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Homebrew Charms

Started by Bailywolf, February 04, 2002, 10:11:33 PM

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Anyone come up with their own Charms for their UW game?  I put together a few based on breath.

Catch Your Breath

A mystical gesture- made while making a snatching grab at the victim's face.  With a resisted headcount, you can capture your enemy's breath so long as you keep your snatching-hand clenched into a fist.  If you loosen your grip at all, the breath slips out like an eel.  While you've caught the breath, your enemy can't breathe.  The charm ends when either you release your grip or the victim passes out.  The catching hand can't be used for anything but holding onto the slippery breath, and the charm obviously can' tbe used on any creature which doesn't breathe (junckmen most notably).

Spit-Ball Magnum

A simple plastic soda straw, save that anything blown through it strikes with the velocity of a bullet.  The Spit Ball Magnum only has the same range as a normal spit-ball straw, but fires with the same dull splat sound.  A favorite Charm of subtle assassins.

Snorkle Scarf

Wrap one end of the scarf across your mouth and nose, and leave the other in breathable air, and you can breath normaly through the scarf regardless of the conditions.  Most scarves are quite long (twenty feet or more), strong enough to support the weight of the average human, and pleasantly striped in a viority of intresting colors.  The scarf is also quite effecient at filtering stenches and toxins out of otherwise breathable air.

Smoking Gun

A package of black-label cigerates.  By blowing smoke from one into the face of a victim, serious injury may be inflicted.  Each puff inflicts 3 coins of damage, but a wary oponent need only hold his breathe or turn away to avoid the attack.  Smoking Guns are best used on unsuspecting victims.  Damage from Smoking Guns manifests as black lungs, bronchitus, asthma, and heart attacks- the dangers of smoking magnified and concentrated.  What these things do to the blokes who smoke them is best left unsaid, but a certain rackish class of Nomad Bravo seems to like them.

Pack of Luckies

Another enchanted pack of smokes.  While smoke from of of these thrice-banded cigerates is held in the lungs, the user recieves the heads from a three head count as a bonus to any gambling attempt.

Black Spots

Yet another pack of magic cigerates.  With a three coin head count yielding at least two heads, the smoker may become invisible while the inhale is maintained.  Once the smoke is exhaled, the user reverts to visibility.  This usual gives between fifteen and thirty seconds of invisibility, but Black Spots are remarkably effective.  So long as an invisible smoker takes no violent action, no form of vision may percieve them.  The surest way of detecting a Spot smoker, however, is the distinctive clove scent of the smoke.

I've got a couple more, but I'd like to hear what other folks have cooked up.


Well done.

I love these, especially the magic cigarettes.  Fun stuff, that.

Gareth-Michael Skarka
Adamant Entertainment


Here are a couple more...

Angel Beret

A tatered red baret which bestows supernatural protection, almost as if the wearer is watched over by a Guardian Angel.  The baret adds one coin to all attempts to resist malign supernatural power.  Further, with a single haed on a three head count (made secretly by the Conductor), the Baret imparts a sense of imediate danger if bodily harm looms.  This is enough to avoid being surprised by ambush, but no enough to gain further advantage in combat.

Moon Shades

A pair of scratched sun glases.  When worn by a creature sensitive to sunlight (mole people, vampires, the more solid form of ghost), they cobvert all sunlight striking the wearer into moonlight, further, through the Moon Shades the sun actual apears to be the moon, thus preventing any kind of instinctual panic.

Bottled Demons

A very powerful charm.  It seems to be a bottle of cheep whiskey, but so long as the local Radience is at least 1, it remains full regardless of how much is drunk.  The stuff is harsh, nearly poison, and 100 prof.  Some say it's laced with oil of wormwood like absenth or the blood of mushroom men, but regardless, when roaring drunk it always causes halucinations, and those halucinations become real.  The creatures this summons are always horrific, but polite and helpful to the drinker.  They are treated as Bravo Legendaries.  A number of demon halucinations equal to the heads on a three coin toss apear.  The disadvantage of this charm are obvious- you have to be roaring drunk to use it.  The demons evaporate when the drinker sobers up.

Spirit Flask

Another enchanted drinking vessel.  When filed with an alcoholic beverage, the flash allows immaterial beings (spirits ang ghosts) to drink it and become solid temporarily.  Generaly, each swollow grants an hour of solidity, and the flask holds about ten.  The solid spirit must remain in an area with at least 1 rad, or they revert to their ghostly forms.

Hudini's Coat

A tattered tuxedo jacket.  With three coin toss, mundane items small enough to fit up the sleves of the coat can be produced with a flourish.  They more heads, the more likely the user is to get what he wants.  One coin will get a orange plastic toy gun, two a BB gun, and three a real derenger.  Items produced from the coat vanish when no one is paying attention to them.

Roach Coat

A clicking incantation which must be uttered in darkness.  It summons thousands of roaches, which interlink legs to form a living shell of armor for the user.  This charm is more than a little disturbing to witness (and lets not even talk about the wacko who came up with it- rumor has it it can only be learned by listening very quietly when roaches pray).  It provides the heads on a three head count as free levels of damage which must be bashed away before the wearer is hurt.

