Head Exchanger

65. Head Exchanger
Along the north wall of this room is a leather chair with stainless steel straps at the neck, wrist, and ankle locations.  Above the chair, a metal armature sticks out of the wall, terminating in an array of drills, saws, and pincers. Next to this contraption is a locked stainless steel cabinet, 8’ tall. The cabinet is fastened securely to the wall and floor, and will not move.

There is a dial on the side of the cabinet, with several settings:  the numbers one through ten, and the word “Off.” It is currently set to “Off”.  There is also a light above the dial.  While set to “Off,” the light is unlit.  If the dial is set to a number corresponding to a head in the cabinet, it will glow green.  If it is set to a position in the cabinet with no head, it will glow red.

Should anyone sit on the chair (or be forced into it), and the dial is set to a number (as opposed to “Off”), the straps will clamp down firmly, holding the subject in place.  The metal armature will then swing down, blades will spin and messily cut off the top of the subject’s head, pincers will remove the brain, and a pair of shears will snip off the remainder of the head at the neck.  The pieces of the head will roll into the subject’s lap, while a second set of pincers reach into the cabinet from the top.

If the dial is set to a spot in the cabinet with a head, the pincers will remove a new head, dripping with preservative fluids, the light changing from green to red as the second head is lifted away.  The new head will be sawn open, the brain dropped in its new home, and then head and brain will be reattached to the subject’s body.  The entire procedure will be complete in under five seconds, and the subject, although enduring excruciating pain, will not suffer any loss of hit points. A hideous scar with thick black stitching is left around the subject’s neck where the new head has been attached.

If the dial was set to an empty spot, the second set of pincers will come back empty.  The brain will be placed on the subject’s neck and re-attached, but without any head.  While alive, the subject is blind, deaf, and mute, and will suffer seizures and hallucinations if the brain is touched.  If water and pre-chewed food are poured down the esophagus, the subject can live indefinitely in this horrible state.

The top of the cabinet has a small sliding hatch that will automatically open and close to allow the armature access to the heads. Other than that, the key is required to open the cabinet doors.  If opened, ten head-jars full of preservative fluid will be revealed.  New heads may be placed in the jars and attached to subjects, if desired, once the cabinet is open. The heads of prior subjects of head-transplantation are ruined, however, as the skull tops have been cut off, and the machine will not stitch them back together.

The following table lists the heads initially present in the cabinet:

Heads and Their Effects
1.Incredibly handsome human male headSubject’s charisma increased by 1d4 points, if male (not to exceed 18)
2.Giant fly headSubject now unable to speak
3.Troglodyte headSubject’s charisma decreased by 1 point due to nasty odor
4.Oversized fat human headIf subject isn’t already fat, charisma decreased by 1 point
6.Medusa’s headSubject’s gaze turns people to stone
7.Screechman headSubject has to scream constantly to see clearly via echo-location.  -2 to hit if not screaming.
9.Gill-man headSubject can breathe water
10.Incredibly beautiful human female headSubject’s charisma increased by 1d4 points, if female (not to exceed 18)

Note that dwarves and elves who have their heads exchanged will lose their wide-spectrum vision, unless the new head is dwarven or elven.

The key to the cabinet is inside the desk of Dr. Giggles, in room 89.  Should players unlock the cabinet (or break it open), and the medusa’s head is still present, they will need to save vs. petrification or be turned to stone.