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1001 Interesting Paradox Backlashes

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  • 1001 Interesting Paradox Backlashes

    Put your interesting, fitting, or ridiculous Paradox manifestations here. Burns, Flaws, Spirits, Realms, and Quiet are all acceptable.

    1) The House Of Inverse Marionettes [Realm]: A series of hallways, rooms, and underground tunnels, patterned after old houses (late 19th, early 20th centuries). No Life or Forces exist in the traditional sense; all such things are replaced by more solid Matter versions. Mages sent there are transformed into giant, animate porcelain dolls. Light is vaporous, shooting out from light sources in jets that illuminate anything they fall upon. Fire is a warm-colored crystal, which grows across surfaces if allowed to burn. Heat damage takes the form of spontaneous charring and blackening of materials, before they dissolve into ash. Cold is represented by a layer of frost forming over surfaces, while cold damage takes the form of ice crystals growing and digging into the surface (in the case of living beings, their porcelain skin begins to crack). Gravity is simulated by universal thin wires extending down from every object towards the floor, where the wires disappear in ripples, like a fishing line through water. The world is eerily silent, as Sound manifests like weighty smoke puffed from its source; people "feel" the smoke strike them, with louder sounds having greater weight.

    2) The Fashion Police [Spirit]: The Fashion Police come knocking. These stylish officers of the law look like runway models, dressed in designer police uniforms. These Paradox Spirits usually come in pairs - often one male and one female - showing up in expensive cop cars or knocking on the nearest door, announcing themselves openly as the Fashion Police and runway walking up, pointing their guns and posing. They investigate and punish style crimes, and most often come for Mages who have Fashion as one of their Instruments. How they approach the situation depends on the severity of the character's crimes against fashion. Wearing out of style clothing or accessories usually merit a fine (tickets are handed to the Mage, paid to a mysterious mail address or website, which naturally cannot be located in person), and the punishments scale up from there for bad color combinations, wearing the clothes incorrectly, allowing articles of clothing to become torn or stained, or, god help you, wearing certain styles that are simply hideous. Wearing stripes and polka dots together is almost certain to get the Mage arrested, and driven off to Fashion Court (a Paradox Realm). Meanwhile, a Mage on their "first offense" (the first time the Fashion Police come for them) could convince the officers to let them go with a warning. The Fashion Police are not unsympathetic to Mages who can prove their clothing was wrecked by circumstances outside their control; in such cases they may even provide the Mage with replacement outfits, which are always high quality, if not always to a Mage's personal taste. Obtaining leniency from the Fashion Police should be roleplayed; repeat offenders receive less and less clemency, and resisting arrest will obviously induce violent reprisal. (For the record, the Fashion Police will hand out citations, tickets, or even arrests to any Mages present during the backlash, depending on their individual fashion faux pas).
    Last edited by Bluecho; 05-31-2016, 02:32 AM.



  • #2
    3) Gravity Inversion [Flaw]: Striking those who seek to bend gravitation to their will, this Flaw causes the user to fall up, away from the Earth. A minor backlash may only make the mage weightless, gaining poor traction on the ground. A middling backlash will cause the mage to float slowly upward, allowing for grabbing hold of objects to slow ascent. Maybe only last long enough, if ascent is unobstructed, to reach 100 stories high; in this case, falling can hurt a lot, but might be survivable. More potent backlashes cause the mage to fall faster and for longer. A backlash of 20+ points will almost certainly rocket the mage into the sky, ejecting them into Etherspace, the Void, or some heavenly realm, depending on Paradigm. In any event, the mage who suffers this Flaw would benefit immensely from being indoors at the time, or around objects/friends they can grab hold of. (For the purposes of rescue, make upward pull be canceled by downward gravity by a pound for pound basis; basically, heavier "ballast" = better).

