Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Handout #1d100: Adding a Template

Every treasure horde needs something unique. Some groups may certainly be happy with just buckets and buckets full of gold, but sometimes a more unique sort of treasure is required. To some characters, a fully stocked library is just as valuable as any dragon's horde, but what can you give a player to appease their loot tooth?

Submitted for your pleasure is one "scroll" you can print out for your players. A ritual allowing them a chance at transformation into a half-celestial. This was written for 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons, but could certainly be adapted for any system. Many players would consider adding a template to their character better then treasure. I see such a ritual as a great roleplaying opportunity and a fun side-encounter. Enjoy!

Performing Transformations: An Experiment
by Malaki Tapprio

To alter not only the structure of one's body but the blood that flows through one's veins is a truly difficult feat, as it involves the body to be both disassembled and invariably reassembled with the assistance of powerful magicks. Altering merely the outer form of any object is simple, involving merely any illusionary or transmutation magicks to be successful. However, to change the species of a creature is a scrupulous task as it requires the very transformation of ones blood. This requires a much more powerful ritual, to be discussed later.

The most immediate issue approached when discussing self-transformation is that of the soul. Souls are a confusing subject as they are ethereal and therefore impossible to examine. This calls into question whether or not the soul carries important genetic information linked to the shape of a creature or merely that creature’s thoughts, memories, and emotional infrastructure. In my experiences I have found that it is impossible for any genetic information to be linked to this variable, as I have with my own eyes witnessed a soul enter the wrong body. This resulted in one creature literally seeing through the eyes of a different body.

The soul defined who they were, what they knew, their personality, and their memories, while the body was just a shell. However, while this might seem straightforward enough, and one would think merely calling a soul into a different body would perform a proper transformation, this is incorrect. Through several experiments on calling the souls of several Ratticus Norvegici into the bodies of various creatures, while the Ratticus Norvegicus still was able to function, and tried to eat food it was used to, the creature failed to use any of its new body’s abilities.

For example, when the soul of a Ratticus Norvegicus was called into the body of a Pan Troglodytes it did not make use of any of the Pan Troglodytes natural abilities, such as climbing. This works in the same way that trading souls between two humanoids would not allow them to use each other's learned or natural abilities or magicks. It is rumored that the druid cabals have capabilities of doing such reincarnations, but I have heard that it is unreliable at best.

When the soul is not in it's host body and is merely a ghost in a shell, it loses its ability to access any functions beyond those that are basic. This proves that the soul, while having no sway on the shape or makeup of a creature, when removed from its host body loses these functions. Along this line of thinking I have deduced that any changes of form must be made to the host body in order to fully become said creature. The soul however, having no sway on the appearance of a creature should be removed fully before any transformations take place. This is due to the fact that the soul is a very delicate variable, and is subject to possible change should it be present during the actual transformation. Despite what happens to the body, when the soul is called back it will recognize it’s host body as it’s own and reattach properly, now binding to the new shape and genetic makeup, allowing the user full access to all special functions of the new form.

Therefore it is conclusive that to properly transform one creature into another, and to attain all special abilities such as magicks, longevity or the ability to fly, first the soul must be removed from the host body. Following this, any and all transformations to the body must be made. For convenience sake, I suggest cutting the host body into very small bits so the body will already be in it’s lowest form (several hundred pieces) and the blood will be readily accessible and able to be altered if an inner change is required. Transmutation spells can be cast at this time to alter physical appearance.

Following all necessary transformations, the soul may be called, and reattached to its new body. Recognizing the body as it’s host body, the soul will make the proper changes and readily bond to the body, infusing the new shell with the memories, and emotions of the original person. Since the soul recognizes the body as its host, it will make the proper accommodations to allow most if not all of the new body’s functions to be activated and readily used. Along the lines of retaining magicks, magicks are tied to the body, therefore as long as nothing is taken away from the body, only changes, magick users will not lose their spells.

To properly “alter” the blood of a creature in their broken-down state, in the case of completely replacing blood or creating a mixture, it is not possible to merely remove the blood from the broken creature and replace it, rather, the blood must be magically replaced. If any substances are added to a corpse from which the soul has been torn, and the soul is called back, the creature reforms, despite where its blood may be, leaving the added substance behind. The blood therefore must be magically replaced or added to so the body recognizes these substances as now part of the body. This way, when the body is raised after the soul is reattached the substances stay with the body, and indeed, the very genetic substance of the creature is altered.

