Yesterday, we examined the cartomancer (from Interjection Games). The completely contained card magic rules for the class have a lot of appeal to the single-subject masters of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. An often neglected aspect of the appeal of the game is its reverse compatibility with the ancestral system. For chaos magic fans that means there is a chance at blowing the dust off of this gem. It is worth noting that like the cartomancer, today’s chaos mage is another self contained rulebook.
Chaos Mage – (Kings of Chaos -Throwback Thursday)
Compared to primalist, we are in a whole new world of caster-level checks and do-as-you-will effects that has a lot of draw for freeform fans and “haters” on vancian magic. The system goes something like this:
- Base Effect or Effects (Snap/Crackle/Pop) – You pick from four effects: Damage, Materialization, Movement or Transformation. Each of these base effects has a series of base benchmark DCs for severity and a scale to be made by a caster level check. Granting a sword a magic bonus is relatively easy at a DC 10 while turning a rock into a deadly explosive is harder at DC 30.
- Modifiers (What do you mean I have to touch it?) – Yay DC 30 deadly explosives! 11th level Chaos mages rejoice right? They blow stuff up. Often. Sure. If you are willing to be standing next to the explosive. If you want to do it at range that DC is climbing. More targets? Or burst? Higher. Want the fire keep burning after your done? Higher. That DC 10 magic sword? Enjoy that for a round. Want rounds a level? DC 15. A minute? DC 20. Permanent? Sorry. Chaos doesn’t do that, it doesn’t even commit to hours. Go instantaneous… and start at DC 30 again.
- Cost 1: Nonlethal (Look Ma’ No Slots!) – You can cast Chaos Mage magic at will. Yep. Endless boom. Oh wait. You are mortal creature with euclidean geometries? Turns your body wasn’t made for chaos. And it tells you. Every 5 points of your DC you take a point of nonlethal (subdual) damage. So too much exploding rock or chaos warping and its nap time for you. Oh. If you go staggered or unconscious with due to any nonlethal damage from chaos magic, you and chaos magic are done for the day too. But wait.. there is more!
- Cost 2: Backlash (Uhm… Are you turning into a tree?) – Nap times for freeform endless magic? Sign me up! Right? Small print time, if you fail your caster check–even once–you begin to… change. After this, the changes are just a chance when you fail. But fail you will, in one of eight horrible paths of mutation. At first the changes will probably be mostly RP and minor mechanical changes. Rage, a few stat penalties, and you know… bleeding sap. Depending on your path (GM rolled) your fate starts heading toward one of eight truly awful ends including reverse evolution, sluffing off limbs, and yes even possibly turning into an otherworldly tree.
Rest assured, if you play this character it IS doomed. It is just a matter of whether the character makes it to the end of the campaign first. If you are into playing the character struggling with her own dark fate trying to do some good before her power claims her forever you should check it out.
Kings of Chaos continues tomorrow with a special Late Bloomers look for people who want to go wild later in a characters life.