Thursday, 7 June 2012

Planar Magics (updated)

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF So I gots a game happening on sunday, and its hopefully going to be the gateway drug for 4 or 5 of my friends. This has meant that I needed to quickly come up with yet another setting, as I have realized that trying to explain to someone simultaneously  what roleplaying is, what the funny dice are for, what all that gibberish on that character sheet means, and also what all the weird stuff in your world is, is... asking a bit much.
But if you go hey you can play an elf and fight trolls , that's possibly another half second that you will get listened to before their eyes glaze over.
So the fantasy world is currently a village in a valley with an abandoned mine. And I'll let it get out of control from there. The classes are mage, fighter, rogue, witch. The races are Human, Pixie, Crow and Lizardfolk.
I couldn't bring myself to put elves and dwarfs and hobbits and clerics in.  I saw somewhere that there was a new version of elves that live in the feywild (which is like the superest magic forest ever) and are super elves with glowing eyes.
So.. there's really room for everybody really isn't there?

In other news if you make a stat called Savvy it can be for willpower , intelligence AND charisma. Gosh does it make things easier. Wisdom is now awareness. And there, all the stats are pulling their weight. Huzzah. And then stat checks can be saving throws. And if its an opposed roll both people make stat checks (highest succeeds by wins) or its modified by the level difference.

Also? When you are hacking a system and only giving a shit about low levels it makes everything so much easier. When everybody gets to high level it all gets messy anyway so whatever.

Anyway the point I'm trying to make is a lot of my brains leaks is going to be redirected (by this and other things) so the scrawling over the classics planescape series will prob get rounded off in a abrupt haphazard fashion. And I still have all these Sigil tables I've written but yet to type up.
But yeah I will try and get it out there because I hate loose ends. Also I was rereading that blue rose 2nd edition thing that I linked to awhile back and fuck I forget what the hell I write... or link to sometimes. Like.. Knockers are small horrible people that live underground but hate it , but hate the surface more because they think the sky is one big cave, and they attack you with scissors.
Like its not the most brain  punishing thing I wrote, but it was a complete surprise to reread it and think .. what? Also the amount of typos is always good for a laugh. haha. typos.

but yeah so planar magics.

So kinda not really following on from the planescape stuff I wrote, is having the world. and then overlaying with the world is the Grim realm. and the Grim Realm looks like a the world but in all inverted colour scheme (because everytime I make a cheap special effect from the 70s feature in my campaign world I get a cookie. The cookie radiates magic.) and with the shadows bleeding upwards and spikey like damaged film. Nothing that is solid in the plump world is solid in the Grim realm. so you if you are here you can go through stuff like you was a super dense gas. Anyway those spikey black stains are stretched out needle thin into the sky and then woven like hair into narrow impossible bridges twisted away in the violent nether nether.
Its phase spiders who do this for inscrutable purposes. Those eye jarring mandala jags of limb and glimmer*.
So back to death. When you die in this world your soul has a amount of netherfuel (like dmt) which you should use to rocket to your destination on the Torus Terminus . You maybe distracted by lures , and lights but beware for their are predators in the grim realm, keep on and keep on until you reach your hearts desire.
So the Torus Terminus is the psychopompic  wind rose pulling the world in 8 ways (cough alignments cough). Not at the matter of the world but the souls. And souls are what form the matter in the realms of the Torus terminus, when not put to better use in being remolded to suit the realm.
(so yeah the realms in the Torus Terminus correspond to Pragmatic Altruistic, Orthodox Altruistic, Wanton Altruistic,  Purely Wanton, Purely Malicious, Purely Orthodox, Wanton Malicious, and Orthodox Malicious. Working titles I tells yah. I do like ungainlyness of these though. So I'm compressing some of the classic planes togther and making them realms but you are able to travel from one to the other pain-stakenly on foot if you had to. Working titles so far (starting at Purely Orthodox, names in brackets are note-able in-between locations)
The Encyclopaedia of All machines,(the endless library) , The Pinnacle , Serenity , The Blazing World, Seether, (the mountains of madness), Tumouristy , Desolation, The Pit.

So spells that interact with this gimpitude is The Grand Incision: Which cuts a hole in veil , allowing people to physical step into the Grim Realm, which is great because you have all your stuff, but not so great in that you can't zip along like a bodyless soul, and to get to Torus terminus you have to walk up the Threads , those bridgey things made by phase  spiders. It's also not so good because you will attract all kinds of predators if you are moving slow and/or without purpose. This gives the impression you are a soul without purpose, which are easy prey for the various devourers of souls.