For example, if you wanted to infuse a human with troll blood, after removing the human’s soul a powerful spell must be used to replace the human blood with troll blood and to bind it to the body. When the soul is called and the body raised, the body would recognize the troll blood as part of the body, and would take the place of the removed human blood. The creature would appear normal, like a human, but with troll blood, abilities, and natural magicks running through it in addition to any emotions, memories and magicks that the human had before the transformation. However, any troll abilities based on the structure of the trolls body would be inoperable unless the humans body structure was also changed during the transformation. In essence, to change both the blood and the body, two powerful spells, most likely drawn from the transmutation path of magick would be required.

In the case of making half-breeds, the alteration of blood is slightly different, and easier. Instead of completely removing the blood of the original creature, you need only to bind the blood of the new creature with that of the original. For example, along the same lines if you wanted to make a human half-troll, after removing the soul, a ritual would be done to bind each drop of the trolls blood with a drop of the human’s blood. This is easier because no additional spell is required to bind the new blood to the body, as the bound blood will reform with the original blood.

The specificities of blood for distinct creatures are a hindrance however in the sense that blood cannot be made my magical means. So far, the only discovered way to perform such a blood transfusion is with real blood, usually acquired by killing the creature to which it belongs. This comes with problems though, because if the creature were to be raised after the transformation took place the blood may very well be ripped out of its new host’s body and cause irreparable damage. In the case of creating half-breeds however, some hopeful information has been found.

It appears that if both creatures are willing, a magical compromise can be made. If the souls of two creatures are removed, for example a troll and a human, and magick is cast to bind half of the trolls blood to the human’s, the same effect as before would be possible in the creation of a half-breed. However, to keep the troll alive, half of the human’s blood may be equally bound to the troll’s. In this case, both creatures would be able to live; only two full-bloods would become two half-breeds.

The experiment will be tested on intelligent creatures for the first time in history upon myself, Malaki Tapprio. I will attempt to become half-celestial by bonding with an Archon. Archons interact highly with humans and are also preachers of wisdom, knowledge and aid. My current plan is to find one through my prayers who wishes to be more in touch with the mortal realm and to offer the transference of blood as a suggestion. One candidate is Vretil, who specifically follows the aspects of knowledge; however he is a leader and such a sacrifice on his part I could not even ask. Though some of the angels under him may be willing. The ritual will be performed as followed:

Step 1: The assembled will pray.

Step 2: I will perform a ritual to consecrate and purify the land, so as to make the land both suitable for the ritual, free from unwanted interference, and pure enough for the Archon to set foot on.

Step 3: I will perform a ritual to allow the Archon to come into the Material Plane.

Step 4: We shall both be prepared for the ritual. Our bodies will be cleansed of any possible taint, all equipment shall be removed, and all others, save those needed to cast spells and oversee the ritual, will leave the area.

Step 5: The assembled will pray.

Step 6: Two sacrificial daggers shall be covered in acid. We shall both simultaneously perform the art of righteous sacrifice. Our blood shall fall by our own hands, and in one strike our souls will be removed from our bodies.

Step 7: A Transmuter of great power shall perform a ritual using purified components in order to provide a transference of half of our blood to each other, binding it to our remaining blood.

Step 8: A Transmuter of great power (not necessarily the same one), shall again call upon the their magicks to alter the structure of my body to one that can properly withhold the blood of a celestial being. Such changes will include wings and other adaptations connected to flight. Other possible changes may include hair and eye color.

Step 9: The assembled will pray.

Step 10: Two Clerics of great power will call each of our souls back to our respective bodies. They will bind with our new blood, and the structural changes to my body.

Step 12: We will all pray and thank the Gods for their guidance in this feat.

More information concerning the effects of this ritual are forthcoming, notwithstanding my horrible, horrible death.


Reverend Mike said...


I do hope it ends there...

Storyteller said...

Reverend Mike: Glad you enjoyed it! I hope someone can get some use out of it! Every so often I think I'll try to post other such scrolls or bits of in-game literature just in case players are looking for some light reading :P