Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kill Your Gods (part 2) and the Woman in the Woods (Deities in older D&D)

Somewhere in internet land is this forum post from back in November wherein Mr. Carcosa says he likes the idea of Gods being kill-able and others disagree. As someone who has a minor deity generator, and author of a "Kill Your Gods" post already, it's pretty clear where I fall on this.

Working on Dark Souls D&D, and stumbling across the forum post, this matter feels pertinent again.

Consider the woman in the woods

She eats locusts and grubs, the food she grows in her garden. Occasionally she snares a rabbit or squirrel. What education this woman has comes from oral history and gossip. She probably ran away from something bad that happened to her, or her people were nearby and have mostly died off, or she serves in a kind of spiritual capacity for the village along the forest fence - kept separate because of but also respected for her purported facility with things so other that the villagers consider it irredeemably supernatural. If that's the case then it's possible she may be a bit insane or suffer from some form of epilepsy or that she's a bit mentally challenged.

Deep in her forest is a swamp and among the things in that swamp is a troll. On a visit to their camp up the mountain, she has come upon the troll devouring some charcoal burners, shoving a sooty writhing torso into its mouth like Saturn devouring his young, she has seen it crush one of the lizards of the swamp to death, seen the wounds the big cats of the high mountains left knit shut, seen it bat away an elf scout like a flea as the elf's arrow wormed its way back out of its eye, the eye now whole.

She knows well the religious significance of the big cat and the large serpent and the weird elf and its changeling babies. Does not the Deceiver prowl in the night, roaring like a hungry lion? Does not the serpent devour the living even as it promises salvation? Does not the elf eat the human babies it replaces with its own?

And so she includes this terrible being in her prayers and, while she now sometimes stinks of the bog when she's not been there for weeks and while she's been growing prodigious warts, sometimes she can command the night to fall around her, sometimes her touch spoils any food or drink, sometimes she can borrow the troll's strength, causing the stray dog digging in her garden last week to open like a pansy pod at but a touch.

the woman in the woods
Chaotic Human Adept
3 HP, AC 9, 12", dagger, walking stick, a ragged and match patched dress of many pockets and hood, 1/session may cast darkness, ruin food and drink or cause light wounds

attribution: Hendrick Goltzius (detail from Cadmus)

Dark Souls D&D Guide (part 2? version 2?)

two former heroes of the continent who may train the party 

For Dark Souls D&D, as linked here. This goes into greater detail than the original post. Everything in the loot section subject to change.

Are Fighter, Cleric and Magic-User to start. You unlock your Class by finding, picking up and equipping an item imbued with the spirit and memories of a (fallen?) person of that Class (or are they your own memories?). Sample list of Class items here for the curious. In play, the list will be different.

Other Classes (see below list) may be taught by a hero still living somewhere on the lost continent. With the exception of Thieves, you'll need to both ask around and also seek out a rare and powerful class item once belonging to the hero-trainer. These rare items are likely locked away in deep and terrible places and/or wielded by the twisted former disciples of the trainer. Heroes are usually elves and their items usually of elvish masterwork.

The one exception to the above are Thieves. "Heroic" thieves are more plentiful than most of the other trainers and determination and inquisitiveness are likely enough to discover their location (no rare item necessary!). They will, however, want some kind of remuneration for their services.

Classes and Subclasses:

Thief (trained by _____________ or _______________ or ______________ or ______________) (locked)
Paladin (trained by _________ or _____________) (locked)
Assassin (trained by ______________) (locked)
Archer (trained by _________) (locked)
Witch (trained by _________ and _____________ or ____________ or _____________) (locked)
Journeymen-Exorcist (trained by ________________) (locked)
Necromancer (trained by ________________) (locked)

Some classes or trainers are likely mutually exclusive. If you choose to learn from one you'll likely make an enemy of the other (they may even treat you as "kill on sight").

Are Human, Elf or "Halfling" to start. Elves are slimmer and shorter than humans with a slight point to the ear, and almond-shaped eyes. They are natives to the continent. "Halflings" are the poorest and least cared for humans among human society, treated as a caste apart, and many find their way to the lost continent. They show minor signs of in-breeding and major signs of early childhood malnutrition and a rough life. Most have few teeth.

