Tuesday, November 10, 2015

To Swing Back The Pendulum



To Swing Back The Pendulum
Magic-User Level 1
Duration: Permanent
Range: 0


From the perspective of the magic user this spell causes her to return to a prior moment she has just experienced, allowing her to witness a different outcome to a turbulent event which resolved in a way she found unsatisfying. Perhaps due to an influence radiated by her enlightened consciousness the course of probability itself is seemingly altered, and an alternative outcome occurs.


This spell allows the Magic-User to "redo" an event in the immediate past, erasing anything else that has happened since. The chosen die roll is performed again, and new results are determined. This spell may be used on any die rolled by any player or the Referee.
This spell may only be used to "redo" events that involved a die roll, such as saves, rolls to hit, and the products of randomized tables. The Magic-User may never use this spell to give themselves or another player a "redo" of a decision that they willfully made, only the randomized outcomes or arbitration of the consequences of that event can be tampered with.

To cast this spell the Magic-User must first nominate a particular die roll as the intended target of this spell the moment after the die roll is performed, that is, during a round before the spell is actually cast. This represents the intense meditative focus state a Magic-User must place themselves in to execute the maneuvers necessary for this spell to succeed, it also alerts the Referee and the other players to the possibility of many things soon needing to be "undone" if the spell is successful.

For each level of experience they posess the Magic-User has one round after the rolling of the chosen die to successfully cast the spell, and thus "undo" a greater number of things. The exact effects of the spell are determined by the procedures detailed below.
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As mentioned above, from the perspective of the Magic-User this spell appears to cause them to leap backwards in time to a prior moment to see it happen differently. This is not the case. This spell instead simply moves the Magic-User into a duplication of reality, a nearly perfect copy of all existing instances of everything, at the moment just before the event described by the chosen die roll occurs. Infinitesimal imperfections in the replicated chain of causality that determine the outcome of events in the duplicate universe are what allow the alternative outcome to occur.

After the spell is cast, but before the chosen die is rolled again, it must first be determined which reality will be the subject of further game play, as there are now two competing instances: there is the duplicate reality the Magic-User has been transported to, and the original one that they have been removed from that contains the remaining party.
To determine which reality will be used the Magic-User first rolls a saving throw vs. Magic for each experience level she has, noting the total number of successful saving throws.

Then, every other member of the party rolls a saving throw vs. Magic (if additional Magic-Users, or Clerics, are present they must roll an additional saving throw vs. Magic for each level of experience they posses as well). The total number of successful saving throws is noted, and compared to the total rolled by the Magic-User.
If the total rolled by the party is less than the number of successful saving throws made by the Magic-User the narrative of game play is now focused on the duplicate reality where the Magic-User has taken the place of an exact duplicate of herself. She now witnesses the alternative outcome of the event granted to her by the spell. The chosen die is now rolled again (for the first time, strictly speaking) and the the game play narrative continues from this point. The Magic-User has no internal awareness of the truth of her metaphysical condition, or that of the duplicate party.
All players, except for the original Magic-User, now play as duplicates of their original characters in duplicate reality. Possessing copied memories existing only from the beginning of their original existence until the moment before the casting of this spell was complete, they have no internal awareness of the truth of their metaphysical condition, or that of the Magic-User.

If the Magic-User rolls the lower number of saves they must roll one final save vs. Magic. If this is unsuccessful they are perceived by the remaining party as suddenly vanishing from reality; they have merged with their duplicate reality self, instead of merely switching places with them. Play then continues with the narrative focusing on this reality. The die is not re-rolled, nothing is "undone", and the Magic-User no longer exists.
If this save is successful they have instead been instantaneously replaced by a duplication of themselves, but because the narration of play remains focused on this original reality the spell has effectively been a failure: the die is not rolled again, and nothing is "undone".

The duplicate of the Magic-User which has been placed into original reality with the remaining characters will have the memory of intending to cast this spell to view a different outcome of an event occurring before them, but is now perceiving that it has had no effect whatsoever.

