Student's Guide to New Magical Opportunities at Illuminati University

by Elizabeth McCoy and Walter Milliken

Marcus Magnusson (former apprentice Healing mage from Yrth, current Pre-Med, minoring in Metaphysics, at Illuminati University) carefully pushed open the door to the Metaphysics lab. Gillian and Loriel were already there, with a disappointingly mundane-looking book of notes. Both of the other magery-gifted students were frantically scribbling in their own notebooks (witch copying from the back and elf copying from the front, holding the middle pages vertical), and only Gillian's familiar bothered with a meowed greeting.
"Hsst! Your fencing class, Loriel?" Marcus said to his fellow castaway.

Loriel said something rude in Elvish and scrawled a final sentence before packing away her stuff. Then she slipped silently out of the room. Marcus took her place and started copying from the top of that page. The trio of students could assemble the spell into a working form later; for now, they just had to get the data before the professor came back from lunch.

New Spells

Diligent research by Illuminati University students sneaking into the College of Metaphysics labs at noontime - while the professors are still asleep after last night's Sabbat - have produced some, ah, unique spells. These are passed down from student to student, and not taught in regular classes. Some are the exclusive property of fraternities and sororities.

(Page references are B for the GURPS Basic Set, Revised, 3rd edition, CI for GURPS Compendium 1, M for GURPS Magic, G for GURPS Grimoire, P for GURPS Psionics, and IOU for GURPS Illuminati University.)

Animal Spells

Shapeshift Other (Human)
Resisted by IQ
Turns an animal (with IQ 7 or less) into a human, with IQ+5 or IQ 10, whichever is less; other stats increase or decrease as the GM sees fit. The subject retains its basic personality, but gains opposable thumbs and the native language of the caster. Former animals are generally Illiterate.

Should the animal earn enough character points while in human form to raise its original IQ to 8, it will become permanently human, with an IQ of 8 (unless raised with additional character points).

If the caster knows Alter Visage (p. M28), the animal will take an appearance chosen by the caster (good for creating a temporary duplicate), otherwise, the GM determines what the human form looks like.

If the caster does not know Shapeshifting for the type of animal in question, the spell is cast at -3.

Duration: 1 hour.

Cost: 6 to cast, 2 to maintain.

Time to Cast: 3 seconds.

Prerequisites: Wisdom (p. M68), and two Shapeshifting spells (p. M25), including one similar to the subject animal.

Shapeshifting (Human)
A variant of Shapeshifting (p. M25) for sentient non-humans who like having opposable thumbs. (Note that this spell must be learned at 21 to be cast without using either gestures or speech, though parrots get away with a skill of 18.)

Elemental Spells - Fire

Resisted by Sunburn
Allows the subject to gain a natural deep tan while avoiding both sunburns and the long-term effects of UV radiation.

This is also a Light and Darkness spell and a Protection and Warning spell (joint research during summer vacations at the beach).

Duration: 1 hour.

Cost: 2 to cast, 1 to maintain.

Prerequisites: Resist Fire (p. M37) or Shade (p. G64).

Resisted by protective spells
This spell causes the subject to suffer damage from normal or magical sunlight as for Albinism, p. B27; skin pigmentation does not change. It is resisted by spells such as Shade (p. G92), Sunblock, or Resist Fire (p. M37). Weather Dome (p. M78) and similar spells will protect against the sunlight exposure itself, as will going indoors.

This is also a Light and Darkness spell.

Duration: 1 hour.

Cost: 2 to cast, 2 to maintain.

Prerequisites: Fast Fire (p. G29) and Sunlight (p. G64).

Elemental Spells - Water

Ice Skates
Created as a quick way to get to class, this spell allows the subject to skate at twice his normal Speed. While the "ice skates" are purely magical and invisible, the ice that they skate on is not - it is magically created just in front of the subject, and remains in a quarter-inch-thick trail behind him until it melts naturally. If intricate maneuvers are required (to avoid a collision, for instance), Ice Skating skill equals DX while the spell is maintained.

If the subject has this spell at skill 20+ or has normal Ice Skating skill at 15+, a successful Ice Skating roll allows him to create ice "bridges" to skate on, thus avoiding ground hazards for a short time; these bridges will only extend a number of hexes equal to the amount the skill roll succeeded by (minimum 1) before they start breaking, tumbling an unwary skater to the ground.

(Ice Skating is a Physical/Hard skill, described on p. CI132.)

Duration: 1 minute.

Cost: 4 to cast, 3 to maintain; if cast in an area where ice is already present (such as a frozen lake or ice rink), it is 3 to cast, 1 to maintain.

Prerequisites: Ice Slick (p. M41), Snowshoes (p. M41) and Swim (p. M70).

Phantom Surfboard
For the more athletic Water mages, this spell allows the subject to surf using his bare feet. It confers no ability to breathe water, but does give a +5 bonus to DX for all Surfing rolls.

