Certain character classes gain resistances to specific types of spells or effects. For example, a Gunslinger can resist illusions and a Priest of high Faith can resist death magic. What does it mean to "resist" and when must these rolls be made? Unlike certain game systems where the spells all fit into neat, discrete categories, the spells in World of Gaianar often have more than one purpose or use and therefore the tightly-regulated "sphere of influence" type of classification is not used. However, there are guidelines on when to roll resistances but there are no rigid "laws" on when these rolls must be made. The Game Master decides which situation merits which rolls.
Certain character classes can detect and resist illusions. The resistance generally incrementally increases as the character goes up in level. But what is an illusion? Generally speaking, an illusion is a spell or scientific effect that causes a character to see/hear something that isn't or causes the character to not see/hear something that is there. For example, an invisibility spell and a cloaking device are both illusions since it prevents a character to see the masked person or object. Likewise, a disguise spell and a holographic projection are both illusions since it causes the character to either perceive a person/object in a significantly incorrect way or perceive people/objects that don't exist at all. Some examples of when a Resist Illusion roll is appropriate include (but are not limited to):
- The spell has the word "illusion" in the title or classification.
- The spell text has phrases like "this spell creates the illusion of..." or "creates illusory creatures that fight for..."
- The spell hides people/objects that are in fact physically present. Examples include invisibility spells (magic) and cloaking devices (scientific).
- The spell radically changes the appearance of a person or object. Examples include "disguise" spells.
- The spell projects images of people/objects that are not actually there. For example, a spell that creates images of menacing monsters (magic) or a holographic projection that creates the image of a safe walkway when there is really only a thousand-foot chasm (scientific).Some examples of effects that are NOT illusions include (but are not limited to):
- "Shape Change" spells. If the person or object is physically changed from one form to another, then it is not an illusion. For example, a pickup tesselated onto a wall is not an illusory truck, it is a two-dimensional truck. A Necromancer that has been transformed into a raven (via the Raven Wings spell) is not an illusory raven but instead is a Necromancer in a Raven's body.
- Mechanical disguises. Using a spell to give ones' self the illusion of a freckled skin and a bushy beard may be an illusion but using stage makeup and props is not an illusion. The latter is essentially a creative use of fashion accessories.
- Coded messages. Hiding the meaning of a message by way of a linear algebra transformation matrix is not an illusion any more than printing a book with the pages out of order is an illusion.
It is generally easier to detect an illusion than it is to resist an illusion. If a character detects an illusion, he/she instinctively knows that there is something "not quite right" about what he/she is perceiving and will intuitively know that some kind of sensory deception is being used. If the character successfully resists illusions (typically a more difficult feat), the illusion doesn't go away, but the character is also able to perceive the underlying reality. The effect is something akin to a "double exposure" in photography. The character can see both the illusion and the reality concurrently and can easily tell the difference.
Resist Death Magic
Priests (and sometimes Necromancers) get resistance to Death Magic. A good rule of thumb for when this roll is necessary is as follows:
If the Game Master determines that a character is entitled to a Resist Death Magic roll, the damage is automatically downgraded to ordinary damage and not death magic damage is the resistance is successful. For instance, if the death magic effect reads "Save versus Death Magic or lose 1d4 points of Constitution permanently" and the character makes a successful Resist Death Magic roll, the permanent damage gets converted to ordinary damage. In this case the 1d4 points of lost Constitution would be recovered at the rate of one point per day (natural healing) instead of being permanently lost. Should the resistance roll fail, the character is still entitled to any appropriate saving throw outlines in the spell text (usually a Save versus Death Magic).
Some examples of effects that are NOT death magic include:
- Being poisoned (includes radiation poisoning).
- Getting blown up by a bomb (this might cause instant death, but it is not death magic).
- Injurious spells cast by evil priests (a fireball cast by an evil magical practitioner doesn't make the fireball a "death magic" fireball).
- Spells that use the manipulation of time to effect rapid aging.
Healing from Death Magic
Most spell descriptions involving death magi use the word "permanent" when describing the duration of the loss. However, this is not entirely true. When characters go up in level, the attributes, hit points, and spirit points (or anything else that was depleted) is restored once the character goes up in level. Likewise, a "wish" and certain spells like "Imbue with Life Energy" can reverse damage inflicted with death magic.
Necromancers and characters with high Constitution gain the ability to inherently resist disease. For clarification, This resistance pertains to both biological and magical diseases. If the resistance roll is made, the character may still have some after-effects such as a slight fever or a vaguely upset stomach, but the character will not suffer any penalties with regard to the actual game mechanics. If the Resist Disease fails, the character will still qualify for any saving throw outlined by the disease-causing spell or situation (for example, a spell or being bitten by a rat). Some examples of when a Resist Disease roll is appropriate:
- The spell has words like "Inflict Disease" or "Cause Disease" in the title.
- The spell text includes phrases like "the target of this spell contracts a wasting disease" or "the target must Save versus Poison to avoid contracting a fever disease."
- The attacking creature transmits disease through bite, claw, stinger, etc. For example, if the Game Master declares that the character must Save versus Poison to avoid getting rabies from a rat bite, this situation necessarily calls for Resist Disease roll.
- The character is exposed to an airborne or waterborne pathogen and the Game Master calls for some kind of saving throw.
Some examples of effects that are not applicable for a Resist Disease roll:
- Being poisoned by a toxin.
- Radiation poisoning (although the character may later on be entitled to a Resist Disease roll to avoid getting cancer).
- Simply getting old.
Healing from Disease
Most diseases reduce one or more primary/secondary attributes. For example, a fever disease may drain Constitution whereas a neurological disease may drain Dexterity. A dementia-causing disease could drain Intelligence or Wisdom. A potion that is specifically crafted to cure the specific disease can usually fix the problem at hand (Shamans are pretty reliable for this task). Lost attributes usually return at the rate of one point per day. Spells that cure diseases also have the same effect as a potion that cures diseases. However, ordinary healing spells/potions that restore only hit points doe NOT cure diseases. Also, not every disease is fatal. The Game Master may rule that a disease runs its course after a few days or weeks (like the common cold/flu in which most people survive but some don't). The Game Master can also rule that succumbing to a disease merely incapacitates the character for an extended period of time rather than causing death.
Copyright 1991-2021 World of Gaianar - Version 3.0
Written and Designed by Christopher Todd
Co-Designed by Matthew Hannum