Noituac's Storm

Alex Greene's picture

Noituac's Storm (Neutral / VI) irks me. I have wanted to rewrite the spell description for some time.

Here is my revision.

Noituac's Storm (VI)

A spell which creates an interdimensional vortex which is drawn to major sources of magical energy nearby, drawing them into it and displacing them elsewhere in Kelestia.

The vortex begins at 1d4+2 metres diameter. The more magic it absorbs, the bigger it grows at a rate of +1d6 metres per spell, energy source, or caster absorbed. Spells absorbed by the vortex are dispelled. Victims (casters and artefacts) are ejected, intact, in a location literally determined by the needs of plot, after 1d10 confusing hours, and an objective lapse of 1d20 days. Basically, they're tripping the whole time. If all magical energy sources in the vicinity are absorbed, the vortex typically “consumes” itself and vanishes from the plane it has been conjured to, leaving behind only mundane, ordinary people wondering what just happened.

Victims are never physically or mentally harmed, though the vortex is likely to leave some energy artefacts (and casters) in a magically depleted state, depending on the needs of the plot and how helpless the GM needs them to feel at the point where they are deposited. Optionally, casters may suffer from Aural Shock from the exposure to the vortex.

Since the nearest major source of magical power is likely to be the caster, actually casting this spell is often a really stupid idea. As is, the spell is merely considered to be a rumour – a trap set in a “Rigged” magical tome or artefact, set to activate if read or activated. Stories about the Storm often serve as a warning to the incautious (if you haven't noticed, “noituac” is “caution” reversed) and the hubristic.

Bonus Effects

Time: (15-CSI) seconds
Range: See above.
Duration: See above.

Balesir's picture

I would be inclined to offer a 'saving throw' type of thing based on Spirit, rather than leaving it purely to the GM, as I'm not a big fan of GM authored stories (as opposed to world settings), but other than that I like it as a description of what characters might know. I think the original version gives a better undertanding of what is supposed to be the reality of Keléstia, though; the Storm doesn't really disappear or "consume itself", but rather folds into another plane of existence or another location somewhere in Keléstia. It is also clarified in the original as being something akin to the elemental essence of neutrality. Specifying 'not mentally harmed' might offer a hostage to fortune, in that such an experience strikes me as inherently traumatic. There is also the unspecified effect the Storm might have on those who, while not Shék-Pvâr, have supernatural abilities, such as Psionics or religious rituals.

Alex Greene's picture

The Storm is "a kind of" Release of Neutral Principle. I suspect it won't touch psionically - gifted people or religious people, because they don't accumulate magical energies like mages do.
It's definitely one of those GM plot things, like bad weather or an unexpected raiding party of Gargun coming over the hill. You don't make a "saving roll" if the GM decides the Thard's flooding again like it did in 707 - it's something the PCs have to run from or get swept up in. That's the adventure, and if the adventure involves the PCs having to return to Harn from being dumped in Faya in Yashain, it is what it is.
I imagine there might be other "kind of" release spells of Neutral Principle which just wipe out the Energy Points of all energy artefacts, or cause all enchanted artefacts to activate a random power, and so on.

Balesir's picture

Well, Venârivè and HârnWorld have weather tables, and I was really thinking of ritual effects, as opposed to people (from the perspective that the effects of rituals can sometimes be seen as magical effects created by the gods or their demi-divine servants), but more generally I think it's unwise to specify such things too rigidly. There is nothing wrong with pushing characters through a GM-prepared plotline (with byways and deviations depending on player input), but it's not a universal way of playing rpgs. In fact it's not one that HârnMaster in its GM supporting material is particularly set up for.