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Weird Wednesday (Macabre Manses): Phobomancy

Image_Portfolio_101_Fantasy Jason Walton 03The suffix “-mancy” was technically a term used to describe divinations. An act of necromancy meant to speak with the spirits of the dead to learn secrets from beyond the grave, whereas cruromancers divined a soldier’s destiny from droplets of blood splashed into a bowl. Over time, the appellation came to refer to practitioners of any related magic. Now necromancy refers not just to divinations from departed souls, but also to the raising of the dead or the destructive force of negative energy. As such, phobomancy refers to the general practice of magic that deals in fear or dread. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game has several spells that could easily fall under the heading of phobomancy:
1st—cause fear, 2nd—scare, 4th—fear, phantasmal killer, 6th—eyebite, symbol of fear, 7th—finger of death, 9th—wail of the banshee, weird

While some of these have the [fear] descriptor, there’s no official subschool for phobomancy. An arcane spellcaster that wants to make fear magic her specialty may want an option for a fear spell at each spell level, without having to resort to metamagic feats, like the ones below!

TERRIFY
School necromancy [fear, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 2, bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one living creature
Duration permanent (see text)
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

You cause your target to physiologically respond to fear with tremors and convulsions. The target receives one saving throw when you first cast the spell to negate the effect. If it fails, the target makes a new saving throw on the second round to reduce the duration of terrify to 1 round per caster level. If the creature fails both saves, the duration of the spell is permanent. The effect can only be removed by a break enchantment or remove curse spell.
While under the spell’s effect, a creature that also has the shaken condition takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage from internal seizures and vertigo. A frightened creature takes 2d6 points of nonlethal damage, and a panicked creature takes 3d6. The creature takes this damage at the beginning of each turn it remains affected by both this spell and the fear condition, whether from the initial effect or a later one. Any effect that renders the subject immune to fear or mind-affecting effects ends the spells duration.
Terrify may be fixed to a site by casting the unhallow spell.


GREATER TERRIFY
School necromancy [fear, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 4, bard 4, sorcerer/wizard 5, witch 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one living creature
Duration permanent (see text)
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

This spell is identical to terrify except that the caster may choose when casting the spell to deal lethal damage to the target, and the damage dice inflicted by the spell are increased to d10s.

 

 

MASS TERRIFY
School necromancy [fear, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 5, bard 6, sorcerer/wizard 8, witch 8
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area 20-ft.-radius emanation
Duration permanent (see text)
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

This spell is identical to greater terrify, except that the spell affects all targets within the burst.

Image_Portfolio_102_Fantasy Jason Walton 40

To celebrate Halloween, the haunt below makes use of the terrify spells and is suitable for setting up a party to encounter something genuinely frightening, making it a great supplement to your phobomantic encounters.

SCARED TO DEATH CR 10
XP 9,600
NE haunt (a room or outdoor space up to 250 square feet)
Caster Level 10th
Notice Perception DC 20 (to notice a faint chill and a palpable aura of dread)
hp 20; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 hour
Effect A cold mist rises from the ground and the temperature drops noticeably. Each living creature in the area is affected by a mass terrify spell (DC 22 Will).
Destruction This haunt is destroyed if a bard uses their inspire courage ability, or when good hope is cast simultaneously with the channeling of positive energy within the haunt’s area.

 

[Submitted by Steve T. Helt]

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