image from Frobidden Planet

image from Frobidden Planet
Graves of Altair IV

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Most Horrible of Mind Monsters - aspects of an illusionists arsenal

The Most Horrible of Mind Monsters - aspects of an illusionists arsenal

The Lords of Illusion have many weapons, many literally unimagined by the thronging masses of the mortal kine.  Among the eldest, great behavioral constructs are ready to be unleashed upon their rivals.  For it is the merciful illusionist that merely kills you.

There are things of the mind that prey upon the mind, live upon it's droppings and obsessions, and normally interact only with memes, notions and other wholly thought-like states.  These most horrible of mind-monsters are creatures from beyond the 6th Iddit, a supernal realm of ideas & tangible possibilities.  They could also be found bound/contained with a Steel Bottle of Repression (which can hold anything you can magic into it) or just something hurled at you by an angry Illusionist.


Once freed, these condition things primarily exist on the psychic plane with dual existence across multiple ethereal nodes.   Unless stated otherwise they have no physical existence.

Especial Note to Judges: Be extraordinarily circumspect in dropping these critters into a campaign. Handled poorly these are precisely the sort of encounters that derail a session and lead to lack of agency and angriness. Use as desired but don't be the GM that leaves people hating the game.
Unless you have a particular need to mess with the character's minds, I suggest they be used as a flavor encounter, especially when moving through an extradimensional, other planar realm of strange and Steve Ditko-like topography.


The Polychromantic Anxious Beast
Gets you revved up and excited and then you can’t control your thoughts;  then horrors flood in.
Appearance - a constantly moving ever-shifting structure similar in some respects to snow on a television, but sparking, sparkling, and multicolored.  (Faintly like the images from a kaleidoscope bubbling toward you in mid air)
The PAB can make you terrified of things that have no basis in reality.   As an evolved form of behavioral/psychic illusion magic, the thing behaves rather like a Phantasmal Killer that has taken on a life of it’s own and wandered off to stalk the living.


DCC statblock
Polychromatic Anxiety Beast(xx number, if applicable): Init +5; Atk weapon +5 melee (no damage, forced inspiration see below); AC 15; HD 2d4; hp 7; MV 15' ethereal floating; Act 1d20; SP Forced inspiration, illusion casting, psychic existence; SV Fort -3, Ref +1, Will +5; AL Chaotic.
Forced Inspiration:   On a successful hit, the target must save v. Will (DC 15) or be "inspired" - once so inspired, targets get no will save v. their illusion casting ability
Casting illusory suggestions - Once it has your attention, the PAB begins weaving a constant stream of illusory false perceptions. Once a round, it may suggest a belief, a course of action, or a 'new idea' and (if under the PAB's sway) the target has no choice but to accept it as true. The true menace is that unless this beast is slain the idea once transmitted can take on a life of it's own within the target's mind.
If the beast compels or directs (however intentionally or not) the target toward doing something that violates their essential nature, they do receive a will save (DC 15) to avoid doing that thing. If successful this may create an opportunity for the target to get free, allowing an additional save v. the Inspiration attack now at DC 20.
If for some reason the PAB uses this ability on one it has not "inspired" the target does get a saving throw v. Will (DC 10)
Exists on the psychic plane - AC 15 but only hit by magic, ethereal, or psionically active weapons* If somehow encountered in it's native envrionment give it 2d20 action die and increase all of it's saving throws by 2. Immune to crits. As a psychic entity, it can be exorcised or banished normally.

Tactics & RP: the Polychromatic Anxious Beast is not truly sentient but as a notion wandering the psychic planes, it has 'evolved' to interact with advanced sentient minds. In the realms of Deep Psyche, it is said that herds of these roam, numbering in the hundreds.

LotFP stats
Polychromatic Anxiety Beast
Armor 16, Move 15′, 2d4 Hit Dice, 7 hp, Forced Inspiration special damage, Morale 12. Nonmaterial existence, Forced Inspiration
Exists on the psychic plane - AC 16 but only hit by magic, ethereal, or psionically active weapons* If somehow encountered in it's native envrionment add a bonus of two to all saving throws. As a psychic entity, it can be exorcised or banished normally.
Forced Inspiration:   On a successful hit, the target must save v. magic or be "inspired" - once so inspired, targets get no will save v. their illusion casting ability
Casting illusory suggestions - Once it has your attention, the PAB begins weaving a constant stream of illusory false perceptions. Once a round, it may suggest a belief, a course of action, or a 'new idea' and (if under the PAB's sway) the target has no choice but to accept it as true. The true menace is that unless this beast is slain the idea once transmitted can take on a life of it's own within the target's mind.
If the beast compels or directs (however intentionally or not) the target toward doing something that violates their essential nature, they do receive a saving throw v.paralyzation to avoid doing that thing. If successful this may create an opportunity for the target to get free, allowing an additional save v. the Inspiration (again, save v. magic, tho now at +2)
If for some reason the PAB uses this ability on one it has not "inspired" the target does get a saving throw v. Magic; saves are at a +4.





