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Using Magic Isn't Risk Free

Copyright Ahti Nordberg ©2002

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

Instead of telling my players they can't do something, I prefer telling them that they'd better not. This is why I came up with rules concerning the use of multiple similar spells or spell like effects on the same target.

The basic premise is that spells whose effect on the target lasts for some duration form a kind of field, which interferes with other such fields in the same space. Examples of such spells include blur, shield, invisibility and many others. Many magical items also create such fields. Amulets, which provide a defensive bonus, form a defending field. Also spell adders and power point multipliers interfere with each other.

The effects (below) take place only if multiple similar spells are cast or similar magical items are used, e.g., more than one blur spell or defensive amulet. The simultaneous use of different spells (e.g., blur and invisibility) does not cause any interference between the fields; spell fields in general are too different to interfere.

When characters try using two similar spells at the same time the GM makes an open-ended roll, adding bonuses or subtracting penalties as indicated. He then finds the corresponding entry of the Interference Table (below), modifying the effect as he sees fit. The results of very low or very high rolls may be deemed inappropriate for lesser items or low-level spells and can be modified accordingly.

In identical situations the same effects will transpire, i.e., if the same spells are cast on the same target by the same caster. Note it is the target of the spell, not the caster, who is affected. When combining items, the user is the target.


Interference Table:




Spells enhance each other with disastrous consequences. Possible natural disasters include: earthquakes, erupting volcanoes, rain turning into fire, meteor strikes, etc.

100 - 91

The target is transferred to another place and time.

90 - 81

The target evaporates and all his belongings disappear along with him.

80 - 76

Items/spells explode destroying everything within 6 feet.

75 - 71

Lightning is conjured, which strikes the user/target from the sky. He dies and the items/spells lose their power.

70 - 66

The target is teleported 10 feet underground.

65 - 61

The target and the caster have their souls utterly destroyed (as Absolution True). Neither receives an RR.

60 - 46

A 10'R +50 Fireball is centred on the target.

45 - 36

Banishment True is directed at the target. The level of the spell equals the level of the caster/more powerful item (see Treasure Companion for item levels).

35 - 31

The target loses experience. The amount equals 1000 times the level of caster/more powerful item. Some memories are also lost along with the experience.

30 - 21

The target is turned to stone, unless he can make an RR vs. the caster's/more powerful item's level.

20 - 11

The target develops a phobia of the item/spell (as Psychosis True). This is purely psychological (not magical); there is no RR.

10 - 1

The items/spells disappear.

0 5

The items/spells lose their power. The caster has to relearn the spell to be able to use it again.

6 10

The target suffers an 'E' Electricity critical with +10 modification. A type III Demon is summoned.

11 15

The target suffers 'D', 'C', 'B' and 'A' Electricity criticals (roll each separately).

16 20

The target suffers 'C', 'B' and 'A' Electricity criticals (roll each separately).

21 25

The target suffers 'B' and 'A' Electricity criticals (roll each separately).

26 30

The target suffers an 'A' Electricity critical.

31 35

Both the caster and target must roll +55 Offensive spell failures.

36 40

Both the caster and target must roll +30 Offensive spell failures.

41 65

Neither of the items or spells work.

66 75

The weaker spell/item works.

76 90

The stronger spell/item works.

91 130

Both spells/items work.

131 160

The spells/items surprisingly enhance each other. Increase the combined effect of both spells/items by +d100%.

161 185

The interference results in one additional useful spell effect, whose level is 2d10 + the combined level of the spells.

186 195

The interference results in a surge of new thoughts and experiences. The level of the target is raised by one.


The qualities of the items/spells are transferred to the target permanently.



If the same spell combination has been cast on the target by a different caster with result R:

If R is negative: add R/2 (since R is negative, this is a penalty)

If R is greater than 100: (R100) / 2


The item is opposed to to the alignment of its user: 5 (intelligent items only)

The item is aligned with its user: +5 (intelligent items only)


Overuse of this table can be discouraged by assigning additional negative modifiers due to residual fields. Moreover some officials or entities might be offended by these disturbances, which can be detected using Reality Awareness. After all, very low results could affect whole countries.


(Editor's note: The GM must decide which types (U, F, E, I, P) of spells create fields. Restricting interference to spells that require a willing target (U) prevents characters from using interference against their enemies.)

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