Saturday, November 2, 2019

Darkvision + Orc Eye Lantern

I never really liked Infravision. If you're going to make a creature that exists in a purely dark place, why do they have some magical sense of sight? Why not just make them use their other senses and make sight something totally unnecessary for them like actual cave-dwelling animals? Beings that live in the dark places of the Earth don't need to see; they are born without eyes or the eyes they do have are barely useful, vestigial things that can sense a hateful torch in the distance and little else. I do however see a need or a useful element in having something to vision in the dark for beings that are close enough to humans in intelligence or role in the game to work.

So how do we do this? Glowing Eyes.

Orcs have dark vision. They see in the dark, because their eyes glow. Their eyes glow red in the dark, letting them see things that their eyes project light on. This does act as a target at range, letting you know where the Orcs are, but if the Orc wanted to be sneaky they would close their own eyes. Orc-Eyes produce a magical fantasy fluid when exposed to darkness, which gives it a red glow. Any kind of bright flash of light, especially sunlight, will blind them temporarily. Due to the sensitivity to bright lights in this state, it blinds them for longer. Some Orcs may where “lightpatches”, a little steel mono-goggle with a tiny match inside, giving off a dim light to keep the Orc's eye adapted to sudden influxes of light, the opposite of a human pirate.

All of the races that normally can see in the dark have this power. Drow have eyes that glow a pale silver or white, Goblins glow a yellow glow. The red glow that Orc-Eyes glow is the same color and hue as weapons that they have forged to sense nearby humans and glow a red light. Visualize the image of this; a pair of red eyes sees you in a pitch black wood, before it snorts and draws an all red blow. In fact, if you mutate a human to have darkvision, they actually glow blue, the same color that their swords glow if forged to senes nearby orcs. It could be that these are the “spirits” of these races in their natural colors. In many media, “souls” when removed from a body have a bright blue color. Maybe in the fantasy world, human souls have a bright blue color, but Orcs have bright red, glowing souls filled with anger and hunger as they always have.

I should mention here I don't really like Dwarves with darkvision. Or infravision, whatever you call it in your game. I never liked this idea and I think it sucks, honestly. The entire point of Dwarves is they are among the civilized races, the good guys who bring light into dark places. They don't live in darkness like some kind of cavern dwelling monster. That goes too for Elves, but that's more about balance between demihuman races and normal humans, depending on the game or theme you're going for. Of course, that creates some difficulty for the stout race. How do you keep your workspace or tunnels well lit and safe from the creatures who love darkness? Dwarves don't have the luxury of the sun to rely on for light like humans do, at least not most dwarves. That means Dwarves need something to light their mountain homes with. This becomes a significant part of Dwarf culture, moreso then most elements. As important as food and water, light. No wonder Dwarves worship lawful, light-bringing gods so much. Dwarves probably get into theological debates about light as much as their practical merits. But what do Dwarves use to light their mountain-homes?

Well, one of those things are eyeballs. Of Orcs.

Orc Eye Lantern – Magic Lantern
Stats- As Lantern, no fuel required

The Orc Eye Lantern is a magic item with a very weak ego. It's a glass jar or tube filled with Orc Eyes. These Eyes must be exposed to a dark place near the time of death, or the Orc had to have been killed when in darkness, for the Eyeballs to produce the thin red liquid that powers the lantern. When cut out of the Orc's heads and placed in this jar along with preservative fluids, these eyes float around freely and casually produce light whenever in a dark place. The light has a pale red glow making it difficult to see colors while using it as a sole light source. It takes about 20 dead orcs (or 40 eyeballs) to fully make a lantern. Lanterns do not run out of power until they are destroyed.

The Orc Eye Lantern has the same area of effect and usefulness of light as a Lantern, but does not require fuel. However, the lantern does have a minor drawback. If you hold the lantern and are attacked by and Orc, they will gain +2 to hit against you for holding this offensive, macabre contraption harvested from their own species. It is unknown if this effect is purely mental or has something to do with the magical aura of the lantern itself.

1 comment:

  1. I give dwarves "Speak with Stone 1/day" as their racial ability, I've found it works quite well!