Preconception
Believed to be an evolved or adult version of the PAB, the Cloud of Preconception. rides on your head, hooks in your ears, eyes, up your nose and sometimes in your mouth...invisible.   It alters your perceptions to advance its own agenda;  fighting past the lies requires conscious effort and concentration and is an action. An apparent psychic cloud of millions of tiny cilla, they will 'hook' into a character and adopt them.   
DCC statblock
Cloud of Preconception: Init +1; Atk weapon +2 melee touch (no damage see below); AC 10 (on the ethereal); HD 4d4+2; hp 15; Act 1d24; SP Neural possession; SV Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +5; AL Neutral.
Exists on the psychic plane - AC 10 but only hit by magic, ethereal, or psionically active weapons* If somehow encountered in it's native envrionment step up it's action die by one and increase all of it's saving throws by 2. Immune to critical hits. As a psychic entity, it can be exorcised or banished normally.
Neural possession - the 'adoption' power. Once it hits a target that target must save v. Will (modifiied in this case by Intelligence) at a DC of 15. If they succeed, the attack fails, and Preconception will move on to the next target. Once a target fails this save, they become the focus for Preconceptions' activities.
I Dwell within Errors of Misinformation: Preconception dwells in the unconscious assumptions primitive meat based life forms make with their cultures and their experiences.  Once it has possessed a target, Preconception uses it’s connection to the target's 'pheonomenal headspace' to implant lies once / round (no save) - it can insert one untruth, one ‘alt fact,’ into the target’s conscious mind at a time, even if the target is aware of Preconception and it’s ability the implanted lie will still feel/believe the thought to be their own no save.. This preconception lasts until Preconception uses the power on someone else.
Note that Preconception cannot force anyone to do ANYTHING. All it does is lie, selectively, and bias the target until it does as it is desired.

LotFP statblock
Cloud of Preconception Armor 12, Move #′, # Hit Dice, ##hp, +2 melee touch (no damage see below), Morale 10.
Exists on the psychic plane - AC 12 but only hit by magic, ethereal, or psionically active weapons* If somehow encountered in it's native envrionment add a bonus of two to all saving throws. As a psychic entity, it can be exorcised or banished normally.
Neural Possession - the 'adoption' power. Once it hits a target that target must save v. paralyzation (characters with a wisdom bonus may add it to this save). If they succeed, the attack fails, and Preconception will move on to the next target. Once a target fails this save, they become the focus for Preconceptions' activities.
I Dwell within Errors of Misinformation: Preconception dwells in the unconscious assumptions primitive meat based life forms make with their cultures and their experiences.  Once it has possessed a target, Preconception uses it’s connection to the target's 'pheonomenal headspace' to implant lies once / round (no save) - it can insert one untruth, one ‘alt fact,’ into the target’s conscious mind at a time, even if the target is aware of Preconception and it’s ability the implanted lie will still feel/believe the thought to be their own no save.. This preconception lasts until Preconception uses the power on someone else.
Note that Preconception cannot force anyone to do ANYTHING. All it does is lie, selectively, and bias the target until it does as it is desired.

A trick for advanced judges: Once possessed, determine preconception's goal and then begin, as the Referee, slowly and subtly suggesting such courses of action.
This table might help.. Determine Preconception's Possible Goals

1. Preconception dislikes and is discomforted by those who are unlike the host, be it along racial, ethnic, alignment, or other (fairly arbitrary) lines.   IT seeks to encourage the host to form a separatist community, away from those not like itself, where the host (of course) will be considered a wise leader.   Those who do not go along with this will increasingly be met with ostracism and ultimately, violence.
2. Preconception makes you certain in your religious, legal, or moral beliefs.  For the duration of Preconception’s “stay” changing the host’s alignment or affecting their mind to any degree is largely impossible. HOWEVER, the host’s alignment shifts to an increasingly inflexible, relatively Puritanical, variety of Lawful over time.   Unless stopped, the character will lose the ability to question their own beliefs or reasons for doing things.
3. Suddenly a stray and passing thought takes on awesome and incredible significance.   Regardless of their prior activity, the host will now become certain that this stray thought (it could be a subplot of the session, a rumor, a red herring, a snippet of table conversation, anything - be creative)
4. Preconception nests in the regions of the host’s mind where it detects discontinuity between the truth and the truth as the host believes it.   Any misconceptions, wrong information, or outright lies believed at the time of possession are now considered Sacred Truths and are not to be questioned or thought deeply of in any way.   The host changes very little BUT will simply be unable to accept that these false things are not completely true, no matter what.
5. Preconception creeps in from doubts about the host’s path and purpose.   At the end of this adventure or game session, the host will disappear for 1d3 weeks; on return they will be seen to be attempting a new facet of their identity; the character will be attempting to act as though having changed character class even though they have not. Note that the host is not hallucinating or deluded in that way, simply they will be attempting a new path or career, and relying upon their old skill set as little as possible.
(And if you are using this for AD&D, maybe let them double class. Why not?)
6. Adventuring is ...dangerous.  Immediately preconception blankets whatever personality urges exist that keep the host in their chosen (violent) line of work (presumed adventurer mercenary).  After some days of contemplation, which may be influenced by things the host encounters in the course of events, they will attempt to withdraw from the adventuring life and begin pursuit of quiet contemplation.



