Charm

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The charm arcana is used to influence emotions, control a creatures’ actions, and affect creatures’ minds. It can be a subtle art, but most mages find it easier to simply batter through the target's mental defenses.

All Charm spells allow a Will save to negate the effect. Even if a creature fails its initial save, each round thereafter it is allowed a new save to break free and end the spell’s effect. Additionally, at any time a character can spend an action point to break free from the spell temporarily, allowing him to ignore the Charm for 1 round.

Charm Enhancements

  • Charisma (+1). Choose a Charisma-based skill. Affected creatures gain a +2 enhancement bonus to checks with that skill. You may choose this enhancement multiple times.
  • Subtle Charm (+3). The creature does not receive a new save each round to reduce the effects of the Charm. Creatures affected by commands are not aware that their actions are not their own. However, a character can still at any time spend an action point to temporarily break the Charm for one round.

Emotion

The following enhancements alter the emotional state of affected creatures, replacing their current emotional state if it is contradictory. Creatures affected by emotion-changing magic do not realize their emotional state is unusual during the spell’s duration.

If a creature succeeds a save against a Strong emotion effect, he instead suffers the effect of the related Moderate emotion. If he succeeds a save against a Moderate emotion, he suffers a Weak emotion. And if he resists a Weak emotion, he suffers no effect. If the creature succeeds its save by 5 or more, it suffers no emotion effect at all, regardless of the original power level of the spell.

Table: Emotion Levels
Weak Moderate Strong
Anger Anger Rage Frenzy
Calm Calm Calmer Calmest
Confusion Confusion n/a n/a
Courage Bravery Courageous Heroic
Daze Dazed Stunned Helpless
Fear Shaken Frightened Panicked
Happiness Happiness Laughing Love
  • Emotion, Weak (+1). Affected creatures are affected by one of the following emotions.
    • Anger. Affected creatures have their attitude toward shifted two degrees more hostile. Attitudes range from helpful to friendly to indifferent to unfriendly to hostile. The change in attitude is only with regard to the target of your choice.
    • Bravery. Brave creatures gain a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls. The spell also acts as a Calm spell against fear effects only.
    • Calm. Affected creatures ignore magical weak emotion effects for the spell’s duration. Moderate emotion effects are reduced to weak, and strong emotion effects are reduced to moderate. Consult Table 4-1 to see which emotions are related.
    • Confusion. A confused creature takes random actions. Roll 1d10 each round: 1: flee at top speed to seek safety, 2–6: do nothing for one round except perhaps drool or babble, 7–9: attack the nearest creature for 1 round, 10: act normally for 1 round. Any confused creature who is attacked automatically attacks its attacker on its next action.
    • Dazed. Dazed creatures take no actions, but defend themselves normally.
    • Happiness. Affected creatures have their attitude toward shifted two degrees more friendly. Attitudes range from helpful to friendly to indifferent to unfriendly to hostile. The change in attitude is only with regard to the creature of your choice (this creature need not be within range of the spell). Multiple applications do not stack.
    • Shaken. A shaken creature suffers a –2 morale penalty on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and saving throws.
  • Emotion, Moderate (+3). Affected creatures are affected by one of the following emotions.
    • Calmer. Affected creatures ignore magical weak and moderate emotion effects for the spell’s duration. Strong emotion effects are reduced to weak.
    • Courageous. Courageous creatures gain a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves to resist Charm effects. The spell also acts as a Calmer spell against fear effects only.
    • Frightened. A frightened creature flees as well as it can from even the slightest danger. If unable to flee, the creature may fight. It suffers a –2 morale penalty on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and saving throws.
    • Laughing. The creature is filled with great humor, and cannot take any aggressive action. Alternately, you can shift a creature’s attitude four steps more friendly.
    • Rage. The creature acts as if in a berserker rage, gaining a +2 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, and a –2 penalty to AC. Unlike barbarian rage, the creature is not fatigued at the end of the rage, and nor does it gain a bonus to Will saves.
    • Stunned. Stunned creatures drop whatever they are holding, can’t act, lose any Dexterity bonus to AC, and suffer a –2 penalty to AC.
  • Emotion, Strong (+5). Affected creatures are affected by one of the following emotions.
    • Calmest. Affected creatures ignore magical emotion effects for the spell’s duration.
    • Frenzy. Greater than a rage, the creature gains a +4 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, and suffers a –4 penalty to AC. During the frenzy, the character can take no rational actions, and simply attacks directly against the nearest enemy. If there are no enemies to fight, the frenzied creature starts attacking friends.
    • Helpless. Helpless characters are aware of their surroundings, but can take no actions. They are helpless.
    • Love. Affected creatures fall aggressively in love with another creature of your choice, wanting nothing more than to be with that creature and act in whatever way they believe best displays their love.
    • Panicked. A panicked creature suffers a –2 morale penalty to saving throws and must flee. A panicked creature has a 50% of dropping what it’s holding, chooses its path randomly (as long as it’s getting away from immediate danger), and flees other dangers that confront it. If cornered, a panicked creature cowers.

