[DW magic Item] The Mask of Something - or was it Nothing?

Hello! I’m putting together an adventure where a spooky possessed mask does spooky possessed mask things! I like how the item came out, so I thought some folks here may like it too.

The Mask of Something - or was it Nothing?
A strange, canvas ‘Joy’ mask that somehow sparkles no matter where it is. The air tingles around it, abuzz with raw arcane power.

Legend tells of an ancient daemon called Something - or maybe it was Nothing - that once roamed the world, causing chaos and inciting mischief in all it crossed. After centuries of toppling governments and disbanding communities, Nothing - or perhaps Something - was banished to a canvas mask by another ancient daemon after it drove that daemon’s flock to insanity.

When you put on the Mask of Something, take +2 ongoing to any action EXCEPT for removing the Mask of Nothing, until the Mask of Something is removed. The GM holds 3. They can spend their hold 1-for-1 to suggest you take a course of action as Nothing attempts to exert its will over you. If you take the suggested course of action, mark EXP, and the mask smiles. If you do not, the GM regains their spent hold, you take 1 point of damage as your head throbs, and the mask scowls.

When you attempt to take off the Mask of Something, roll +WIS.
• On a 10+ you remove the mask and the GM loses all hold.
• On a 7-9 you remove the mask.
• On a miss you do not remove the mask, and the GM gains 3 hold to spend as above.

When an NPC puts on the Mask of Nothing, Something possesses them, imbuing them with incredible power and the need to achieve all their greatest whims by any means necessary. Turn the NPC into a danger, with the grim portents representing their greatest desires, and the impending doom being the Mask of Nothing permanently fusing with the wearer’s skull, and Something taking over their body and mind forever. An NPC wearing the Mask of Nothing will never take the Mask of Something off by their own accord, and any attempts to Parley with them about doing so automatically fail.


A nice idea for a horrible mask. I quite enjoyed it!

I think some of the implementation could be improved - +2 is pretty steep for most PbtA purposes, and once the Hold runs out, it’s not terribly interesting - but it’s cool.

It might be more dynamic if every time the Mask gives you some kind of bonus (you could play around with whether it’s up to the player or the Mask, or both, but in different ways) it generates a point of Hold.


That’s a great idea, thank you! Maybe instead of ongoing, it could be something along the lines of activate it to take +1 forward to any move, and it gains one hold over you, and perhaps if you roll snake eyes the seal breaks and the ancient evil is freed without the need for a mortal tether :thinking:

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