Insufferable Internal Antagonist
Less a thinking being and more a mobile curse. Possibly related to the above creatures but definitely hailing from it's own evolutionary path. This jumbled grouping of "anti-glowing" spheres are drawn to intelligent, emotional life forms.
The IIA Cannot be exorcised as it is a mental being; once it has possessed an individual, it can only be banished by experience; learning to distinguish between what it says and what is and consistently ignoring it.  
Appears as a tiny shadow, black as a singularity, surrounded by a corona of multi spectrum light.   A tiny little black hole of doubt and uncertainty.

DCC statblock
Internal Antagonist: Init +0; Atk +4 telefestation (possession, 15’); AC 17; HD 4d4+2 hp 17; MV 25; Act 1d20; SP exists on psychic plane, telefestation; SV Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +4; AL Chaotic.
Exists on the psychic plane - When not possessing the living, it has AC 17 but is only hit by magic, ethereal, or psionically active weapons* If somehow encountered in it's native environment step up it's action die by one and increase all of it's saving throws by 2. It is immune to critical hits. As a psychic entity, it can be exorcised or banished normally.
If it is to be destroyed, it must be destroyed prior to claiming a victim.
Insufferable telefestation - The being’s primary attack form is its telefestation power; it takes a moment, syncs to the victim’s neural pathways and existentially teleports into the realm of the character’s mind.  Now functionally as mortal or immortal as the host it begins a campaign of ruination and sabotage, indistinguishable in voice from the character’s own thoughts. It is a constant stream of self destructive suggestions. Most of the time that is all it is. Sometimes, it will insist on a course of action; failure to heed these whims leave the target at -1 to -2 to all actions for the duration of the day and they will fatigue easier.
While it has possession of a character it, for all intents and purposes, is part of that character. It loans it's saving throw bonuses to the afflicted, save where their own influence is concerned. AT this point only a major quest (Judge's option) or an extended period of RP is going to get rid of this thing.
HOWEVER, those who do manage to outlast this thing gain a permanent +2 to their luck score, and can reclaim any two ability points lost. (If the character has never lost ability points, add up to two to their Personality score, max 18), perhaps somewhat less so if they quest for it to be rid of it. Further, the former victim now enjoys a permanent +1 to all will saves for the rest of their existence.


LotFP statblock
Internal Antagonist Armor 19, Move 25, 3 Hit Dice, 17hp, telefestation attack (see below), Morale 12.
Exists on the psychic plane - When not possessing the living, it has AC 17 but is only hit by magic, ethereal, or psionically active weapons* If somehow encountered in it's native environment step up it's action die by one and increase all of it's saving throws by 2. As a psychic entity, it can be exorcised or banished normally. If it is to be destroyed, it must be destroyed prior to claiming a victim.
Insufferable telefestation - The being’s primary attack form is its telefestation power; it takes a moment, syncs to the victim’s neural pathways and existentially teleports into the realm of the character’s mind.  Now functionally as mortal or immortal as the host it begins a campaign of ruination and sabotage, indistinguishable in voice from the character’s own thoughts. It is a constant stream of self destructive suggestions. Most of the time that is all it is. Sometimes, it will insist on a course of action; failure to heed these whims leave the target at -1 to -2 to all actions for the duration of the day and they will fatigue easier.
While it has possession of a character it, for all intents and purposes, is part of that character. It loans it's saving throw bonuses to the afflicted, save where their own influence is concerned. AT this point only a major quest (Judge's option) or an extended period of RP is going to get rid of this thing.
HOWEVER, those who do manage to outlast this thing gain a permanent +2 to their Wisdom (max 18) score, and can reclaim any two ability points lost if any. Perhaps somewhat less so if they quest for it to be rid of it. Further, the former victim now enjoys a permanent +1 to all saves involving mental fortitude for the rest of their existence.


The Creatures of the Id Realm


“Id, Id, Id, Id, Id!    It's a... It's an obsolete term. I'm afraid once used to describe the elementary basis of the subconscious mind.” - Dr. Edward Morbius, Forbidden Planet
Play the Theremin. Do it now.


Initially invisible, these manifestations of repressed urges of evolved animal forms have tremendous potential power when unleashed upon the material planes. Such a being is fundamentally a force of pure mentality with vast control of an energy field which allows it's interaction with the physical world.


