Grimdark – Reinterpreting Divine Magic


Sorcery is likely to become more complex with examination and reinterpretation to a more ritualistic version. Divine magic, however, is likely to become simpler with an appropriate reinterpretation.

In approaching this we want divine magic to be questionable, to require faith, for it to – mostly – allow for things that aren’t immediately and obviously magic.

Traditionally, divine magic is primarily about healing, with a secondary benefit of blessings, curses and then – finally – any other effects. Religion played an important role in a great many local myths legends and priests were often seen as a bulwark against the unnatural and against witches and other magic. Healing is more to do with knowledge and practice, than magic (though amongst the faithful, prayer might help psychosomatically).

What do we need Clerics and Paladins to be able to do with their divine mandate?

  1. Renew or grant Heroism (Morale).

  2. Counter or dispel magic.

  3. Bless or curse people.

  4. Strike or turn undead.

Convert Spell slots to ‘dice’ (D6s). Boosted by Wisdom bonus (Cleric) or Charisma (Paladin)…

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#Starfinder – Starfinder Month: Psibernetics


Art by Maciej Kuciara

Psibernetic prosthesis use synthetic synapses and hardware to convert energy into raw magic and then to channel it through a number of pre-loaded chips to produce magical effects. There is no truth to the persistent rumours that this technology depends on harvesting nervous tissue from magic-capable androids.

Fitting a psibernetic prosthesis uses your Brain and Spinal Column systems and is made up of two parts.

Part One: The Psibernetic Processor (Brain)

  • Apprentice Processor: Level 2, Price 1000, Caster Level 2, Spell Slots 3, Maximum Spell Level 1.
  • Adept Processor: Level 5, Price 3000, Caster Level 5, Spell Slots 4, Maximum Spell Level 2.
  • Master Processor: Level 8, Price 10000, Caster Level 8, Spell Slots 5, Maximum Spell Level 3.

Part Two: The Psibernetic Converter (Spinal column)

  • Imp Converter: Level 2, Price 2000, Power Capacity 20.
  • Demon Converter: Level 5, Price 6000, Power Capacity 40.
  • Prince Converter: Level 8, Price 20000, Power Capacity 80.

Spell Chips

Cost and power-drain by Spell Level per Spell Chip (swapping chips in and out takes ten minutes per chip)

  • 0 – 10, 5 power.
  • 1 – 100, 10 power.
  • 2 – 4000, 20 power.
  • 3 – 90000, 30 power.

Spell Chip List

0: Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Energy Ray, Telepathic Message, Transfer Charge.

1: Comprehend Languages, Detect Radiation, Detect Tech, Flight, Identify, Jolting Surge, Keen Senses, Magic Missile, Overheat, Supercharge Weapon.

2: Caustic Conversion, Darkvision, Daze Monster, Fight, Fog Cloud, Knock, Logic Bomb, Microbot Assault, Recharge (yes, really).

3: Arcane Sight, Arcing Surge, Discharge, Dispel Magic, Entropic Grasp, Explosive Blast, Fight, Haste (self), Instant Virus, Irradiate, Probability Prediction, Resistant Armour (Lesser), Slow, Tongues.

#Starfinder – Starfinder Month: Path of the Necrotech


Art by B S

A very rough first pass of some ideas.

A Necrotech is a specialised version of the technomancer whose remit is ‘dead’ machines. Artificial intelligences and androids have a soul of the more conventional kind, but the necrotech has extended from this – through study – into the ‘machine spirits’ of lesser computers and machinery. They can recover lost data, bring broken machines back to life and weave fragments of corrupted programs into new applications.

You cast spells from the necrotech spell list, as a technomancer.

Magic Hacks
2nd Level: Weaponised Bug (Su): In place of Empowered Weapon you turn your weapon incorporial and can strike at incorporeal or undead enemies with a bonus to attack equal to the spell slot you use to enhance your weapon, in addition the weapon does 2d6 extra damage and can strike incorporeal targets.

