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1001 Interesting Paradox Backlashes

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  • 388) Shed The Assumed Form [Flaw]: When the mage uses Life (or, more rarely, some form of illusion) to change appearance, Paradox may force them to go to extra lengths to divest themselves of that form later. Like a reptile, the character must shed their skin when the Effect ends. This requires minutes of scratching and tearing, to remove the layer of dead epidermis. The character will almost certainly have to also remove their clothes, in order to get at the skin underneath. Refusing to completely shed can result in pronounced itching across the body, and the character's movements could be hampered. Taking off the old skin is usually harmless. Usually.


    • 389) Deep Slumber [ Paradox Flaw | Time and Mind ] The Mage goes into a six days long sleep from which it is not possible to wake them up at all. She might have some dreams and remember them, but lucid dreaming and more complex stuff involving dreams and dreaming is not possible (though there might be exceptions to this) .

      Eating and drinking needs are put on halt during this slumber - once the Mage wakes up, they will not feel thirsty, nor will their body be dehydrated; same with hunger.
      Last edited by Muad'Dib; 03-20-2018, 03:21 AM.


      • 390) The Garden Serpent [Spirit]: Most often afflicts mages who believe in a Biblical worldview, or one derived from it. Members of the Celestial Chorus, Knights Templar, Lions of Zion, and even various Infernalists can be visited by this spirit. The Garden Serpent is exactly what it sounds like: a large snake that appears before the character, just as the Serpent did to Eve back in the Garden of Eden. True to its type, the serpent speaks to the mage, tempting them into actions that seem advantageous, but which ultimately are to the character's detriment. It is especially "helpful" concerning situations where the mage is ignorant of all the facts; all the better to lead the character astray, by tempting them into choices that appear good on paper, but which would never be taken if the character understood the full context. An example would be telling the mage to kill the person they assume is an enemy, when in fact the person was framed, or knew who the true enemy is.

        On the other side, the Garden Serpent loves to tempt mages into making choices which could lead to greater knowledge, though taking the course of action still carries risk or cost. Like telling the mage that they could learn a great deal, if they just ignored the Master Mage's orders and read the tome sitting on the desk. Or telling the hacker to open that protected directory and read its files, though it will almost certainly trip virtual security measures or alert admins.

        The key to running this Paradox Spirit is to make sure its suggestions always seem reasonable. Or better yet, making it seem like the obviously correct choice. It should only be clear in retrospect that the serpent was leading the character astray.


        • 391) Heart of Gold [Burn]: A terminal case of Paradox, when lethal levels of backlash strike against the mage. Alchemists - for whom transmutation is a key preoccupation - suffer this most often, though any mage of sufficiently foolish nobility can bring it down. Put simply, when the mage incurs so much Paradox from noble action - healing the sick, saving large numbers of innocents, restoring a spiritually blighted area, etc - their heart is turned to gold.

          Literally. As in, the organ necessary for pumping blood is transmuted into solid metal, killing them instantly.

          It is considered one of the greatest shames - and the highest honors - when a mage's heart is made gold. A shame, because of how it deprives the world of a pure soul; an honor, because of what it took to bring that backlash about. Further, a golden heart created from this backlash is a priceless treasure among the Awakened. The Templar Knights hold one such heart in their Craft headquarters, a holy relic of a Sainted Templar whose last act was to bring peace to two warring armies. It is itself endowed with that most precious of gifts: True Faith.

          Conversely, the Nephandi covet such artifacts, as melting one down and re-casting it into a profane object is considered a prize the Fallen cannot resist. Some Nephandi have spent multiple incarnations trying to obtain one, they long to desecrate it so.


          • 392) A Searing Reaction [ Paradox Flaw | Prime and Matter, Prime and Forces, Matter and Forces, Forces ] Every time another person disagrees in words or through a gesture with the Mage, if the Mage can see the disagreeing person's eyes, then they will notice a red-yellow-white glint in each of the person's eyes - these glints are so vibrant and bright, that the Mage goes blind for five to fifteen seconds after seeing them.

            ( This blindness is entirely temporary; this Paradox Flaw causes no lasting changes to the Mage's vision. )
            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-26-2018, 02:05 AM.


            • 393) Know the Difference [ Paradox Flaw | Prime, Mind, Matter, Entropy ] The nails on the Mage's right or left hand become black, and most bones are now visible through the skin of the hand because they start giving off a glow of a very deep blue color (the glow is not bright enough to be visible in darkness) .

              Only the appearance of the hand is changed - nothing unhealthy or discomforting happens to it.
              Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-22-2018, 01:32 AM.


              • 394) Fragmentary Reproduction [Spirit]: A product of Paradox reaction to Life effects aimed at growing or modifying body parts. Seen most often among Progenitors and the Verbana. When the Effect that created or modified parts of the body ends, these organs bud off from the mage rather than disappearing. (In the case of existing body parts being modified, the budding is followed by rapid regrowth of the original limb, pre-Effect). These divorced limbs - these lumps of extraneous flesh - then take on a life of their own. The mage's extra hand begins crawling around, while a set of gills merge together and grow fish-like parts. While some of these creatures are simply the old limbs made independently animated, some sprout additional tissues and form grotesque bodies. At the most severe of backlashes, the budded limb reforms into a complete copy of the mage; a clone in body and mind.

