Friday, August 31, 2018

"Nothing is destroyed, nor anything created, except by the Hand of the Authority" - Heptamancer (Wizard School)

A few pointers on Wizards:

  1. I don't use cantrips. If someone really likes a cantrip, I'll make it a spell they can learn.
  2. Sometimes, a spell can be cast using 0 MD. You still need at least 1 MD in order to do it, and it never deals damage. For example Fireball cast with 0 MD would be equivalent to a Summon Flame cantrip. Extrapolate as necessary.
  3. Wizards buy spells using this as a general guide. Basic spells go for 10 gold ($1000 in the real world), Advanced spells are 30 gold and you don't buy Emblem spells.
With that, introducing the Heptamancer, Master and Slave of the Seven Souls.



Lesser Disintegrate, credit Daniel Correia
Heptamancers are a weird, pseudo-priestly bunch. They know what happens when you die. Not the Hesayan drivel of "the pious will be rightfully rewarded" which is pretty much the same as "no comment" for them. They know the what, when, where and why of life and death. You should give the player this whole handout and this one. Some may even know about Shadoom. Some may even know what actually happened. Naturally, most Heptamancy spells are Second Degree Heresy, alongside non-bipedal necrokinetics and spells that result in excessive littering.

The Seven Souls themselves are MineralVegetableAnimal, Purple (Memory), Red (Personality), White (Morality), Blue (Magic). The Mineral and Vegetable souls are your material form and biological structure, and so remain with the body when you die as the Lower Souls. The Animal soul defines your basic instincts and and few of the higher-order biological functions, like breathing when you aren't thinking about it (not digestion). The four Higher Souls of Memory, Personality, Morality and Magic are the ones that go to the afterlife, stick around as ghosts, and eventually even reincarnate.

Several Heptamancer spells and Dooms relate to losing souls. This is a Bad Thing. You might be able to find a spell, demon, angel or other extraplanar being (and they are all the same thing really) willing to act as a replacement, but not for free.



The effects of losing your...
  1. Mineral Soul - "Like turning a firehouse on an overcooked porkchop". You start to dissolve. Lose 1 Constitution per round. On the plus-side, you can no longer die from taking damage. You are the spiritual equivalent of a pile of rocks that has forgotten what it is. This is a bad 'un to lose, that's for sure.
  2. Vegetable Soul - You gain no benefit from eating or drinking, and don't heal naturally. If propped up magically, you'll start to rot from the insides out as your gut bacteria celebrate their freedom by digesting you for a change.
  3. Animal Soul - You can only breath and blink "manually". Elves lack this one, but Elves don't sleep. Neither will you. Gain 1 Trauma per night. You won't have to worry about Charm spells or seduction attempts as you can simply... choose not to feel that way. You also lose two points of Attack from your missing muscle memory. Some other abilities may also be effected.
  4. Purple Soul - Full retrograde and anterograde amnesia. You can only form new memories if something takes it's place. Lose all your skills and anything that requires training to master. Spells and Magic Dice don't count, though you'll forget how to cast them. Consciously, that is...
  5. Red Soul - Your empathy collapses. People don't make sense to you. You can't see facial expressions properly. If you have to roll Charisma in order to persuade someone of something without any concrete evidence in your favour (just hoping for the best really), you fail except on a 1. Dwarves seem to lack parts or even their entire Red Soul... until you get them drunk.
  6. White Soul - If you die, you go straight to Hell, do not pass Go, do not collect two-hundred gold. You ripped the label off. Your karma is N/A. You take +4 to saves vs. death and level drain. If an action is completely detrimental to you, you must make a Save to go through with it. Nothing seems particularly wrong or right to you. Bribery is a tool, charity is a waste.
  7. Blue Soul - You lose all spellcasting ability. You gain +4 to saves against spells that have some kind of projectile or physical element as part of their casting, and are immune to all others. Losing your Blue Soul has a 1-in-6 chance of dragging a different soul with it as it goes. It's the big heavy one that has it's roots all over the place.
If your souls begin to lose cohesion, your shadow seems to twist and shiver, fraying at the edges. It is the shadow of an old man, waiting to die. You may be wondering where your ideas and intellect come from, since it does not seem to be a part of the Seven Souls. The wizards say it's in the Blue Soul, conveniently ignoring all the counterexamples happily living non-magical lives. Priests will stare at you for a while, then charge you with heresy. My advice? KEEPWONDERING.



Perk: Staring meaningfully into someone’s eyes allows you to gaze into their soul. You get an idea as to their general mindset, a hint at something hidden, an unmissable insight into their level of spiritual corruption and can receive an answer to one specific question you may have. If they know you want it, they can Save to hide a secret from them.

Drawback: Anyone who you soul gaze immediately and automatically uses the same ability on you.

Spells:

Flesh to X 
R: 30ft T: creature D: [sum] rounds
Target takes [sum] damage, save for half. A random portion of their body turns to 1d6: Bone, Jelly, Mud, Stone, Blood, Light. Roll once when you learn this spell, it's always the same. If can somehow keep the stuff inside them till the spell ends, they heal for half the damage taken. If this damage would kill them, they are completely transmuted and never revert. Depending on the new material, they will probably take -[dice]x2 to some actions, particular Bone and Stone. This spell targets a creatures Mineral Soul. Each instance of Flesh to X has a 2-in-6 chance of working on sentient golems. The Heptamancers haven't quite isolated all the arcane-strands yet, even of this relatively simple spell, but that is understandable with all the new developments in the field. 

