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An Array of Specimens Tagged as Magic-Users

Hogwarts Can’t Save You Now


With Thoth’mora taking his dead twin sister’s head to gain the knowledge within, I figured it was probably a good time to actually finish the spell research rules I’ve been vaguely thinking about since I first made the Maleficar rules.

 

The LotFP spell research rules require you to take a wild guess at how long it will take and spend that much money before the Referee makes a random roll to find out how long it will actually take, and if you didn’t guess high enough you lose all your money and waste all your time and get nothing. Oh and if someone interrupts you to bring in a tray of tea and biscuits you also lose everything and have to start again.

Which is BORING.

 

So, here’s what I’ll be doing.

 

[Basic things to know about my magic system first: Spells are not memorised, you get a random amount of spell points to use each day called Cataclysm, spells use an amount of Cataclysm equal to their level, and when you try to use more spell points than you have left you make a 3d6 Cast the Bones roll to figure out if it works, or how badly things go wrong.]

 

  • The basic time required to learn a new spell is FOUR WEEKS, regardless of spell level.
  • This can be done while adventuring, not an issue, because Maleficar are sketchy weirdos who would be thinking about this shit like all the time, waking up at odd hours, stopping suddenly in caves with looks of “of COURSE!” on their faces, and also forcing the whole party to take a month of downtime every time the wizard wants to learn a spell is super, numbingly boring.
  • You get one shot to learn each spell, no second chances honey.
  • Roll 3d6 + your level, vs. 3d6 + spell level, and look up the variance on the table below.

Now unless you roll quite low, you’re pretty much always going to learn the spell, we’re just finding out how well you’re able to use it and what additional things you might have to do to cast it.

 

Before rolling, you can do things to vary your chances.

  • STUDY MORE/LESS;
    If you spend 1-3 weeks less than normal, re-roll your highest dice and take the lower result for each week you dropped.
    [Why would you want to do that? Well maybe an army of demon-possessed plague rats is on the march and you’d really like to learn Cloudkill before they get here.]
    If you spend 1-3 weeks more than normal, re-roll your lowest dice and take the higher result for each additional week.
  • THROW MONEY AT THE PROBLEM;
    Spending 100sp per level of the spell on experimental components and research material and good drugs will allow you to re-roll any dice with a result lower than the opposing roll’s lowest dice, and take the higher result. Spending double that amount will also allow you to roll an extra d6 if you end up with any doubles.
    You’re likely to only find sufficient quantities of that kind of thing in cities or freakish communes though, so even though you can research spells out in the wild, it’s still easier in the comforts of home.
  • STEAL SOMEONE ELSE’S;
    If you possess a deciphered version of the spell, remove the highest dice from the opposing roll.
    [Quick additional rule because if someone wants to walk around with Maleficar skulls hanging off them I’m good with that: If you have a deciphered version of a spell in a spellbook or skull or otherwise, but haven’t actually spent the time to learn it yet, you can cast it while reading from its source if you Cast the Bones.]
  • BE INDUCTED INTO THE MYSTERIES;
    If you undertake a journey/perform some esoteric ritual specific to the magic you are trying to learn, as per Tom’s ideas on magic, you may re-roll each dice of the opposing roll, and leave the lower result.

 

3d6 + Maleficar level vs. 3d6 + Spell level
VarianceResult
Beyond +12(as below, plus)
The spell may be cast spontaneously, it seeps from your very being, no word or motion is necessary, no time.
You are permanently marked by small manifestations or physical anomalies relating to the nature of the spell.
up to +12(as below, plus)
Casting only requires half as much Cataclysm, rounded up.
up to +9The incantation is absorbed within your brain, you can cast it from memory.
up to +6You require access to your spellbook, casting takes an extra Round.
down to -6(as above, plus)
There are additional requirements to cast the spell. Match the numbers on your dice to the Demands of the Void table. Demands are only duplicated if you rolled a double or triple.
down to -9(as above, plus)
There is a complication in learning the spell, match your roll to the Thaumaturgic Complication table.
down to -12You fail to comprehend the spell, and open the way to something else. The next time you cast a spell of any kind make a Cast the Bones roll with a penalty equal to the level of the spell you were attempting to learn.
beyond -12(as above, plus)
Your ineptitude causes a zone of arcane madness and manifestation for d6 days, with 6 being permanent.
100' radius per level of the spell you were attempting to learn.

