Sunday, October 20, 2013

More Magic in Wizards' Realm

In the cosmology of Wizards' Realm, the world is referred to as “the Midgards,” but other notions of Norse mythology are not present.  In contrast to the Midgards, there is “Outside,” a chaotic plane where “spirits” dwell.  According to a passage (not sourced but obviously religious) on page 4, “...the dark and light were separated and the powers that opposed the will of the one were fettered outside...”  The 'energy' of most magic comes from spellcasters in the form of Power Points; however, some magic is powered from Outside.  Magical items powered from Outside are called “Blue Moon” artifacts.  “They cannot be completely controlled” and are prone to random “behavior.”

Here is a sampling of magic items in Wizards' Realm:

PURSE OF GREAT PRICE – The Wizards' Realm equivalent of a Bag of Holding.

WHIMSEY-WAND – A 'Blue Moon artifact' seemingly inspired by the Wand of Wonder.  For any given Whimsey-Wand, the GM lists twenty possible effects. The GM rolls 1d20 whenever the item is activated to determine which effect occurs.

LUCKY DOG – A figurine of a dog that imparts +2 Luck to its possessor. Should the item be lost, the former possessor loses one point of Luck as well as the +2 benefit.

NULL-WAND – Has a 60% chance of draining off Power Points to whatever it touches.  The Power Points are not retained in the wand, but instead go “Outside.”  A “glitch” means that the user's Power Points are drained.

As one might expect given the names of some of the magic items, Wizards' Realm spells are named after the fashion of Tunnels & Trolls spells.  Among the various spells may be found:  'Kiss Me, You Fool' (temporary increase of Appearance Attribute), 'Jonah' (temporary decrease of Luck Attribute), 'Whim-Wham' (paralyzes opponent for three turns), and 'Speak To Me' (“Induces limited speech and intelligence in inanimate objects”).  Perhaps the oddest spell is 'Pelican's Bill' (“temporarily makes a person's mouth like a Purse of Great Price” – see above).

Also of note are the rules for Demonology.  In Wizards' Realm, Demonology covers several abilities; however, for this discussion, I will only regard the summoning of “demons.”  For purposes of Wizards' Realm, demons are spirits from “Outside” and they include “powers Beneficial as well as Malign.”

Demons are rated in terms of dice, specifically d6.  A demon's Attributes are determined by the d6 of its rating and each d6 costs 10 Power Points to summon.  So, if a 2d6 demon were called, the cost would be 20 points.  2d6 would be rolled and the result would be the value for every Attribute; if a 7 was rolled, each Attribute would have a value of 7.

Controlling a demon once summoned costs a number of Power Points per turn equal to the demon's d6 rating.  Banishing a demon costs ten times the number of Power Points needed to summon it.  According to page 31:
If you lack the necessary points to banish that which you summoned, it will attack you, having sensed your lack of power over it at that point.
So, let's say the demon kills you.  Can it then – under its own power – return to whence it came?  Let's say you are controlling a demon and you die from non-demonic causes.  What happens to the demon?  Although Wizards' Realm provides no direction, I would assume that uncontrolled demons can return to their place of origin with no effort; however, if an uncontrolled demon wanted to maintain its physical existence, it would need to spend its own Power Points.

The notion of a demon attacking the summoner when the summoner does not have the power to banish it seems unreasonable.  It suggests that the demon is not actually being controlled, but rather held in check under threat of banishment.  I think a reaction roll might be a better determiner of demon behavior.  Anyway, how would the demon know how much power the summoner has at hand?   After all, Power Points can be stored in various items.  Demons should be uncertain but wary of what summoners are capable.  I like the idea of attempting to bluff a demon.  It might work or it might not, but its better than having a demon attack once the summoner's Power Points drop beneath a certain level.

Demons can “assume any form at will.”  I guess this means the demon acquires the benefits and limitations of whatever form it assumes; a bird-form could fly and a fish-form could (only) breathe in water.  I guess a demon could turn into an elephant, but if the demon had a mere 2 Strength, so would the elephant.  The rules say that demons can be taught spells, but how many spells can they learn and how fast can they learn them?

The summoning of demons is not described as spells usually are in Wizards' Realm; no probability of success is mentioned.  Are all summoning attempts successful?  There is a 'Summon' spell, but the mechanics of the spell make it seem to apply to terrestrial denizens rather than entities from “Outside.”  Is summoning a 'skill' that any Spellcaster can learn or is it an ability restricted to the Necromancer sub-class?

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