Saturday, March 23, 2019

OSR: Mad Scientist

I have been flirting with the idea of making my own post-apocalyptic setting for a long time now.  I'm still not sure if I plan on doing it, but if I do, I'm thinking it will be based on the Those who Know setting, after the Masquerade has finally broken under the strain and Humans become aware of all the other species living among them in secret, along with the massive inter-government conspiracy to cover this fact up.  Though since that could lead to anything from global thermonuclear war to a single, global dictatorship, I have no idea what that setting will look like.  So for now, I'm going to think about it.

Until then, here's a class that could work for that setting, for any other post-apocalyptic setting, or for anything pulpy and turn of the century-feeling.

                                                                         by megamoth

"Mankind has yet to recognize my genius!"  

You are a Scientist with wacky theories, terrible interpersonal skills and several (possible) mental disorders.  You are extremely weird and likely have quite a few bad habits.  You are also one of the most brilliant thinkers who ever lived (or so you tell yourself).  It might even be true.  You have fused spirituality and technology, and thanks to that, you have advanced further and faster than anyone else in your field. 

Your school of Magic is an Outsider school.  It is not illegal, per say, but there is no official recognition for you school. Additionally, any of your weird or semi-legal activities will not be given a pass by the authorities, as you aren't a Wizard, just a Magic-User.  You can't go to school to become a Mad Scientist, and you definitely can't be accredited as one.

                                                                 by sedone

"It's alive!  Alive!"

The following is a sub-class for my base Wizard class.  For more information on the general class, check it out here.  For information relative to this sub-class, see below. 

Power: If you have time and materials, you can create a device called a Gadget and place on of your spells inside it.  You may then infuse this device with as many spellcasting dice as you like.  This causes these dice to be automatically expended. Other spellcasters may also charge this Gadget as well with their spellcasting device.  Anyone may then use the Gadget to cast the spell encoded on it, using the dice loaded into it.  However, these dice, once expended, must be replaced, and will not natural regenerate within the Gadget.

Drawback: You are insane.  You begin with one delusional belief.   

What is your delusion?

1- You are being haunted by the vengeful ghost of a former partner.
2- You created a monster many years ago and now it has returned to seek its revenge against its creator.
3- You are being stalked by a shadowy organization who want to use your genius for their own purposes.
4- You know who the true rulers of the world are, you know about the Giga-Conspiracy, the true explanation of everything.  Everything bad in the world is because of Them, and you know who They are.
5- Your thoughts and dreams are secretly being influenced by an outside source.  You must take precautions to prevent them from controlling your mind by doing things such as walking around a building three times before entering it, avoiding black cats, never taking off your bronze mask, or etc.
6- You suspect all members of [Group]* are sinister and are working against you and your interests, for reasons you do not know.  You must always utilize caution around members of [group], lest they get the better of you.

*The [Group] can be any group or class of people, from a specific race, tribe, religion, culture, social class, or etc.      

Mad Scientist starting spell list:

1- Conduit
2- Electronic Override
3- Flesh Grenade
4- Gamma Infusion
5- Germinate
6- Hypnotic Laser
7- Induce Mutation
8- Out of One
9- Possession
10- Probability Cloud
11- Summon Plague
12- Technopathy

13- Atom Smasher
14- Chain Lightning
15- Triumph of the Sun

Legendary Spell: Kaiju, Captain Trips

R: touch    T: creature            D: [dice] hours

One creature you touch suddenly gains the ability to cast spells for the duration.  They gain [dice] spell slots and spellcasting dice, and you can transfer up to [dice] spells to them.  You cannot use these spells while they are in the person who received them.  The spell ends after the duration does or when they run out of spellcasting dice.  When it does end, the spells you transferred to them return to you.

Electronic Override
R: touch    T: machine            D: one action

The caster, if he or she touches a machine, may bypass any physical or software security systems utilized by this machine, overriding or bypassing them in an instant.

Flesh Grenade
R: self        T: self            D: one action

Produces up to [dice] explosives, which grow from the caster's flesh.  These packets can be detonated at will by the caster as a free action.  These explosives, if detonated, do an amount of damage equal to [sum] divided by the number of explosives produced.  The explosions affect an circular area 10*[dice]' in diameter and anyone who takes damage from them may save to take half damage.  The caster is not immune to the explosions caused this way, and could easily kill him or herself.

Additionally, for every [dice] invested in this spell beyond the first, you may choose 1 of the options below:
- The bomb is an incendiary device, and lights people and objects exposed to it on fire
- The bomb has bits of bone and metal embedded in it, making it do +1d6 damage to anyone with an AC of 15 or less
- The bomb is a stunner, doing no damage, but creating a blinding flash of light and an enormously loud sound.  Anyone exposed to this sound and light must save to be able to do anything but cover their ears and sit quietly, so rattled with they be.
- The bomb is an acid bomb, doing acid damage instead of explosion damage.  The acid will linger after the explosion, dissolving all organic material, but not glass, stone, metal or plastic.

