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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7610 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2010 :  04:14:04  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
The 2e PHBR4/Complete Wizard's Handbook lists "Five Debilitating Afflictions" which can afflict arcane spellcasters.

These are Bertrek's Amnesia, Chronic Incandescence, Conjuritis, Barlow's Blacksickness, and Immaterialism.

Has anyone ever used these in their game? Or come up with new ones?

[/Ayrik]

idilippy
Senior Scribe

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2010 :  02:12:24  Show Profile Send idilippy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No, I never have used any of those. They sound interesting though, I'll have to give them a look and try to fit them in to one of my games at some point.
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Quale
Master of Realmslore

1757 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2010 :  11:26:07  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
one PC was playing a witch/warlock kit, I think he had the blacksickeness, but that was ten years ago, not sure

I used the mindshadow madness of the wizshades from the Volo's Guide

and I had a southern wizard that suffered an arcane affliction with symptoms similar to the radiation sickness, he used laraken larvae that fed on him like leeches

then there were tiny anti-magic cosmic dust particles that fell on Thay, and drove many of the mages insane
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Halidan
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Posted - 24 Oct 2010 :  17:29:51  Show Profile  Visit Halidan's Homepage Send Halidan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've used Conjuritis in an older campaign I ran concerning explorations in/around Barovia in the mountains south of Vassa. It's first manifestation surprised/scared the caster's player so much that curing the disease became an immediate side quest, so I never even got to use the disease for long.

Given that these disesases place strong limitations on the usefullness of the victim, it was the only one I've ever used.

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied,
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

Edgar Allen Poe - 1849
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7610 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  21:57:38  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I've experimented with Conjuritis. I don't much care for the disease rules from PHBR4 so I've treated it as a (non-contagious) minor curse instead. Predictably the PC spellcasters hate the concept, the fighters love it, and nobody else really cares. Also predictably, they all dug through their D&D books until somebody found the cure.

So I introduced my own new magical affliction which they won't find in their books and which I will not very proudly call Typo. And yes, one of my PCs caught a Typo (from the same batch of cursed scrolls that gave the other PC Conjuritis).

My rules about Typo are still somewhat vague (and cleaned up a little, now), but essentially

Typo (Arcane affliction)

Description:
A Typo introduces a minor magical "error" that randomly changes a spell. It can affect nearly any spell and can have consequences which range from cosmetic to amusing to very deadly. If not corrected, Typos tend to accumulate and can eventually affect many different spells or the same spell any number of times.
It affects the caster's mind and changes the way he understands a particular spell formula. The caster will always read, memorize, and cast this spell with the Typo-induced changes until the Typo is corrected. Note that the Typo affects the caster, not his spellbook nor the spell itself; it is a magical mental error, not a verbal, somatic, or written one. Only memorized spells are affected, not those cast from scrolls (except of course those written with Typos).
The caster does not gain any true knowledge of the changed spell formula (although he can write it onto scrolls or research it normally if he likes). He simply memorizes and casts the spell in it's original, unaltered form.

Effects:
  • A Typo alters the spell name by adding, removing, or changing one or a few letters or dyslexically rearranging parts of words in some artfully pseudo-mystical manner which oddly resembles what we would recognize as a spoken or written Typo.

  • The new spell name is still readable (and hopefully still sensible) and consists entirely of real words.

  • Proper names of wizards are never altered (they are technically not really part of the spell, and changing Melf to Ralph wouldn't substantially affect the spell anyhow).

  • The spell description is altered as necessary to conform to the new spell name; attempting to retain powers, effects, and parameters as similar to the original spell as possible. When this is not possible the new spell should always have powers and parameters scaled appropriately for the spell level.

  • A Typo cannot alter any functional descriptors within the spell name (10' Radius cannot become 100' Radius or 1' Radius or 70' Radius; Roman numerals remain unchanged).

  • Spells such as Power Words are never affected (unless the DM wants to be unusually vicious).

  • It is possible for a Typo to change a spell name or description to perfectly match another existing spell (even if different level), but it is impossible for the caster to simultaneously know two or more different spell formulae with identical names.


  • Affliction:
    The condition is typically contracted by reading scrolls with Typo-altered spells (Save vs Spell to resist). Typos may also be caused by activating minor curses or errant wild magics (usually no Save).
    Roll 1d6 upon initial exposure to determine the spell level of the Typo, and randomly determine which spell from the list of all spells the caster knows at that level. The Typo does not take effect (and remains undetectable) until the next time this particular spell is cast. (If a higher spell level than the caster currently knows then the Typo is "dormant" and will activate the first time the caster casts a spell of that level from memory.)
    It is possible for the caster to contract multiple Typos from multiple sources. It is also possible for the caster to contract the affliction when being taught a Typo spell. (Yes, it can be passed on to your apprentices. Damn those Harpells!)

