Friday, March 22, 2019

9 Spell-Failure Cataclysms

These are rolled whenever a spell fails, is interrupted, or a random magical burst comes over a magic user and causes a disastrous magical accident. You may also roll on this table as a result of tampering with or being exposed to chaotic energies or angering a powerful being by casting a spell against it, or trying to imprison it against its will.

Roll 1d4 for spells the caster casts on themselves or centered on themselves.
Roll 1d4+4 for spells the caster targets on others.
Roll 1d6+3 for spells cast on an area or inanimate object.
Roll 1d10 for a totally random spell-disaster. On a roll of 10, reroll with a 1d8 and change the target or origin point of the cataclysm to be the nearest character with the lowest Charisma. They are treated as the “Caster” or the “target” of the cataclysm.

9 Spell Cataclysms
[1] The caster's body undergoes a rapid change; select a random animal and roll a 1d10x10 to determine the percentage of how much you turn into that animal physically. Low percentages like 10-20% will only affect cosmetic things like eye, hair, and skin colors and coverings, but higher percentages may warp limbs into halfbred shapes or entire body parts into an animal form. If the caster already has a secondary form they can transform into, or is a shape changer, then the percentage roll is only a 1d6x10% of a warp to their 'true' form.

[2] With a breathless scream, the magic-user is transported away into another dimension. The area where they are taken has a constant, almost imperceptible drone of their final scream until they return. While gone, the caster is trapped in an ultra-bright realm that burns their eyes; there they are enslaved by multicolored spirit beings which lash them with whips for failing at impossible tasks (Herd these dead chickens with your hands tied behind your back! Shift the color violet to a different hue!) Once they return to the mortal realm in 2d6 days at the area where they disappeared, they are forever changed. They take one point of Wisdom damage each day they were missing and have a permanent rainbow of flashing lights inside their eyes. They can now cast a single 1st level spell once per day without needing to move, speak, or use a component simply by forcing it out of their powerful magical eyes. Once per season, a multicolored demon crawls out of their eyelids while they sleep; creating havoc in the realm of mortals, but leaving the affected caster alive so they can act as their gateway.

[3] The magic user feels a pulse of energy flow out of them, and a feeling of intense self pity. Everyone who isn't in sight range of the magic user when this cataclysm occurred now despises the magic-user innately. Animals have this feeling too; all reaction checks are rolled at either an instant attack or the worst possible result besides an instant attack. The only way to avoid this is for the magic user to stay as hidden as possible; masks and cloak to hide their wretched appearance, spells or silence to hide their putrid voice, etc. This effect can never truly be cured, but each remove curse “unlocks” one reaction check result higher for the magic-user to be able to roll now. Finding help is extremely difficult. As an added effect, each village within a 3 mile radius has all of its wanted posters change into the face of the magic-user, sketched in the usual style.

[4] The caster panics as they can no longer see, hear, or speak; but then suddenly see themselves from a different angle. In the air, a heavy gray stone materializes. If stones are common in the area, or a stone of similar size was the focal point of the spell, then this stone becomes the channeling stone described in the rest of this cataclysm instead of a new one appearing.

This stone has become the focal point of the caster's sense of sight and hearing as well as the only way for them to speak. It is extremely heavy and is as encumbering as a large stone that one man could lift with both arms would be. The caster can only cast spells on targets visible through this stone, not their physical body, and all of their spells and magic now ebb from this stone. This effect is permanent. Any damage to the stone causes damage to their hit points, but not their physical body, and as such cannot be healed by first aid. If the caster's body is killed, they may make a saving throw versus death for their spirit to live on inside the stone. They take 1d4 levels of level drain from the strain of death. They can no longer move, but can still use magic from the stone.

If the caster has another magic catastrophe while their magical aura is trapped within the channeling stone, or if a dispelling force of significant power is used on the stone, it instead splits open. Inside, the caster's face is revealed as an amorphous soup that constantly swirls and twists into copies and multiple angles of itself, and they feel as though someone is dancing on their grave. If any physical attack strikes this inner stone-spirit face, the caster is instantly slain. No save.

[5] The spell cast doesn't take effect. Instead, black sand starts to pool up in shadows of the areas and subjects of the spell, which become black-sand people. The beings can speak in a low, crumbly voice and will offer to perform the original intent of the spell that failed in return for ripping a few pages from the casters spell book. For example, if you cast a Fireball on a group of orcs, the black sand people will offer to kill them for you to get at your spellbook. If the spell was more benign, such as a spell cast to heal a group of people or over an area then the black-sand mercenaries will offer to do their best to help, once again at the price of damaging your spellbook. The black-sand people do not take rejection lightly and have a 3 in 4 chance of following the magic-user and their group to either ask again and harass them or try to steal or damage the spellbook while they sleep.

The black-sand people are only interested in the spellbook and if given it they will rip out 1d4+1 spells from it, one of which must always include the spell used to create them by accident. The black-sand people can't cast spells but are interested in understanding the magic that created them to see if they can create more or return to their home dimension.

Black Sand Mercenaries (3 HD, -2 to hit from weakness, +5 AC, sand strike at 1d3 or will pick up weapons, stealth, magic sense and Read Magic passively)
Morale- 11
Number- The number of targets of the original spell plus spell level of the original spell

The Black-Sand Mercenaries are physically weak but driven beings which wish to understand their origin, but are not above striking a deal. Their form is hard to injure due to being made of shifting sand, and they will pick up and use any weapons in the area. By being able to shift into a small pile or light dusting of sand at any time and being pitch black in color they can use stealth in dark places to catch almost anyone unaware; surprise on 5 in 6 chance. They cannot move in this sand-pile form, so they cannot use it to slip through cracks in doors or windows, but they could use it to hide in small objects to jump out and attack and they are smart enough to use such tricks.