    4) The Microverse [Realm]: Striking those (rare) masters of size changing (or those with an over-inflated ego), the user shrinks uncontrollably. In moments, they shrink beyond the ability to be seen, "falling" to ever more microscopic levels. Beyond bacteria, DNA, molecules, atoms, sub-atomic particles, and even Quarks. What do they find there? Depends on the severity of the backlash. A truly heinous Paradox effect could cause the mage to shrink forever, getting exponentially smaller ad infinitum. If the mage is lucky, however, they might simply shrink down to a Microversal realm, where worlds and societies are born on the surfaces of quarks, or upon the endless columnal worlds of super string theory. Regardless, these places can potentially be infinite in scope and variability. A mage who finds such places may attempt to navigate local politics, monsters, and other hostilities to find a means of escape.


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    • #3
      5) The Parliament Of Birds [Spirits and/or Realm]: Spirits of a bizarre Umbral Realm, where giant birds in full governmental uniform (of a vaguely 19th century style) meet to attend to bird law. As Paradox Spirits, the Parliament Birds display a strange mix of authority, bureaucracy, and avian personality quirks. Their ire is frequently invited by those who hold the Law in high (or low) regard, or by those who commit crimes against the natural world. They may also find Magely attempts at Flight and control of the wind as offensive, for such things are or affect their domain as birds. Most of the time, Mages encounter minor clerks and secretaries of the bird government - usually of smaller species. These individuals are rarely physical threats (save the rare soldier or belligerent clerk, taken from predatory bird stock), but they can hassle the Mage with fines (sometimes monetary, though oftentimes in seeds, shiny objects, or nest building materials), by interfering in umbral dealings, or by taking human form and ratting the Mage out to mortal authorities (the spirits will still resemble vaguely their true forms). Sometimes a representative/minister of the Parliament will arrive, drawing upon frightening personal powers their office afford them. Particularly bad backlashes can find the Mage seized by a troupe of avian soldiers (clad in Napoleonic style uniforms), and dragged before the Parliament of Birds itself. Sometimes this means the Mage is being tried before a court for some crime. Other times, the Mage is being drafted into some governmental function, and forced to sit on a committee discussing some bill or another. Bird Parliament members may potentially be bribed, but only if their natures lend themselves away from nobility (a vulture might take a bribe, for instance, while an eagle never would). This Paradox backlash is occasionally related to a similar Bird Caucus.

      6) Surface Tension [Flaw]: If a Mage attempts to walk on water, they may find a backlash in the form of spontaneously falling into the water at an inopportune moment...and then be unable to pierce the surface again. The unfortunately Mage is left trapped under the water's surface, banging against it like a sheet of glass. Naturally, this leaves the willworker in danger of drowning, if they are unable to break through or perform some other Effect to survive the depths (growing gills, converting water to air, etc).


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      • #4
        7) These aren't the fries you're looking for [Flaw]: Every bit of food that enters the mage's mouth immediately ends up (not even chewed) in their underwear. Embarrassing when it lasts for a couple of hours. More problematic when it lasts for a couple of weeks. Don't play with Correspondence, children.


        Stuff I Draw
        Lyonesse Rising [The Story of an Avatar]

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        • #5
          8) Macro-Organisms [Spirit]: Microorganisms, writ large. Often seen attacking Life mages with modernist visions of biology, these bacteria and viruses are large enough to be seen by the naked eye. Just how large they are depends on the severity of the backlash, although even amoeba the size of golf balls can be dangerous in a swarm. In such cases, the threat comes from the bacteria's tendency to multiply, flow over victims, or undermine the structural integrity of buildings. On the other end, Paradox germs can take large sizes. Anywhere from a large dog to a small bear in size. These spirits have methods much simpler by comparison: they will usually attempt to envelop and digest victims. However, their large size can also work against them, as they are large enough to make their various cellular bodies - including the nucleus - vulnerable to assault.

