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View Full Version : Quirks for a reality warping mage?



sengmeng
2017-05-16, 11:03 AM
So the climax of my campaign revolves around the forbidden school of realism magic. Realism messes with the fundamental rules of reality and also manipulates time. What kind of unsettling quirks might a mage have from dabbling in this art?

Koo Rehtorb
2017-05-16, 11:34 AM
Multiple versions of himself from different points in his life who are all engaged in a temporal war with each other.

Mark Hall
2017-05-16, 12:25 PM
Forgetting which timeline he's on... referencing historical events wrong, but with surety. Why? Because something significant happened in his life in a timeline where the South won the Civil War or the Yankees never beat the Curse of the Bambino, so that's now part of his history, even if he's warped it out of ours.

Red Fel
2017-05-16, 12:32 PM
So the climax of my campaign revolves around the forbidden school of realism magic. Realism messes with the fundamental rules of reality and also manipulates time. What kind of unsettling quirks might a mage have from dabbling in this art?


Forgetting which timeline he's on... referencing historical events wrong, but with surety. Why? Because something significant happened in his life in a timeline where the South won the Civil War or the Yankees never beat the Curse of the Bambino, so that's now part of his history, even if he's warped it out of ours.

This. Have this character see the world as it "is" instead of the world as it is. Referring to people, places, or objects by the wrong name, term, or title. Referring to historical moments or events as if they transpired differently.

Then, work it into his power set. He's not just changing the rules of reality generally. He's changing this reality into that one, piece by piece, specifically. That's why he seems so confused all the time - he's not changing reality into something it's not, he's fixing it so that it corresponds to what it's supposed to be.

comicshorse
2017-05-16, 12:36 PM
He keeps testing reality in small ways to see which rules are applying. Dropping coins to see how fast they fall, lighting matches to see what colour the flame burns, etc.
To freak the P.C.s out have him do something totally normal ( to them) and then go white and declare, in a horrified term, 'Oh hell, where in THAT one'. Then instantly teleport away :smallsmile:

Lvl 2 Expert
2017-05-16, 12:56 PM
Likes ponies.

Or cats, or vines, or carpets, or tentacles, or bionic parts, or marble or even boobs. Anything they are constantly tempted to include just a little too much of.

Frozen_Feet
2017-05-16, 02:45 PM
As above, he regularly refers to events and people who everyone else knows don't exist...

... but it's not because he is deluded or trying to bring those things to existence. On the contrary, they existed - and now, because of him, they don't. This person is the only one who knows the real history of the world, because their powers allow to see it from the *outside*.

Expect them to be very dismissive of people's backstories, especially of people who claim great historical importance or great wisdom due to age and experience.

"Sure, sure, you were 'there' - as if 'there' is a meaningful concept. You're just another geezer thinking they mattered more than they did due to survivor bias. I'm not saying you're lying, per se, on the contrary I believe you believe every word of your own BS. Sure, sure, you can keep recounting all the reasons why you're totally right and reliable, and how I'm a clueless greenhorn. But that doesn't make what you say any more real. Because the past isn't any more immutable than the future is. Memory is an illusion. Real causality cannot be traced from within a world, only without. The world could've come to existence this second, with all its history conjured up by imagination of some madman, prone to being readjusted and retroactively rewritten on whim."

sktarq
2017-05-16, 03:57 PM
Have his voice slightly out of sinc with his mouth. Like he is being dubbed.

That his body doesn't move quite like it should. He falls too fast for example-mechanically he is the same but visually disruptive.

Have objects shift very slightly in color when picks them up or wears them. And return to normal when he puts them down.

Have him be very precise in terms of lengths, speeds, directions etc. If he gets his power from understanding how and when to do things like lower friction coefficients that have a narrow window of success in so much useless result he will try to be precise. This trait is liable to spill over into his speech pattern.

Regularly shifts his perspective. Lenses, sitting in odd places like on a wall or via shrink person on a moving object to get a clearer view of the problem.

