Welcome back to DECK OF FRIDAYS, our weekly feature here at FATE SF. We make a draw from the Deck of Fate, RPG Inspiration Cards, or another Aspect-generative randomizer. Then we do something interesting with it, using the Aspect as inspiration for a campaign or scenario seed, a situation, scene, location, NPC, thingie, etc.
This week's draw from the Deck of Fate is a card with the Aspect: Horrifying Incompetence.
There aren't too many situations where horrifying incompetence is more deadly, or more common, than in the practice of summoning demons. So here is a summoners' mishaps table for those botched, incompetent demon summonings.
A Table of Summoners' Mishaps
Roll 4DF and consult the results below.
- -4: Why didn't you cleanse and secure the ritual space properly before the summoning occurred? A fly, a mouse, a mosquito, or a cat - or worse still, a beetle, spider, or insolent slave walked-in and interrupted the ritual. It has now been incorporated into the summoned demon. This is a game-changer, as all of your protections were based on what you thought would be summoned!
- -3: The summoning templates you drew before the casting were a mirror image of what was in the book. How did you not notice that until just now? Oddly enough, this demon you've summoned could be your twin. Now it's smiling at you. This is not what you were expecting at all. You think it plans to replace you.
- -2: You figured that if one sacrifice is good, two, three... maybe ten - that should be even better. A little more study would have shown you that sacrifices have subtle, symbolic meanings; they're not just food for demons. Now you are dealing with multiple, angry, identical copies of the particular demon you intended to summon.
- -1: Your sacrifice has insulted the demon. Warrior Demons don't want child sacrifices; that's dishonorable. Demons of Sorcerous Might want literate, psychically potent sacrifices such as other sorcerers - not illiterate, psychically-null field hands. You'd better think fast. Maybe a part of you would be a sufficient sacrifice to placate the demon?
- 0: Fumbled words, botched gestures. The wrong incense, sloppily drawn summoning templates. The wrong sacrifices. Did you even learn the language properly before you started attempting to summon demons using it? Do you even know what the words mean? The gestural language, which has been used for thousands of years? The demon's not interested in materializing, and departs with a blast of pure, malevolent contempt. The blast leaves you with a Moderate Consequence. This Aspect should be interesting, memorable, and something that makes others avoid you.
- +1: You definitely got the demon's attention. Several demons' attention, in fact. All these long, jibbery names sound the same to an ignoramus like you. From your shitty pronunciation, the demons aren't too sure which of them you really want. Roll 1d6. That's how many answer your summoning.
- +2: You blew it; you entirely botched the binding and limiting elements of the summoning ritual. No one will ever summon this demon again. It is now a permanent resident of this plane.
- +3: The ritual went perfectly. Or so it seemed. Summoning the demon was as easy as opening a door. You're obviously a more puissant sorcerer than you realize; unfortunately, you're just not subtle. You tore the "door" off its hinges. There is now a permanent portal between your world and the demon's home plane. It's always open, both ways. Hopefully it doesn't grow more than a meter or two per day...
- +4: Psychic energy has to be managed carefully during rituals. Too bad you are psychically incontinent. You invested so much psychic energy into the ritual that it seems fitting, nay, inevitable, that you should join the demon on its home plane. Right now. Just step through the portal.