          9) A World Of Cardboard [Flaw]: Often the just desserts for Mages who abuse magic focused on increasing strength, this Flaw turns the world around them fragile at their touch. At best, normally strong materials like stone or metal will bend, tear, or crumble beneath the mage's touch, as easily as cardboard. Weaker materials are as fragile as tissue paper. While suffering this Flaw, the Mage must take absolute care when handling anything. A Storyteller is fully within their rights to mandate regular Dexterity tests when performing even mundane interactions with the world around the mage, to avoid breaking something by accident. Of course, this can be a benefit in certain situations. As such, those same Storytellers should exercise discretion when inflicting this Flaw. The best remedy, of course, is simply making most problems the Mage faces be ones where raw destruction is less than helpful. This Flaw also should not apply to living creatures, as this could too easily be bent towards exploitation.


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          • #6
            10) Personal Rain Cloud [Flaw]: Weather Wizards, by their nature, attract extreme meteorological phenomenon. Other Mages - especially ones gifted with Legend, Blessings, or Stormy Resonance - may find that rain simply "likes" them. This Flaw manifests as a rain cloud that follows the Mage wherever they go, pouring rain down on them. Sometimes the clouds remain in the sky, maintaining a respectful distance and seeming as though the Mage just got really rotten luck with the weather. Other times, though, a small cloud will hover a couple feet over the Mage's head, sprinkling (or pouring, as the severity of the backlash may be) water on their head. In this case, even ducking indoors will not protect the Mage. It is for this reason that umbrellas, rain coats, and tubs for collecting water are important. Excessive rainfall can waterlog the Mage and everything around them, leading to health issues and water damage to homes.

            11) Runny Time [Flaw]: One of hundreds of Paradox manifestations to be inspired by the Surrealist movement, this Flaw brings the work of Salvador Dali to life by melting every clock in the Mage's vicinity. Time Mages (such as the Sahajiya) experience this Flaw most often, as a backlash against their "fluid" interpretations of temporal flow. Usually reserved for dedicated time pieces (integrated clocks inside computers or phones are usually immune; usually), the machines will warp and sag, as if under great heat. Strangely, the clocks continue to function even when melted, though it can make reading them difficult. Sometimes the clocks return to their normal form when the Mage leaves the area. Sometimes they stay in their warped state. An inconvenient and possibly expensive manifestation, to be sure.

            12) Skies of Bronze and Wine Dark Seas [Quiet]: The Greeks had different ideas about the colors of the sky and sea. Or, perhaps this was an artifact of language or poetics. Or, alternatively, the Quiets of certain Classically trained Mages bled over to Classical literature (or vice versa; who can really tell). Whatever the case, those Mages educated in the Greek and Roman methods (Hermetics, Sisters of Hippolyta, the Pomegranite Deme, the Fellowship of Pan, certain Renaissance-era Daedalans, etc.) may manifest Quiets that change the color of the sky to bronze, and the color of the seas to that of red wine. Mages afflicted with this kind of madness may have either or both, and may or may not develop them alongside other delusions.
            Last edited by Bluecho; 07-03-2016, 03:02 PM.


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            • #7
              13) Numerical Obsession [Quiet]: It's not surprising that Mages who practice Numerology would manifest Quiets related to a number or numbers. Perhaps it is as simple as seeing specific numbers everywhere (see also the mysteries surrounding the number 23). Or it may be a broader obsession with numerals, and their interplay between each other and the world around them. The difference between this form of Quiet and what Numerologist Mages do normally is that in the latter case, the Mage can choose to ignore or not analyse numbers at their convenience. Unless a Mage operates under a taboo or ban in relation to this number or that, they only need work with the numbers around them on their own terms, and through the mechanics of their Focus. Number-based Quiets, obviously, do not allow for such selective interaction. Other Quiets may affix specific numbers to the world around the Mage (again, see the 23 mystery). Or may alternatively manifest as Denial Quiets, removing numbers from a Mage's awareness (so instance, a Mage with certain cultural leanings may be unable, while in Quiet, to see the number 0, as not all cultures historically had a discreet number for null).