 

 

Demands of the Void
Result(Individual Dice Results)
1-2The spell drains additional Cataclysm, equal to the number on the dice.
3-4The spell requires a specific component.
5-6There must be ritual.

 

 

Thaumaturgic Complication
Result(Sum of Dice Results)
14-18The spell has an Abyssal Side-Effect.
11-13Pockets of black bile open within your mind, roll on Insanity table.
8-10Your flesh is corrupted, roll on Transmutation table.
3-7Part of your body fucking tears itself off, grows extra bits, and wishes your death. It might attack you now, or it might plot your downfall in the shadows. Roll on Body Horror table.

 

 

d20Component
1An inscribed Fetish.
2A raven's wing.
3Finger bone of a peacefully dead man.
4The honey-preserved macerated flesh of the Mellified Priests of the Viridescent Ziggurat.
5The written sentiment of another from time past.
6A Bog's Head Hawkmoth caught beneath a full moon.
(Sickly dark green, the back of their heads resemble the mortifying face of a man left to decay in the waters of a bog, strands hang like muck-covered lichen.
They squeak like scheming mice.)
7The fresh entrails of a toad.
8A clump of diseased blood-red moss.
9Dried tentacles of the oily grey-skinned spawn of the leviathan.
10The hair of a harlot.
11A copper piece once held by a priestess.
12Nacreous Milk of the Antelope.
13Mushrooms sprouted from a corpse.
14The ashy pollen of the Widow's Blossom.
15Burning pages of poetry.
16The legs of a Blue-Bloat Bore Grub, dug from the limbs of an Ash Spider Collossum.
17Three rotten sparrow's eggs.
18The tattooed paw of a Bloodmouth monkey.
19The neutralised honey-thick semen of a Jewelled Mound of Ur.
20A sleeping rat.

 

 

d20Ritual
1Your bare feet covered by water, steam rising from your mouth and nostrils.
2A fistful of hair torn from your head, thrown upon a flame.
3A steady rhythm drummed against something resonant, continuing after you've stopped.
4Obscene symbols drawn in concentric circles around you.
5You must be naked to cast the spell, not a thread touching your body.
6You must swallow a living creature whole.
7Flagellation.
8A shivering, shaking dance in a mentally-induced fever.
9Hot wax poured upon your head, running down your face.
10The tips of your fingers slit, wrists pressed together and brought to your face to mark a circle of blood.
11Your mouth filled with dirt, exhuming the incantation.
12Let no sentient creature enter your sight, let your eyes never close.
13Plunge your hands beneath the soil, let the worms twist their bodies about your fingers.
14Drink the blood of another.
15Intermittent regurgitation, the pool of vomit churning into a swirling spire that streams back into your mouth at the culmination of the spell.
16A spider held on the tongue, swallowed after casting.
17Urinate in the dust and dirt, take the acidic taste upon the tip of your tongue, spit the final word.
18Take the knife to your belly, spill your vitals, the wound will close when the casting is done.
(Unless you rolled maximum damage, which means you cut too deep, the wound remains.)
19Hold your hand in the flame of a candle until the casting is done.
20No blood may be spilt in your presence while the incantation is performed. Make a Cast the Bones roll for every wound you witness.

 

…which means there’s going to be different wizards casting the same spell in different ways, maybe even with slightly different effects, questing around for that particular component they need, asking the Fighter if they can borrow a pint of blood, dancing and spitting.

 

It’s going to be great.


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Let’s See What’s Been On Your Mind


All body parts of dead Maleficar are valuable for use in creating Fetishes, but the true wealth resides within their skulls.

Every day of their lives the Maleficar’s void-touched brain etches patterns into the inside of their cranium, like moth larvae burrowing through the bark of a tree. The longer they live the more ornate and extensive the pattern, which, if deciphered, bears the formula to hitherto unknown magic.

 

When a Maleficar’s head is taken, the inside of their skull will contain an unknown spell of level equal to the highest level spell a traditional Magic-User would have been able to memorise.

This will require you to make some shit up.