Creature from the Id   Init +2; Atk weapon +10 melee grab and crush (2d8+10); AC 14; HD 8d10; MV 45; Act 2d20; SP lots; SV Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +6; AL Chaos.
Invisibility - unless saturated with energy the Id Creature is invisible and makes no noise in it's movement. Once it has absorbed it's Hit Point total in energy the creature becomes unable to hide, appearing as a blazing ego manifestation; often a distorted face or upper body appearing wrought of blue or red energy.
Energy Absorbsion- When manifested, an Id Creature is only able to interact with the material world through the use of an energy field; this energy field absorbs most forms of mundane energy; cold, heat, light, sound, acid, and blasts of concussive force all add to the Energy pool which allows it to power it's attacks but inflict no damage at all. The only known means of containing the entity (save dismissing it to it's home realm) is via force fields, which it cannot penetrate.
Note that other than fleeing or banishing this being, the only permanent way to kill this creature is via energy drain. (Assume the base creature's starting HP total represents a pool of energy that it may not use for other purposes.)
The reasons unknown to mage or scientist, the Id creature is unable to absorb the 'energy' (expressed in damage) from conventional melee or missile weapons. However such only inflict half damage and reducing the Id Creature to 0 hp in this manner will not kill it but send it into a resting configuration for 4d8 hours, after which it will regenerate 3 hp/hour until back at it's full hp total.
Focused Energy Touch - The primordial and base nature of the creature's mind prevents it from using it's energy fields for anything more complex. When pressed, the Id Creature may use it's banked energy (in terms of absorbed hit point damage) to burn or melt through solid objects. 3 or 4 should be sufficient to get through a wooden door, 10-12 for a high tech door made of steel. This may not be used as an attack on living creatures unless the creature is unconscious, sleeping, or otherwise inert. Energy thus expended is gone, and often appears in a fashion similar to the form of energy orginally absorbed. (Example - 140 points of damage have been thrown the Id Creature by Jem with her Laser Hologram Staff; hours later, the Id Creature seems to burn through that forged steel door with a 'laser touch' for example)

LotFP statblock
Creature from the Id Armor 16, Move 45′, 10 Hit Dice, 63 hp, Grab and Crush attack 2d8+10 damage, Morale 12.
Invisibility - unless saturated with energy the Id Creature is invisible and makes no noise in it's movement. Once it has absorbed it's Hit Point total in energy the creature becomes unable to hide, appearing as a blazing ego manifestation; often a distorted face or upper body appearing wrought of blue or red energy.
Energy Absorbsion- When manifested, an Id Creature is only able to interact with the material world through the use of an energy field; this energy field absorbs most forms of mundane energy; cold, heat, light, sound, acid, and blasts of concussive force all add to the Energy pool which allows it to power it's attacks but inflict no damage at all. The only known means of containing the entity (save dismissing it to it's home realm) is via force fields, which it cannot penetrate.
Note that other than fleeing or banishing this being, the only permanent way to kill this creature is via energy drain. (Assume the base creature's starting HP total represents a pool of energy that it may not use for other purposes.)
The reasons unknown to mage or scientist, the Id creature is unable to absorb the 'energy' (expressed in damage) from conventional melee or missile weapons. However such only inflict half damage and reducing the Id Creature to 0 hp in this manner will not kill it but send it into a resting configuration for 4d8 hours, after which it will regenerate 3 hp/hour until back at it's full hp total.
Focused Energy Touch - The primordial and base nature of the creature's mind prevents it from using it's energy fields for anything more complex. When pressed, the Id Creature may use it's banked energy (in terms of absorbed hit point damage) to burn or melt through solid objects. 3 or 4 should be sufficient to get through a wooden door, 10-12 for a high tech door made of steel. This may not be used as an attack on living creatures unless the creature is unconscious, sleeping, or otherwise inert. Energy thus expended is gone, and often appears in a fashion similar to the form of energy orginally absorbed. (Example - 140 points of damage have been thrown the Id Creature by Jem with her Laser Hologram Staff; hours later, the Id Creature seems to burn through that forged steel door with a 'laser touch' for example)





Notion, Hobgoblin

Hobgoblins of the Mind (4-16) Init +2; Atk none; AC 13; HD 1d8; hp 1 ea; MV 25; Act 1d20; SP Mind Goblins; SV Fort +3, Ref n/a, Will +1; AL Neutral.
Exists on the psychic plane - When not possessing the living, it has AC 13 but is only hit by magic, ethereal, or psionically active weapons* If somehow encountered in it's native environment step up it's action die by one and increase all of it's saving throws by 2 and add a physical attack at +4 that inflicts a d8 but does not critical; the creature itself is immune to critical hits. As a psychic entity, it can be exorcised or banished normally.

Mind goblins -Visible but intangible to a single target (Chosen randomly or by circumstance) and both invisible and intangible to everyone else. Often manifesting via least corruption or interaction with behavior altering illusion magic. Usually manifesting as a 'plague' of 4d4 ‘hobgoblins” for the next d5 days which exist on the ethereal plane appearing as the target's fears and anxieties.
This has no game effect BUT if sufficiently rattled, a -1 to 2 penalty on a single roll is likely.

LotFP statblock
Hobgoblins of the Mind Armor 14, Move 25′, 1d8 Hit Dice, 1 hp ea, no attacks or damage, Morale 10.
Exists on the psychic plane - When not possessing the living, it has Armor of 14 but is only hit by magic, ethereal, or psionically active weapons* If somehow encountered in it's native environment step up it's action die by one and increase all of it's saving throws by 2 and add a physical attack at +4 that inflicts a d8 but does not critical; the creature itself is immune to critical hits. As a psychic entity, it can be exorcised or banished normally.

Mind goblins - Visible but intangible to a single target (Chosen randomly or by circumstance) and both invisible and intangible to everyone else. Often manifesting via interaction with behavior altering illusion magic. Usually manifesting as a 'plague' of 4d4 ‘hobgoblins” for the next d5 days which exist on the an adjacent mental plane appearing as the target's fears and anxieties.
This has no game effect BUT if sufficiently rattled, a -1 to 2 penalty on a single roll is likely. Concentration will be especially tricky at times.





