Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for Ygg

Welcome to the Tower of the Archmage’s April A to Z Challenge!

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “Y” the number “25” and the support of readers like you.

Thank you.

I’ll be honest, I did not recognize Ygg as one of Odin’s 200+ names. I thought it was a Norse word, but I had to look it up. As for the All Father himself he has never made an appearance in any of my games, yet he is a very interesting archtype. The one-eyed god is associated with wisdom, war, battle and death, and also magic, poetry, prophecy, victory, and the hunt. He sacrificed his eye at the spring of Mimir to gain the Wisdom of the Ages, and hung himself from the World Tree Yggdrasil for 9 days and nights while pierced by his own spear to gain power in the 9 worlds (aka Magic!)

Aside from some books on mythology from my childhood, my primary exposure to Ygg comes from two sources. The first being the Disney cartoon series Gargoyles, and the second Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. It’s been a while since I last watched Gargoyles, but from what I recall both do a fair job of portraying some of the complexity of Odin’s character. Gaiman of course does a better job, but that’s to be expected.

I actually think that the Norse pantheon does a better job with the gods than the Roman or Egyptian ones. The Norse gods are all fairly complex individuals, making them a little more interesting as characters.

The Eye of Odin

This magical talisman is an artifact of minor power. When claimed, the owner will know it’s powers and dangers. Once claimed, the owner must continue to wear the talisman for its powers to be used. During the first 9 days and nights the Eye will attune itself to its new owner. During this time the owner may relinquish the Eye with no ill effects. On the 10th morning the Eye will be attuned. Upon attunement the wearer will gain enough XP to automatically bring them to the midpoint of the next level. In addition from that point on all XP will be gained with a 10% bonus. This bonus will stack with any bonus based upon high ability scores.

The wearer of the Eye will be immune from attacks that damage Wisdom or drain levels.

Every day the talisman is worn the wearer will take 1d6 points of damage that will manifest as a stab wound in the side. This damage may be healed normally.

After the Eye is attuned the loss of it will cause the former bearer to lose 2 levels. In addition, until the character earns enough XP to bring them to their former level, they will suffer a 15% penalty to all XP earned.


  1. Thats a cool artifact. Though I do have a misgiving about how the drawback works. It seems anyone without magical healing would be screwed.

    How about; Every day the talisman is worn, the wearer will take 1d6 points of damage each morning, unless he already has at least 6 points of damage. The damage will manifest as a stab wound in the side, and will always be the last to be healed by magical healing.

    That way you can have the stab wound, but without slowly killing the character.

  2. You're right, anyone without magical healing would be screwed! On the other hand, you do get a free level just by wearing it! Plus a bonus to XP.

    It's certainly worth thinking about.... Thank you for the idea!