Gamma Infusion
R: 30'        T: creature            D: one action, then [sum] minutes

One creature within range takes [sum] nonlethal damage.  If the damage the spell causes equals or exceeds its HP, the creature then transforms into a monster.  This monster gains [sum] HP, gains a STR, DEX and CON scores equal to 12+[dice] and regenerates [dice] HP a round.  The monster then proceeds to fly into a rage, attacking and destroying everything in its path.  It is stupid and feral, driven only by a primitive desire to destroy.  And while it cannot plan, it will retain its personality from before transforming, and any antipathies had before.  If it disliked you before you cast this spell on it, it will probably try to find and pull your limbs off.  The creature continues its rampage for [sum] minutes or until it is killed.  After that, it transforms back.  If this spell is cast with four or more spellcasting dice, you can choose to make the duration for as long as you want, or permanent. 

R: 10'        T: pool or container of liquid    D: [dice] hours

The caster must select a container or pool of liquid that amounts to less than [sum] gallons in total amount.  This water is enchanted for the duration.  Anyone who rests in the pool of enchanted liquid heals 1d6+[dice] HP an hour.  If the water was enchanted with 4 or more [dice], then anyone missing a body part who rests in the water will regenerate the missing body part over the duration. 

Hypnotic Laser
R: 10'        T: creature        D: [dice] minutes

One intelligent creature that can see you and is within range must save or be hypnotized for the duration.  On a failed save, the creature falls under your influence.  The hypnotized creature will take suggestions from you, but he or she will not do anything obviously suicidal or something that his or her moral code would disagree with.  However, in the state of suggestion, the creature will be very easy to convince of something ridiculous, such as "chemicals labeled as poisonous aren't actually, they're just the way that people hide their expensive liquor!" 

Induce Mutation
R: touch        T: creature            D: one action

One creature you touch must save.  On a failure, the creature is disfigured, gaining [dice] mutations as its flesh is molded into some abherrent shape.

Out of One
R: self        T: self                D: one round

This spell may be cast as a free action.  Upon casting, the caster creates [dice] identical copies of themselves.  These copies all have the spellcaster's original properties and abilities.  Each copy may then take a separate action.  Then, at the end of the round, the caster picks the action they would most like to be true.  That action becomes real, and the copy that carried out that action remains real.  All other copies of the caster fade from existence, and the actions they took are undone, as if they had never happened. 

R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] hours

One Creature you touch falls asleep.  An unwilling target get a save.  Creatures with more HD than [dice] add the difference to their save.  Creatures with HD 3x greater than [dice] are immune to this spell.  On a failed save, the target falls asleep anyway.  Then your spirit leaves your body and can enter theirs, controlling them.  You do not have access to their memories or skills, but can still utilize any abilities of yours that were tied to your mind, though not your body.  For example, your magic sword will still obey you, but the pistol that scans your biometric readings will think you are a different person.

Your body will remain in stasis during this time, but if it is killed, you will not be able to return to it.  Also, your body will itself be vulnerable to possession while you are away from it.

Probability Cloud
R: self        T: self                D: [dice] rounds

The caster disconnects themselves from reality, partially existing in an area as a probability cloud.  This area is 10*[dice] square feet.  During this time, the caster appears to be standing in multiple places within the probability cloud, copies of them appearing and reappearing.  At any point, the caster may choose to insert themselves back into the domain of physics, choosing one location to exist at and instantly appearing there.

Additionally, if anything interacts with the probability cloud, such as someone reaching out to touch the caster on the shoulder or attacking the probability cloud, the caster must save.  On a failed save, the caster automatically appears their. On a success, the caster may choose to be or not to be in that location.

Summon Plague
R: 30'        T: [dice] creatures        D: one action

[dice] creatures become afflicted with a disease of your choice.  There are a million varieties of this spell, each with a different disease.  If you don't know, roll 1d6.
1- Smallpox
2- Bubonic Plague
3- Spanish Flu
4- Yellow Fever
5- Ebola
6- Cholera

R: touch    T: machine        D: [sum] minutes

You may manipulate up to [dice] machines or devices as if you were touching them at the moment.  For example, you could dial a phone from across a room without moving, enter a command into a computer terminal, or etc.  This does not give you access to machines, as normal security procedures still apply.

Atom Smasher
R: 10'        T: piece of metal    D: one action

This spell targets one piece of metal, and converts it into a strange, glowing green solid.  This solid is softer than all worked metals, glows in the dark, and burns with strange, otherworldly energies.  Then, [dice] rounds after the spell was cast, the affected metal explodes, dealing 2*[sum] to everyone within [dice]*10'. 

