Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wizard Reskins 6: The Cholimancer

Nature of Magic:
Cholimancers, sometimes called Bile-mages or Humorists, believe that magic comes from within. Every living creature has magic flowing through their veins -- the difficulty is getting it out in the right form and quantity. Magic lives in the body's fluids. Every gutter mage knows that spilled blood can be used to power spells, but only Cholimancers delve into the deeper mysteries of bile, phlegm, and gall. By bringing these humors into the proper proportion in the correct part of the body, great magic can be worked, often without the need to actually bleed the one working it.

Method of Casting:
Cholimancers draw power for their spells by aligning the humors (blood, bile, gall, and phlegm) in their bodies. Each spell corresponds to a specific balance of humors in a specific body part, whether that be concentrating black bile in the fingertips or gall at the knee. The humors may be manipulated by a variety of means (summarized in the table below), which may include controlling the relative temperature and moistness of the body part, encouraging specific emotional states, having a focus of a corresponding element, or bleeding to get rid of an excess of an unwanted humor. They may pour cold water over themselves to excite the phlegm, stare at pictures of dead loved ones to induce the melancholic bile, or insert long pins or needles into their body to call forth blood. Thus a Cholimancer's spellcasting, while much more precise and reproducible in nature, may look very similar to a Xypnomancer's crazed antics to an unschooled onlooker.

Humor Element Organ Qualities Mood
Blood Air Heart Warm, Moist Lively, Hopeful, Sociable
Gall Fire Liver Warm, Dry Impulsive, Aggressive, Passionate
Bile Earth Spleen Cool, Dry Morose, Depressed, Serious
Phlegm Water Brain Cold, Moist Calm, Reasonable, Patient

Spellbooks:
Cholimancer spellbooks read like medical treatises. Each spell is a mixture of anatomical diagrams show how the humors flow through various parts of the body, descriptions of how the humors wax and wane with diet or activity, and the means by which the correct amounts of the correct humors can be channeled to the part of the body housing the magical energies for the spell in question.

The Limit:
While a Cholimancer's spells are carefully crafted to evoke the necessary power without inflicting bodily harm, manipulating a body's humors is still highly disruptive, both to the caster's emotional state and his long-term health. Cholimancers carefully limit the amount of magic they draw out of themselves, though, with experience, they can learn more subtle manipulations to draw on progressively more power without causing themselves harm. There comes a point though, where one jot more phlegm or bile in their system, or one drop less blood will throw their entire system out of whack.

Breaking the Limit:
A Cholimancer who has exhausted his daily allotment of spell slots can attempt to cast additional spells, but at significant risk to his health. A Cholimancer who attempts to cast more spells must succeed on a save vs spell, with a penalty equal to the spell's level, or contract a random disease (as per the Contagion spell). The disease(s) run their course as described and may be cured in the normal manner. There is no limit to the number of maladies the Cholimancer can contract in this manner. While this may not be immediately debilitative, it is still a significant deterrent to the wise, as many a desperate young Cholimancer has pushed his limits only to be found dead from multiple simultaneous organ failures the next day.