                One and all, these bizarre reproductions are hostile to the mage that spawned them. This hostility may take the form of direct assault, or, in the case of smaller and weaker extrusions, mischief.

                395) The Blood Quickens [Spirit]: A specialized form of Fragmentary Reproduction, this backlash arises from the mage's shed blood. Rather than forming a body of flesh and bone, the blood grows and animates into an ambulatory puddle or blob. Coagulation gives these spirits a modicum of density, with which is can travel around and interact with the environment. They will often extrude tentacles or other primitive limbs, but others will simply be vague flopping masses. A few mages report the blood taking the forms of serpents, piranha, or more unusual animal forms. Quickened Blood creatures are, one and all, a protean class of Paradox monster, and may shift form depending on the situation.

                Like with Fragmentary Reproduction, the blood monsters have no fondness for the mage from whose veins they were produced. Their fluid composition allows them to move through tiny cracks, and readily hide in surprising places. They attempt to bash or engulf their target, in an effort to strangle or suffocate. Characters may know their presence by the strong smell of blood, and the minute scarlet trails sometimes left in their wake. These trails become more obvious as time passes, when the previously weak crimson stains become fuller and ruddier, so that they seem like lines or dots of rust.


                • 396) Insidious Edges [ Paradox Flaw | Matter and Correspondence, Correspondence, Entropy ] The affected Mage's sense of touch is altered - when holding objects, the Mage feels as if they were holding the item by it's sharpest part(s) . This happens also when the sharp parts of an item are relatively small or relatively tiny compared to the part(s) the Mage is holding - or trying to hold - the item by.

                  This will make many items unable to be held by the affected Mage due to very high and constant pain and/or discomfort, unless the Mage has, or will develop, an extremely high tolerance for pain (and/or discomfort) , or techniques to ignore pain. Using True Magick to lessen or negate pain and discomfort present due to this Paradox Flaw requires the caster(s) to have and use Prime 3 or more.
                  Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-27-2018, 04:18 PM.


                  • 397) So Arcane While Driving (Other Drivers Don't See Me)[ Paradox Flaw | Correspondence and Forces, Correspondence, Forces]. The affected Mage has offended reality and reality makes it so while the Mage is driving, others do not see the Mage. This gives the Mage additional Arcane equal to half the points of Paradox released, rounded up, to not be seen by other drivers. Other drivers will merge into the Mage's lane thinking it open, go through a stop sign thinking the mage is not in the next lane, speed up thinking there is no one in the lane so they can race the traffic light, and other noxious driving behaviors based on thinking no one is there. A Correspondence flavor of this Flaw bends space or alters perceptions so that the Mage and zer vehicle are not seen. A Forces effect actually bends light around the Mage and zer vehicle or creates a null space.

                    As the Mage is essentially invisible to other drivers for the duration of this Paradox flaw, the Mage is likely to face some difficult driving rolls to not be a victim of a driving accident. Being unseen by other drivers will not aid in escape--it merely increases the risk of a vehicular accident.

                    This was inspired by one of my players, as there were some people driving with really aggressive lane changes and other noxious vehicular behavior on the road to game yesterday.


                    • 398) Not A Mage (Or Necromancer, Etc). [ Paradox Flaw | Correspondence and Forces, Correspondence, Forces, Mind, Spirit].

                      Thinking back to another of my games, where a player had a strangely named Dreamspeaker called He Who Fish Laugh At, he got a Paradox flaw where he was stating he was not a mage in a blatantly obvious way. This was a motif on a D&D game I was in where a Necromancer was 'NOT a necromancer.'

                      There are several flavors of this Paradox flaw, but the general theme is that magic-using people try and hide their powers from Sleepers. Instead of hiding their powers, they now broadcast blatantly that they are NOT a 'Mage' or some other word that describes their magical practice. If a Correspondence and Forces flaw, people are drawn to a visual distortion that shows the mage as NOT a mage. I had it as a neon sign over He Who Fish Laugh At. A pure Correspondence effect would direct attention to the mage by warping people's spatial perceptions. A pure Forces effect would make light or sound or other obvious effects happen around the mage so that people would think magic is happening. Mind would give people impressions that someone is a mage 'that guy seems like a shaman.' Spirit would make the mage's aura appear more obvious to those in the know.

                      The mage will have a hard time being in public for the duration of this flaw, as others will see more of the mage's true mien.


                      • 399) Cold Coffee, Warm Beer [Flaw]: A result of tampering with the Forces of heat and cold. Every drink the mage attempts to enjoy is the wrong temperature, or at least that's how her mouth feels it. Warm drinks like coffee and tea are cold (unless they are supposed to be iced, in which case their ice-filled contents feel quite hot). Cold drinks like soda or beer are dreadfully warm. It's never how the mage expects it, and it's rather inconvenient...or even hazardous. No one wants to meet a scalding hot cup of water on a hot summer day. (Potent enough backlashes change the Flaw into a Burn, often literally).

