 2010, 10:09

BUMP and HoH.

Voted Dossta
November 9, 2010, 18:18

I get the mental image of one of those "crazies" who yammer on about seeing demons, except that these demons are real.  No one would ever believe him, possibly not even the PCs.

July 31, 2011, 14:51
To quote one of my favorite characters: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

This is one of those ideas that could either be used as the basis for an entire setting, due to the background details, or just a one-off adventure MacGuffin. I included the details for the former, but I think it would work better for the latter. And if used as such, the characters would almost be obligated to meet the crazy old guy who takes these things regularly.
Voted Black Jack Rackham
November 11, 2010, 8:29

This reminds me of the whole "Tempo" meta-plot from Shadowrun 4th Ed. (not that I think one had anything to do with the other). 

Good effort, and I like the addiction properties added in.

I am curious though, might there be a way to find/reproduce the original formulae?


Voted valadaar
October 23, 2014, 12:44
These are neat! Simple with lots of possibilities.


  • Associated ideas.
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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Wet Faeries

       By: Murometz

Sages and naturalists frown at the common name given to these strange creatures by the small folk, but sometimes the silliest nicknames for creatures, places and people persevere in the minds of many. “Purifiers”, “Pond Jellies”, “Breath-Stealers”, “Lung-Ticklers” and “River Butterflies” are much less commonly heard appellations for these life forms. Wet Faeries are basically (and simply) a species of fist-sized, fresh-water jellyfish. Several traits steer them toward the peculiar category however. Firstly, Wet Faeries are nearly invisible in the water, much like their marine cousins but even more so. One can swim in a river swarming with these critters and not even notice their presence. Secondly, they possess the unique ability to clean and purify whatever body of water they inhabit. They do this via some sort of biological filtration process, sucking in all toxins present in the water, and releasing it back in its purest form. Needless to say, they are both a blessing and a curse to whichever folk dwell beside the rivers and lakes Wet Faeries inhabit. On one hand, no purer water can be found anywhere than a Wet Faerie lake or pond, and yet, in “pure” water “life” tends in fact to die out, lacking the needed nutrients to prosper. Thirdly, their “sting” is (unfortunately) virulently poisonous to all mammalians. Wet Faeries are loathe to sting anyone or anything, using their barbed fronds as a last line of defense, but if stung, most swimmers will suffer respiratory arrest, and die within minutes, usually drowning before they can make it back to shore.

Alchemists, druids, and less savory characters have studied these creatures over the years, and have predictably found all the ways Wet Faeries could be exploited. Morbidly humorous, some bards find it, that the Poisoners and Assassins Guilds as well as the Healer’s Union, all prize these creatures. The assassins use the extracted venom in obvious fashion, while the priests and healers use the still-living jelly-fish to sterilize other poison potions and to cure those already poisoned on death’s door.

It is known that a certain Earl Von Trumble keeps his vast castle moat stocked with Wet Faeries, the waters so clear that every bone of every one of his past enemies can be clearly seen on the bottom, twenty two feet below.

Encounter  ( Any ) | June 20, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp

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