The logical and reasonable conclusion is that this event was in fact an ironclad certainty from the first moments of the birth of the universe: probability was not a real factor in its occurrence, only prophecy. The memorized instance of this spell has also been expended, as successfully casting it to no effect is what has transported the duplicate into this reality. In all other respects the duplicate Magic-User is the same as the original, and the player formerly controlling the Magic-User has immediate control of them.

If a duplicated Magic-User casts this spell they are made nonexistent the instant casting is complete, and the necessary saves vs. Magic are instead rolled by the original Magic-User, who is identical to the duplicate. The original party also rolls saves vs. Magic as above.
If the original Magic-User has more successful rolls than the party it indicates that the narrative of play will now shift to the duplicate reality containing the original Magic-User, where the chosen event is now occurring and the affected die is then re-rolled.

Play continues as normal from this point with the remaining party taking control of their duplicates and having no internal awareness of the truth of their metaphysical condition, but the Magic-User becomes fully aware of the true nature of this spell and of her metaphysical condition in a sudden moment of esoteric clarity and insight.
If the remaining original party is more successful with their saving throws vs. Magic the original Magic-User is returned to her original reality from the duplicate reality in the instant that the duplicate Magic-User ceases to exist. The narrative of play will now focus on the original reality.
The Magic-User has a memory of intending to cast this spell to view a different outcome of an event that occurred before them, but now are perceiving that it has had no effect whatsoever.

The logical and reasonable conclusion is that this event was in fact an ironclad certainty from the first moment of the birth of the universe: probability was not a real factor, only prophecy.

In all other respects the Magic-User is the same as the duplicate, and the player formerly controlling the duplicate Magic-User takes immediate control of the original Magic-User. Their memorized instance of this spell has been expended, however, as successfully casting it is what initially transported them into this reality.

The Magic-User has no inner awareness of the truth of her metaphysical condition or the true nature of this spell.
If cast again by the Magic-User this spell behaves in the usual manner.

If a Magic-User casts this spell while in a duplicate reality that reality is made nonexistent the instant the spell is complete. Any saves vs. Magic which would have been rolled by the duplicates are instead rolled by the original party, who are identical to the duplicates.

If the Magic-User is more successful with her saves vs. Magic than the original party she is transported back to her original reality, and the duplicate Magic-User is transported back to the now nonexistent duplicate reality, ceasing to exist. The narrative of game play will now focus on the original reality.
The Magic-User has a memory of intending to cast this spell to view a different outcome of an event the occurred before her, and is now perceiving that it has had no effect whatsoever. She then becomes fully aware of the true nature of this spell and of her metaphysical condition, as well as the duplicates, in a sudden moment of esoteric clarity and insight.
If cast again by the Magic-User this spell behaves in the usual manner.

If she is less successful than the original party at her saves vs. Magic, the original party is then transported to the nonexistent duplicate reality along with the duplicate Magic-User, who merges with the Magic-User, remaining with the original party in the nonexistent duplicate reality, all ceasing to exist.
The duplicates replace the original party in the original reality, the dice are not rolled again, and the narrative of play now focuses on the original reality now containing the duplicates of the original party.

The duplicates will be exact copies of the remaining party, who were exact copies of the duplicates. The original party becomes fully aware of the truth of their metaphysical condition, and the true nature of this spell, in a sudden moment of esoteric clarity and insight.



Note: in any situation, even if the exact same result as before is rolled it is still considered to be a "new result" in the terms of this spell, firstly because this is the first instance of this roll in the duplicate reality, and secondly because the die has physically followed a different path than the one it did before, despite ultimately arriving at the same number. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

To Summon a Belch of Hellfire

It's an RPG standard to have some kind of magical room clearing capability but generic fireball spells seem a bit dull for LotFP. They also lack a threat of unintended consequences, or even a decent chance to harm the caster or the other characters present unintentionally. Any Magic-User causing a strange detonation ought to at least be pushing their luck a tiny bit.


TO SUMMON A BELCH OF HELLFIRE
Magic-User Level 1
Range: 10 yards/level
Duration: Instant

This spell allows the Magic-User to create a destructive explosion at will.

Upon casting this spell a melange of infinitesimal particles of alkali metals such as lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, and cesium is summoned from a far-reaching sphere of influence around the caster, plucked out of the very air and soil by paranormal forces.

