[All] Fantastic Elements 2- even more weirdness

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
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#51
A necromancer has found a way of infusing death into fire, providing a new power source for his death machines. Machines that provide light, heat and power his other technology, though in creepy ways. Seeing shadow hands form around a mill and drive it can unnerve some of the weaker willed.

Towns are built on mounds that are filled with debris to slow or prevent burrowers from digging up into the buildings. Tar pots are popular as tar is easy to make from wood by alchemists.

One minotaur variant does not have a physical maze but one of the mind. All those who enter its territory, or come near it if it is elsewhere, become lost even in the most easy to navigate places. They tend to bounce off walls often if this happens inside.

Those casters who have mutated from their magic can reverse this but only if they give up their spells forever. They can still use magic items, perform alchemy, and even learn psionic powers. But if they cast a spell after returning to normal, the character will become a full blown inhuman monster. And that can not be reversed by mortal actions.

Many combat spells are designed to function only in specific locations, such as outside a city, underground, in space, and in the mindscape.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#52
Another possible effect of giant wasp venom- a change in diet. This can be as simple as turning carnivores into herbivores or as complex as making the victims solar powered (and thus have no digestive tract and can not longer consume anything, including potions).

Some toxic creatures do not create the poison themselves, they steal it at a distance. And this does allow for critters such as snakes that use plant toxins while hunting.

Imp-like aliens from a low G world have invaded and are planting crystal trees that lower gravity.

Kobolds have found a weakness in their hated foes, gnomes. They have a severe dislike for one shade of red, enough that seeing it makes them flee.

A kingdom's major highway has been flooded for a few months, allowing sloth frogs to invade. This is slowing mail and communication and some humanoid tribes are taking notice. (The frogs have a Slow aura.)

All fairy markets sell food and drink that break curses and neutralizes poisons. Of course it costs more than cash.

A city of authors, orators and inventors has been built around the Ink Well. Its ink is magical and fixes minor errors in writing,

The fey of history have been trying to unearth the Lens of Deep Time, an artifact that will allow them to finally understand aberrations and their contributions to how the world is the way it is.

Bandits opened a box they stole and found a civilization beacon within. Soon they will be overwhelmed by pioneers and explorers looking to start a new city somewhere nearby.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#53
A popular form of punishment for spelljammers is exposure to the chaos of wildspace (or cosmic rays), which inflicts permanent weakening defects. Small doses initially, just enough to discolor hair and soften the mind a bit. Those who are poor sailors and can't flee will eventually have things like stunted wings, crystal digits, wooden bones and jaws replaced by over-sized tongues.

Some illnesses can only be cured if the afflicted cast a specific spell. Non-casters need to find a way of using a scroll, otherwise they will die or suffer for the rest of their lives.

Patron bonds are addictive and warlock junkies are commonplace. A few start as drug addled and go on to magic as a better high, but most stumble into this without realizing what it will do to them.

Elfshot is a weapon of all fey. It isn't that useful in combat, but the ability to inflict pains such as cramps and arthritis on mortals shouldn't be dismissed.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#54
Stonetell is a most useful spell for alchemists as it allows the caster to ask minerals of their innate traits and possible uses.

Oozes slain with magical poisons leave useful residues. These may be used in alchemy, magic or industry. Of course the dangers of keeping and feeding oozes means they aren't usually raised on an industrial scale.

Crysmals do not starve to death if they have access to bone or soft metals. They can convert their bodies to such materials but always revert whenever possible by dining on crystals once again.

The Mirror of Safety has True Seeing and an effect that inhibits all sight based supernatural effects, positive and negative. So looking into the guts of a flayed aberration won't cause illness or insanity.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#55
There is an abandoned world covered in living ships just waiting for pilots to take them to the stars. They keep spawning and have replaced much of the previous biosphere. With enough time they will evolve and then there will a shark-like radiation with predators, parasites, prey and filter feeders.

One river is impossible to cross without bridges. Flight (to the edge of the atmosphere), teleportation, and similar means of transport fail.

A druid variant has something like clerical turning but it affects mundane and magical animals. Those creatures affected do not become tools or allies, they simply stop destroying the works of or preying on the druid's race.


One of my favorite mutations from Gamma World 1e is Seed Mobility. It gives plants a larval form, one that can be very different from the adult. I was thinking of simply reskinning a variety of D&D monsters to come up with some useful seedlings and here are the best (slightly modified for this thread):

- Ankheg have a function beyond sprouting. The younger ones are still mobile and protect and fertilize their younger siblings by burying corpses near their roots.

- Basilisks still have the gaze and their victims turn into stone that crumbles into a fertile regolith that will be of the correct consistency for the seed when it puts down roots.

- Disenchanters drain magic and uses that power to quickly grow into adult plants (days or weeks instead of months or decades). (In GW it would drain power cells for the same effect.)

- Gryphons as seeds that cover a lot of territory looking for somewhere good to germinate. They are also strong enough to defend themselves against many herbivores on land and in the air.

- Stirges feed on mutants as they can acquire one useful mutation, if any, from their victims for their adult form. Where gryphons are usually trees, stirges are typically shrubs or large forbs.