 

 

Some spells rumoured to be contained within the lost Cranial Stacks of the Bibliothèque Verrotten:

 

Larval Pit of the Cosmic Hive

Maleficar Level 6

Duration: Instantaneous

Range: Infinite

Components: Fingernails from the intended victim, amniotic fluid, a live wasp.

 

Take the amniotic fluid from one who has not yet birthed, heat it in a copper bowl over an open flame, add the fingernails without ceremony, the aroma will draw the wasp.

When the wasp settles within the bowl drink deeply, and incant the words when you feel its final dying sting.

 

Within the victim’s belly the larvae begins to grow. Within days the nausea turns to debilitating pain, within weeks their belly distends to hold the larval girth, within two months their withered corpus breaths its last.

At the next full moon the cosmic chrysidine digs its way through flesh and gravedirt to unfurl its terrible wings under black sky and knowing stars.

 

(It still remembers the first belly that brought it into this world; yours. It will seek you out, whether to serve you or to lay its own brood within you is yet to be seen.)

 

 

Black Colossus

Maleficar Level 9

Duration: 1 Turn/level

Range: 30′

Casting Time: 2 Rounds

 

The Black Colossus manifests as an oily mass of shadow, crawling up walls, creeping through cracks, digesting flesh with its touch.

HD equal to caster level, it can only be harmed by flame or sunlight.

The Colossus will follow its last command until the duration ends or the caster spends a Round to mentally implant a new instruction. It will destroy anyone who directly tries to harm it, but can be commanded to place itself in harm’s way.

When the duration ends so does the caster’s control over the Colossus. It holds nothing but hate for you.

 

 

Interloper of the Flesh

Maleficar Level 3

Duration: 1 Turn/level

Range: Special

Casting Time: 1 Round

 

The Maleficar swaps bodies with a chosen target. To do this they must either be able to see the target, or be in possession of something that belongs to them.

If one of the bodies is killed, the consciousness it was carrying is destroyed.

When the spell ends, each surviving consciousness is drawn back to its original shell. If the body is dead they are not drawn back alone. Effect as Summon.

 

 

Protoplasmic Seed

Maleficar Level 4

Duration: 2 Rounds/level

Range: 60′

Casting Time: 1 Round

 

A seed of thought-stuff is implanted in the target’s head.

Deep-held terror of something physical seeps into the seed, which quickly swells to merge into the target’s brain matter, cracking their head open like an egg and pouring out in a translucent pink manifestation of their fear, dragging the body along by its spinal cord.

The manifestation will turn on the target’s allies first, but once they are gone it will seek the destruction of every other living thing until the duration ends and the jellied brain matter slops to the ground.

The Target Fears..
1d10
1A pile of melding horses, shivering and snapping their teeth.
2A starving two-headed she-wolf, her dead young still hanging from her womb.
3A great winged thing from beyond, its body hidden beneath a mass of writhing parasitic worms.
4Seven tentacles lined with the emerging seeking hands of children.
5A frog god, its tongue ensnares them to be torn apart by the humanoid amphibian horrors growing from the flesh within its mouth.
6A broiling mass of polyp-like cells, growing ever wider to smother and digest them.
7A twisted tower of gnarled stonework, siren songs from within call them one by one to climb its sides and enter it from above. (Target may save vs. Magic, if they succeed move on to the next target, someone must enter every Round.)
8A giant fish. In the first Round it splits open and turns inside-out, in the second Round 2d10 venomous lampreys emerge from its organs to seek prey.
9An amorphous mass of flesh carried by the deformed legs of children. Arms and mouths and eyes and parts unknown emerge and retract from its bulk as it lumbers towards them.
10A young woman in a heavy hooded cloak, clasped at the throat. When she opens it there is nothing but darkness within apart from the dozens of thin tendrils that slosh out and penetrate their flesh, draining them to a husk.

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Cunning Linguists


Every Magic-User develops their own method of writing magical formulae, like some kind of sorcerous cipher, preventing their knowledge from being read by the plebeian unworthy.

Every other Magic-User knows the spell Read Magic, which they can cast and read anything they want.

 

Wait what? When did deciphering a madman’s work become such a throwaway bit of bag of tricks nonsense? If I was a wizard my spellbook would be overflowing with false passages and curses and traps like some kind of nightmare word labyrinth of doom, not presenting itself on a podium for the next first-day-of-magic-school Johnny that comes along. Read MY magic? I fucking think not.

