Mar 30, 2013

Your Body is a Temple to the Black Vermin Gods Pt. 2

Part 1 is here.

More ways to alter your body:

Cutting Pieces Of Yourself Off


Amputated limbs may be turned into familiars by the person they were once part of. All that is required is either the Pet spell (from RQ6) or the Call Spirit spell (from OQ). For the duration of the spell, the limb will be animated and may be commanded to perform any task the caster requires. The body part will continue to decay, but so long as it remains intact, it may reanimated repeatedly.

Amputated hands and feet are also preferred containers for charms, magic point stores, etc. and may be turned into such using the normal rules for their creation.


Ritual removal of the eyes can grant Witchsight / Second Sight as per the appropriate spell (depending on whether one is using RQ6 Folk Magic or OQ Battle Magic). The ritual requires the surgeon to have the appropriate spell and achieve a critical success on a Healing test. The ritual can be performed on someone whose eyes have already been removed - it is the elaborate pattern of scars and modifications that carry the spell.

Members of the thaumaturge caste in Dwer Tor often ritually blind themselves as part of an ascetic withdrawal from the concerns of the polis. This is most commonly done late in life, as a form of retirement. Murder gnomes in the Orthocracy usually blind one family member to help them find souls to consume.


Ritual removal of the testes will transform them into Magic Point Stores (as per the spell) capable of holding a number of Magic Points equal to 1/3rd of the donor's POW at the time of removal. The donor's POW score is not affected. The ovaries can be used in the same way, but the greater danger and difficulty of extracting them makes this less common. The ritual requires the surgeon to test both Sorcery and Healing successfully, and one of the two tests must be a critical success.

Removal of the testes is a reasonably common, though not ubiquitous, condition of admission to schools of sorcery in the Orthocracy of Kaddish. It is fairly uncommon for anyone else, though the Kadiz and Hill People do castrate some war captives as a form of non-magical ritual humiliation.


Priests who are circumcised may spend 8 hours meditating to regain a single spell they have cast, once per day. Circumcising someone is a Healing test and can be done by anyone.

Ritual circumcision is not practiced in the contemporary Dawnlands, but was extremely common among the priests of the Children of Night, who retain this power in undeath.


Grafting is the process whereby a limb or organ from one being is attached or implanted magically on or into a second being. There are two main reasons to graft a body part onto someone: To recover from a Major Wound that damaged or removed a body party; or to replace a body part with one that grants powers or attribute increases.

If you are using the normal Openquest Battle Magic rules: A Heal spell at Magnitude 6 can be used to graft on a body part on. The body part being grafted on must replace a missing or damaged body part (it must have either taken a Major Wound or have been surgically removed).

Using my house rules (which include using RQ 6 Folk Magic): The grafter must know both the Heal Folk Magic spell and have the Healing skill. They must cast the Heal spell using the Healing skill and score a critical success on the Healing test to successfully graft the part on. The location must either have taken a major wound or the body part must have been surgically removed.

Surgical removal of limbs requires a Healing skill test. On a failure, the patient loses half their current HP (enough to cause a Major Wound). If they are not at full HP, this may kill them. On a successful test, they lose 1/4 (one quarter) of their current HP. Either way, the limb is removed.

Grafting body parts on has two effects. If the location was suffering a major wound, the character recovers from the Major Wound, replacing any lost attributes, skills, etc. once they have healed to full HP.

The second effect is that the person gains some feature of the new body part. Determine what the body part was and apply the following rules:

Limbs: Take 1/4 of the STR, DEX and SIZ scores of the recipient and the body part's donor and compare the their respective attributes. If 1/4 of any of the donor's score is higher than 1/4 of the recipient's respective score, then increase the appropriate attribute by the difference. If 1/4 of any the recipient's score is higher than 1/4 of the donor's  respective score, then decrease the appropriate attribute by the difference.

If the donor had a special touch-based power, or a claw attack, these may be gained by the recipient.

Organs: A character can modify any one attribute by grafting on an appropriate organ. 1/4 of the recipient's attribute is compared to 1/4 of the donor's respective attribute. If the recipient's attribute is higher, then reduce it by the difference between the two quartered scores. If it's lower, then increase it by the same amount. Only one attribute may be changed at a time by organ replacement.

If the creature had an organ associated with a special attack or power associated with a body part (e.g. a Medusa's gaze attack; a cockatrice's beak), then replacing the recipient's organ with the appropriate donor organ grants that power.

Grafts are a relatively common way of dealing with severed limbs. The Kaddish use organ grafting more than other cultures do.

1 comment:

  1. See... now I feel extra cool for picking up that new wife in the last session. Hot new skill for a hot new NPC (even the missing hand appears to be leading somewhere...)

    Actually, John, I had a thought as Chris and I were headed home on Sunday night--I believe spurred on by something you said, though I can't specifically remember what--which is have you considered the storyteller system as an engine for the Dawnlands?

    I think a lot of the World of Darkness (reset) elements could be happily accomodated in what you've put together.

    It's a thought anyway.

    See you in a couple sundays.