Fear and Superstition

Superstitious people fear what they don’t understand, ascribing repeated events to strange, unexplainable, and sometimes unbelievable reasons. Many will prey upon the superstitious to gain power and influence. There is a brand of wizardry dedicated to the practice of this behavior… Superstitious Magic.

“Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.” – Voltaire

johnny-automatic-skull-over-top-hatEncountering the supernatural (literally some force beyond understanding by the laws of nature) is always unnerving. Some people choose to ascribe their own explanations for those events rather than doing due diligence and finding the real reasons something happened. For example, a man walking down the street may run across a black cat and fear for the worst. In medieval times, black cats were thought of as demons in physical form working with witches. Crossing paths with such a creature would inevitably lead to bad things happening… so that man might go far out of his way to avoid the black cat and thus save his day.

A superstitious mage might play upon the man’s fear by directing a black cat (through “Animal Repulsion”)  into someone’s path to get them to change their course. Perhaps the rest of the party is waiting in the alley where the man sought refuge from the cat and could waylay him for their own purposes. Or the mage might cast “Animal Attraction” and make all cats in the area start to follow the man, playing on his paranoia.

A more advanced superstitious mage might send nightmares of cats to his target with the “Bad Dreams” spell, then use the other options to really crank up the crazy thoughts of the target.

Other spells might include:

  • The Curse of Hair Growth (or Hair Loss)
  • Bad Luck (Hex)
  • Bane of the First Born
  • Curse of Pox
  • Prophecy

Any of these offer all sorts of ways to play with a target’s mind through the manipulation of perceptions. A bonus (or a penalty) in the right place or a sign interpreted the way the mage wants might be all he needs to nudge events in his favor.

Think this might be a useful class, like the Vile Witch – but with a bit of a Witch Doctor vibe?

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