These are extraplanar flea like bugs, with the ability to move between planes. These creatures have the uncanny ability to feel the ripples of magic, so they travel through planes, rather than distance to find food.
Their food? They feed upon manna threads... the left over pieces of disturbed manna flow after a spell is cast. While feeding, they glow with an intensity of based upon the power of the spell. They come from nowhere, so unless the energies in the area are dismissed appropriately ( a good spell check or some careful casting) they often appear. You can tell the quality of a wizard or wizardly school by checking their work rooms for Manna Fleas.
The creatures seem to fly or hover, but actually they are walking on a surface in another realm. Once they are fully in our sphere, they stay on surfaces, interacting with the 'real world'.
They don't just feed on manna threads. They will bite and feast of the blood of those who have used magical power, but will ignore mundane animals and people. The bites are just like flea bites.
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? Responses (16)
I find this to be an idea that is partially fleshed out, and I like where it's going, but it doesn't quite get there. It doesn't seem to be finished. It might be the lack of plot hooks. While this might be interesting to include in some campaigns, without ideas on how to use it it doesn't come across as useful.
Vote withheld until it's either continued or stated as not being changed.
Huh? I made comments and they went away.
These are mostly background creatures, as most of the insects. (Not every creature needs to menace people and kill adventurers to be noted in the world write up.) See Codex this is attached to Insects (and Spiders and other creepy crawlies) to see the rules this post was written under.
Note to everyone, please look at the scrolls/ codices attached to a post, so you know if it is following certain rules.
As for the use, uou would use them as you would use fleas and roaches to show filth and inattentive housekeeping, but for magic users.
The creatures eat magic bits... incomplete spell castings, so barely successful or just non successful castings will leave, left overs. Good casters never generate these 'left overs', shoddy or underskilled casters always do. Short cuts (fast casting, lesser phrasing, no tools) will almost always generate them.
If your system does not utilize a skill roll or control roll, then any 'new spell' the character knows or one that 'challanges' their level, would generate said fleas.
Good magic schools and shops have clean workrooms, bad magic schools and shops are filled with them. Do you frequent places to eat that have bugs? Do you only do it, if the place is really cheap. Extend tha analogy.
Note: Also certain powerful items will 'cast off' power as they glow and act spectacular, (think of it as the smoke off a fire). So their existance or use will create a trail of manna fleas.
They are fleas, so think of them with the same kind of lifecycle and activity (hence their name).
They pass through what every dimensional planes your system uses, astreal temporal whatever. So they don't always travel distance, but sometimes just appear.
I am sorry, most of this was implied by the write up. And you might not know about threads and such if your game system does not support spells rolls.
As with Chaosmark, I agree that a bit more could be done with it. These could be a real bane to a wounded magical creature (e.g. dragons, gryphons, etc.). Unlike a wounded mage, who could avoid their attention by just not spell-casting for a while (usually no problem, especially if wounded), such creatures can not change their nature.
Would also make it difficult for a wounded mage to hide, e.g. after a battle.
I had not thought about the wounded MU (who would be rolling less beause they are wounded) or other magical creatures who might give off 'smoke' that they might feed upon. (Tracking Unicorns by looking at the hoof shaped bunches of Manna Fleas). Good catch.
Heh. Well, I agree it is short, but I think it says a lot with few words compared to some posts, which is fine by me. I like how you say you can tell how good a magic school is by looking for the fleas, and that they can bite wizards but not other people. I wonder if you have read The Dragonlance War of Souls books because there is a sort of similar thing (but different)
The bane of mages and magical creatures everywhere.
Anything that is the bane of magical creatures I am all for!
However, these are more the bane of spell using people and creatures. They are color animals that can be used for description and clues.
Another must steal for my world kind of post. It is a little thing I would not of thought of, but makes perfect sense.
Heh, and now, what eats the fleas? :) You could have a whole
ecosystem with bad spellcasting as the basic food source.
Hmmm. We could various minor spirits eat the fleas, thus magic taking care of magic. This is the option I favor.
We could have conventional insects eat them, feeding the normal ecology. However, then you get energy from nothing, so not a great idea.
Another option is that they creatures are extradimensional, coming to our world when the magic leads them here. So perhaps something from where they are... that has no material form... comes and eats them.
Either option works.
, or mayb ethere.
You could have inspectors that once a year check magic schools for fleas.
Yep, that is one use of the Fleas.
Of course, begining magic users will generate fleas, so schools would be extempt to a degree.
Now the shops or offices of private magic users, those should be carefully scrutinized.
Now if you have witchhunters, or someone who hunts magic users, they will be inspecting anyplace to find fleas... as a sign that magic has been performed there.
You know, that gives quite a new meaning to the age-old folkish commentary on those 'filthy, flea-bitten wizards'. :)
I can see more uses for these things now than I did originally. I do like the concept, and could see these being a good investigation source in worlds where magic users can't sense the magic of others easily (if at all).
There is a part of me that likes this idea, then there is the part of me that has experienced a flea infestation. Because of the rapidity of their breading and their general insidiousness you become a little paranoid. I can easily see that being a very strong character trait for an eccentric wizard.
Living in a wizarding town "go fetch X component for a flea-bomb" would make a good low level quest, especially for non-casters. Along that line of thinking there might be entire establishments devoted to cleansing a place of fleas, and the fleas are developing an immunity to whatever the exterminators are using.
These fleas could be a nice counter to take a group of enemy mages out of battle before a major conflict. (enough of these and the mages would be so busy scratching themselves casting would be hard, plus the glowing would make them marked targets at night for enemy archers.
I can also imagine some of these being used as pranks in a magic academy to get back at the snotty professor or rude classmate.