Magic-Users and Spellcasting in the World of Weirth
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This month Memorium looks at the history of magic and magic-users in the World of Weirth: where magic comes from, how it is used, and why it is fading from the world. I am also sharing the WIP Magic and Spellcasting rules for a Swords & Sorcery style magic system.
I look forward to your feedback!
The Legend of the Alfen
Before the Cataclysm that re-made the Weirth and broke the larger moon, the Alfen lived upon this world. Mighty in magics were they, able to do things that no magic-user alive today can even contemplate.
Some believe that the magics of the Alfen became too great, went beyond the control of even immortal beings such as themselves. Other historians believe there was a mighty war between the Alfen of different lands, whose literal, Weirth-shaking magics tore the world asunder.
The Saringa are known to believe there is another world deep inside the Weirth, accessible through an enormous hole in the far north of the world.
Magic is Everywhere
Whatever magics the Alfen had, however, are much diminished now.
In fact, magic is both common and exceedingly rare in Weirth. Anything unexpected or unfortunate that happens is generally attributed to magical interference from a supernatural being. Everyone knows, and uses constantly, small charms and hexes they believe will affect the outcome of their activities or protect them from those same supernatural beings. A person lifting a heavy object, for instance, will recite the magical formula, “Muu-niish-kuu, Heave-ho!” before attempting to raise it. Tying knots, cooking food, planting crops, all have their traditional chants and incantations to bring success.
These types of traditional uses of magic are everywhere. While no one really knows their efficacy, they certainly believe they are effective. In any case, no one would ever suggest otherwise. To the peoples of Weirth this ritual magic is as real and proper as how night follows day.
Some people are more in tune with these magics than others. While some may only have a Knack for a particular task, others may have a Talent or a Gift for touching the Esitouche, the energy source that surrounds all living things. These folk, true Magic-Users, can wield power far beyond any natural person, performing amazing feats.
Many years of study, research, and travels to far lands looking for scraps of information lead these Gifted with ability to harness these powers. Some are willing to trade with one another, or to take on apprentices, as a means of increasing their knowledge and power. Those smart enough and driven enough may even be able to learn the secrets of summoning supernatural entities, to bargain for more knowledge and power. Eventually a magic-user may feel confident and prepared enough to attempt the Great Transmogrification – to consume a deadly quantity of Mother’s Milk and transform it into the Ultimate Curative. In this way the Magic-User will pass beyond mortality and gain the power of the gods. Only the greatest and most talented even attempt this test, as the penalty for failure is death with a great likelihood their soul will be lost in the Outer Darkness.
The Esitouche and the Cataclysm
In the days after the Cataclysm, the world was rent apart. Mountains grew where there were plains, coastlines changed, great cities of crystal were laid low. The legendary City of the Gods sank beneath the waves of the ocean, into what is now known as the Ocean at the End of the World. This catastrophic event signaled the beginning of the end for all magic on Weirth.
A beautiful palace, built of wondrous crystal and shining gold, stood upon that isle. As the flood waters raged the castle was knocked from its foundation, a crystal shard of the Creator’s own Essence. With this breach did the power of magic begin to leak and dissipate from the world. For nearly a thousand years the power of the Esitouche has been leaching into the sea. This power source is where the waves and storms of the great waters come from, the never-ending motion slowly draining the power of the Esitouche.
The Nurdiyan and the Witches
In the Age before the Cataclysm, humans were the servants and helpers of the Alfen. While the Alfen had mighty power and knowledge of the Esitouche, they still needed clothing, tools, to eat, and other mundane things. These tasks fell to the humans and various chimerical creations of the Alfen: Centaurs, Griffons, and more.
Nurdiyans (pronounced: new-whirr-die-enn) are the successors of a professional class of Human and Centaur servants of the Alfen. The Nurdiyans worked for and with the Alfen in their beautiful gardens, groves and farms. Transmitted MU-to-MU after the Cataclysm, the magical arts of caring for plants, crops, hearth and home are among the oldest magic remaining on Weirth. The methods and techniques of the Nurdiyan are very Shaman-like, with a great deal of emphasis on guidance from one’s ancestors and the patronage of Mother-Weirth.
