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Strange Sorceries

One of the niftiest things about FantasyCraft (a great big steaming pile of nifty) are the various Campaign Qualities. In keeping with this week’s theme, I offer a few ideas about the Corrupting Magic quality — the trait which causes magic in the world to be a very dangerous thing to play with. This quality is perfect for any game with a Lovecraftian flavor.

First, there is an additional Campaign Quality which can either be added to Corrupting Magic, or just stand on its own for a little ‘twist’:

Unruly Beasts (1 Action Die)

Glendower:
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur:
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?

(Shakespeare, Henry IV)

With this campaign quality, creatures which are summoned are not necessarily going to be friendly! Any summoned being has a Disposition of -5 towards the summoner. The caster’s Spellcasting roll is treated as an Influence roll, checked against the summoned creature’s Resolve. The creature’s disposition must improve to at least 0 before it will obey the caster; if this occurs, the spell continues as normal. Otherwise, the creature acts towards the caster as its basic nature and current disposition would indicate.

Second… while the Tainted condition that results from failed casting is mechanically useful, it’s a bit bland. What is needed are some more descriptive results…

Table-o-Taint after the break!

Tainted I

Roll Result
1 Eyes become a solid color.
2 Fingers of one hand become writhing tentacles
3 Character’s voice becomes unusually quiet; he cannot speak above a whisper.
4 Anyone standing within 5′ of the character will hear soft cries and moans coming from nowhere.
5 Character gains a sixth finger.
6 Character’s hair changes to an unnatural color.
7 Character’s teeth become twisted and sharp.
8 Fine scales appear on character’s skin.
9 Grass and other plants wilt if character touches them; this has no affect on Plant creatures.
10 Flies and other vermin constantly buzz around character and cannot be removed.

 

Tainted II

Roll Result
1 Eyes glow with unnatural light.
2 Both arms become tentacles, ending in clusters of cilia.
3 Smoke and ash pour from character’s mouth as he speaks.
4 An oozing trail follows the character wherever he walks.
5 Animals flee from character; any attempt to control an animal with 20′ of character is at -5.
6 Character has a third arm that writhes about uncontrollably.
7 Character grows a long tail.
8 Small juts of bone spring from character’s joints.
9 All food and drink within 10′ of character spoils; character can still eat it normally.
10 Worms and insects crawl out of character’s skin; this causes no pain but is deeply revolting.

 

Tainted III

Roll Result
1 Eyes become those of an insect.
2 Character’s eyes and ears become attached to his head by foot-long stalks.
3 Character speaks in two languages at once; the second echoes his words in a demonic tongue.
4 Odor of death surrounds character; a DC 20 Resolve check is needed to stand within 10′ of him.
5 One of character’s limbs becomes that of an animal or monster.
6 Eyes appear all over character’s body; this has no effect on perception checks.
7 Character’s mouth becomes that of a lamprey.
8 Character’s skin constantly writhes and crawls as if millions of insects swarmed underneath it.
9 Character’s legs are replaced by a cluster of tentacles.
10 Character’s skin becomes translucent, revealing his muscles and organs.

 

Tainted IV

Roll Result
1 Faces appear all over character’s body; they scream and cry constantly.
2 Character’s limbs become of randomly varying length.
3 Character’s mouth is sealed over with flesh; his voice comes from everywhere and nowhere.
4 Character bleeds continuously from all orifices; this does no direct damage.
5 Character’s skin is covered with bony protrusions that ooze a foul mucous.
6 Gobbets of bloody flesh fall from character’s body constantly.
7 Character’s head is absorbed into his body; his face peers out from his chest.
8 Centipedes and the like spew forth every time character speaks.
9 Character is writhed in flame that produces acrid black smoke; he takes no damage from this.
10 Dozens of jagged-toothed mouths open all over character’s body.

It’s recommended that each stage of Taint adds to, rather than replaces, the result of the previous stage.


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