Hyborian Age Magic
for a Hyborian Age d20 Campaign
character sends his consciousness outside the boundaries of normal
time-space where unspeakable things from the endless black gulfs of space
whisper terrifying secrets to the wizard who dares communicate with
them. Each spell, formula, or enchantment represents a hidden truth
in the structure of the universe, a secret man was not meant to know,
plunging the wizard into abysses of chaos and entropy that blast weaker
men. A wizard needs a magic text, a mystical drug, or a magic item
to do this. The sorcerer can do it through his own power.
To enter into the coma that sends the consciousness Outside, the wizard must make a successful Concentration check at DC 20.
The mortal mind suffers incredible stress from contact with these entities and powers, often leading to madness. The formulas, once held in memory, strain to escape, almost like living things; once uttered, they are immediately forgotten. Also, these alien Entities from Outside Time and Space may take undue notice of the wizard who enters their realm. The wizard's body does not travel into this space-time. It remains as if in a coma on the Prime Material.
Any spell, Divine or Arcane, Bard, Paladin, Ranger, Druid, or Domain, is available to the wizard or sorcerer. If the spell has several different spell levels depending on class, use the lowest spell level when determining difficulty. The wizard must make a spellcraft check to be able to grasp the terrible things he hears in the black gulfs of time-space wherein he traveled. The DC for this check is 25+spell level. If the wizard has a catastrophic failure (ie. He rolls a natural 1 on the check), then he has attracted the attention of one of these ultra-cosmic superpowers. His consciousness is either lost forever out in the void, or some thing follows him back (use Summon IX or perhaps a Shoggoth or something similar).
If the wizard fails the intelligence check, but a catastrophe does not occur, then he likely only loses his mind. He must now make a Will save against the same DC the spellcraft check was made at. If this succeeds, then he only loses all memorized spells. If this fails, he is struck insane. (see the insanity chart on the Alienism page to determine type of insanity.)
If the intelligence check is successful, the wizard has a new spell to cast. If the wizard has some tome or scroll that identifies the spell he is trying to learn (such as the Book of Skelos or the Codex of Infinite Planes), and reads of this before entering the trance that sends his consciousness outward, he gains a +1 to +5 on his DC checks.
Casting the spell does 1d6 points of temporary Constitution damage to the wizard/sorcerer. After casting the spell (and taking damage) the wizard is fatigued (-2 str, -2 dex, cannot run or charge) for 1 hour per spell level cast. A successful Con check (DC=10+spell level cast) reduces the fatigue by half.
Alternatively, the Game Master may want to use the Call of Cthulhu magic rules. Lovecraft's magic was certainly along the same line as Howard's.Main Index | email | recent updates | Conan main Page
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