These particles are gathered around a fixed point in space as a loose mineral fog, along with a concentration of ambient humidity and environmental moisture. These two vapors are then compressed into the absolute center of this fixed point by a sudden and extreme force upon each individual particle, causing the two to combine. The exposure of volatile alkali metals to liquid water causes an immediate and violent release of hydrogen gas and thermal energy; an explosion.

Casting this spell requires three rounds of uninterrupted casting. The Magic-User first chooses a fixed point in space during the first round for the explosion to emanate from.

This point must be actually experienced by the Magic-User for at least a moment as she chooses it. For example: a fixed point seen beyond an open door as it closes may be chosen, while an assumed or merely remembered point beyond an obstruction may not. This point must be within 10 yards per level of the Magic-User.

In addition, this location must be exposed to the atmosphere of the surrounding environment. It may not be the interior area of a completely solid object, nor any space within a hermetically sealed vacuum. The interior of a structure or visible object can be a valid choice, as long as it adheres to the visibility standards described above. This location is never "attached" to an object moving through space, and this location cannot be changed once the spell casting process has begun; if the Magic-User wishes to nominate a new target she must restart the casting process entirely.

The force and size of the explosion is variable, and more powerful Magic-Users are able to conjure up larger quantities of explosive material if they wish to create larger explosions. This is chosen during the second round of the spell casting. At level one the Magic-User may create an explosion that causes up to 2d6 damage, adding an additonal 1d6 for each additional level of experience if they so wish.

During the third and final round of spell casting the size of the explosion is confirmed. The explosion shall be 3 yards in diameter for each d6 of damage it is intended to cause. Neither the Magic-User nor her allies are protected from the effects of the explosion in any way by this spell; at this point if the magic user wishes to alter the location or the force and size of the explosion in any way she must restart the casting process entirely from the first step the following round, even if intending to use the exact same point in space as before.

The round after the casting is complete, but before the effects of the explosion as it is intended are unleashed, the Magic-User rolls a number of d6 equal to what would be used for the damage of the explosion; noting any that roll 1 and ignoring all others. Any of these d6 that roll 1 are in turn rolled again, continuing this process until no further 1's are rolled.

For each 1 that is rolled during this process an additional 1d6 of damage, and 3 yards of diameter, are added to the final size and force of the explosion.

The explosion normally behaves as follows: it instantly fills an area roughly in the shape of a sphere within it's diameter of effect, leaving a thick plume of grey smoke in its' wake. The wind force produced by the explosion is enough to send small, light, and unrestrained objects flying out and away from the blast point.

While producing intense heat, only the most flammable objects are in danger of being ignited by the explosion. Everything within the diameter of the explosion receives full damage unless completely protected by very significant cover, as the sheer force of the blast is enough to cause profound damage due to burst eardrums, the trauma of sheer concussive force, and the propulsion of shrapnel and environmental detritus and debris into the bodies of those in its' area of effect.

If up to 3d6 of damage were added to the explosion it indicates that there was an excess of alkali metals present in the area used to fuel the explosion, or perhaps a truly minute instance of an unusually volatile material such as francium. If 4 or more d6's of damage were added to the explosion, however, it indicates that a significant portion of fissile nuclear material, such as plutonium or uranium, was intermixed with the cloud of alkali metals, instead of the usual negligible trace levels.

This material, when compressed under great pressure and subjected to an exothermic reaction, causes a nuclear explosion. These effects must be calculated using the following formulas, which supersede all the previous ones described.

The area affected will now be a number of yards larger equal to the casters level multiplied by 3, multiplied again by the casters level multiplied by 3, finally multiplied by 100. Damage will be a number of d6 equal to the casters level multiplied by 3, multiplied by that same number again. All objects and structures within this area except for the most heavily fortified will be toppled, crushed, blown over, torn apart, and destroyed.

In addition, anything flammable within a diameter of yards equal to the casters level multiplied by 3, then multiplied by 100 instantly bursts into flames, and all flammable objects outside of this area soon begin to burn as well, creating a massive and devastating inferno.

In most cases all leftover radioactive materials will be distributed through the atmosphere somewhat evenly over the surface of the earth, thereby preventing significant damage from fallout to the surrounding area.