View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Aelsif: The Insight Mechanic

2017-02-21, 02:29 PM
Aelsif adds a new statistic into the game, called "Insight". It is functionally an ability score, except it always starts at 0.

Insight's primary usage is to comprehend celestials. You add your insight modifier to spot, listen and search checks when detecting a celestial, though you can still detect them (at a -5 penalty) with 0 insight. Your insight modifier is also used when attempting to bypass a celestial's spell resistance, though once again you don't need insight to do this and will only have a -5 penalty with no insight. Insight also adds directly to your own spell resistance, which by default is 5+Ins modifier. Any writings on them or in one of their languages is illegible with 0 insight and you need to pass an insight check to read them, any celestial artifacts are unusable with 0 insight (or 0 ranks in use artifact), you need to make a use artifact check to use them, which of course is modified by Insight.

Insight is also a negative, however. Enough so that whether it is worth it to have insight or not is entirely up to the player, though they don't always have a choice in the matter. Specifically, insight directly penalizes will saves against celestials. You can still be affected with 0 insight, but it is much less likely.

For example, a deep hybrid is hiding from you. A deep hybrid is a celestial (half celestial, but good enough), so at 0 insight you get a -5 to spot them, at 10 you spot them as normal, and at 20 you get a +5. However, the deep hybrid also has frightful presence on sight with a DC 11, and that means with 0 insight once you do spot them you'll have a +5 on your will save from not having the insight to know what's so scary about them, but with 10 insight you roll the save as normal and at 20 insight you'd have a -5 on that save and are more likely to be shaken. It is worth noting, however, that seeing celestial types for the first time always grants insight.

For a far more impressive example, their mother It Yeek'Kal Thet has a despairing aura, which inflicts crushing despair with a DC 40. It's unlikely you'll miss an aquatic abomination with colossal size, even with a -5 from 0 insight, but that does apply to her. It's also unlikely you'll pass a DC 40 will save even with an extra +5 to your normal will save, but if you already have an extremely high will save at least now you'll have a chance other than a natural 20.

Gaining insight is not done normally. You gain 1 insight upon witnessing a race of celestial, and a small bonus for witnessing a particular class of celestial (1 for a celestial hybrid or minor celestial, 2 for a lesser celestial and 4 for a great one or great old one). Killing a celestial will grant the same amount as witnessing it. Each of these will only work ONCE per race and ONCE per class, if you witness a deep hybrid you will gain insight for both the race and the class (celestial hybrid, obviously), but witnessing another one won't grant you any insight. However, if next time you witness a cosmic hybrid will grant 1 insight from the new race but not the class as you've already seen celestial hybrids before. Witnessing a Sailor of the Outer Sea after them would still grant 2 insight, as it is both a new race and a new class (minor celestial). Autopsies are also a viable way of gaining insight, performing an autopsy will grant 1 insight for each race and 1 insight for each class, again only once per race and class.

Additionally, one gains a point of insight for examining a celestial artifact, and an extra point of insight for actually figuring out how to use it. There are also writings on the celestials (called grimoires) that grant an enhancement bonus to insight, but they require an insight check just to understand them (as one would expect from the incoherent writings of madmen) and as an enhancement bonus they don't stack. (Also, maybe don't let the party cleric know you found a grimoire. Just a suggestion.) Insight can also be given on plot points, if the DM wishes. This is entirely up to the DM, but these insight gains should always be a single point. If you would like, you can also invest your ability bonus from levels into insight, but as it has both positives and negatives this is not recommended.