After the Cataclysm, Nurdiyan began to teach and ordain followers to spread the word. Their goal was to foster the hope that if more people remembered the old ways, then civilization would not fade away. Low level spells don’t need any input or guidance from gods (or spirits, demons, elemental forces, ancestors, etc). People could just keep passing them on orally or, eventually, in a written form. These became the Zealots, Prophets, fakirs, priests and so on. Of course, some were simply charlatans with a magical robe.
Witches are an off-shoot of the Nurdiyan praxis. Cut off from other Nurdiyans, Human or Centaur, those who became Witches found themselves forgetting their spells and magical abilities. In the time of chaos after the Cataclysm, these Nurdiyan had enough magic left that they were able to contact and bind or bond with supernatural entities roaming Weirth. As magic continued to fade, binding became less functional as a method of transmitting magical power, and the concept of Pacts emerged. Most of these entities were unable to fully interact with the physical world, and the former Nurdiyan offered a way for them to do so. Calling themselves Witches, these magic-users developed a new set of magical spells and abilities to deal with the horrors of the post-Cataclysm world. The entities they engaged taught them many new things, and their magical repertoire grew.
This new branch of magic, based in fragments of lore found here and there in the Alfen ruins, became an encompassing collection of works. As the disorder in the world decreased, the Witches created the disciplines of Blood Witchery (cauldron magic with large fires, sympathy, blood, Mother’s Milk and personal energy to power ritual magic) and the school of Elementalism.
Even at this time there were many humans, and other creatures, who had been changed and damaged by the energies of the great war, forming tribes and ravaging the countryside. That these devolved tribes still exist must be the will of the gods, for none know how they can survive in the wilderness.
Magic and Spellcasting
Preparing and Casting Spells
Magic Spells of Levels I & II are fairly common (relative to higher-level spells) and easily powered by the life force of the caster, blood sacrifice or a sympathetic energy source (usually hot coals, but can also be running water, such as a water wheel).
A magic-User may know as many spells as their level permits, plus any bonus spells due to their INT.
These low-level spells can be prepared each day with 30 minutes of meditation and memorization.
Low Level Spells
LI and LII spells may be cast without an outside power source, up to two levels of Spellcraft worth of spells per day (sunrise to sunrise). A Magic-User may cast any spell he or she knows, and has prepared, as many times as they would like, from sunrise to sunrise, as long as they have the spellcraft to power the spells.
In order to cast a spell the Magic-User will roll a d20 vs a DC set by the GM in order to successfully grasp and release the Eldritch energies of spellcraft. This is called a Spell Failure Roll. INT bonuses or penalties apply to this roll. Success or failure follows the rule on LFG p. 42, converted to ROLL HIGH mechanic:
· Rolling a Nat 20 indicates a Complete Success above and beyond the normal effect.
· Rolling more than 1.5 times the DC is a Great Success,
· Likewise, rolling equal to or less than half of the DC is a Terrible Failure,
· and a Nat 1 is a Catastrophic Failure, roll Save vs Corruption.
Taking damage during casting increases the DC by one per HP.
For example: A third level Magic-User has the ability to prepare two LI spells and one LII spell (INT bonuses notwithstanding) for a total of four levels of spellcraft. In order to be able to cast all three spells, they will have to either:
· Create a power source and generate a Sympathetic link. Typically this source is a fire of some sort, usually in a brazier. The Sympathetic link could be two matching bronze spheres, one nestled within the coals, the other on the Magic-User’s person.
· Perform a mundane Spellburn - overriding the mind’s defenses and tapping into the material being of the Magic-User’s physical form. In attempting mundane Spellburn, the Magic-User temporarily expends points of his Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution score to power a spell: For every ability point so expended, the Magic-User can power one level of spellcraft.