- Whales are not single seeds, but many hundreds of seeds that have merged together from an entire grove found on a shore. When one finds a new beach to colonize, the whale buries itself in the sand or soil offshore and then sends runners (sort of like vines) onshore to start growing new plants. Even if the ground is wrong in consistency or nutrients, the size of the whale means it will be able to provide enough fertilizer to keep the new grove alive until it can alter the soil with roots and leaves to improve the chances of survival.

I really like that last one. Sort of like ohmu combined with coconuts (and it should sort of look like a giant coconut). But I got the idea from a photo of a musk oxen skeleton in the arctic that had altered the soil it was sitting on enough to allow some wildflowers to colonize around it.
 

epicfalcono

Registered User
Validated User
#56
Some plant seeds, especially mobile ones, instinctively go towards or away from intelligent life. For instance, there is s type of shrub which likes to take advantage of the refuse piles people make to use them as fertilizer. Sometimes they end up mutated when they find a garbage pile full of discarded potions and used scrolls, and sometimes people accidentally use their seeds - which look like little grubs - to clear away rotting flesh. Occasionally the grubs plant themselves in someone's flesh as a result.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#57
And those plants that do germinate and grow in flesh end up with leaves that are skin toned.


The roots of multiplanar world trees occasionally splinter planets. Eventually all the life has to migrate to the tree lest they go extinct.

There are four suns, one for each season.

One desert city has been flooded from a curse. The water can not leave the borders of the city, so many monsters come to drink.

On one plane humans can only tolerate 6 hours of sunlight per day. Every hour thereafter causes weakness of the body and possibly of the mind as well. Even non-native humans are affected when they visit.

There are X number of days (usually 1, 4 or 12) per year that sunlight reaches everywhere unless warded against. This destroys large numbers of undead and banishes fiends, preventing both from destroying the world.

One danger of alchemy is organs that inflate, becoming balloon monsters while still inside the victim.

Frost giants have trained dire wolves to herd woolly mammoths. Sheering day is quite a sight. (Though seriously, it would be nice to see more herding creatures.)

Some weapon-like tools can be used for the life of a hero and little of its true function discovered. Such as:

- An axe that can turn trees into boats or small ships. It has both telekinesis to collect the lumber and fabricate to turn them into the vessel.

- A spear that turns into a bridge if thrown across a river or chasm and the command word spoken. Another word returns it to its spear form.

- A maul that compresses soil into hard stone.

- A club that knocks livestock unconscious when striking the ground near them. It doesn't work on people or wild critters.

- A spear that acts as a lightning rod and automatically attracts all the strikes within 2 miles, but only if driven into the ground first.

- An axe that turns water to ice and then cuts it with ease.

- A knife that removes poison both from wounds and food. It then needs to be cleaned, otherwise it will contaminate the next wound or next meal.
 

epicfalcono

Registered User
Validated User
#58
I did a thing like the four suns in my setting. Everywhere you go, you can find something that changes colors with the season. Most commonly its a type of flower or shrub, but in tundras, it tends to be a spire of ice, and in deserts, it tends to be a patch of sand. Any of these season-signs can have a connection to the Feywild - its why they are affected by the seasons.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#59
I was thinking of how to use sunlight that causes different effects and it turned into the four suns and human intolerance ideas. I like the four suns as well because of what that means for some weather affecting spells. Instead of summoning a blizzard, a druid summons the light of the Blue Sun. That is a nifty visual.


Thunder lizards are well named as they are summoned by violent storms.

Food from one specific material plane Enlarges reptiles on another.

Things age slowest in summer and fastest in winter.

Some wizards have studied psionics and found a way to create a lab within their own mindscape. Getting raw materials and things to experiment with in and out can be an issue and critical failures are really bad for the wizard. Still it allow rituals and creations that are completely out of sight of everyone else.

Alchemists have created fog oils that add conditions or other effects to energy based attack spells. One example is a fog that is activated by fire and adds X amount of cold damage the next round. This puts out any flames and further damages any foes who survived.

Teleportation on the elemental planes is not a good idea as it causes a backlash that forms a reverse alignment double in the place where the spell was cast or item was used. How a fleshy creature is created by a single element isn't known and some wizards are trying to find out.

There are epic scrying spells or artifacts that alter or impose laws of reality on the places observed.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#60
Druids have a blood sacrifice for forests that make the trees regenerate after being cut down. As this happens for years, it prevents clear cutting for cultivation. And to prevent the forest from being turned into a source of lumber, the trees' wood becomes useless for construction or firewood.

Cursed firewood is surprisingly common as most casters don't look for it. The most common form slowly chills the air and causes those who are relying on the fire for warmth to freeze to death. Another puts out a smoke that tells monsters that sleeping humans are here. And then there are those that cause nightmares, negating all the advantages of sleep.

Some cursed items do not detect as such because the curse isn't really a curse. For example a helm may project an illusion in the opening for the eyes, fooling the wearer.

Those fools who try to create magic items with opposite qualities or powers find the result are always destructive curses, occasionally resulting a permanent vulnerability. For example Drums of Terror given an ability to induce silence will explode when played, doing sonic damage and permanently putting zones of silence around those affected.

A nasty arcane spell turns Poison to Aberration. The venom or other toxin becomes a monster within the body of the poisonous monster or the victim of such an attack.

Mounts found in dark lands (masses of shadows) or deep swamps (masses of soil and vegetation) are reskinned horses with one additional trait- their riders are concealed within their bodies.
 
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