Monday, February 11, 2019

Spell: To Take Eyes

This spell requires a human eye in arms reach of the Magic User, or a former eye previously affected by this spell.

When cast this spell causes a sudden and fluid movement of the Magic Users arm and hand directly towards the chosen eye. One digit flicks a closed lid open, if needed, and the index and thumb dip into the milky white of the sclera.

The fingers pinch and pull out iris and pupil intact, like a rose petal plucked from a puddle. The eye is left a bloodshot ball, slightly smaller, fully blind.

In the Magic Users palm the pupil, iris, and sclera they have taken rests like a puddle of raw egg.

The Magic-User may keep this stolen eye in their hand for One Turn per Level before it degrades into a muddled useless soup. The following can be done with the snatched eye, in the same round it is taken or at any time while the stolen Eye is safely in their hand.

The Magic User may discard, crush, and ruin the eye forever in any way they wish. 

They may return it where it came, placing it back into the target just as quickly as it was taken, restoring their vision.

It may be placed into another eye. This can cure blindness and issues of vision in that eye, should the new eye be more functional. with the faulty portions of that eye now safely in the Magic Users hand. The same can be done with inferior eyes.

It may be placed into one of the Magic User's own sockets. It settles in next to their own iris in the sclera, like another bit of oil pooled on water. It rests in the corner or side of the eye, and it does not impair or improve the Magic Users vision significantly, but may also remain there indefinitely. The Magic user may fit one snatched eye into each of their own per Level. 

A snatched eye may be put into the flesh of the Magic User, or another target within arms reach. This eyespot resembles a colorful bruise with a pale halo around a small black birthmark. The being this was taken from can see through the eyes of the flesh it was placed in, if they close their own. The person the eyespot was placed in can resist this with a Magic Save. Should the being this eyespot was removed from die it fades away, gone forever.

A snatched eye is placed into water suitable for any sort of fish it becomes an eyelet. So long as this water is exposed to light and shadow, providing visual nutrition, all eyelet inside it will live forever. Eyelets undulate like thumbnail jellyfish, with the reactive intelligence of a goldfish or guppy. They move in cloudy schools, and follow the movement of light and shadow. They live independently of any bodies they originate from, and can be placed back into sockets and transformed into ornaments as desired.

When placed onto an object an ornamental eye is created. If this eye was taken from the socket of a living being it forms one embedded in the object. It can be seen through by the prior owner. If they have sacrificed one of their eyes for this they must keep one covered to see through the other without becoming disoriented.  

If this is an addition to their visual field, it sits next to the limits of their mundane vision like a facet in a kaleidoscope. Movement seen by this ornamental eye might be detected from it at all times, using a Surprise Roll. The Magic-User may also “switch” their vision to come from this other eye if they choose, at will. 

A Magic User may have one such ornamental eye created from themselves per level. If this is destroyed while being seen through the Magic User will be blinded until they Save, and may only make one Save per day. If this is an addition to their visual field, it sits next to the limits of their mundane vision like a facet in a kaleidoscope. 

Movement seen by this ornamental eye might be detected from it at all times, using a Surprise Roll. The Magic-User may also “switch” their vision to come from this other eye if they choose, at will. A Magic User may have one such ornamental eye created from themselves per level. If this is destroyed while being seen through the Magic User will be blinded until they Save, and may only make one Save per day.

An ornamental eye created from an eyelet or eyespot is an otherwise mundane object, a piece of jewelry or decoration, worth 1d6sp x 10SP x the Level of the Magic User, in addition to whatever the object it was placed in was already worth. It cannot be changed back from this into an eyelet, eyespot, or eye.

A sleeping or helpless target has no way to resist this spell. It causes no pain, and does not alert them.

In combat, or against a “difficult” target, the Magic User must roll a Melee attack, adding their Level, to successfully strike the target. If this misses the spell has become a Risky Casting.

Using this spell on the eye of another species is always a Risky Casting.

1. The target being snatched from becomes distorted, like it was made of clay and had a clumsy hand pressed into it. This mangling leaves living things hideously deformed with a 1 in 6 chance of instantaneous death. Valuable things are ruined. Snatched eyelets are dead and useless, embedded inside the magic-users hand, making it mostly useless until the dead bits of it are removed by another casting of this spell. A second failed Risky Casting destroys the hand.

2. The Magic Users arm jerks in a horrible spasm. A handful of whatever was being snatched from is combined with their head. This can embed a useless eye into their face, add a grotesque tumorous lump to their head, or even meld their flesh with a lump of solid stone.

3. The Magic Users hand becomes stuck inside what they were snatching from, at the wrist. It does not harm what it was placed inside. If this were a volume of water their hand cannot break the surface of it, or be seen. It is in a null space.

A trapped hand can only be removed by a second successful casting of this spell. If this is attempted immediately, and another Risky Casting fails, the entire Magic-User is pulled inside the surface and vanishes from reality.