(Surfing is assumed to be a Physical/Hard skill, analogous to Skiing, p. B49.)

This is also a Movement spell.

Duration: 1 minute.

Cost: 3 to cast, 2 to maintain.

Prerequisites: Walk on Water (p. M40) and Swim (p. M70).

Food Spells

Shape Food
Lets the caster move food about and shape it into any form. If the form is stable (e.g., a mountain of mashed potatoes), it will remain permanently after shaping (unless someone eats it). An unstable form (e.g., a column of spaghetti) will last only while the spell continues - although no special concentration is required - and then collapse.

Food moved with this spell travels at only 2 hexes per turn. It can harm no one except by flowing over an immobile person and burying him - if you can get that much food!

Duration: 1 minute.

Cost: 2 per hex of food shaped (up to 50 lbs. total costs only 1); 1 per hex to maintain.

Prerequisite: Seek Food (p. M48).

Control Food
Resisted by IQ
Lets the caster control the actions of up to 100 lbs. of animate food. Will not work on intelligent food (IQ of 8 or more). This spell is useful primarily on live food items, or food that has somehow been animated (such as by Animate Food, below, or by being processed by University Food Services). It can be used both to keep food from escaping before being eaten, and also to stop attacks by rabid meals. Concentration is required.

Duration: 1 minute.

Cost: 2 to cast; 1 to maintain.

Prerequisite: Shape Food.

Animate Food
Lets the caster summon a spirit (IQ 7) to animate up to 50 lbs of food (the food must be of the same type - one could animate a cauldron of scrambled eggs or bowl of peas, but not an entire plate of hamburgers and french fries at once). Abilities and attributes will depend on the food animated: for instance, liquids like soup or milkshakes will have difficulty flowing uphill, while whole chickens can run around on their drumsticks and pizzas can roll along on one edge. Within its limitations, the animated food will follow the caster's verbal orders.

Note that food animated with the same casting will move as a single unit - those chickens will not surround a target unless they are all animated by different spirits, and liquids will not divide to go after different targets.

This is also a Necromantic spell.

Duration: 1 minute.

Cost: 2 per 50 lbs. of food animated (up to 5 lbs. total costs only 1); 1 per 50 lbs. to maintain.

Time to Cast: 3 seconds.

Prerequisites: Control Food and Summon Spirit (p. M72), or Animation

(p M73).

Food Jet
Lets the caster shoot a thin jet of semi-liquid food from one hand. Each turn, the caster rolls versus DX-4 or Magic Jet to hit. This counts as an attack; it may be dodged or blocked, but not parried. If the spell strikes, it causes no injury, but will temporarily blind the target unless he makes an HT roll. (He will also need to launder his clothes soon . . . )

If the HT roll is failed, each energy point in the spell blinds the target for one second. After the target can see again, he will be at -3 DX for watery eyes for a further 1d seconds.

On a critical failure of the HT roll, the target is blinded for 1d seconds per point in the spell. On a successful HT roll, the victim covers his eyes for one second, and therefore is at -3 DX for one turn. On a critical success, the victim is unaffected.

The composition of the jet depends on the variant of the spell known to the caster; each is a separate spell. Versions are known to produce whipped cream, potato soup, ketchup and raw scrambled eggs; the caster must be familiar with the food-type in question to learn any particular variant.

Anyone in the vicinity of a food fight involving Food Jet spells must make a DX+3 roll to avoid slipping in the mess left behind, until someone cleans it up.

Duration: 1 second.

Cost: 1 to 3 points. The jet's range in hexes is equal to the energy put into it. Cost to maintain is the same.

Prerequisites: Create Food (p. M48) and Shape Food.

Spice Jet
This spell is similar to Food Jet, but produces a jet of spice powder, of a type determined by the caster. (Pepper or chili powder is a common choice. Garlic is useful against vampires, and salt against zombies or giant garden slugs.) The caster must be familiar with the chosen spice.

Effects are the same as Food Jet, except that the target will be blinded for ten times as long, and will suffer a further -2 to DX from sneezing and choking as he breathes the concentrated powder. A successful HT roll avoids both blinding and sneezing effects.

Duration: 1 second.

Cost: 3 to 9 points. The jet's range in hexes is equal to one third of the energy put into it. Cost to maintain is the same.

Prerequisites: Food Jet and Season (p. G43).

Gate Spells

Reverse Stupidity
This is actually a limited, area-effect version of Timeport (p. G46). Everything within the area of effect reverses in time for exactly one minute. People (and creatures) in the area experience time moving backward - their bodies "take back" their previous minute's actions, but their minds keep running "forward." (Animals should make a Fright Check at the end of the spell.) Unlike other spells, the energy cost for this spell is paid at the end of the duration - a minute before the casting!

