[This post is a response to the open call for minor artifacts and relics on Jeff’s Gameblog. I think I may have ignored some of the important instructions, but I enjoy how this one and the others turned out, so if Jeff can’t use them, I still like them. -StU]
Created by the gnomish automatist Hyneman during the war with the centaurs, the Clockwork Mouse is a small toy mouse made of metal and fur with a key protruding from one side. When the key is wound, and the mouse is placed on the floor, it will scamper in an eccentric pattern for 1d4 minutes.
The Clockwork Mouse causes Fear in all four-footed creatures the size of a pony or larger who see the mouse while it is running. Non-intelligent quadrapeds will simply try to flee. They have a 75% chance of running away using the most logical route, a 25% chance of stampeding in a random direction (roll a d8 with 1 being North, 2 being NE, 3 being East, etc.). Intelligent quadrapeds will be affected as if struck by a Fear spell with a penalty to their saving throws.
Creatures who are unaffected by the mouse may try to catch it or destroy it, but while it is running, it is very difficult to catch or hit with a weapon due to its small size and unpredictable movements. Area attacks or attemts to shield quadrapeds’ sight of the mouse are likely to be more successful.
The mouse bears Hyneman’s name engraved on its belly. Characters who find his workshop will be amazed at the automatons, contraptions, and other gadgets he has built.
In addition, Hyneman’s Clockwork Mouse confers the following boons and banes:
2 X I (two minor benign powers)
1 X III (one minor malevolent effect)