Commands

The following enhancements force creatures to obey your commands. Language commands allow creatures to distort your intent, since they are only required to obey the letter of your command, not its spirit. Telepathic commands impress your will directly upon a creature, so it must obey the spirit of your command, even if the creature does not understand your language.

The nature of the magic does not allow you to simply command a creature, “Obey me.” You must give the creature specific commands, though the more powerful the spell the more complex they can be. If you wish to control all of the creature’s actions, you must use the Telepathic Domination enhancement. However, the command, “Never resist my spells,” is a valid way to get a creature to follow repeated commands.

Creatures affected by commands realize they are not acting of their own free will. If a command would force a creature to actively harm a close ally or physically endanger itself, the creature is allowed a new Will save to break free, though if you simply command a creature to protect you and it chooses to be aggressive against its allies, it does not receive a new save. If a command would force a creature to almost certainly kill itself, the creature breaks free of the command.

  • Language Command, Simple (+1). The target must be able to hear and understand you. You give the target a one- or two-word command, which it obeys. Once it completes the commanded task, the spell ends for it.
  • Language Command, Standard (+3). As above, except that the command can be one or two sentences long, detailing a single slightly complex task. Once you finish casting the spell, you must still give the target the command, so you might need to rush if the target is threatening you.
  • Language Command, Complex (+5). As above, except that the command can be as long or complex as you want. The more complex the command, often the more easily the target can distort its intention, but the main limiting factor is how much time you can spend giving the command.
  • Telepathic Command, Simple (+4). You impress your will upon the target, giving them the equivalent of a one- or two-word command, which it obeys to the fullness of its abilities, obeying the intent of your command.
  • Telepathic Command, Standard (+7). As above, except that the command can be the equivalent of one or two sentences long, detailing a single slightly complex task. You impart this command as you cast the spell; unlike a verbal command above, you do not have to spend time actually giving the command.
  • Telepathic Command, Complex (+10). As above, except that the command can be as long or complex as you want.
  • Telepathic Domination (+13). For the spell’s duration, you may command the creature whenever you want, with any level of complexity. The spell does not end once the creature fulfills the command. You can give the creature a new command of any level of complexity once per round as a move action, as long as the creature is within the spell’s range.

Mind Reading

The following enhancements — Forget, Mind Read, and Mind Scan — let you read and alter the thoughts and memories of affected creatures.

  • Forget (Varies). Affected creatures forget recent events. You can have the creatures forget some events but not others; they do not realize that they’re missing memories until something prompts them to try to remember, though if you include a standard or complex command enhancement you can tell them to remember something else instead. When the spell ends, they regain their memories.
    • Forget, Standard (+3). You can affect up to one minute worth of memory.
    • Forget, Short (+4). As Forget, except you can affect up to 10 minutes worth of memory.
    • Forget, Medium (+6). As Forget, except you can affect up to an hour worth of memory.
    • Forget, Long (+11). As Forget, except you can affect up to a day worth of memory.
    • Forget, Complete (+13). As Forget, except you can affect up to all of the creatures’ memories.
  • Mind Read (+4). By concentrating, you can deeply read the mind of the creature. Each round, you can either search for specific information (e.g., the name of a spy, the location of hidden treasure, the gate password) or simply browse for interesting information. Browsing for general information normally garners nothing very urgent or secretive unless the creature was recently thinking about it, but gives you a broader sense of the creature’s mind. Reading a mind lets you make Knowledge checks using the skills the creature possesses, but you generally need to look for the right information to find it. You can only browse one creature at a time, but if there are multiple creatures in the area, you can look for specific information in all of them at once.
  • Mind Scan (+1). By concentrating, you can “overhear” the thoughts of the target creature. If there are multiple creatures in the area, you can focus on one at a time, or try to decipher out their thoughts all at once, like hearing one person in a crowded room. This does not give you the ability to understand the creature’s language, but you can comprehend emotions and simple desires like fear or hunger regardless of language.

See Also

Modern Horror

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