Spider Eyes

A similar charm to Roach Coat, save it summons spiders which drop from the celing and crawl across the user's face.  Once done, they can be left where desired, and the user can see through their eyes.  Spider vision is quite bad, so generaly clusters of spiders are required for any kind of clear picture.  Each head on a three count represents enough spiders to bug one location.  The spiders will forget their task after a few hours.

Grubby Hermes

So long as a pidgeon feather is tucked into each of the user's shoes, he suffers no injury from falls. Further, with at least two heads from three coins, he may fly short distances (for more than ten minutes) at a running pace.

Three Card Switch

Named for the typical use in three-card monte, this charm allows the user to imperceptably switch the location of two small, palm sized objects of minimal weight.  The only restriction is that the user must know the location of both objcts which must not be more than a few feet apart.

Begger's Cant

There is a rythm, a sympatico which underlies all begging lines.  Regardless of the actual words used, a character who grasps this rythm and can master it can sway those who hear.  This charm adds thre coins to all attempts to solicit handouts.

Matt Machell

I was re-reading underworld the other day and this Charm popped into my head:

Can o' Whupass

Cans o' Whupass occur when a cola machine is set up on an underground platform with a particularly high rad count. The Radiance is absorbed into the cans, and mixes with the cola to form a particularly potent brew. When an entire can is drunk at one go, the combined effect of caffeine, sugar and Radiance produces a rush that boosts combat reflexes. The drinker gains an coin in combat for the next scene. Unfortunately the come down can be a bit harsh, with a headache that is very distracting (-1 coin on mental tasks for an hour afterwards).



Time in a Bottle

Prepared by Lost, he is able to store one use of his TimeBending power into an ordinary BeerBottle.  This allows a non-lost drinker of the bottle to user the Lost's timebending power once, usually for a few minutes, basically as long as the beerbuzz lasts.  This would not be cumulative with any other Lost's, ie it wouldn't increase the effects of other Lost's effects.

Time Bomb

Same sort or preparation as the Time in a Bottle, but put into one of those little sample liqour bottles.  When broken at the feet of another character/NPC, can inflict the inverse of the Lost's ability.  IE, must declare first in combat and act last.  Minus one coin on tasks requiring good timing.  Lasts for a few seconds.  

Thought up while listening to one of the songs on the Underworld Soundtrack.


David Howard

Quote from: BailywolfHere are a couple more...

Begger's Cant

There is a rythm, a sympatico which underlies all begging lines.  Regardless of the actual words used, a character who grasps this rythm and can master it can sway those who hear.  This charm adds thre coins to all attempts to solicit handouts.

Oh, Bravo! I had to delurk to let you know how magnificent that is. A magic spell that helps you beg for spare change... that's great! That's how urban fantasy is supposed to be.

"Men need play and danger. Civilization gives them work and safety."

Peter Hollinghurst

Here is a charm based on a 'Grue' (a shocking rhyme based on the horrible fate of a child-once very popular).

slip a piece of paper into the victims possession on which is written:
"Little Willie on the track
Didnt hear the engines squeal
Now the engines comming back
Scraping Willie off the wheel."
the victim of this nasty charm becomes incapable of hearing or otherwise sensing trains while they have the charm on them-often resulting in a deadly accident if they are walking the subway tunnels.

less macabre is the spoken 'latch charm' (made popular as a game you play with babies) for opening latched doors:
"Knock on the door (knock on it)
Ring the bell (ring it-if there isnt one ring any bell)
Open the latch (trace your finger where the latch would rise)
And then walk in...(open the door)
in the game you tap the babies head, then pull their hair at the front, then pull the nose-and they open their mouth so you put your finger in it.

A charm for protection from diseases:
"circle, circle, dot, dot,
now you've got the cooties shot"
(inscribe the circles and dots on the persons arm while saying the charm)

A charm to make someone drop their weapons:
"Eeny, meeny, miny, mo,
Catch old Tojo by the toe,
If he hollers make him say,
I surrender, USA."
(popular in NYC during WW2)


"Sunglasses at Night"
A variant of the Beer Goggles- any dark tinted eyewear can be enchanted to allow the wearer to see in the dark.

This small gold tooth first showed up in the mouth of a demented homeless man who claimed that it gave him the ability to catch bullets in his teeth.  He unfortunately did not survive the demonstration of this ability.. The tooth has since passed through several hands (and a few mouths) but no one else has put the tooth's magic to the test- if indeed it has any magic in at all.


These were originally thought up for my UnderWorld: Bermuda Triangle game.  I think I had more, but I can't find them:


This charm requires the user to put a starfish of sufficient size over their mouth and nose; if the charm is successfully activated, it allows the user to breathe air through the starfish for one hour per success tossed.  It is the knowledge of how to prepare starfish for breathing, and can be used to allow others to breathe. (Minimum Radiance: 2)


This charm is deceptively simple - it creates subtitles in the user's native language under one person or scene.  This allows anyone who can read the subtitles to understand what's being said, even if the language is normally indecipherable (or perhaps just too quiet/far away).  (Minimum Radiance 1)[/b]
Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming