Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Apple of Eve

Now how great a relic would that be? A pity these historical spoilsport Scooby Doo mask-rippers have revealed it was just a lumpy lemon stolen from a synagogue in the times of King Henry III. But we can do better.

The Branches of Modesty, lost forever, alas.
The Apple of Eve

This fruit is not actually an apple, nor fig, pomegranate, citron or any other known fruit. It is a green sphere with golden streaks about the size of a large grapefruit, perfectly preserved since time immemorial. The two bites in it, one on each side, reveal a pearlescent white flesh that shimmers with the promise of the knowledge of good and evil.

Any who take a blasphemous third bite of the apple will surpass their ancestral parents' moral insight. Beyond knowledge of their own good and evil nature, they now are granted the ability to see good and evil in others. They can concentrate to get an idea of the good or evil motives of another person within 10' of them.

Of course, for such a campaign-breaking power there must be a disadvantage, right? Some possibilities ...

1. Roll the character's Wisdom each time. If failed, the character sees only potential for good and evil, not actual good or evil motives, without knowing it. This can lead to false accusations or unfounded trust.

2. Each time the power is used, a stalking angel with a flaming sword gets 500 feet closer to the character. When the angel makes contact, he banishes the character from this world, into a world of even lower promise.

3. The power also heightens the character's sense of his or her own sinfulness. Each blameworthy act he or she commits will force a save vs. spell (Will) or be driven to suicide.

4. After a certain number of uses, the character becomes "beyond good and evil" - losing the supernatural sensitivity and indeed all sensitivity to moral distinctions, amoral and possibly sociopathic. (All right, this is not recommended for players who would actually revel in this development, and by that I mean almost all of them.)

5. Save or die each time the power is used.

4 comments:

  1. 6. gain followers as a prophet. Unfortunately these followers are all batshit insane and a massive nuisance. They will be delighted to receive commands, but will always interpret them in some totally perverse way that defeats the point or actively harms the party. Repeated use spreads the user's reputation, gaining them ever more followers, enemies and distorting interpreters.

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  2. 7. it reveals the innermost nature and state of salvation of those the character sees, free from the situational noise of the world. Inconveniently, this truth is sharply at odds with conventional wisdom: most goblinoids turn out to be fundamentally good, while humans and especially elves and halflings deep down are irredeemably evil.

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