Monday, 10 March 2014

Twenty Lamps


Whale Oil
Clear yellow-white light.  Oil from the psychic whales of the Nightmare Sea. Slight but continual whale-song from the flame. Hypnotic sorrow. If you stop, wait and do nothing, in the absence of any event, you must save vs paralysis to come to your senses and act. Once an hour till the lamp runs out.
Candle lamp
Flickering yellow. Safe, reliable, cheap, 1 in 6 chance it goes out if dropped or in high wind.
Carbide Lamp
Bright, soft, white flame. Duergar advanced tech. Creates toxic carbide sludge that must be disposed of every day. Makes tracking you easy and offends wilderness dweller a great deal.*1
Luminol Lamp
Eerie pulsing green. Looks like a tiny water-clock. Two pipes drip luminol and blood in an alternating rhythm, they mix and activate in a base of hydrogen peroxide.
Drow Candle Lamp
Dull barely-lit red in the visible spectrum. Much brighter  to those with infravison. Candles are black honeycombs formed into cones, hexagons filled with strange pungent chemicals.
Amincule Lamp
Blue-green sealight. Reliable, safe. Can be poisoned by ammonia to triple STR for 1d6 hours. Then dies.

Crammed squid pules with regular patterns dependant on situation outside lamp. Strobes wildly during combats. Tap the glass to encourage squid to attack that side and the light becomes directional. Squid will attempt escape.
Dragonfish Lamp

Unlike every other kind of bioluminescence the Dragonfish bellies glow a deep dark red as they circle in their endless hunting pattern. Will cannibalise at rate of 1 per hour if not fed. STR=Number of fish.2
Cancer Fulgens

The most boring form of bioluminescence. Simple molluscs. In an emergency, can be eaten. Will ody and its emissions glow for a day.

Many varieties, all with the same soft green steady glow. If lamp damaged the fungus will colonise any open wounds of the holder. The wounds will glow. Then the veins.*3
Light of Decay

An awful lamp. Bacteria growing on the flensed body of an animal or fish carried on a pole or hung from a chain. Often turned inside out, guts glowing. Stinks.
Scarab Lamp

The iridescent green of this cat-sized sleeping scarab glows softly. When aroused the scarab extends its wings, buzzes loudly and flies up to the end of its chain. The wings glow a bright gold. Must be fed.
Mondmilch Lamp

Moonlight. Heavy lead-bound prison-tank. Insanely dangerous. Forms itself into nightmares of those who look. Activates lycanthopy.*4
Ultraviolet Butterfly

A skull in carried belljar. At first a deep ruby-red, then liquid rainbow, then a deep blue that forces manic depression.*5
Archean Lamp
Each utterly different works of art. All toxic. Must be carried on the ends of poles as contact causes 1hp damage each day. In a sealed environment users must save each hour or take 1hp damage from fumes. Fed metal to work. Cages usually wood. Very expensive.
Bound Fire Elemental

Varies from butane-blue to sun-yellow. Essentially like having a political prisoner. Wards must be continually renewed. All encountered fire creatures will be hostile. May shrink or grow to confound you. Can be punished. Reliability depends on negotiation.
Portal Lamp

Strange lights depending on plane or location reched. A fragmentary portal to another plane where the light is constant.  Only hand sized but can provide means of communication for creatures from that plane. They may have demands of you.
Unquenchable. Registers as evil (though this almost meaningless in Underdark) only ever traded for specific services and exchanges. Never money or material things. Never worth it.

Tiny bound ghost. Ages whatever it touches, cage must be gold and renewed at times. If wards fail, will escape and magic jar its owner.
Lightning Jar
Bound micro-lightning in the copper-wired body of a Stromsheep. Tries to escape. Unreliable weapon. Carrier must be grounded for safety. Don’t break it. Cannot be turned off.

*1 A D&D character is unlikely to understand the chemistry of this lamp. They will not have a fundamental comprehension of how it works and will be unable to fix it. (Duergar have access to mirrored headlamps that work off this system but will not sell it or use it outside their controlled volumes. Using one is a sign that you killed one or stole from them.)

*2 Many an unfortunate adventurer has stumbled to safety by the light of a single remaining fat Dragonfish.

*3 Infection grows to infect one HD each day and subtracts one hp for each die affected each night. So if a player had eight hit dice and goes untreated for eight days, they will lose 8 hit points each night. It takes one heal spell per HD affected to cure the disease. The same player would require eight Cure Light Wounds spells in one 24 hour period to be safe. If they only get seven, the infection is still there and will re-grow as before.

*4. See Mondmilch entry.

*5 See Ultraviolet Butterfly entry

Other rumoured light scources

Quarts & Uranium Nitrate Maracas
Nightmare lamps
Psionic lamps
Light Knife – casues glowing wounds with STR equal to damage casued.
Holy Organs
Archean Flowers
Starlight Jug – pour this liquid out into a pool and it reflects the stars in a night sky.
Luminal Kojo Cigarette – Smoke from these glows like the dawn
Golden Mask – heavy and bloodthirsty
Skin of a golden snake - rare

1 comment:

  1. This was great. I particularly liked the Mondmilch Lamp and Scarab Lamp.