Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Miscast table: Necromancy!

The necromancy chart might seem tame in comparison to some of my other miscast tables... but the stakes are still high. After all, we are talking about the manipulation of life and death!

Necromancy and life-force altering spells

  1. “They are coming to get you, Barbara!” All undead within a [caster level] mile radius learn the whereabouts of the caster and the taste of their bone marrow or blood. They will relentlessly pursue the caster for 2d12 hours.
  2. From now on, the caster, although living, can be Turned or commanded as undead by Clerics. When a Turning attempt is made in the character’s presence, they are automatically included in the effect, even if they are not specifically targeted. While Turned, the caster is only able to speak in grunts and beastly growls. This lasts until Remove Curse or Cure Disease is employed.
  3. The caster’s life force is drained. Their body desiccates and becomes wrinkled. Hair turns gray or falls out. Character level is unchanged, but 1d2 hit dice are lost. Re-roll hit points with the remaining.
  4. The caster’s body becomes dead meat. It starts to decay, cannot heal naturally. Only a Cleric of higher level than the caster can heal them magically. After [caster level] days the caster’s body is revitalized, can heal again, but the effects of putrefaction can only be undone by high-level Clerical magic.
  5. The Mark of Undeath! The caster and every living creature in [caster level times 5’] are marked to rise as zombies 24 hours after their death (every living creature, so be prepared for zombie gnats, rainworms and moles as well). The victims are unaware of this fate. The mark is revealed by Detect Evil and erased by Dispel Evil.
  6. The flow of necromantic energy corrupts the caster’s natural healing abilities. The next [caster level] times the character rests, subtract the amount they would heal from their maximum hit points.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Miscast table: Energy, force, and nature

More miscast tables! This time for all spells concerning the manipulation of natural forces and energies. I will probably try to finish two for tomorrow, or maybe all that's left, and compile them into a pdf!

Elemental-, energy- and nature-based spells

  1. The mundane version of the invoked element becomes hostile towards the caster for 1d6 days. Campfire burns them, water flees form their mouth, light blinds, winds crash their ship and branches tear their clothes, etc. The severity of these assaults is up to the Referee (and probably also depends on the power level of the intended spell).
  2. All metallic objects in a [caster level times 10’] radius become electrified and discharge with a painful electric shock. Everybody touching, wearing, holding such an item must save against Devices for each such item, or take 1 (for jewelry), 1d3 (for metal weapon), 1d6 (for chain armor), 1d12 (for plate armor) damage.
  3. Natural order is disturbed in a [caster level times two miles] radius area around the caster. Natural order is restored in [caster level times 1d6] hours, but consequences remain. Roll 1d4:
    1 the air becomes thinner, oxygen saturation drops. Everybody gains 2 points of Encumbrance while in the area of effect. Characters with a negative Constitution modifier must save against Paralyze at the end of every hour or fall unconscious,
    2 the freezing breath of the White Worm or perhaps Ithaqua sweeps through the area; temperature of air drops significantly (e.g. from summer warmth to winter cold, from winter cold to Arctic),
    3 the sun becomes a red monster that devours men, seeking them out with heat rays; both indoors and outdoors temperature of air raises significantly (e.g. from mild spring to unbearable summer, from unbearable summer to apocalyptic heatwave),
    4 magnetic disturbance: all metallic objects (including weapons, armor...) drop to the ground, can be only lifted and carried or worn as five times their usual Encumbrance value; keep in mind, this means even metallic parts of non-metallic objects – like nails keeping a boat or wooden construction together.
  4. [Caster level times three] Magic Missiles rain from the sky or appear out of thin air. Everybody in a 60’ radius must save against Breath. Distribute the missiles between the caster and those who failed their save. The caster doesn’t get to save, they are hit anyway, but maybe their comrades or enemies take some of the damage…
  5. Phlogiston saturation increases significantly in a [caster level times 30’] area. All open fires explode violently, and everybody holding or standing near such a source takes 1d4 damage. On a damage roll of 3 or 4, they also must save against Breath or catch fire. Burning creatures take another 1d4 damage on the next round, and if that is a 3 or 4 too, they are engulfed in flames and begin taking 1d8 damage until put out. Putting out flames in the phlogiston-saturated environment takes twice as much effort.
  6. Space swallows itself and a black hole opens in a maximum of [1d6 x 10’] from the caster, in a random direction (roll 1d6, 1 below, 2 through 5 is north-west-south-east, 6 above), but in the same general area. The hole remains open and active for 1d6 rounds. All loose objects and creatures in the vicinity are sucked into it at a speed of 20’ per round. A save against Paralyze can be made to grab onto something. If the initial position of a creature relative to the black hole cannot be determined, they are [2d6 x 10’] apart.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Miscast table: Dislocation, Teleportation, Polymorph

The second installment of my custom miscast tables, detailing the unforeseen consequences of meddling with space, time, and matter! These are quite elaborate, with sub-tables inside some of the results.