As described earlier, CON is replaced by HUMANITY.

If, at any time, you have 13+ HUM, you may take a single racial ability from your race (roll to determine which). The ability is usable 1/session, until you've less than 13 HUM. If you've less than 13 HUM, the curse overwhelms your intrinsic nature and you've the Hollow Racial Ability.

Elves (d10) 1-3: Can read all alignment languages, 4-6: Split-move on foot, 7-8: Move Silently in Forests and Meadows (on a 14+), 9-10: Ignore the effects of a charm

Halflings (d10) 1-4: Hide in Shadows (a 14+), 5-6: +1 to a Surprise roll, 7-8: +1 to Attacks and Damage with ranged weapons, 9-10: Backstab from hiding (+2 attacks, Large Damage)

Hollow You need not food, drink or sleep.

Human (d10) 1-4: Re-roll a failed Save that would result in a loss of HUM (a successful Save affects only the loss of HUM, not other outcomes), 5-6: Roll for treasure as if one level higher, 7-8: May have +1 Henchmen, 9-10: Re-roll a failed Save v Death or Poison that would have killed you

There are three races of legend living out the remaining years of their now-cursed existence somewhere on the continent. Find, aid and thereby befriend them in order to play characters or recruit henchmen from their people. As with Class Trainers, befriending Children of one God will likely alienate you from others.

Child of Othin (Lightning Genasi?) abilities to be discovered (locked)

Child of the Coven (Chaos-Warped) abilities to be discovered (locked)

Child of the Abyss (Tiefling and/or Revenant) abilities to be discovered (locked)

There are at two other peoples living in secret of which you know nothing.

May be hired at level 2 should you be able to find one resting near a campfire and convince them to journey with you. They need not be paid, and take and earn half the XP the "controlling" character earns. Unless otherwise modified by the rules, no character may have more than one Henchmen. Beware too of the Henchmen who grows despondent, their face sallow and sagging, their eyes mistrustful, for Henchmen too may turn fully Hollow (you'll not know their starting or current HUM) and attack the group.

are kindled by one of the Ash Maidens, tongueless priestess to an unknown deity, associated with the Sun (but not the missing Sun God Apollo). Resting by these fires heals as a full rest (re-roll HP using current HD and keep the larger number). By praying in front of the bonfire until you sleep you may wake up the next day at a different bonfire kindled by the same Ash Maiden so long as you've been there before. 

Incidentally, Flailsnails groups will likely start at whichever bonfire they have unlocked and then choosen at the start of a session..

praise be her name, Ixiander the New Dragon, First Witch


At this point, I'd like people to start at 0-levels. Once more content is unlocked, higher-level characters will be welcome. I don't think this setting works if you introduce high levels for an early smash 'n grab (plus, I frankly feel myself a little underqualified to start running this at higher levels).

Monster stat blocks
You've no reason to want or need this know if you're interested in playing, but this is how I've been writing stat blocks and plan on running things. This is what that OD&D spreadsheet turns into after I adapt stuff for a setting/game. That said, this block gets referenced a few times below.

(Guarding, Armed) or (Crazed) or (Non-Aggressive) Less Intelligent Humanoid
AC 9, 1-6 HP, Saves 17, Slowest, always attacks last; Guarding Hollow: hatchets, every 3rd has a short sword or shield and every forth a bow with d4 arrows (every twelfth has a sword and bow, no shield); Loot 2, (Crazed 3, Guarding 4); unlike other monsters Hollow do not normally see in the dark

(Guarding) enemies patrol an area or stand watch, look for enemies, will chase and try to find fleeing opponents and usually get a bonus to Morale and are more likely to be aggressive after a reaction roll
(Crazed) enemies do not flee or break and may be very aggressive, not discriminating between friend and foe, similar to Berserkers (unless you get a friendly on the reaction roll, treat as aggressive)
(Non-Aggressive) do not attack and may not defend themselves (2 in 6 chance of the latter).


There are a handful (less than five?) Hollow that collect trinkets, arms, armors, herbs, magic items and the like and will sell them. Once you discover them, you'll need to discover what they want in exchange. Ask around to discover their location.