              14) Platonic Clutter [Flaw]: Those who wield Prime magic deal with the power of platonic forms. Those who incur Paradox dealing with this Sphere, however, may find themselves interacting with said Platonic Forms on a more frequent basis. Under this Flaw, the Mage is made to interact with objects of pure Prime as if they were solid objects. Platonic chairs trip them up, Platonic fires burn them, and Platonic puddles leave them soaked to the bone. Moreover, these objects seem all the more common for the duration of the Flaw. And unless the person has Prime 1 senses running at all times, they'll end up banging into the things everywhere they go. It's a hassle, dealing with all the objects that could be. Other versions of this Flaw center around Spirit (ephemeral objects) and Mind (chimerical objects), and tend to afflict those who abuse those Spheres (or, in the case of chimerical objects, those of Fae blood).


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              • #8
                15) The Censor Ships [Spirit]: The enemy of Mages everywhere who use media, performance, and other public expression forms as Instruments of Magick. Boats appear from nowhere - often in impossible places. Conventional water-bound craft will appear where they can, while others will roll on the ground with wheels on their hulls, or fly through the air on balloons or propellers. Even tiny amounts of water can bear a Censor Ship, albeit it very small one. Regardless, these boats come bearing Censors, severe men and women in austere suits, brandishing black permanent markers, buckets of black paint, fans for dispersing sky writing, and air horns. When arriving on the scene, these Censors get to work, marking out parts of a Mage's work they find objectionable; lines from pamphlets are redacted, bars are plastered across paintings and images, and air horns blare in time to drown out spoken words or sounds. What the Censors find objectionable depends wildly, but a Mage's work is never left uncompromized. At the very least, coarse language, nudity, and certain offensive symbols (Swastikas, etc.) will get the axe, but the Censors are sometimes politically motivated as well. A Censor appearing in China, for instance, may mask any material critical of the government or supportive of foreign media and values. Some of the most egregious censors, however, pertain to overtly Occult themes. This often causes Mages to mistake these Paradox Spirits for agents of the Technocracy, when in reality they are independent. Indeed, Technocrats can sometimes find themselves on the receiving end of the Censor Ships, though this is rarer. Attempting to fight back against the Censors and their Ships will usually start a fight; said Ships are often equipped with cannons, while the Censors themselves will put up what resistance they can with the tools of their trade. They are bureaucrats, after all.

                16) Death Coming Due [Burn or Spirit]: In pure Final Destination fashion, just because a person's life is saved doesn't mean Death has to like it. Whether through outrageous fortune, prognostication, or outright resurrection, a character may become target for potentially lethal misfortune if they were "supposed" to die. This doesn't necessarily stick for very long (it would make for a pretty unfun Chronicle if a player character had to dodge "accidents" for the rest of their life), but in the meantime the results can be harrowing as Death tries to collect. Accidents seem to happen around the character (not necessarily the Mage who cast the magick this is a backlash too, though presumably they don't want the character to perish anyway), which may result in minor damage or attempts on their life. This depends on the severity of the backlash; "Death" may be attempting to parcel out a set value of Burn damage over as many accidents as it takes to reach the backlash roll's quota. Alternatively, it may try to do all the damage at once, in one accident. In such a case, the Mage may wish to make preparations for their surviving that damage, and hope for the best. A particularly lucky (or stubborn) mage, however, may eventually gain Death's ire to the point where it will arrive personally to collect its due. Such a Paradox Spirit looks pretty much like one would expect the Grim Reaper to look (though there are variations and exceptions), and will attempt to murder the character in question (and anyone who gets in its way). Whether "killing" Death will put an end to the ordeal for good is up to the Storyteller.

                And, of course, it's always possible for a sufficiently smooth character to talk the Death spirit into a game or contest to save themselves. Storytellers have the final say on whether this is possible, and what sort of roleplaying or social rolls the character needs to do, to both convince Death to agree to the contest and to actually win it.
                Last edited by Bluecho; 06-11-2016, 10:57 PM.


