Watering Down the Red Curse

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Argentmantle
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Watering Down the Red Curse

Post by Argentmantle » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:36 pm

I'm considering watering down the Red Curse for my conversion project. This is a very brief explanation of what I'm working on...

In 1009 A.C., mortal magic failed for a week. During this week, the powerful wards put in place to arrest the spread of the Red Curse failed. This led to an expansion of the Red Curse from scattered tainted areas in and around the Savage Baronies to covering the entire region. This means that a sudden and huge increase in the demand of cinnabryl should have ripped through the region. As noted on thepiazza.org.uk, the Savage Coast has a population nearing 3 million, this means that for 90% of the population to avoid the crippling effects of Affliction, over 90 tons of cinnabryl is consumed every week. A staggering figure of around 4500 tons per year. Quite literally, people would be tearing down the doors of nobles, Inheritors, merchants, and miners to get the precious metal.

So, what happened? First, the Inheritors moved very quickly in distributing Cinnabryl to the masses, the huge stock piles that they had accumulated over the previous years rapidly vanished and were used up as the population of people suffering from the Red Curse exploded. This has cemented a view that the Inheritors are heroes in the region, especially to the common folk and Savage Baronies. The second is the immediate expenditure of immortal magic to buy the populace some time, at the same time, they immediately granted new spells to their followers. The third is the creation and distribution of the sustain, maintain, and delay spells detailed in the Magic chapter.

Thoughts, feedback?

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Havard
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Re: Watering Down the Red Curse

Post by Havard » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:50 pm

Interesting topic. There are quite a few things about the Red Curse that don't really make sense. Things worked a bit differently as presented in VotPA, but in Red Steel, I guess the idea was to have a situation similar to that of something almost like drug dealers replicating a feudal system where nobles control the population based on the demand for Cinnabryl. The spread of the Red Curse after 1009 AC makes things even more complicated, as you say.

Would not this even allow the rulers of the Savage Baronies to take control of the whole region?

I also think the vast majority of the population should not be potential superheroes from the Legacies they might gain.

I like your suggestions, but perhaps add to that that the Curse as it affects the majority of the population is a much weaker form than that which affects most PCs. Most of the population only suffer a greatly reduced version of the Red Curse and only require a much less frequent supply of Cinnabryl in much smaller doses. You would still retain the same social structures, but more realistic IMO.


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RobJN
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Re: Watering Down the Red Curse

Post by RobJN » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:07 pm

What if the Haze was more prevalent, with the Red Curse only manifesting in veins or clumps around certain sized population centers, geographical features, or the like?
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agathokles
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Re: Watering Down the Red Curse

Post by agathokles » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:11 pm

Havard wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:50 pm
Would not this even allow the rulers of the Savage Baronies to take control of the whole region?

I also think the vast majority of the population should not be potential superheroes from the Legacies they might gain.
Actually the Red Steel version also introduce clerical spells that suppress both curse and powers. Per se, this spell does not allow clerics (that are not very common in the area) to help the entire population, but combined with AD&D 2e rules for faith-boosting of clerical magic, they would work. I'm pretty sure the authors of the Red Steel revision didn't actually bother to check the sustainability of the curse/cinnabryl/maintain spells system.

As for the "superpowers", most Afflicted only have one power -- only Inheritors have more than one -- which makes them more powerful than another normal (demi/near)human, but not much more powerful than a low-level adventurer. And affliction can be quite a big penalty. So, while the average person may be more dangerous than in Karameikos, they are far from superheroes, and rather less dangerous than a low to mid-level adventurer (depending on the specific legacy).

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Argentmantle
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Re: Watering Down the Red Curse

Post by Argentmantle » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:50 pm

So, I whipped up a few spells to help and greatly lowered the level of a few others...

First was adding a version of Ceremony, that effects 1 target and they must have Cinnabryl with them after it, it just arrests the decay and expires after 7 days or if they use a Legacy.
Ceremony
Level Casting Time Range/Area Components Duration School Attack/Save Damage/Effect
1st 1 Hour Touch V, S, M * 7 Days Abjuration None Buff (...)
You perform a special religious ceremony that is infused with magic. When you cast the spell, choose one of the following rites, the target of which must be within 10 feet of you throughout the casting.
Sustain. You touch two willing humanoids. For the duration, the targets are protected from the depletion or decay of the Cinnabryl. This allows the recipient to not worry about the constant need for Cinnabryl. The use of a Legacy by the recipient immediately dispels this version of the ceremony spell.
* - (25 gp worth of powdered silver, which the spell consumes). In addition, the recipient must be in possession of at least one ounce of Cinnabryl for the duration of the spell.)

Sustain is a slightly upgraded version of the Ceremony ritual... allowing them to affect multiple targets.
LEVEL CASTING TIME RANGE/AREA COMPONENTS DURATION SCHOOL ATTACK/SAVE DAMAGE/EFFECT
1st 1 Hour 10 ft V, S, M * 7 Days Abjuration None Buff (...)
Choose up to three creatures within range. For the duration, the targets are protected from the depletion or decay of the Cinnabryl. This allows the recipients to not worry about the constant need for Cinnabryl. The use of a Legacy by the recipient immediately dispels this spell.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the caster may choose an additional target for each slot level above 2nd.
* - (1 ounce of powdered cinnabryl that the spell consumes). In addition, the recipient must be in possession of at least one ounce of Cinnabryl for the duration of the spell.)


Next is the Delay spell at 2nd, this spell arrests the progress of the time of loss/time of change. However, if the recipient doesn't have cinnabryl on them when it expires, it all catches up with them.
Delay
Level Casting Time Range/Area Components Duration School Attack/Save Damage/Effect
2nd 1 Action 10 ft V, S, M * 7 Days Necromancy None Buff (...)
Choose one creature within range. For the duration, the target is protected from the the effects of the Time of Loss and Time of Change. When the duration of the spell expires, if the target is not wearing at least one ounce of Cinnabryl, they immediately begin to suffer the effects of the Time of Loss and Change simultaneously for any time that was covered by the duration of this spell.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the caster may choose an additional target for each slot level above 2nd.
* - (an amulet containing at least 1 ounce of cinnabryl that is used as the focus of this spell).

Maintain is a higher level version of sustain, allowing the recipients to eschew carrying cinnabryl.
Maintain
Level Casting Time Range/Area Components Duration School Attack/Save Damage/Effect
3rd 10 Minutes 10 ft V, S, M * 10 Days Abjuration None Buff (...)
Choose up to three creatures within range. For the duration, the targets are maintained at their current stage of the Red Curse for the duration of the spell. A target in the Time of Grace remains at that stage (except for suffering the loss of a single ability point); a target in the Time of Loss or the Time of Change stays at exactly the same point as when the spell is cast. The use of a Legacy by the recipient immediately dispels the maintain spell.
If the recipient is the victim of a successful deplete spell, the maintain spell is immediately eliminated, and the full time called for by the deplete spell is instantaneously applied to the Time of Loss and Change.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the caster may choose an additional target for each slot level above 4th.
* - (One ounce of undepleted cinnabryl. This must be touched to the recipient's heads at the end of casting, but it is not consumed in the casting.)

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