· Perform a Blood Sacrifice - Animal sacrifice can be used to power a spell, and gives a bonus to the Spell Failure roll, but at the cost of a penalty to the Save vs Corruption roll. A L I or L II spell so powered will also require a roll for Save vs Corruption, successful or not. A simple sacrifice in combat or just before casting a spell grants advantage to the Spell Failure roll but imparts a -1 penalty to Save vs Corruption until the next sunrise. This sacrifice can be used to power a spell, or spells, of up to three levels of spellcraft for each animal so sacrificed. Any “levels” of spellcraft power unused after one hour will dissipate. (NOTE: Rats and mice are unacceptable as sacrifices. Birds, such as doves, pigeons, roosters, chickens, or other animals like snakes, cats, dogs, deer, etc. are acceptable to the entities of the Outerdark. Other, larger, animals (such as horses, oxen or some monsters) may have a different effect, your GM can provide more information.)
Higher Level Spells
When a Magic-User casts a spell of LIII or greater they will make two rolls (spells of LI & LII only require a Spell Failure Roll, except in the case of a Catastrophic Failure):
1. Spell Failure Roll – Roll a d20 vs a DC assigned by the GM, modified by PC INT and any other effects. Success or failure follows the rule on LFG p. 42, converted to ROLL HIGH mechanic: Rolling more than 1.5 times the DC is a great success, rolling a Nat 20 indicates a success above and beyond the normal effect. Likewise, rolling equal to or less than half of the DC is a terrible failure, and a Nat 1 is a catastrophic failure.
2. Save vs Spells for Corruption - reaching into the Outerdark for power is dangerous, corrupting and addictive. Magic comes from a source that is alien to humankind and is subtly destructive to the human body and spirit. A failure means the M-U makes a “Corruption Tally” mark on their character sheet.
Your GM will inform you as to the effects of this corruption.
Spells of the higher levels, especially those cast from scrolls or performed as Rituals from one’s spellbook are too draining for a Magic-User to power through their own life force (except via Spellburn, see below). The spellcraft of a powerful energy source or a supernatural entity must be used or summoned.
Summon Patron - Upon gaining 5th level of experience the Magic-User will need to perform the Summoning Ritual, in order to gain access to spells of third level (L III) or higher. The Magic-User can cast magic spells chosen from a list particular to the supernatural entity summoned.
The Summoning Ritual is the ONLY LIII spell that can be cast without supernatural aid. It requires blood Sacrifice, Spellburn, or a sympathetic energy source to be cast successfully. Each of these methods have their bonuses and drawbacks.
The Summoning Ritual takes 30 minutes to execute, in order to prepare higher level spells for casting that day. This ritual is not memorized, per se, rather it is a result of mental training and meditation. The Magic-User literally connects their Life Force to that of the Esitouche in order to reach into the Outerdark for magical power.
The Magic-User does not need to roll a Save vs Spells to avoid Corruption, nor is there a chance for Spell Failure, unless the Magic-User is physically interrupted during this meditation period. This is a Spell-like power (as are Detect Magic & Read Magic).
The Magic-User may then prepare their spells, needing additional time for each group of spells:
· + 30 minutes for spells of L III – V
· + 30 minutes for spells of L VI-VII
· + 30 minutes for spells of L VIII - IX
For example, an 8th Level Arcanist wishes to prepare her spells for the day. She needs 30 minutes to prepare any L I or L II spells she wishes to cast. She then can perform the Summoning Ritual, for an additional 30 minutes. If she wishes to perform a blood sacrifice at this time the Summoning Ritual takes one full hour.
She may then memorize/prepare her three L III spells and two L IV spells in a further 30 minutes, for a total elapsed time of 90 minutes (without a blood sacrifice, 120 minutes/2 hours with a blood sacrifice).
A blood sacrifice during the Summoning Ritual binds the supernatural entity to the M-U until the following sunrise, providing spellcraft power that can be held in reserve until needed. Your GM has full details.
Animal sacrifice can be used to power a spell, and gives advantage to the Spell Failure roll, but at the cost of a penalty to the Save vs Corruption roll.
A simple sacrifice in combat or just before casting a spell grants advantage to the next spell failure roll, but imparts a -1 penalty to corruption saves until the next sunrise. This sacrifice can also be used to power a spell, up to three levels of spellcraft for each animal so sacrificed. A full hour ritual grants +4 to the next casting (instead of advantage) or +2 to all castings (until the next sunrise) and imparts -3 to corruption saves, once again, until the next sunrise.