The Doppelgänger Contagion
Extruded from another universe, these splinter analogs are motivated to enter our realm, replace ‘their imposter’ and thus secure physical existence in this continua.  
The Invaders are actually splinters of many player characters that have  somehow slipped across the hyperdimensional fabric to a matching universe (your game) where it may have a body to steal.   
In all ways acting as the traditional creature, if successfully possessed, the character becomes (physically) a doppleganger.
Despite the existential threat this seems to represent, generally only small groups of (PC like) individuals seem interested in escaping their universe enough to take over the bodies of others.
Dopplegangers resemble the original character in almost every respect save where that doppleganger alters it's appearance to be more in line with it's original form.

The Doppelgänger Contagion  Init +0; Atk +4 by weapon or +4 melee, (cellular disruption for 1d8); AC 17; HD 4d8; hp 19; MV 30; Act 1d20; SP possesion/duplication; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +1; AL Neutral.
Possession Overwrite - a directed will attack on a physical being; this being must be a dimensional analog to the character whose possession is sought. This being will have similar memories and experiences to the character.  A DC 20 will save is required to resist this attack.
If successful, the character becomes possessed and a passenger in their own mind while their body slowly becomes that of a traditional doppleganger (as above). This is an indefinite transformation. However, while otherwise incapable of action, the victim is entitled to another save (Saving throw v. Poison) every time they attempt to regain control of their body; this may be attempted every 2d6 days.  These beings may also be exorcised or banished normally.
Contagion - once in possession of a body, the doppleganger may be motivated to find “it’s friends” and expose them to the ‘shade’ of the doppleganger’s home universe;  (Fort save DC 15).  If successful, then the created energy channel between universes will draw the appropriate doppleganger to the new target within 1d6 hours. AT that time the new doppleganger entity may attempt to seize control of it's designated host.  


LotFP statblock
The Doppelgänger Contagion Armor 18, Move 30′, 4 Hit Dice, 19 hp, +4 to attack damage by weapon or 1d8, Morale 9.
Possession Overwrite - a directed will attack on a physical being; this being must be a dimensional analog to the character whose possession is sought. This being will have similar memories and experiences to the character.  A successful Save. v. Paralyzation is needed to resist this attack.
If successful, the character becomes a doppleganger (as above). This is an indefinite transformation. However, while otherwise incapable of action, the victim is entitled to another save (Saving throw v. Poison) every time they attempt to regain control of their body; this may be attempted every 2d6 days.  These beings may also be exorcised or banished normally.
Contagion - once in possession of a body, the doppleganger may be motivated to find “it’s friends” and expose them to the ‘shade’ of the doppleganger’s home universe; doing so creates an energy channel from that universe to the target if they fail a Saving throw v. Magic. If successful, then the channel will draw the appropriate doppleganger to the new target within 1d6 hours. AT that time the new doppleganger entity may attempt to seize control of it's designated host.  










*  psionically active weapons are here defined as any magical or super-science device or weapon that has intelligence, or an ego score, contains a soul or mind, or allows any of the following abilities

Detect (Any), ESP, Sending, Telepathy, Teleportation, Read Magic, Comprehend Languages, Charm, Locate Object, Clairvoyance, Clairaudence or basically any psychic phenomena, psionics, or anything that resembles them in funtion.





Wednesday, September 13, 2017

So while digging around in my files (I was going to share One Thing Out.  Four hours later I've reorged half of my drive.  This is why putting that organization thing off will bite you in the end) and ran across a thing I wrote....sometime.  IT made me laugh and I want to test settings so.....here you go.

The Gm has just has decided "F@!$% this session" tale

01-05 FAREWELL TOUR NEEDS ROADIES
In a flash of cheap trilocation magic, the character is suddenly on tour with a pandimensional intergalactic rock band, on its farewell tour before it dives out toward the big spiral galaxy you’ve got nearby.  It is weird and groovy and Daft Punk and Love and Rockets, and Liverpool, and Tanith Lee, the Tomorrow People, Andre Norton and any 50 issues of Heavy Metal (as long as they are the first 50) all rolled up burned to dust and smoked fine.
Age 1d10+4 years; biological clock reset to starting character age plus 1d4 or new body if this takes the character beyond their natural lifespan.
Character learns a smattering of Spoken/Audio-Gestural PanGal and the basic starways around the Greater Magellanic Cloud and in particular it’s largely telepathic and aquatic Galactic Federation.  
Work Visa - esperlingua impaired Galactic Federation / Zone exchange (10 local years remain)
1or more (roll a d4 and add one) programmed amoeba
  • Translator film (ear-audial nerve)
  • Scribescum (floating ink-like fungal ‘crobe, translates 500 written languages)
  • Gutwash
And finally the gravimetric key to a space yacht in definite port in a space station orbiting a Mass recharge station on the far side of 1987A.