Other cursed but-not-yet-Hollow non-player characters may have a choice item or two which they'd be willing to barter away.

Coin is worthless here.

XP is awarded by # HD of defeated creature and the relative value of an item (weapons and armor of good quality are valuable).

The lack of a widely used currency complicates treasure tables. Furthermore, everything has fallen into disrepair and chests and the like are quite uncommon. Those that survive stash their treasure in secret places and watch their stores like spiders in a web.

NPCs and rooms or locations within room will have a Loot Value (LV). (see the Hollow stat block above)

Turning out a room or spot in a room or a corpse to look for loot takes a turn. Roll d10 and add your level. If you exceed the LV all you find is junk (which is still a thing and the GM will roll on that table for you) and on any subsequent searches in the same place you'll only ever find nothing or something useful. On each roll after the first, you also add 1. If your roll results in the LV or less than the LV, you get the corresponding loot from the loot table.

Looting corpses is functionally the same but the GM will add the characters HD to the roll rather than you adding your level.

Calculating Loot Value. 

For a corpse, LV=HD+1+#Specials (by the way, this is just the early Strategic Review, pre-Greyhawk method of calculating XP +100 and then /100).

For a Dungeon, LV =level of Dungeon +3

For treasure rooms in a Dungeon or Lairs, LV = level of Dungeon or Lair (Lairs are level 1 Dungeons if not otherwise determined by GM)+LV of "boss" to whom the treasure belongs.

(EX. See the Hollow Stat block above. Non-Aggressive Hollow have a LV of 2, Crazed Hollow have a LV of 3 and Guarding, Armed Hollow have a LV of 4. If a 2 HD "boss" Guarding, Armed Hollow (therefore, LV 5) were to have a treasure room on level 1 of a dungeon, that room's LV would be 9.)

I want to dramatically re-orient the way looting works. The survival horror conventions of scarcity and limited inventory space control here. This thematic consideration, the lack of a merchant class in a largely depopulated area and the devaluation of all currency, makes some kind of alternative to GP necessary.

Also, I generally dislike reducing XP based on relative character and dungeon/creature level as per page 18 of Men & Magic as the higher level character already needs more XP to gain levels than the lower level character.  
Instead, where needing something useful can be a more operative concern, the LV system means to funnel higher level characters towards higher level locations and monsters as it is only there where they will find things useful to them (ie, in lower-level content, the likelihood of getting "junk" is much greater for the higher level character).

Also at play is the idea that looting a dungeon properly in many older D&D games is more a study in figuring out how to get the most cookies out of the cookie jar you can without getting your hand stuck and this mechanic is meant to re-inforce that (as you spend more time looking for loot, you risk wandering encounters and getting both better loot or nothing at all).

and along the far cliffs, a place of power and worship

attributions: Vania Zouravliov x3, _____ (help!), Anthony Scott Waters

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spreadsheet Porn (All the basic OD&D Monsters broken down by useful information)

This is a spreadsheet (in ods and xls formats) of all the basic (ie pages 2 and 3 of Volume 2 of the little brown books) monsters for OD&D. No variants, etc. It does not contain the stats crucial to deploying the monster in plat (AC, Movement, Treasure, precise descriptions of special abilities), but is similar to what I use when I'm trying to figure out how to seed a location or encounter table.

The tables include the name of the monster, the no. appearing in the wilderness, the HD, the % in lair, as well as Allegiances, Types, Lairs, Behavior & Organization, and Abilities & Keywords.

The way I use this is to have a single sheet for the entire campaign and then break off separate sheets for areas and dungeons (Campaign → Region → Dungeon). This helps me curate things by locality but also make sure I'm not overusing something or ignoring something else.

Special abilities are represented here, but in an abstract manner, which, along with the lists of Behaviors, Types, Lairs you can scrape or sort the sheet for useful things, like, “Acid” or “Underground,” or “Swamps,” or “Militant” or “Very Aggressive” to suit your needs while planning out an adventure, dungeon, location, region, etc.

As with a lot of OD&D, anywhere I've not re-produced precisely what it says in the book, I've probably made some kind of interpretive call.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, all you need to do to seed and customize an area is copy and paste whatever you want from this sheet into a separate sheet and then do a series of search and replaces to revise to suit your needs (like, replacing "Unaligned" with "Neutral Good" or with "Servants of Baz" or "Acid" with "Gastric Juices" or "Melting Sand" or whatever you want).

