Saturday, April 27, 2013

More Barsoomian Magic by Michael Curtis

Ethereal Walk – 4th                           Sphere = Magic

Time/Duration = four actions/ 2d4 zodes
Range/Effect = touch/self plus one
Saving throw = none

By casting this spell, the priest and one companion/ mount suddenly exist on both the material and ethereal planes. This allows the character(s) to travel in any direction without penalty (as if walking on air).  He can pass through up to 1/50th sofad of lead, 1/10th sofad of metal, one sofad of stone, or three sofads of dirt or wood.  This spell also allows for free movement across liquids. While in this state, the character can only be struck by silver items or magical   items or relics.  Ethereal walk grants the caster the ability to survive without oxygen and imparts a +4 bonus to saving throws against gas or poison.
As the caster exists simultaneously on two planes while under the effect of this spell, there is a chance (1 in 6) that ethereal predators or guardians willtrack the priest and his companion as they travel.  Aggressive ethereal guardians (d4 encountered) will likely attack the priest if he is detected.


      The ethereal plane exists alongside our unaligned material plane, permeating our mundane reality.  The ether is a chaotic realm of dreams, archetypes, and unconscious desires.  The ethereal plane also links to various  planes:


1)       The Abyss (a demonic prison)

2)       The legalistic Elemental Plane of Earth

3)       The Plane of Shadow or Negative Energy     

4)       The libertine Elemental Plane of Water

5)       The diabolic Nine Tiers of Hell  

6)       The chaotic  Elemental Plane of Air

7)       The neutral Elemental Plane of Fire, and

8)       Paradise (holy realm of angels and saints)

Fearful Aura – 4th                     Sphere = Necromancy

Time/Duration = one action/ d6 xats
Range/Effect = 1” per   hit die/ non-friendly creatures
Saving throw = Will

This spell creates an invisible sphere of dread around the caster, forcing all sentient creatures that are not currently friends, allies, or associates of the caster within its range to make a saving throw.  Creatures that fail this roll must retreat, flee (if failed by 5 points of more), or cower helplessly in fear (rolled a ‘1’ on d20).

In their natural forms, undead, dragons, and angels radiate fear that produces a field similar to this 4th level spell, fearful aura.  The DC to resist this dread is equal to 7 + the square root of the creature’s hit points.  When creatures are encountered in groups, the DC is based on the most powerful creature’s hit point total, while the range is determined by the total number of hit dice present (i.e., a 8 hit dice vampire with 38 hit points is encountered alongside five zombies of 2 hit dice each.  The DC to resist the fear is 13 (7 + 6) and the radius of the effect is 18” ( 8 + [5×2] ).  Dragons and angels can dismiss their aura of fear with a spoken phrase; undead cannot.

Inhabitants of the Red Planet seldom retreat.  NPCs only make morale/ will checks when they:

1)       Are outnumbered by more than 2 to 1
2)       Are facing a feared enemy, or
3)       Their liege or commander has died.

Treat a morale check as a will save with the d20 roll that is normally modified by the leader’s charisma modifier (or EL modifier,) The DC for this will/  morale check is set by the GM, but is typically 10 + the current encounter level.

Upon warlike Barsoom, there are few cowards,    and that every man, whether prince, priest or peasant glories in deadly strife.”   (WM, II)


Feast – 3rd                             Sphere = Earth
Time/Duration = one xat/ once per week
Range/Effect = 1”/ 2d6×level
Saving throw = N.A.

This spell creates a nutritious and tasty meal of meat, cheese, water, and wine that feeds a number of adults equal to 2d6 × the caster’s level. Silverware, tables, chairs, plates, and containers are NOT created by the spell.  The material component is a handful of dirt and a glass of water.


Find Traps – 2nd                  Sphere = Knowledge

Time/Duration = two actions/ 2d6 xats
Range/Effect = personal/self
Saving throw = N.A.

The spell grants the priest the ability to search for traps, secret doors, and magical sigils as if he were a criminal of equal level.  Although the spell allows the priest to avoid detected traps that can cause harm, it provides no skill to remove the hazard that is unique to the criminal class.  This spell remains in effect until its duration expires; interrupting a search to enter combat, cast spells, or perform other actions does not negate this enchantment’s duration.  The material component for the spell is a live darseen (Sz0, AC 17, 1 gc) that is not harmed in the casting or duration  of the spell.

Flaming Pillar – 3rd                           Sphere = Fire

Time/Duration = two actions/ instantaneous
Range/Effect = 2” per level/ one target
Saving throw = Reflex

The spell creates a column of divine fire to strike a selected individual or target.  It does one d6 of damage per caster level.  A successful saving throw reduces the inflicted damage by half.


Ghostly Glory of Barsoom – 4th     Sphere = Combat

Time/Duration = 10 xats/ 4d6 xats
Range/Effect = 2” per level/one creature per level
Saving throw = none

This spell calls forth the spirits of Mars’ dead warriors to impart their valor upon the targets.  The affected creatures appear wreathed by ghostly forms bearing weapons of ancient manufacture.  This manifestation causes the targets to temporarily increase in level for purposes of determining attack rolls and saving throws.  It also grants them additional hit points that last until reduced by damage or the spell runs its course.  The priest affects one creature per level he possesses.

Warriors and Troopers gain additional power based on their current level of experience.  Warrior or Troopers of 1st-3rd level gain an additional three levels for the duration of the spell; 4th-7th level characters gain two additional levels; and 8th-10th level warriors and troopers gain a single level.                                               

                 All other classes are treated as Warriors of equal level for the duration of the spell, re-rolling their hit point totals using d8 hit dice.  These new, temporary hit points cannot be lower than their usual hit point total, but any wounds the character is suffering carry over to their new hit point total (a 16 hp, 6th Scientist with 5 point of damage would roll 6d8 -5            to determine his hit points while under the effect of this spell).  The material component for this spell is a handful of dirt from a famous battlefield, rubbed upon the body of each creature affected.


Haste -  2nd                                            Sphere = Magic

Time/Duration = two actions/1d6 xats
Range/Effect = 1” per level/ one creature
Saving throw = Tenacity based

This spell or power causes the target to move, attack, and cast spells at twice his normal pace.  Thus, a hasted PC can both cast a spell and make a melee attack in a single round or could fire four arrows in the same round (p. 30).  This increased rate of action does not affect armor class, saving throws, or skill throws.  After the duration of the spell ends, the target ages one year (see p. 16 for more information on the incredible Martian lifespan).  The target of the spell can make a saving throw to avoid the effects of an unwanted haste.

“Every muscle responded instantly and accurately, and almost mechanically, to the need of the instant.  I am scarcely aware that I think when I fight, so quickly does my point take advantage of every opening, or spring to my defense if I am threatened.”   (CM, VI)

This spell may be revered, creating a slow effect that causes the target to move, attack, and cast spells at half his normal pace (a slowed PC would require two rounds to cast a light spell and attack every other round with a melee weapon).  Slow also causes a temporary -4 penalty to Agility.  Unlike haste, after a slow spell has expired, the target is not aged.


Helmet of Salvation – 3rd                 Sphere = General

Time/Duration = one round/ 3d6 xats
Range/Effect = touch/one creature
Saving throw = none

         This spell imparts a mental clarity and physical resilience upon it target, granting him a +3 bonus to all saving and skill throws for the duration of the spell.  It provides no modifier to combat or armor class.

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