Sunday, August 20, 2017

RPG Blog Carnival: Eclipse Magic

It's been a few months since I contributed to the RPG Blog Carnival, so here I am...

Kobold Press is hosting this month's RPG Blog Carnival, entry, themed 'Magic', with open-ended options on where to explore with the topic.

Sooo...  I think I'll noodle around on the topic with respect to another event this month, the August 21 total solar eclipse...

Although a lot of the online references/resources talk on the magical elements of eclipses with respect to the wiccan/pagan tradition, I'll leave Timothy Brannan to discourse on that...

However, taking a few of the traditional superstitions and themes of the eclipse...  An eclipse is: 1) a focal event, 2) a symbol of compressed time (a day in minutes), 3) an event of reformation/rebirth, and 4) a moment of the Moon suppressing the sun, and

I'm not providing many specific mechanics/spells/items, but more of a meditation on the themes and hopefully some seed ideas...

Focal Event:  The conjunction of the lunar and solar powers loosen the gateways and wards between planes of existence, and of the elements.
  • Conjuration or summoning of extra-planar beings is eased.  Servants are summoned, demons more readily called to their binding circles (Although the bargains they press are still just as hazardous)
  • Elementals may be summoned by lower-level mages and elementalists, and the command more stable, with the risk of loss of control reduced.
  • The dead come closer to the veil of the living, their communications clearer, answers less ambiguous.  
  • Perhaps even the gods bend a bit closer to the mortal plane, and entreaties to their ineffable ears heard with more clarity and openness.

Compressed Time:  A day is compressed into mere minutes, and those attuned will take advantage of the event as a catalyst.
  • Spells and processes requiring time become instantaneous. Scrolls are transcribed immediately, potions brew spontaneously. 
  • Caster levels required to utilize certain spells are reduced during the eclipse, temporarily allowing lower-level casters a glimpse into the powers they may eventually grasp.  This, as all magic, should be approached with great caution, or only under extreme circumstances, as the consequences of failure (or of the end of the eclipse during such machinations) can be catastrophic.
Reformation/rebirth: As the walls between the planes are thinned, the eclipse may offer a multitude of opportunities for reformative events.
  • The deceased have an increased success for resurrection or reincarnation by the priests, with better outcomes, or fewer detrimental side-effects...
  • Curses are more readily lifted, as positive energies may be accessed to wash away the liabilities.
  • The pallor of the undead's touch is healed. Levels lost, such as from powerful undead, may be regained, bringing characters back to their hale and hearty selves. Likewise, faded attributes from magic, poisons, or disease may be recovered...
  • The deities may show a certain forgiveness or clemency.  There may be chances for restoration of lost abilities, particularly lost Divine powers, especially those associated with lunar deities.
"Moon Power":  Like any celestial event, not all is positive energy.  The Night temporarily overcomes the Day for the briefest of moments, allowing dark forces a momentary advantage and freedom...
  • The weakened boundaries between the planes don't benefit only the just, as the powers of Darkness, too, may be unleashed or amplified.  How many plot lines of devices has required the gateway of the eclipse to unleash a particularly maleficent force?
  • Likewise, as the boundaries between the living and dead loosen, the necromantic arts feel a temporary amplification of powers - Creation or animation of the undead is catalyzed, and armies may be raised...
  • Curses may be cast, having greater effects upon individuals, or ranging across wider areas...
  • There comes a sudden eruption and fury of creatures of the dark. Knowing that their opportunity is brief (10-15 minutes of dusk, 2-7 minutes of totality), they mass at crypt doors, at sewer lids, waiting to flood forth.  Storming under the corona's haze, they swarm and feed in a frenzy.  Their numbers and powers magnify, making the turning powers of the holy warriors ineffective against their mass....

Here’s what you’ll see where you live.


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  2. All great stuff... it has me thinking about how I might include this in my own campaign.

    1. Thanks! Hope you find some inspiration...

  3. Yup, I've bookmarked this for a project. I was actually looking for some eclipse effects when I stumbled onto your article

    1. Hi, thanks! Hope it provides some inspiration!