So sure, Read Magic allows you to read magical writings, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to read it right.

 

When Reading Magic, save vs. Magic. Your Referee will probably apply penalties or bonuses depending on what you’re trying to read, and you can apply bonuses by concentrating really hard and using additional Cataclysm points before rolling. The number by which you succeed or fail is applied as a bonus or penalty to the 3d6 roll your Referee now makes in seeecret.

 

 

3d6Cunning Linguists
14-18Success
11-13Success/Librarian's Lament
8-10Librarian's Lament
5-7Chaos Reigns
1-4Tome of Terror

 

Librarian's Lament
1d20(d10 if the writing isn't in a book)
1You birth a wriggling pink rat with a young version of your own face out of your mouth. It scrambles away and out of sight. It will grow to about the size of a pug, it develops translucent flaps of skin to glide on, it keeps showing up to foil your plans.
2Tiny hideous mouths split open over the surface of the object and begin to scream.
3Cold pink mist swells up from the object and wafts out in a 30' radius, save vs. Poison or lie down to sleep in a blanket of fog.
4You read the writing as something utterly different, you have no reason to believe that it isn't right. If it is a spell, the first time you try to cast it a Chaos Reigns roll is triggered.
5The object bearing the writing bursts into flame like a pile of magnesium.
6Your eyes snap open wide and fill with churning pink clouds, black at the edges like a storm, dim flashes of light perceivable in their midst.
You find yourself blind, groping in lurid darkness, until your eyes settle back on the page. Your eyes are permanently ensorcelled, unable to see anything but writing, but able to decipher any written language or cipher without aid of any kind.
You may find that there is a kind of poetry in the fibre of the world itself, but learning to read that will take some time.
7Get up from the table, go to the nearest bookshelf, close your eyes, pull down a book, flip to a random page, scan down and read the first few lines that catch your eye. For the next 2d4 days save vs. Magic whenever you want to start a conversation or cast a spell, if you fail the only words to come out are those lines over and over again.
8Vow of Poverty. You just cursed yourself. Precious metals and gems rot within your presence, visibly deteriorating every day, leaving nothing but discoloured muck after a week of being within 15' of you.
9Five trails of gently floating green lights appear, wafting into your lungs as they reach you. The lights are leading demoniac hounds with the hands of men and voices of children to you from various directions.
Every 8 hours roll a d4 per remaining hound, on a 4 they have come to collect you.
10Your nearest companion compulsively stabs you with whatever blade is closest to hand. A copper serpent slithers from the wound and into your hands, its blood-slicked scales are carven with arcane knowledge.
(Hand the player the Magic-User spell list, they gain any spells they can legibly write down within 10 seconds. To cast the spell they must ingest a number of copper coins equal to spell level. The spells use Cataclysm as normal but do not need to be written in a spellbook or memorised.)
After 10 seconds the serpent will strike out at whoever is holding it, pumping black venom into their veins if its fangs find flesh.
11Heat emanates from the page and you absent-mindedly place your hand against it to feel the warmth.
The ink burns into your skin like a tattoo.
The first lie you tell will become true, and the writing on your hand will change to remind you of that for all time.
12The book's cover grows course and hairy, legs sprout from the spine and it leaps from your hands, running across the room and up the wall. It points a strange cloaca at you from the base of its spine and expels clumps of bright green mildew at you that burns the skin, flapping away to the other side of the room if you get too close.
13The edges of the book slice your fingers open before it drops to the floor, leaving tiny rows of perfect bloodless papercuts.
They will never heal, and from this moment forth you will bleed prose.
It is not for me to know what secrets may be found in your blood.
14The book decomposes into hundreds of tiny paper mite crabs, they swarm over your arms, digging into your flesh, searching for orifices.
