Sunday, September 22, 2013

How to Destroy Your Fantasy Campaign

A while back on reddit, I proffered some advice on modelling gifts from beings that are beyond even the gods. I came up with this simple, inelegant, and altogether dangerous chart. It might possibly be of use for those willing to leave catastrophic power in the hands of the players. (This chart would also be good for modelling what happens when insanely powerful magic goes pear-shaped.) Enjoy.
After enacting ancient forgotten ceremonies, and performing a service, each character may, only once, call upon these primordial alien entities to grant them a boon.

Basically the players can ask for anything to happen (DnDers: like an uber-wish spell); with the caveat that the characters can't use complex sentences: no conjunctions, no colons/semicolons, no run-on sentences, etc. Essentially it must be a subject-verb-object request.* However, these beings have an imperfect understanding of the mortal mind so roll 1d6 and consult the following table:
  1. The Boon Happens as Desired, No Repercussions. AKA the boring result. (Alternatively something silly but ultimately inconsequential happens: Everything within a 100 mile radius is now blue [or red or green or yellow]; or perhaps the requester is now part flower, but which part?)
  2. The Boon Happens but Reality is Altered - One randomly determined sentient race no longer exists - The PCs and the gods are the Only Beings that remember this Race - For all others, this race simply never existed. Some gods may be particularly unhappy with this result.
  3. The Boon Happens but Reality is Altered - All the gods have their alignment/temperament flipped, but keep their portfolio's. (In DnD terms: CG to LE; NE to NG; True Neutral to Chaotic Stupid; etc.) Example: Suddenly there is an orderly and benign god of murder and an insanely violent god of justice. Everyone remembers the way things used to be, except for the gods. Angry confusion ensues.
  4. The Boon Happens but Reality is Altered - Everyone/thing within 1d6 miles of the requesting character has their biological sex flipped. Non-Sexually-Dimorphic creatures now have sexes. The requesting character is now nongendered.
  5. The Boon Happens but Reality is Altered - Magic is fundamentally different now. Was magic exceedingly rare? Now it is very common. Was magic a gift of the gods? Now it is an innate part of sentient beings and a blasphemous affront to the faithful. A DnD example: All Clerics now cast Wizard Spells and Wizards now cast Cleric Spells. This is the way it has always been. Only the PCs remember things differently.
  6. The Boon Happens but Reality is Altered - Nocturnal Creatures all become Diurnal; Diurnal Creatures all become Nocturnal. Eyesight for the creatures changes as appropriate. This is the way it has always been. Only the PCs remember things differently.
If you feel you must, reroll any previously rolled results.
Use with or without Caution.


*The opposite of that previous explanatory sentence.