Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Black Magic Remix

I like magic to be either excessive anime electrofluorescent hyperkinesis or horrid baroque darkness. Mr. Logan Knight has the latter just about covered, but I think my players would be a little traumatized by the sort of body horror he does so well, so I have written up a couple of substitute charts, with a minor aim of making a more folklore-y Magic-User. 

Psychic TV album art
 Chaos Reigns
  1. Thousands and thousands of bats
  2. Gravity is reoriented for d6 rounds; whichever way the 6 is pointing is the new down.
  3. The Sun fades away, becoming an immense red rimmed eye for the rest of the day. You can see it staring at you no matter what, even if you are inside or underground or are otherwise blinded. The Eye’s cyclopean regard fills you with guilt; once an hour every hour until sunset, you must Save vs Paralysis or spend a turn describing 10 terrible thing you have done that you have not yet described.
  4. The full Moon rises and begins to sing. Animals begin to act aggressively and with vicious cunning, madmen become violent and adept at escape, monarchs begin to plot invasion, and the general populace is driven to fear, paranoia, and despair. The tides are erratic and extreme. Lasts 2d4 weeks.
  5. The Stars flare to life in the sky, then vanish. Navigation by night becomes impossible, roads lead astray, and currents lead .to strange seas. Lasts 2d4 weeks.
  6. The caster begins aging 5 years an hour. When they reach 100 years, they die, and an infant crawls from their body’s clothing. It continues to age at the same rate until it reaches 20. Same character, same memories.
  7. A random spell you know scuttles out of your mouth, transforming into a monster with twice as many HD as the spell has spell levels. Determine its abilities and appearance using the LotFP Summon spell. You cannot cast the spell until you defeat it.
  8. Your hands detach from your wrists and scuttle away, and new hands grow in their place. For the rest of the day, every time you cast a spell, the same thing happens. The hands remain animate until destroyed, and will do their best to make terrible mischief.
  9. You spend d6 rounds coughing up a glistening black fruit. If you eat it, you spend 2d6 rounds coughing up two more fruit. If anyone else eats it, their eyes will roll into the back of their head and they will make a prophecy promising disaster.
  10. A thunderous voice narrates everything you do, say, or think for the next d4 hours.
  11. Everything with a mouth present must Save vs Magic or vomit slick red fish for d4 rounds.
  12. A black tree erupts from the ground in front of you. If anything dies in the presence of the tree, the tree sprouts a hard, spiny fruit with the creature’s soul inside.
  13. You into a small stone idol. You can still see, hear, and cast spells, as well as speak with anyone who holds the idol. Once a day, you must attempt a Save vs Magic to turn back.
  14. Dozens and dozens of classical statues erupt from the ground up to their shoulders, making it difficult to walk, and begin to scream, making it difficult to hear.
  15. For the next d4 days, every time you attempt to speak, including to cast a spell, you must Save vs Paralysis or instead deliver a lengthy and discursive monologue on (1: bean cultivation 2: the daily schedule of an emperor who died thousands of years ago 3: the spiritual beliefs of spiders 4: the life cycle of the cherub 5: the various manias, phobias, a perversions of the nearest, most powerful monarch 6: the correct method of preparing, storing, and administering a heretofore unknown and spectacularly deadly poison 8: famous fish poets 9: the dangers of breathing 10: the magical properties of cheese)
  16. You are now wanted for (1: theft 2: murder 3: witchcraft 4: embezzlement 5: arson 6: public nudity 7: antisocial behavior 8: assault 9: sedition 10: trespassing) in the nearest town, city, or settlement, even if such a crime was impossible.
  17. It starts raining sticky black tar.
  18. A spring opens up beneath your feet. Its water is sweet and clear, and every time someone drinks from it, they age one year.
  19. Terrible Gift
  20. Terrible Gift

Utter Disaster
  1. You turn white hot, then detonate, dealing d6 damage per character level to everything within 50 feet
  2. You have been spurned by the Earth itself. All animals within 100 miles of casting will do their best to kill you.
  3. You will cast d10 random spells in sequence, one right after the other, from lowest spell level to highest spell level, with random targets. These still use Cataclysm points, and you must Cast the Bones as normal.
  4. You melt into a puddle of clear water. It is impossibly deep, and dark shapes can be seen stirring in its depths. They don’t seem very friendly.
  5. Everything goes dark. If you or your allies manage to produce a light, it is flickery and tenuous. The darkness is filled with singing things with soft hands and pale faces.
  6. The immediate area pinches off from greater reality like a piece of dough. You have an hour to find a way back or this demiplane will join up with a reality Somewhere Else.
  7. Some major deity or spirit has noticed your magic use and declared you anathema. All promises, obligations, and contracts with you are now void, and anyone who aids you is considered an enemy of the Church. An angel/archon/spirit of said deity appears and tries to destroy you and your allies.
  8. You know that a malign spirit has bribed one of your party members; if they kill you, they will gain an experience level immediately.
  9. A shadow version of you is born. Its attributes are the opposite of your’s. If you have a 3 in an attribute, the shadow version’s is 18; if you have a 13 in an attribute, the shadow version’s is 7. It wants to kill you, and it is willing to play the long game to do so.
  10. You are perfectly, perfectly still. When your allies examine you, they see that you are actually hollow, and that your skin and hair are part of a paper thin shell. If it is broken, incredibly powerful acid jets out.
  11. There is a piece of chalk in your hand. You sketch a door on the nearest flat surface. It is real, and leads into some sort of cave. You walk in and do not come out. Your allies can hear slithering noises from beyond the threshold.
  12. You slump to the ground, dead, and all of your known spells go off at once.
  13. You have awakened the dead. All graveyards, necropoles, crypts let loose the interred.
  14. You lose all Cataclysm points. A golem, animated from the available materials and with a number of HD equal to Cataclysm points lost, comes to life and tries to kill everything.
  15. The sun does not shine on anything in a 5 mile radius of the caster. The exist in a great circle of darkness.
  16. A small cracked opens up beneath your feet. You can feel heat rising up from it. It is the beginnings of a volcano, and will rise height by 50 feet a minute and erupt when it is mountain sized. Run.
  17. You are now a cat. Roll a new character.
  18. Your mind is consumed by a malign spirit, which then inhabits your body. It is a level 20 Magic-User and has Big Plans for this new body.
  19. Lose a character level and gain a Terrible Gift. If this drops you below level 1, you perish and will return as wrathful, ghostly version of yourself.
  20. The next creature or person you kill with magic rises again with an extra HD and full HP, but still bearing the wounds that killed them. Killing them again will give them another HD and so on and so on.

