Tuesday Magic Item – Ground Nightmare

18 November, 2014

Nightmares in processDoctor Thoston cleaned the sliver needle as he looked down upon his bound patient, twitching and jerking in the throws of some terrible dream.  “Fear not, I will not let you suffer for long.”  With that he inserted the needle into the patient’s temple and they immediately quieted.  With a sharp twist, the Doctor withdrew the needled, pulling with it a twisting worm made of a shadowy grey substance and placed it into a crystal box where it writhed and twisted until the lid was sealed.

The Doctor stroked his patient’s forehead, wiping away the drop of blood.  “Rest well, I have freed you of your nightmare.”

Ground Nightmare

This glossy black material is made of round grains the size of pinheads, seen out of the corner of the eye they seem to be moving on tine legs like spiders.  By touch, they are smooth and break into a charcoal grey powder is any pressure is applied, the dust is so fine that it quickly dissipates.  It can be eaten, dissolved in liquid and drunk, inhaled or smoked.

The method of use determines how quickly it acts:

•    Eaten or drunk, 30+5d6 minutes
•    Inhaled, 1d6
•    Smoked, 1d6+1 minutes.

The consumer must make a Fortitude save (DC 16, 17 if it was inhaled or smoked)   If the save is failed, the user suffers from ill-starred visions and is shaken, if a natural “1″ is rolled on the save, the user must make a second Will save against the same DC if this is failed as well, the user is effected as if by a Nightmare spell.  If the save is made, the user suffers a -2 penalty on Attack rolls and Skill checks  due to odd and disturbing visions (except for seeing through the disguises of otherworldly beings and undead, where it gives a +2 bonus) but is otherwise immune to Fear for the duration.

The effects last for 90+5d6 minutes and all but guarantee the user will have terrible nightmares when they next sleep (Fortitude save DC 11 or their next sleep provides no rest).  The twisted dreams also promise occult knowledge, secrets that would be valuable to the dreamer if they could only delve deeper into them, at the GM’s discretion they may provide a bonus to appropriate skill checks . . . or a penalty.

Aura moderate necrourgy; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 2+ for a pinch; Weight
Construction Requirements
Brew Potion, bestow curse, detect thoughts, creator must have Heal at 5 ranks or higher and access to a source of nightmares; Cost 1 for a pinch

Notes: Created on the fly for the latest EBO Adventure but interesting as a plot device.

Image by miheco, edited slightly, and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.


  1. Awesome…I love the creation method. Could it not also be snorted? With even faster onset and a more difficult Fort save? Also, is there a chance that some of the visions have some element of reality to them — perhaps deeply buried memories, visions of places or treasures that could be used as plot hooks?

    • The inhaled method is essentially snorting.

      Oh, yes, the nightmare visions could easily lead to images of real places and things seen through a distorted lens of both personal perception and dream logic.

  2. I love this idea. I would use this as written, and further make ground nightmare a component in some kind of high-end crafting formula. It feels very much like something one might see in Fallen London, and I mean that as a compliment. =)

    • Please be my guest, take the idea and run with it. Just tell us how it goes.

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