Friday, January 31, 2014

Deck Of Fridays 13: No Way Out

Welcome back to DECK OF FRIDAYS, our weekly feature here at FATE SF. We make a draw from the Deck of FateRPG 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: No Way Out. That is a pretty negative sounding Aspect (and the card it's on is valued as a -3 on a 4DF roll), but we have something special in mind for it. Anime fans may recall a certain maze trap spell used in Doomed Megalopolis. That anime was one of the first ones I ever watched, and the spell has stuck with me for almost 20 years. So it's time to put it on paper.

The spell is called a Kimon Tonkou, and its historical inspiration is described in detail here. We'll provide a brief overview. The Kimon Tonkou is derived from the Chinese Taoist divination practice called Qimen Dunjia, or Strange Demon Gate Escaping Technique. Although the spell has had different attributes and effects at different times, for our purposes, it is a spell which traps a demon in a pattern-trap, allowing the caster to escape via teleportation.

It's a very useful spell. There's No Way Out for the demon, while the spell is in effect. But the caster has a ready means of escape.

What follows is a version of the Kimon Tonkou for FATE SF's Galactic Grimoire using the Fate Freeport Companion's excellent mechanics for creating discrete spells.


Strange Demon Gate Escaping Technique (Divination/Planes, Cost, Scene, Once Per Scenario, Requires one Divination or Planar spell, and one Evocation spell): This spell is used to trap a demon. It is most useful when the caster is aware of the demon's imminent arrival. Strange Demon Gate Escaping Technique is frequently used to interrupt rituals used to summon demons, diverting they into a prearranged pattern-trap. 

Once the demon is within the trap: 
  • Banish spell may be used to dispel the demon, and/or
  • The caster may teleport away to safety to a location of their choice
The spell's ritual begins with the preparation and placement of a pattern-trap. The trap is created by forming a pattern of stones, gems, tiles, or other materials. It must be placed within a few zones of where the demon is likely to materialize. The caster traces a particular path through the pattern; this action "charges" the labyrinth with a pattern of energy with many confusing eddies and flows. The shifting currents of energy constrain the demon's attempts to escape the pattern-trap. 

Once the demon materializes, it is diverted into the pattern-trap and must puzzle its way through to the trap's exit. As soon as the demon materializes in the trap, the caster may either teleport away to a specific location of their choice, or tarry a bit to first cast Banish.

When the caster teleports away, the demon will not be able to perceive the location to which they have teleported. The demon is thereafter unable to perceive the caster or divine their location until the two are again within physical proximity of each other (i.e., within the same zone). Observers outside the pattern-trap have no such restrictions. 

Pattern-traps can also be placed near an interdimensional gate or Nexus Point to capture a creature as it exits the portal. With this use of the spell, any creature passing through the portal is captured by the pattern-trap and must similarly figure its way out.

The spell is discharged at the end of the scene; in most cases, the demon will then be able to exit the pattern-trap.

There are potent variants of Strange Demon Gate Escaping Technique which use Evocation to manifest a pattern-trap at the moment the demon materializes. These traps take the form of three-dimensional puzzles with moving segments. Because of their uncanny similarity to the much smaller Lemarchand's Box, some scholars believe that these manifested pattern-traps are the inverse form or negative image of Lemarchand's demon-gate key puzzle boxes.  

No comments:

Post a Comment