Spells That Are Fucking Metal: Lathspell, I Name You

Curses are fun to write. Not every spell can be a combat spell. It takes planning and creativity, but using curses to manipulate others can be really powerful and have significant impact on the campaign. And it can be equally influential when a PC is cursed. Incidentally, Lathspell means "ill omen" in elvish from Lord of the Rings, and it's the curse Gandalf uses against Grima Wormtongue. The song inspiring this spell is by The Body, who make some really intense stuff. Hopefully I managed to convey some of the darkness of the song with the spell.



Lathspell, I Name You

No./Area Affected: 1 person, touch or line of sight with Risky Casting
Duration: permanent/until released by caster


There often is a need to cast someone out from their home, their clan, and their country. When one has transgressed so gravely against the values of their people that they can never again be trusted or welcomed by those that they have betrayed. Ancient words can mark these traitors and oathbreakers, such that any person who speaks to them will know that they are never to be welcomed or trusted, lest those who do be judged as well.


Lathspell, I Name You forever makes one untouchable. People who have never met them will know as a certainty that they should not trust the Lathspell, the ill-fated one. They will not share any information or hospitality, and will notify authorities to imprison, exile, or kill them. The only thing a Lathspell can possibly do is to beg mercy in the name of the one who has cursed them. If they do, then they may make a social roll (including their Charisma modifier) to convince them of their innocence. They do this by trying to argue the sins and dishonesty of the one who cursed them. They know many of these misdeeds, and may very well be somewhat convincing. In any case, the name of the caster will become known, as will some information about them. See the table below to determine the result of the social roll. Any who interact with the Lathspell are compelled to comply with the results of the roll to the best of their abilities, and others will join their cause if they are nearby.


Result of social roll
2-3
Authorities are immediately summoned to put the Lathspell to death in the street like a dog.
8
The others are not openly hostile of the Lathspell and may believe what they say about the caster.
4-5
The Lathspell is beaten and publicly humiliated before imprisonment.
9-10
The Lathspell is offered directions to a safe place or resources they can use to help themselves, although others will do nothing to help them outright.
6
The Lathspell is cast out and told never to return, lest they be imprisoned.
11-12
Others are won over by the Lathspell’s suffering and will do their best to help them as they would a crippled animal, and over time, perhaps a pitied invalid.
7
The Lathspell has successfully convinced them they are not dangerous, although they are still held in contempt. Extremely convincing arguments or large amounts of money could convince others to help them.
13+
The Lathspell is able to transfer the curse to the caster in regards to these people, who will react to them as they would the Lathspell. The caster’s sins are well known and will be spread among the community.


The caster has some recourse- when their name is spoken by the Lathspell, they are aware of it, and may exert their power over them. By scourging their own body, they can harm the Lathspell and make them more pathetic and odious than before. The caster may sacrifice their hit points in order to inflict suffering on the Lathspell for daring to resist their curse. For each 5 HP sacrificed, the Lathspell takes 1 HP of damage and bleeds visibly from open wounds on their body, suffering a -1 cumulative penalty to their social roll as they are wracked with pain and made to appear even more twisted and wrong in the eyes of others.
Miscast Table

1
Spell fails. The caster is stricken with a physical deformity which causes them to lose 1 point of Charisma permanently.
2
As normal, but the caster also suffers the consequences of whatever befalls the Lathspell (for example, they will be known and outcast by any people the Lathspell visits-regardless of whether the caster actually knows them). This effect is not evident to the caster until it occurs.
3
Spell fails. The caster is cursed to only be able to speak of their own misdeeds to others for 2d4 days. They will be socially outcast by anyone they attempt to have any kind of interaction with.
4
Spell fails. All mentions of the caster’s name inflict 1 hp of damage to the person speaking it for the next full year.
5
Spell fails. In the next community the caster visits, they must seek out and expose someone as a witch (whether or not it is true). If they do not do this within 3 days, they will be hunted as a witch instead.
6
Spell fails. The caster is branded as a fool and weakling by those watching from the outer planes. They lose all ability to commune with, travel in, or summon creatures from other planes until they gain a level. Any scry spells, summon spells, or travel spells are ineffective.
7+
As standard Miscast Table result.

Comments

  1. More of these, please. This is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sweet. This makes me think we need a whole book of curses for OSR spell casters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've got a few more. Honestly, they may be the most fun to write, although I have to restrain myself a bit and make sure I'm keeping things varied and that they have some application.

      If you know of any other cool curses, or write any of your own, let me know!

      Delete

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