                        400) One Block City [Realm]: Among masters of Correspondence, it is often theorized that space is an illusion. That all locations occupy the same space, locked in a single point. In effect, a user of Correspondence does not travel, for they are already there. When Correspondence principles are abused to the point of extremity, however, it can result in the mage arriving where they did not intend. A place where there is only one place.

                        The One Block City changes in appearance, depending on the mage's Focus and origin. Italian villages, mist-covered New England burgs, a modern metropolis, even futuristic or retrofuturistic cities. What matters is that the "city" is only a fraction of the size one would expect it to be. About a single block, or a couple blocks. The exact size is immaterial to the fact that it's a small total area. Oh, it looks like the twisty and turning streets will get the mage somewhere, and the residents of the town will swear to the fullness of their urban home. But travel in any direction, and you'll arrive at the other end of the same small area. There are no maps provided in the One Block City, and attempts to make one will eventually reveal how limited the area is. Like the place wraps around itself, perpetually trapping its occupants in the same several hundred square meters.

                        The only way to beat the One Block City is to figure out how to circumvent the spatial puzzle. The most common answer is to stow away on one of the random vehicles - horse-drawn wagon, delivery truck, hover car, etc. - that seem to pass through every so often, yet can't be from anywhere in the prescribed zone. Actually doing so, however, can be easier said than done. No one likes stowaways. If there are no vehicles to hide on, the mage may need to find a solution within their environment. In a place with no true outer edges, working In may be more productive than working Out.


                        • 401) Aftershocks [ Paradox Phenomenon | Matter, Forces, Matter and Forces ] The Mage feels as if the ground is trembling, and has trouble standing straight. Depending on the severity of this Paradox Phenomenon, other persons can feel this too, to a lesser or the same extent as the Mage does.

                          This Paradox Phenomenon affects Mages who use their Magick on the earth, ground and rocks. It can also affect Mages who call upon the symbolism of the element of earth when casting Matter or/and Forces Magick Effects.
                          Last edited by Muad'Dib; 03-19-2018, 07:22 PM.


                          • 402) A Craving for Order [ Paradox Flaw | Mind, Mind and Matter, Mind and Entropy, Entropy and Matter ] The affected Mage is not capable of reading anything in a book unless they start reading the book from the start, and read the book page after page ; unless it is within the author's ( or the authors' ) intentions that a book can be read in another way. ( There might be other exceptions to having to read books from the start page after page for them to be readable....but maybe it is the case that there are no other exceptions for a Mage affected by this Paradox Flaw. )
                            What happens, if the affected Mage attempts to read a book in any other way, varies - but the result is almost always that the Mage is practically prevented from doing so. The Mage's perception changes and the pages appear to be too hazy ; the Mage's reading capability slows down, and changes from being able to read a sentence or more at once, to now being dazzled by the way syllables are formed by letters and that the syllables can come one after the other ; the most common of words seem to have uniquely niche and annoyingly interesting meanings that regularly draw attention away from the sentence they are in ( Such manifestations of this Paradox Flaw can occur simultaneously. ) .
                            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 03-20-2018, 02:40 AM.


                            • 403) A Devil of a Drinking Contest [Spirit or Realm]: The mystical qualities of alcohol have been known for millennia. So has the power of the contest. It's unsurprising, then, that Paradox would sometimes blend the two, if only to act in kind to the mage's actions. In this backlash, the mage is accosted by a gaggle of rowdy demons, who pressgang the mage into that most glorious of competitions: a Drinking Contest. In the lesser form of the backlash, the demons come to the mage, and refuse to leave him alone until he can best a representative of them in a duel of livers. This will usually happen if the Paradox releases in an appropriate setting, like a bar or restaurant. The greater form of the backlash involves the mage being yanked from their world and brought to the contest. This Paradox Realm can take the form of a cave system, a hellish beverage establishment, the bowels of some enormous fleshy organism, or a wind-swept desert in the Abyss.

                              Regardless of where it happens, the context is simple. The mage is forced to square off against one of their infernal number, to see who can out-drink the other. The alcohol on offer, naturally, is of a strong and demanding vintage, brewed from the blood of abyssal worms or bitter plants, or the like. It's not for light weights, put simply. If the mage loses a series of contested Stamina rolls, they may find themselves at the mercy of the diabolical hoard, or be made to suffer any one of a multitude of hellish penalty games. If the mage should win, however, they stand to gain not only their freedom, but prestige in Umbral circles.

                              As a final note, sometimes these contests involve song.


                              • 404) Worth it's Weight [ Paradox Flaw | Prime, Prime and Matter, Matter ] For the affected Mage holds or carries items, every metal and precious mineral which weighs less than iron weighs as much as iron does.
                                If the Mage uses Matter Senses, the correct weight will be known by the Mage.

                                This Paradox Flaw can be dealt with easier if the affected Mage gives away as gifts, to persons she or he knows, all precious minerals and precious metals that she or he has. ( The term 'precious' here refers to precious minerals and precious metals as most mundane humans consider it to be. )
                                Last edited by Muad'Dib; 03-20-2018, 02:53 PM.