View Full Version : Aberration Magic [3.5]

2011-01-06, 11:19 AM
Lemme start this off by saying that I do have Lords of Madness and know about the magic section at the very back of it. :smallwink:

That said, this thread asks a very simple question of people who play spellcasters far more often then I do (essentially never, unless it's an NPC) and that is, what spells out there in WotC sourcebooks are just...weird? They have an odd effect or the display for them is naturally odd before you change how it looks, spells that are weird, horrifying, and scary.

And I don't neccesarily mean scary as in mechanically. I know damn well that Wish, Miracle, etc. are scary scary spells to be up against.

What I mean are the spells that if you, through the eyes of your character, saw happen would just think 'Well screw THIS, I am not being paid enough for this quest!' or leave you staring in befuddlement.

Why do I ask this? Because I've been thinking about incorporating a group of aquatic aberrations into a Real Life game that cast spells as sorcerers (so suggestions of divine/druidic spells to me aren't that helpful) and it started me thinking about the kind of magic aquatic aberrations would use. It should be terrifying, weird, and outside the norm of what normal adventurers are used to seeing. Sure, I could just describe like...a fireball as 'a blast of puissant violet light that turns the sailors to smoldering corpses before they can scream', but that loses some of it's effect when a player rolls a Spellcraft check and finds out it's just a fireball. So c'mon Playground! What arcane spells do you see horrible underwater gribbilies using to harass players?

2011-01-06, 11:27 AM
Illusions and spells that deal directly with fear are probably cheating, so...

Evard's Black Tentacles?
Summon Monster VII: Fiendish Giant Octopus?

I don't honestly know what I'd do besides tentacle stuff. :smalltongue:

2011-01-06, 11:45 AM
Mysteries in general tend to be really creepy.

"The air silently explodes with shadowy tendrils that slice like blades."

"Your eyes turn black and shoot forth a shadowy cone of punishment."

"You draw the subject's shadow to you and sculpt it into a new shape. The subject warps even as its shadow does."

"You reach out and peel the subject's shadow away, wrapping it inside your own."

2011-01-06, 11:53 AM
The Book of Vile Darkness has some spells that are just cheesy, but quite a few that are legitimately disturbing. I could also see the Necrotic Cyst line having a role.

2011-01-06, 11:57 AM
Stormwrack had a spell that summons a fiendish kraken to do your bidding.

2011-01-06, 11:58 AM
There was one in Spell Compendium that involved flesh-eating grubs appearing on the target's skin, and burrowing.

EDIT: Infestation of Maggots:

2011-01-06, 12:03 PM
There was one in Spell Compendium that involved flesh-eating grubs appearing on the target's skin, and burrowing.

EDIT: Infestation of Maggots:I was just going to post that picture. The artist's rendition of "abject horror" looks more like "mild surprise". :smallamused:

2011-01-06, 12:04 PM
Reality Maelstrom. I mean, it tears a hole in reality. The nice, reliable air around you is now potentially a gateway into nonexistence, or worse. That wall you had your back is now a rift into the far realms, trying to engulf you.

Maw of Chaos. Giant magic energy mouth. You thought Reality Maelstrom was bad? Imagine that the rift in reality wants to eat you.

Manyjaws. Swarm of teeth? Kinda like Maw of Chaos, but lower level. A ton of jaws appearing out of nowhere like piranhas and devouring people would probably get me running pretty quick.

Maddening Whispers. Inexplicably, all your friends and allies go insane, laughing, gibbering, fleeing like mad, or seeing things that aren't there. That's something to instill paranoia, right there. You can achieve similar results with the various Confusion spells, or Mindrape, actually. Also see Phantasmal Killer, Weird, etc.

Avascular Mass. The blood vessels of your target explode and become huge, wrapping around everything and everyone nearby. Yikes.

Extract Elemental. Not only does this spell kill someone by forcibly wrenching the water and blood from their body and out of their pores and orifices, but then it takes that water and blood and animates it. Imagine suddenly being forced to fight a enemy composed of your best friend's blood.

2011-01-06, 12:05 PM
I'd consider using Spell Thematics to spice up "normal" spells. Not only do you get visual effects and a bonus to caster level, but also the Spellcraft DC to identify the spells becomes more difficult.

2011-01-06, 12:09 PM
Horrid Vilting, Black Tentacles and Stone to Flesh are all plenty weird, and from core.

From the SpC (by level):
Babau Slime Bonefiddle, Dessicating Bubble Amorphous Form, Hamatula Barbs Burning Blood, Vortex of Teeth Graymantle, Miasma of Entropy, Gutsnake Howling Chain, Fleshshiver, Extract Water Elemental Avasculate Avascular Mass, Flensing Hmm, very tame here, really...

Too many to list in the BoVD. Whirlwind of Teeth always hits me, though...

2011-01-06, 12:12 PM
I built a character around disturbing imagery once. Here's my list.

Acid breath
Any summon monster
Summon swarm
Black tentacles
Extract water elemental

That last one is a good one, if you can get it on your list.

2011-01-06, 12:12 PM
The 'Shadow XXXX' spells are good on a creepiness factor. Having your own shadow rise from the ground and grapple you, or spring from nowhere causing Str damage. And lets not forget Shadow Landscape (albiet that ones a druid spell), thats a spell is sopposed to create a nightmarish land.

2011-01-06, 12:22 PM
Here are a few lower level ones, since my last post was mostly high level.

Vipergout. Snakes are scary enough on their own. Now imagine hellish snakes. Now imagine watching a caster's magic allowing him to disgorge demonic snakes from his mouth. If nothing else, that's going to be nausea inducing.

Ghost Sound, Dancing Lights. Think of poltergeists and use your imagination. Wails, eerie flickers, screams, etc etc. Good stuff for ambiance.

Backbiter. You grab your trusty steel to attack the enemy... and it twists around like a snake and strikes you instead before settling back to normal. Is it going to attack you again? Can you trust anything you're holding? Combine this and animate objects to make people fear even stuff they've brought with them.

Belker Claws. The caster attacks you with smoky claws... and then they creep inside you and continue ripping you apart for a while. The spell doesn't specifically say that's what happens, but just look up the creature it is named after, and you'll see that's the intent.

Skull Watch. Floating, screaming skulls. That's all that really needs to be said.

Mind Poison. Slowly transforms a stalwart, wise person into a gibbering idiot. Over the long term, you can make this spell seem quite sinister.

Phantasmal Assailants. To the person targeted, inexplicable shadowy creatures start draining their life away. For everyone else, a person acts fearful towards nothing, and then starts getting weaker, and weaker... pretty scary either way.

2011-01-06, 01:02 PM
{Everything she said on the last two posts}

This one is strong in the Lovecraftian side of the Force. I Second you, for the what my word is worth.