5th Level: Necrobattery (Su): In place of Charging Jolt (Su) as a move action you can drain the life or electrical energy from a target to which you struck the death blow in the previous turn. You can recharge a weapon with a number of charges (or ammunition) from this occult energy, equal to the CR of the slain creature (minimum 1).

8th Level: Glitch (Su): In place of Mental Mark you can glitch an enemy who fails a Will save against one of your spells. They take a -2 penalty to attack and skill rolls for one round

14th Level: Dead Circuits (Su): In place of Spell Library you can carry around a severed robot head or motherboard and draw knowledge directly from its circuits. This provides you with a single skill, proficiency, special ability or feat from the creature you slew and decapitated (or removed the motherboard from).

Necrotech Spell List

0 Level
Dancing Lights
Detect Affliction
Detect Magic
*Scattershot: You can hurl a handful of scrap at an enemy doing damage as per Energy Ray, but as slashing, piercing or bludgeoning damage – your choice.
Ghost Sound
*Break: Touch an object or construct to do 1d4 hit points to it – this can be done in addition to melee attacks.
Psychokinetic Hand
*Drive Dump: This works as per Grave Words, but for broken computers, robots, machines (and androids).
Token Spell
Death Charge: By touching a destroyed entity or machine you can transfer one charge of latent energy from it into something else that you have that requires charges.

1st Level
Comprehend Languages
*Detect Data: As Detect Radiation, but it detects programs and data-caches, even if not currently operational, within 120 ft. You can even read this information – provided its not protected or locked down.
Detect Tech.
Hold Portal
Holographic Image
Jolting Surge
*Charm Construct: Make one (technological) construct creature believe that it is your ally.
*Command Machine: One robotic or technological device or creature obeys your command for 1 round.
*Confuse Construct: One robotic or technological device or enemy is confused for one round.
Magic Missile
Supercharge Weapon
Unseen Servant

3rd Level
Arcane Sight
Arcing Surge
Bestow Curse
Dispel Magic
Entropic Grasp
Explosive Blast
Handy Junkbot
Healing Junkbot
Holographic Image
Instant Virus
Hologram Memory
Lesser Resistant Armour

4th Level
Rise of the Machines: Create controlled undead creatures out of target broken robots, as per animate dead.
Death Ward
Corrosive Haze
Destruction Protocol
Holographic Image
Hold Construct: As hold monster, but for technological construsts, overcoming immunities to paralysis.
Overload Systems
Planar Binding
Mind Probe
Resilient Sphere
Resistant Armour
Rewire Flesh
Soothing Protocol
Tech Havoc: Do 12d8+Int hit points to a technological construct or machine.

5th Level
Break Enchantment
Contact Other Plane
Control Machines
Creation: Metal, ceramic or plastic only.
Greater Dispel Magic
Heat Leech
Holographic Image
Holographic Terrain
Greater Command: Robots, machines or computers only.
Planar Binding
Private Sanctum
Rewrite Memory: As modify memory but for computers, machines and robots.
Rapid Breakdown: Construct or weapon loses 2d8 hit points per round for 1 minute.
Resistant Aegis
Synapse Overload
Raise Machine: Restore to full function a machine, robot or android that ‘died’ no more than 1 day per level ago.
Unwilling Guardian: Technological constructs and robots only.
Wall of Force

6th Level
Battle Junkbot
Chain Surge
*Flesh to Machine: Transmute a living creature into a robot
Control Machine: Technological constructs follow your commands and don’t attack you (as per control undead)
Greater Discharge
Ethereal Jaunt
Holographic Image
*Psychic Technician: Cure all statistical damage and afflictions from a machine or robot.
*Incorporate: This slot is permanently used up, fusing a single weapon up to longarm size within your body. This weapon is now biotechnological and can be recharged or reloaded with eight hours of rest or the sacrifice of one hit point per charge/shot.
Planar Barrier
Planar Binding
Plane Shift
Greater Resistant Armour
Mass Rewire Flesh
Shadow Walk
Wreck Fleet: As per shadowy fleet, but made up of very real space junk
Sympathetic Vibration
*Blow Circuits: Instantly kill or massively damage one machine or technological construct per caster level, depending on target’s CR.
True Seeing
*Rust Plague: School Necromancy, Targets one technological construct or device, Duration instantaneous, Saving Throw Fortitude negates, harmless. Spell Resistance yes, harmless. See below. The Rust Plague can be spread, the save at -4 from the DC of your casting.
Wall of Steel

