Stalactomancers of Tlön

Possible content warning for gross stuff.




Problem: water is scarce on Tlön.

Solution, at least in some places: there's ancient ice buried in cave systems and in the uplands.

Problem, according to cowards: ancient ice is full of bacteria that will make you puke, kill you, take you over as a host and make you a pawn of ancient bacteria gods, &c.

Solution, according to these cowards: boil the water.

What are you, some kind of coward? No, you're yet another GLOG Wizard.

School: Stalactomancer

Perks and Drawbacks

Compromised organs: for every template you advance in Stalactomancy, one of your internal organs passes from serving you to serving the bacteria.



Think with your gut: once per block (= 1 inventory) of ancient ice you drink, you may call on the bacteria to have a skill you might not otherwise use or recall knowledge you might not otherwise know. Each time you do so, the referee may feed you false or edited recalled knowledge which serves the purposes of the bacteria in the future.

Additionally, by drinking ancient melted ice water and other things found beneath the earth, you can enhance your gut flora with new spells, as a merely orthodox wizard might from a spellbook. (You may not learn spells from spellbooks; as noted, you think with your gut.) One cannot advance along this class without seeking progressively deeper, stranger, more dangeorus melt to drink.

Starting Equipment: canteen, kerchief, scraping implement (can scrape off ice nicely into canteen, or used as crowbar), fake medical records

Spells

  1. Assay
  2. Baby Bird Ministrations
  3. Bioluminesce
  4. Charm Person
  5. Charm Person, Mass
  6. Clone
  7. Cryodowse
  8. Heliate 
  9. Metabolize
  10. Regenerate
  11. Speak with Disease
  12. Transmute Carbon to Oxygen
Many spells refer to the target as "host." If you have exchanged bodily fluids with someone over the course of the last three rests - passing a canteen around the fire suffices - they count as a host for purposes of being valid targets of the spell. (Extraordinary circumstances such as long-term petrification aside, you are always exchanging bodily fluids with yourself.)

(Many thanks to the OSR discord, who came up with the cool spells here. The lame ones are mine.)

Assay
R: touch T: object D: instant
Lick an object. As detect magic, but at referee discretion additional information, especially with additional md expended, may come up.

Baby Bird Ministrations
R: touch T: willing, grappled, or snoring organism D: [sum] hours
Puke directly into a target's mouth. (To grapple a target, make an unarmed attack at disadvantage.) They count as a host immediately. You are Charmed by them, as Charm Person, below.

Bioluminesce
R: 50' illumination T: host D: [dice] hours
The target's skin glows with light; as with a torch, though it cannot be snuffed. Any stealth checks are the like are made with disadvantage.

Charm Person
R: touch T: host D: [sum]*2 hours
Target will want to continue to exchange bodily fluids with you, rationalizing this either through a desire for friendship and sharing drinks and meals together, or if appropriate something else (fellow adult humans may feel romantically attracted to you, infant mammals may think you are their mother, vampires may try to kidnap you and keep you as a long-term blood bag.) If you engage them in combat, they will not be suicidally merciful to you, although they will prefer nonlethal methods if such are available.

Charm Person, Mass
R: as the wind carries T: all hosts in range D: [sum] hours
All hosts in range (including self) become Charmed by all valid targets.

Clone
R, T: self D: [sum - 6] days
During this ritual, which requires a minimum of 2md invested by each resulting party, you encase yourself in a cyst overnight and must be supervised by assistants you have trained. And the end of the ritual there will be a second of you with all the same memories (referee rolls secretly to determine whether you wake as original or clone.) After [sum-6] days pass, clone will start to break down, rolling to acquire a new compromised organ each day and advancing a doom for each redundant organ rolled. Finally doomed clones liquify to organic matter.

Cryodowse
R: touch beneath T: host D: [sum] hours
Target gains the ability to sense distance to ice water in up to [sum] miles beneath them. Takes form of proprioception. If active for length of long rest, bacteria in such ice may communicate with target through dreams. If four dice expended for this effect, range of such perception extends into the past, future, and comets of the heavens.

Heliate
R, T: self D: [sum] hours
Small cavities in the caster’s body puff up with helium, lifting them and up to 4 persons + 10 inventory off the ground and up to the lifting condensation level (about where uplands top off.) While inflated the caster cannot move, although they may be able to cast spells that do not require their active participation (for instance the pheromone release Charm Person, Mass.)

Metabolize
R: touch T: host D: one meal
By spending one die, target may consume spoiled or otherwise unacceptable food and water as if they were FDA-approved. By spending two, target may enjoy any organic material as rations. By spending three, target may so enjoy any matter. By spending four, target permanently gains ability to digest Group 11 elements (copper, silver, gold, and roentgentium) at rate of 5gp = 1 ration.

Regenerate
R: touch T: host D: instant
Target regains [sum] hp. If rolling three pips in a row (1,2,3; or 3,4,5; or the like) they may regenerate a limb or other organ, though it is compromised.

Speak with Disease
R: touch T: disease in hypnotized host D: until host's next rest
The disease speaks through a hypnotized host - you can induce self-hypnotism through meditation, or in a willing other host through the usual tricks. (For an unwilling host, figure it out.) Disease regards you as though [sum] rolled on reaction table. If expending four dice, speak to disease as a whole, not just instance in this host.

Transmute Carbon to Oxygen
R, T: 20 ft. cone D: instant or [sum]/beneficiaries hours
You inhale carbon from the air around you and exhale oxygen, helping contribute to the beautiful “air ballet” of living beings. If your contribution to this ballet is before an open flame, deal [sum] damage to anyone caught in the blast. If you are in an enclosed space with no air source, you and your party may survive for [sum]/members additional hours.

Mishaps and Dooms 

Mishaps

  1. Gain 1 trauma, as a bit of your insides melt.
  2. Take 1d6 damage, as your body overheats.
  3. Mutation for 1d6 turns, save or permanent.
  4. Another compromised organ for 1d6 days.
  5. You are Charmed (per above) by next creature you meet. The ice must flow.
  6. Puke out your guts. Lose all md unless you lap it all back up, or consume a block of ice.

Dooms

Doom can be averted by replacing all of your compromised organs with ancient cybernetic technology, by surviving one of the immolation rites of Shash Har, or by otherwise doing anything that destroys your entire colony. Your colony will be aware of this and do anything in its power to avert it.
  1. Your body temperature permanently rises to a resting rate of 105.3° F. Magic and technology that detects the presence of humans, for good or ill, will no longer detect you as one.
  2. In exactly one year of game time, you will become an NPC entirely under the control of the colony. You know this.
  3. One year arrives early.

1 comment:

  1. In Kim Stanley Robinson's book 2312, the protagonist Swan has, among her many exploits, consumed a colony of Europan xeno-bacteria that still live in her gut flora. She occasionally regrets the decision and worries about what they might be doing inside her.

    This reminds me of Swan's fears...

    ReplyDelete