Runequest Thursday #165 - More Wicked Witchcraft!

Clint Staples

I have been enjoying the writing and playing of my Witchcraft system, so I thought I would put together some more spells. These spell, though not so overtly hostile as the last batch, still tend toward the nasty. so they might be available to more wicked casters. On the other hand, many witches might think that magic is simply, only the actions of the caster determining morality. Of course, those witches might also have served a dragon or demon for some fo their spell knowledge, so you can't take everything they say as enlightened thinking. 


Note: I have replaced the spell Cat's Eye with the more general, and better defined, Dark Sight. If you happen to be using Cat's Eye, just use this write-up for it instead. Unless you would rather go on with what you are doing, of course. ; )

For those who would like to test dive these rules, I have added these spells to the core document and included it as an attachment.


SPEAK TRUTH – Variable

Range – Touch                        POW Check – Yes        Duration – Special


With a POW vs POW contest success you implant a subtle compulsion in the mind of a target to speak only the truth for one statement per round. If you have more than one Magnitude in the spell, you can ask one question per round over multiple rounds, but you must compel the target again with another POW Contest success each round. If you succeed on the POW contest, the target will give you as truthful an answer as she know.

            You can spend a rank to increase the range up to POW x Yards.   



Range – POW x Yards             POW Check – Yes/ No            Duration – 1 Round


This spell causes organic material to decay at a rapid rate, food putrifies before one’s eyes, cloth mildews and molders, meat rots and becomes bug-infested. If actual structural damage tracking is important, the spell does 1 AP per Magnitude, per turn, until all AP are gone, then 1 HP per Magnitude per turn until the item is destroyed. Magnitude may also be devoted to increasing the amount of a substance to be affected. The base amount is equivalent to 1 cubic foot. With a POW vs POW contest success the spell can affect items or material that is in the possession of an individual, like the wooden haft of a weapon, for example. If you have 3 or more ranks in the power, with a POW contest success you may affect living organic material, in which case roll the Hit Location as normal.


DARK SIGHT – Variable

Range – Self               POW Check – No         Duration – POW x Rounds


You alter your visual perception such that you can see in all but total darkness. There must be some physical sign of this ability, which will vary depending on the source of the spell. So a spell learned from Bagirra, Spirit Lord of Panthers, might have the sign of cat’s eyes. Whereas the same spell gained through service to a vampire might cause the subjects eyes to become glowing red. The distance to which your Dark Sight works is 3 Yards per Rank.

            You may devote ranks to extend the range to touch, which allows you to cast this on other willing subjects. You may also devote ranks to increasing the Duration.




Range – Self               POW Check – No         Duration – Pow x Rounds


With this spell, you can move up walls, or across ceilings, as a spider might, with your appendages adhering to the surface at will. You can move on any solid surface regardless of its facing, as it were level ground. This spell will not work for traversing liquid like water, or semi-liquids like “quick sand”, nor will it protect you from any inherent dangers or damage. With Spider Climb you might be able to traverse a vertical wall of extremely hot volcanic rock, but you would suffer damage normally while in contact. Your Move while spider climbing is 3 per Magnitude, but may not exceed your regular Move. You are capable of moving yourself and your regular gear, with the spell. To carry greater loads, a rank of Magnitude may be devoted to increasing the amount you can carry by approximately 100 pounds, instead of adding to your Speed.

            You may devote a rank to extend the range to touch, and then cast this spell on willing subjects besides yourself. You may devote ranks to duration.




Range – POW x Yards             POW Check – No         Duration –  POW x Rounds


You cause an area of vegetation (it need not be actual grass, and might instead be brush, treebranches, even seaweed if you were underwater) to wave about and tangle around anything moving through it. You affect a 2 x 2 Yard area for 1 Magnitude and can add another of the same size or increase the area by 1 in each dimension (2x2 to 3x3 to 4x4, etc) for each magnitude of the spell.

            Anything moving through the affected area must roll Dex x5 % or less, or be caught and unable to move from that spot for the duration because they are too entangled. Those who roll Dex X 5, are stopped in the first square they contact, but not so tangled that they cannot move on another turn (when they must roll Dex x5 or less again). Each increment of Dex rolled under DEx x5 allows the subject to move 1 Yard. So a Dex x 2 roll would allow the subject to Move 3 Yards. Each turn within the area of effect, the subject may roll again. Unless they fail at Dex x5, in which case they are stuck for the duration of the spell. A stuck subject may act normally in every way, except to move from his current spot.

            You may devote ranks to increasing the duration or range.    




Range – Self               POW Check – No         Duration – 1 Round


You may use your Witchcraft skill to sense aspects about your current natural surroundings: Its general level of “health”, dangers (generally), interlopers (generally), Inhabitants (generally), others as determined by you and the Gamemaster. The term “generally” means that you can divine one of the following: direction, threat level, approximate distance, approximate numbers, for each Magnitude you cast. If a subject you are sensing is actively hiding or obscuring its presence magically, you must make a POW Contest success to sense it at all.

            You may devote ranks to extending the duration.




Range – Self               POW Check – No         Duration – POW x Rounds

You cause a movable crust of stone (or some other hard substance, for which the spell will be named), to adhere to your skin. It causes you no discomfort, but protects you like armor. The less of your Move you use in your turn, the greater the protection you receive. Each Magnitude grants you 1 AP to all hit locations if you move your maximum amount in your turn. If you move half or less of your full Movement, you gain +1 AP in each Location. If you move ¼ or less, you gain a further +1 in each location. If you remain in your current location for the duration of your turn, you gain a further +1 AP in each location. Other than the distance you move, you are free to act as you please, taking any and all actions or attacks, etc.

            You can devote ranks to extend the Range to Touch, thereby granting Stone Mantle to another. You can also extend the duration. 


Probably more to come in future!