Lairs are where the creature is likely to be found. I've extrapolated a bit here from the book, but nothing should be controversial.

Allegiances are analogous to Alignments but I usually add an extra column or two here to list any regional or important organizations with which the monster might be associated. (EX. If, in your campaign, “The Venerable Greens keep Basilisks,” is a thing, then you'd put “the Venerable Green” in the Basilisk Allegiance category). Note that for basic animals no alignment/allegiance is given. They're mundane animals and I always felt the inclusion of them in the “Neutral” category diluted the sense that there was a kind of war between Law and Chaos going on with a third group abstaining.

Types are the general type of creature. For example, I've grouped the jellies, oozes and the like under, “D&D Fungi.” These should all be self-explanatory.

Behavior & Organization describes the way these monsters are likely to behave when encountered and how they tend to be organized. “Familial” means they tend to function/domicile as a single family unit, “packs” hunt as a pack, tribes function as tribes (ie, with a single chief or king), civilized creatures tend to have rich and stratified social structures while “hierarchical” creatures are organized as something between “civilized” and “tribal” creatures. Intelligence is also described but treated as relative to the human range (“as human” means their intelligence varies as a human's while "Less Intelligent" indicates a mean intelligence less than that of humans and would likely cap out at around INT 8 with an average around 5).

Abilities & Keywords are things interesting about the creature or things the creature can do. Special Abilities are described here, but in a highly abstract manner (ie, you'll need to consult the book to get the precise rules, and I've included the reference to the appropriate page #).

Here it is in ods/open office and here it is in xls/excel.

(updates provided on a semi-regular basis as I find or am provided with corrections)

Friday, March 7, 2014

100 Minor Magic Items for D&D (from Numenera)

black mask with ribbon, usable once as per roll 60 on the table

Here are the 100 cyphers from page 281 of the core Numenera book, re-cast for older D&D. 

These replace scroll, potion and, if you want, map results in the OD&D treasure tables. Like potions and scrolls, they're 1 use items. Rarely (about 1 in 10), they're reusable, at 1/session. Each uses up at least one of the 10-12 spaces a character has in their inventory and don't stack.

Not everything here is expressly magical. Weird chemistry or just the ingenuity of the locals could account for them as well.

Intending to use a variation of this with my Dark Souls D&D game.

