These tables are temporary placeholders:
Sample Critical Successes With Spells Table
A critical success when spellcasting eliminates the energy cost and may provide other benefits. Sample table for ideas when this happens can roll 1d:
1, 2 – The spell can be maintained without energy cost for 3d times its basic duration. For spells without meaningful duration (e.g., Minor Healing and Fireball), see 3, 4.
3, 4 – A helpful spell is cast as an Area spell on any of the caster’s companions who are within arm’s reach. A baneful spell is cast as an Area spell on all foes currently engaged with the caster’s party who can be caught by a reasonably simple area effect. If the spell is already an Area spell, it gets double radius, provided this doesn’t harm the caster’s allies. For spells for which area makes no sense, see 5, 6.
5, 6 – The spell works as a better, more difficult, and/or more expensive spell, or adds the benefit of a related spell: Minor Healing functions as Major Healing, Seeker as Seeker and Trace, etc.
Sample Spell Fumble Table
3 – Spell fails entirely. Caster takes 1d of injury.
4 – Spell is cast on caster (if harmful) or on a random nearby foe (if beneficial).
5-6 – Spell is cast on one of the caster’s companions (if harmful) or on a random nearby foe (if beneficial).
7 – Spell affects someone or something other than its intended target – friend, foe, or random object. Roll randomly or make an interesting choice.
8 – Spell fails entirely. Caster takes 1 point of injury.
9 – Spell fails entirely. Caster is stunned (IQ roll to recover).
10-11 – Spell produces nothing but a loud noise, bright flash of light, awful odor, etc.
12 – Spell produces a weak and useless shadow of the intended effect.
13 – Spell produces the reverse of the intended effect.
14 – Spell seems to work, but it is only a useless illusion. The GM should do his best to convince the wizard and his companions that the spell did work!
15-16 – Spell has the reverse of the intended effect, on the wrong target. Roll randomly.
17 – Spell fails entirely. Caster temporarily forgets the spell. Make an IQ roll after a week, and again each following week, until he remembers.
18 – Spell fails entirely. A demon or other malign entity appropriate to the setting appears and attacks the caster. (The GM may waive this result if, in his opinion, caster and spell were both lily-white, pure good in intent.)
Note that neither Luck-related advantages nor Rewards Points can modify Calamity Checks.
3-4 – Nothing bad happens, AND the caster’s gets (3d) points of free, instant Recovery!
5-9 – Nothing happens – this time.
10 – The caster’s skin and clothing crawl with strange energies, sparks, or other visual effect for 3d minutes and his eyes glow bright, making Stealth impossible and frightening small animals.
BELOW THIS POINT: reduce current tally by 1 for every 2 full points rolled above 10. A Calamity roll of 17, for example, will reduce tally by 3 as well as having the listed result.
11 – Caster suffers from the Nightmares disadvantage (p. B144), with a self-control number of 9, for 4d days.
12 – The caster becomes horribly nauseous (p. B428). This lasts 1d hours, after which the caster must make a HT-3 roll every hour to get over the sickness.
13 – Caster’s grasp of his own magic weakens. Reduce his threshold by 2d+5 for the next 2d days. The caster is aware that his threshold has fallen, but not by how much.
14 – Any failed casting roll that the caster makes is treated as a critical failure! This lasts for 1d+1 hours. Result 10 also applies.
15 – Caster gains a -5-point disadvantage of the GM’s choice. Within 3d days, he has the option of buying it off for 2 bonus character points (it simply fades away). If he lacks the points, or doesn’t want to spend them, then the disadvantage becomes permanent. Any disadvantage is possible – the caster can become ugly, marginally insane, etc., at the GM’s whim.
16 – It takes twice as long for the caster to cast spells for 3d hours. Take 1 point of damage.
17 – The spell overloaded the caster’s mind. Caster makes a HT-10 roll. A critical failure renders the caster unconscious. On a failure, they are stunned for seconds equal to the margin of failure. After that, they may make a HT roll each turn to recover.
18 – Caster loses one level of Appearance in a manner appropriate to the spell attempted. A Create Fire spell might cause unsightly burn scars, while a Madness spell might subtly unhinge the caster’s eye sockets for a wild, staring effect.
19 – As per 15, but the disadvantage is worth 10 points and can be bought off early for 5 points.
20 – Roll again (same modifier) but the result affects a companion of the caster (chosen randomly).
21 – As per 15, but the disadvantage is worth 15 points and can be bought off early for 7 points.
22 – Caster makes a Fright Check roll at -15.
23 – As 13, but threshold reduction is 4d+10 and the effect lasts 1d months. In addition, all of the caster’s spells are at -3 to skill for 2d weeks.
24 – The caster gains multiple disadvantages worth a total of (2dx5) points. These are permanent.
25 – The caster becomes a wandering Mana-Scar! Spells cost double within a 10-mile radius of the caster, and Recovery is HALTED in the same area! Every caster in the region will be gunning for him . . . The duration, in days, equals the cost of the errant spell, plus one. Result 10 applies for the ENTIRE duration.
26 – The caster’s skill at spells is reduced by 3d+5. The caster must make a Will roll. If it is successful, the penalty will heal at a rate of one per day. If not, the healing rate is one per week!
27 – A plague or curse (locusts, storms, etc) descends on the region, lasting for 3d+ weeks. No one will be able to trace this to the caster (-20 to divination attempts on the subject), but the caster will know the fault is his . . . Be grotesque and CRUEL.
28 – The spell propagates out of control. Harmful Regular or Area spells will affect everybody and everything nearby, allies and enemies alike. Beneficial spells will do likewise, but will go “over the top” and cause dangerous side-effects (a healing spell might raise all the local dead, creating a horde of restless zombies out for revenge!) Information magic will overload the caster’s mind (Fright Check at -20); Missile Spells will seem normal to the caster, but have so much punch that they drill through their target and through EVERYTHING ELSE FOR MILES beyond, and so on.
BELOW THIS POINT: the spell will fail unless the caster can make a Will roll at a penalty equal to the bonus to the Calamity Check. Spells failed in this fashion still cost their full amount.
29 – The caster permanently loses the ability to cast spells, (but not the skills – small comfort).
30-39 – As per 29, and something happens to the region the caster is in. If the result on this table was an even number, magic itself is changed (the region becomes aspected, certain spells function erratically, or some such). If the result was odd, the change is to the physical world – the weather, birth rate, crops, or something else. Sometimes the result is good, sometimes bad (50/50). The duration is equal to the cost of the spell, in days.
40+ – As 30-39, but the change is GLOBAL. In addition, the caster must make a HT-6 roll. Failure means he’s consumed in a backlash of magical energy and explodes: he dies automatically (reduced to -10xHP) and the explosion does (Will + Power Investiture) dice of crushing explosive damage! Success on the HT-6 roll means a less dramatic backlash: the caster takes 2d dice of damage and doesn’t explode. If this kills him, then the global change may fade over a period of weeks or years – or it may stand as a memorial to his folly.
Cumulative Effects: If the caster rolls a temporary effect from which he’s already suffering, then both any quantitative penalties suffered and the duration of the effect are cumulative. If the caster rolls an effect (temporary or permanent) that’s a version of a problem he already has, then increase the problem’s level or intensity; reduce a relevant self-control number by one step, where appropriate; or reroll, if neither is possible.