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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Necromancy Arcana for FAGE: My First Take


I decided I wanted to have some rules for necromancers in my game (who doesn't?!), so I worked these up. I tried for more of a witch doctor/shaman vibe as opposed to just "evil with skulls." 

Obviously, like most magic in the book, more powerful versions of the magic might be possible with things like rituals and legendary items.

NECROMANCY ARCANA 

You can pierce the veil between the land of the living and the realm of death.

  • Novice: You learn the spells Voices of the Dead and Death Ward. 
  • Journeyman: You gain the spell Unbinding. You also gain the focus Intelligence (Necromancy Arcana).
  • Master: You learn the spell Animate Corpse. You can also choose one spell stunt you can perform for –1 SP when casting Necromancy Arcana spells.


VOICES OF THE DEAD
Requirements: Necromancy Arcana (Novice)
Spell Type: Utility
MP Cost: 4
Casting Time: 1 minute
Target Number: 13
Test: Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower

You can contact a dead soul and question it. The spell must be cast where the soul died or its resting place (grave). There is no language barrier, but the creature must have been sentient in life. You can ask up to three questions, but the spell fades after one minute. The soul can attempt to resist answering at any point in the process, but only once. A success means it breaks contact without answering any further questions. If you have a piece of the departed's remains (bone, hair, etc.) or know their name, your spellpower is effectively at +2. The soul can only speak to what it knew in life. Its answers may be incorrect (telling what it believes to be true) but it cannot lie. 

DEATH WARD
Requirements: Necromancy Arcana (Novice)
Spell Type: Defense
MP Cost: 4
Casting Time: Major Action
Target Number: 10
Test: Willpower (Courage) vs. Spellpower

You can create a shield of energy, centered on one person within 12 yards of the caster, that holds back the undead, corporeal or otherwise. Spectres, walking dead, and similar creatures must succeed in a Willpower (Courage) or be held back a distance of 4 yards from the target of the spell. The ward does not prevent weapons or magical attacks from getting through (e.g. a spectre's shriek). The spell lasts until the end of the encounter, but if the warded character attacks the undead (magically or otherwise), the spell ends. 

UNBINDING
Requirements: Necromancy Arcana (Journeyman)
Spell Type: Attack
MP Cost: 8
Casting Time: Major Action
Target Number: 14
Test: Constitution (Stamina) vs. Spellpower

A sphere of disruptive energy bursts out from your location in a 10 yard radius. Any undead in the affected area (including flying or underground) take 2d6+1 penetrating damage, a successful CON test reduces the damage to 1d6+1 penetrating. 

ANIMATE CORPSE
Requirements: Necromancy Arcana (Master)
Spell Type: Utility
MP Cost: 10
Casting Time: 1 minute
Target Number: 15
Test: none

You can create a Walking Dead minion (see FAB p. 113). It becomes either a skeleton or zombie, depending on the state of the body. The spell animates one cadaver for each casting, but it can be cast multiple times. The body must be within 10 yards of the caster. The undead will obey your mental commands for 1 hour before de-animating, but you can extend the spell's duration by 1 hour per +5 MP. Regardless of the MP spent, the spell will end at the next sunrise.

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