100 (possibly) magical things
thing it does
what it could be
adhesive, +1 to climbing for d4 turns
gloves, clothing, claws, paper
use immediately after a failed Save v Poison to re-roll
potion, poultice, relic
pull one palm-sized thing toward you at slow speed this turn
glove, wand, mitt, sack, magnet, bit of rock
temp weapon enchant- an enemy struck by this weapon must save v stone or be knocked back, out of melee
oil, whetstone, polishing cloth, herb bundle
temp armor enchant- when wearer is struck, they teleport out of melee to a random area within short range
oil, polishing cloth, relic, holy writ
use immediately following infection with a disease and make a Save v Poison to fight off infection
crystal, vial of sacred water, potion, treated leech
heat vision for d6 turns
crystal, glasses, wand, potion, helm, headband
save v poison or fall into fevered dreams, sweat may be gathered and used as a Spell Component (Save at -4 penatly if you intended the effect)
potion, pill, mysterious wine
read languages for a turn
piercing to be pushed through skin, plug to be inserted into ear
temp armor enchant- when wearer is struck, they teleport out of melee to an area of choice within short range
oil, polishing cloth, relic, holy writ
can speak to* for d4 turns
vial, headband, crystal, helm, stone placed under tongue
temp weapon enchant – next attack adds momentum to your swing (when using momentum to attack, roll damage twice and pick higher)
oil, whetstone, polishing cloth, herb bundle
explodes in melee burst for d6 damage (when rolling damage: 1-2 is shrapnel, 3-4 is fire, 5 is heat drain and 6 is acid)
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
explodes in melee burst and atomizes water in the area, making mist
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
explodes in melee burst, all in short range must Save v Devices or be blinded for a turn
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
explodes in melee burst and forces Save v Stone or knocked down/crushed flat/pinned
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
explodes in short range burst, Save v Breath Weapon to halve damage
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
explodes in melee burst; if target isn't alive after damage is applied, their body is re-arranged in some novel way
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
explodes in melee burst and pushes anything in affected area out of the area (Save v Stone)
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
two turn effect: first turn, pulls everything in short range closer, second turn explodes
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
explodes in melee burst, deals no damage but deafens all within short range. Loud.
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
explodes in melee burst, dealing d4 damage and then spitting out smaller explosions, effecting all those within melee of burst for another d4
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
burst above single human-sized target and drops net, Save v Stone or be snared
bomb, flask, vial, potion, keg, stick bound with wires and relic
temp weapon enchant – next attack against living tissue +2 dam
distilled green slime, oil, whetstone, polishing cloth, herb bundle
see twice as far for d4 turns
glasses, eyedrops, forehead salve
temp object enchant – anything against which this is applied gets to make a Save against fire damage to halve
salamander oil, polishing cloth
creates a translucent, penetrable, gelatinous wall that consumes flames for d4+1 turns
vial of extracted and treated gelatinous cube
hold portal for d6 turns
helm, nail, hammer, bundled herbs
temp armor enchant- +2 AC until next struck this combat
oil, polishing cloth, relic, holy writ
creates an invisible wall roughly 10' by 10' and 6” thick, about as tough as wood (for d8 turns) or iron (for 1 turn)
belt buckle, glass marble to be bit, solution to be gargled and spit
creates an ablative shield, +1 AC until struck
belt buckle, ring, wax or candle
greases a 20'x20' flat, solid surface for d4 turns
flask, vial of oil, ring
creates a translucent, penetrable, gelatinous wall that causes d6 cold damage to all that pass through it for d4 turns
vial of extracted and treated gelatinous cube
explodes in short range burst, granting cover to any within range (1 in 6 chance of causing temporary neurological damage, affecting area as sleep)
flask of pixie wings
user floats 6 inches above solid ground, and skims the top of liquids for d4 turns
feathers of a magical creatures, powdered or rendered drinkable
a short-sword-sized item is now considered one increment lighter for the purposes of encumbrance
oil, salve, crystal
temp weapon enchant – next attack counts as magical fire
oil, whetstone, polishing cloth, herb bundle
flies to target and imbeds itself, is ruined, deals damage, may travel up to long range
a glass and brass flying insect
light as torchlight for 6 turns
wand, burnt stick, vial, taper
creates a translucent, penetrable, gelatinous wall that causes d6 fire damage to all that pass through it for d4 turns
vial of extracted and treated gelatinous cube
crawls up to 20' away, fast, records a bug-level picture, looking up at 45 deg. Angle and returns the following turn to report to user
a glass and iron beetle
independent familiar performs 1 task that takes no more than 1 turn
whistle, calling drum
creates a tent that houses 4, with bedding. Denatures after a day.
canvas square, vial
bonus of two on next Int test (declare before roll)
vial, crystal, headband, helm
temp armor enchant- renders armor invisible until struck
oil, polishing cloth, relic, holy writ
get to make a check to see if you know something about the matter at hand
