Thursday, July 18, 2019

Pay Your Late Fees: the Book Wizard


"Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass, and on that simple equation rests the whole of L-space.  It is via L-space that all books are connected (quoting the ones before them, and influencing the ones that come after).  But there is no time in L-space.  Nor is there, strictly speaking, any space.  Nevertheless, L-space is infinitely large and connects all libraries, everywhere and everywhen.  It’s never further than the other side of the bookshelf, yet only the most senior and respected librarians know the way in." - Terry Pratchett

The library is as inextricable from the wizard as the battlefield is from the fighter or the shadowed alley from the thief. A wizard's book is a fighter's blade is a cleric's unshakable faith. Knowledge is power, power is energy over time, and so books are incredibly dense repositories of magical energy merely waiting to be unleashed. Wizards have known this since time immemorial (they did not invent the book, but that is only because no one before books could credibly call themselves a wizard). Yet knowledge is useless without those willing to care for it. Wizards who devote their talents to the study, keeping, and cataloguing of arcane tomes (and scrolls and records and tablets, to name only a few of the esoteric media one can find in a proper wizard's library) are Book Wizards, and their powers command the respect of all their peers.

A book wizard's brain is a library in itself, book-neurons meticulously organized on shelves of grey matter. If you were to shrink down to the size of a cell, and were very very quiet, you could ask the librarian of the wizard's brain where to find choice memories and skills, and check them out for your perusal.

A quick tangent on Memory Slots, which I use in a few of these spells: Like how you have physical inventory slots equal to your STR score, you have mental inventory slots equal to your INT score. A skill or a language takes up 1 slot, prepared spells take up 1 slot each, magic dice take up 1 slot each, and anything you want to remember perfectly (i.e. ask the GM "hey, what was that thing..." and get a complete, fully truthful answer) takes up a slot as well. You can still take notes; your player memory doesn't affect your character memory or vice versa. Stress also takes up slots; 1 slot per 3 Stress. If you overencumber your memory, you forget one random slot's worth of useful info (i.e. not Stress) as you sleep.

Book Wizard
art by juliedillon
"1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the last date shown; 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality" - Terry Pratchett

Perk
You have INT/3 extra physical inventory slots, but only for books/scrolls/other media. Start with 3 random mundane books, each with 2d1000 pages.

Drawback
You regain MD by reading books you haven't read before, instead of during rests. One inventory slot's worth of reading material restores 1 MD.

Cantrips
1. If you're using a book as a weapon, it deals d4 bludgeoning or slashing damage (your choice), stepped up once for every thousand pages it has.
2. You can spend an hour talking with a magic-user (or to yourself) to convert one of their spell slots into a scroll of a spell they know. They get the slot back when the scroll is used.
3. You can flip to the page you want in any book on the first try, even if you haven't read it before.

Spells
1. Hit 'Em With The Book
Range: 10'; Target: 1 creature; Duration: instant
Throw (dice) books within range at the target for (sum) bludgeoning damage. You may apply additional effects based on the topic or plot of each book; the target gets a save.
1. Almanac: Cause a seasonal effect around the target for a round (spring: hyperallergenic pollen, summer: blinding light, fall: strong winds, winter: freezing cold)
2. Dictionary: Target can speak and understand (though not read or write) only the language of the dictionary for (sum) minutes.
3. Epic: Reroll (sum) with stepped-up damage dice.
4. History: Target acts stereotypically of their social class for (sum) rounds.
5. Law: Attack deals an additional d6 damage if target has broken the law.
6. Medicine: You can choose the wound this attack inflicts.
7. Novel: If you haven't read this book yet, the attack deals double damage.
8. Play: Target is overcome with mirth (comedy)/lust (romance)/sadness (tragedy) to the exclusion of all else for (sum) rounds.
9. Religion: Attack deals a damage type associated with the religion.
10. Technical: Target has advantage or disadvantage (your choice) on their next test of a skill in the book.

2. Animate Book
As Animate Object, but only for books. Their attacks apply effects as Hit 'Em With The Book, and can speak their contents upon request.

3. Comprehend Languages
Range: self; Target: self; Duration: (sum) minutes
You understand the literal translation of (dice) languages of your choice. You can't speak or write the languages, only read and understand them. This extends to things beyond spoken/signed/written language - design languages, animal languages, etc. are all valid selections for this spell.

