Chaos Leaks

Image derived from Wikipedia

Being a collection of side effects indicating that a magic-user is beginning to lose control of harnessed power. All chaos leaks last for 1 turn (10 minutes) and then slowly fade away.

  1. Loud discordant music fills the air
  2. Eyes glow like orange lanterns
  3. All nearby shadows begin to dance
  4. Steam rises from eyes turned white
  5. Whirlwinds from nowhere envelop the caster
  6. Gravity ceases to function within 10′
  7. Bloody tears pour from eyes in a torrent
  8. Heartbeat echoes audibly like a war drum
  9. Phosphorescent insectoid creatures seem to crawl just beneath skin
  10. Movement leaves a color trail which dissipates slowly
  11. Breathes out clouds of iridescent butterflies
  12. Loud but whispered mutterings attend every motion
  13. Strange astrolabe-like orbital halos accompanied by 360 degree vision
  14. Electricity plays between floor and ceiling around caster
  15. Every step causes tremors and shaking nearby
  16. Effects of gravity on all weapons within 10′ reverses
  17. Body (but not possessions or clothing) becomes invisible
  18. High pitched squeal from ruptured reality shatters all fragile objects
  19. Footprints grow multihued flowers and glittery plants (even in stone)
  20. Skin becomes glassy and translucent, rainbow blood pulsing beneath

8 thoughts on “Chaos Leaks

  1. LS

    Um, problem.

    Lets say a caster is stuck with…I dunno…”Read Magic” as their only spell.

    This list would make that caster think they should intentionally try to fail, because they could use these effects to their advantage in combat.

    Just a thought. >.>

    1. Brendan

      Yeah, yeah! I’m feeling more and more like the book of first level spells should maybe be available to all magic-users, and maybe the pay-for-scrolls and grimoire model for above level magic would work better.

    2. Gusty L.

      I personally like the limited grimoire thing – I think the research costs should be lower though – that or should dramatically decrease if stealing spells from someone else’s book. Perhaps like 100GP and 1 wk/per level 50% of success with +20% from each other factor. Also doing so should destroy the other guy’s spellbook.

      That way Magic-Users will be the knowledge greedy creeps they should be, stealing eachother’s power all the time – but have access to a few more spells. Or make casting easier per you last post, and limit the number of spells with the LBB rules so the caster can try Dispel magic three or four times – and becomes a death machine if they somehow get sleep.

    3. LS

      Don’t mistunderstand me, I’m very much enjoying the experience. At present I feel like I’m a magic user in a world where if I want to cast magic, I need to fight to learn it. Learning to become a magician is the easy part. It’s descending into the earth to scribe half a spell off of the inside of a cauldron, then deciphering the rest of the spell with sheer wit. That makes me feel awesome, even if I haven’t accomplished anything yet.

      I’m just saying. If I thought mis-casting “read magic” could cause my eyes to glow and gravity to reverse, I’d probably mis-cast it intentionally.

  2. Jay Dugger

    @Brendan, GURPS Technomancer (, pages 14-16, has relevant material.

    Those pages describe spell origins as old traditions, kindermagic, laboratory research, universities (UNM Albequerque, UT El Paso, & UC Berkeley), the state of the art (“exemplified by the 22-volume Working Handbook of Applied Thaumaturgy, fifth edition (Albequerque, 1996),” an open literature spell book from a university press), and “black” magic–the small number of spells developed and classified by various governments.

    GURPS Technomancer has magic returning to the game world in a rush near the end of a catastrophic war. The cataclysm there was the Second World War, and the dramatic event was the Trinity atom bomb test.

    1. Peter K.

      Reminds me of the 2E Dark Sun supplement Dragon Kings. IIRC high level magic users had to roll for secondary effects like this even when successfully casting, just as a side effect of the sheer power they were throwing around.

    2. Brendan


      Thanks for that pointer. I have a copy of Dragon Kings but had completely forgotten about that section (page 46, if interested). The system itself is a bit fiddly, but there are a few good ideas to mine there, especially if sorcerers are outlaws (like in Dark Sun).


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