The full hour ritual can also be used to power up to five levels of spellcraft per animal sacrificed. (full details from GM)
Sympathetic Energy Source
If a M-U decides not to, or prefers not to, for whatever reason, Summon a supernatural entity to power their spells for that day, they will need to create a power source and create a Sympathetic link. Typically this source is a fire of some sort, usually in a brazier or large fireplace.
For the purposes of this rule assume two pounds of coal or five pounds of wood burns hot enough for spellcasting for one hour. During that hour a M-U may cast up to four levels worth of spells.
Furthermore, for the purposes of this rule, for each two-pound measure of coal (or five pounds of wood) added to the brazier it will burn and provide energy for another hour, up to a total of five hours.
For example, if an M-U were to load a brazier with six pounds of coal (or 15 pounds of wood), it could power up to four L III spells or three L IV spells over the course of three hours.
(Yes, this may seem like a lot of paperwork and tracking, but rest assured it will come up. Better safe than sorry!)
For spells powered by a sympathetic link to a fire, there is no need for a Save vs Spells for Corruption. Spell Failure rolls are unaffected.
“Blood aids great sorcery,” quoth the mummy, and he was right. A magic-user can harness more magical energies if he is willing to make mortal sacrifice: offer part of his soul to a demon, foster a demi-god’s greedy growth by sacrificing the physical life energy in his own cells. Before rolling any spell failure, a Magic-User may declare that he will attempt spellburn. In attempting spellburn, the Magic-User temporarily expends points of his Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution score to either power a spell or enhance his spell failure roll. For every ability point he expends, the Magic-User can power one level of spell or add +1 to his spell failure roll. For example, a Magic-User in a life-or-death situation may need absolute certainty that his next spell functions. He calls to a supernatural entity in the Outerdark for assistance. In offering the entity a share of his life-force, he trades 7 points of Strength to give himself a +7 bonus to his next spell failure roll. Ability scores lost in this way return as the wizard heals. Each day he does not attempt spellburn, he recovers 1 point of ability score.
· Spellburn causes Fatigue at 1 level of fatigue/3 points.
· Spellburn-induced Fatigue causes Hypothermia.
For spells of LI or LII powered by a mundane Spellburn, there is no Save vs Spells roll for Corruption, except in the case of a Natural 1.
Schools of Magic
There are ten Schools of Magic, each with their own specialized type of magic:
1. Curses - Spells that cause harm in a tangible way
2. Divination - Spells that reveal otherwise hidden knowledge
3. Domination - Spells that compel others to bow to the M-U’s will
4. Elemental - Spells that affect the basic elements
5. Illusions - Spells that alter perceptions
6. Necromancy - Spells that alter the status of the dead
7. Prestidigitation - Spells that affect physical properties of material items
8. Summoning - Spells that call forth animals, spirits or monsters (See Secrets of the Black Circle)
9. Translation - Spells dealing with the nature of travel and movement
10. Wards - Spells that protect persons, places, or things, or unravel other magics
The spell-like power of Detect Magic available to Magic-Users is able to identify the school of magic, its approximate range, and the relative strength of the caster. It can also detect an enchantment upon an object, once again the School and relative strength.
Healing & Magic
Note: There are no healing spells available, except for the Exalted ability to Lay on Hands and the alchemical preparations of the Sisterhood of the Raven. The reverse of the various Cure Wounds spells are available, as spells of the Curses School.
Healing is accomplished in the World of Weirth by the non-magical folk using a poultice made from an herb called Tibane. It takes 3 turns to brew the infusion and soak the material of the poultice. Tying this poultice on over a wound will heal 1d3 HP. This poultice will only be effective on a person once every 24 hours. It also has the effect of speeding up the recipient’s heartbeat, giving them extra energy. This effect will reduce Fatigue by one level for 6 hours, after which the Fatigue level will increase by one level.
Spells known and the number a PC is able to memorize/prepare are as found in the charts for the specific character class. Learning a new spell that a PC discovers is dependent on the % to Know Spell of the PC’s INT score.
