Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Hurt Locker: How to Build a Hand of Glory




Note: In this post I'll be reiterating a post I made on the Steve Jackson Games Forums (I'm putting it out there for my subscribers and a wider audience in general). It makes use of the rules for Metatronic Generators.

The Hand of Glory is a powerful occult artifact. Made from a dismembered human hand that has five (sometimes one) tallow candles incorporated into it. The candles are made of rendered human fat from the hanged man and the wicks are spun of his hair. Typically the finger bones are moved to make way for the candles (which have their own uses). From what I've read there are two varieties. The first (I'll call a "Lesser Hand of Glory"), is the hand, often the left or "sinister" hand, of a hanged man. When the candle(s) are ignited the surrounding area is lit up so that the holder (only) can see in the dark, through obfuscations (fog, mist, etc.), and magical concealment or illusions. While the act of it's obtainment is thoroughly disgusting, some witch hunters were reported to use it help them find their prey. The second type (what I'll call a "Greater Hand of Glory") was much like the Lesser version, but was the hand of a hanged thief. It had all the properties of a lesser hand, but was also said to be able to unlock any door it came across, open any window, and so on. Basically, secure barriers were not an issue. Sometimes this is construed as the bearer being able to walk through walls! A common variation for the Greater Hand is that the hand came from a murderer and a thief (and was made specifically from the hand wielding the weapon that killed someone). This evil settled into the dismembered hand and allowed it to animate and serve its master. Yet another variation, is the hand of a witch or warlock - which could do all of the above, but it could also summon demons and perform the magic it knew in life for the bearer. One common theme to all versions is that of a the candle(s) being unable to be snuffed out by anyone except the bearer, though milk was said to drown the evil flame or a devoutly religious person could extinguish by licking his thumb and forefinger, invoking the name of God and snuffing the flame that way. In some tales this burns the religious person badly enough to burn their fingers and it becomes a kind of test. In some versions, every time the candle is snuffed the person takes 1 HP of Injury to the hand (which manifests as severe burns). In Metatronic Generator terms (costs are assumed for a TL8 campaign):

Lesser Hand of Glory
The hand of a hanged man that can emit a light only the bearer can see. This gives the user the equivalent of Dark Vision with the Color Vision enhancement. It can also always the wielder to ignore up to -10 in vision penalties due to obscurement (e.g., bad weather), though this never results in a bonus to Vision rolls. Finally, it allows the user to see through all forms of supernatural deception - regardless of source. It would work equally well on a witch's spell to conceal her true form as it would on a faerie's glamour. It must be held to gain it's benefits. It’s self-powered, but requires the user to expend a single FP per activation (which lasts for one hour of use) and make a Occultism+5 roll (at default if necessary). Mini, $294,000, 1.4 lbs. Self-Powered. LC0.

Statistics: Acute Vision 10 (Accessibility, Only to negate Vision penalties, -40%; Accessibility, Only while See Invisible is Active, -10%; Apparatus, +0%; Magical, -10%) [4] + Dark Vision (Accessibility, Only while See Invisible is Active, -10%; Apparatus, +0%; Color Vision, +20%; Magical, -10%; Temporary Disadvantage, One Hand, -15%; Terminal Condition, Milk or Snuffing of candle(s) by a religious person, -10%) [19] + Illumination [1] + See Invisible (Supernatural Deception; Apparatus, +0%; Costs Fatigue, 1 FP/hour, -0%; Magical, -10%; Reliable 5, +25%; True Sight, +50%) [25]. (49 points total)


Greater Hand of Glory
As a Lesser Hand of Glory, but made from the hand of a hanged thief. It allows the bearer to open anylocked or secured window, door, vault, etc. within 10 yards of him (the lock itself cannot weigh more than 1,000 lbs). This requires a IQ roll or a roll against Lockpicking (whichever is better). Mini, $2,214,000, 1.4 lbs. Self-Powered. LC0.

Statistics: As for a Lesser Hand of Glory plus Control Locks 10 (Accessibility, Only while See Invisible is Active, -10%; Apparatus, +0%; Collective, +100%; Extended Duration, x3000, +100%; Magical, -10%; Persistent, +40%) [320]. (369 points total)


Variation: Permeating Hand
If the bearer gets through barriers by walking through them, use Permeation (Everything) (Accessibility, Only while See Invisible is Active, -10%; Apparatus, +0%; Can Carry Objects, Heavy, +100%; Magical, -10%) [144], which brings the cost to $864,049 (including the cost of the abilities of the Lesser Hand).


Variation: Animated Hand or Spellcasting Hand
If the hand can animate or cast spells, add Ally (Hand of Glory; Built on 25% of points; Constantly; Minion, +50%) [6] or Ally (Dead Warlock or Witch) with a Constant Appearance and the Minion enhancement and built on whatever point total is appropriate.

ST: 3              HP: 9             Speed: 7.00
DX: 11            Will: 12           Move: 7
IQ: 6               Per: 12            Weight: 1.4 lbs.
HT: 11            FP: N/A          SM: -6
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 1

Claw (13): 1d-5 cutting. Reach C.
Crawling Hand (14): Treat this as a grappling attack against the neck as the hand tries to crawl up its target's body (p. B370
Strangle (14): After the hand has grappled its target, it roll against its skill vs. its target's skill. On the Hands next turn, and each thereafter, roll 14 vs. the higher of your foe’s ST or HT. If you win, your foe takes crushing damage equal to your margin of victory. Rigid DR protects normally. A Carotid choke inflicts FP damage, a tracheal choke inflicts crushing HP damage. 

Traits: Appearance (Horrific); Constriction Attack; Dark Vision (Color Vision); Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink Doesn’t Sleep; High Pain Threshold; Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Indomitable; Injury Tolerance (Unliving, No Blood; No Eyes; No Head; No Neck; No Vitals); Unfazeable.
Skills: Brawling-14; Stealth-14; Wrestling-14.
Notes: Undead creature.


Variation: Sleeping Curse
If the hand can also put those around it into a deep slumber, use Affliction (Will; Accessibility, Only while See Invisible is Active, -10%; Apparatus, +0%; Area of Effect, 16 yards, +200%; Emanation, -20%; Extended Duration, 100×, +80%; Magic, -10%; Malediction 1, +100%; No Signature, +20%; Unconsciousness, +200%) [66]. This will increase the cost by $396,000.

2 comments:

  1. This was also a ritual in the Hellboy RPG powered by GURPS

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  2. I wish I had that book. :-/ Alas, I do not. I think that ritual made it into Thaumatology too.

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