Crystal ball

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Crystal balls are magical items used to scry players and unique NPCs. They can be shattered to produce thaum crystals. Unlike longsight and gaze, crystal balls provide the scryer with a dynamically updating view of their target until either they are rubbed or the scryer runs out of guild points. What is seen through crystal balls can be distorted by high levels of background magic.

Crystal balls can be purchased from Harmony Stardancer's shop in Ankh-Morpork for $100. They are also available at the Magick Box in Genua, and Hilta Goatfounder's in Ohulan Cutash. It weighs 3 3/9 lb.


Originally obtained as the reward for the now defunct quest Eye Doctor, crystal balls were disabled on 14 September 2004[1] for reasons of balance. They were returned to the game on 28 March 2009 with both more and different skill checks and a susceptibility to high levels of background magic[2].


  • scry <living> with ball
  • rub ball
  • gaze into ball
  • shatter ball


Scrying with a crystal ball uses the magic.methods.physical.scrying skill to determine success, and uses magic guild points. The magic.methods.spiritual.abjuring skill defends against scrying. A marginal defend success shows the target:

You feel a pricking in the back of your mind that tells you someone is attempting to scry you.

A good defend success shows the target:

You feel a pricking in the back of your mind that tells you Tetrikitty the Fluffy is scrying you.

When the scrying is successful, a gp cost that is decreased by your scrying skill and increased by your target's abjuring skill (the minimum seems to be 5 gp) will be paid every second to continue watching the target. This moves with the target and shows everything that happens in the room the target is in, including souls, speech, combat, roomchats, item chats, and spellcasting.

When a successful scry is happening, there will be an air distortion (transparent) NPC floating in the room that can be seen with high levels of adventuring.perception (230 bonus was not enough).

It looks like a distortion of the air.  You get a terrible feeling that it is watching you.
It is in good shape.
It is floating.

The air distortion has around 1200 hp and can be killed, resulting in the message:

Potent Ptaib pteh Pterrible deals the death blow to your mind.
You cannot concentrate enough to scry right now.

Although extremely difficult, it is possible to successfully scry with a crystal ball with a magic.methods.physical.scrying bonus of 146. With a bonus of 214 scrying with a crystal ball is trivial. (see Research).

A failed skill check while scrying can temporarily damage your constitution. You may also experience temporary blindness.

The world goes black! You are blind.
You concentrate hard on finding someone, but his mind is too hard to grasp...

If the room with target is dark (at night, for instance), scrying fails with

You stare into the crystal ball, but all you can see is darkness.

See also

External links


  1. Airk's MUD news archive.
  2. "Playing With Your Balls" .