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                • #9
                  17) Invertigo [Flaw]: The Mage's sense of up and down is flipped over, rendering them discomfited so long as their head remains pointing up. The Mage can only gain relief from their discomfort by standing, sitting, or hanging upside down. In all other cases, they feel a profound sense of vertigo. In a fit of irony, this Flaw often afflicts those whose magic turns conventional mores on their head (so basically, Reality Hacking and Crazy Wisdom).

                  18) The Man In the Mirror [spirit]: A classic Paradox manifestation, known to virtually every mystic group. The Mage's reflection comes to life, moving and talking of its own accord, though it frequently follows the Mage simply to be an ass. The Spirit, of course, takes the form of the Mage in question, making it difficult to tell if every Mage could manifest an independent spirit, or if the backlash is the same spirit in multiple forms. Perhaps both can be true in different circumstances. The Man (or Woman) in the Mirror frequently taunts their counterpart, throwing their failures, insecurities, and dark shames directly in their faces. The severity of the backlash dictates how brutal the spirit can be, though the spirit's demeanor is also influenced by the Mage they taunt. They are, after all, the Mage's reflection given voice. Particularly potent backlashes may cause the doppleganger to step out of the reflective surface and attack the Mage, attempting to kill them, merely beat them, or even toss them into the mirror, thereby taking the Mage's place. Such opponents are formidable, as the reflection knows all the Mage's tricks and moves. They don't have the breadth of the Mage's magical power or versatility, but they often come with Spirit Charms that replicate the Mage's commonly used Rotes, as well as Charms devoted to exploiting light and mirrors.


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                  • #10
                    19) Anti Russian Roulette [Flaw]: Afflicting those Mages who rely on revolvers (and/or the Entropy Sphere), this Flaw makes one bullet in the cycle disappear. When the question is whether one shot six bullets or only five, this Flaw says "five, but you're still out". And just like Russian Roulette, the Mage never knows which chamber will screw them. Where do the missing bullets go? No one knows. Moreover, this effect carries over if the Mage attempts to use an automatic weapon. Sure, the weapon will always load the next available round, but the Mage is still short one, no matter how well they counted beforehand. As any experienced gunfighter knows, one round missing can make the difference between life and death.

                    20) Low Frame Rate [Flaw]: The bane of Virtual Adepts everywhere, this quirk of perception causes the world around them to seem jerky and unreal, whereas normal vision is smooth and fluid. Those who dive into the Digital Web are hit most often by this Flaw, as the "real" world seems to mirror that of the digital one, and at a poor frame rate as well. This effect is sometimes accompanied or replaced with extreme Lag, vision seeming to freeze and stutter, while in reality the world keeps going. The more extreme the backlash, the more a Mage's perceptions are affected. Alternatively, the Flaw may manifest on the Mage herself, causing her own movements to be jerky and unreal to everyone else, and even to seem to "skip frames". In either case, this Paradox manifestation could also manifest as a Quiet instead of a Flaw, as the Mage's ability to tell the "real" world from the Digital Web is blurred.


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                    • #11
                      21) The Scry Scare [Spirit]: Because Paradox is a dick. Those who rely heavily on scrying distant locations may find themselves suddenly staring face to face with a Paradox Spirit. The nature of the spirit changes depending on the Mage, their beliefs, and their fears, but the MO is the same. The Spirit - usually something at least nominally frightening - will suddenly appear in front of the Mage's method of far seeing (crystal ball, black mirror, computer screen, even just meditating). It's a cheap trick, and one that these jump scare spirits love to pull on nosy sorcerers. If the backlash is particularly bad, the spirit won't be content to just sit on the other end of the line and act menacingly. They'll climb out of the scrying medium (or teleport, if there is no physical medium) and assault the Mage.

