Sunday, January 29, 2017

To Nullify All Weaponry

Magic-User Level 1
Range: Sensory
Duration: 1 Round/Level
With this spell the Magic-User is able to disarm almost any number of foes by replacing their weaponry with flimsy and harmless simulacra. It is believed to function by invoking the services of the obedient Gnomus, mischievous spirits of the earth who hold domain over most all solid matter, and in particular all minerals and metals. They delight in exchanging the weaponry designated by the Magic-User with the inferior materials they have access to. The spell is successfully cast after a few brief gestures and muttered words. Any implements of violence that are witnessed in use by the Magic-User, including those only being brandished with genuine malice, may be targeted. Any number of targets in the Magic-Users field of perception may be targeted, including weapons that are only heard or even smelled; such as the smell of black powder from hidden musketeers, or the clang of swords in a skirmish beyond a high wall.

Weapons that are an integral component of an individual body, such as teeth or talons, may never be targeted. Weaponry that is not being brandished and has not been used in the Magic-Users perceptual presence, such as a dagger in a sheath, may not be targeted. Mundane tools, cutlery, or pieces of armor are valid targets only if they have been witnessed being used as weaponry (such as a shield being used to bash an opponent, or a blacksmith hammer being used to threaten a foe). All individual elements of any ranged weapon (such as a crossbow, quiver, and bolts) must be targeted simultaneously. After a successful casting, for a number of rounds equal to the level of the Magic-User, the wielder of any item targeted by this spell must then roll a Save vs. Magic whenever that weapon is again used to commit violence. If these Saves are successful there is no effect, except for a vaguely foul smell, like feces and pond water, briefly emanating around the weapon. If all Saves are successful during the duration of the spell there is no further effect.

If any of these Saves are failed there is the same foul smell, but the weapon is also instantly replaced by a dull colored simulacrum at the last critical moment before harm would be done by it. This simulacrum is destroyed in use after causing no damage of any kind. Bows snap like bent dry twigs while the quivers fall apart like parchment and the arrows shatter on the ground, steel blades crack and crumble upon impact with bare skin, like aluminium weakened with gallium, and guns burst into a plume of dust upon the pull of the trigger while pouches of shot become fine grained sand. Any and all traces of these weapons dissolve into nothingness.

Referee’s Information

The true nature of this spell has been lost to history. While it does not involve any friendly Gnomus, it is the result of a cross-dimensional pact with certain other unearthly beings.

These beings were non-stationary points of willed certainty and structure in a universe of ever-shifting multicolored dust, who were contacted by an ancient Wizard. They existed in an endless landscape of ever changing monolith-mound-dune-heaps in all directions, dotted with occasional forms and structures that went brittle and shattered moments later in an endless creation and destruction cycle. Formless tides of sand became glorious complexities only to warp, mutate, and then crumble; shifting matter ordering itself into an endless superstructure of interweaving configurations of spiraling architecture and abstract statuary for one instant before shivering back into chaos once again. These beings created only to destroy, however, as that was their truest pleasure.

They had complete dominion over this world, and as a result they were intransigent, petty, and fickle. After thousands of failed attempts to bargain with these creatures to gain access to their powers in some way, the Wizard had an epiphany. They explained to the beings the real differences between our world and theirs, and offered them a chance to create destruction and bring entropy in a more profound way than they ever could in their own world. They would be given a chance to enact total violence, destruction, and warfare on our world, instead of theirs.
A deal was truck, and they agreed to an exchange. They would replace any implements of violence designated by the Wizard with equivalent simulacra of fragile dust from their own world. The originals would be kept, stored safely until every individual of their kind was suitably armed. Once this was fulfilled they would then appear in the world those weapons had emerged from, in a form suitable to wage war in, so they could in time eliminate all things and reduce that world to dust. This novelty (destruction without creation) has excited them beyond anything they could conceive of in their own reality, and they have been permanently eager for that day ever since, very happily performing these magical exchanges whenever prompted, each one bringing them closer to the promised land.
The Wizard was never even slightly concerned that the pact would be fulfilled, however, as there were several thousand of these beings that would need to be armed before this pact could be fulfilled . They intended to only use this spell sparingly, and so not risk the ruin of all creation. Unfortunately, after the Wizards death, this spell entered the lexicon of magic without the truth of its’ effects being known, and now across the centuries numerous Magic-Users have been unwittingly supplying the Entropic Battalion that now stands nearly fully armed.

Any time this spell is successfully cast by the Magic-User there is a chance that they have mistakenly completed the pact with the Entropic Battalion beyond reality.

The first time this spell is cast take note of how many items were taken by the spell. The next time this spell is cast, roll 1d100. If the number rolled is equal to or lower than the number of items taken, the pact has been completed. If a different number was rolled, simply take note of how many items were taken once again and add it to the total from before. Continue doing this until the pact is completed.  Once the pact is complete the spell will never function again.

