Sunday, November 21, 2010

Unexplored Worlds: The Winds of Chaos

  • In Unexplored Worlds, magic is not some scientific principle that is easily codified and manipulated. Magic is weird. Magic is mysterious. Magic is more dream than reality, more nightmare than enlightenment. But people will seek power wherever they can and they must face the consequences of their decisions.

  • This table shows how a magician is affected by the forces they seek to control. The wizard's player must keep a tally of the total spell level cast by the character over the course of his or her career. As the total reaches the milestones below, the magician is effected in various ways. These effects do not expire as new effects are accrued. If they game system you use does not use spell levels, tally whatever resource is used for that system and scale the milestones accordingly.

  • 100 - The magician's skin becomes magically charged, heightening all tactile sensations. In addition, when touching a person or object the magician will be able to feel any enchantments laid upon them, though he or she will not be able to identify the magic other than through normal means.

  • 300 - The magician's body becomes extremely sensitive to temperature, pressure, and the like. As such, he or she will feel uncomfortable in any clothing other than loose fitting garments like a robe.

  • 500 - The magician begins to exude an odor that is reminiscent of the spells he or she has recently cast. Fire spells will cause a smell of brimstone, light and lightning spells the smell of ozone, and so forth. The odors are strongest just after casting any magic, but tapers off to just a hint within one day.

  • 800 - The magician's eyes will glow slightly in low light conditions. This does not grant the magician any sight-based abilities. However if the magician stares at someone from the darkness, the person will feel vaguely uneasy as if something malicious was watching them out of the corner of their eye.

  • 1300 - The magician's hair bleaches white over the course of a fortnight. No natural dyes will hold in the bleached hair, though magical disguises will still function.

  • 2000 - People will now feel uncomfortable around the magician and seek to avoid them. With a little effort, the magician can take advantage of this aversion when dominating or interrogating another person.

  • 3000 - The magician begins to feel an otherworldly presence observing them at all times. There is no way to divine or communicate with this presence, but it is always felt.

  • 4500 - The magician will now see the world as though a kaleidoscope of all possibility states. People will be viewed in idealized, deformed, and decayed states. Buildings will be seen as newly build, well worn, and long abandoned. Plants will appear as saplings, fully flowered, and withered all at once. The magician can still function with this vision of the world, but it can be disorienting to a unfocused or unstable mind.

  • 7000 - The otherworldly presence that the magician previously felt will now begin whispering to the magician in an unintelligible tongue. The only time the whispers stop is when the wizard is within a stone structure, such as a castle or a tower, on in an underground dungeon complex.

  • 10000 - At this point in the magician's life, he or she has been exposed to so much magic that he or she experiences the raw winds of chaos as a physical presence in their lives. The magician can see the swirls, eddies, and currents of magic as it flows around him or her. Normally the magician is driven mad by the experience. However if the magician has a particularly strong mind, he or she can make a study of the chaos to read the historical record of magics as they have been practiced wherever the magician looks.

  • Unexplored Worlds is my attempt to design an RPG campaign in the open. Since I have not rolled a d20 in anger in many years, this is my way to keep playing without actually playing. All posts are written to be system-agnostic, so please use whatever keeps your interest in your own games. Just let me know how it goes!


© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

2 comments:

  1. "500 - The magician begins to exude an odor that is reminiscent of the spells he or she has recently cast. Fire spells will cause a smell of brimstone, light and lightning spells the smell of ozone, and so forth. The odors are strongest just after casting any magic, but tapers off to just a hint within one day."

    How will the player experience this? Note that this is purely from a GAMER'S point-of-view, not a TABLE-TOP point of view!

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  2. @ Bronte - Ha! If I was coding this into a CRPG, I think that I would make it something that the NPC notice and comment on. Conversely, if another magician of sufficient power is met, I would list this as one of the tells.

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