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DeUniversumMysteriis

Crimson Letters - The Horror Bound in Ink and Its Magic

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DeUniversumMysteriis

Hi everyone!

 

I am currently doing some preparations for the next adventure I will run : Crimson Letters. For my take on this scenario, I chose to change a bit of the backstory behind this creature (Long story short : It's a fully grown Spawn of Nyogtha who was summoned and captured by four witches in order to harvest its power. Now that the spell is fragilised it tries to escape and will kill anything on its way) and I have a few questions regarding this abomination.

 

1/ Question regarding the magic

 

I see that the Horror is supposed to have access to some spells, one of them being Shrivelling. I read in the Keeper's Handbook that a character who wish to cast Shrivelling must successfully confront his POW with his target's.

Ok so how does this spell is supposed to work for creatures such as the Horror Bound in Ink with 150 points of POW? Is it an automatic regular success and the target will have to get a hard success at minimum to evade the spell? Is it an totally automatic success and the player just can't do anything to prevent it (Which would be quite unfair, IMO)?

 

How do you use magic with the mythos creatures in general?

 

 

Also, what is Sense Life? I didn't find any spell with that name in the Handbook... Only a skill for the shark.

 

2/Ideas for other spells

 

Since I made it a Spawn of Nyogtha, "Contact Nyogtha" seems like a no-brainer. But what else?

 

I was thinking about tweaking the spell about the mist of R'lyeth. Instead of fog it would be a sort of pure darkness. A way for the Horror to blind her preys and get more easily in close range to perform a Grapple and the Soul Burn attack. What do you think?

 

3/Question regarding the balance

 

Do you think it's really necessary for the Horror to have spells?

I know Mythos creatures are made to be deadly and I totally think that dealing with the monsters themselves would be the worst idea my players could have. However, there is a possibility of a fight and the way I see it, the Horror is already pretty powerful without the spells :

 

Its physical attacks don't do much damage (1D4) but each time the Horror hits somebody, it drains 1D10 points of STR and CON.

Its "Soul Burn" ability seems to be very dangerous (1D6/1D10 SAN loss each time the target fails at an extreme POW check)

 

Does the Horror really need spells, one of them being Shrivelling which will cause the target to lose as many HP as the Horror spent MP to cast the spell? (And it's got 30 MP in total)?

 

 

 

Thank you in advance.

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GBSteve

Fragilised =fragilisé = weakened?

 

For spells it depends to an extent as to which edition you are playing, but yeah, monsters are tough so PCs just have to suck it up. That said, it doesn't have to have any spells. It's up to you really. Shrivelling is deadly, but then so is the creature, so having something more interesting might be a better idea.

 

Sense Life, I'm guessing, allows it to spend MPs to find living things to eat. I'd suggest something like 5 MP to find the nearest sizeable living thing within a mile.

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DeUniversumMysteriis

Fragilised =fragilisé = weakened?

 

Yeah, my bad. English isn't my mother tongue.

 

We play the 7th Edition.

Shrivelling just looks like overkill. The Horror seems already able to do a lot of damage to the group. (Did I mention that it attacks twice per round?)

 

 

About Sense Life, it's what I thought (Since the Shark has a skill with that name) but in the context it doesn't make any sense. The Horror can appear whenever and wherever the Keep wants and it should appear and attack the players if they try to destroy the Witch trials papers themselves. Why would it need a spell to detect lifeforms?

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GBSteve

Well French is my Other Language (45%), I lived in the Dordogne for 10 years, so happy to meet you halfway.

 

A lot of creatures have details for sake of completeness. They did something in the original story, so they have that ability in the game. It's not really necessary. And as you suggest by changing the back story, it's up to the Keeper if they want to change it, because it makes more sense to them, or better fits the group who will be playing the game.

 

Also, there's often a tension between what makes narrative sense (the creature appearing when needed) and simulation (is the creature able to know where to go). Sense Life gives the creature a reason to appear wherever the characters are - even if they will never know how the creature detects them. It's just there to justify it to the Keeper, because some Keepers like to have that bit of backstory and it's easy to provide. 

 

Regarding other spells, the darkness is good. Especially if it works in a creepy way such as leaking out from the dark corners of the room, or slowly causing lights to go out when they are not watched directly - and if you're looking straight at the light, you can't see the creature approaching ...

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DeUniversumMysteriis

Ok. I suppose the author felt he had to give the creature the Sense Life spell in order for the story to make sense.

 

For the darkness spell, at first I was thinking about how Octupi can shoot ink around them to obscure the view of predators, except it would work the other way around : the Horror wants to blind its prey in order to approach it with ease. (I was thinking about a useful spell in a combat situation)

But I like your idea about the lights going out more. It could scare a lot my players if suddenly all the lights in the room slowly run out.

 

I will think about it.

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csmithadair

1/ Question regarding the magic

 

I see that the Horror is supposed to have access to some spells, one of them being Shrivelling. I read in the Keeper's Handbook that a character who wish to cast Shrivelling must successfully confront his POW with his target's.

Ok so how does this spell is supposed to work for creatures such as the Horror Bound in Ink with 150 points of POW? Is it an automatic regular success and the target will have to get a hard success at minimum to evade the spell? Is it an totally automatic success and the player just can't do anything to prevent it (Which would be quite unfair, IMO)?

 

 

For an opposed roll, the results are compared. So, while the odds are greatly in the Horror's favor, there is a chance for the target to evade the effects. It's basically as you think; the target would need to get a Hard success if the Horror gets only a Regular one. The dice should still be rolled for the creature, since it can quite handily do better than its almost assured success. Also, the creature will fail if you roll a 00 for it, so it's not quite an automatic success.

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csmithadair

However, if the target has few than 50 points of POW, you can determine that it is indeed automatic success for the Horror (and neither party rolls). Since the creature has over 100 more points in the stat, it is beyond the target's upper limits (see page 88). That rule is largely positioned as being for physical limits, though, so you could still let target try (and I tend to favor giving a roll to someone resisting).

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DeUniversumMysteriis

Ok, thank you very much. I think I'll give the player a roll.

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DeUniversumMysteriis

Ok. I suppose the author felt he had to give the creature the Sense Life spell in order for the story to make sense.

 

About Sense Life. I now understand its purpose. It's not simply a matter of completeness. I don't why but I assumed that there would immediately be a fight between the monster and the investigators. But what if the investigators try to hide from the creature. Let's say they try to burn the papers in the library of the Miskatonic University and then, when the creature shows up they try to run and hide? Sense Life rolls could be used to determine if the monster find its prey and we get something like "the raptors in the kitchen" scene from Jurassic Park. Easy-peasy.

 

I'm such an idiot for not thinking about that earlier.

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