4. Enforce Trope
Range: sight; Target: (dice) creatures; Duration: see description
The results of the target's next (dice) rolls are whatever is narratively expected for maximum suspense and drama (based on whether they succeed or fail). 2 or more dice: you can pick the genre the tropes follow; 3 or more: you can pick a specific story; 4 or more: you can pick the exact tropes.

5. Book Learning
Range: touch; Target: up to (dice) books; Duration: until forgotten
Read the targeted books into your brain instantly (this doesn't destroy the books). They take up 1 memory slot each, and you have perfect recollection of all of its contents and can recite them with total accuracy. If it has pictures or diagrams, you can reproduce them with total accuracy as well. When you would use a book for a spell, you may choose to forget one of those books to manifest a magical copy of it instead, which then is used for the spell (and consumed after the spell ends). If there are spells in the books, you can cast them as scrolls with the (dice) and (sum) rolled for this spell. Casting one of those spells causes you to forget the book.

6. Silence
Range: 100'; Target: up to a (sum)*10' radius sphere; Duration: (sum) minutes
Target area becomes magically silent. No sound is produced within the sphere, nor can any sound enter it from outside. You can move the sphere anywhere within range and change its size at will.

7. Infodump
Range: 100'; Target: (dice)*10' radius sphere; Duration: (sum) rounds
The contents of an entire book manifest in the target area, freefloating words and paragraphs buzzing like angry hornets. They try to overwrite all information that enters the area, including others' memories. All books in the area are overwritten with junk data from the book you chose over the course of the duration. Anyone in the area must WIS save or have a chunk of the book forcibly jammed into their head each round, replacing their most valuable memory slot (spells > specific memories > skills > languages). This consumes the book.

8. Edit Spell
Range: 10'; Target: a spell; Duration: instant
Target a spell either in your head or in the world. You may add (dice) words to or subtract (dice) words from its description. GM interprets how the new spell acts.

9. Summon Fictional Character
As Summon Creature, but summons a character from a book in your possession (stat them up using the Summon rules, or as a hireling - whichever makes more sense). Consumes the book.

10. Literary Teleport
Range: touch; Target: book; Duration: (sum) rounds (1D)/minutes (2D)/hours (3D)/days (4D)
Turn the targeted book into a linking book that lasts for the duration. It teleports those who touch a specified paragraph in it to the location that paragraph accurately describes (if a location that's either fictional or no longer in existence it's instantiated in a sub-dimension; if a real location, you end up there in the real world). When the duration expires or the book is destroyed, everyone who was teleported is rudely yanked back to the book's location, sans anything from the destination.

Emblem Spells
11. Scrollify
As Spellify, but encodes the target into pages of a book instead of your mind. It overwrites 10^(HD) pages of the book, and if you don't have enough space the spell fizzles. Any of the Reverse Possession results that might affect your mind affect the book instead.

12. Query the Library
Range: n/a; Target: book; Duration: permanent
Describe a book, by content or title, which you then check  out of the Stygian Library from a depth of (sum) or less (basic information: depth >=0, specialist: >=5, obscure: >=10, forgotten entirely: >=15, unknown: >=20). Its text replaces that of the target book. It can be turned into a linking book with Literary Teleport that teleports you to level (sum) of the Stygian Library. You cannot cast this spell again until you have returned the book to the Stygian Library (late fees are d6 HP per week after the first). You'll need to find the Help Desk to return it properly; merely dropping it off isn't enough - and if you go more than a month without returning it, you'll anger the librarians. Don't anger the librarians.

Mishaps
1. Papercut! Take d6 slashing damage.
2. Eyestrain. You can't read small type for the rest of the day.
3. Loud noise becomes physically painful to you. Any noise above a whisper forces a WIS save or -1 WIS for the rest of the day.
4. Polymorph into an animate book about yourself for d6 rounds.
5. One book on your person, besides your spellbook, tears itself free and (ahem) books it to the nearest library.
6. You've come down with a bad case of poetry. Speak in rhyme for the rest of the day. Take 1 damage whenever you don't.

DOOMS
1. You forget who you are and take on the persona of the author of a random book you're carrying for 24 hours. Their skills and abilities replace yours.
2. Lose your episodic memories. Hope you've been keeping a good diary - you don't know anything about who you are, where you are, what you've done, or who these heavily-armed randos around you are.
3. Lose your faculties of language forever. You cannot hear nor speak, read nor write, convey information or interpret what others convey to you. Naturally, you lose your powers of wizardry. However, druids see a fallen Book Wizard as a hero who has successfully cast off the greatest shackle of civilization, and they may have a place for you...

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