More Thoughts on Epic Magic

Derek Holland
A couple years ago I posted some thoughts on A New Way of Looking at Epic Magic and now I have some more.
 
In addition to changing the rules of the game, epic magic can help redefine things within the world. That means an epic spell could alter the physical properties of a material (silver does poison damage to lycanthropes and dragons, iron is water soluable), change the function of a tool (one now writes with shovels hammers mend cracked ceramic), or manipulate livestock and crops (apples grow on corn stalks, cattle milk weakens goblinoids). A creative epic caster is someone who can make useful. subtle changes to the world or accidentally destroy it.
 
Or it can redefine characters. I was looking at the Player's Option series from AD&D 2e for the limitations that could be applied to non-divine caster classes. (Even though I can see a wizard screwing with clerics, I don't see the wizard surviving the subsequent onslaught from divine and divine follower sources.) That means an epic wizard could impose a taboo or need for a talisment on arcane casters. That results in a lot of unhappy dragons and other monsters who would scramble to obey the taboo or find the implement they need to cast their spells. Another source is the 3.X Unearthed Arcana, in this case the page on character flaws. Applying Shaky or Slow to all creatures within the are affected will have a significant impact on combat for both sides. And then there is the racial traits. Switching dwarf and elf traits within the are affected will result in some very unhappy people as they suddenly see the world in a very different way.
 
Epic magic can alter the planar traits of a location. Now the traits in the 3.0 Manual of the Planes are a nice base, but I suggest either Mongoose's Book of the Planes (if you want concrete numbers) or the Primal Order supplement Chessboards (if you want to use raw descriptions). Note that the latter was recently released in POD format on the OBS sites.
 
As in the previous post, these are changes to reality so there are no saving throws. But that doesn't mean that other characters have to sit there and take it. Non-epic casters and all other characters have some options. The easiest is to create or commission a magic item that gives personal resistance or immunity. That way, when they enter the affected area, they have a chance of ignoring the epic effect. There is also options for self enchantment (i.e. having the magic applied to the character rather than an object), researching a new trait or feat, obtaining a divine blessing or earning an epic boon (both in 5e terminology), or shapeshifting to a non-affected form. None should be easy in game, but then this is a change in the fundamental nature of reality.
 
Also note that the ideas from both posts make excellent superscience hazards in Gamma World and Mutant Future.
 
Comments are appreciated!