    The caster rolls a (Wis) Spell Failure check each time a Typo spell is cast. If he fails then he suffers from another Typo. Roll 1d20:
  • 1-10 = indicates the spell level of the new Typo (10 = 0-level/Cantrip)
    If the caster cannot cast this spell level the Typo instead affects another spell of the same level
    (Randomly determine which spell is affected from those known)
  • 11-17 = indicates the same spell is affected with an additional Typo
  • 18 = the last Typo on this spell magically corrects itself
  • 19 = all Typos on this spell are magically corrected (revert back to the original spell formula.)
  • 20 = (ouch, roll twice)


  • Typos are a weird form of wild magic.
  • Wild Mages gain a +2 bonus to all Typo-related checks; they've got enough problems already without throwing Typos into the mix. They can also recognize Typo afflictions and have a (5% per level, max 50%) chance of avoiding Typo exposure from any source. They have the same chance (once/day) of correctly identifying which of their memorized spells have Typos. Of course they can deliberately choose to not make these checks.

  • Typos tend to thrive and accumulate when exposed to strong wild magic.
    Every 1d6 hours spent in a wild magic zone forces an afflicted character to check for new Typos (as another initial exposure). In addition, he is contagious in this environment and everyone without the affliction must check against initial exposure each time they cast a spell from memory while the afflicted caster is within range of the spell.


  • The Cure?
    Typos are persistent and remain even after character death. Exposure to dead-magic zones has no effect on Typos. Magical (and psionic) powers which heal a character's mind, spirit, or aura have no effect on Typos.

    There is always a puny random chance that the Typo affliction will cure itself, at least in the earliest stages. Remove Curse will correct one Typo. Remove Curse cast by a Priest or Wild Mage (heeheehee) of higher level than the afficted spellcaster will correct all but one (randomly determined) Typo. One spell of the caster's choice is automatically completely corrected of all Typos each time the spellcaster advances in level (plus another spell from the appropriate school for specialty wizards). Limited Wish can correct all Typos and cure the affliction, as can Reincarnation if the caster doesn't mind dying and being reformatted.
    Strangely, any wild surges which unintentionally and randomly cast Remove Curse at any level have a 50% chance of entirely curing the affliction and a 50% chance of causing all Typos to be dormant for 1d6 months.

    Initial playtesting comments:
    Using Typos requires some creative preparation by the DM before the game begins. This means listing one or two Typos for every spell the afflicted character knows, along with brief notes about the spell description (they don't need to be proper writeups but they do need to be consistent). Typos created on the spot will often tend to suck and bog down gameplay. Force yourself (as DM) to always accept the randomly generated results. The best Typos are original, funny, punny, and fair - don't "take away" the PC's favourite spells by making them utterly useless (at least not until many Typos are layered). I wouldn't recommend inflicting this on characters who are low level or who have a very limited spell selection. Or on a magic-poor party with a critical dependence on the afflicted PC's spells.

    ...

    Uh, so ...

    My PC contracted a Typo and I rolled a 4 on a d6 so it affected one of his 4th level spells (determined randomly). This turned out to be Wall of Force, as he realized the next time he cast it and got a Wall of Forks instead. He instantly loved his "new" spell (which he still knew and memorized as Wall of Force each day) so he cast it a lot ... which means it didn't take long for him to suffer from another 3 typos. The first was on the same spell (now Ball of Forks, which he didn't like as much), the others affected 1st and 4th level spells (now Sleet and Demotion, as he discovered when he tried to cast Sleep and Emotion). Unfortunately he's now suffered from an increasingly large number of additional and repeated typos including Tragic Pestle, Prancing Sprites, Alter Shelf, Churning Bands, Melf's Acid Sparrow, Flaming Beer, Grope Trick, Wireball, Gust of Wine, Lobster Summoning, Boneskin, Dimension Floor, Finer Glow of Invulnerability, Conjure Elephantal and several others which aren't suitable for recording in this scroll.

    I notice that he's really conservative on using spells now, since it's at the point where he honestly doesn't really know what he's going to cast and repeated casting eventually just makes things worse. (Not helped by his low Wis score and inability to afford Remove Curse after blowing his money on snake-oil cures.)
    I also notice that the bulk of his combat spells were quickly affected; now he tends to "save" them for when they're truly needed and tries to get a lot more use out of his non-combat spells.
    The player is starting to get frustrated at being teased as "a poor man's wild mage" by the other players. And to be honest, I'm beginning to run out of typo variations.

    [/Ayrik]

    Edited by - Ayrik on 10 Nov 2010 00:32:01
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    Bladewind
    Master of Realmslore

    Netherlands
    1280 Posts

    Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  22:29:18  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    *wipes away some tears* Lobster Summoning is hi-larious!