No voluntary actions are possible during the reverse-time period, but individuals are free to take action (and remember the "previous" future minute) as soon as the timeflow returns to normal. Because of the mental effects, a Body Sense roll is required to take an action in the first "forward" second after the spell ends. As the name implies, this spell is normally used to "take back" some particularly stupid character action, leaving the PC to try some entirely new, and probably equally stupid, idea.

Due to the magical strain on the time-stream, this spell may only be used once per week by any given caster; a second attempt is an automatic failure. Note that if the caster is in the area of effect, the spell only reverses time to the beginning of its casting - it then cancels itself out! (This does not count as a casting, nor does it cost Fatigue, but neither is it very useful.)

Since the caster won't remember the future on a successful casting (though he will experience a mysterious loss of Fatigue from the spell!), someone needs to tell him he cast the spell, or he might try it again . . .

Critical failures of this spell usually throw the caster into a time-loop and burn out his Magery; also, the caster immediately drops to 0 Fatigue and takes one point of damage. (From the outside world's viewpoint, the caster seems to jitter and flicker while casting the spell, then suddenly keels over.) Recovery of each level of Magery requires a successful HT-3 roll, one try per day.

Duration: -1 minute.

Base Cost: 5. One try per week.

Time to Cast: 5 seconds.

Prerequisites: Magery 3 and Teleport (p. M71).

Healing Spells

Lend Life
This spell is primarily useful to get someone functional again, at the expense of the caster - essentially a poor thing's Resurrection, with the added bonus that the subject is as hale and hearty as before his death . . . until the spell ends, or the subject is killed again, of course. The body (or most of it, including the brain) must be available and reasonably intact. This is the GM's decision; note that a body that has reached -10 &YEN HT is by definition too damaged for resurrection without considerable ingenuity on the part of the PCs. The caster's skill is at a -1 penalty for each full day between the subject's death and the beginning of the spell.

While the spell is in effect, the caster's body lies in a coma and must be protected. No Fatigue is recovered while comatose. Awakening the caster with magic, psionics or high-tech drugs will break the spell. Using Steal Spell (p. G73) will send the spell-stealer into a coma while the original caster wakes up.

Lend Life can be dangerous if the subject is killed again - the spell will be broken, but the caster will be at Fatigue 1 and -2 to hit points upon awakening! Critical failure with this spell will leave the caster with 0 hit points.

Duration: 1 hour. Cannot normally be maintained - the caster isn't conscious!

Cost: 10, same to maintain if the caster thinks of a clever way to do so.

Time to Cast: 2 seconds.

Prerequisites: Major Healing (p. B162 or M50).

Mind Control Spells

Create Stress Sigil
Resisted by IQ
This spell creates an invisible (but subconsciously perceptible) "stress" sigil - a written symbol used by the Illuminati to subliminally condition people into a state of anxiety and fear, making them more easily manipulated. Anyone in sight range of a stress sigil is -1 to all skill, attribute and perception rolls, due to the anxiety caused. Anyone spending at least half an hour near a stress sigil after failing the resistance roll will suffer the Gullibility disadvantage for the next hour.

Those who make their resistance roll are unaffected. They will not necessarily see the sign (that takes a Will roll at -7), but they will notice "graffiti" on a surface - the formerly-subliminal text that the sigil incorporates.

Characters with the Illuminated advantage (GURPS Illuminati, p. 28) are immune to such signs and will automatically detect them. Use of the Psychometry ESP skill (p. P14 or p. B174), or the spells Detect Magic (p. M53) or Analyze Magic (p. M55) can reveal the sigil, but this is treated as a contest of skills between the detection skill and the Create Stress Sigil spell.

Duration: 1 hour.

Cost: 8; 4 to maintain

Time to Cast: 30 seconds.

Prerequisites: Avoid (p. M67) and Scribe (p. M79). The GM may also require the Illuminated advantage if using GURPS Illuminati.

Item: The sigil may be made a permanent enchantment at 100 times normal cost.

Reverse Psychology (VH)
Resisted by IQ
This spell reverses the victim's mental advantages, disadvantages and quirks (or at least mutates them), causing formerly Shy people to suffer from Compulsive Carousing, lechers to become prim and proper, and Clueless individuals (p. IOU21, p. CI87) to actually understand the universe, temporarily. Those with Absolute Direction get lost (-10 to all Area Knowledge or direction-finding rolls), those with Bloodlust get either Pacifism: Cannot Kill, Necrophobia or both. The GM is encouraged to use creativity and advice from the players. Psionic Power is unaffected, but any Limitation with a psychological basis may be reversed or mutated at the GM's whim.

Critical failures with this spell can cause permanent effects -though usually to the caster! Remove Curse (p. M63), Restore Memory (p. G53), Cure Insanity (p. G55) or a subsequent casting of Reverse Psychology may be able to restore the subject to normal by winning a Contest of Spells vs. an effective spell skill of 18. If the contest is a tie, one advantage or disadvantage (caster chooses which one) may be restored to its natural state.