Rust Plague Disease Track
Disease (Contact), Save: By spell DC/spell DC -4, Track: Special, Frequency: 1/minute, Cure: 2 consecutive saves.

Despite the name, this magical, corroding plague can affect technological devices and synthetic constructs no matter what they are made of.

Intact – Spotty – Corroded – Malfunctioning – Breaking Down – Crumbling – Offline – Destroyed

  • Intact: The machine is a carrier, but despite slight tarnish is unaffected.
  • Spotty: The machine takes 1d6 damage and suffers a -2 penalty to KAC.
  • Corroded: The machine takes 2d8 damage and suffers a -2 penalty to all rolls.
  • Malfunctioning: The machine takes 4d10 damage and must succeed on a Will or Fortitude save DC 20 in order to act.
  • Breaking Down: The machine takes 6d10 damage and can only take one action per turn, if they make their save as above.
  • Crumbling: The machine takes 8d10 damage.
  • Offline: The machine shuts down completely.
  • Destroyed: The machine turns into ash and dust.

#RPG #TTRPG #WeirdHookMonth – Silly Hats


The Hook

The reason mages wore pointed hats was because they grounded evil energy unleashed by spells. When they go out of style everyone has forgotten this. Ba, city of magic, is now under siege with every spell cast by its (nattily millinered) mages to fight the demons, making it worse.

Suggested Systems

Any fantasy game.

Art by Zachary Hixson

#RPG #TTRPG #My30dayWorld – What Mystical Material is Valued in Your World?

combat_alchemist_at_work_by_fstitzThe raw stuff of magic exists in a separate realm from the main, material reality and is channelled into the reality and made manifest by various forms of practice. At its base magic is the source of everything, every rock, every tree is just a material expression of magic. The same way a sphere passing through a two-dimensional plane manifests as a growing and shrinking circle. Magic is brought through and made into things – effects, items, fireballs and so on – by patterns of speech, gesture, writing, patterns and other configurations. Raw magic rarely makes it through to the real world, and so it is rare, mystical and valuable…

To read the rest of this article, and to gain discounts and access. Please support with as little as a dollar at Patreon or Makersupport, or with a token at

#RPG – #My30DayWorld – How Prevalent is Magic, Where does it Come From?

742887-maxx017Given the background of the setting, magic has had a strong, powerful effect on the world but is relatively rare in people. I also want to make magic more universal, without dividing it into the typical categories of ‘arcane’ and ‘divine’. Magic is – then – something more like a natural force, something closer to the concept of ‘quintessence’ from the White Wolf game Mage: The Ascension, a measure of the ‘stuff’ and raw potential of reality which can be manipulated by certain people to cast spells, create artefacts and alter reality…

Read the rest, other entries, follow the development process and get discounts at Patreon and Makersupport


#RPG Foul Humours for the OSR RELEASED! – Schlocktoberfest


The OSR has become something of a home for the grotesque, the strange, the disgusting and the horrible. Whether that be the deadly oddities and horrors of Lamentations of the Flame Princess or the pecularities of Carcosa – not the mention the many other fringe products – there seems to be a home for the vile, unsettling and surreal.

Some of the things that cause the most visceral disgust and reaction in people are bodily fluids – spit, blood, urine and more. Slimes and oozes have always been a big part of fantasy gaming and combining these with the wilder, darker sides of magic and the compulsion to shock and disgust players who come under attack by these things can combine to create some potentially powerful monsters and dark spells.

Enjoy these ‘Foul Humours’, created from human excresence.