4. The eye pulled out is like a dull stone. Not pretty, not useful. It cannot see, it has no value. Any eye it is placed in will be blind now, any object it is placed on will be ruined, and it will float dead in any water it is placed in. If there was not already an intended target, this eye will be placed in a randomly determined target within range.

5. The initial target of the spell is transformed into a perfect gemstone so that the Magic-User is instantly affected by Trap the Soul as if it were a Trigger Object (the Magic User is trapped in that gemstone until it is destroyed). If the target of this spell was an eye in a living human that human is now blind in one eye, but is otherwise unharmed as long as the gem is not removed.

6. The entire body of one target of this spell is bashed into the second target with a hideous force, the Magic-Users arm able to pull in ways that defy physics. This does 1d6 damage per Level to any parties involved. If no living humans were intended to be involved, the Magic User is what gets thrashed. If there was no declared second target, the Magic User will receive this damage if there is no other valid human target within range to receive it.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Mycology: Meadowbread & Spumarodus

Image result for drawing puffball mushroom
They grow in the same places season after season, like subtly wrinkled stones that appear in the grasses. Smallish at first, expanding to full size over several days, always a white-gray or brownish color. Some grow to the size of chicken eggs, others are bigger than a human skull. A rare few large enough to be small boulders, bigger than a tree stump or a horses head.

They are much lighter than stones, and their outer skin only papery shell. This is often smooth, sometimes faintly scaled or warty. It can be cracked and then peeled, showing a second layer that is like eggshell, but rubbery. Beneath this is a dense foam, moist, the texture of tofu or marshmallow. Whitish and sometimes tinted with faint yellows or browns. It has a faint but pleasant smell.
They are only barely tethered to the earth by a small tangle of threads, coming from an inconspicuous nub-stalk on the bottom. When winds are powerful enough smaller ones come loose and roll freely through the fields.

Left undisturbed all meadowbreads eventually harden, crack, and split open. Their interior will have darkened some, and then goes to the color of tobacco. It all crumbles into a loose powder. The smell of their decay is putrid and nauseating. In especially fertile seasons it becomes overpowering. This dust can even a sickness if it enters the nose and lungs.

The harvesting of meadowbread is an old tradition. It is still easy to find peasants who have preserved themselves with it in times of famine. Idle children and grazing animals will eat it too, and most shepherds are happy to see them gathered up for food rather than smelling it all rot.

Eaters of meadowbread sometimes emit a faint but distinctive odor for several days after. This leads to mockery in some places, an insult based on the assumption that only a lazy fool would resort to eating meadowbread instead of grain. 

In other places they are used as medicine, the powder insides used to staunch the flow of blood. Cut into slices and pressed into flowing wounds, they form thick scabs over even deep gashes. This causes the distinctive meadowbread stench in every case, but few would ever use this as an excuse to mock a wounded soldier.

When the insides are still white meadowbreads can be eaten. They can be chewed up raw, but are better fried in fats or simmered in hot broths. Their own flavor is plain, but they absorb the taste of any juices they are cooked in.

There are eight known sorts of meadowbread.

1. Pathbuns, Travelers Biscuits
These grow in clusters, small enough to fit in your palm, near roadsides. When found there is usually enough to feed 1d6.

2. Soft-Eggs, Lonelybirds
If you spend all day in a field that grows them, you will gather enough to feed 1d4. They are egg-sized, and grow far from each other, and have a felt-like texture.

3. Boulderbread, Lordsloaf.
Enough to feed 4d6. You need not search for this meadowbread, as it is always too large to be hidden.

4. Pale Toad, Mace-Heads
Feeds 2d6. Fairly large, like a human head, and bumpy-scaly like a toad.

5. Beetcake, Purplepear.
Enough to feed 1d6 can be found in a few hours. The outside crackled like a good bread, the insides like purplish chocolate cake. The most lovely flavor of all the meadowbreads.

6. Physicians Bread, Physics Manchet, Chymisloaf
Unlike the others, extremely low flavor no matter how it is prepared. Grants another Save vs Disease if eaten, and more prized as a styptic.

7. Roundmouse, Sparrowbulbs.
These small brownish bulbs grow in clusters, and only provide enough to feed 1d3.

8. Meadow-warts, Bandits Biscuit
These spiky, bumpy things grow up on a tiny stalk. They profilerate wildly, with enough to feed 1d8.

It began long ago. From a central tumorous knob a tangle of billions of pale threads meandered through the darkness of the earth, growing upward to the sun. Growing millimeters over months, wrapping round subterranean nutrients like a shroud, strangling earthworms, weaving into the roots of living grasses.

