Ouija Table

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Climate/Terrain:Any inhabited
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Low (5-7)
Alignment:Chaotic evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:7
Hit Dice:2
No. of Attacks:1
Damage/Attack:Varies (1d4 to 1d8)
Special Attacks:Curse
Special Defenses:Immune to life and mind effects
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:S (2½' tall)
Morale:Unsteady (5)
XP Value:175

The so-called ouija table - an obscure reference to the “talking boards” popular among Dementilieuse spiritulists - is a difficult thing to define. In a sense, it is not so much a creature as a phenomenon. It occurs when a table (or other piece of furniture) is utilized repeatedly for nonmagical divination or spiritualism - whether talking boards, cards, tea leaves, crystal gazing, automatic writing, or a host of other practices. Though no real magic is involved, the psychic energy of the subjects or users leaves a powerful impression on the surroundings. Eventually, after hundreds or thousands of attempts to contact “The Other Side”, this psychic energy may take on a life of its own, inhabiting the closest available inanimate object, usually a table. Even charlatan fortune tellers can inadvertently spawn a ouija table, as the highly emotional thoughts of their customers accumulates like psychic flotsam over time.

A ouija table resembles an ordinary piece of furniture in most respects. The exact appearance of such an object varies greatly, of course, depending on the wealth and tastes of its owner. There is nothing to indicate that the table is unusual or magical. Use of the psionic power sensitivity to psychic impressions on the table, however, is cause for a madness check.

While intelligent, oujia tables seem to be incapable of directly communicating with other creatures. They can, however, subtly manipulate any fortune telling or spiritual communication that is attempted on them. Rather than attempting to convey a message, ouija tables are prone to simply twist the outcome to terrorize or confuse its victims. For instance, a person attempting automatic writing on a ouija table might find himself scribbling “DOOM” over and over again.

Combat: Ouija tables do not engage other creatures in combat. They are incapable of movement and are basically helpless if attacked. In extreme situations, a ouija table can telekinetically “throw” any object resting on itself with impressive force. The table's maximum range with any item is 30', and most household objects do 1d4 to 1d8 points of damage. The table rarely does this unless it is actively being attacked, or suspects that a creature is about to attack it. Most ouija tables have 2 Hit Dice worth of hit points and an Armor Class of 7, though these statistics can vary depending on the nature of the object. Ouija tables are completely immune to all effects of life or mind magic.

The danger of ouija tables, however, lies not in their physical abilities. Rather, they have the impressive and dangerous ability to lay powerful curses on any individual that attempts divinatory or spiritualist practices on them. Any person sitting at the table and participating in such activities - even if said activities are a deliberate hoax - risks the table's curse. The ouija table may invoke any kind of curse up to troublesome in strength (see Domains of Dread pg 217). The curse has no visual cues, and indeed, the victim is often unaware that anything unusual as occurred, at least until the curse rears its head. The details of any given curse are up to the DM, although ouija tables seem to have an instinctive malicious streak (meaning they frequently reduce a character's prime requisite or implant wildly uncharacteristic desires). Though the curses of a ouija table have no escape clauses, all curses placed by a particular table are removed if the table is destroyed. A ouija table can lay an unlimited number of curses per day.

Habitat/Society: While ouija tables are almost certainly aware, they do not seem to have much use for anything outside of their own sphere of experience. They care only about causing fear and misfortune. Though not possessed of great intelligence, ouija tables are clever enough to be deliberately cruel in their curses. They seem to be instinctively aware of their victims' weaknesses, though they cannot actually read minds.

Most ouija tables avoid inflicting their curses directly on fortune-tellers, preferring to terrorize the subject of the divination, if present. After all, the fortune-teller is the one who brings victims to the table, so why punish or hinder her? Unfortunately, it is often the fortune-teller who becomes the target of local suspicion when her clients start to fall victim to misfortune. Few think to blame an ordinary piece of furniture, when they bother to consider alternate explanations at all. Thus, ouija tables frequently pass from one owner to the next, leaving tragedy in their wake.

Ecology: A ouija table can only be thought of as a creature in the loosest sense. They have intelligence, but no other characteristics of a mind or spirit. Indeed, they are perhaps best described as a sentient concentration of psychic energy, tied to an inanimate object. Other than their curses, they have no interaction with their environment.

The Lonesome Road