Dark Insight (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Author: Eiji-kun (talk)
Date Created: 5-4-15
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Dark Insight[edit]

This rule can be applied to any situation where there is something in the world beyond reality, such as situations and events typically associated with Lovecraftian horror. Dark insight represents your awareness of the things beyond visible reality, which can be a good or a bad thing. The deeper you delve into dark insight, the more you know and understand the horrors, and the better you can fight them. But as you do, you also become more vulnerable to things beyond as well.

Most creatures have a Dark Insight score of —, but on obtaining a score (such as being exposed to eldritch horrors from beyond time and space), they gain a score of 0. Treat it as if it were ranks in a skill, but dark insight is not limited by your character level. You can gain, or lose, additional ranks of dark insight based on what things you do and are exposed to, such as various things shown on the table below.

Dark Insight
Dark Insight Modifier Example Events
−2 Having knowledge of eldritch things wiped from your mind, as if from modify memory.
−1 Taking 24 hours of meditation and rest to try and comprehend things. You must succeed on a Will save equal to your HD + 10. If you fail, you cannot retry until you gain at least one level or your dark insight modifier changes.
+1 Exposure to information on eldritch things, such as some dark and forbidden tome, or successfully use dark insight to reach the warped plane for the first time.
+2 Exposure to creatures or events which are proof of the warped plane (see below), or intentional worship of elder evils.
+3 Exposure to actual eldritch things within your CR +2 or lower. Reach the warped plane with 40% miss chance or lower.
+4 Exposure to actual eldritch things within your CR +3 to your CR +5, or levels in a eldritch horror-themed class such as AlienistCA.
+5 Exposure to actual eldritch things of your CR +6 or higher, or reach the warped plane with 0% miss chance.

Other events may cause a rise or decrease in your dark insight score (minimum 0), such as acquiring an eldritch horror themed template such as PseudonaturalCA (gaining dark insight equal to the LA, maximum +5). A single event can only produce a single change; you cannot read the Necronomicon multiple times to keep increasing your dark insight bonus, you have to go find some other eldritch event or item instead.

At any point you are exposed to an undesired change in dark insight, you can make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ effect's HD if any + effect's Charisma modifier if any) to negate the change. However, you take a penalty on your save equal to your dark insight bonus.

Creatures associated with dark insight, such as any creature with the Abomination subtype, or any creature from the Far Realm, can add a creature's dark insight bonus as a bonus to their Listen, Search, and Spot checks against characters with a dark insight score, and can detect them as if they had scent.

Uses for Dark Insight[edit]

You can use your dark insight in several ways.

  • You can roll your dark insight bonus + Intelligence modifier to identify creatures associated with dark insight, such as any creature with the Abomination subtype, or any creature from the Far Realm. The DC for this check is just their CR instead of CR + 10.
  • You can roll your character level + dark insight bonus + Wisdom modifier to reveal creatures associated with dark insight, as if you were using Spot to oppose Disguise (if they are before you in a form that is not their own) or to see creatures that are not on your plane of existence but in the same special area. Do note that being able to view them also means they are able to view you as well.
  • You can roll your dark insight bonus + Charisma modifier in place of straight opposed Charisma checks against any creature associated with dark insight, such as any creature with the Abomination subtype, or any creature from the Far Realm.
  • Lastly, many creatures which dark insight applies to exist, but have no visible presence on the world. With a DC 10 dark insight check, you can reveal the world as it truly is, entering the "warped plane". Often things will take on a darker, more twisted, and more insane appearance and may reveal hidden paths unseen by others. This can be considered similar to plane shift, but you still exist on the original plane you were on. You are able to interact (and be affected by) things on both your original plane and the warped plane, though you have a 80% miss chance against any activities against yourself or your own actions to things on the warped plane. For every +5 points you succeed on your check, your miss chance in the warped plane drops by 20%, to a maximum of 100% at DC 30.

If you perform an action which is possible in the warped plane but impossible in your original plane (such as walking through a wall which is a doorway in the warped plane), if your miss chance fails, you are shunted into the nearest valid position with 1d6 damage plus an additional +1d6 for every 5 feet you travel, if you are not in a valid space. Thus, moving through impossible spaces is a dangerous prospect.

From the original plane, for those who do not have the dark insight to see what you are doing, it simply appears as if you are violating reality, passing through walls, or doing other impossible acts. And if you are attacked by things in the warped plane, it would appear as if you are spontaneously developing wounds from no source.

Alternative Methods[edit]

Though dark insight is tuned to Lovecraftian flavor, it can be used for any situation of "reality beyond reality", from ghosts and undead things, to dreamscapes, to science and Matrix-type situations.


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Eiji-kun's Homebrew (5205 Articles)
Eiji-kunv
AuthorEiji-kun +
Identifier3.5e Variant Rule +
Rated ByBhu +, Wildmage + and Sulacu +
RatingRating Pending +
SummaryUseful in games with eldritch horrors hidden in the background, dark insight represents an awareness of the reality behind reality. It can be useful boon, or a terrible bane. +
TitleDark Insight +