Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Saw of Insight - Magic Item for LotFP

The saw looks like an ordinary one-handed woodcutting saw, except that the handle and the back of the blade are decorated with intricate engravings of human and animal skulls and brains. The saw is very hard and sharp, and it can cut through human bone as easily as wood.

The saw's magical properties are activated when it is used to cut open the skull and brain of a living human or other creature of at least human-level sentience and sapience. Doing this requires the victim to be incapacitated, helpless, or pinned down, and takes 1d4 rounds to complete. Once the task is finished, several things occur.

The person who operated the saw gains double the amount of XP that the victim was worth, and the XP is not split among the party - the person who did the sawing keeps it all.

If the target had any spells memorized, the operator of the saw now has those spells memorized, regardless of class. If the operator is of a class that can inscribe spells of the appropriate type into their spellbook, they can do so, although this counts as casting the spells in terms of memorization. Magic-Users can inscribe Cleric spells gained by this method into their spellbooks and vice versa, but doing so inflicts 1 point of damage per spell level of each spell inscribed, and this damage can only be healed by resting and not through magical means. The spells can also be cast, but this of course removes them from memory as usual.

The saw's operator gains some memories from the victim. If they have specific questions in mind when opening the victim's head, and the victim knows the answer, the operator will telepathically learn the answer by gaining all of the victim's memories that are most directly related to that answer. The operator can only have up to three questions in mind, which must by asked of (and approved by) the DM before the cutting process begins. Whether or not the operator has any questions in mind, they will also gain 1d4 random memories from the target, which are always memories of things that the target found unpleasant.

Every time the saw is used to cut open someone's head in this manner, the player must roll a d8 for a random effect from this table:

  1. No additional effect.
  2. No additional effect.
  3. Take 1d4 damage and be helpless for an equal number of rounds due to an excruciating migraine.
  4. Take 1d4 damage and be helpless for an equal number of rounds due to an excruciating migraine.
  5. Lose 1 point of wisdom or intelligence (determined randomly). This is restored when you level up.
  6. Lose 1 point of maximum HP. This is restored when you level up.
  7. Lose 1 level of experience.
  8. Gain 5 times the amount of XP that the victim was worth instead of 2 times the amount. Take 1 point of damage from a sudden, intense nosebleed.
EDIT: On the Google+ thread about this blog post, Claytonian JP and Johnathan Baker made some excellent suggestions regarding the migraines in the table above. Claytonian JP said that migraines should last for turns instead of rounds, and I think that makes more sense. Johnathan Baker offered some great rules for migraines: "a penalty of -1 or -2 to all rolls >including skill rolls< for 1d4+1d8 turns is not unreasonable, and double the duration if the character is doing strenuous things."

(Image taken from HERE)


  1. Oh, noo...

    I only saw the title and started to moan in anguish for my tormented mind.

    Of course, I still had to read it.

  2. Did we find one of these? It sounds familiar. Might be worth some experimentation. I wonder if anyone would object to me using it on some captives...

    1. Errmm, that comment was mine. Stoopid blogspot...

    2. Yeah, you found one at Bostu's Seclusium, although the rules I gave you when you identified it were slightly less complex (and interesting).