Monday, April 3, 2017

Gathox Classes: Mentalists

This week I'd like to share the Mentalist class and subclasses in Gathox, including a light and quick wild magic table. The Mentalist follows the Magic-User tables from Swords & Wizardry: Whitebox, and features a couple of points of departure.


Mentalists spend their lives in study and ritualistic practice, learning to harness psychic gravity wells and astral confluences for the purposes of invoking magic. In Gathox, they find themselves in the service of elite families, advising gang leaders, or carving out pieces of the city for their own weird devices. Some ply their trade ministering to the masses, forming cults to extant godlings or dreaming up their own. Yet others plumb the depths of reality to expand their consciousness or see beyond the veil of the cosmos.

Mentalists use the advancement tables and abilities listed for the Magic-User in Whitebox. A Mentalist can choose to be a Spiritualist, a Faith Healer, or a Cosmic Doctor at the beginning of play. Each possesses a unique ability to aid in distinguishing themselves from their cohort. Unlike Whitebox, a Mentalist may use any weapon; however, any weapon that is not a dagger or a staff does 1d4 points of damage instead. This allows the Mentalist to deploy in combat with ranged weapons or polearms at second rank, but diminishes their effectiveness.

The Spiritualist

Mankind’s adventures into the world of the self have culminated in the studies of the Spiritualist. Tapping into magical reserves within themselves, Spiritualists have learned to see beyond seeing, and often sell these skills for exorbitant prices. Although occasionally derided as ‘table knockers,’ Spiritualists genuinely possess powers which yield results.

The Spiritualist may use Psychometry, which allows her to glean a piece of information from touching an object with bare hands. This requires one turn of focused, uninterrupted attention, and the information sought must be posed in the form of a question to the GM. At levels one through four, this power can be used once per day; at levels five through nine, twice per day; at levels 10 and above, 3 times per day.

The Faith Healer

This Mentalist has been touched by the mystic forces of Gathox - not the city built by hands, but the God That Walks Forever. The Faith Healer preaches from soap boxes, climbs the esoteric ranks of cults, and treats the sick for sums of gold. Although despised by many as bilkers or spiritual tyrants, Faith Healers possess magic as strong as any other Mentalist.

The Faith Healer may use Lay On Hands to heal the injured. He must touch his bare hands to a prone subject, and at the end of a round heal them of 1d4 hit points of damage, plus one point per level. At levels one through four, the Faith Healer may do this once per day; at levels five through nine, twice per day; at levels 10 and above, three times per day.

The Cosmic Doctor

Cosmic Doctors consider themselves the true purveyors of the arcane, the final arbiters of the divide between the worldly and supernal, the ordained masters of reality. Their studies have taken them so deeply down the rabbit holes of paradox that they become eccentric and bizarre, often with appearances to match. Cosmic Doctors find work in Gathox as advisors to elite families and traders in rarities of all sorts.

Cosmic Doctors may listen to the Echoes of the Future, gaining crucial clues as to an intended path of action. Requires 1d4 rounds of unbroken silence, and the GM arbitrates the results as she sees fit. Usable once per day at levels one through four, twice per day at levels five through nine, and three times per day at levels 10 and above.

Wild Magic

Given that Mentalists are constantly invoking magic in the midst of city-wide psychic fluctuations while riding on the back of a world-hopping godling, strange side effects can occur while casting a spell. When a spell is successfully cast, there is a 1-in-8 chance of wild magic effects; on a roll of 8, consult the chart below.

Roll (1d10)
Wild Magic Effect
The air ionizes, creating a burnt oxygen smell in a 20’x20’ area.
The caster’s skin changes hue 10% warmer, toward red.
The caster’s skin changes hue 10% cooler, toward blue.
Light rapidly shifts from bright to dark, like a strobe, 10’ radius, for 1 round.
A thin sheet of ice materializes on everything in a 20’ radius.
The sounds of laughter in reverse fill a 20’ radius for 3 rounds.
The spell leaves a permanent holograph hovering in reality at the point of casting.
The caster’s face transmogrifies into an entirely different face for a day.
The skin melts off the caster’s hands, leaving exposed muscle and bone. No damage.
The caster’s eyes become two glowing orbs of purple light.

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