I very much enjoyed the VoidCallers “magic system” that was put in the Fate Toolkit. Recently I popped onto the Fate Core Google+ community and asked if anyone had expanded the list of entities… and was a bit surprised that no one obviously had yet, with one awesome exception. I decided I’d take a shot at it, especially after Rob Donoghue helped me with the general concepts for designing entities.
Fair Warning: None of this is playtested at this point.
Summoning Difficulty: Great (+3)
Although they look like small round stones, these are actually small curled up hibernating insect like creatures not unlike a pill bug. They remain dormant unless swallowed whole, at which point they awake and uncurl, painfully mounting themselves to the internal organs of their new host. The entity enhances the endocrine system of the host, making them much more dangerous in combat. The host gains a Berserker Host aspect for as long as the creature is inside it and starts each scene with one free invocation on that aspect. The host will quickly gain muscle mass, and thicker body hair, as the entity supercharges their metabolism, but will test negative for any known drug or performance enhancer.
The entity feeds not on the host, but on the very act of killing, and will attempt to drive the the host to fantastic rages for the slightest provocation. Each time the host personally kills an animal of about house-cat size or bigger, including people, the entity grows stronger and larger, and can in turn provide more strength to it’s host in the form of a second free invocation per scene. The entity can only be fed once per day, and needs a night of the host resting in order to grow.
If the host provides enough sustenance to the entity, typically 5 feedings, it will finish maturing and violently discard the host as it moves on to the next stage of it’s life cycle. It bursts from the host’s ribcage looking somewhat like a translucent lobster the size of a large rat, and will seek to implant its young into the mouths of sleeping or restrained people. A single entity always generates 3 young. After it has implanted it’s third young, it seeks somewhere dark and quite to curl up and die.
Removing the entity through surgery without injuring the host is a Fantastic (6) challenge because it extends tendril growths into the various endocrine glands of the host. If the host is killed before the entity reaches maturity, the entity also dies within a minute, unless it has already fed four times, in which case the host’s death counts as it’s 5th feeding. Killing and then resuscitating a host can clear the entity from it, but that’s dangerous, and most hosts are too wound up by the entity inside them to try it without fighting back.
Summoning Difficulty: Good (+2)
A black skinned nightmare that lives in a shell roughly the shape and size of a human heart, cupid snails can be used manipulate a person’s feelings. When offered an arm or other exposed bit of flesh, the snail will slowly come out of its shell and attach to the flesh with a lamprey like mouth. While it is painfully draining blood, the user may whisper to the snail and by doing so, alter or even create the emotions someone else feels for them, as long as the snail has previously tasted the target’s blood. They can be used to make someone love you, hence the name Cupid Snail, but they can just as easily be used to make someone fear you, hate you, or trust you. The effect lasts for about a week but then must be renewed. Emotions generated by a Cupid Snail are always artificial and do not linger when the effect wears off. Worse, emotions that already existed and were merely enhanced by snail’s power also fade.
While the snail must be attached to the user in order for the whispering to manipulate people, it will happily feed on reasonably fresh blood samples. The snail is a bit of a picky feeder, and if it doesn’t get to taste a new person’s blood at least once a week, it will refuse to come out of its shell until offered a new person’s blood to taste. It also never accept the blood of someone that is currently dead, even if the blood was drawn while that person was alive.
A well fed Cupid Snail reproduces by causing one of the people it has tasted to suddenly develop an overwhelming desire to cut the heart out of someone else it has tasted. Frequently the person it has been feeding off the most often is the victim of this blood lust. IF and when the inspired subject cuts the heart from the victim, the organ will have transformed into a new Cupid Snail. Killing a Cupid Snail immediately causes all it’s generated emotional bonds to fade to numb indifference.
Corpse Shadow Rose
Summoning Difficulty: Average (+1)
When summoned, the Corpse Shadow Rose appears like a grey walnut, but soft and spongy like flesh. If planted in grave dirt, it sprouts a single sickly black petaled flower overnight, which honestly looks nothing like a rose. The flower is mildly toxic, which is how it is used. When a petal is plucked and consumed, it causes both a poisoning and an accompanying empowerment of the shadow. While the the person is poisoned, they may melt into the shadows. It’s not an especially pleasant experience, although not exactly painful. While in this nebulous shadow form, the person may slide and slink through the shadows, under doors, through cracks, and an unseen shadow among shadows the entire time… although unable to effect anything or even speak. Bright light, such as a switch being turned on in a dark room, immediately casts the person back into their true solid form.
While poisoned, the person’s shadow is actively toxic, and spreads it’s influence through falling on things. Plants wilt and die under it. Insects die if they fly into it. Small animals like vermin quickly become dangerously poisoned if they linger, while larger organisms like people may simply feel sick if they stay in it for more than a few minutes. The size of the shadow directly correlates to it’s potency, so casting a long large shadow can be lethal, even to people.
If a person dies from or while under the influence of the Corpse Shadow Rose toxin, either through ingestion or exposure to toxic shadows, their corpse will generate a new seed not so much in but from, their lungs. If the corpse is buried, the next flower will bloom from their grave, as it is effectively buried in grave dirt. Considering that the corpse rose only blooms once, some users specifically reserve their last few petals so that they may intentionally poison a victim to grow a new flower.
Summoning Difficulty: Average (+1)
This entity takes the form of a jagged coral like spike almost 3 inches long. If stabbed into a person’s body and held there for several seconds, a process as painful as it sounds, the wyrd will spread short tendrils into the surrounding flesh which both secures it, and forms quill tipped blisters and pustules. The site become sore, but not intensely painful. Although unsightly and unpleasant, the wyrd does provide two benefits to the host:
First, whenever the host hears a lie the patch of blisters will become momentarily intensely painful as one of the blisters swells and fills with thick viscous liquid and extends the hollow quill. This specifically happens when speaker of the statement intentionally says something they think is untrue and the host has heard the statement spoken directly, not through a recorded or electronically transmitted medium.
Second, a fluid filled stinger tipped blister can be snapped off and used as a powerful but short lived truth serum. Anyone injected with or who consumes the liquid can not help but answer questions truthfully for the next few minutes. The small quill tipped nodules can function like a distributing organic syringe, not unlike a bee’s stinger and venom pump. Oddly, all attempts to record or transmit the truths spoken a victim under the influence of the serum fail and become garbled.
The serum typically makes the victim feel feverish and high strung while it’s in effect, but there is a more dangerous side effect that occasionally occurs, especially with repeated exposures. The victim begins to speak rapidly, speak truths they shouldn’t know and answer questions no one asks, eventually moving through various languages regardless of speaker’s linguistic skills, and finally ending with the victim screaming in tongues until their voice gives out completely and cough up the bloody petrified remains of their vocal cords: a new Fib Wyrd. It’s not uncommon for these victims to die from heart attacks during the process.
The truthful gibbering that fib wyrd serum generate often include ritual instructions for summoning new Fib Wyrds or sometimes other strange creatures from the void, but due to the difficulty in recording the mad rantings, transcripts are often very difficult to parse.