15-20 YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN HITCHHIKER
Maybe an old teleport spell misfired and it’s Just Now Going Off.  Or the party’s nemesis threw a delayed curse at them. Or radiation from the crashed starfreighter they looted is interfering with their metaphysical powers. Whatever.  The character/party is abruptly elsewhere - in the hold of a passing space freighter.
(System shock or blow oats after moment of total disorientation;  Thief-acrobats, monks, Illusionist, Assassins, some rangers, Horizon Walkers, Gatecrashers, etc. may save to avoid  Teleporters, and most Clairvoyants immune;  most experienced space travellers immune)
However, a crime has been committed aboard just prior and the strategy computers compute that YOUR character has the best chance of resolving the situation.   (Ref: pick the paladin or other character with obvious moral compass and axe to grind. Need not be good)
Depending on nature of ship and crew this could mean the other characters are fitted with explosive bolts or could be considered as part of the “needed computation.”   

76-80 SCREW ALL OF YOU WE’RE PLAYING GANGBUSTERS
All chaotic characters are now the mob.  All Lawful characters are g-men; all Neutrals are journalists, or cops, or bystanders.   Start with the basic game and go.  Bonus points to the Referee if the Irish mob call the characters Chlurichans.
Ref’s option as to whether PCs retain their magic/sf gear and powers while they are here and if escape is possible (or desirable!)

86-90 BLACK SITE BLACK SITE!!!!
The Imperial Navy has received authorization to sterilize the site and the containing 28.4 mi hex surrounding down to a micrometer.   Antimatter is probably involved at some point.  
To hell with this Tom Cruise shit, unless you can save v. Gamma Rays don’t even ask about survivability
23% of being flung to some far plane, planet, time, place, dimension, or game system, perhaps indefinitely.   No save unless you’d rather be dead.
(Referee:  play Khyber Pass by Ministry REALLY LOUD and theatrically tear up your notes if you are so inclined.  Just for this hex though. )    

96-00 THE REFEREE HAS FINALLY HAD IT
Demons pour from torn holes in reality.  The uncoiled uncoil and tear their way from underneath and rage across your world’s landscape.  The Gods smite all who oppose them. IF there be no true Gods, then Unimaginable Space Horrors do it instead
(Really, difference?)  
The moon(s) go dark or red or both.   The sun's) shine at night or when they aren’t supposed to.  Dogs and cats...you know.

IN a rain of burning raging fire, all life is extinguished.  But next week the Ref would like you to consider a game called Top Secret…...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Mind is a Labyrinth (the Oneiromancer's Last Word)

The Mind is a Labyrinth
An illusion style maze spell


“The mind is a labyrinth, ladies and gentlemen, a puzzle. And while the paths of the brain are plainly visible, its ways deceptively apparent, its destinations are unknown. Its secrets still secret. And, if we are honest, it is the lure of the labyrinth that draws us to our chosen field to unlock those secrets. Others have been here before us and have left us signs, but we, as explorers of the mind, must devote our lives and energies to going further to tread the unknown corridors in order to find ultimately, the final solution. We have to see, we have to know... “

Dr. Philip Channard, Hellbound: Hellraiser 2





DCC version
The Mind is a Labyrinth
Level 2 Range:  3’/caster level
Duration: number of rounds = to target’s Personality plus Intelligence
Casting time one action Save: Will v. Spellcraft DC
General - an illusion spell that traps a single target within their own mind for a time, taking the form of a labyrinth-prison made out of their own unconscious thoughts. Possibly before setting the target’s mind against itself. At higher results the maze becomes a quasi real labyrinth with randomly generated numbers of rooms, eventually the victim’s anxieties becoming manifest as The Minotaur. The minotaur is a psychic composite which must be defeated or the victim will forever be lost to the labyrinth.
Manifestation 1.  With a bullish snort and a scrape of one foot, smoke billows out of the caster’s nostrils streaking towards the target, writhing phantom shapes in the fog. 2.  A dazzling array of multi coloured sigils erupts from the caster’s mouth, swimming toward the target at dizzying speed  3.  The caster whispers the blackest secrets of the target, and an inky blackness momentarily covers the face of the target.   4.  The caster speaks the targets name and as much of their true name as is known, causing a dark plum ichor to erupt from the target, covering their face immediately. 5. A pulsating black and white beam 6. For a moment the target's body is revealed as transparent and containing naught but a series of nested mazes.
Corruption 1.  In a bone wrenching transformation, one foot assumes the form of a misshapen hoofed thing.  Movement speed reduced by 5’ and wearing shoes will be difficult.  2. Slowly over a period of hours mysterious blue, pink, and green whorls will appear on the caster's skin, glowing softly, covering their body in a map of some great far maze (Wizards who study the whole image over time may gain a +1 to alll spellcraft checks v. the caster) 3. For one hour a day every day, the caster will experience acute vertigo; the complete loss of balance and disorientation makes combat and adventuring impossible. But it only lasts an hour. Starting now. 4. Caster, when alone, will hear strains of eldritch, inhuman music that will appear to emanate from within the walls of their home, the sky, and other inappropriate places. Unsettling but only distracting. 5. The caster unintentionally absorbs a potent, visceral image from the target's mind - caster develops a phobic reaction to the random image. Will require DC 15 Will save at times to successfully confront. 6. Numbers. On some level, and for the rest of their days, the caster will constantly hear the sound of their own voice, counting. It will never stop.
Misfire -  1. Caster releases “Creature from the Id” and must be dealt with it.  2.  Caster is consumed by fear of madness for the next d24 days  3. The caster is subjected to a small plague of ‘hobgoblins” for the next d5 days (harmless ethereal manifestations of the caster’s fears and anxieties) 4. There is a tremendous blue light - everyone must save v. will or find themselves in the same labyrinth.   There is no minotaur; the caster must be slain for anyone to escape. Meanwhile everyone is sleeping, their minds trapped within the target’s brain. If the target dies, everyone dies. 5. A tremendous miscalculation of energies upsets the flow of the Phlogiston; everyone in a 25' radius of the caster will be bodily whisked in a grinding and crackling tunnel of green light into another place in space and time. Containing an actual labyrinth, and an actual minotaur. 6. With the great sound of a tolling bell only the caster can hear they are nearly deafened by the tremendous volume and vibration of their bodies' own internal processes. For the next d3 +5 hours, the caster is lost in an involuntary clairvoyant journey through the labyrinth of their own insides. (DC 15 Will save to avoid perm. loss of d3 personality points. ) In the meantime, anyone approaching the apparently catatonic caster will hear the growling of a bull or larger beast.