Rough as Toast
‘Rough as Toast’ is my imprint for ‘cheap and nasty’ products. Things that are a bit more experimental, silly or ‘hit and miss’ where a lot of money can’t be spent or risked on a bit of an ‘out there’ idea. If you see that marker, you know you’re getting something a little ‘whacky’ or uncertain, but you will probably get some fun out of it.

The Pulps were churned out at a massive rate of knots. Strange and silly ideas thrown at the wall to see what stuck. Occasionally some of those ideas turned out to have legs – legs that are still carrying them nearly a hundred years later. My intent with Schlocktoberfest (prevously just a sale some years back) is to just throw a bunch of monsters, ideas and other bits and pieces at the ‘wall’ and see what sticks. Maybe something will.

#RPG – Soooooon…

While I rest amd recover, let’s show off some cool things.

First, a mock up of a possible/likely configuration of the first Gor cover, with completed art.


Second, a glorious cover for an OSR project, thanks to the efforts of the man, the artist, the legend, that is Gary Chalk.


Pathfinder: Bladesoul Magic

Blade Soul
“The mind is a blade as keen as that of any swordsman. Lightness, speed and accuracy are our weapons but also our knowledge, as sharp as the edge of any paper. A mage can be too distant, too remote, standing apart and shaping the world with nothing but thought. We can do more, we can stand together, rather than apart, side by side with our brethren.”

Book of the Edge
The leather tome is bound with metal and embossed with crossed swords over an intricate sigil. Its pages contain spells that form a different kind of magic, the summoning and forming of blades from the material of the planes, imbuing them with power and force that channel’s the mage’s power.

Petrius Van Caladorn was a mage who was deeply invested in the adaptability of magic. He saw the specialisations and profusion of different foci in different schools of magic to be a weakness rather than a strength. “Adaptation…” so one of his aphorisms goes “…should stem from the magic, not the mage.”

To that end, rather than encouraging his students to pursue powerful specialist knowledge (Prestige classes) he encouraged them to remain generalist wizards and sorcerors and to find ways to use magic to do the things they wanted to in the form of new spells.

Van Caladorn’s legacy includes many spellbooks of unique or relatively unknown magicks, of which The Book of the Edge is but one.

Sword Spells & Edge Spells
The Blade Soul spells summon a blade into existence with a gesture. The caster can simultaneously cast 1+ Intelligence modifier Edge spells to enhance the blade and can even cast multiple Blade Soul spells – as edge spells – to enhance to sword’s bonus. The blade can be further enhanced – one spell a turn – on following turns if the character so chooses but the duration of the spell is only as long as that of the first blade casting.

Morgan has a +2 Intelligence modifier. He can cast a Sword Spell and three Edge spells all at once to summon his blade. He calls up a Silver Bladesoul and enhances it with two Corona of Power spells (+2d6 electrical damage) and an additional +1 from a second Silver Bladesoul spell.

Sword Spells
School: Conjuration Level: Sorceror/Wizard 1-9
Casting Time: Swift Action
Components: S
Range: Touch.
Target: Self.
Duration: 1 minute/level.
Saving Throw: N/A
Resistance: No.

Edge Spells
School: Conjuration
Casting Time: Swift/Conjoined with with Sword Spell.
Components: S
Range: Touch
Target: Sword Spell
Duration: As Sword Spell
Saving Throw: N/A
Resistance: No.

Sword spells can be extended, maximised etc, but cannot be made permanent.

0th Level
Bladesoul – Creates a magic blade (as a longsword) with no bonus to hit or damage, though it counts as a magic weapon against creatures vulnerable to that.

1st Level
Firefly Edge – The blade glows, shedding a greenish-yellow light in a 10 ft radius.
Lurid Razor – The blade takes on a noisome appearance of clashing colours and gains a poison effect. Injury; save Fort DC 10+caster level; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d2 Stat damage (caster’s choice); cure 1 save.

2nd Level
Elemental Infusion – The blade takes on a damage type according to the whim of the caster (Dark, Light, Holy, Fire etc). This cannot be changed without the casting of a new spell that overrides the old.

