Body Horror Spells


Conversions


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm a huge fan of what I like to call "body horror spells"--essentially spells that mutilate and maim your foes, while leaving survivors blanching with horror and disgust.

Horror Adventures from 1st Edition Pathfinder released several of these, but there are several from other sources as well. I've listed several examples below.

Anyways, I was hoping for some advice on how best to convert some or all of them into 2nd Edition.


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My own roughshod, off-the-cuff attempt at one. Feel free to critique, or come up with your own. I compared the damage to other spells, but haven't looked too deep into other spells that apply similar conditions.

Boneshatter (Level 4)
Necromancy
Traditions arcane, occult
Cast Two Actions (somatic, verbal)
Range 30 feet; Target 1 corporeal creature
Saving Throw Fortitude

The target’s bones (or exoskeleton) splinter, dealing 8d6 points of bludgeoning to the target.

This spell has no effect on a creature that has neither a skeleton nor a hard carapace.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.
Success The target takes no damage and is clumsy 1 until the start of your next turn from the pain and exertion of the transformation.
Failure The target takes the listed damage, and is clumsy 1 and enfeebled 1 for 10 minutes or until they receive any amount of healing.
Critical Failure The target takes double the listed damage, and is clumsy 2 and enfeebled 2 until they receive any amount of healing.

Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d6.


Ravingdork wrote:

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My own roughshod, off-the-cuff attempt at one. Feel free to critique, or come up with your own. I compared the damage to other spells, but haven't looked too deep into other spells that apply similar conditions.

Boneshatter (Level 4)
Necromancy
Traditions arcane, primal
Cast Two Actions (somatic, verbal)
Range 30 feet; Target 1 corporeal creature
Saving Throw Fortitude

The target’s bones (or exoskeleton) splinter, dealing 8d6 points of bludgeoning to the target from the pain and exertion of the transformation. Objects made of bone, chitin, or similar material consider the result of the spell one degree worse.

This spell has no effect on a creature that has neither a skeleton nor a hard carapace.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.
Success The target takes half damage and is clumsy 1 until the start of your next turn.
Failure The target takes full damage, and is fatigued until they receive any amount of healing.
Critical Failure The target takes double damage, and is fatigued.

Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d6.

The damage now in the line of spells that cause status effects with damage, exhausted don't exist anymore as condition so I changed to fatigued that kinda conflicts with clumsy because both are status penalty to AC and saves, added the effect that it had on objects in some way. The critical failure I guess could be a little stronger... maybe add Drained 1?


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Thanks Kyrone. It seems I was still editing it when you posted. Please re-read the spell.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I converted the Nethermancer from Earthdawn into my Homebrew world and they also had a Bone Shatter spell:

Bone Shatter (5th level)

NECROMANCY ATTACK FORCE
Tradition: Nethermancy
Cast 2 somatic, verbal
Range 60' Target: 1 creature per Spell level
Saving Throw: Fortitude

The Nethermancer makes cracking sounds as this spell splinters and cracks bones, causing horrific damage. The Nethermancer can target a number of creatures up to the spell level. Each target must make a Fortitude save.

Critical Success: Target resists the effect and is immune for 1 minute.
Success: Target takes half damage and gains the Stunned 1 Condition.
Fail: Target takes 10d6 force damage and is knocked Prone and Gains the Wound 1 Condition.
Critical Fail: Target takes 20d6 force damage and is knocked Prone and Gains the Wound 2 Condition.

Heightened Level +1: Increase damage die by +2d6


Slough (Spell 5)
[Evil][Transmutation]
Traditions arcane, divine, occult
Cast Three Actions material, somatic, verbal
Range 150 feet; Targets 1 living creature
Saving Throw Fortitude

The target's skin loosens and splits, exposing its musculature. The target must attempt a Fortitude save.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
Success The creature is drained 1.
Failure The creature is drained 2. Until it it no longer drained, it gains weakness 3 to acid, cold, and fire, and it takes a -4 status penalty to saving throws against contact poisons.
Critical Failure As failure but the creature is drained 3 and takes a -4 status penalty to Diplomacy checks.


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Krugus wrote:
I converted the Nethermancer from Earthdawn into my Homebrew world and they also had a Bone Shatter spell...

That version of the spell seems a bit all over the place. I mean, stunned, wounded, prone, and damaged? It could probably have been simplified a bit. I also find it odd that the extra damage from heightening doesn't increase on a critical failure. What's more, I'm wary about the fact that it increrases a creatures wounded condition; it kind of makes it too good as a 1-2 hit KO spell.

