Brand Magic

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skunkstrype
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Brand Magic

Postby skunkstrype » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:34 pm

I have been thinking about pony-specific magic and have come up with some rough outlines for spells which involve a pony's brand of destiny in some way. Here is a low-level illusion spell to start with:

Disguise Brand

This spell alters the appearance of a brand of destiny to one of the caster's choosing, alterations can include the apparent removal of a brand or the placement of a brand where none was before. Alterations caused by this spell are illusionary, the real brand (or lack of it) remains unchanged and any rules associated with it (Pious Brand, Denial of Destiny, etc.) remain in force.

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Dragonflame
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Re: Brand Magic

Postby Dragonflame » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:47 pm

Good one. :) I could see that spell being useful to Chaos Hunters who want to go around unnoticed.

skunkstrype
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Re: Brand Magic

Postby skunkstrype » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:26 am

Here is a rough outline for a much nastier spell:

Destroy Destiny

Spell Type: Wizard. (Possibly other caster types as well).
Saving Throw: Yes.
Duration: Permanent.
Special Requirements: Both caster and target must possess a Brand of Destiny.

This spell destroys the target’s Brand of Destiny, leaving the victim’s flank blank. The victim loses any special abilities associated with the lost Brand (Pious Brand etc.) until the Brand is restored. Restoring the victim’s Brand would most likely require the use of powerful magic.

This spell may not be used to remove one’s own Brand in an attempt to defy one’s destiny (as in Denial of Destiny), it is a deliberate attack against everything the victim is or could become.

Some ponies claim this spell was developed by followers of the Unspoken to be used against the Chaos Hunters, while others claim it was created by servants of the Night Mare to strike down the worshippers of the Moon Princess, the truth of the spell’s origins is not known.

skunkstrype
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Re: Brand Magic

Postby skunkstrype » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:29 am

Followed by a rough outline for an even nastier spell:

Steal Destiny

Spell Type: Wizard. (Possibly other caster types as well).
Saving Throw: Yes.
Duration: Permanent.
Special Requirements: Both caster and target must possess a Brand of Destiny.

This spell removes the target’s Brand of Destiny and transfers it to the caster, replacing the caster’s own Brand and leaving the victim’s flank blank. The victim is affected in the same way as Destroy Destiny. The caster loses any special abilities associated with their previous Brand (Pious Brand etc.) and may or may not gain any special abilities associated with the new Brand (Pious Brand would only work if both caster and victim worshipped the same Deity).

This spell is a lengthy ritual rather than one that could be used to simply zap an enemy in combat. The caster must remain in close proximity to the victim for the duration of the ritual. (In game terms the spell has a lengthy casting time and a short range – not necessarily touch.) While the victim would most likely have to be kept restrained or drugged while the spell is cast.

(I picture the spell as follows: The victim tied up on an altar or in a magic circle, braziers giving off foul-smelling smoke, ominous chanting, and plenty of minions to prevent interference. The sort of thing that calls out for a party of adventurers to intervene at a dramatic moment. :O )

I have not yet decided what benefit the caster would gain from this spell. Possibilities include: Artificially prolonging the caster’s life by stealing another’s destiny, enabling a non-Doppelganger to replace the victim, or gaining the victim’s knowledge and abilities. Suggestions are welcome.

Possibilities for restoring the victim’s Brand of Destiny: This could be as simple as casting the appropriate spell on the victim (as for the victim of Destroy Destiny), or it could be a good deal more complicated. It might require a spell to be cast on the Brand’s new owner to strip it from them. Killing the Brand’s new owner might restore the Brand, or it might mean the Brand is lost, making it harder to restore. Again, suggestions are welcome.

Regardless of the method required, restoring the Brand would strip it from the caster who would regain their own Brand but lose everything gained by casting Steal Destiny in the first place. On the other hand (hoof?), once Steal Destiny has been successfully cast, the caster is unlikely to let the victim live much longer.