                      22) The Black Sun Dimension [Realm]: First documented by the corrupt Mages of the Thule Society, the Black Sun dimension is basically what it sounds like. It's a mirrored version of the material world, except with an ominous black sun hanging permanently in the sky. Everything is darker, the landscape is bleaker, and the works of man lay in shattered ruins. Nothing of green grows in the Black Sun Dimension, but life does exist in the cracks and holes of this world. Shriveled, blackened, Hungry life, looking to devour anyone who spends too long in the place. The only way out of the Black Sun Dimension is to find one of a number of gates back, some of which are buried deep underground, while others are guarded by platoons of corrupted soldiers. Thankfully, the Black Sun Dimension seems to call out most often to those who practice Maleficia, particularly Nephandi. Perhaps it is their just desserts...
                      Last edited by Bluecho; 07-02-2016, 07:07 PM.


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                      • #12
                        23) A Winter That Walks [Quiet]: Those with who wield a great deal of ice or cold magic, have a great deal of Entropic Resonance, or subscribe to the Old Faith Pillar of Winter, may find the cold weather following them. They have invited Winter into their heart, and thus find it invading their minds. At low levels, the person always feels cold, and is compelled to wear heavy clothing even in summer. Trees always seem bare, all flowers withered, and every sky cloud-filled and dreary. Furred animals wear white coats, and there's often the hint of frost everywhere they go. Most damning of all, their reactions seem cold, and their dispositions depressed. As the Mage's Quiet ratchets up, they begin to see (and summon) snow, even in warm seasons, and the changes they previously saw manifest in reality. Growing things cease growing in their local environment, and animals are lulled into hibernation or driven to migration. Hobgoblins of cold fritter about, like snow wolves, frost-covered great birds, elves and Jack Frosts, or even living snowmen and ice statues. Those who fall to Marauder status (or approach it) carries blizzards and snow flurries wherever they go, and react to the world with unfeeling cruelty. To them, there is no season but the season of ice and snow.

                        24) A World Of Winter [Realm]: Often the destination of those who submit completely to the above Quiet, this place is an endless barren landscape, its tracks of pure white snow broken only by sporadic forests of bare, dead trees, and the occasional wanderer. Anything that lives there is colored as the snow, and is very good at hiding. Rivers and lakes stand frozen solid, and in some places great ice burgs stand miles high and extend leagues long. The place waits for a Spring that will never come. In a few places, mountain ranges extend high into the sky. Such places are often the settings for enormous, snow-capped castles. While the forests can provide plentiful chance for starting a fire (albeit with difficulty), these fortresses are often the only places where signs of habitation can be found. Not that there's usually a warm welcome, for such castles are invariably the domains of Winter Marauders or high Winter Umbrood (not that the difference is readily apparent). They have nothing but contempt for visitors, and their halls are just as cold as their hearts. Still, if anyone knows how to escape the World of Winter, it would be them. They are the only residents of the Realm who could be said to know anything at all.


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                        • #13
                          25) They Called Me Mad [Quiet]: A disturbingly common form of Denial Quiet among Etherites, it afflicts most often those attempting to remain within the mainstream scientific community. While most such Etherites keep their more radical theories and projects private - only introducing things slowly - a technomancer suffering this Quiet begins losing touch with the very good reasons why most do this. Their perception of what the mainstream scientific community accepts as fact or reasonable is skewed, leading the Mage to put forth theories that are more and more radical. It just seems so obvious to the Mage, yet their colleagues don't seem to get it. When this inevitably turns out badly for the sufferer, the Quiet substitutes more reasonable criticism of them ("Maybe you need to go on vacation, Doctor" or "Have you checked your data thoroughly enough?"), to ad hominem attacks. At every turn, the Mage is led to believe that their sanity is being questioned, because that's what their fractured psyche's translate criticism into. The Quiet also generates or enhances feelings of paranoia and indignation, leading the Mage to assume they are being plotted against by envious or intellectually conservative colleagues (that Etherites are very much plotted against by Technocratic competition only further muddies the waters). As the Quiet progresses, the Mage is driven to act out against their surroundings, in an attempt to get revenge on their perceived enemies, or to prove their theories right...by any means. Naturally, this latter case leads to further Vulgar action, in turn deepening their Quiet.

