Love it actually! The concept is a good one. The execution covers the basics, with perfect examples! Apropos reading for me at the moment :)
Of course what comes to mind, are sinister plothooks branching out from this even further. Midwives with hidden agendas? secret society? a misunderstood male midwife? hmmmmmm
Perhaps the reason for the genesis of this particular branch of magic, involves some ancient legends. Perhaps, they all await the birth of the GREAT ONE!! ...and by his purple blotch you'll know HIM (or something) Go to Comment
Gruesome, and the detail is quite good. I will be honest, it needs a better name, when I read Tamperer I thought of some sort of sabotage/spy/espianoge type school of roguery and magic. I would like to see the midwife magic expanded out into it's own submission. For a long time doctors have looked down on midwives, but the midwives have been delivering babies long before doctors in white lab coats.
As for the Political disclaimer, I don't think it is really needed. Go to Comment
Unless otherwise specified, none of the listed spells are applicable to beings already born. All of the Mortality boosts are accumulative within the same pregnancy so generally changes are introduced slowly over many generations. Virtually any existing attribute can be adjusted. Addition of new Attributes is the domain of the higher level enchantments.
All of these spells are risky, so even if your magic system does not require a 'casting' roll or equivilent, these spells have a 5% chance of Exceptional Success, and a 5% chance of Exceptional Failure. In addition, all of these spells have casting times in the hours.
GMs can easily increase material costs, failure rates, etc, to keep the effects of these spells under control.
Sequences of rituals can be grouped into sequences allowing for repetition and refinement. In these cases, the difficulty of the individual rituals decreases as well as the level of mortality. However, no rituals can be added to the sequence, or all probabilites drop back to initial levels.
Dominate vs Recessive
Without delving deep into real-life biology, for the purposes of this school, any alteration which creates a Recessive Attribute requires both parents to be so altered for the progeny to gain the Attribute boost. If the Attribute is Dominate, then only one parent must have the Attribute.
In addition to these spells, the school makes use of the same array of spells as the School of Midwifery.
Mark Attribute - Long duration ritual 'Marks' an individual attribute or trait. Some attributes can be very hidden and this will affect the amount of time required for it to be 'Marked'. GM And player imagination are needed to define an attribute or trait.
Surpress Attribute - Decreases Expression of Marked attribute by 10% at cost of 10% Mortality rate increase. Exceptional Success results in this being a Dominate effect, Exceptional Failure results in the trait being increased by 10% with a 20% addition to mortality.
Induce Minor Mutation - Introduces into the subject a random minor mutation - for good , ill or neutral. Caster has no control over the form. Mutation is 20% fatal due to interference with vital function. Minor mutations are generally cosmetic or the preliminary appearance of some new capability. In that case, only 10% of the mutation's final form is added, requiring use of Boost Attribute to bring it into being over time. Go to Comment
The mid-level enchantments generally make minor changes to existing creatures - minor increases in size, attributes or even morphology changes (lengthing limbs, fusing toes, etc), and allow for extensive alteration of unborn lifeforms. Where possible, the spells act as thier 'Minor' counterparts with respect to already born beings, including chance of mortality.
Possibilities include any effect which is considered reasonably possible within Genetic Engineering in the future.
Greater Boost Attribute - Increases expression of Marked attribute by 20% at cost of 10% Mortality rate. Change can be made Dominate by doubling chance of mortality, or by applying to two successive generations.
Correct Major Abnormality - Corrects one minor birth defect or genetic disease of generally cosmetic form. Defect needs to be Marked first. Exceptional Failure results in 10% increase in Mortality.
Greater Surpress Attribute - Decreases Expression of Marked attribute by 50% at cost of 10% Mortality rate increase.
Induce Major Mutation - Introduces into the subject a random Major mutation - for good , ill or neutral. Caster has no control over the form. Mutation increases mortality by 30%. Major mutations are generally quite significant but do not provide 'supernatural' powers.
Copy Attribute - Allows caster to copy an attribute from one lifeform to another. Expression in the recipent is not strong and will require multiple generations to strengthen to the level from the donar creature.