If more than 50% of them find their way inside you, gain a spell of a random level, but you can no longer eat anything other than paper, mumbling incoherent script when you are hungry.
15The page splits horizontally and unfolds, then vertically and unfolds, then horizontally.. again and again until the page is 15' wide. In the centre is a sketched doorway, the handle is so realistic you feel that you could reach out and grab it. If you open the door roll 1d6. The door leads you..
1. Into the chambers of a disrobed person of note who does not take kindly to the intrusion.
2. Into a room piled high with glittering treasures. Anything you take will immediately adhere into your skin, and it will take part of you with it if torn away. Opening the door will lead you back into the room where the book lay.
3. Into the lair of a great black serpent, slumbering after feeding. Shapes like hands push out the skin of its distended belly and you hear far-off whimpering. If it wakes, its yellow cut-glass eyes flash with hate and it will regurgitate its meal before attacking, bathing them in a hot flush of digestive juices that melt their limbs and prevent escape. Otherwise, it intends to digest them slow, they may yet survive, you have but to release them.. (Within the snake's belly is: 1-2. The person who originally wrote the words. 3. A buxom lass sacrificed to the serpent, sacrificed for consorting with devils. 4. A foolhardy adventurer brought here in search of a sacrificial hoard, collected over centuries. 5-6. A mewling litter of children, they imprint on the first person they see as their mother with animal intelligence, they are stronger and more agile than they look)
4. Into a dimly lit subterranean room, connected by secret stair to the lavish home above. Yellow wax drips from walls and altars, icy fingers caress your spine as the light flickers over strange stains, a hand-written tome rests on a dais, dedicated to the glory of the Yellow Queen.
5. Back where you just came from. You watch yourself move towards the book, attempting to read its secrets, watching it unfurl into a doorway, stepping inside.. The more you allow things to progress as they were the more of you there are, watching yourself watching yourself in neverending sequence until you stop yourself from reading the book, at which point every you that stepped through the doorway is un-happened, sucked back out of reality in pockets of agony.
6. Into your chrysalis deep below the earth. There you will sleep for years to come, until the changes are complete, until your terrible maniacal glory can be loosed upon the world.
16The book shrieks and tears itself in half, blood falls to the floor instead of paper fragments, the missing half regrows, the books tear themselves in half, blood falls to the floor...
The books continue to replicate in this way until there are several hundred, shrieking in a pool of blood.
The blood tastes like learning.
17Tendrils snap out from the crease of the book, penetrating your chest and belly, churning as some drain and others pump.
Your organs liquefy and drain out with your blood, and in its place your body fills with fluid like liquid golden light.
You glow like a pinkish-gold beacon, and take a -5 penalty to saves vs. Magic, but cannot be poisoned and gain a d4 bonus to Cast the Bones and Conduit of the Cosmos rolls.
18You read the words aloud and all who hear them age d20 years. Save vs. Magic, if you fail you continue to read. Repeat.
Anyone who reaches the age of 90 during this time falls apart like disintegrating paper.
19Violet light flashes from the pages, in your temporary blindness you can hear the resonance of your own thoughts. When you look back at the book you are staring at your own placid face, when you cry out it is the face in the book that opens its mouth and screams, not the featureless mess of words plastered around your swollen eyes.
20The pages of the book begin to flip back, growing faster, pulling at the air around you, the flurry of paper flipping between the covers of the book consists of more pages than the book could possibly have contained.
The pull at the air around you grows stronger, small objects begin to lift from the floor and disappear between the pages, your feet begin to shift..