Another spell not as taxing to learn is The false death, in which you not for realsies die and you zoom around as a soul (your body appears dead for all purposes, but strangely undecaying)around the  Grim  realm looking at stuff and whatever. but again you will not have the speeds of a bodyless soul, ( unless you want to tap prematurely into your netherfuel, thus risking being devoured when you make your final journey).

The Terminal Door is a laborious ritual that is done as part of crafting a door which is then placed against a surface and opened, leading directly to one of the Realms.
The materials in such crafting are tailored to the particular nuances of the realm and each individual door must be made of different unique substance.

If you want to just get information, there is a spell known as The Vast Call, where you shape your intention in a powerful knot of magics and shoot it off into the Grim realm, and maybe even reaching the Torus Terminus. This parcel of Intention is valuable meat and coin for the denizens here, for all matter here is ultimately Believe and Intention, will and purpose. Before the interceptor of this parcel can claim ownership of it, they must answer your questions or the magics entangled in the parcel will cause it to fizzle away. For how can the parcel have substance if the substance is purpose and the purpose negated?
The more powerful the caster the more likely it is that the Call will reach someone like minded to the caster , and such beings can be denizens on the realm most resonant with the caster, or even a servant of a god the caster holds in esteem. If the Call does not make it that far, it will likely be got by one of the devourers of the grim realm, who still know many answers, learned from the souls they unravel in their dire guts. They are liable to be tricksy as they can with their answers , although the parcel will be valueless if they tell you a direct lie.
Phase spiders sometimes answer as well, their answers being more alien and enigmatically , if without malice at least.

Souls without purpose or too much attachment to the Plump World that manage to survive long enough will become twisted and powerful, and thus much of the ghosts, phantoms, and haunts are formed.
Spirits, embodiments of abstract gestalts, like the hopes of a million ants, also flicker where the Grim Realm overlaps with the Plump.

*wow I wonder who my favourite author is..

Stats for spells:

The Vast Call:
level 6
range: self/abstract
After about a minute of chanting and psychic forming an intricate knot of contractual intention, the spell then enters the Grim realm and zooms off to find an answerer.
After awhile (1 to 10 minutes) the spell will have found someone to answer the questions three. While the questions are resolved player to d.m as if you are talking to the entity , the spell has carried a fragment form of you to ask the questions and upon receiving those answers , collapses its internal paradox and the answers appear in your head. Unless the enity tells a direct lie in which case the spell implodes and you receive nothing.
BUT WHO ANSWERS THE QUESTIONS?Roll percentage chance for each of the 3 questions

1: Nearby ghost
question is about local area or history: 1-50 answers accurately with detail, 51-70 answers vaguely 71-80 waffles useslessly 81-95 answers in a way to confuse and bedevil 96-100 lies and the spell fails
question is about anything else
1-5 answers accurately with detail, 6-50 answers vaguely 51-80 waffles useslessly 81-95 answers in a way to confuse and bedevil 96-100 lies and the spell fails
2: Nearby spirit or Soul eater
question on any topic
1-25%answers accurately and with detail 26-50% answers cryptically 51-75 answers in a way that is misleading and malicious 76-100 lies and the spell fails
3: Phase Spider
question is abstract and vague:
1-70 answers helpfully if slightly cryptically 71-80 answers complete cryptically 81-100 answers in a way that hurts your brain, saving throw or be Befuddled
question is about something factual:
1-20 answers helpfully if slightly cryptically 21-50 answers in a way that is crptic and designed to mislead 51-80 does not understand the question and answers in a trite way 81-100 answers in a way that hurts your brain, saving throw or be befuddled
4. Denizen of realm , apathetic to your plight
1-5 answers helpfully and with detail 6-80 answers vaguely 81-95 answer in way designed to mislead 96-100 lies and the spell fails
5. Denizen of realm , hostile your plight
answers helpfully and with detail 2-10 answers vaguely 11-95 answer in way designed to mislead 96-100 lies and the spell fails
6.Denizen of realm, favourable to your plight
1-50 answers helpfully and with detail 51-99 answers vaguely 100 is a complete idiot
7.Servant of a diety, that sees an advantage in aiding you
1-70 answers helpfully and with detail 71-90 answers helpfully but cryptically 91-100 dumps a Geas on you.
8. Servant of a diety , that is bored and killing time
1-30 answers helpfully and with detail 31-50 answers helpfully but cryptically 51-70 answers in a way designed to mislead 71-75 infects you with cerebral parasites 75-80 waffles on about favourite topic of conversation 81-90 misunderstands the question in a humorous and arseholish fashion 91-100 dumps a Geas on you