Liable to focus on that which is most stable-positions over people (because who knows if the occupant has changed) Also since the nature of individuals will change as reality does people wil seem hugely unstable and random to him. Things like outsiders and those with very firm "natures" would probably appeal.

A tendency to try to block effects premtivly. If his spells will cause a static build up in an area he may well prepare a grounding effect-possibly by using a shocking grasp spell or similar. Possibly to no actual effect as he is "zeroing out" consequences and side effects.

Various long term planning effects that make no sense at the time. Protect a rose garden with several huge wall of stone spells? Ask why he says the hillside. It may take a very high knowledge nature check to realize the hill is prone to landsides but exactly when is unknowable. But the wizard knows it will be soon and thus the protection is time and spell slots well spent. Assuming he like roses.

A lean to very neutral dress and appearance. Who knows what fashion will look like for him this afternoon so just pick what has the lowest chance of causing a problem is just logical.

SomeNerd
2017-05-16, 04:06 PM
A few random ideas:

Being entirely fed up with the idea of the apocalypse ("Do you KNOW how many times the world ends per day? And then I have to get up out of my chair to erase the idiot who thought conjuring antimatter was a good idea from existence or some other nonsense.")

Just generally fed up with the phenomenal cosmic responsibility that comes with phenomenal cosmic power (yes, even if he's chaotic evil; someone has to put the world out after it gets lit on fire, even if they're self-serving and amoral).

Contrastingly, someone who sees the whole world as just a game. ...might be a bit too meta, though, even without fourth wall breaking.

Collects impossible objects.

Braininthejar2
2017-05-16, 07:00 PM
To use a comic book cliche...

"You know... I have no idea what a cow looks like. Every time I met a cow in my life, it looked exactly as I had imagined..."

sengmeng
2017-05-18, 10:12 AM
Thanks guys! I like a lot of these ideas and I'll definitely incorporate most of them. I also have a couple other threads related to this character, but here's the idea I came up with: a few decades ago, Agamol the Archmage started studying realism magic. He was near the end of his natural life, and realized that he would never master realism without some way to live longer. He had never studied necromancy, but he quickly began researching how to become a lich. After studying for some time, he realized that the process was distasteful to him and began trying to find an alternative. Without much training in golem construction, he created a body of onyx stone that he animated with negative energy, a being somewhere between an undead and a construct. Using modified versions of the rituals for becoming a lich, he transferred his soul to the onyx golem. Essentially he became a lich whose body was also its phylactery. After studying realism for a few decades, he discovered a wealth of alternate universes and timelines, and then devised a method of merging his consciousness with his alternate selves, but keeping their bodies separate. The result is that he now has accumulated millions of copies of his onyx body, and carved out a small kingdom in which every structure, including a 50 foot wall along the border, is formed from the spare bodies he gained through his reality manipulation. He can animate them as mindless golems or transfer his consciousness to any of them as needed.

So, even if I downplay the traits suggested here, him and his kingdom are pretty unsettling.

Braininthejar2
2017-05-18, 05:50 PM
So, he's immortal unless the players demolish his fortress brick by brick?

sengmeng
2017-05-18, 08:59 PM
So, he's immortal unless the players demolish his fortress brick by brick?

That would be the brute force method, yes. The backdoor would be finding a way to stop his soul from migrating to a new body after destroying the one it's in.

S@tanicoaldo
2017-05-18, 09:08 PM
A harem of weird humanoids, one from each alternative dimension he visited. Both male, female and things we have no names for it yet.

What? Eternity is boring, after some time you start experiment with other things.

Also and unhealthy obsession with a particular ordinary mortal, for some reason, romantic or not, he can't stop thinking about that mortal and wants to find a way to use that person in his future plans.

Just like EVERY SINGLE GOD of every myth and religion. Or any cosmic level creature from si-fi.

sengmeng
2017-05-19, 12:29 PM
A harem of weird humanoids, one from each alternative dimension he visited. Both male, female and things we have no names for it yet.

What? Eternity is boring, after some time you start experiment with other things.

This would be even better with his presumably sexless golem body