Keep in mind the guidelines from the Player facing text above, and remember that ranged weapons count as only 1 weapon taken, despite being 3 items in total (implement, ammunition, and storage accessory.)

At no point is any Player entitled to an explanation of what this roll means simply by asking for one. A Player suspecting that this roll is possibly of negative consequence functions as a perfect simulation of the intuitions a Magic-User would have around accessing such potentially malign magical forces. This spell, as with all spells, is used at the Magic-Users peril.

When the pact is completed there is a low rumble, and a gurgle emanating from the air. There is a shuddering, like an airborne earthquake, and this ripples across the the earth and throws up particulate from the ground. There is a cold burning wax aoer of scent in the air, as all this dust, debris, and even low clouds and mist in the sky are pulled towards and into what appear to a shimmering rip in empty space near nearby the Magic-User. After this there is a few seconds of overwhelming stillness, and then a few members of the Entropic Battalion tumble out as a cloud of iridescent dust, with the weapons floating inside them.

The entropic battalion then gathers together these loose particles of their reality in a solid form around the weapons. This could be a modern rapier or pistol, and some might have an ancient axe or wooden lance. There is great variation. They are aware of how to use them properly, in any case. Their form is based on what was described to them of humans by the ancient Wizard. They resemble dried paint or pressed chalk. They vary in color from pale turquoise to sky blue, lavender, rose pink, or pale yellow, and it is sometimes ivory, umber, or graphite gray; often marbleized, blotchy, and streaked.

They are shaped human-enough: they have four limbs and a single head. Their limbs and and bodies are like gestural and suggestive sculpture. They are often missing some fingers and toes, and lack any sexual characteristics. Some have limbs that are similar to birds legs, or even sticks. Joints sometimes bend backwards. Their heads and faces are frequently squashed, stretched, pinched, and folded in various ways parodic of human ones, but sometimes are nearly statuesque. Their eyes are just pits or holes, as are their mouths, and they make no sounds of their own. They do not breathe.

They seem to communicate through gestures and nods, but they all act in unison quite easily since they are united in their purpose. They do what they do with great gusto and enthusiasm, as this is all a joy for them. They wear grotesque grins, and almost dance as they work and play.  They become gradually deformed when struck and pummeled, until they lose structural integrity and fall apart, like flour or dry mud. When cut they do not bleed.

The Entropic Battalion understand that all things which move must be stopped, and that is what they perceive before all other things. They will attack all moving things immediately. They might flee to try again in better circumstances, if many of them are destroyed, but this is not too often. Their tactics are simple, in that this is complete and total war for them. They seek to leave nothing undamaged. Once the moving things are made still they strip all useful tools, and especially all intact weaponry and armor, to outfit themselves.

They begin working afterwards: the once moving things are reduced to pieces, then into portions of distinctly different materials, and then to ever small particles using millstones and grinders before being remixed into a nauseating biological powder or slurry. After this all the largest structures are broken, downward to all smaller other things until most pieces are nearly equal. The land is flattened if it is not even. Fires are started, large controlled burns in circular forms. The smoke can be seen for miles, dotting the landscapes of the earth.

Once the fire die down the charred debris is ground between stones, mixed with earth, and ground again. The biological slurry is slowly added, processes repeated, and in time all is thusly made similar. This labor takes days on end, but the Entropic Battalion neither sleeps, nor eats, nor grows weary. They will transform the whole earth like this, given enough time, once the moving things that oppose them are made still. They will naturally organize into a tremendous implacable mass as they encounter each other and join forces. Humanity must either repel and annihilate this implacable horde, or witness all civilization be ground to powder.

When the first Entropic Beings are encountered there will be 1d6+ of them in the immediate vicinity, meaning that if a “6” is rolled the die should be rolled again and added to the first, only stopping once 6’s are no longer rolled.

If necessary, determine how many Entropic Battalion exist in total using a random generator, such as this one .

Many rifts open throughout the world, with varying amounts of the Battalion emerging at each one. If using a Hex map assign 1d6+ Battalion to each and every hex on the map.

ARMOR 12, if unarmored
ATTACK: 1, based on weapon
MORALE: 9, Roll Morale once, at 50% casualties.
Immune to Charm, Sleep, Mind Control, &c
Immune to Poison
Do not sleep, eat, tire, or thirst. Do not need to breathe, and are unaffected by climate.
Vision depends on movement, relative stillness to other moving things is as good as invisibility.
Unable to heal, all damage is permanent.
Cannot be reasoned with, unable to be persuaded.

Only the first Entropic Battalion is armed only with a single weapon. Use a random character generator such as this one to arm the Battalion in the future, use the same equipment you would assume for Farmers, Bandits, or Town Guard, or even assign them weapons using a simple randomized system (e.g. reach into your dice bag and grab a handful).

There should generally be a 1 in 6 chance per day of encountering 1d6+ Entropic Battalion at any time, either attacking the Adventurers, or being witnessed in the midst of their “work” or “play” as they travel.