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11/24/2014 9:41 am  #1


Gorgon heads

What can you do with a severed gorgon head? Is it just good for parts sold to an alchemist or magician? Can you use it as a weapon to petrify enemies, as in Clash of the Titans? If so, how long before that power goes away?

Yes, I realize the answer is It's Up to the Referee, but I am curious as to how others would handle it.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

11/24/2014 9:44 am  #2


Re: Gorgon heads

I probably wouldn't allow a severed gorgon head to petrify - especially now that I know sleep works on them! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png

A greater gorgon head - maybe.
 


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

11/24/2014 9:51 am  #3


Re: Gorgon heads

I hear you, but I also think it's a fun part of the mythology, so I want to find a way to use it without it getting out of hand.

I'm kind of leaning toward allowing it to work for 1-2 days for regular gorgons (with a save bonus that increases ratably over the period) and maybe something like 3-5 days for greater gorgons (with less of a save bonus, but still increasing as the head decomposes).

I think I might also rule that the greatest benefit of the object as an ingredient in magical item creation might be during this time, so as to create some dilemma over whether to use it as a weapon or rush back to town to sell it. Over at K&KA, Flambeaux suggested it should turn to stone once the magic disappears, which is a fine idea and not inconsistent with creating a sense of urgency around selling it for parts.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
     Thread Starter
 

11/24/2014 4:34 pm  #4


Re: Gorgon heads

I (because I'm just not a good person at all) would probably add some penalties for using it--gradual saurian necrosis creeping up the arm; attracting whatever creepy otherworldly patron the gorgon had; romantic petrifaction of *the wrong parts* at *the wrong times*, loss of ability to eat anything but mice, Yig enmity--that kind of thing.

 

11/24/2014 4:43 pm  #5


Re: Gorgon heads

Haha! Those sound fun. Maybe possesion for a length of time requires a save to avoid contracting something awful.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
     Thread Starter
 

11/24/2014 8:17 pm  #6


Re: Gorgon heads

Here's an idea. Instead of a time limit with an incremental save bonus through the period, maybe a simpler, better option is to give it something like dx+y uses with each successive use granting an incremental +1 to the save. So, maybe you get d6+2 uses. You roll a 1, so you get three uses. On the first use, the opponent gets a +1, the second a +2, the third a +3.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
     Thread Starter
 

11/25/2014 8:40 am  #7


Re: Gorgon heads

To reflect the thing weakening? That seems totally reasonable.

I think what I get caught up on is the total *un*reasonableness of weaponizing the head of a mythical snake woman that turns living flesh to stone with its eyes! I mean, to a normal population, those words would definitely set off some alarm bells! Obviously, to a party of adventurers, it's basically a dinner gong.

So I like to have at least some really odd effect from tampering with a Nietzsche-abyss-staring-into situation. It wouldn't necessarily have to have that much game-mechanic effect. I'm not trying to screw players who are trying to think of survival strategies! I'm just looking to constantly remind players (and their characters, I guess) that the forces they mess with are bizarre and dangerous and just because you manage to stick it with the pointy end, it doesn't mean the fight is over.

Here's one. I might say that from now on, whenever the player who wields the head is reduced to less than half HP, snakes that only he can see surround the fight, seeming to stare at him and hiss. As he loses HP, the hissing grows louder. What will happen when he goes below -3? I don't know, but if I were the player I'd be freaked out about it.

 

11/25/2014 11:01 am  #8


Re: Gorgon heads

Obviously, to a party of adventurers, it's basically a dinner gong.

Yeah, I think that's the key, right? They are already fighting minotaurs, snake-men, giant lizards, skeletons, zombies, ghouls, mummies, evil necromancers and so on. They've heard about gorgons (and stuff way worse).

Plus, quite frankly, it just seems lame/disappointing to grow up watching it happen in Clash of the Titans only to find out that on the rare occasion it's relevant in a fantasy RPG, your referee has imposed penalties/risks so onerous as to effectively neutralize the whole concept. YMMV and all of that.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
     Thread Starter
 

11/25/2014 12:54 pm  #9


Re: Gorgon heads

Chainsaw wrote:

Obviously, to a party of adventurers, it's basically a dinner gong.

Yeah, I think that's the key, right? They are already fighting minotaurs, snake-men, giant lizards, skeletons, zombies, ghouls, mummies, evil necromancers and so on. They've heard about gorgons (and stuff way worse).

Plus, quite frankly, it just seems lame/disappointing to grow up watching it happen in Clash of the Titans only to find out that on the rare occasion it's relevant in a fantasy RPG, your referee has imposed penalties/risks so onerous as to effectively neutralize the whole concept. YMMV and all of that.

Harry Hamlin would never complain!

 

4/21/2016 8:14 am  #10


Re: Gorgon heads

Did I mention that my players ended up with one of these? And I was sort of half-assedly using the method you described, Chainsaw, to see how long it would last. And then the ranger tried tossing it at a Chaos Monk so she could grab a healing potion, and the Chaos Monk kung-fu-kicked the thing into an academic discussion.

 

4/21/2016 9:33 am  #11


Re: Gorgon heads

Handy Haversack wrote:

Did I mention that my players ended up with one of these? And I was sort of half-assedly using the method you described, Chainsaw, to see how long it would last. And then the ranger tried tossing it at a Chaos Monk so she could grab a healing potion, and the Chaos Monk kung-fu-kicked the thing into an academic discussion.

They should have thrown a cockatrice head; the monk would have been petrified.

At least in my campaign! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png

 


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

4/21/2016 10:29 am  #12


Re: Gorgon heads

Blackadder23 wrote:

Handy Haversack wrote:

Did I mention that my players ended up with one of these? And I was sort of half-assedly using the method you described, Chainsaw, to see how long it would last. And then the ranger tried tossing it at a Chaos Monk so she could grab a healing potion, and the Chaos Monk kung-fu-kicked the thing into an academic discussion.

They should have thrown a cockatrice head; the monk would have been petrified.

At least in my campaign! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png

 

They couldn't have afforded the safety mittens.

 

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