It has formed a body in the land where these threads are concentrated, immense and immobile. It feels the footfalls of things on its skin. The green grasses are it’s pelt. This is also its tongue, it tastes the world above absorbing droppings and remains. This is how it understands, it learns from eating all detritus. It sucks on the ground around it, pulling fertility into it as fuel for inefficient growth. This leaching weakens the soil, causing poorer harvests and then famines in less verdant areas.

This is a Spumarodus. One could surround a whole city, silent and unseen, merely by expanding through slow growth. Their growth is almost unstoppable. They are only unable to grow their threads near trees, in sandy earth, or under salty water. Eventually it will drain the earth of all that is edible, then wither and die or fall into a torpor until the earth regenerates. They depend on ambulatory creatures to spread to farther places. Meadowbreads are reproductive tissue grown by a mature and established Spumarodus.

The things that eat the meadowbreads become innoculated with their essence, causing a temporary stench until the humors return to balance. This eater has now become a seed. The Spumarodus then grows a the second organ, called a swain. This is an imitation of a surface creature, growing from the earth in a secluded place, and then finding its way to its seed. The swain eats the seed, and then fertilizes the earth below. They rapidly decompose into an oily paste that is absorbed into the ground and forms a new instantiation of spumarodus. The cycle begins again.

1d3 days after a meadowbread is eaten, those who ate it must Save against Magic. If this is failed they emit the distinctive stench of meadowbread for 1d3 days, and are also who the swain will be bonded to. If used to treat wounds infection is automatic.

Each type of meadowbread is from a different kind of spumarodus, each of which has a particular kind of swain with a particular method of acquiring seed.


Most swain appear to be humans, though some are not.

In all cases swain appear normal from all outside views. Under their skin they do not have bones or muscles, but are dense enough to seem like it. Their inner flesh is a rubbery foam, like a meadowbread. They have a hollow tube inside them from one end to another, so they will be able to pretend to eat well enough to match expectations. When relevant, they have enough of a mental life to appear to be a mere human. They are unaware of their true natures. If forced to introspect they would realize they have no self control. They are not prone to introspection.

They are not affected by poisons, and do not need to breathe (although they will pretend to). They have a blood-like substance pumping in them, just slightly darker. They are dense with energy, and supplemented with nourishment from sunlight. They do not sleep, but imitate it as needed.
When any swain is reduced to 0HP it imitates unconsciousness, but when reduced to -4 begins to rapidly decompose into tobacco colored sludge. They heal at a normal, human rate.

When doing this they ripen, transforming over moments. A ripe swain reeks of rotting meadowloaf. It is pale, deformed, swollen, and disproportionate. When injured their rotting foam spits out in a great gout. 

Roll 1d6 for each point of damage a swain receives, when it receives it. If the total number rolled on these d6 exceeds the Constitution of anything within melee range they must Save or lose 1d6 HP. This is from choking on spores, and will “heal” fully within a Turn.

Their disguise is flawless without close examination. However, whenever the maximum number on a damage die is rolled for an injury to a swain they have received an injury that looks like it should be instantly fatal, like an arrow straight through the head, regardless of if they are at a low enough HP to indicate death.

All swains have a condition during which they will immediately try to consume their seed, becoming mindless monsters.

Pathbuns, Travelers Biscuits
1 HD (with 5 HP per) for every seed.

These look like plain humans in all ways. They are found in a helpless state, a barely clothed body lying in the field, near the roadside. They barely know how to move, and cannot speak. They depend on passing samaritans.

Once human skin touches them they learn enough to complete their disguise. They know their name then: Nirno, Biur, Fald, Myse. They know enough to somewhat mimic others, stilted social manners and subtle awkwardness. They are outsiders, they do not remember anything before they were found. A dim-wit, but lovable. Mild mannered. Humble.
They become a loyal companion to the Adventurers that touched them, and will travel with them for as long as is needed.
These swain consume the bodies of a seed after it has died. As soon as their seed dies the swain will want to be alone with it. They will gnaw and rip off portions of the dead seed, crumbling as they consume it, melting into the dirt.
They will become agitated if questioned or delayed, they will lash out violently if impeded. They will become a ravening ghoul that will attack anything that tries to stop them, or witness what it will soon do, very quickly.

Soft-Eggs, Lonelybirds
1 HD (with 5 HP per) for every seed, Stealth 4, Sleight of Hand 4.

A stalking human seen for the second or third time at a tavern, or a distant someone always down the road. They will flee if chased. If caught they will not be able to explain their obsession, and why they must follow you. They might cut off some hair in a crowd. Their have clothes grown over them, simple shrouds. They steal and scavenge better clothes when possible.
They will continue appearing until you die, and even then they would dig up your grave. They prefer their seed alive though, and would try to take a piece of you when you are sleeping. Just a bit of flesh, a digit or an earlobe. They will run away to eat this, and crumble apart as they do. If threatened too strongly they ripen, and try to tear off what they must have before they run.