Graft - Caster can attach parts from one living being to another. Mortality for the recipient is 10 % for limbs, 30% for torsos, heads. Mortality for the 'donar' depends on what is removed, and how. This spell can be used to perform 'transplants' and there is no issue with rejection. Exceptional failure results in life-threating illness that requires powerful assistance to cure.
Greater Boost Fertility - Increases likelyhood of successful conception by 200% Exceptional success in casting can cause multiple-births. Exceptional failure results in 10% chance of sterility in mother.
Greater Shorten Gestation - Decreases Gestation time by 30% but increases mortality rate by 20%. Exceptional success results in only 10% increase in mortality. Exceptional failure increases mortality by 40%. Go to Comment
These are truly the rituals of legend! Creation of new creatures, or great changes to existing fall into this category. Effects not really considered plausible in Genetic Engineering, at least in the foreseeable future would qualify.
Accelerate Development - Speeds maturation of the subject by 400%. Learning and growth are all accelerated allowing beings to be brought to maturity quickly. The ritual must be successfully repeated to stop the acceleration as well, and only one ritual of either form may be attempted (successful or failed) per year. Additional attempts are 100% mortal.
Creation - An extremely expensive ritual that is the epitome of the art. The normal process of birthing beyond conception is skipped, and the new being is formed outside of the parents once the ritual is completed. The ritual must be started within a very short interval of conception.
Purge Deformity - All defects are removed if cast prior to birth. When used after birth will remove 1 birth deformity of any severity.
Meld Beings - Ritual causes two separate beings to be physically melded. If significant intelligence difference exist between the two beings, the greater intellect and personality remain, otherwise the result is a complete melding of the two intellects and personalities. Physically, the form will be as desired by the caster given any combination of the two initial life forms. The resulting form sterile except if the spell is an Exceptional success. If this ritual is recast upon a sterile being created by this ritual, it will remove the sterility. The resulting being is considered a separate species from it's parents subject to GM ruling.
Divide Being - This ritual can reverse the effect of the Meld Being enchantment, but can be cast such that the two beings produced are mixes of the initial two beings. If cast upon a unmodified singular being it creates two new beings.
The beings can either be near identical physically at half normal age and experience - essentially clones, or two 'incomplete' beings.
Generally such beings are mentally and emotionally fragmented depending on where the cleft occurs.
As an example of this effect, consider the Transporter accident with Captain Kirk on the original series Star Trek. He was divided into 'good' and 'evil' sides - one too passive and the other too aggressive to deal with reality. The actual effect is as desired by the GM for storytelling purposes. Go to Comment
After long work, an evil secret society has nearly completed creation of their ‘prefect’ soldier. At this point in time, the number of available stock is small, but they have greatly increased the reproductive rate though heavy use of magic and a powerful artifact. Their plan has just been discovered, and the PC’s are contacted to help stop the project by destroying the young breeding stock before they reach maturity. Of course the facility is well defended, including all sorts of failed experiments and hybrids. And to make it even less palatable for the PCs, the young strongly resemble young humans. Go to Comment
This one has grown and flowered into something very useful. The life-twisting magics of the school could add a touch of unnatural, blasphemous horror to any campaign...
From out of the tunnel's darkness, the creaures shambled and hopped awkwardly, the horrifying legions of the the enchanter Nekrovan. We had feared that he was a necromancer, able to raise armies of the walking dead.
None of us had suspected the terrible truth: His army was made up of horrors beyond imagining: A legion of twisted travesties of humanity, madness in their oddly-placed eyes and gelatinous ichors dripping from their barbed claws.
We clutched our weapons and prepared for the horde's assault.Go to Comment
A massive iron key - 2’ length, 20lbs forged from the bones and horns of demon-lords. When used with a massive portal - carefully built according to documents found in powerful books of evil knowledge, it will open into the realm of demons and allow them to flood into the world. The applications of this item for villains are obvious. Mortals touching this item directly will suffer very dire consequences.