Finally the black sand people can sense the magic user, their spellbook, and have the power of being able to read magic at all times; this power extends to even rendering them immune from explosive runes or other traps written into the magic user's spellbook; as they were spawned from it.

[6] The spell cast doesn't take effect. Instead, the target (if singular) and the caster or the caster and the nearest person that was a target (if plural) suddenly burst forth a powerful magical curiosity. If the target of the spell was an inanimate object or a general area, then the nearest living person and the caster are both affected. Both suddenly sprout a long, tendril-like eel of arcane energy from their nose or equivalent organ. The eels are exactly long enough that the two of them can meet in the middle. They are always opposite colors to each other- and have the opposite emotion towards each other as their creators. If the caster was casting a spell on a friend, the eels will snap viciously at each other. It is possible to contain the eel by pulling on it, but it will just as much bite its own master's hand if held back from killing its rival. The eels can tug on the body they attached to, requiring a saving throw modified by strength to avoid getting pulled close so the eels can fight again. If one of the eels die, the other cries in triumph and is freed from the nostril of the person who succeeded. The other character experiences one level of level drain from the astral repercussions of their parasite's death. 
The freed eel now can do as it will, but will accompany the person whom it was bound due to a sense of affection, and become a loyal pet, despite its betrayal of your allies aura.

If the caster was casting an offensive spell on a target they hated; the eels have the opposite personality. Instead, the two eels are constantly wrapping around each other in a mating embrace; wishing nothing more then to stay together. Ripping them apart causes them to whine and snap back at their owners, and if one of the eels dies the other is free and will attack whoever caused its lover to die.

If the emotions of the caster and target are more neutral; a more arbitrated effect based on the situation occurs. If the caster was casting a spell on another for the promise of payment, then the eels instead bites the hands of the caster to give to the other eel. If the caster was casting a spell on his master and failed, then the master's eel will bite the master's lips to keep him silent as to listen to the 'wisdom' of the apprentice magic user, their roles reversed.

[7] The spell succeeds. However, a magical curse is laid upon anyone who interacted with the spell. This includes those struck by it, thus who used or rode on a summoned object or creature, those who were blessed/cursed, those who cast the spell that was countered or deflected or boosted by the caster's own spell, etc. Those who interacted with the spell gain a dark shroud around their eyes and hands, and feel uneasy.

The next time a cursed person performs an action with a numerical bonus or a power from their class features, creature abilities, ability modifiers and so on have it fail and suddenly locked after the roll. For example, if a fighter who is cursed makes an attack roll, or uses his hearty constitution to hold his breath for a long time is then cursed. His attack bonus from his class disappears as he misses his target, his constitution modifier drops to +0 after his lungs nearly burst, etc. Creatures with daily or at-will powers have the same effect occur; they lose their darkvision or transformation powers after failing their shapeshifting, etc.

The locked or bonus is now a curse on that person, not being available again unless a powerful remove curse spell is cast upon them OR they gain 20,000 xp (in the place of a player character) or somehow grow +2 HD (in the case of a monster or NPC); natural power growth is needed to restore them.

[8] The spell succeeds. However, the caster feels a strange heaviness in their chest that fades after a few hours. Every dawn and dusk, the caster has a sudden resurgence of the spell in a minor form centered on themselves; such as if they failed an offensive elemental spell then each dawn and dusk they are singed, chilled, zapped, etc. for one point of damage. If the spell was positive, such as a healing or buffing spell, then the spell effect still occurs in a lesser way, but a new negative effect plagues them for the rest of the day, such as a cure disease means they are affected by diseases until each dawn and dusk, when they are temporarily cured.

[9] The object the spell is being cast on, or the most central and obvious object in the area the spell is being cast, is changed into an Inanimate Stalker. Animated objects this way move as makes the most logical sense; cloth items glide and slither, stone statues move as per their subject matter, round things roll, etc. These objects also grow six purple spider legs and fight as a 5 HD creature of the same name.

The object becomes obsessed with the caster who spawned it; they have a 3 in 4 chance for the obsession to be murderous, the object wishing to kill the magic user and their allies, but on the 1 in 4 chance otherwise the object is obsessed with winning their approval and is a demented stalker; killing people the caster interact with and putting their corpses on the caster's doorstep or in their sleeping bag as a trophy and proof of their devotion. Using these powers in tow; the Inanimate Stalker seeks to destroy or obsess over the caster who first caused this magical mistake.

Inanimate Stalker (5 HD, +3 to hit, damage and AC according to object, zombie animation)
Morale- 12

This object has become alive in a curious way. Using both animated object methods of locomotion along with the strange, alien spider legs it can move around on its own power and obsesses over a single person. The object gains attacks and AC based on the object it was originally; wooden objects gain medium AC but are weak to fire, stone is very hard but slow, corpses act as zombies and gain many of the same powers they had in life, etc.

This object can also animate other objects. By touching an object similar to the original form of this animated being, such as an animated tree stump touching wood or a painted figure touching portraits, these other objects can be so animated. This animation is crude and the new objects are much less powerful and sophisticated then the original; they use stats as zombies (2 HD, always goes last in initiative, etc.) but use the same AC and attacks as they would resonably have as animated objects. They are also very dumb and only seek to destroy the being that the original Inanimate Stalker is obsessed with.

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