Boulderbread, Lordsloaf
3HD (with 10 HP per) for every seed, Armor 16.

This swain is a mighty horse, powerful, beautiful and untamed. It comes to you. It chooses you.
Only a seed may ride it. It carries them fearlessly, it defends them from attackers. Its hooves smash foes, it bites off the flesh of all who would harm you.
If a seed ever falls unconscious from injury it will try to eat them, after tossing off any riders. If resisted it ripens, lurching forward standing on just the back legs. The front hooves becomes wormy fairy fingers, the mouth spreads into something crocodilian. It hacks and roars, needing to devour at least most of a whole mody before it can turn to slime and fertilize the earth. It would prefer to devour more.

Pale Toad, Mace-Heads
2HD (with 6HP per) for every seed

This will be someone the seeds have seen before. A familiar face, from their memory. A friend. They will be found somewhere, confused as to how they came to be there. It must be someone they have met in play, not in imagined backstory, so they might see a double of the last kind person from the previous town, if not just nodding interloper they passed along the road. They will have the same clothing, all the usual things they would carry.
Confused by their predicament, they will want to travel with the Adventurers. In their seeming normalcy they might become a friend.
They will try to eat a seed once they are alone with them, at the first chance. They ripen into large ogre-like abominations.

Beetcake, Purplepear.
1 HD (with 5 HP per) for every seed.

This will be someone who has recently died in the area, such as a victim of banditry, famine, or plague. They don’t know much, they know what they were, but they also know they want to be with you now. This causes distress in the community if they are seen again, appearing as not only a ghost of sorts but one gone mad. There is much trauma, sadness, wailing, and eventual acceptance (perhaps), when they leave with the seeds.Once taken far from their originating population they try to eat them.

Physicians Bread, Physics Manchet, Chymisloaf
1 HD (with 2 HP per) for every seed.

An archetypal wise guide, some amalgam of old elder figures. A plausible sage, or some other figure who would know.
They by chance know something about the thing you are looking for, they might even commission you to help find it. They will lead you on a wildly divergent journey, taking you far away from anything useful for 1d4 days. At nightfall on that last day they go feral, getting one tiny sample of a seed before they crumble. Merely stabbing one and licking the knife is plenty. They only ripen early only if you try to abandon the “journey” before the end is reached.

Roundmice, Sparrowbulbs.
0HD (with 1d8 HP) per seed.

An assortment of small creatures follow the seeds now, as if you were a dryad or druid. Mice and marmots and squirrels, sparrows and jays. If a seed is injured they swarm it, nibbling at the wound. Each creature has only 1 HP. but releases the same choking rotten spores when killed. They do one damage in their attack, before crumbling.

Meadow-warts, Bandits Biscuit
2d4 per seed, each with 1HD (3HP)

These grow into rangy, feral looking human simulacra. Unclothed and armed with improvised weapons. They all look somewhat related, almost like they could be your the seeds distant cousins. They seek to ambush and then tear the seeds apart for devouring once they reach the ends of where this Spuymarodus grew, but outside any civilized places.

Spell: To Pass Unseen

This spell causes the Magic User to be, in essence, invisible, so long as the Magic User moves with some subtlety.

The spell lasts until the sun either rises or sets. During the dawn and twilight hours everything affected by this spell is allowed one Save against its effects, but is otherwise helpless.

The Magic User should move cautiously, as if there’s no magic at work, for this spell to be safely effective. They ought to avoid direct lines of sight, preferring shadows to light, and take efforts to not make much disruptive noise. They should stay hidden in the periphery of others vision.

Whether or not they do these things nothing will notice them though, in day or night. The gaze of the night watchman will glance in the wrong directions, and even dogs ears will not hear the little sounds they make. Sleepers will not awake when windows creak slowly open, guardsmen at gates will look to their feet at the moment of passage. Things gone missing are not realized as gone, at least until the changing of the sunlight. If the Magic User were to speak, shout, or even scream, no one would hear it.

The Magic User is not restricted in any way while under this spells effect. They may do anything they are usually able to, including casting other spells.

All Risky Casting rolls for this spell are made at the end of this spells duration, not as it is cast. If any conditions for a Risky Casting are met while casting this spell, or while under its effects, a Risky Casting roll will then be required (or modified).

The caster is able to Save to not be affected by an instance of the following Risky Casting Conditions per level. The Referee should keep a silent, but sincere, tally of such violations until the spell has ended, and then allow the Magic User to make (or fail) their saves.

Risky Casting Conditions
Exposure: Making no efforts to be hidden. Standing in direct plain view. Moving through a direct, unambiguous line of sight without any cover or obscuring elements. This applies to all possible viewers, even "friendly" ones.

Noise: Moving oafishly. Stepping on cats tails, knocking over pots and pans. Breaking windows, doors, crockery. Shouting, speaking, ringing bells, playing instruments.

