Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lens Flayer (Labyrinth Lord)

To quote from the Porkotic Manuscripts:

"Lens flayers burst into reality on streams of photons running between light source and observer, and hang in the air, perhaps in numbers, latching onto a lens and bleeding contrast. They are believed to be vassals only, used to add a sense of truth to creation, and are captured by arcane means by certain artists for the same, perhaps as devotion."

So spaketh the Expansive Porcine Prophet in regards to his recent discovery of a number of Unique Spectral Entities on the eve of the Optician's Conventicle. This of course was only moments before the place was ransacked by the unwashed hordes of Kaligannu who mistakenly raided the sacred precincts of the sponsoring shrines in the hopes of gaining corrective eye surgery for the cataract-plague that was then affecting most of their adults. Cyclopes are very sensitive about such things...

Lens Flayer
No. Enc.: 3d4 (6d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120'
Armor Class: 10/0*
Hit Dice: 2+1
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d4 +drain contrast
Save: MU3
Morale: 11

Stange little transplanar flamelets, the Lens Flayers are vaguely sentient entities who rely upon the perception and observation of others in order to be able to cross-over into the more material realms. They consist mostly of stray photons and a hazy, heat-shimmer effect that is mostly a trick of the light, a conspicuous conscious illusion that requires an outside participant to function, let alone exist.

Lens Flayers drain away all visual contrast from whatever they latch onto. It appears that they somehow consume contrast in some bizarre, abstract almost metaphorical metabolic manner. Those objects or victims who survive an assault by these things are left drained of contrast in the areas affected, and tend to take on a faded, muddy sort of appearance.

When a Lens Flayer latches onto a lens, piece of polished glass, mirror, or some similar surface, they prefer to remain attached and are exceptionally easy to strike or to damage with spells. It is recommended that one apply some form of magical Darkness to any weapon intended to be used against these creatures as that will allow the en-spelled weapon to do double damage against these things and gain a Save so as not to lose its contrast.

Darkness spells inflict 1d6 damage/per level of the caster to these creatures.

Artistic Interpretations
Sorcerers and other artists do indeed capture and  bind Lens Flayers into specially prepared lenses, crystals, and optical arrays. This has allowed some industrious innovators to develop means of deliberately fading materials into eye-fooling camouflage, to create intriguing lighting effects within otherwise static paintings, to revise the appearance of sculptures, and to work a wide range of experimental effects that are constantly expanding as new things are attempted every day. There are also rumors of work being done to harness the Lens Flayers for strange new sorts of Light/Contrast/Darkness-based weapons...but much of that work is being conducted in secret...

Source: Lens Flayers were originally created by Porky from The Expanse, we just converted them over to Labyrinth Lord as a creative collaboration. The original post is available HERE.


  1. Porkotic Manuscripts... Lens Flayer...

    You're going to make me choke on my coffee!


  2. I'm impressed too - you really ran with that. I wasn't sure an idea so unconventional could be done in a practical enough way, but clearly it can, and this is proof. I like the idea the thing can be more troubling than classically destructive, but still have such a major effect on a victim. It gets us thinking about the game space in a fuller way. The damage in return fits as well, and there are seeds galore. I appreciate the references too, and that 'Porkotic' especially.

  3. was either that or The Book of the Pig (revised), but I couldn't find a copy on Amazon.

    @Porky: Glad you liked it--you had a great idea there and we just fleshed it out a bit and found a use for it. If all monsters do is dispense damage and treasure, it gets boring fast. Encounters can be more than just mathematical transactions.

  4. Classic. :) This reminds of the sort of in-joke stuff of gamings past, which we're mostly too serious for these days--but it also works well as a serious creature.


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