Mechanical clarifications:
If an effect lowers hit die, re-roll the character’s hit points with the remaining and take the lower result as new maximum. If the current hit points are thus over the maximum, they drop too (but otherwise no damage is taken). Dropping to 0 or less hit dice automatically kills the character.

For these miscast effects, “one random target of the spell” means one of the following array: the caster plus all others targeted by the spell (friend or fore); or just the caster, if the target is inanimate.

Teleportation, dislocation, movement and polymorph type spells

  1. As space folds and reorganizes, some body parts cannot keep up. Roll 1d6, one random target of the spell loses:
    1-2 an arm, 3-5 a leg, 6 an eye.
    This also means the loss of 1 hit die. Re-roll hit points with the remaining.
  2. One random target of the spell disappears for 1d6 hours, then rematerializes – tired, hangover, dehydrated, confused, but also sort of euphoric. Treat this as failed Carousing (with no experience points awarded) and roll on the campaign’s harshest Carousing Mishaps table. If no such table is available, the affected character makes all saving throws and attack rolls at a -4 penalty for the next 24 hours.
  3. The mind of the caster is displaced by an alien entity. At the end of the given duration the caster’s mind returns to its body, with no recollection of what happened during this period. The possession event causes a loss of [caster level times 200] experience points. Roll 1d4 to see what the alien entity does while in control of the host body:
    1 stays for 1d4 hours and wants to learn about humanity's weaknesses (this knowledge will eventually be used during the invasion of Earth by vampyres form outer space),
    2 attacks a random nearby target using the caster’s best weapon or spell for 1d8 rounds,
    3 behaves completely normal (and the character is under the player’s control), but then takes over when the character goes to sleep. Its goal is to assemble a homing beacon / teleportation pad / arcane gateway to bring more of its kind to Earth. It needs seven rest periods of work to accomplish this. The possession lasts 1d10 days. The character is always exhausted.
    4 casts all of the caster’s prepared spells, one per round, than leaves the body. If the caster has no spells prepared, the entity risky casts a randomly determined highest level spell form the caster’s spellbook. The entity’s behavior depends on a Reaction roll, it can use the spells to aid or hinder the host’s party.
  4. The quantum disturbances cause sudden and irreversible changes in the body of one random target of the spell. No saves apply. Roll 1d6:
    1-2 the spell Enlarge is cast on the victim, their body ripples and grows to 150% its previous size, ruining all clothes and armor,
    3-4 the spell Shrink (reversed Enlarge) is cast on the victim, their body ripples and shrinks to 50% its previous size, rendering all armor unusable,
    5 the victim’s body is fused with a fly that happens to be in the spell’s area of effect; from now on this character is a hideous man-fly-thing, unable to speak, digestive fluid dripping from the mouth (1 spit attack per day, 20’ range, 2d8 damage), hideous compound eyes with a 270° field of vision. The thing, fortunately, is sterile.
    6 Janus! A second face appears on the back of the victim’s head. It duplicates the victim’s looks. All the organs are completely functional, but the victim still has only a single brain to process all the information. For one month, no benefits can be gained from the second face, and all actions are with a penalty (-4 on attacks, -1 on skills, etc.). For a full year, while they learn to coordinate their faces, they gain 10% less experience points.
  5. One random target of the spell fuses with whatever material they are in contact with (standing on, wearing, holding – in this order, so a standing victim will fuse with the ground, a flying victim will fuse with their clothes, a naked flying victim will fuse with the sword they hold, a flying naked unarmed person is lucky (?)). The “depth” of the fusion is only 1d6 inches, but there is no harmless way to separate the two materials any more. The separation (amputation) will cause the loss of 1 hit die. Re-roll hit points with the remaining.
  6. The caster falls into a relativity trap. For the following 1d6 hours, all their movement is halved, their attacks and saves are made with a -4 penalty, as their perception of the world doesn’t line up with the realities of outside observers. For each hour spent in the trap, they age 1 year.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Miscast table: Illusion spells

I'm creating custom tables of miscast results for various types of magic. I could use the standard D&D division of magic schools (Abjuration, Evocation, etc.), but I've decided to go with six similar, but slightly different categories, that sort of make sense to me and fit the spells in Lamentations of the Flame Princess:
  • Teleportation, dislocation, movement and polymorph type spells
  • Illusion and invisibility spells
  • Mind altering spells, charms, telepathy
  • Elemental-, energy- and nature-based spells
  • Necromancy and life-force altering
  • Metamagic (spells affecting or modifying other spells or spellcasting abilities)

I will be posting them as they are completed. For the first installment, I present you the illusion miscast table, heavily inspired by theories of light.

