9 Votes


Hits: 10326
Comments: 15
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.3333
Condition: Normal
ID: 2339


October 31, 2006, 10:02 am

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Cloak of Horripilation


Yazzard hasn’t been the same since getting struck by lightning. Neither has his cloak.

Full Item Description

The cloak, called “Gooseflesh” by Yazzard, is of good quality, but otherwise ordinary. It is made of oil-treated wool, and is slightly frayed at its edges. It is leaden-gray in color, with a wine-red border. It faintly radiates magic. Recently, Yazzard has added a clasp for the cloak, in the shape of two small electrum lightning bolts.


Yazzard was an up-and-comer in the local thieves guild, a burglar specializing in “roof-work”, as he called it. He could often be found skulking among the rooftops of his native city, looking for break-in opportunities. One particularly stormy night, Yazzard was unfortunate enough to be struck by a lightning bolt from the sky.

His career has taken a downturn since that day. Suffering the effects of a mild stroke, brought on by the bolt, Yazzard was no longer as nimble or nearly as “sharp” as he once considered himself to be. If that wasn’t enough of a setback, he also acquired a severe and debilitating stutter, making him the butt of cruel japes among his fellow thieves.

To make matters worse, the lightning bolt somehow altered the magical properties of Yazzard’s nifty cloak as well.

Yazzard is now trying to sell the cloak, since it reminds him of that fateful day he was struck by lightning, to some poor sap with coin to spend (pc?). He claims its magic warns the wearer of any possible danger. If asked why he would want to part with such an item, Yazzard explains he owns another one just like it. Since it does radiate magic, Yazzard figures someone will buy it eventually. Of course if and when he does manage to unload it, he’ll go into hiding for some time to avoid the unpleasantness associated with a dissatisfied buyer.

Magic/Cursed Properties

What once was a cloak of minor ‘danger-sense’, became, well…somewhat useless and debilitating. The cloak now causes constant horripilation to its wearer. Horripilation, more commonly known as goose bumps or “gooseflesh” is a temporary change in the skin when it becomes rougher due to erection of little muscles on the body, as from cold, fear, or excitement. In the case of the cloak, this effect is not temporary, but lasts as long as the cloak is worn (!) Contractions of these muscles elevate the hair follicles above the rest of the skin. It is these tiny elevations that people perceive as goose bumps. Every hair of the cloak’s wearer bristles and stands on end. An overall feeling of nervousness and mild fear is felt as well, as if some unseen danger is near. This cloak has no other powers.

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

February 20, 2006, 14:54
Ok, since I have never commented on one of your submissions before, ( I dont think I have anyway) I will let you know. Anything I say in here is not bashing, harrassing, or down right mean. I am very up front with everyone and try to bring the same type of thought to every comment I make. So if I seem to harsh, forgive me bluntness. I am just trying to help after all.

I am not entirely sure what this submission is about. While this is an item, it seems more of a plot to me. More focus has been spent on the actual, getting rid of the clock, then the item itself.

And while Horripilation, is an actual medial term, I really don't think the name fits for an item. Whether it suits it or not. The name made me think of some horrible illusion or nightmare, perhaps a demon would spawn from it when I read the title. As I didn't know what Horripilation was until I looked it up.

The items description, while fits its not unusual looking nature, needs much more definition. It briefly, one sentence, mentions it has magic properties before. What were they? The danger sense it spoke of all to briefly as well? If so... why would lightning affect it any? I would think if magic was altered it would revert to the exact opposite of it's ability. Not sense danger until it passed or something along those lines.

Why would a feeling of gooseflesh be unnearving? I get cold chills all the time and it doesn't affect me. It feels weird to have it al lthe time I am sure, but nothing that I would be in such a rush to get rid of. It still functions as a cloak after all.

I would think that if this did do what you intend, the gooseflesh would have to be more than just natural. It would be chilling to the bone and unearving to the point where they can not function. It isn't on all the time, but happens at the worst times. When stressed, or under pressure.

I don't know but this lacks a lot of me to vote on and it seems more a plot than an item.

But that is just my opinion and thats it.
Voted Nobody
February 20, 2006, 15:24
Well I like it. Obviously it is not a revolutionary item that changes the game world, but one of those unique little things that adds a lottle bit of flavor now and then.

Contrary to what Mourngrymn says, I see no problem with the magical effects, although you should describe the cloak a little better even if only to say that it is made of wool and is worn at the edges. I think the story is fine, and an Item like this does not need an epic legend behind it.

However, Mourngrymn is right in that the cloak is still a good cloak. It causes what? Does the cloak no longer function as a cloak of detect danger, and the thief has already replaced it?