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Dragonflame
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Re: Brand Magic

Postby Dragonflame » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:43 am

But what happens to the pony who's brand is destroyed or stolen? Is it the same effects that Denial of Destiny gives?

skunkstrype
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Re: Brand Magic

Postby skunkstrype » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:16 am

Dragonflame wrote:But what happens to the pony who's brand is destroyed or stolen? Is it the same effects that Denial of Destiny gives?


The victim does not gain the effects of Denial of Destiny as Denial of Destiny requires a deliberate, conscious effort on the pony’s part to remove their Brand. Destroy Destiny and Steal Destiny on the other hand, give the pony no choice in the matter at all and are far more damaging to the victim’s psyche.

skunkstrype
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Re: Brand Magic

Postby skunkstrype » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:31 am

Notes on Destroy Destiny and Steal Destiny in no particular order:

These spells were specifically designed by ponies to affect a pony’s Brand of Destiny, so while fairly high level, they are not the highest level spells in existence.

These spells are dark magic, and use of them would count as an evil act. During the time of the pony empire, use of these spells was forbidden by law, with drastic punishments for doing so.

I have not gone into detail on the effects of these spells on the victim, but the mental effects would be extremely severe – after all the victim essentially has had part of their very being ripped away from them. It is possible (though not guaranteed) that the victim could gradually lose their sense of self and eventually transform into a Chaos Wraith or something similar. (See ‘Chaos Wraiths and Spawn’ thread.) Although restoring the victim's Brand before the transformation is complete would undo the change. Suggestions for possible effects are welcome, but they may not grant the victim any positive effects or abilities.

It is widely believed among ponykind that these spells deny the victim a place in the afterlife if they cannot regain their Brand of Destiny, although there is no evidence for this. However, a victim of one of these spells who dies without their Brand could well become an Unfulfilled. Such an Unfulfilled would have no Brand of Destiny (neither would any pony it possessed) and be obsessed with regaining its Brand, but would otherwise follow the normal rules.

A variant of the Steal Destiny spell could exist which would enable the caster to transfer the victim’s Brand to a willing recipient instead of the caster taking it for themself. This variant would require the recipient to also possess a Brand of Destiny and to be present for the duration of the ritual.

Casting one of these spells on a Doppelganger who is in the form of another pony would target the Doppelganger’s true Brand of Destiny, not the one for the pony it is imitating. I am undecided whether or not a Doppelganger victim of this spell would still be able to imitate another pony’s Brand – or even be in any condition to be capable of imitating another pony at all.

A Steelheart’s Brand of Destiny is purely decorative. It can be altered with the appropriate tools, and Steelhearts are unable to gain feats and such like that specifically apply to Brands of Destiny (Pious Brand, Denial of Destiny, and so on). As such, Steelhearts can neither cast nor be affected by these spells.

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Dragonflame
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Re: Brand Magic

Postby Dragonflame » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:24 pm

That is really cool how you incorporated the Chaos Wraith and the Unfulfilled in there as possible side effects. :D Oh, btw I did edit the wraith a little. Characters must now have lost their brand and take a feat to start the transformation, and they need to take a different feat to stop it, but not necessarily regain their brand. Of course, this was considering they removed their own brand with Denial of Destiny... Maybe it works differently if the brand is removed from an unwilling victim?

EDIT: Nevermind. :) I think I fixed it by adding this to the Chaos Wraith.
Note that regaining a brand of destiny will stop the transformation if it's still in progress, but if the change is stopped some other way, the pony will not regain a brand.

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Dragonflame
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Re: Brand Magic

Postby Dragonflame » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:39 pm

I forgot to ask, is Disguise Brand a ponykind-only spell, like the two Destiny spells?

skunkstrype
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Re: Brand Magic

Postby skunkstrype » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:49 am

Dragonflame wrote:I forgot to ask, is Disguise Brand a ponykind-only spell, like the two Destiny spells?


No, though as it was developed by ponies, any non-pony who knows the spell would likely have had to obtain it from a pony first.


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