Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Weird Arcana - Playing with the Forge

Continuing with our Forge-based posts, here’s a small sample of new Weird Arcana.

Even’s Mechanical Tooth
Conjuration (Summoning)
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 2, Summoner 2
Components: V, S, F (iron tooth)
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: 30 ft. (see text)
Effect: Summons a mechanical jaw
Duration: Concentration (maximum 1 minute/level)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

Summons a mechanical contraption similar in shape to a giant adamantine jaw that mimics the caster’s moth movements (use the headman’s scythe stats). While it can be used to attack (it ignores Hardness) its main use is to burrow through soil, solid rock or even worked stone structures. Even’s mechanical tooth takes one minute to dig a 3-ft. cube. It’s very noisy and indiscreet.

To control Even’s mechanical tooth the caster must make likewise movements with his mouth. This means that if the caster attempts to speak or to cast another dweomer, he must make a Concentration check (DC 25) or Even’s mechanical tooth is instantly dismissed.

The fact that this dweomer summons a jaw and not a tooth is traditionally used as an example of Even’s rudimentary grammar skills and thus uncouth manners.

Rune Dimension
Level: Bard 2, Sorcerer/Wizard 2, Witch 2
Components: V, S, M (fey blood and ashes from a burned grimoire or scroll)
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: One or two Medium (or smaller) creatures or a Large one (see text)
Duration: 10 minutes/level
Saving Throw: See text
Spell Resistance: See text

This spell places one creature inside a rune written on paper or carved on a non-magical large or smaller object. If used on willing targets rune dimension can host two medium or one large creature (even the caster himself). If the target is the caster, rune dimension creates a stylized version of the caster’s face that can “talk” to whomever is holding the object.  This “conversation” is actually in written form, with everything that the runified caster speaks appearing as text on the object’s surface. Characters can see and hear normally.

Ssef’s Whisper Bank
Level: Bard 3, Sorcerer/Wizard 3, Witch 3
Components: V, S, F (snail shell worn/carried by a dead spy)
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Area: One room or 30-ft. radius area
Effect: Hear past conversations
Duration: 10 minutes/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

This clever dweomer allows the caster (and him alone) to listen to any past conversation that took place in a particular room or area. Only voices can be heard, no other sensory data is supplied. Voices heard are all monotone, emotionless and asexual, which may offer some difficulties if the caster doesn’t know who’s talking to who.

Ssef’s whisper bank’s divining proprieties replays all past conversations in order from the most recent to the oldest until it reaches its maximum duration, counted backwards. Imagine, for example, that a specific chamber was visited 60 minutes ago by a group of Deodands, then, 30 minutes ago, by two wererats, and finally, just 5 minutes ago, by three assassins. A 5th level wizard casting Ssef’s whisper bank (maximum duration of 50 minutes) would listen, first, to the assassins and later to the wererats conversations, but he wouldn’t know about the Deodands.

Horshnea’s Sinister Union
Transmutation [Evil]
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 5, Witch 5
Components: V, S, M (angel’s feather burned)
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: Touch
Target: One non-outsider living and corporeal creature with Int 4 or more
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

This sinister dweomers imbues the target with the potency of the netherplanes. If the target is willing or fails his saving throw, he gains the half-fiend template for the duration of the spell.

While undoubtedly a powerful dweomer, it carries dire consequences. First, at the spell’s end the target must make a successful Will saving throw or be trapped in a random lower plane for the next 24 hours. If he succeeds, then the caster must also roll or suffer that fate. If Horshnea’s Sinister Union is cast a second time in the next 24 hours, the target and the caster suffer a -4 penalty on this save throw and must roll twice – at the first round of the spell and after its end. This backlash is inevitable and can’t be averted by effects like dimensional anchor, unless from artifact and deity (or epic) level sources.

Either way, after Horshnea’s Sinister Union expires, both the caster and the affected target are tainted and, for the next 24 hours, read as evil outsiders for the purpose of spells and other effects.