                          Members of the Society of Ether find those suffering from this Quiet particularly hard to deal with. Both because it means butting heads with a scientist who cannot listen to reason, and because many Etherites can relate personally to the feelings this Quiet magnifies. It's not unheard of for the Tradition to harbor such individuals in secret, desperately trying to humor and moderate their madness, simply because members have such trouble helping them.

                          26) Clinging Vines [Flaw]: Life Mages who work heavily with plants (or, alternatively, Mages whose magic often works against plants) may find themselves under assault by rapidly forming vines and thickets. Springing from soil spontaneously, these plants seek to block, bind, or in worse cases strangle the Mage. The worse the backlash, the greater the volume of plants, the faster they grow, and the more deadly their assault. If the target is ensconced in relative safety, the plants will attempt to break in through any crack or fragile barrier. If the protection is too thick and hardy for the plants to enter (like in a concrete and thick glass building), the plants will work to encase that structure in vines or thorns completely, trapping them.


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                          • #14
                            26) Reannual Pizza [Flaw]: The character experiences something that hasn't happened yet, like falling asleep three hours before he's actually injected with a sedative, or throwing up on his pizza before he gets to eat some future bit of food that'll give him food poisoning 3 weeks later.


                            Stuff I Draw
                            Lyonesse Rising [The Story of an Avatar]

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                            • #15
                              28) Straw Mage [Spirit]: It's easy, when trying to argue against one's opposition, to construct a Straw Man version of that opposition. It's criminally easy, because it allows one to avoid engaging the true arguments. Mages who make a habit of this underhanded rhetorical tactic may find Paradox gunning for them in the form of a Straw Mage. A spirit manifesting as a life-sized straw effigy of the Mage in question, whose personality represents a simplified, surface-level version of the Mage's own views and behaviors. Further, the Straw Mage is equipped with Charms mimicking the Mage's commonly used Rotes, though the methods the spirit uses to employ those Charms is a bastardized version of the Mage's own. Still, Straw Mages rarely engage in combat unprovoked, preferring to engage their counterpart in (un)reasoned debate, in order to frustrate the Mage. Given that the spirit is a scarecrow made of flammable cloth and straw, more than a few Straw Mages have ended up as ash.


                              29) Foggy World [Quiet]: Commonly afflicting those who create fog (whether literal or mental), this Quiet begins simply. Glass surfaces (windows, mirrors, eyeglasses, screens) appear on occasion to be covered in a layer of condensation. Moreover, the Mage has periodic lapses of concentration and recall. Sometimes, in the early morning hours or deep evening, wisps of mist cling to the dark corners. As the Quiet intensifies, these hallucinations and fugues grow more regular, and fog begins to appear often around the Mage. An obscuring shroud of vapor that leaves the Mage stumbling around, able to see only a few meters in front of them. Naturally, these effects begin to manifest physically at higher levels, first as condensation on surfaces or occasional mist pooling at the Mage's feet, and then by making them a walking fog bank. Most damning of all, however, is the mental effects. By the time the Mage stands on the edge of Marauderdom, they've lost most sense of direction, situational awareness, past experience, or personal identity. Even their ability to hear if compromised - sound muffled wherever it originates beyond the immediate area that the Mage can see. This area shrinks as the fog worsens, until the Mage is unable to identify anything inches from their face. And accompanying all this, is a building sense of paranoia. The befogged Mage treats those shapes standing or moving in the fog with suspicion. When outlines are blurred and colors muted, those things moving out there could really be anything, couldn't they? This unease evolves into abject terror at the highest levels of Quiet, the fog twisting silhouettes into grotesque monstrosities.

                              Those teetering on the edge of Marauder territory are pitiful creatures, fleeing through a perpetual, unending misty hell, where monsters stalk at every turn. The Mage unable to know who they are or where they're going. Meeker souls in such a state will merely run, hide, and cower. Bolder (or simply desperate) ones fight back, becoming fog-shrouded hunters, not willing to let the "Things" in the mist kill them first.


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