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Cup of Forbidden Knowledge

Source Horror Adventures pg. 226
Aura strong divination CL 20th
Slot none; Price —; Weight 2 lbs.


This ivory goblet is decorated with carvings of impossibly tall towers rising above modest abodes. The goblet is always filled to the brim with wine. Any drops spilling from the cup vanish into nothingness before they touch the ground.

Once per day, the cup grants a permanent +1d4 insight bonus on all Knowledge checks to a creature that drinks from it, but it permanently reduces the drinker’s Wisdom score by the same amount. If your campaign uses the sanity rules (see page 12), this instead reduces the drinker’s sanity score by double the amount. The bonus on Knowledge checks and reduction to Wisdom stack with multiple drinks from the same cup, but the bonus can never exceed +10. If the insight bonus ever becomes greater than the drinker’s Intelligence modifier or reaches +10, she must succeed at a Will save with a DC equal to 20 + the amount by which the insight bonus exceeds her Intelligence modifier (or DC 20 if the bonus reaches +10 but she has an Intelligence modifier of +10 or greater). If the user fails, she becomes insane (as per insanity). Even if the user succeeds, the inescapable feeling of knowing too much continues to vex her, and she must repeat the saving throw once per day. Only spells that can remove insanity can put her mind at ease. However, curing the effect (or the insanity that it causes) permanently removes the insight bonus and Wisdom reduction and makes the user unable to ever again be affected by a cup of forbidden knowledge.


A creature with an Intelligence score of 7 or lower can destroy a cup of forbidden knowledge by beating it savagely with physical attacks that deal a total of 100 points of damage or more within 1 round. The creature must not know that the item is the cup of forbidden knowledge, nor can it be commanded, influenced, or tricked into destroying the cup by another creature that knows of the cup and its destruction condition.