    This Typo affliction I really need to save somewhere for later use.

    My campaign sketches

    Druidic Groves

    Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
    7610 Posts

    Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  22:35:25  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Monster Summoning --> Mobster Summoning --> Lobster Summoning.

    [/Ayrik]
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    Wooly Rupert
    Master of Mischief
    Moderator

    USA
    35991 Posts

    Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  04:15:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    List his known spells, along with the discovered Typos. I'm sure this bunch can come up with some more fun ones!

    Wall of Horse, for example, or Melf's Flaccid Arrow (that's one you can have a lot of fun with, both PG and otherwise!).

    Of course, you could also keep him on his toes by not having them all be negative-ish. Wall of Forts, for example, could erect a brick wall with parapets and arrow slits. And a flaming spear could still come in handy, as could -- in the right situation -- a flaming deer. Semi-useful spells would be more encouraging than comical misfires.

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    Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 09 Nov 2010 04:16:12
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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
    7610 Posts

    Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  11:40:04  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    So far the PC suffers from ...
    1st -
    Burning Bands, Churning Bands
    Prancing Lights, Prancing Sprites
    Deflect Magic, Deflect Manic, Reflect Manic, Reflect Panic
    Feather Ball, Weather Ball, Weather Bull, Weather Pull, Wetter Pull
    Magic Mistle, Magic Pestle, Tragic Pestle
    Bending, Bedding
    Show King Grasp, Show Kind Grasp
    Sleet, Fleet, Feet
    Glider Climb
    (Tenser's) Floating Stick
    <ahem>
    Unclean Servant, Unclean Savant

    2nd -
    Alter Shelf
    Blurt
    Continual Blight
    Deep Rockets, Deep Sprockets, Deed Sprockets
    Detest Invisibility
    Flaming Beer
    Magic Moth
    (Melf's) Acid Sparrow
    Grope Trick, Grope Truck, Grope Trunk
    Splatter, Platter, Planter, Banter
    Wizard Clock

    3rd -
    Slink, Sling
    Gust of Wine
    Chaste
    Lice Storm, Lice Form, Slice Form
    Lightning Belt
    Wireball, Wirebell
    Mobster Summoning I, Lobster Summoning I

    4th -
    Dimension Floor, Demented Floor
    Demotion
    Renovation
    Minor Glow of Invulnerability, Finer Glow of Invulnerability
    Boneskin, Bonespin
    Wall of Forks, Ball of Forks

    5th -
    Conjure Elephantal
    Glasswall, Glassball
    Teleprompt


    I'll admit some of these suck (made up on the fly). Much to my victim's dismay the other players constantly chirp in and volunteer all manner of creative suggestions. And I spy on them. I'll admit that I cheated thrice - once to generously ensure that Dispel Magic wasn't affected, twice to selfishly ensure that spells (Levitate, Polymorph Other) were re-rolled because I just couldn't quickly think of a decent typo (along with a complete working spell description) at the time.

    As amusing as the Typo affliction has been, I think it "spread" too quickly; it's affected more than half of this spellcaster's entire list within two sessions and become a dominant (exciting) theme which entertains the players but detracts from other gameplay. Each Typo changes the spell, and after three or four Typos a spell seems to become so bizarre and meaningless it's essentially useless (at a rate dictated by the DM's vocabulary). As mentioned, my victim is actually nervous about casting spells now, he picks them with much greater care and uses them far more creatively than ever before. (I'll bet no other PC in history has ever conjured anachronistic poker-playing Mobsters on the opposite side of a sealed one-way dungeon door. Or had to patiently explain who he was and that he wanted them to open it.)
    I think I'll ease off a little somehow; perhaps allow the affliction to "run it's course" after a fixed time, or worse, after it's affected every spell known (nah), or it's incurable until it magically disappears with a level-up? So far I've required that a Remove Curse cast by a higher-level priest is needed to cure the affliction ... maybe I'll remove the level requirement but each casting of Remove Curse only removes a single Typo?
    For now the players are forced to endure it, though it's evident they'll all charge off on a find-the-cure side quest the first instant they can (they've convinced themselves that the Harpells must somehow be involved). At least I've instilled a proper respect for minor curses the PCs once scornfully dismissed. So maybe (as written) Typo is a bit heavy-handed but perfectly balanced? It certainly seems to be a worthy "debilitating magical affliction".

    Fortunately Typo (and Conjuritis) aren't diseases; if they were contagious my entire campaign world would falter. Think of the fun with a high-level spellcaster casting Swish.