Terminal Door:
level 9
range:10 feet.
You need a bunch of ingredients to make the damn door and then once you created the door , you spend like an hour casting the spell, and then you can open the damn door and go to the realm you wanted. Yay. THe Terminal Door will last one hour per  level of the caster before turning to dust and oily goo. The door collapsing will trigger an earthquake, as the spell. The duration may be extended by MEANS. The size of the door is limited only by the amounts of materials to hand required to build it.
What kind of things do you need to make a door?       and how may I extend its unnatural rupturing?           
The Pinnacle:
a Terminal Door to the Pinnacle must be constructed out of the purest steel, and inlayed with the purest silver. It must be decorated with the shields of great heroes who have fallen in just battle, and broken weapons of evil. To extend the duration of the door, a choir must sing continuously of
grand and noble deeds. The choir must contain 24 members at all times, and must sing not sing the same song twice.

Serenity: This requires in its construction ice bricks, with ice’s water being frozen from tears of joy. This is for the arch way, the door itself is a curtain, the curtain sewn from spiders silk collected a fresh springs morning. The duration of the spell may be increased by having cats , baby hedgehogs and mouse deer laugh at the antics of the caster. Each minute of laughter is enough to extend the duration of the spell for an hour.

The Blazing World: To make this door a great prison that can hold atleast a 500 people must be leveled and ground to dust and the dust mixed with wine and mead to make a plaster. The arch is made from this plaster and must artfully depict scenes of merriment and hot air ballooning.
There is no door for this door. The duration of the spell maybe increased by a great party being held around the door. The party must totally rule, and needs atleast a 100 people to start it, as long as the party continues (and must grow by 50% of its size in people a day) they spell will continue.

Seether: any object has a 1 in 1000 chance of being able to be used in the construction of the door to Seether. The duration will randomly extend or shorten by it self for an exploding d6 - an exploding d6 hours..
Tumourosity :this doorway is to be constructed from the putrid corpses of people drowned in vermin riddled offal, and left to putrefy for a year and a day.. Such horrid “bricks” are sewn together with coarse rope of rag hair, and the door itself is made from weapons melted crudely together. Each weapon must of been used in act of senseless violence in a particularly unique tragedy. The duration of the spell maybe extended by anointing it with blood from a intelligent being. Each anointing extends the duration by a day, and each coat of blood must come from a being more powerful than the last.

The Nadir:This doorway is to be made from the bones of suicides and infanticides, and coated in molten traitors gold. The door itself must be made from a torture rack used to extract false confession in the name of some noble cause, and must be inscribed with excuses of betrayers and hypocrites.
The duration may be increased by cajoling children to murder their parents or pets in the presence of the door. Each murder done increases the duration by a week.

The Pit: The doorway is to be made from chains of iron used to bind and then drown creatures of great kindness and charity. The door itself must be cast from the coin of a realm that is taxing its people into starvation.
The duration may be increased by the door being present in a cruel and unjust trial.  The accused must still believe in the process even as  it turns against them and the ordeals they must undertake become more brutal and perverse.

The Grand Incision:
level 7
duration: 30 seconds
the caster makes a solemn cutting motion with their fingers , and a cut in space opens to the murk of the Grim realm. It will last for 30 seconds, slowly closing itself like an evaporating puddle in the last 5 of those seconds.

The False Death:
level 5
This spell is best cast in a comfortable position, for on its completion the caster will slump, dead in all appearance. You soul is released temporarily for its meat vehicle and you can fly about at a horses gallop in the Grim realm. If you re-enter your body you may not leave it again unless another casting of this spell happens. You body will remain untouched by rot or any system degradation for an hour per point of your constitution. After that it will permanently lose a point of constitution until at zero where it suddenly and violently degrades into puetrecnce.
Lingering around the overlap between the plumb realm and the grim realm as a unbodied soul risks mentally degradation of the sort that will form ghosts or revenants as detailed in the section about the grim realm.


  1. So cool...
    Also I hope your game creates a new set of addicts. I'm sad to hear the planescape series is getting postponed. It's been my favorite thing on blogger.

    1. don't worry I'll give you something to tide you over soon