Action: Stealing things sitting in plain view. The food off a plate as its eaten, the shirt off of someones back. Touching someone with willful force, harming them with a weapon or other implement, attempting to move a conscious being against their will. Moving a sleeping person, or the things they rest on. The Magic User casts a spell after their usual level-based limit.

Condition: The Magic User reaches more than Light encumbrance. The Magic User is injured.

Event: during dawn or dusk, a being Saves against the effects of this spell.

n.b. basically, whenever you would give someone a chance to make a stealth or (sleight of hand) roll to be sneaky this spell is still “safe”, and if they do anything where it would be ridiculous for a roll to work it becomes a risky casting. They stay invisible either way.

1. Anything that was or is looking for the Magic User will find them by the changing of the sunlight.

2. The Magic User is not aware of anything outside of their direct line of sight until the changing of the sunlight.

3. Nothing physical reacts to the Magic User until the changing of the sunlight. They cannot manipulate their environment in any way. Even opening a door is impossible. It’s as if they are immaterial, but cannot pass through solid matter.

4. If being noticed by a being, but then not noticed, The Magic User has a chance of ceasing to exist unless they Save. They are in an ontological fugue if this happens, for all others it’s as if nothing the Magic User did ever happened. They will have never existed, so that no one has ever even imagined them. If this happens they will reappear where the spell was cast when the sunlight changes, and reality instantly readjusts to be as it was if they had always been.

5. The Magic User has only an intermittent relationship with causality, everything they change will have a chance to snap back to being “undone” at the changing of the light unless they Save.

6. All things that were done by the caster while under the effect of the spell become common knowledge, everyone involved in any of it it knows exactly why it happened, and who did it.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Spell: For The Movement of Stones

This spell requires two solid stones.

The stones must be the same weight, as closely as can be measured by the Magic-User when the spell is cast.

The two stones must be of a different kind, at a base enough level that there is no easy argument to be had about their difference. Some dust their stones with pigments, others use different quarries.

The stones may be changed. They can be polished, scraped, chipped, and chiseled as much as is needed. A pair of sculptures could be used as easily as two natural specimens. They may be drawn upon, marked, and altered in any imaginable way. Things may even be attached to them. As long as their weights are matching when cast, all is well.

The location chosen must be known to the Magic-User, but they do not need to have seen it. As long as the image they have of this place in their mind is true the spell will work. If it is something they see now it is irrelevant if that place is in motion, or changing in other ways. It can be living. Distance is meaningless. With clarity of mind any site is possible, if the mind sees it true. A faulty mental image is, however, a hazard.

When this spell is cast the two stones must also be known by the Magic-User, with the same lack of limitations on distance and the same correctness of location required.

The spell takes effect instantly. One of the stones, as chosen by the Magic-User, is the Stone-in-Motion. It travels in as straight a line as can be drawn to the chosen destination. It can change direction instantly, with no loss in velocity, if this is needed.

It travels at terminal speed, never stopping or slowing. It never makes any contact with things strong enough to harm it and end its travel. All else is plowed right through.

It can come as close as an eyelash is thick without touching, but when it reaches its destination it touches it with full impact, as if dropped from the top of the sky.

The second stone is the Inert. It must remain in exactly the same place as it was when the spell was cast. As long as it does not move in any perceptible way the Stone-in-Motion will continue movement until reaching the chosen destination.

If the Inert Stone is moved, the Stone-in-Motion will instantly comply with physics and plummet down as demanded by local gravity. If it has reached its destination already there is no effect, as the spell has already ended.

A living body, even one trying to be still, is always in subtle movement. The spell cannot be cast safely if the Inert Stone is being held.

The Inert Stone does nothing to indicate the Stone-in-Motion has reached the end of its path.


This spell is potentially miscast if the stones are not of the same weight, the secondary stone is not truly still at the time of casting, or if the destination is not actually truly "known" by the caster. The Referee should never, ever warn an Adventurer of a potential miscast if they have not made sure themselves, as it is their responsibility to take precautions.

1. The Stone-in-Motion does nothing, the Inert stone does the same. The Magic-User is instantly flung towards the intended destination as if they were the Stone-in-Motion. They cannot be stopped, and will ultimately collide at terminal velocity.

2. Both stones become Stones-in-Motion, travel to their intended destination, and without making contact with that destination, instantly begin a linked orbit around it at terminal velocity. The stones are half the distance they traveled apart, one across from the other, and the smallest possible distance above the intended destination. They will not change their path to avoid any obstacles, and will not stop their orbit unless destroyed.

3. The Stone-in-Motion does nothing. A different stone in the vicinity is propelled instead. Roll 1d6 to determine its size. 1 is a thumbnail pebble, 6 is a boulder large enough to crush a bull. It comes from the ground below the caster. If the Inert Stone is moved its motion ceases, as usual.