 

Read the rest…


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Class: Void Dancer


Void Dancers feel hear and see the music colour and flow of the energy all around them. They’re practically magic idiot savants, they can’t Read Magic, they don’t understand it, they just feel it. Void Dancers don’t memorise or read spells, they just need to be able to dance.

They can only learn spells that have been cast around them, be taught by another Void Dancer, or interpret their own. Learning a spell doesn’t cost them anything, but takes twice as long unless they’re alone in the wilderness or somewhere intensely magical. Decrease the time by a day for every time the spell has been cast around them.

They can’t use or make their own Fetishes, but they’ll wear them, they think they’re pretty.

 

Saves as Magic-User, d6 HP.

Starts with d4+Wisdom mod spells.

Always roll for their own Cataclysm limit.

 

They’re like this.

 

 

Spells

 

Between the Walls

Void Dancer level 2

Duration: Instantaneous

Range: 30′

 

Smoky tendrils and hands emerge from the walls or floor, seizing the victim and dragging them back within the wall/floor. This in itself doesn’t hurt them, they find themselves somehow squeezed within the matter of the wall, and they can free themselves with a successful Strength check.

But something inside the wall gnaws and invades their flesh, causing 1d4 damage every round until they escape.

 

 

Danse Fièvre

Void Dancer level 5

Duration: Until the Void Dancer stops

Range: 10′ radius/level

 

The Void Dancer’s movements become frenzied and infectious, 1d4+caster level beings must save vs. Magic with a penalty equal to caster Charisma modifier or shudder and shake in cavorting delirium until such a time as the Void Dancer stops.

The Void Dancer can drive another 1d4 beings to save or join the rhythm every round until an attempt fails to lure new dancers.

 

 

Plague Toad Monsoon

Void Dancer level 3

Duration: Turns equal to caster level

Range: 200′

 

The heavens darken and break open, spilling a flood of noisome rain and misshapen toads in a 50′ radius. The toads leap onto anyone they can find and gum at their flesh, causing deformities to sprout wherever their awful mouths have touched. The toads will die and rot after an hour.

 

 

Song of Sinew

Void Dancer level 2

Duration: Instantaneous

Range: 30′

 

Knit or unravel d4hp of flesh. (Heal or Hurt)


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Do Not Take Me For Some Turner of Cheap Tricks


A mysterious chaotic unstable force permeates the very air we breath, most are oblivious to its existence, but there are those learned and reckless enough to tap into its vastness, and at any cost untold power and vision will be theirs.

Every day the Magic-User will sit down with their spellbook to memorise a certain number of….

 

Fuck that. A Magic-User’s spell limit is how many spells they can SAFELY cast. Not how good their memory is (or how many spells the mind can contain if you prefer, if that was my problem I’d bring some goddamn notes with me), but how many times they can channel otherworldly energy through themselves before they become exhausted and things start to go awry.

 

In my setting, there is no memorising of spells, if a Maleficar (also known as Hagborn, Wormeater, Plague’d One, Harbinger, or just plain Witch) has their spellbook with them they may cast any spell they know. Unless they already found the spell in preparation, casting from a spellbook takes one round longer than usual while they turn through the pages to that cherished spot, so Maleficar often carry items bearing the formula for spells they may need quickly, their minds are too full and scattered to perfectly memorise spells.

 

For example:

 

Corfus Gnash the Bloodied, (Maleficar, obviously) wears a breastplate bearing an iron bookrest and candle holder, which secures his spellbook to his chest with leather straps attached to his shoulders. The notched axe he carries has his formula for Stinking Cloud carved into the haft, something he often finds useful in a tight spot. If you ever got close enough to see his inner arms you would also find the scarred formulas for Army of One and Gaseous Form, researched and carved into his flesh during his short imprisonment.

 

Osman Vermald (another Maleficar, imagine that) does not carry a spellbook, instead each spell has been lovingly inscribed into a rat skull and hung from his neck and arms. He raised each rat from birth and can find them at a moment’s notice.

 

The Further Adventures of Tearing Power from Beyond

 

I like my Magic-Users nasty and strange, and no matter how dirty they are as soon as they sit down to memorise spells for the day they look like the prissiest wussies at the garden party.

In that spirit, I’ve mentioned risky spellcasting several times in the play reports I’ve posted, which is an idea I first gleaned from False Machine.

 

When they can’t cast any more spells safely, Maleficar may attempt to cast further spells with a 3d6 Cast the Bones roll. A penalty is applied for every spell level above 1st, but bonuses may be applied by using appropriate spell components, requiring a further round per bonus to prepare. There can be consequences to this. For a minor consequence roll on the Chaos Reigns table. When you’ve done fucked up roll on That Which Should Not Be.

 

3d6Cast the Bones
14-18Success
11-13Success/Chaos Reigns
8-10Chaos Reigns
5-7Success/That Which Should Not Be
1-4That Which Should Not Be

 

Further to that, taking damage doesn’t stop you from casting, but it does mean you need to make a Cast the Bones roll with a penalty equal to the damage you took if you want to maintain your concentration.

Maleficar can also attempt to cast any spell they know without reading from their spellbook or an item, but since that’s an awful lot to remember it requires a Cast the Bones roll, with a penalty for every spell level above 1st.

Encumbrance doesn’t stop players from casting, that’s dumb, as long as they can move they cast spells. Besides, the more they’re carrying the more will turn into goo when they have a spell mishap.

 

I like the Dungeon Crawl Classics idea of spells having variable effects, however, I also think that having a table for every single spell is an enormous pain in everyone’s butt.