Anyway, I will give it my standard Small Items Vote of 3.0. Not everything has to get a 4.5 or 5.0, and I yhink that this is a good solid idea.
February 20, 2006, 16:03
ok, I could have added some clarification and more description. I thought the lightning bolt clasp might have done the trick :) but I guess not.

-Formerly, the cloak caused gooseflesh and uneasiness whenever the wearer was close to danger. Now it simply causes that sensation all the time.

-It's not that the goose bumps and such "cause" uneasiness. An overall feeling of nervousness and mild paranoia is felt as well, on top of the goose-bumps.

-Obviously people wouldn't go around calling it a "horripilation" cloak. I guess you can call it a "Gooseflesh Cloak" or something. I meant the name a little tongue-in-cheek, for exactly the reason you state. It seems such an OMINOUS word, I thought it would be funny. I guess that amused only me

-why would lightning affect it? Geez, I don't know. Why not? I don't have a scientific or detailed magical discourse on the subject.

- "Not sense danger until it passed or something along those lines." I actually like that suggestion a lot. Great alternative (probably better actually and funnier!)

- Nobody, thanks for "wooly-and-worn". Hope you don't mind.

In closing (and as Nobody mentions-thanks!) I didn't mean this to be a "world-changing" magic item, and didn't want it to be overly complicated. It's a quirky cloak, thats all. In hindsight, I should have made the entry as Yazzard the NPC.

*did some slight editing*

I DO appreciate your comments and suggestions, Mourngrymn. I guess I'll chalk this one up, to "you didn't like it" :)
Voted Scrasamax
February 20, 2006, 16:33
Interesting, a cloak of danger sense that is always sensing danger. A defective charm to say the least. This isn't a bad idea and it could be used in the realm of other items, such as Boots of Leaping that make every step a bounding leap...
Voted Iain
February 20, 2006, 17:46
Only voted
Voted Pariah
February 23, 2006, 23:21
Good Job. Nice, but horripilation? I know now that it's a medical term, but I thought it was like the demon of pain and apathy when I first saw it.
February 23, 2006, 23:30
arrrghhh. thats what your supposed to think. Thats why I called it that. Apparently my humor entertains only me :(

but thanks for the visit. I'll do better next time
February 24, 2006, 15:28
Well now that you explained that calling it the cloak of horripilation was a practical joke, I think it is hilarious. Subtle humor. We just didn't catch it thats all.

Voted Mourngrymn
February 24, 2006, 15:56
Ok, I am sorry that I am stil lvoting a little low on this as everyone else seems to like it a lot. I try not to let others sway my voting at least.

Thinking now about the cloak in that it would be like it was detecting danger all the time seems to be a wonderful idea. Especially if it gave the impression that the wearer turns to look and sees a few people turn away. Everytime. So it seemed someone was watching/ tracking/ stalking them.
Voted Roack
February 27, 2006, 23:25
Once again it my be my bias to well named background names, but I love it. It has great writing too.
Voted Ria Hawk
February 27, 2006, 23:41
As some of the others have said, I think this item would work better as an adventure or NPC idea. I do like the idea of a magical item that makes people nervous all the time, which could lead to some interesting situations if someone had the cloak and didn't know what they had. Maybe someone important suddenly becomes very, very paranoid... this could easily be a plot in the making.
Voted fenixphire
March 2, 2006, 18:53
I actually like this cloak a great deal. This is just the sort of item I like to give PCs in my campaign. Something that will make them think a bit, and just add a bit of flavor and role play to the game.

Not eveything needs to be awesome and of high magic. It has been my experience that it is those little items that really make the game. I mean sure, give someone an awesome sword or great armor, and they will appricate it and have fun with it. But, when they look back at the campaign, what they will really remember is the litte silly stuff that made it fun.

"Ha-ha..remember when so-and-so got that cloak, and it made him jump at every little thing. How long did it take us to figure that out?? And all the time it was right in front of us!"

I have the feeling that this will be showing up for my PCs rather soon...

Oh, and I have the feeling it take a real dry, tounge-in-cheek sence of humor to get what you were doing with the name. That is the curse of those of us with a Britt sence of one else gets it. Been there many a time myself. ;)
March 2, 2006, 19:42
MARRY ME! oh wait already married...shucks
March 2, 2006, 19:55
Thanks for the sort of offer. But, seeing as you have a wife and I already have a man, then guess not. Maybe in the next life. :P

*walks away laughing*
Voted valadaar
February 10, 2014, 12:10
Such drama!

I would make it work intermittently myself, perhaps even properly at the start. The longer it is owned, the less reliable it becomes.

Otherwise PCs would ditch it pretty quickly.


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