Wednesday, 29 January 2020

The Channeller - flexible but unpredictable magic class

This is my custom magic-using class for an OD&D hack. I prefer magic to be looser than a list of prescribed spell effects. It should be unpredictable - even the caster can't be sure what's going to happen. It should be terrifying - people are wary of casters for a very good reason.

I like the idea of casters tapping into the flows of magic around them, channelling streams in such a way as to combine different aspects to achieve a particular magic effect. And as rivers burst their banks, so too do magic streams overflow and flood anything and anyone around them.

Wizards order takeaways. Channellers scavenge ingredients.

Much inspiration drawn from Emmy Allen's Conjuror Class.



For use with other systems, treat a Channeller as a Magic User and just use the last two columns below. For Channel Points, total up the spells slots available to a Magic User of the same level (so two level 1 spells and one level 2 spell becomes 4 Channel Points). Use appropriate dice to roll against saves.

Encumbrances take up inventory slots, and need significant recovery.


The Channeller


Lvl
XP
Hit Dice
Combat Bonus
Saving Throw
Channel Points
Magic Streams
Retained Streams
1
0
1
+0
5+
1
2
1
2
2,500
1+1
+0
5+
2
2
1
3
5,000
2
+0
5+
5
2
2
4
10,000
2+1
+0
4+
8
3
2
5
20,000
3
+1
4+
13
3
3
6
40,000
3+1
+1
4+
18
3
3
7
80,000
4
+2
3+
22
4
4
8
160,000
4+1
+2
3+
29
4
4
9
320,000
5
+3
3+
34
4
5
10
640,000
5+1
+3
2+
39
5
5

Weapons & Armour
Channellers may only wield daggers or staves, and cannot use armour.

Saving Throw
Channellers get a +1 bonus on saving throws vs spells, including those cast from staves and wands.

Experience Bonus for Wits
Channellers with a WIT (or INT, for most retroclones) score of 15+ get an extra 10% to all experience awarded.

Spellcasting
Channellers create spells by combining magic streams together, refreshed daily. After every rest, roll a d66 for every Magic Stream slot and note the word. The player may choose which table they roll on for each word.

The player may combine 2+ words and agree with the referee a spell effect. The referee will say what spell tier the effect would be (see suggested tiers below).

Choose how many d6 to roll – the number that succeed against the Channeller’s saving throw counts as the level at which the spell was actually cast. Subtract the spell’s level from the PC’s Channel Points. Negative figures convert to Encumbrances. Channel Points refresh each rest.

If, when casting the spell, the player rolls double or more of a number, roll on the Burst Channel table to see what magical mishap befalls the Channeller, with -1 for each duplicate after the second (so trebles would roll 2d6 - 1).

Channellers may retain a number of streams by binding it to an object during a rest. They must carry this object to use it.




List 1:

d66
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Absorb
Blind
Divide
Grow
Inflict
Shrink
2
Animate
Commune
Extract
Hasten
Manipulate
Slow
3
Attract
Confuse
Find
Heal
Open
Summon
4
Awaken
Deafen
Fling
Heat
Paralyse
Teleport
5
Banish
Diminish
Form
Hide
Project
Understand
6
Bind
Disguise
Freeze
Hold
Seal
Ward

List 2:

d66
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Acid
Death
Earth
Gold
Memory
Silver
2
Air
Decay
Fear
Human
Message
Sound
3
Animal
Desire
Fire
Iron
Plant
Stone
4
Clothing
Device
Flavour
Life
Relationship
Water
5
Courage
Disgust
Flesh
Light
Salt
Weight
6
Darkness
Door
Fog
Limb
Silence
Wood


When rolling doubles:

2d6
Burst Channel Effect
1
Drop to 0 HP and gain 5 Encumbrances.
2
Each rest, save vs turning into a cat for the day.
3
Randomly reassign your attribute scores.
4
An ethically mirrored version of you attacks.
5
Your skin glows in the dark.
6
You get 3d6 years younger.
7
Your sweat corrodes metal.
8
You lose all hair. It never grows again.
9
The nearest animal becomes sentient.
10
You grow to 7ft tall.
11
A third eye appears in your left palm.
12
Increase a random attribute by 2.


Suggested spell power:

Spell Tier
Total HD affected
Duration
1
1
1 minute
2
Up to 4
1 hour
3
Up to 9
1 week
4
Up to 16
1 year
5
Up to 25
1 decade

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