Lesser Disintegrate

R: 200ft T: creature D: instant
Target takes [sum]+[dice] damage, no save. If you mention the similarity of Lesser Disintegrate to the better known Magic Missile you will be positively lambasted. Expect to be harangued with cries of "distinct arcane signatures" and "miserable, miserly troglodytes" and the like. This spell also targets a creatures Mineral Soul.

Animate Object
R: 30ft T: [dice] objects D: [sum] rounds of strenuous activity, [sum] minutes otherwise
You imbue an object with a tiny portion of your own Vegetable Soul. It pulses with sudden life, growing tiny limbs, muscles and bulging veins out its own material. It will attempt to obey any action that you give it, though it may have limitations. Books always try to fly, but have some difficulty with the power-to-weight ratio. Objects have a [dice]-in-8 chance of being particularly loyal, this is only rolled the first time you cast the spell on a particular target, it is retained if you cast it again no matter the result. credit Jacob for the last bit

Adjust Metabolism
R: touch T: creature D: [dice] days
You can dial the energy requirements of a creature up or down as you please. Unwilling targets can save to negate. Casting the spell in the opposing direction negates all current effects, but the target will feel intensely nauseous for [dice] hours. 

Increase:
Target feels sprightly and hungry. Gains +[dice] to Attack and Strength checks, but will need to eat an extra [dice] rations each day over the duration or will suffer from the effects of starvation as if they have not eaten for 1 day per missing ration. If [sum]>10 the target permanently loses a point of CON and gains a point of STR if they fail a Strength check. P-p-p-protein!

Decrease:
Targets feels lumpen and heavy. Loses [dice] from Attack and Strength checks, will feel extremely unwell if they eat, but can go without food for [dice] extra days before beginning to suffer the effects of starvation. If [sum]>10 the target must save or fall asleep for the duration. They get +2 to this save for every thing that is distracting them, or every task they must complete.

<sidebar> Starvation rules: You can go without food for three days, or water for one day, without suffering penalties. Every day beyond that inflicts a cumulative -1 penalty to every action that will not directly lead you to food. Beyond -4 you take CON damage instead. </sidebar>

Vivigraphy (Speak With Body)
R: touch T: living creature D: instant
Ask a living body [dice] questions. You are talking to their Vegetable and Animal Souls, just like how Necrography (Speak with Dead) communes with the Mineral and the fading remnants of a Vegetable Soul. It's pretty funny when you ask a person's body a question and they clench their mouth to avoid answering - sometimes the answer is spelled out as freckles across their forehead. Sometimes they just fart it out.

Humoral Tinkering
R: touch T: creature D: [sum]x[dice] minutes
This spell comes in three forms, Fire (Adrenaline), Joy (Dopamine) or Slumber (Melatonin). 

Fire grants +3 to the targets Strength, Dexterity and Initiative for the duration. They must save with a [dice] penalty or fly into a rage if provoked. However, the target uses 1d12 for Trauma rather than 1d20, but will never Faint or Freeze from a breakdown. Prolonged usage can result in agitation, weight loss and even heart attacks.

Joy heals the target 1d6+[dice] HP, lowers Trauma by [dice] and moves a creature up the scale of: Hostile > Neutral > Friendly > Ecstatic. This new mindset is easily disturbed, especially if you were already fighting the creature. Prolonged usage can result in addictive behaviours and depression.

Slumber causes the target to fall asleep within 30-[sum] minutes, and they will sleep for twelve hours or until the sun rises. When the target heals, roll [dice] HD and take the higher amount. Prolonged usage can result in disturbed sleep cycles, drowsiness, insomnia and confusion.

Dispel Inhibitions
R: touch, 100ft if you possess hair, blood etc. of the target T: sentient creature D: [sum]/2 days
The target's Red Soul is unshackled from the White and Purple Souls, and rises from the deep depths. For the duration, nothing seems like a bad idea. From an ordinary commoner, expect profligate violence, adultery, gluttony and embarrassment when the duration elapses. Against mercenaries, wizards and nobility, anything goes. This is one of the few Heptamancy spells that the king (well, the king's magical advisors) has privately banned over a Church decree, for evident reasons. Save negates, and renders the target immune to this spell for a month.

Deja Reve ("Already Dreamt")
R: within sight T: [dice] creatures D: instant
The target's Purple Soul is briefly bamboozled. It treats the last [sum] rounds as if (1d6): 
1. It were but a dream
2. They had made it up themselves
3. It was a story someone else was telling them
4. Had already happened to them
5. Was something they were planning on doing tomorrow
6. Was logically impossible. 
How the target responds to this new perspective is up to them, but will likely require a roll under Intelligence/2 to determine. For most NPCs this is equivalent to a Save, but intelligent creatures like Wizards, the DM, and Dragons will take +4 to the Save.

