Altered Magic Zones
After the Great Malice, one of the lingering effects of the death of the goddess Srasama was the permanent removal of magic from the land of her slayers. There are some workarounds to this, but for the most part Danor’s people simply cannot access magic; those born with the talent to wield spells may live their whole lives never knowing it.
Just beyond Danor’s borders, in a broad swath hundreds of miles wide, the fabric of magic is damaged, but not destroyed. In these places, known as the Malice Lands, whenever a character performs a ritual, uses a non-Martial power, or uses a magic item power, there is a five percent chance of a mishap (1 on a d20). Racial powers work normally.
For attack powers, the power mishaps if the first attack roll is a natural 1. If you trigger a mishap in this way, you can only reroll it if you do so through means that cannot themselves mishap (such as a halfling’s second chance power). If a natural 1 is rolled as a result of an effect that lets a character roll multiple d20s and keep the best one, that result may be ignored.
Mishaps usually take the form of the power backfiring, manifesting as a free-willed monster, or otherwise going dangerously awry (GM’s call).
Within Danor proper, magic is more predictable, but greatly weakened; this causes the following effects:
- Rituals cannot be cast under any circumstances.
- Activated powers of magic items cannot be used. Passive benefits (usually item or enhancement bonuses) function normally over the short term, but…
- After a number of weeks equal to the level of a magic item, its power will be drained away permanently. Masterwork armor still retains its masterwork bonus, but all other items become mundane.
- All powers that do not have the Martial keyword cannot be used unless the character has a compatible weapon/implement with at least a +2 enhancement bonus.
- Racial abilities (like a tiefling’s infernal rebuke or an eladrin’s fey step) still function without issue.
As if the dead magic zone over Danor wasn’t bad enough, the epicenter of Srasama’s wrath is worse by far. In Methia, the old capital of the Clergy, magic doesn’t function, period.
Weapons, neck items, and armor no longer provide enhancement bonuses, nor critical dice. Magic item properties and powers will not function. Basically, any magic item is reduced to its nonmagic form. In addition, any class powers that do not have the Martial keyword will not work, and most racial powers will cease to function as well.
But even in Methia, there are workarounds. Malice-wrought weapons work normally, as do artifacts. Creatures that are inherently magical (such as elementals, constructs, undead, etc) can survive for a time, but may find themselves weakening the longer they stay. Magical machinery powered by soul-infused witchoil also functions fully.