Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Treatise on thee Nature ov Magick Users

It be commonly known that the Mark of the Witch touches all those gifted with the power to wyld Magick.

There were times in long ages past when Men would slay thee Warlock, or an innocynt Man for thee possession ov such a sign on theyr bode - for yt was deem-ed to be placed there by wicked spirits of evil intent, else before as some sygn of an ancynt Gotts favour. And jn those days the Men wuld hyde these Marks for phear of persecution by the Men of other fayths or those supersitious fules who afear-ed the Deviant as one borne of unnature.

Yet now we know better, that thee Marks are naught but the raw stuff of Chaos manifesting in the very flesh of the Wize, a physical sygn of thee awezome Kozmic Powers which they may bryng under theyr controll, a livyng testament to the infynite diversity of reality.

Thee Haynd ov a Magick~User

Roll on this table once during character creation (after Race and Class have been selected, minimum statistics are not effected) and once again after every 2 levels of character progression.

3D20 Feature Stat Adj
3 Albino CHA -2
4 Animal patterned skin CHA -2
5 Coloured skin CHA -2
6 Geometrically patterned skin CHA -2
7 Sweaty CHA -2
8 Tail CHA -2
9 Two left hands DEX -2
10 Bad breath CHA -1
11 Claws CHA -1
12 Cloven hoofs CHA -1
13 Club foot DEX -1
14 Very ugly CHA -1
15 Cold skin CHA -1
16 Hunchbacked DEX -1
17 Lisp CHA -1
18 One eye DEX -1
19 Sharks Teeth CHA -1
20 Snakes tongue CHA -1
21 Squeeky voice CHA -1
22 Stutter CHA -1
23 Horned CHA -1
24 Very hairy CHA -1
25 Poor eyesight DEX -1
26 Eyes of a cat CHA -1
27 Eyes of a goat CHA -1
28 Bald
29 Short
30 Birthmark - of an animal
31 None
32 Birthmark – Perfect Geometrical Figure
33 Tall
34 Knobbly knees
35 Long neck
36 Pointy ears
37 Pot belly
38 Widow's peak
39 Deep voice
40 Fangs
41 Webbed toes
42 Brightly coloured hair CHA +1
43 Hitchhiker's thumb DEX +1
44 Extra finger DEX +1
45 Extra toe DEX +1
46 Keen eyesight DEX +1
47 Large feet DEX +1
48 Long fingers DEX +1
49 Metallic skin CHA +1
50 Mismatched coloured eyes CHA +1
51 Morton's toe DEX +1
52 Musical voice CHA +1
53 Very thick mane of hair CHA +1
54 Fast reactions DEX +2
55 Excessive beauty CHA +3
56 Hyperactive DEX +2
57 Perfectly symmetrical CHA +2
58 Psionic powers

59 Head of a flaming skull CHA +4
60 Roll twice

Design notes: The theme, of course, is that innate difference or talent must always coincide with some form of physical abnormality - "as above, so below" - and the questionable cause. It's a recurrent theme in the representation of disabled people in the media and important aspect of othering.

The idea of specifically genetic mutations being subject to religious persecutions, is found in John Wyndhams seminal 1955 novel The Chrysalids - in which those with even slight mutations are excommunicated from their deeply religious communities and sent into the woods to fend for themselves, where inevitably they band together into tribes. Of course the influence of The Chrysalids mutants on Warhammer mythos goes without saying, and remembering Warhammers roots in simulating mass battles in fantasy literature, might have been the impetus (although Runequest Broo is equally as likely a source for Beastmen). The protagonists in Wyndhams novel also mutate psionic powers, making them wielders of the arcane arts. The Deviant / Sorcery link also looms large in Pat Mills Nemesis The Warlock. The rather curious similarity between my Thee Haynd ov a Magick~User drawing above and the cover illustration by John Griffiths for the Penguin 1964 print of The Chrysalids is entirely accidental, but evidentially thematic as the same idea was resurrected by Andy Bridge in 2000, so it's not too bad.

Fortunately for magic-users in the present time-line of Bearoak there is no transparent purity movement, and least of all any kind of dogmatic monoculture. In fact the entire place is hugely tolerant - however that doesn't mean that bizarre appearance doesn't shock. Most people may be used to Uruks drinking in their pubs and patrolling the town at night, but the sight of a bright blue human will raise one or two eyebrows. For this reason charisma is adjusted accordingly. However, all magic users have a +4 bonus when dealing with other magic users (including apprentices), whether or not their mutation or status is noticeable, due to the faint whiff of magic they give off.

There is: Ashen the Demonchylde here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry I missed this first time round. It's a useful table and the notes are as interesting as always.