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Wax Earplugs

In Greek mythology, the Sirens sing a cursed melody. Orpheus guided the Argonauts past the Sirens by playing his lyre to drown their song. Odysseus plugged his crew's ears with wax and ordered himself bound to the mast of his ship while sailing past the Sirens. For parties who find themselves without an Oprhean Bard, wax earplugs may be the solution.


While equipped, the Wax Earplugs render the character deaf. The character is immune to effects that rely on hearing:

Creature Ability DC Skill Range
Banshee Wail 13 CON 30'
Cloaker Moan 13 WIS 60'
Demilich Howl 15 CON 30'
Chasme Drone 12 CON 30'
Vrock Stunning Screech 14 CON 20'
Gibbering Mouther Gibbering 10 WIS 20'
Harpy Luring Song 11 WIS 300'
Satyr Pan Pipes 13 WIS 60'
Androsphynx Roar 18 WIS 500'
Grung Elite Warrior Mesmerizing Chirr 12 WIS 15'
Vargouille Stunning Shriek 12 WIS 30'
Yeth Hound Baleful Baying 13 WIS 300'
Yuan-Ti Anathema Ophidiophobia Aura 18 WIS 30'
Kraken Priest Voice of the Kraken 14 CHA 300'
Warlord Frighten Foe 16 WIS 30'

Donning and Doffing

Donning a single or pair of Wax Earplugs takes an action. Once a pair of Wax Earplugs are donned, they can be doffed as a free action by removing one earplug. However, until both Wax Earplugs are removed (using a full action or a later free action) the character suffers disadvantage on perception checks related to hearing.


You can easily set a gold cost and just sell Wax Earplugs at your local provisioner.

However, if your Big Bad Guy is designed to exploit the party’s ears, you may want to install some hurdles to acquisition. A local artisan will offer to custom-mold Wax Earplugs for the party, but requires the supplies to craft them and time to refine the raw materials.

Historically, wax has been made from animal byproducts, but in more recent times it has also been made from plants. Here are some reagents you can send the party to track down:

  • Tallow. A local butcher or chef can provide the party with this rendered fat product.
  • Beeswax. Depending on the harvester’s animal handling skill, the bees may not be so willing to part with the wax accumulating around their hive.
  • Whale Oil. Led by an insane whaling captain named Ahab, the party takes to the high seas to hunt down a sperm whale.
  • Palm Oil. The party must travel to a coastal region to gather palm fruit.
  • Parrafin. Unless your party strikes “black gold” in their backyard a la the Beverly Hillbillies, getting this product may require tense negotiations with a local oil baron.
  • Wool.  Only the softest wool from a lamb's belly is delicate enough to pad the plugs. The sheepdog is vigilant.

Check ThinkDM for more content.

The Sirens' Attack on Odysseus

Art by J.W. Waterhouse