Any permanent benefits must be paid for, probably by using points from former advantages. This spell will not reverse the Mundanity advantage (p. IOU19) unless the caster rolls a natural 3 and the Mundane rolls an 18 for his Reality Check! If successful, the GM should grant the former Mundane some spectacular ability, like psionic levitation or the ability to summon demons by sneezing.

Duration: 1 hour.

Cost: 5 to cast, 4 to maintain.

Time to Cast: 5 seconds.

Prerequisites: Madness (p. M67) and either Magery 2 or Psychology skill of 15+.

Necromantic Spells

Life Siphon
Resisted by HT
Lets the caster take the life from an individual or individuals and use it to bring another individual to life. (Requires as many hexes of living subjects as there are hexes of the dead one.) Cannot be used by the caster to resurrect himself unless he is working out of a Soul Jar (p. M73) or something similar. Works on subjects of the same general IQ level or lower only - you can't use a horse to revive a WUSE student (though it might work for a Team member).

The living subject(s) must either be willing or totally helpless and the caster must be touching all subjects; furthermore, all subjects must have a straw or other tube connecting them. All the living subjects die if the spell works, otherwise they are unaffected. If there are multiple living subjects, the spell will fail if any of them resist successfully.

Duration: Permanent.

Cost: 8 per subject (minimum 16).

Time to Cast: 30 minutes per living subject.

Prerequisites: Lend Life, Steal Health (p. M74)

Plant Spells

Summon Dryad
This is the Plant equivalent of Summon Elemental (p. M33); dryads are humanoid tree-spirits (usually highly attractive and female) whose lives are linked to that of their individual trees. Dryads are able to interpenetrate with their trees (where they sleep), hearing and seeing normally from within the wood; interpenetration takes two seconds each way, but costs the dryad no fatigue. A dryad will travel only a mile from her tree, and is usually anxious to return. Typical dryad attributes can be found on p. IOU88; at IOU, dryads are very plentiful, but not friendly.

Duration: 1 hour. May not be maintained.

Cost: 4 to cast.

Time to Cast: 30 seconds; GM rolls 2 dice to determine how many minutes before a dryad arrives.

Prerequisites: Magery and at least 8 Plant spells or 4 Plant spells and a Summon Elemental spell.

Control Dryad
Resisted by higher of IQ or HT
This is the Plant equivalent of Control Elemental (p. M33). Note that IOU campus dryads will not appreciate having this cast on them, and they hold grudges.

Duration: 1 minute.

Cost: 1/4 the dryad's four attributes (round up) to cast, half to maintain. If used to determine an attribute's value, no cost to cast.

Time to Cast: 2 seconds.

Prerequisite: Summon Dryad.

Create DryadSpecial
This is the Plant equivalent of Create Elemental (p. M33). A dryad must be created within a tree of some kind - she will be bound to it after the casting. There is no maximum to attributes, though some very powerful dryads created on-campus have been known to show up as faculty . . .

Duration: Permanent.

Cost: 1/4 the dryad's four attributes (round up). Double this cost if the tree available is either already occupied by a dryad, or is too small for a humanoid to interpenetrate with (e.g., a sapling or very stunted tree). Triple cost if the caster wishes to bind a dryad to a bonsai tree.

Time to Cast: Seconds equal to the total attributes of the dryad created.

Prerequisite: Control Dryad.

Protection and Warning Spells

Sense Disaster
Created by a paranoid Metaphysics professor who'd been processed by the Lazarus Health Center a few times too many, this spell is an enhanced version of Sense Danger - it's maintainable, which makes it useful to those who suffer long-term exposure to high-risk environments. However, it cannot sense minor dangers, such as car accidents or an impending visit from one's mother-in-law. Typical disasters it will pick up include volcanoes, nuclear strikes, tax audits, and unannounced personal visits from the ArchDean (though it sometimes fails to predict that last event . . . ).

The spell operates much like Sense Danger, first providing a vague foreboding as a "five minute warning," and if the subject is still within range of the disaster by the minus one minute mark, the spell begins to supply details of the impending doom.

Unfortunately, this spell is not very useful on campus, as it tends to go off constantly around WUSE and the Alchemy Building.

Strangely, the presence of the ArchDean's cats also triggers the spell's "vague foreboding" effect, though never any details . . . The precise reasons for this are left to the GM's fiendish imagination (perhaps the spell's inventor was allergic?).

Duration: 10 hours.

Cost: 8 to cast, 8 to maintain (note that an irregular sleep schedule is required if the caster wishes to maintain it constantly).

Time to Cast: 1 minute.

Prerequisites: Sense Danger or Survival (IOU) skill 15+

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