pill, potion, wand, crystal, helm
creates a translucent, penetrable, gelatinous wall that causes 2d6 lightning damage every other turn (wall flashes when dangerous) for d4 turns
vial of extracted and treated gelatinous cube
a light green slime that devours 1 cubic foot of material in a turn and then is rendered inert (chance to re-invigorate on a random encounter)
vial or flask of treated pudding
can speak to objects made by humanoids for d6 turns (speaking to an object made by a Mind-Flayer requires a Save v Sanity)
vial, headband, crystal, helm, stone placed under tongue
thrown object that deals d6+1 damage
crystal, vial or glass drop
can bend or twist a palm-sized iron object held in hand
gloves, herbs, tincture
protection from iron for 1 turn
chalk, sprig of hemlock, leaf from an elf's home
records” thirty seconds of information, which can then be played back once
touch a target and you and the target must Save v Device or be paralyzed for 1 turn or stunned for 2
gloves, glass marble crushed between teeth
renders a cubic foot of metal brittle
oil, polishing cloth, salve
a brittle filament held between two hands that may slice through roughly 6” of non-magical substance, lasts a turn
garotte, spool of thread
embed this small, fleshy egg sac in the back of your head and it will burst when it feels threatened (ie, when you're about to get surprised from behind)
palm-sized egg-sac
minimizes the effect of one environmental threat (reduces the source of most damage by one die size, gives an extra turn to hold breath, etc)
hood, maniple, incense
pops you into a ghostly form for 1 turn (immunities and mobility as ghost, but likely to attract things not desired)
censer, pill of powdered femur
Turn 2 cubic feet ghostly for 1 turn
small flensing knife, tiny hammer
Save v Poison or become addled by emotion (cannot communicate without weirding everyone out) for d4 turns
vial, needle, weapon oil
Save v Poison or take a die of damage from internal hemorrhaging
vial, needle, weapon oil
Save v Poison or be effected as charm for d4+2 turns
vial, needle, weapon oil
Save v Poison or stare into space, thoughtless for 1 turn
vial, needle, weapon oil
whisper into this device no more than five words that are transmitted to the first person that puts the device to their ear
bottle, jar
long range beam of either necrotizing or holy fire that lasts 1 turn and deals d6 damage, split between all hit
wand, scepter, crystal, skull, ring
long range beam of cold that deals d6 damage split over all targets
wand, scepter, crystal, skull, ring
long range beam of lightening that deals d6 damage split over all targets
wand, scepter, crystal, skull, ring
door-sized space spiked with this halve the speed of any ghostly egress
piton-looking spike, paper charm hanging from end
minor healing (re-roll HD and take the higher of current or re-rolled result)
bright red potion, pill, herbs
healing (re-roll HD +2 die and take the higher of current or re-rolled result)
bright red potion in large bottle, pill, herbs
see what someone else is seeing for 1 turn
pairs of: glasses, crystals, monocles, headbands
in lieu of healing, spend a full rest repairing broken gear
portable anvil, bellows, hammer, etc
temp armor enchant- whenever struck this turn (OR next turn) deal 1 lightening damage to all characters in melee range of you
oil, polishing cloth, relic, holy writ
creates a shell that grants a temporary d4 HP this turn
belt buckle, glass marble to be bit, wand
temp weapon enchant – next attack counts as magical lightning
oil, whetstone, polishing cloth, herb bundle
deal a die of lightning damage
wand, scepter
bonus of two on next Dex or Int test to see if your character can accomplish some feat of nimbleness or acuity (declare before roll)
girdle, bracer, bandolier
you and another target within melee range are affected by sleep
gloves, packet of powders
no sound within melee burst may be heard
ear trumpet, candle of ear wax, black stone
no sound within a stationary cubic foot of space can be heard
ear trumpet, candle of ear wax, black stone
reduce range penalties by one step
telescoping lens, monocle
bonus of one to next Initiative roll
bonus of one to next save
charm, incense
bonus of two to next save
charm, incense
bonus of two to next Str test
creates a translucent, penetrable, gelatinous wall lasting d4 turns. Anyone passing through the wall must Save v Magic or be stunned.
vial of extracted and treated gelatinous cube
permits communication with... something else
spike to be driven into skull
transport one palm-sized thing across a melee range area
ring, wand
transport one palm-sized thing across a short-range area
ring, wand, bowstring
a message from someone who came before, scrawled in incandescent blood
paper, on the environment
temp armor enchant- +1 AC until end of combat as your image warps and refracts
blood of a displacer beast, seasoned
temp weapon enchant – this combat, +1 attacks until you miss
weapon oil from displacer beast urine
place on a willing subject. For the next d8 hours, you know in which direction they are
glass mosquito
bonus of two to a Cha test
mask, fake beard, feather to be placed in cap
give another +2 AC versus one target until struck
mirror, telescoping lens, crystal, smokey glass
the next thing you said is comprehensible to a single target, regardless of differences in language (target must fail Save v Device)
collar, book of letters, tonic
get to make a Save v cold damage to halve
charcoal, censer, blanket
use to get another turn of held breath
vial, empty bladder/drinking skin
can see through up to two feet of a single non-metal substance this turn
lens placed against subject
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