Casting Time is equal to the spell level in segments.
There are a limited number of Power Word magics that use very little power and can be cast instantaneously, called Cantrips. These small spell effects require no material components, merely a single spoken word and perhaps a gesture.
· Puff of Smoke
· Sleight of Hand (transfer a small object from one’s hand to a pocket/or vice-versa)
· Heat transfer (enough to light a candle or torch, warm water for tea, or cool water)
· Clean & Dry (remove soil or liquid from skin/clothing)
· Wraith-light (creating a glowing orb in the palm of one’s hand, illuminating a 5’ radius. Expending one spellcraft enables a M-U to “attach” the light to an object or have it stay in one place for d4+2 turns)
· Find: So long as you have a piece of something or someone, you can find them. To do this, you must spend an hour binding the piece to a compass, necklace, or other makeshift directional devices. After which point, the device will gently point in the approximate direction of the target.
· Voice: Your voice is amplified to double its normal volume.
DM Notes on Spellcasting
SPELL FAILURE ROLLS
Success or failure follows the rule on LFG p. 42, converted to ROLL HIGH mechanic:
· Rolling a Nat 20 indicates a Complete Success above and beyond the normal effect. Maximum effectiveness and negates any need for a Corruption Save. The target is at disadvantage for any avoidance or defense.
· Rolling more than 1.5 times the DC is a Great Success. The following Corruption Save is at advantage.
· Rolling the DC to 1.5 x DC is a success. The following Corruption Save is normal.
· Rolling a basic failure, DC to ½ of DC, yields one Corruption Tally, 1 level of Fatigue, and roll on Dark & Dangerous Magic table.
· Rolling equal to or less than half of the DC is a Terrible Failure.
o +1 level of Fatigue
o -1 to Luck score
o -1 to Fortitude
o Save vs Corruption at disadvantage
o Roll on Dark & Dangerous Magic table
· A Nat 1 is a Catastrophic Failure.
o +2 levels of Fatigue
o -1 to Luck score
o -2 to Fortitude
o Spell affects caster, rather than Target, maximum effect
o Roll on Dark & Dangerous Magic table
o 25% chance a Casting Focus breaks
Effects of Casting Spell through a Casting Focus (wand, rod, staff, orb, etc):
Wand +1 [Cost: 300 GP + 500 XP] If a Wand is broken, roll a d12 on the Benign Corruption chart
Rod +2 [Cost: 900 GP + 1,000 XP] If a Rod is broken roll a d10 on the Benign corruption chart
Staff +3 [Cost: 2,700 GP + 2,000 XP] If a M-U decides to break their staff, there is an amazing effect TBD
Orb +4 [Cost: 8,100 GP + 4,000 XP] A M-U with an Orb can make a successful Luck Save to change their Corruption Table result to: Random monster is summoned (DM decides)
An Orb can only be broken by magical means, and this will have a large effect on the entire Campaign.
Save vs Spells for Corruption
Reaching into the Outerdark for power is dangerous, corrupting and addictive. Magic comes from a source that is alien to humankind and is subtly destructive to the human body and spirit.
If a spell of L I – II suffers a Catastrophic Failure, the M-U must save vs Spells at DC 12.
Every time a spell of L III - V is cast, the M-U must save vs Spells at DC 12.
For a spell of L VI - VII, the M-U must save vs Spells at DC 14.
For a spell of L VIII - IX, the M-U must save vs Spells at DC 16.
If the M-U is in a DC Zone of a higher value, the higher DC is used.
Casting while under the influence of raw Mother’s Milk: -3 penalty to the Corruption roll.
A failure means the M-U makes a “Corruption Tally” mark on their character sheet. Six such marks means the M-U will apply a -1 penalty to future Corruption saves. The caster will also roll on the Benign Corruption table.
For every 12 points of Corruption, a Magic-User gains a +1 BONUS to their Spell Failure roll, AND a -2 penalty for any rolls on the Corruption Table.
For every 18 points of Corruption, a Magic-User makes a roll on the Minor Corruption Table (with the -2 penalty).