In my setting spells normally have the same effect every time, after all a lot of time and willpower is spent learning to harness that spell in a specific way. But if the Maleficar wishes, they can relax their hold on the spell, attempting to create a greater affect with a 3d6 Conduit of the Cosmos roll. The player announces what they want to happen, and the Referee applies penalties accordingly. An effect without penalties would be something like double duration/damage.

e.g. If a 1st level Maleficar wants their Magic Missile to throw out two missiles, that would be a normal roll. However if they want the missile to enter their enemy’s head and crackle and grow until it explodes, spraying his friends with skull shrapnel and brain lightning, that’s probably going to be a roll at -4.

Creativity should be encouraged, so if the Maleficar spontaneously conceives of a way to use the fundamentals of a spell they know for a different purpose, they can attempt it with a Conduit of the Cosmos roll, taking penalties as the Referee sees fit, and bonuses up to +4 if it is significantly less powerful than the true spell.

 

3d6Conduit of the Cosmos
14-18Success
11-13Success/Chaos Reigns
8-10Spell Collapse
5-7Spell Collapse/Chaos Reigns
1-4That Which Should Not Be

 

On a result of Spell Collapse roll or just decide what makes most sense for the spell/situation.

 

1d6Spell Collapse
1Normal spell effect inflicted on caster
2Half spell effect inflicted on caster
3-4Spell works in unexpected way use your imaginaaaation)
5Half spell effect inflicted on random target
6Half spell effect inflicted on target

 

