Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"It's still magic even if you know how it's done" - Wands and Scrolls, Spells and Staves

Everything has it's price. Nothing comes for free. Magic Users of all sorts have spent years of study or made a considerably one-sided deal to acquire only one or two lesser spells. Only Sorcerers acquire additional magicks solely through the development of their potential, and they suffer for it, just like the rest of us.

Warlocks have a somewhat complex relationship with their spells. Technically, the spell they acquire at level 1 is, to some extent, part of their patron. In order to collect more spells, they must first meet the necessary arcane creatures and arrange an additional contract, with their patron acting as a broker. Expect blood and confusion.

Acquiring more Wizard spells can be equally challenging, but is a much more orderly process. The blood of intensely magical creatures is awash with them, as are the outer reaches of the ethereal plane. Many Wizards spend their lives perfecting the art of capturing spells, to mixed success. This can be trapped in scrolls and sold for considerable profit, or cunningly converted into wands or staves (heretofore known as implements) and used with little-to-no risk from the wielder themselves.

Except everything I told you in that last sentence? A lie.

Don't buy spells from reputable scroll-saleswizards. Don't even look at disreputable scroll-saleswizards. And never, ever buy a wand till you know what you have to do in order to maintain it's magical properties.

You really don't want to know.








How it's done, credit Dominik Mayer

Alright, that should have filtered out the weaklings. Let's get right to it: Scrolls, Wands and Staves.

Scrolls are relatively simple, anyone can make pick one up, give it a quick glance, say a few words and bam! Magic! Mundane classes (not including Thieves for some reason) will need to make an Intelligence check during the casting in order for the scroll to function. If you've spent a solid hour preparing yourself for the spell, take +2 to the check. If you are wearing a pointy hat of considerable length and girth, take another +2.

Scrolls (more particularly, the spells they contain) can develop a number of troubling idiosyncrasies for a safety-conscious spellcaster. Spells sourced from disreputable dealers, bizarre origins, and antiques scrolls long since bereft of the steadying hand of an owner (cough) will have likely shifted away from the arcanotypical mindset of most mainstream spells. They are however, a hell of a lot cheaper to purchase, if you happen to be in need of a highly aggressive Fireball spell for whatever reason.

<sidebar>None of these are balanced, some of these are even beneficial to a point. You can alway roll Intelligence to force a spell to allow itself to be cast, but this is seen as very poor form and is likely to result in your other spells beginning to turn on you. </sidebar>

What is up with this spell?
  1. Cowardly, doesn’t like leaving the safety of your brain.
  2. Neurotic, other spells can’t stand it.
  3. Friendly, will make other spells feel more comfortable about being wherever they are.
  4. Haughty, refuses to be used for any problem below its stature.
  5. Grouchy, no idea why.
  6. Gossips, will reveal secrets, both yours and others.
  7. Ecstatic, loves being cast, especially with as many MD as possible.
  8. Aggressive, hates retreating, will sabotage any attempt at negotiating with an enemy force via spontaneous casting.
  9. Pacifist, will never cast against non-combatants.
  10. Honourable. Surprise attacks? Killing prisoners? Think again.
  11. Careful, will always advise restraint.
  12. Determined, wants you to succeed or die trying.
  13. Caustic, constantly degrading you quietly.
  14. Loyal, to a fault.
  15. Manipulative, whenever you aren’t paying attention it will siphon away spare day-dreams.
  16. Insecure, requires significant coaching.
  17. Attention-seeking, will break things if you aren’t paying it enough attention.
  18. Flexible, really good for alternate uses and will suggest a few themselves.
  19. Accident-prone, double the effects of any mishaps.
  20. Unnervingly quiet...

Wands and Staves are a world apart from shoddy, jury-rigged Remnants, though the general idea is the same: offloading some of the strain of magic to an inanimate lump of wood instead of your own, squishy brain. Squish squish. The problem is, implements are a whole lot less inanimate than you might like.

What is wrong with this wand? (roll 1d10 for disreputable sources, 1d20 for reputable)
  1. Reacts badly to the stress of the wielder (a bit like a printer).
  2. Prefers to be wielded by someone hot, has dreadful taste.
  3. Severe phobia of (1d6): dirt, insects, water, fire, barbarians, axes.
  4. Gets incredibly lonely, dislikes being stored in backpacks etc.
  5. Talks constantly .
  6. Can’t understand anyone lacking an insanity.
  7. Will always do the opposite of what you command.
  8. Needs regular polishing with bizarre oils and rare silks.
  9. Pretends to have precognition, will make mysterious quips and vague predictions.
  10. Snickers behind your back. Menacingly so...
  11. to 20 - nothing. It's just a knobbly piece of wood that can blow your face off if you point it the wrong way.

Implements hold 1 Magic Dice for use only with the spell they store. You can add more MD if you so desire, but track them separately. It expends on a 4-6. Unfortunately, implements don't recover MD the same way Magic User brains do. Oh no they don't. Wands use one of the rejuvenation options on the list below. Staves use two. If a staff has both results, it only has that one method but stores two MD instead of one. A three Magic Dice implement is a theoretical idea that has consumed many Wizards. As in, the concept itself came alive and ate them. A reputable wandseller may be able to adjust the requirements of an implement, but don't expect anything remotely consistent.

How do I recharge this implement?
  1. Leave it for three hours in bright sunlight.
  2. Dance naked under the moon with it.
  3. Leave it to soak in highly magical blood overnight, must be fresh.
  4. Find a leyline to attune to, this will piss of the local spirits.
  5. Kill someone with it (stats as stiletto or hammer).
  6. It turns into a snake when expended, ravenously hungry. Feed it a ration of meat and let it sleep on you till tomorrow. If the snake bites you, the poison will be related to the spell. Staves form boa constrictors.
  7. Must absorb the spleen of a creature it has not previously tasted.
  8. Have the implement fall 100ft.
  9. Must touch an ancient oak, killing the tree and absorbing its life force.
  10. Use it to stir a boiling cauldron of eye of newt, bat wing and hemlock.
  11. At least ten people must worship it and bring offerings.
  12. At least ten strangers must lick it, in a row.
  13. Give it a solemn funeral.
  14. Immerse it in acid for an hour, then pull it out with a bare hand.
  15. Douse it in the blood of an ally.
  16. Get arrested while holding it, bonus points if related to nudity or other victimless crimes.
  17. You have to travel inside the tiny wand demiplane and find out what is wrong.
  18. Feed it to an animal, the implement will take the place of the creatures spine by the next day.
  19. Impale a pixie with it, as one would a butterfly.
  20. Snap it in half, one end becomes non-magical.
  21. Pray loudly to every god in order till one works. Different each time.
  22. Leave it in three gallons of tea overnight, it better be the good stuff.
  23. Relight it with another wand.
  24. Realign the chakras with a mallet.
  25. Go on a spirit journey/insane.
  26. Feed it 1d100 bugs.
  27. Feed it one of the knuckles of your finger. Just one joint, not the whole finger. Has to be yours. It loves thumbs most of all.
  28. Masculine fertility potions.
  29. Just sleep with it under your pillow. It drains your lifespan slowly and is recharged the next day.
  30. Nobody knows...

And that's it! Simple really.

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