Wounded as a condition only really applies against PCs as well. The game assumes that creatures reduced to 0 hit points simply die outright unless the GM says otherwise. That makes this a crappy spell for PCs, and an unbalanced one in the hands of the GM.

Snes wrote:
Slough

Drained is when a creature successfully drains you of blood or life force and, as such, doesn't seem thematically appropriate to me. Those penalties also seem pretty stiff too, though are pretty narrowly defined.

Perhaps something like the following?

The target's skin violently splits and sloughs off, exposing its underlying musculature. The target must attempt a Fortitude save. This spell has no effect on creatures that do not possess skin or who are not meaningfully effected by the removal of their skin.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
Success The creature takes 4d8 persistent bleed damage.
Failure The creature takes 6d8 persistent bleed damage and is stunned 2. Creatures attempting the Administer First Aid action to stop the bleeding take a -4 circumstance penalty on their checks to do so.
Critical Failure The creature takes 8d8 persistent bleed damage, is stunned for 1 round, and gains weakness 10 to all other damage until the persistent bleed damage ends. Creatures attempting the Administer First Aid action to stop the bleeding take a -4 circumstance penalty on their checks to do so.

Heighten (+1) Add 1d8 ongoing bleed damage.

Not sure if that's too powerful. Haven't been able to find anything terribly comparable.


Ravingdork wrote:
Drained is when a creature successfully drains you of blood or life force and, as such, doesn't seem thematically appropriate to me. Those penalties also seem pretty stiff too, though are pretty narrowly defined.

I was trying to match the effects of the original slough as closely as possible. That spell did Constitution damage which, in 2e, is represented by the drained condition. Drained can be used for anything that makes a creature frailer, from extreme cold to substance abuse to a really bad dream.

Explode Head (Spell 6)
[Evocation]
Traditions arcane
Cast Two Actions somatic, verbal
Range 30 feet; Targets 1 corporeal creature with a head
Saving Throw basic Fortitude

You cause incredible pressure to build in the target's head, dealing 12d6 damage. If the damage from explode head reduces the target to 0 Hit Points, the target's head explodes, usually causing it to die instantly. Each creature in a 10-foot emanation centered on the target takes 2d6 slashing damage from the flying debris and makes a basic Reflex save.

Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d6.


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Snes wrote:
Drained can be used for anything that makes a creature frailer, from extreme cold to substance abuse to a really bad dream.

LOL. I guess descriptive text doesn't matter so much, does it?

Snes wrote:


Explode Head (Spell 6)
[Evocation]
Traditions arcane
Cast Two Actions somatic, verbal
Range 30 feet; Targets 1 corporeal creature with a head
Saving Throw basic Fortitude

You cause incredible pressure to build in the target's head, dealing 12d6 damage. If the damage from explode head reduces the target to 0 Hit Points, the target's head explodes, usually causing it to die instantly. Each creature in a 10-foot emanation centered on the target takes 2d6 slashing damage from the flying debris and makes a basic Reflex save.

Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d6.

Very nice! Though I wonder what kind of damage that 12d6 is. Are there typeless damages in 2nd Edition? (EDIT: I guess there is. The thematically similar spell, implosion, doesn't declare type.)

Also, what does the heightened damage apply to? The initial target, the area damage, or both?

EDIT: What do you mean I can't spend my hero points to not die!?

Dude, you've got no head!

lol.


I previously converted some of these - here.

Specifically Bloodbath and Slough. I think my version of Bloodbath may be a little janky, but I really like how Slough came out - I love the idea of a single target "I hate you" sustained debuff.


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Henro wrote:

I previously converted some of these - here.

Specifically Bloodbath and Slough. I think my version of Bloodbath may be a little janky, but I really like how Slough came out - I love the idea of a single target "I hate you" sustained debuff.

You've got some VERY cool stuff on there.

For ease of reference:

Henro wrote:

Bloodbath (Spell 2)

Necromancy
Traditions divine, primal
Cast Two actions (somatic, material); Material a ritual dagger
Saving Throw fortitude; Duration 1 minute
Area 30-foot emanation

You cut yourself with the dagger, dealing 1d4 points of persistent bleed damage to yourself. Once per turn, starting the turn after you cast Bloodbath, you can cut yourself with a single action that has the interact trait to increase the emanation's radius by 5 feet and force creatures in the area that weren't yet affected to attempt another saving throw. If you do this and aren’t already bleeding, you take 1d4 persistent bleed damage. If you end your turn without and aren’t taking persistent bleed damage, the spell ends.

Each non-bleeding creature who enters or ends it’s turn in the area must attempt a fortitude save. On a failure, they take 2d4 persistent bleed damage. Creatures can’t recover from persistent bleed damage while they remain in the area.