Chaos Reigns
1d20
1Roll on Abyssal Side-Effects. Not only does this effect happen now, but every time you cast this spell from now on.
2That's new... Roll on Transmutation table.
3A rotting golden idol melts out of thin air and hovers in the centre of the area. Everyone present rolls 3d6, including animals and inhuman monsters. Whoever rolled highest increases a random ability score by 1. Whoever rolled lowest loses 1 from the same ability score. Anyone that rolls:
18 may make a wish. Roll again. If you roll less than 13 it goes horribly wrong.
14 has golden maggots to the value of 500sp wriggle out of their tear ducts.
10 gains a random insanity.
6 permanently sheds their hair, nails and teeth.
3 collapses in agony as enormous blisters swell from their flesh and burst, releasing mud-fleshed olive green creatures somewhere between a lobster and a squid, as they writhe on the ground their flesh turns the same mud olive and the creatures consume them before the whole scene collapses in a reeking puddle.
4A screaming hairless hound manifests, it disembowels itself with fleshy pink hands, then offers you its entrails. Screaming all the while from its toothless maw.
5You start violently weeping and you don't know why. Anyone looking at you while you weep can see a dripping halo of blood over your head.
6Save vs. Magical Device every time you want to read something from your spellbook. If you fail all you can read is a shorthand account of all your personal shortcomings in the hand of whoever you have held most dear in life.
7The caster's mind switches place with that of a random enemy, or if no enemies are present, that of a man-sized putrid pink anthropomorphic toadbeast that claws its way out of the ground. The caster retains their spellcasting abilities.
8The scent of rotting cabbage wafts through the air within 30' of the caster. Save vs. Poison. Those who fail shake and sweat as if with a fever and become sexually uncontrollable for the next d4 turns (each rolls separately).
9A pale green mist billows from the caster's mouth and they lose consciousness for d8 turns. During this time the player may control the mist. They cannot communicate, move at a Lightly Encumbered rate, can expand to fill a 30' radius, and are affected by things as a normal mist would be. Anyone who breathes in the mist must save vs. Poison or die as their lungs liquefy.
10Everyone within 30' begins to feel an itching in their flesh, and if they look closely they will notice pores stretching and closing as if something was moving through them. Something is now moving beneath the skin and it burns. If anyone digs into their flesh they will discover shimmering turquoise things like jellyfish the size of fingernails, but with tentacles that harden like glass needles. After d6 rounds the itching stops and the jellyfish disappear.
11You fall to your knees and regurgitate (roll d8):
1. Green algae filled with struggling black crabs.
2. Bubbling water, you hear whispers and childlike laughter as the bubbles expand and burst.
3. A golden eel with the face of a man.
4. A bloated, pregnant rat whose belly splits open when it hits the floor, spilling its young.
5. A pool of gritty tar. A multi-sided puzzle box is slowly revealed in the centre of the puddle, it doesn't appear to emerge from the floor, more like it remains still and the tar sinks down from its sides. You can't be sure of how many sides, you always seem to lose count. You have no idea how it fit through your mouth let alone your throat.
6. Blood. And eyes and teeth and hair. Like a burst tumor.
7. Writing. Not on paper, not in patterns, just writing. It doesn't make sense and nobody else can see anything but vomit but you regurgitate writing. It tells you how you die. But you can't read it, the words won't make sense, and they keep moving, and you try to hold them down but they slip through your fingers, but you know that the writing tells you everything. If only you could read it.
8. Eight gold coins. If these coins are used to buy something, that night the person who used the coin will dream of the one they gave it to.
The air is nothing but bushfire-black fog, and molten gold runs from their face. It might fill their mouth, their eye sockets, pour from their ears.. They desire to murder you with a psychotic rage, you wronged them, why did you wrong them? If you kill them in your dream you will wake up covered in blood and brain matter, standing on their bed in what used to be their head. And vice versa.
12A plant grows in the caster's stomach. One night per week d3 dry black tendrils emerge from the caster's orifices and bear glossy plump deep purple fruit. In the centre of the fruit is a small black multi-limbed figure in a foetal position, of the same consistency as the fruit.
If the caster has been acting immorally the fruit is sweet and grants increased Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence, with a 25% chance of addiction.
If the caster has been acting morally the fruit tastes of ash and salt and induces extreme paranoia and jealousy.
13Everything the caster is wearing* has a 50% chance of (roll d6):
1. Decomposing into a swarm of cooing lime green spiders which caress you with their tiny limbs.
2. Turning into rose-coloured glass that reflects things all wrong.
3. Becoming pliable and moist. It will fuse to your skin the next time you touch it.
4. Puffing into a foul smelling dust which swirls in place for a few minutes, then reforms, then puffs into dust, and so on.
5. Splashing to the ground like thick paint.
6. Turning into hair from some kind of beast you've never seen before, some parts still have bits of scalp attached and tiny lice swarm throughout.
*Packs count as one item but anything important inside gets its own roll.
14A dog runs into the area, if you were attacking someone it immediately latches onto them. He's just the cutest most loyal little dog ever yes he is. Anyone else that looks at it sees its fur shivering and shaking while its head splits open and the monkey skull within screams at them.
15The caster vomits forth an enormous pink toad which croaks loudly and collapses into a puddle of slime. For the next 3 hours everyone who was within earshot must save vs. Poison when they wish to speak, otherwise they vomit up a small pink toad which stares and follows them. The bumps on its back constantly sweat beads of black fluid.
If you actively lick one there is a 3 in 6 chance it cures you, otherwise you hallucinate for a number of turns equal to your roll, with a 10% chance of gaining a random insanity.
16Black Blood. The caster's Strength increases to 18 and they fly into a murderous frenzy. Any wound they sustain immediately sprays acidic boiling black blood. Every round there is a 50% chance the caster sprays blood from their eyes as a 10' ranged attack in addition to their other actions. This lasts for d8 rounds, after which the caster blacks out for that many hours.
17Everyone within view of the caster must save vs. Magic. Those who fail begin to give birth through their mouths, umbilical cord and placenta and all. The foetus is them. If they kill it there are no consequences, if they allow it to live it will leech a year of their life every day, growing visibly older.
If they eat the child, increase a random ability score by 1. Do this again for every day the child has lived.
18Your lips seal shut like they never existed and your tongue seems to double in size, it's moving around your mouth and feels like it's getting bigger, it's trying to choke you. If you bite your tongue in half you'll find that your mouth is full of black, legged maggots, and your lips were never sealed shut.
50% chance you really did bite your tongue in half.
19Beacon of Sin. Others find it hard to repress taboo desires around you. A trail of incest and lynchings is left in your wake for the next d6 weeks, with 6 being permanent.
20Everything in a 5' radius around the caster is liquefied into a foul-smelling orange pus. Including the floor, their hair, and everything they are wearing. Researching spells the caster had already learned only takes half as long as usual. There's a 50% chance that living beings completely caught in the sphere will retain their sentience despite liquefying into pus.

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