Black Dust is a common name for a strange substance that sometimes may be found in the ruins, machines and even artifacts left by the Hollow Ones. In most cases it has brown to black color and strong, choking odor of rust and chemicals.
Humans can use Black Dust for several things, but probably all of them are wrong and Hollow Ones had much better methods of using it.
- It may be used as a spell component. Spell is much easier to prepare / cast if Black Dust was used. If large amounts of it were used, it may have much more powerful effect but also it's much harder to control.
- Black Dust may be used as fuel. It's about one hundred times more effective than coal or gasoline (I simplified this sentence it for a game's purposes - I don't want to make truly scientific RPG).
- Sometimes, using the Black Dust is the only known method to activate certain artifacts left by the Hollow Ones. It must be mixed with blood and applied on the certain points of the artifact / device.
- If consumed, it has several effects: for 10-30 minutes it reduces AC by one, adds +2 to-hit and +1 to each saving throw. After that time, for another 1-6 hours victim suffers severe headaches (-1 to each roll, -10% to each skill check) and seizures (additional -1 to-hit). These effects applies only to refined Black Dust (to refine it, laboratory worth 10000 gp is needed and Science skill of 60% or better). If "raw", unrefined form of black dust was used, duration of positive effects is halved and duration of drawbacks is doubled. In addition, it's highly addictive - save vs. poison must be performed even after the first dose. Each additional dose adds -1 modifier to the save. Effects of addition includes hallucinations, seizures, problems with concentration and rapid shifts of mood (from panic to rage). Of course, after several uses, organism developes tolerance for a substance - for each five times it was used, amount of doses that must be consumed to take an effect is increased by one.