Terrible Gift
  1. Your head turns into that of a (1: tiger 2: jackal 3: crow 4: cobra 5: crocodile 6: baboon). If you have a tiger head, you can speak Feline. If you have a crow head, you can speak Bird. If you have a cobra or crocodile head, you can speak Reptile. If you have a baboon head, you can speak Primate.
  2. Your lower body turns into that of a (1: tiger 2: jackal 3: fish 4: serpent 5: spider 6: crocodile)
  3. You are subject to a vision of the Land of the Dead. Your skin becomes ashen. You take d6 damage/minute in direct sunlight, but you can bring false life to the fallen. By spending a number of Cataclysm points equal to a creature’s HD, you can reanimate it to do your bidding. This only lasts until the next sunrise, at which points the creature crumbles to dust.
  4. You can create a concoction from your blood that gives the drinker all of your Terrible Gifts but this one for d6 hours. This requires dealing d12 damage to yourself.
  5. When your GM is rolling your Cataclysm points, for every d6 of HP you sacrifice, you gain d6 additional Cataclysm points.
  6. Your form is fluid. Every time you wake up, your physical appearance and voice change. You re-roll Charisma every day, and there is a 50% chance that you changed sex.
  7. Everyone within shouting distance hears your voice as a rasping whisper, no matter how loud everything else is. There is no way to stop this.
  8. If someone says your name, you know where they are. If you say someone’s name, they become aware of your attention.
  9. Your heart stops. You are treated as Chaotic/undead for purposes of Clerics, Turning, and holy water, but you do not need to eat, sleep, or breathe.
  10. For every secret you know about a person or creature, they take a -1 penalty to saving throws against your spells. For every secret a person or creature knows about you, they receive a +1 bonus to saving throws against your spells.
  11. For every gift or favor a person or creature accepts from you, they take a -1 penalty to saving throws against your spells. For every gift or favor you accept from a person or creature, they receive a +1 bonus to saving throws against your spells.
  12. When you are struck by a silver weapon, it reduces both your HP and Cataclysm pool.
  13. When someone swears an oath in your presence, you can expend a number of Cataclysm points. If they break that oath, they take damage equal to the number of Cataclysm points used. You cannot break any promise or oath you make.
  14. You can gift others with a number of Cataclysm dice, allowing them to cast spells. In return, they can give you a number of HP, points of any Attribute, or improve any of your saving throws by worsening theirs by the same amount. This must be voluntary. You can set conditions or time limits to this transaction. Once the time limit is up or a condition is met, the transaction immediately ends.
  15. You can buy and sell things like memories, senses, souls, and dreams.
  16. You cannot cross the threshold of a home without being invited or cross running water without being carried.
  17. You can counter magic. When a Magic-User of any sort casts a spell in your presence, you can negate it by expending a number of Cataclysm points equal to the spell’s cost. Roll once on Chaos Reigns and once on Utter Disaster when you do so.
  18. If you invest a Cataclysm die in a common animal, you can see through its eyes. If you invest two dice, you can influence its behavior, as well. You can withdraw the dice when your GM rolls your Cataclysm pool.
  19. You don’t have a reflection or a shadow.
  20. Your teeth are sharp and venomous; if you bite something, it must Save vs Poison or take 2d6 damage.


  1. I love your table but could you clarify exactly what tables do 'Utter Disaster' and 'Terrible Gift' replace?
    Thanks :)

    1. "Utter Disaster" replaces "That Which Should Not Be". "Terrible Gift" is just its own subtable without a Last Gasp analogue.

    2. I really liked this remix as Logan Knight's tables became a bit to extreme. I still love his idéa of a shattered caster, but your tables mention cataclysm points which Logan never mentioned and I can't seem to find any explanations on how they work. Any clarification you could offer would be lovingly welcomed! = )

    3. Originally, maleficar had a number of cataclysm points, which let them cast a certain number of spells safely. It was randomised each rest, and maleficar had to pass a saving throw to know how many they had. Seems like Logan edited those out. I'd just key point-related Terrible Gifts to HP or HD.

    4. Ok. Thanks for clarification.
      And thanks a lot for the quick reply. = )

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