Rolling equal to or less than half of the DC is a Terrible Failure.
· +2 Corruption Tally
· Roll Minor Corruption table
A Nat 1 is a Catastrophic Failure.
· +2 Corruption Tally
· Roll Major Corruption table
· Any spellcraft held in reserve are lost
· Any supernatural entities bound to service are released
Removing the stain of corruption is possible via penance and meditation, while refraining from any and all spellcasting, at a Lawfully-aligned temple or retreat. This requires one week per three points of accumulated Corruption.
Such penance costs 100 SP per level per week.
Roll a d20, subtract the Spell Level, apply any other modifiers.
1 - or less - Roll on Minor Corruption chart
2 - Spell fails and is forgotten/unknowable until the next sunrise
3 - Caster and target exchange physical locations
4 - Random monster is summoned (DM decides)
5 - Spell effect rebounds on caster (target is unaffected)
6 - Spell cannot be canceled at will by caster (or roll again if not applicable)
7 - Spell effect has 60' radius centered on caster (all within radius experience the effect, including caster)
8 - Reverse spell effect strikes target (DM decides)
9 - All doors, including secret doors, portcullises, etc. (including those locked, Held or barred) within 60' of caster swing open
10 or more - Caster takes 5 HP damage
On a roll of 2+ the Caster loses 2 Fortitude points
1 or less - Roll on Major Corruption chart
2 - The caster develops horrid pustules on his face. These pustules do not heal and impose a -1 penalty to social charisma ability checks.
2 - The caster’s skin on one random portion of his body appears to melt. Like wax, it flows and reforms into odd puddles and shapes. This is an ongoing, constant motion that itches constantly and repulses others. Determine location randomly (1d6): (1) face; (2) arms; (3) legs; (4) torso; (5) hands; (6) feet.
3 - One of the caster’s legs grows 1d3”. Character now walks with an odd gait. This also causes constant, chronic back pain (-1 to any SAN check).
4 - Eyes affected. Roll 1d4: (1) eyes glow with unearthly color; (2) eyes lose pigment, turn pink, gain light sensitivity (-1 to all rolls in daylight); (3) character gains infravision (sees heat signatures at range of 100’); (4) eyes become large and unblinking, like a reptile (with a nictating membrane)..
5 - Caster develops painful lesions on his chest and legs and open sores on his hands and feet that will require d4+1 weeks to heal.
6 - Ears mutate. Roll 1d5: (1) ears become pointed; (2) ears fall off (character still hears normally); (3) ears enlarge and look like an elephant’s, as big as your hand; (4) ears elongate and look like a donkey’s (character also gains braying laugh); (5) ears shrivel and fold back (like a dried Oak leaf).
7 - Chills. Caster shakes constantly and cannot remain quiet due to chattering teeth. -3% to Spell Failure roll.
8 - Caster’s facial appearance is permanently disfigured according to the magic that was summoned. If fire magic was used, his eyebrows are scorched and his skin glows red; if cold magic was used, his skin is pasty white and his lips are blue. If ambiguous magic was used, his appearance grows gaunt, permanent purple rings under the eyes, and he permanently loses 5 pounds.
9 - Caster’s hair is suffused with dark energy. Roll 1d4: (1) hair turns bone white; (2) hair turns pitch black; (3) hair falls out completely; (4) hair sticks straight up.
10+ - Caster passes out. He is unconscious for 1d6 hours or until awakened by vigorous means.
On a roll of 2+ the Caster loses 3 Fortitude Points.
Save vs Death or suffer Paranoia until Fortitude is restored.
Below 1 - Roll on Greater corruption chart
1 - Nosferatu - Character slowly weakens over 1d4 months, suffering a -2 penalty to Strength for each month. At the end of the 1d4 time period, the Character collapses and seems to die. Their body will transform over the next (d6x10) 10-60 years into a vampire form. The Character will become an NPC. Healing and/or recovery of this corruption are DM’s choice.
2 - A duplicate of the character’s face grows on his back. It looks just like his normal face. The eyes, nose, and mouth can be operated independently.
