The magical turmoil and strain has warped the terrain into supernatural badlands. Travelers report entire patches of dunes where all magic falls dead one day and is augmented the next. The absence of ley lines makes spellcasters nervous, and some spells perform at maximum capacity or sputter out for no discernible reason. Teleportation, shadow roads, and other magical forms of transportation are extremely risky, since without guiding ley lines, teleporting travelers can find themselves going nowhere, stranded in unintended locations, or even stranded between worlds.
Magic in the Wastes
Immediately after a character casts a spell of 1st level or higher, the player rolls a d10. On a roll of 2 or higher, the spell proceeds normally. On a 1, the spell slot is expended and the GM rolls on the Magic in the Wastes table below. Dimension door, teleport, and other magical transportation spells are riskier—for these spells, roll a d8 rather than a d10.
TABLE 8–1: MAGIC IN THE WASTES
|1–50||Spell sputters and fails. No effect, spell lost.|
|51–60||Caster shifted to new location at random (within 1d20 miles).|
|61–70||Spell triggers supernatural storm. Roll 1d6: 1 = boneshard sleet, 2 = gravity quake, 3 = heavy air, 4 = magnetic storm, 5 = time storm, 6 = zombie fog.|
|71–80||Spell warped to include caster in area of effect (or excluded from protective/helpful magic).|
|81–90||Exceptional spell noise/light attracts a wandering creature.|
|91–100||Spell performs at maximum damage, double duration, and/or +2 DC to the saving throw.|
Adding to the danger of spellcasting, supernatural storms born of lingering violent magic and old curses can flay flesh from bone or even stop time without any warning. Several such storms are outlined below.
Boneshard Sleet: A swirling torrent of sharp bone splinters, these storms typically disperse as quickly as they appear, lasting no longer than 1d6 × 10 minutes. Perception checks that rely on hearing are made with disadvantage [5e] or at a –4 penalty [PF], and the bone splinters inflict 1d4 damage per minute on creatures unable to find shelter.
Gravity Quake: The ground shudders as dust and sand fly into the air, rocks and pebbles shoot into the sky, and victims fall upward. Lasting 1d4 + 2 rounds, each round all creatures in a 2d4 × 10-foot radius take 1d6 damage and must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom or Will saving throw or become incapacitated (save ends). On the final round, all creatures still in the area must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom or Will saving throw or suffer an effect similar to the reverse gravity spell. Those who fail fly 2d10 × 10 feet into the air and hover there for 3 rounds before falling back down, taking 1d6 bludgeoning damage per 10 feet fallen.
Heavy Air: These areas contain an abnormally bone-dry mist that smells thickly of ozone and extends for 3d4 × 100 feet. The inhaled mist weighs heavily in the lungs. For the first 100 feet, all creatures in the area suffer one level of exhaustion [5e] or from Low Peak conditions [PF]. From 101 to 200 feet, all creatures must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom or Will saving throw or suffer the effects of the slow spell (save ends). Beyond 200 feet, all creatures suffer an additional level of exhaustion [5e] or from High Peak conditions [PF].
Magnetic Storm: This unusual storm makes ferrous metals, including all steel, within the area highly magnetic for 1d4 hours. Swords can barely be drawn from scabbards, and metal weapons stick when striking metal armor. Separating any two pieces of magnetized metal requires a successful DC 13 Strength check. Such storms last 3d6 minutes.
Time Storm: Green lightning, singing winds, and upfalling water are all signs of a time storm. Lasting minutes to hours, creatures that have died live again and those that live might age to dust. Affected creatures must succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom or Will saving throw or age 1d10 × 5 years. The aging effect can be reversed up to 24 hours later with a successful DC 18 Wisdom or Will saving throw, or by casting greater restoration. Otherwise, the added years become permanent. Additionally, all creatures already dead within the storm at the time of its onset are subject to the effects of a revivify [5e] or breath of life [PF] spell as if they had died the previous round. Creatures can benefit from this effect only once during the course of the storm.
Zombie Fog: These pervasive banks of corpse-gray fog extend 1d4 × 100 feet in diameter and rise from sites steeped in ancient necromancy. The mostly intact corpses of humanoids caught in the fog’s rotting fumes animate as zombies in 1d6 rounds and typically wander within the fog until drawn forth by the presence of the living. The concealment provided by the thick mists hides the approach of hordes of zombies until much too late…
But this is where we must stop for now, my friend. My mind, it wanders so at times. Do come see me again, though, for more of the wonders and surprises of Midgard. (OGL)