4. Until the Stone-in-Motion reaches its destination, the Inert Stone and everything capable of perceiving the Inert Stone is unable to move, or be moved, by anything. This is something like being frozen in time, "paused" as if in a video from the perspective of your own agency. You do not starve, and need not breathe, but you do exist and can be tampered with. Once the Stone-in-Motion arrives at its destination a Magic Save is required to free yourself, and move again.

5. The Stone-in-Motion instantly splits into two pieces, then four, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on to travel in infinitely many directions at once. This can be like a powder horn exploding, or a barrel of gunpowder, depending on the size of the stone.

6. A piece of the destination equal in weight to the Inert Stone is detached from the whole and pulled towards the Inert Stone at terminal velocity. It cannot be stopped.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Spell: To Make Things Hidden

This spell allows the Magic-User to hide an object outside of all human perception until it is retrieved.

This spell can only be cast in places not being touched by the human hand, natural areas not maintained by civilization. If the world of man can be seen from a place, it is not a place this spell should be cast in.

This object must be placed on the ground before the Magic-User, and the Magic-User must be able to perceive the whole form of every object that will be hidden by the spell.

If you are able to see another area already being "used" for this spell from where you are, then you are not in an area suitable for this spell to be cast in. Note that there are no visual signs that this spell has been cast anywhere it has been.

A single object could be one silver coin, a ruby worth thousands, a priceless crown made of precious stones and metals, a sword in its specific hilt, or a single living creature with closed eyes.

To cast the spell the Magic-User must go into a state of trance, with closed eyes, for one turn for every object that is to be hidden. They must not be interrupted, and no human eyes may observe the spell as it is cast.

At the end of this trance their eyelids are snapped open to see the thing vanished, with only a fading negative impression in their field of view. From then on it is safe, preserved exactly as it was when it was hidden, for as long as it is left.

The object hidden in this way is outside of time and the rules of the physical world. It is also nearly outside the reach of magic. Any spell that would show where the object may be, give directions towards it, or even confirm its existence can be made to fail. If a spell like this is cast, the Magic-User may roll a Save to prevent it from working.

To retrieve a hidden object a human must return to the place where the spell was cast. They must wait there for one turn, with eyes closed, until their eyelids are snapped open. The object will be lying there before them. Anyone may retrieve the thing hidden. To fall asleep in this place would call back a thing hidden.

Living things affected by this spell feel nothing to indicate what has happened. If asleep they are asleep, and if awake they feel no time pass until they are retrieved. If a human were to lie under the leaves of a tree with dappled sun hitting their face as this spell was cast, to be hidden by this spell and retrieved 1000 years later, it would happen between the twitches of a leaf in the breeze. Their clothes would lie there empty for some time, in the shade.

Miscast Table

This spell can be miscast using the typical rules in Vaginas are Magic! and Eldritch Cock, and also by violating the various rules above.

All miscasts of this spell affect only the retrieval of hidden objects. It can be known that a miscast occurred when an object is hidden, but the effect should not be rolled for until the object is retrieved.

  1. The object that was supposed to be hidden is now simply gone. When the eyes of the retriever snap open there is nothing except a fading negative impression in the field of view.
  2. An equivalent object vanishes, as if maintaining a kind of balance. This is a very basic equivalency, the nearest most similar thing is simply gone forever. If retrieving a crown someone will lose a hat. If retrieving a person someone new will be lost.
  3. When the retrievers eyes snap open they cease to exist, and the object is in their place.
  4. The object retrieved is a weak imitation of  the thing hidden. It appears the same in every way, but falls apart once under stress while fulfilling its purpose. If it was a key it will break in the lock. If it was a person it will be messier.
  5. A spawning Mimesis Pest has been retrieved. This is a creature that has a body which looks exactly like the object, and functions in the same ways, but is in truth something else in the midst of a breeding cycle. Hidden on its form is an even number of many-jointed appendages, mandibular mouth-parts, and tiny but numerous pairs of eyes. In 6 days it will die, drying up like a beetle shell, becoming just as fragile then crumbling.

    Until then, whenever the object is used (for some intended purpose, not merely touched) roll 2d6. If an 8 or higher is rolled the Mimesis Pest becomes agitated. It viciously bites the user for 1d4 damage, if they fail a Save, before attempting to flee them.

    A Mimesis Pest moves at 1/3rd the speed of a person, and can move on vertical and upside-down surfaces as if they were normal ground. It has an armor of 16, and only 1 HP.

    While it is spawning, every day there is a 1 in 6 chance that 1d6 non-natural objects near the Mimesis Pest will become one. Only object with rigid forms like weaponry, coins, books, and wooden boxes, are at risk. Cloaks and tarps are not.

    Objects that are ever touching the Mimesis Pest, or that it could crawl to and back from are at risk. It has a 3 in 6 chance of not being spotted while it spawns.

