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Tuesday Magic Item – Village Ooser

17 January, 2017

The Ooser judges youVoddick and Gollaon watched the man ride by on a donkey, facing backward, while the crowd made a terrible din,banging on pans and other things.  Children ran behind taunting the man and tossing pebbles at him.

“Poor unfortunate,” said Gollaon.

“There are no harsher judges than one’s neighbors.” agreed Voddick.  “Hopefully he will survive his shame.”

“I shall have to behave myself here, that donkey ride seems unpleasant for all,” added Gollaon with a wry smile.

Village Ooser

These massive masks are ancient folk magic, traditionally cut from a single block of timber, with the exception of the lower jaw, which is movable and connected to the rest of the mask by cloth or leather hinges.  The lower jaw can be moved by pulling on a string which passed through a hole in the upper jaw to connect to the lower with locks of hair on either side of its head, a beard on its chin, and a pair of bullock’s horns.  It has two purposes, to use as punishment of those who violate the village norm and in ceremonial usage or defense of the village.

As a punishment, it is used after someone has violated the rules of village society, been judge by the community and subject to Rough Music, and  made to ride on a donkey or horse, facing the direction of the animal’s tail, while the assembled crowd made much noise by beating frying pans, kettles, bull’s horns, and bones and then they are confronted by the Ooser.  This places the Ooser Face Curse upon the punished, whenever they try to do something related to their offense (say obtain a drink if they were punished for drunkenness) the Ooser’s Face manifests around theirs, causing them a -4 circumstance penalty to any Charisma-based checks and their Charisma is treated as 10 or their actual Charisma, whichever is lower.

Worn during festivals, it is used to frighten children and outsiders, giving the wearer a +4 competence bonus to Intimidate checks when doing so.  Worn in defense of village, it gives the same +4 competence bonus to Intimidate checks to Demoralize Opponent and the wearer gains 1d4+1 temporary hit points (which stack with themselves up to a maximum of 10) and a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength for five minutes following a successful Demoralize Opponent check against enemies of the village.

Aura faint necrourgy; CL 5th
Slot head; Price 2,500; Weight 5 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, aid, bestow curse, cause fear; Cost 1,250

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item, uncommon

First paragraph as above.

As a punishment, it is used after someone has violated the rules of village society, been judge by the community and subject to Rough Music, and  made to ride on a donkey or horse, facing the direction of the animal’s tail, while the assembled crowd made much noise by beating frying pans, kettles, bull’s horns, and bones and then they are confronted by the Ooser.  This places the Ooser Face Curse upon the punished, whenever they try to do something related to their offense (say obtain a drink if they were punished for drunkenness) the Ooser’s Face manifests around theirs, causing them disadvantage on to any Charisma-based roll and their Charisma is treated as 10 or their actual Charisma, whichever is lower.

Worn during festivals, it is used to frighten children and outsiders, giving the wearer advantage on Intimidate rolls to do so. Worn in defense of village, it gives the same  advantage to intimidate enemies and the wearer gains 1d4+1 temporary hit points (which stack with themselves up to a maximum of 10) and advantage on Strength rolls and attacks using Strength for five minutes following a successful intimidate check against enemies of the village.

Notes: Inspired by the weird and wondrous Dorset Ooser.

Image from Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain in the US.

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3 comments

  1. This is cool and unexpected. A couple of half-formed thoughts: why not just reduce Charisma to 3? That would be gloriously old school. Also, if a PC is the recipient of the Ooser’s Face Curse, maybe the 5e version could also come with an Ooser’s Face Trait that the PC could use to generate inspiration, and would have to be bought off through play.


    • The idea is that the punishment fits the crime, drunkards find it hard to cage drinks, cheats find it hard to cheat people and so on. You would have to have done something really terrible to have it effect you all the time and at that point, execution might be more merciful.


  2. Very cool. I’ll be using this one, I think!



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