Spell check results
1 Lost, failure, and worse! Roll 1d6 modified by luck: (0 or less) corruption + patron taint + misfire; (1-3) corruption (4+) misfire
2-11 Lost, failure.
12-13   Failure but the spell is not lost.
14-17  The caster puts the target to a quasi conscious state resembling sleep for the spell's duration; During this time the target wanders aimlessly through a small unremarkable labyrinth ( a spiral or other similar form) otherwise free of damage or incident until the spell ends.   
18-19 The target is placed into an involuntary sleeping state for the spell's duration and immediately begins dreaming. In the dream they are trapped in a small and repetitive maze of d4 features, d6 rooms, and d12 hallways. It is disorienting in terms of both time and space but at this level there is no game effect it must be described. .
20-23 The target becomes lost in a dizying mental maze for the duration of the spell, while otherwise being magically kept sleeping. It is disorienting in terms of both time and space, magickal or additional contact outside of their own mind labyrinth is now impossible. Further it is impossible to determine precise distance or tell how much time has passed.
24-27   As above; however now the labyrinth becomes  a quasi-real psychic plane (only for the target) with d14 randomly generated hallways, d8 chambers, d12 doors distributed randomly, and d10 strategically located mirrors or other reflective surfaces.  (Using a book of mazes is not out of line here.)
A successful will save (DC 20) made at the mid-point of the spell's duration may reveal one of the reflective surfaces to contain a way out which will end the spell's effect early.
28-29  As above save the labyrinth contains d24 hallways and corridors, d20 doors, d16 ramps, staircases, drop offs, and pits, d14 dead-ends or apparent dead ends,  and d12 rooms or chambers each of which is a different colour or labeled number. Further, the caster may if desired, dictate the shape and dimensions of the labyrinth (i.e. the caster may draw a map of said labyrinth rather than leting the Judge determine).  Also, there are now two reflective surfaces of note. One is a shortcut out of the spell's
duration, and one represents the death urge. Stepping into it ends the spell duration
tho the target must now make a DC 20 Fort save or their heart will stop.
30-31   As above; however now the labyrinth is much larger (step each category up one level of the die chain). Now the target’s anxieties become manifest as The Minotaur.  The Minotaur must be defeated or the victim will forever be lost to the labyrinth, regardless of spell duration.
The minotaur has identical ability scores, hit points, class, and abilities to the target.  It may appear as their duplicate, their shadow, or an actual minotaur; whatever the sum of the target's fears would appear as. IT must be sought out in the labyrinth; likely the Minotaur will keep moving, drawing the target into an ambush spot. If the minotaur slays the character in the labyrinth, their body dies, the character dies, and the spell ends.  
32+  As above save there are now 1d14 ramps, staircases, or slides, 1d10 doors, 1d12 small rooms (each one a different colour), 1d116 winding hallways, all identical, 1d16 reflective surfaces, 1d20 pits, drop offs, gaps/chasms, or cracks, always positioned to initially be in the target’s way. and of course the Minotaur.
The minotaur need not be sought out. Now it stalks you.   The minotaur has ability scores identical to the target’s +2, they have the full hp total of the character plus 16, and an AC of 16.  HD are identical to the target;  it immediately begins seeking the character out but will defer to pursuit over slaughter initially. If the character surrenders they die. If the minotaur kills them in the labyrinth, they die. Only the destruction of the minotaur by the target will free them.
Note: Should the minotarur be defeated:  For results of 30 plus, there is a chance that the minotaur will recur on the anniversary of its defeat for many years; each year. On the anniversary of the minotaur's defeat, the character must make a will save (DC 15 +1 per year following) or return to the labyrinth (at the original spellcheck) when next they go to sleep.
This is the source of another name for the spell in the great illusionist grimoires - Oneiromancer's Last Word. 