Chain Lightning
R: 50'        T: up to [sum] creatures    D: one action

One creature within range takes [sum] electrical damage, save for half.  Then, the nearest creature within range of the first creature takes [sum]-[dice] damage, save for half.  Then, one creature within range of the second creature takes [sum]-(2[dice]) damage, save for half.  This continues, the electrical damage decreasing by [dice] each time until the next person in the chain would take no damage.   

Triumph of the Sun
R: 100'        T: creature or object    D: special

You create a small ball of plasma in the air above your hand.  The ball of plasma starts at 1d6, and increases by [dice] sizes (see below).  Other casters may pour spellcasting dice into this ball, increasing it by [dice] sizes as well.  Non-casters may choose to take 1d6 damage and pour their blood into the ball.  For every 1d6 damage they take, count it as 1 [dice].  When you are finished charging the ball, you may throw it.  The ball does 1d6+[dice] damage on a hit, then it explodes, dealing damage equal to its size to everything within 10*[dice]', save for half.

To determine how big the explosion is, consult below.

1d6 --> 1d8 --> 1d10 --> 2d6 --> 2d8 --> 2d10 --> 3d8 --> 3d10 --> 4d10 --> 4d10 +1d6 per [dice] past 9

                                                           by VVernacatola

Chaos and Corruption of the Mad Scientist:
When you roll doubles, roll on the Chaos table.  The spell still goes through.  You receive 1d3 Doom Points.
When you roll triples, roll on the Corruption table.  The spell automatically fails.  You also receive 1d4 Doom Points.
At 10 Doom Points, you invoke the Doom of Fools.
At 20 Doom Points, you invoke the Doom of Kings.
At 30 Doom Points, you invoke the Ultimate Doom.

Chaos of the Mad Scientist:

1- Everyone within 50' of you must save.  The first person to fail their saving throw develops a mutation.  If everyone saves successfully, no effect.
2- A cloud of stinking gas explodes out of your every pore.  Everyone within this cloud must save.  Those who fail their save lose their next action as they retch and empty their stomachs onto the ground.
3- The next request you make of a person is treated as a hypnotic suggestion.  That person must immediately save.  On a failed save, that person will go to carry out the request immediately, no matter what.  You do not know this.
4- You suddenly realize you are being watched by someone.  You must hide, immediately.
5- You suddenly notice that someone has planted a magical charm on you that lets your enemies track your location.  You must find this charm and get rid of it, quickly.
6- You suddenly have a flash of insight on how you can create a monster servant who will be ever loyal to you.  The process you discover is complex and risky, but it will work, if you do everything right.  However, there is a 50% chance that something goes desperately wrong during or after the monster servant is completed.

Corruption of the Mad Scientist:

1- Everyone within 50' of you must save.  The first person to fail their saving throw catches a random disease.  Roll on the Summon Plague table to determine which disease this is.
2- A packet of explosives grows out of your skin.  In 1d3 actions (slots on the initiative ladder), it explodes, dealing 3d6 damage to everyone within 30' of the explosion.
3- A copy of you suddenly appears from nowhere.  This copy of you is 1d6 [1= As confused as you are; 2= Certain this is a trap set by you; 3= Certain you are an imposter; 4= Going to work against you; 5= Undead and hostile; 6= Helpful and happy to be here.  A really nice guy, actually.]  The copy remains until it is killed or 1d20 minutes, then it vanishes.
4- You suddenly realize you are being followed.  What you do with this information is up to you.
5- You suddenly realize one of your companions is actually a monster in disguise.  What you do with this information is up to you.
6- You suddenly have a flash on insight on how you can create a new body for yourself and finally be as attractive/strong/immortal as you'd always dreamed of being.  The process you have discovered is complex and risky, but it will work, if you do everything right.  However, there is an 80% chance something goes desperately wrong during or after your new body is completed. 

Doom of Fools- A creature straight out of your delusion attacks you, with the intention of killing one of your companions, stealing a valuable item from you, or doing something else to hinder your progress.

Doom of Kings- You receive a revelation that what you thought was true was actually only half true, as a group of creatures straight out of your expanded delusion attack you, with the intention of stopping you from taking a particular action, inflicting some malady on you, or something else sinister and insidious.

Ultimate Doom- Your delusion expands again, until it is all-encompassing.  You learn the terrible, hideous truth right after walking into an inescapable trap.  This can be something like all of your loved ones secretly being agents of Them, or the monster you created years ago tricking you into entering an area that is guaranteed to kill you, or the ghost of your old partner finally catching up to you and ripping your spine out.

This Doom can be avoided by seeking out the Puppet-Master who is controlling everything from behind the scenes and stopping them, or by joining and cooperating with the conspiracy that is currently working against you.

                                                                by d-art-studios

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