3rd Level
Silver Bladesoul – As Bladesoul, but counts as a +1 magic weapon.
Screaming Blade – The sword shrieks and screams when it tastes enemy flesh. Anyone hit by the sword – damaged or not – must make a Will Save against a DC of 10+Caster level or become Frightened.
Corona of Power – The blade crackles with magical electrical energy and does 1d6 electrical damage in addition to its normal damage.
Archon’s Sword – Your summoned blade gains an additional +1 to hit, provides you with a +1 bonus to save checks and a bonus of +1 to your AC.

4th Level
Elemental Burst – Driving the blade into the ground (a standard action) creates a blast around you, 5ft in radius doing the sword’s damage +1d6 to anything in the radius that fails a Reflex save against a DC of 10+caster level.
Hellforged – The blade gains a corona of yellow, flickering flame and does 1d6 fire damage in addition to its normal damage. As a full-round action you can unleash a 10 ft cone of fire that does 2d6 fire damage plus the normal damage of the sword if the target cannot make a Reflex save against a DC of 10+Caster level.

5th Level
Golden Bladesoul – As Bladesoul but counts as a +2 magic weapon.
Blade of the Storm – The blade crackles with powerful energy and rumbles like thunder. In addition to its normal damage it does 1d6 electrical damage and as a full round action it can unleash a 5d6 damage lightning bolt (plus the normal damage of the sword) with a range of 120 ft.
Binding Blade – The blade can be flung out on the end of a chain, allowing it to reach, and attack, up to 15 feet away. Anyone struck by it must make a Reflex save against a DC of 10+caster level or become Entangled. Breaking free of the chains requires a Strength or Escapology roll against a DC of 10+caster level. The blade can attack others, it simply leaves extra lengths of magic chain to bind those it strikes.
Heatwave – The sword is white hot and radiates heat that can hurt those around you. It does 1d6 fire damage in addition to its other damage and anyone in 5 ft of you must make a Fortitude save against a DC of 10 + Caster level or take 1d6 fire damage.

6th Level
Shadow Razor – The blade is black as night and deepens the shadows around the wielder making them effectively Invisible in shadow or darkness.
Kiss of Darksteel – The blade gains an oily, beguiling sheen and when it strikes a target they must make Fortitude save against a DC of 10+Caster level or be drained of energy taking one negative level.

7th Level
Diamond Bladesoul – As Bladesoul but counts as a +3 magic weapon.
Shattering Blade – The blade thickens and hardens. When it strikes a target wearing armour that target must make a Fortitude save against a DC of 10+Caster level or the armour is cloven, falling off and losing half its hit points. The blade does double damage against constructs.
Ringing Blade – The blade can be struck against the floor to ring like a terrible bell as a full round action. This creates a burst effect around you with a radius of 30 ft. Anything within that radius must make a Fortitude save against a DC of 10+Caster level or be stunned for one round. The blade also does an additional 1d6 sonic damage in addition to its normal damage when striking in combat.

8th Level
Earthtearing Blade – The sword can be slammed into the ground as a full-round action, tearing a boulder free and hurling it at the enemy as a ranged attack. If it strikes it does 2d6 damage plus the normal damage that the sword does in close combat. It leaves craters in its wake and can be used to tear at stone battlements or fortifications doing the same damage to the hit points of the structure and what the boulder is flung at. You can even strike a fort – or an Earth/Stone elemental or construct with parts of itself.

9th Level
Adamant Bladesoul – As Bladesoul but counts as a +4 magic weapon.
Raging Stormblade – The blade is a frozen arc of lightning. It does 3d6 electrical damage in additional to its normal damage and anyone struck must make a Reflex save against a DC of 10 + Caster level or take Caster level xd6 extra electrical damage. If this succeeds and there is another target within 5ft of the target just struck, the lightning arcs to them. They make a Reflex save again and if they fail take the damage. Continue until each available target has been struck once or a save has been made.