Heightened (+2) The damage dealt to you increases by 1d4 and the damage dealt to other creatures increases by 2d4.

Doesn't seem all that janky to me. Only recommendations I would recommend are maybe making it Sustained 1 minute, with each action used to sustain involving ritual cutting that keeps the effect going, and perhaps modifying the damage a bit. 1d4 for 2d4 seems like a bad trade-off to me.

Henro wrote:

Slough (Spell 8)

Evil, Necromancy
Traditions arcane, primal
Cast Two actions (verbal, somatic)
Range 30 feet
Target 1 living creature
Duration sustained up to 1 minute; Saving Throw fortitude

The target starts to forcibly molt as its skin loosens from the body before splitting open in areas and falling off completely. The target must attempt a fortitude save when you Cast the Spell and each time you Sustain the spell.

If the target’s drained value is higher than 5 at any point during the duration, its skin falls of completely to reveal its musculature underneath. The target takes 3d8 points of negative damage and the duration of its highest drained condition increases to 1 month. After this, the spell ends. When the target no longer has the drained condition, its skin has fully regrown. If the target lacks skin or is unaffected by losing its skin due to its physiology, the spell has no effect.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
Success The creature is drained 1 for the duration of the spell.
Failure The creature is drained 2 for 1 minute. If the creature already had the drained condition, the value of the drained condition increases by 1.
Critical Failure As failure, except the drained value increase is 2.

Man, multiple castings of this will really wreck someone's day. Not sure if the high level is warranted.

So when the drain goes away at the end of the spell duration, does the target get their drained HP back? Or does their maximum hit points return to normal, while their current hit points remain reduced?


That's an interesting question I didn't consider when making the spell. Given the text

"Each time you get a full night’s rest, your drained value decreases by 1. This increases your maximum Hit Points, but you don’t immediately recover the lost Hit Points." (CRB 619, drained condition)

I would assume the hit points do not come back even though your max increases.

Due to the sustain thing, I think you only need to cast the spell once to wreck someone's day ;P


Transmute Blood to Acid (Level 9)
Transmutation
Traditions arcane
Cast Two Actions (somatic, verbal)
Range touch; Target 1 creature that have blood
Saving Throw Fortitude Duration sustained up to 1 minute

You transmute blood in the target’s body to acid, dealing 10d8 acid damage. The creature is sickened by the debilitating pain. Each time you Sustain the Spell, the target must make a new fortitude save against the same effect. If the damage from this spell reduces the creature to 0 or fewer hit points, it dissolves, leaving only the barest trace of remains. A dissolved creature’s equipment is unaffected.

Adjacent creatures that hit the creature with a melee attack, as well as creatures that touch it or hit it with an unarmed attack, take 3d8 acid damage each time they do as the acidic blood sprays on the attacker.

Critical Success The target is unaffected and the spell effect ends.
Success The target takes half damage and is sickened 1.
Failure The target takes full damage and is sickened 2.
Critical Failure The target takes double damage and is sickened 3.
Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d8.


Wither Limb (Spell 6)
[Necromancy]
Traditions arcane, divine
Cast Two Actions somatic, verbal
Range touch; Targets 1 living creature
Saving Throw Fortitude; Duration varies

You cause one limb of the target to shrivel and weaken. As you cast this spell, chose one of the target's arms, legs, or wings that isn't already effected by wither limb. The target must attempt a Fortitude save. On any result other than a critical success, add the following effects to the spell depending on the chosen limb:

Arm The target loses use of one of its arms for the duration of the spell. It cannot use that arm to perform actions with the attack or manipulate traits. It immediately drops anything held by that arm. Worn items such as rings and gauntlets remain worn.
Leg The target loses use of one of its legs for the duration of the spell. It takes a –10-foot status penalty to its Speed and a -4 status penalty to any Acrobatics and Athletics checks with the move trait except for Fly. If all of the creature's legs are affected by wither limb, it falls prone and can't use the Stand action for the spell's duration.
Wing For the duration of the spell, the target can't Fly. If all of the creature's wings are affected by wither limb, it is encumbered for the spell's duration.

If the target is affected by a heal, regenerate, or restoration spell with a spell level greater than or equal to wither limb spell level, wither limb ends.

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
Success The creature is drained 1 and the duration of the spell is 1 round.
Failure The creature is drained 2 and the spell has unlimited duration.
Critical Failure As failure but the spell affects up to two limbs of the chosen type. Both limbs must be on the targeted creature.


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Awesome spells guys! :D

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