    [/Ayrik]

    Edited by - Ayrik on 09 Nov 2010 13:58:05
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    Matt James
    Forgotten Realms Game Designer

    USA
    917 Posts

    Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  17:16:13  Show Profile Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    oooooh, I might have to do a 4e right up for this. Good find!
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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
    7610 Posts

    Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  18:15:19  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Glad you like the idea. I've thought about my (quasi-2e) rules more carefully and defined them more comprehensively above. Feel free to swipe the idea (credit goes to Ayrik, Son of Korth, an unintelligent barbarian who intelligently avoids all spellcasters like the plague) - just warn me if you'll print them in any rulebooks my players might read!

    [/Ayrik]
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    Matt James
    Forgotten Realms Game Designer

    USA
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    Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  18:59:55  Show Profile Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    PM inbound :)

    Edited by - Matt James on 09 Nov 2010 19:00:17
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    Wooly Rupert
    Master of Mischief
    Moderator

    USA
    35991 Posts

    Posted - 10 Nov 2010 :  03:21:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Arik

    So far the PC suffers from ...
    1st -
    Burning Bands, Churning Bands
    Prancing Lights, Prancing Sprites
    Deflect Magic, Deflect Manic, Reflect Manic, Reflect Panic
    Feather Ball, Weather Ball, Weather Bull, Weather Pull, Wetter Pull
    Magic Mistle, Magic Pestle, Tragic Pestle
    Bending, Bedding
    Show King Grasp, Show Kind Grasp
    Sleet, Fleet, Feet
    Glider Climb
    (Tenser's) Floating Stick
    <ahem>
    Unclean Servant, Unclean Savant

    2nd -
    Alter Shelf
    Blurt
    Continual Blight
    Deep Rockets, Deep Sprockets, Deed Sprockets
    Detest Invisibility
    Flaming Beer
    Magic Moth
    (Melf's) Acid Sparrow
    Grope Trick, Grope Truck, Grope Trunk
    Splatter, Platter, Planter, Banter
    Wizard Clock

    3rd -
    Slink, Sling
    Gust of Wine
    Chaste
    Lice Storm, Lice Form, Slice Form
    Lightning Belt
    Wireball, Wirebell
    Mobster Summoning I, Lobster Summoning I

    4th -
    Dimension Floor, Demented Floor
    Demotion
    Renovation
    Minor Glow of Invulnerability, Finer Glow of Invulnerability
    Boneskin, Bonespin
    Wall of Forks, Ball of Forks

    5th -
    Conjure Elephantal
    Glasswall, Glassball
    Teleprompt



    Leather Ball, Shocking Crabs, Unseen Serpent, Alter Elf, Bust of Wind, Rice Storm... That's all I've got, at this moment. I'm sure I'll come up with more.

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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
    7610 Posts

    Posted - 10 Nov 2010 :  07:22:38  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    Contagious affliction, eh?

    Fat Tony: Whazzat banging? Who's at da door?
    Vinnie Half-Elven: Sez he's da summoner. Wants us ta open up.
    Tony Junior: Yeah? Mebbe he found da wrong door.
    Tommy Two Times: Mebbe he knows da password, huh? <cocking crossbow loudly>
    Leo the Gnome Shark: Mebbe he's lookin' for an unfortunate accident?
    Frankie Kneecaps: I ain't gonna get up. I'm sittin' on three ladies.
    Vinnie Half-Elven: Sez he's da boss. Sez we gotta do what he wants.
    Fat Tony: Awright. Let dis joker in. We's gonna negotiate. <cracks knuckles and adjusts fedora>

    [/Ayrik]

    Edited by - Ayrik on 19 Nov 2010 23:48:39
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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
    7610 Posts

    Posted - 13 Nov 2010 :  12:08:15  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    I have, in my most miserable moment of magnanimous mercy, shown pity upon my suffering PC's perilously punishing plight by allowing him to hear rumour of a rather expensive NPC he may commission to cast Detho's Disambiguation (new spell) and thereby affect a cure for his terrible typo affliction. The players are urgently impatient to begin their side quest for the cure so they can finally be rid of typos forever. Little do they know that this NPC will want far more than mere gold as payment because she's been having a little problem obtaining a particularly rare spell component ... long story short, they'll think twice about reading any cursed scrolls they encounter throughout the rest of their adventuring careers.

    [/Ayrik]

    Edited by - Ayrik on 13 Nov 2010 12:30:26
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    Alystra Illianniis
    Great Reader

    USA
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    Posted - 18 Jul 2013 :  05:14:30  Show Profile Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    I just thought of a new typo- Evard's Black Testicles....That one could potentially be embarrassing.

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    Wooly Rupert
    Master of Mischief
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    Posted - 18 Jul 2013 :  06:05:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

    I just thought of a new typo- Evard's Black Testicles....That one could potentially be embarrassing.



    Monique Junot: "You know, like octopus? Testicles?"

    Lane Myer: "Ohhhh. Tentacles. N-T. Tentacles; big difference."


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