If Looks Could Kill
In the bestiary there are a few beasts with the occasional strange magickal power or two that can make conducting battles with them somewhat awkward if the GM isn’t careful and prepared for them. Those most commonly bandied about in folklore are those of dragons, vampires and others of the un-dead, gorgons, basilisks and cockatrices and, of course, the ubiquitous fairies. Most commonly notable among these and the powers that act of others by meeting their gaze or by looking upon their faces. Among the magicks of the trades practicing magick, a number are designed to reach a point where they work by the same principle, making them similarly difficult to deal with in battle when used.
The special properties of a magickal gaze attack can only work properly when the (ambient) light conditions allow such a creature and its prey to meet each others’ gaze, or the victim to see the beast’s face, as applicable (GM’s discretion).
The penalties that can inhibit the successful use of these powers are rated below.
However, the victim of this kind of attack must not only see the beast’s eyes or face, he must meet the magickal gaze directly, look full upon the visage, so that a moment of recognition takes place, where souls perceive and acknowledge one another, in which moment either an affirmation of the intent that the magick should take effect normally (accompanied by whatever special visual effects the GM is using to define the effect of the gaze to the victim, if any) or in which it is suppressed. The latter is only an option for sentient beings (GM’s discretion) and requires a successful HRT check by the bearer of the gaze attack vs. the (effective) POT of his own dweomer.
The effective POT and SL of the magickal properties of mythical beasts can be found in the “Notes” section of the beast’s description.
When the beast, or at least the magickal property of its gaze, is unknown to the targets (the characters, as opposed to the players), the gaze weapon must strike first as a complete Surprise to them, as much so as any trap.
Those who aren’t overwhelmed by the Surprise get a M-RES check, as normal.
These who are overwhelmed by the Surprise have their M-RES against the charm reduced to one (1) until they recover their wits to act again.
In either case, a bonus based on the thickness of any vegetation is added to the DV provided by the M-RES of the target(s), according to the rates given in the beginning of Chapter 3.
Where no such cover interferes, a bonus of 1 per yard by which the target(s) are beyond (their own AWA) yards from the attacker should be added,
and may adjustments for lack of lighting also applied.
Gloom or Glare
Obviously, gaze weapons or cursed visages have no effect on those that are blind and unable to see them, much less meet those gazes.
A character can only discern the presence of a gaze weapon by its effects when he sees others start showing signs of being affected by it, and then only if those victims are in some position to tell others about it AND DO SO.
Once the target(s) become aware of the danger they are in, they quickly discover that they can only do so much if they still intend to face the bearer of the magick in battle.
Not looking at a foe’s eyes eliminates any Savvy bonus being applied to the target’s combat skills when attempting to face that foe, and double the benefit of that foe’s Player and Game Face skills (as applicable, GM’s discretion).
Trying to avoid looking entirely at the foe’s head raises the normal DV to hit that foe by 1 per 7 points of