    Note that an object being magical in nature does not in any way prevent it from being spawned-with by a Mimesis Pest. The "original" is gone if this happens.

    In 6 days new Mimesis Pests begin their spawning cycles, dying naturally 6 days afterwards.

    Retrieved living beings that are in truth Mimesis Pests should be thought of like puppets on strings, not Doppelgangers. They lack minds, and interacting with them at all qualifies as "use".
  6. An arbitrary object appears in the place of the thing hidden. The referee should pick up the nearest text (if not game-related then a book, magazine, etc.), open it to a random page, and without looking place their finger on the text. Whatever object in that text that is nearest to their finger appears. The original thing hidden is gone.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Worldbuilding: Vignettes from Carceral Place, and a rough table

some here are more isolated than others, their cells a good distance from the forums.

there is a banished scholar kept in an alcove inside a large domed chamber, the ground an alternating board of dark and light diamonds. the dome is large, and in the very center of it is a small dark circle. the scholar is found under this circle, looking up into it. 

very rarely this tiny circle, they say, shows pin pricks of light against the dark. they have looked at this for what must be years now. they have reasoned that this hole is an opening to the night sky, and the spots of brightness that fill it are celestial bodies.

they say the brightest one is the old world, the world all here have been taken from.

there is labor duty as well as watch duty. labor will involve dismantling bridges, sealing off passages, affixing blades and spikes to otherwise safe areas, arming booby-traps and preparing other hazards. If you are clever you will know of potential dangers, and might be able to sabotage them in advance. 

it is almost never quiet in this place, there are ceaseless echoes from hundreds of feet away in every direction. unexpected whispering galleries occur, faraway clangs of chain turn into bell tones, distant shouts become wordless tones.

the world around is built chaos too, an endless tangle of structure is dizzying. you have to learn to narrow their focus to avoid confusion.

imagine standing on a balcony that overlooks a series of arched bridges crossing at right angles, between that are narrow decorative archways, between them are also columns of various widths and heights. There are arcades you can see deep into, some duplicated with dead ends. There are blind arcades carefully carved to appear to have depth, and ledges carefully sloped to be useless and deadly.

This tangle continues both and and upward as far as your can eyes can peer in the dim light. Some areas are filled with large structures too, ziggurats and mausoleums, alcoves, basilica. Some immense columns are in fact structures, hidden stairwells and chimneys.

Chains and ladders hang just slightly out of reach, or reach just shy of where you would go. Things just far enough apart, or far enough away, to make drops and leaps into suicides without careful examination.

you may never be unwatched, as up and down in all directions there are ledges and hideaways where someone may be watching. This could be a benign fellow prisoner, or a scold noting your infractions.

those who refuse the food are changed. They become monsters worse than the pests, armored and many-limbed things that stalk the halls and wreak havoc.

This is the incentive to do as one is ordered while on watch or labor duty. The armors worn leave you unable to eat, which puts you at risk of having your humanity confiscated if you refuse to do your duty. Poor performance can lead to longer shifts, increasing this danger.

while wearing the armors of watch or labor you have no voice for other prisoners, but all the voices of those doing watch with you can be heard echoing inside the helmets, and you can be heard by them.

Very Rough Table

the basic premise of this place is that there's a potential way to go to almost every direction, but you'll need to "read" the structure to do it safely. You'll be doing everything in "dungeon turns" because of this, and can sort of map it as you go.

So, you are standing on an archway, and you want to go up. You spend one turn looking around to roll an Architecture check. If you succeed you roll on some tables. 

e.g. The Way Up
1. 1d4 x 5' away, across a chasm
2. on a column
3. down one level
4. 1d4 x 30' further down this way.
5. across a plaza
6. past a barred tunnel
1. a low chain to climb
2. a spiral stairwell
3. a wall with grippable stonework
4. a staircase
5.  a ladder
6. a cage on a pulley

1. to a ledge
2. to an alcove
3. to an arch
4. to a tunnel
5. to a plaza
6. to a column

So, there's a way up: a low chain to climb hanging only 5' away, it leads up to an alcove. You take turns jumping onto it and pulling yourselves up

Or there's a spiral stairwell on a column, it goes up to a plaza.

Or down one level is a staircase that goes up to another arch.

There will be difficulties too.

1. 1d6 x 2 Watch are there.
2. The stonework is crumbling
3. It is very dark.
4. There is a pest there.
5. It is tiny, with only room for one at the top.
6. It is a long distance.

So, you might see a wall with grippable stonework 120' down this archway, and it leads to a ledge. but, it's so tiny at that ledge that only one person can stand there at once.

Obviously you'll have several Prisoners checking at once, so you may end up with various routes. Choosing which route is best is what'll be interesting.

So, climbing up to that ledge will seems better than crossing that 10' chasm to reach a plaza with 6 Watch in it, even if that tunnel seems promising.