3 - Consumption. Character’s body feeds on its own mass. Character loses 2d10 pounds in one week and suffers a -1 penalty to Constitution.
4 - Corpulence. Character gains 6d12 pounds in one month. The weight gain imposes a -1 penalty to Dexterity, and the character’s speed is reduced by 5’.
5 - Character crackles with energy of a type associated with the spells he most commonly casts. The energy could manifest as flames, lightning, cold waves, etc.
6 - Character’s height changes by 1d20-10 inches. There is no change in weight; the character’s body grows thin and tall or short and fat.
7 - Demonic taint. Roll 1d4: (1) character’s fingers elongate into claws, and he gains an attack for 1d6 damage; (2) character’s eyes turn yellow, have vertical pupils, like a cat; (3) character’s legs become goat-like, with cloven hooves; (4) small, useless wings grow from the character’s shoulder blades (bat-, bird-, or insect-like at DM’s discretion)
8 - Character’s tongue forks and their nose flattens, nostrils narrow to slits. The character is able to taste/smell with their tongue like a snake.
9 - Small horns grow on the character’s forehead. This appears as a ridge-like, simian forehead for the first month; then buds for the second month; goat horns after the third month; and finally, bull horns after six months.
10+ Character’s skin changes to an unearthly shade. Roll 1d8: (1) albino; (2) pitch black; (3) clear; (4) shimmering quality; (5) deep blue; (6) malevolent yellow; (7) ashen and pallid; (8) texture and color of fishy scales; (9) thick bear-like fur; (10) reptilian scales.
On a roll of 2+ the PC loses 5 Fortitude Points, 1 is lost permanently.
Save vs Death at -2 or suffer Paranoia until Fortitude is restored.
Below 1 - The Character ceases to exist. DM fiat on how this happens. Maybe they simply wink out of existence, maybe they explode.
1 - A sliver of soul energy is claimed by a demon lord. Character experiences unearthly pain, suffering 3d6 damage, a permanent -2 penalty to all ability scores, and a permanentl -2 penalty to Fortitude.
2 - Decay. Character’s flesh falls off in zombie-like chunks. Character loses 1d4 hp per day. Only magical healing can stave off the decay.
3 - Character’s head becomes bestial in a painful overnight transformation. Roll 1d6: (1) snake; (2) goat; (3) bull; (4) rat; (5) insect; (6) fish.
4 - Character’s limbs are replaced by suckered tentacles. One limb is replaced at random each month for four months. At the end of four months, it is impossible to hide the character’s inhuman nature.
5 - Small tentacles grow around the character’s mouth and ears. The tentacles are maggot-sized at first, but grow at a rate of 1” per month to a mature length of 12”.
6 - Third eye. Roll 1d4 for location: (1) middle of forehead; (2) palm of hand; (3) chest; (4) back of head.
7 - Fingers on one hand fuse while the thumb enlarges. After one week, the hand has transformed into a crab claw. Character gains a natural attack for 1d6 damage and can no longer grasp normal weapons and objects.
8 - Character grows a beak in place of his mouth. Transformation starts as a puckering of the lips that slowly turns into a full-fledged bird or squid beak over the next 1d12 months. Character gains a bite attack for 1d3 damage.
9 - Bodily transformation. Roll 1d6: (1) character grows scales across his entire body; (2) character grows gills; (3) character sprouts feathers; (4) character develops webbed toes and feet.
10+ Character grows a tail over 1d6 days. Roll 1d6: (1) scorpion tail that can attack for 1d4 damage plus poison (save or target loses 1d4 Str permanently); (2) scaly snake tail; (3) forked demon tail (grants +1 Dexterity); (4) fleshy tail ending in a useable third hand; (5) fused cartilaginous links ending in spiked stump that can attack for 1d6 damage; (6) bushy horse’s tail.
On a roll of 2+ the PC loses 7 Fortitude Points, 2 are lost permanently.
Save vs Death at -4 or suffer Paranoia until Fortitude is restored.
Corruption Tables by C. Scott, Borrowed and modified from Adventures into Darkness https://adventuresintodarkness.blogspot.com/2014/10/critical-spell-failures-and-wild-magic.html
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