Judgement
R: T: creature with a White Soul D: [dice] rounds
The targets White Soul is shunted from the body for the duration, Save negates. During that time, the target is in a blind coma, eyes pure white with latent energy, standing, breathing, but not acting. They will encounter a very confused representative of Heaven, the Death of People Who Weren't Killed. If they fail the Goodness check, the Death will attempt to drag them to Hell as normal, Save or Die each round. If they succeed, the Death will just sit down with them and have a chat about the ultimate fate of the universe. 

If the target succeeds the Goodness check by under half, the Death will realise that it is in fact the Death of "Death of People Who Weren't Killed", execute itself, then materialise to kill you instead, preventing it's own reoccurrence. Don't think about it too hard. If you kill, badly injure or place the target into a lethally compromising situation during the duration of the spell, this automatically occurs. The Death can see you, dimwit. It may be easier to fight a pissed off Death than whatever it is you are trying to kill.

Stats of a DODOPWWK: 1d6+[dice] HD, can fly, can render itself immaterial with a thought if that would be beneficial, loses 1 HP every hour in the mortal realm.

<sidebar> Goodness rules: Your score starts at 10, just like everyone else. A concretely beneficial act in terms of the rules Zulin/The Authority grants +1 or more, and vice versa. You'll notice a distinct lack of these laws. This is not a mistake. 90% of people never go above or below 10 during their lifetime. Priests, thieves, zealots, heretics, nobles, murderers and YOU

 make up the remaining 10% </sidebar>

Arcane Polarity
R: 30ft T: creature with a Blue Soul D: [dice] rounds
This spell comes in two forms, Yirverse and Jagonwards, relating to the morphology of the target's Blue Soul post-casting. Standard shorthand for the two forms is Inwards and Outwards.

Inwards: Every spell cast that travels through [dice]x10ft of the Blue Soul instead affects the target instead. This includes any spells coming from the caster themselves.

Outwards: If the target contains any spells or MD, they flee at once in a sudden rush. Escaping spells will latch on to any MD available and cast themselves at the nearest target. Any spells that have left a brain will orbit frantically in the Ethereal Plane, and will only have a 5% chance of being permanently lost. Any spells that come near ([dice]x10ft) the target are deflected away at a steep angle. This grants immunity to magic from spells cast outside the radius, and +6 to saves against spells cast within the zone.

Emblem Spells

Excise Soul
R: touch, or 100ft if you possess hair, blood etc. of the target T: one creature D: instant
If the creature has more than [sum]x2 HP or succeeds on a Save, the spell does not take effect and you must make an Intelligence check or suffer a Mishap. Otherwise, the target immediately loses a random soul. You might be able to trap the soul as it leaves, but that will require seperate arrangements.

Reincarnate
R: touch T: a still-warm corpse D: approximately nine months
This spell will only take effect if cast within [sum] rounds of the target dying. Dice are still expended regardless. [dice] of the target's souls are flagged for early return to the mortal plane. If this spell was cast within [sum]/2 rounds, the caster can pick which souls, otherwise it is determined randomly. The Mineral Soul is not part of this process. If successful, a random successful conception that just occurred will receive the recycled souls, supplanting the originals. Care should be taken if a Vegetable Soul is being transferred, as the newborn child will be genetically identical to the corpse. So long as the caster did not accrue any Mishaps or Dooms during the casting, they will know the approximate location on the planet that the child was just created (1d6):

  1. The nearest village
  2. The nearest city
  3. Somewhere in the country
  4. Somewhere on the continent
  5. A different continent
  6. Somewhere more mysterious...

This is First Degree Heresy. It's not the Done Thing. Don't even try to explain why the baby can talk and is complaining about how you left him to die, just say something vague about a destiny and run. If you've moved a Blue Soul out of the Ethereal Plane, then The Third Lantern is coming, and they think you are Shadoom.


Malignancies

Mishaps:
  1. Gain 1 trauma
  2. Take 1d6 damage
  3. Mutation for 1d6 turns, save or permanent
  4. Out of body experience for 2d6 rounds. Save to control for a round, critical fail is a possession
  5. A very confused psychopomp shows up, expecting... something. As Judgement, but any soul will satisfy it, not just yours
  6. Disjunct. One of our souls wakes up, and is likely just as concerned as you are. Duration: unknown
Dooms:
  1. Lose a soul of your choice
  2. Lose a random soul
  3. Five souls peel away from you over the next five days. If you somehow have any left, you lose another one every 2d20 days
Avoiding the Doom of the Heptamancer is patently obvious: continually graft on more souls!





4 comments:

  1. There's a lot of cool ideas embedded in here. (Judgement is especially interesting.)

    You also win the award for the most Centerra references.

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    Replies
    1. Oh Arnold, I have 400 room dungeon built into Lady Hellfire's volcano. This is *nothing*. But thanks! I wasn't sure if Judgement worked, as it only came into being about 15 minutes before I posted this, glad to hear it looks good.

      Delete
  2. This is spectacularly cool ... O_O

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha thanks! I haven't been able to run it in an actual game yet, but I remain hopeful!

      Delete

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