LotFP version
The Mind is a Labyrinth
Range:  short (5'/caster level)
Duration: sum of target's wis & cha/rounds
Casting time 1 round
Save: Magic

The spell traps the target in a labyrinth prison made out of their own mind, possibly before setting it against itself.  A successful casting leaves the target motionless and apparently  comatose, their mind swimming with hallucinatory dreams for an indefinite period of time, trapped in a mindscape of their own fears, insecurities, and hangups.
Once the spell has taken effect, the target will find themself alone in a surreal labyrinthine maze that twists and turns in ways not possible outside of one’s own mind.  
Each labyrinth consists of a number of empty or mostly empty rooms, hallways, chambers, ramps, stairs, and the like, all somewhat identical, warping in ways that such things may not in physical reality.  If it is desirable to detail, for each level of the caster, the target’s perceptual labyrinth wlll contain

1d4 ramps, staircases, or slides
1d6 doors
1d8 small rooms (each one a different colour)
1d10 winding hallways, all identical
1d12 reflective surfaces, pits, drop offs, ledges, and other movement obstructions.
The labyrinth may conform to any shape the caster desires (tho they need not specify). It is permissible for the caster to have a map drawn for these purposes.
The sum of the character’s traditionally ‘negative’ psychic energies - fear, anxiety, hatred, and all manner of unbidden suppressed urges coalesce into a monstrous form, terrifying to the target.  This is the Minotaur Note that the ‘minotaur’ need not in any way resemble the traditional monster of Greek myth, though it certainly can.

Miscast Table
1 Caster releases “Creature from the Id” and must be dealt with.
2 Caster becomes trapped in the labyrinth of the target's mind. Bodily. Somehow the magic user has affected full physical immersion inside an extra dimensional extrusion of the target's mind. The target may now draw the map as though they were the caster (determined however by the caster's level, not the target's). Further, the minotaur is now under the control of the would-be target. The target can still act and move normally, while carrying on simultaneous actions controlling the internal labyrinth and it's new victim as though the caster. If the original caster dies in this way, 1d2 points of intelligence and 1d4 points of the original caster's charisma are absorbed by the target (to racial maximums) as well as one tenth of the original caster's raw experience point total. Also the would be target should again at this time save v. magic. Failing to do so means the target also gains the use of one (75%), two (15%), or three (10%) of the now dead caster's spells, regardless of class.
3 M@dnE5s  takes it’s toll - Caster is consumed by fear of madness for the next d24 days, if the caster already suffers from mental health issues, this will leave them nonfunctional for the duration, they will require taking care of or their health and life will suffer in the meantime. In any event, even the most well adjusted magic user in this situation is unlikely to do anything stressful like adventuring....or spellcasting.
4 There is a tremendous blue light - everyone must save v. will or find themselves in the same labyrinth.   There is no minotaur; instead the caster must be slain for anyone to escape. Meanwhile everyone is sleeping, their minds trapped within the target’s brain.  If the target dies, everyone dies.
5 In a bone wrenching transformation, one foot assumes the form of a misshapen hoofed thing.  Movement speed reduced by 5’ and wearing shoes will be difficult.
6 The caster is subjected to a small plague of ‘hobgoblins” for the next d5 days (harmless ethereal manifestations of the caster’s fears and anxieties)
7 or higher consult the Miscast table



Dream Dressing - or -
Unique prison of the mind table

  1. Non-specified walls and surfaces appear to be made of glass, plastic, or some other transparent surface.  Viewing outward there is nothing - a translucent white mist that hovers above the ‘ground’, with inky darkness stretching beyond to infinity.
  2. All non-specified interior surfaces appear to be featureless and white, with a gentle hum just audible from these surfaces.  
  3. 1d12 areas above are filled with purple, pink, or white smoke.  Anyone entering an area filled with this will experience a variety of auditory hallucinations (loose memories) but nothing very coherant or helpful.
  4. There is a constancy of noise 1. total quiet.  2. a blowing and gusting of wind  3. whispers  4. voices from the target's memory, remixed randomly 
  5. There may be images on the walls, as though projected.   They will be distorted and unconscious images from the target's deep memory, especially those pertaining to sex, violence, and other primordial urges. 
  6. Anyone in the labyrinth finds their scent-memory stimulated;  random and overpowering scent memories will waft up from recollections of their childhood - or their funnel if they are player characters.  
  7. While traversing the halls, ahead there will be tortured and cacophonous laughter, while behind will appear arcane graffiti in clusters where they have stepped. Despite this, the graffiti fades once it is no longer in line of sight. 
  8. Roll again. To those results add 1d3  illusory images of the target from much younger in their life.   They will act the par to the hilt and do not know they are fake. If they are killed, the target will lose the associated memories on a failed save v. magic. 
  9. See 8. above. However add to the mix 1d6 'variations' of the target character; these are of differing gender, race, religion, etc. 
  10. As 9 above save that there are 1d4 additional images that are identical to the target...and one of them is a doppelganger.   The doppelganger has somehow slipped across the hyperdimensional fabric to a mind where it may have a body to steal.   In all ways acting as the traditional creature, it will attempt to help the target slay the minotaur only to then turn on the target thereafter.  If successful the character becomes (physically) a doppleganger, spread through mimetic suggestion as the internal doppleganger seizes control of this body in this universe.