Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Billy Idol's "Eyes Without a Face" (Adventure Ideas)

In my mind, the 1980s were the Golden Age of the music video. You could compare the early music video scene to early dungeon design in D&D. Nobody really knew how make one, so any good idea just got tossed in. Why is the Eurythmics keyboardist playing next to a cow? Who cares. Why is Sting doing jumping-jacks in the middle of room full of candles? It's cool. Just go with it.

Many of these videos made an impression on my mind, such as Billy Idol's "Eyes Without a Face."

I was a kid when I first saw it. I didn't quite understand it. Billy Idol kept repeating "Eyes Without a Face." And I imagined two disembodied eyes floating in shadowy alcove. Freaky... yet perfect for a D&D game.

In fact, GMs can use the the video itself for ideas for adventures:

The Villain: 
--A leader of some sort of cult of dark hedonism.
--Has a tattoo of a woman on his arm--is she a dark reminder of his past? Does he seek her again? 
--Claims to perform miracles ("holy water into wine", causing sparks to erupt from his body)
--Reads "murder-books, trying to stay hip." 
--Likes to randomly use water torture.
--If his schemes are thwarted, he throws a fit on the floor.

--a head floating over an open flame (is it some kind of oracle, an illusion, a vision for the PCs to interpret?)
--The "Watcher," a guard of some sort with eyes painted or tattooed on his eye-lids. He can even see invisible creatures.
--Random smoke and mirrors meant to confuse the party (are the mirrors scrying devices?)
--The Initiation Room. Initiates must pass their hands over a font of flame without getting burned. 
--In the main chamber, the characters find the villain standing in the center of a flaming hexagon, while his acolytes look on. 
--If any of the characters try to escape through a certain barred window, they trigger a flame trap.

The title of the song is a reference to the movie Eyes Without a Face, made way back in 1960.  It's
about a woman who's father is trying to restore her face after an accident. He kidnaps other young women and tries to transfer their faces onto his daughter's.

It's classic horro movie, one that I should probably watch at some point, but haven't.

Finally, if you like the idea of things without faces, you should check out Mini-Manor "The Faces Without Screams", by Tim Shorts, over at Gothridge Manor.

I won't spoil the fun, but I'll say its a grisly little adventure compatible with Swords & Wizardry.

Some characters might not be able to "face" the challenge. (har har)

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