Miscast effects for illusion and invisibility spells

  1. Those newfangled scientists say vision is the perception of light reflected from objects. For the following 1d6 months, the caster is physically hurt by looking at certain materials. If the caster looks at a surface that is at least palm-sized for longer than 1 round, they take 1d6 damage. Roll 1d6: 1 steel, 2 wood, 3 linen, 4 paper (ouch!), 5 gold, 6 human skin.
  2. The trusted old school scientists say vision is possible due to the human eye emitting special “eye beams” that trace the world around us. The caster’s “eye beams” become lethal death rays for 1d12 rounds. They burn through organic matter (including the caster’s eyelids) for 1d6 damage per round, but don’t set things on fire. The “eye beams” have a range of [caster level times 10’]. Mirrors and other shiny surfaces reflect the rays in a random direction – if there is a lot of this going on, everybody in the area must save against Devices every round to avoid being hit. While this effect is on, the caster is effectively blind. After the duration of the effect, the caster remains blind for 1d6 days.
  3. According to the corpuscular theory, light is made up of minuscule particles called “corpuscles”. They now hate the caster. For the following 1d10 days, anytime the caster does something that requires vision & concentration (aiming a weapon, reading, scouting), the corpuscles play tricks and the caster just cannot achieve anything unless they successfully save against Breath.
  4. The caster’s perception of reality is warped for 1d6 hours. For any object or person they encounter the Referee can roll 1d6, on a 1 the caster is adamant it is an illusion and refuses to think otherwise. Any illusions encountered during this period is automatically believed.
  5. People’s shadows are slaves! The caster’s shadow breaks free of its shackles, and is now a cunning, dangerous monster. HD = [caster level], AC as leather, Move as unencumbered human, Morale 8, 1 soul-rending attack for 1d3 damage [1d6 if HD > 5], immune to physical damage, but can be tortured with bright lights (torch or stronger do 1d6+ damage). A super bright light triggers a Morale check. The shadow can either use its attack or try to break free another shadow slave. That shadow’s master must save against Magic. The shadow knows who has the worst save.
  6. The caster becomes Visible for 1d6 hours. This is a sort of reverse Invisibility... It means that the caster is seen by everybody in a [caster level times 10’] radius. They are literally noticed through walls or in complete darkness. No material can block Visibility.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

1d8 spider mutations

From the creative duo that brought you the 1d6 things that happen when you lie to the skeleton interrogator... 1d8 horrible but also kinda useful mutations you can get from being bitten by a giant arachnid!

  1. Eyes all over your forehead, unable to concentrate for a week (-2 on all rolls), afterwards 270 degree vision, only surprised on 1 if you can theoretically see it coming.
  2. Your teeth fall out, and mandibles burst forth from your mouth. Your bite now does d4 damage, but you cannot eat solid foods.
  3. You can cast a 10' x 10' Web once per day, but doing so leaves you exhausted and hungry and you gain 2 points of Encumbrance until you rest and feed. Also, it's a spiderweb, so guess where it shoots out from!
  4. A new gland grows in your body and secretes 1 dose of a potent poison per day (effect: save or unable to move for 1d6 rounds). You are NOT immune to this poison. If you don't have the opportunity to drain the gland once per day, then save or be unable to move for 1d6 HOURS. Otherwise, you can use the extracted substance as weapon or food poison. The poison looses potency in 1 hour after coming out of your body.
  5. Sticky body hair, can cast Spiderclimb once per day, but handling things is a pain in the ass. Manipulation of objects (including taking clothes or armor off) takes twice as much time, and you are unable to attack on the same round when dropping or swapping weapons (and attack with -2 on the next).
  6. 1d3 +1 vestigial legs sprout from your buttocks. They are both gnarly AND useless.
  7. According to a collection of 85 fun spider facts, "it is estimated that a human is never more than 10 feet away from a spider—ever". Awareness of this fact renders you unable to sleep peacefully - you need 2 extra hours to rest up properly. Once per week, you can call out to all spiders in the vicinity: a sizable swarm crawls out and fulfills one command.
  8. Arachné's blessing. You become incredibly talented at weaving. During downtime you may spend a week to create a tapestry worth 1d6 x 100sp. On 6, roll another mutation.