Some results lead to other tables (eg "how do we get across that chasm? how do we get down to that staircase?"). Not every result will be tenable either, but that won't be a journey-ending problem. You'll just have to keep moving, or go back a bit and try again.

You'll want to keep notes too, "go archways to the tunnel, climb down then follow the ledge. Past the fountain go into the alcove across the plaza. climb down to the courtyard full of moss and take the ladder up...". You'll need to repeat your journeys if you want to ever find a way out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Worldbuilding: The Watch in the Carceral Place

the carceral place wears down the spirit of the imprisoned with its unending cycles

the watch are one such consistent thing, while it is unpredictable where they'll be seen (and for how long) it is known that they always will be seen somewhere. it could be anywhere.

the silent watchmen are as permanent as the stones, just in a less fixed position.

a pair appeared on the other end of a drawbridge, one that gave you only a precious minute or so to gather up some flavorful red growths on that column it led to (otherwise, it was a dead end. a 10 diameter thing with a mere few-foot wide ledge for a walkway, with the bridge up you would be trapped, hopeless)

the growths on that column were a necessary toll for passage, the only way you would be permitted through that plaza, the one with the chain that hung just low enough for you to climb up to the archway leading away to a potentially useful stairwell.

or at least you thought as much.

it could not be said if these watchmen were placed there because it is true that the red growths you would use to cross the plaza to reach the archway were needed to reach a stairwell that would certainly lead to a way out from this place (at least eventually), as all prior sets of watchmen had impeded you reaching dead ends.

they may have simply appeared because you had been seen repeating this infraction too many times*, of leaving the plaza, crossing the drawbridge. gathering up red growths. it is all infractions, and their presence could be a mere punishment.

*it is known that you are not always watched in the carceral place, just that you always might be.

the watch are distinctive, unmistakable. their heads and faces are shielded, covered by grotesque helmets attached to shoulder and chest armors. this region of the carceral place presents its watch as mask-faces with crude, ugly expressions: these two smiled. they turned their chests and heads to face you. they are without speech.

watch are not often fast or agile (unlike the pests), as they are weighed down by the bulkier armor they can't remove, and often (as was the case with these) heavy armored robes.

Robe, Velvet, metal wrapped thread; embroidered

They carried simple weapons, staves with fat weighted heads, their purpose clear: they would clobber you, smash your skull and ribcage, toss you into the dark tangled abyss of structure below.

you reasoned that if you were able to push one off the edge with a good bash of some kind, and then not get tripped up by the other right after, it would then just be a matter of scraping off a bit of red growth as you moved around the column.

if you were able to get around and then back to the bridge without running into that second watch as  you did that, you would then easily outrun them.

this is what you would do then.

they readied their staves as the bridge lowered, and you pulled loose a cracked piece of stone ornamentation you had seen previously.

you heave the weathered knob into the solar plexus of the leftmost watch, and then you charge as they begin to tumble off the narrow column ledge from the blow. their bare arms and legs splay wildly as they appear to float off the edge of the architecture, their staff balancing for but a moment before joining them in the abyss as their robes ripple like sails.

they make no sound, but the second watch clangs their staff against the column, just above your head.

you rip out one handful of red growth, then two. you cannot see the watchman. you cannot hear them.

you wonder: would they have followed you around, or would they have turned face to charge you in a new direction?

you are certain they would not turn, and so you continue round the column.

and you see them, they are on the bridge. they did not follow you at all, and you are a fool, and the impact into your solar plexus is sudden and awful as the staff smashes you into the column before you crumple and fall into the dark as well. you barely take in breath before it is over.

and when you awake your breathing is far too loud.

your arms reach up and feel cold metal, and fumble over the integral locks that hold the grimacing helmet on your head when you find them. you arms are slowed too by armored robes, gaudy and worn down by time and many wearers. they smell like old sweat, the helmet like rust.

at first it was awful to take watch, excruciating. you would have wept, begged forgiveness if your voice could be heard. it is not like that anymore.

none ever speak of taking watch, since there is nothing to say. all here commit infractions, and so all at some time have taken watch. and shall again.

all here have thrown each other into the darkness, have cracked each others ribs and skulls. all here have been the cruel gargoyles watching over each others passage.

you understand that if you let them use your body for now and do as they will say they will at least not change it, or this will at least delay them changing it. at least this is understood, and so it is easy.

you will be able to eat and drink too, when the helmet is removed.

your infractions were not great today, and so you hope you will not be asked to do too much in penance.

though none will know that it was you, but it could of course be any one of you, and so it is always you.

and if you do this thing they ask of you they will let you return to your cell as you had died normally, without infractions. awaking as usual, barely clothed but without cruel assignments.

you listen for the creaking sounds of the many limbs of a warden as you rise up, testing the weight of the staff in one hand, and feeling a dent in the sternum of your armor with the other.