Special Abilities

Many of the creatures you may find on Fortannis have strange and unusual powers, effects, and abilities. The following attacks and defenses are used mainly in combat by NPCs, and many of them require that the creature do body damage in order to affect you. The few that do not are labeled as such in their description. Some, such as Superhuman Strength, modify the monster instead of the monster’s chosen prey. This list is not complete, as monsters may also possess and deliver any of the effects listed in the “Effects
chapter, delivered by any of the deliveries and qualifiers in the “Effects and Deliveries” section.

Acidic Skin/Acidic Blood: Some monsters are covered with a corrosive material that will slowly eat away at any material that comes in contact with the creature. When hit for Body Point damage, the monster should state “Acidic Skin.” After the battle is over, the NPC will take all weapon tags for weapons which it was struck with, as the acid has destroyed them.

Unshatterable items are not affected by this attack. A weapon that has been strengthened can withstand attacks in the same way as if a Shatter effect was cast at the weapon, expending one strengthening for the entire battle. This is on top of any strengthenings expended for actual Shatter effects.

Block: This monster ability will stop the first applicable attack that would affect the creature. This is a “dumb defense” in that the monster cannot choose when to use it. Any attack that falls under the listed Effect, Delivery, or Qualifier will be stopped.

For example, a “Poison Block” would stop a “Poison Enfeeble” or a “30 Poison Paranoia,” while a “Paranoia Block” would only stop the latter of the two. A “Spell Block” would stop either a “20 Spell Flame” packet or a swing for “10 Spell Ice,” while a “Flame Block” would only stop the Flame Evocation Bolt. It cannot be used as a defense against touch-casting. When used, the monster should call “ Block.”

Bottle: Some creatures have a “bottle” that holds the monster’s spirit separate from their body. These creatures can die many times and will resurrect at the location of their bottles.

Claws/Body Weaponry: Monsters with this ability can strike with large claws or fists. The phys reps will always be covered in red duct tape or cloth; however, you cannot tell the difference between claws and real weapons unless you can actually see the red tape. The claws cannot be Disarmed or Shattered. The NPC cannot call a Hold to pull out claws. Claw phys reps must follow all weapon rules. For example, a polearm length claw must follow all the weapon rules as a polearm except that it must be covered with red duct tape, and if using two claws, you must follow the “two weapons” skill rules (one claw can be no longer than a short sword).

Control by Voice: This skill allows the monster to control the type of monster named by voice commands. The control exerted is as Enslavement, but may not be cured or avoided. This skill is a Greater Command effect. Creatures with this ability may not be controlled by another creature with the same type of control ability. For example, a greater liche with “Control Greater Undead by Voice” could not control another greater liche or a dread lord. A tengu could not control a goblin king, because they both have “Control Goblinoid by Voice.” Control by Voice can be used to control lesser creatures of that type only, as denoted by their “rank”. Some monsters may have “Control Greater ” which would allow any rank to be controlled.

Curse of Transformation: Some monsters (notably werewolves and vampires) have the ability to curse their victims so that they will turn into versions of themselves under appropriate circumstances. Werewolves can turn their victims into werewolves who will then change when the appropriate trigger occurs (usually on the full moon). Vampires can turn their victims into lesser vampires. Both curses can be reversed if appropriate steps are taken. Note that if cursed to become a vampire or werewolf, you will be under the control of the Plot Committee whenever you transform, and you will only transform when the Plot Committee tells you to do so. These things are meant to be curses for you to work to remove and not goals for your character to achieve.

Deadly Spittle: Some monsters have a toxic spittle that they can shoot at characters. This attack will be represented by the NPC throwing a gas packet at the player and calling out the attack type (for example, “10 Poison Normal”).

Detect Magic: This ability allows certain monsters to be able to detect (but not identify) the presence of magic. Any visible items carried or worn by the subject will be revealed. Items hidden under clothing or in bags or boxes will not be. This will cover an entire person or a door sized area. The subject must out-of-game tell the NPC which magic items are visible.

Damage from : Some creatures take double damage or extra damage from certain effects. All damage of that type that would normally affect the creature is doubled. For example, some golems will list “Takes 30 damage from Shatter,” which means the monster will take 30 points of damage from any Shatter effect that affects them. Some monster cards will state “Takes damage from Healing” or “Takes double damage from Healing.” This means the monster will take damage from spells that normally heal body points in the amount that the spell would normally heal or twice the amount in damage as the spell would normally heal. The creature will also be affected by a Cure Disease, Purify, or Restore as undead are, but will not be affected by Destroy Undead, Harm Undead or Turn Undead unless they are undead (see “Monster Type” to tell if they are undead). When taking damage, a target will take a maximum of four times damage from any single attack no matter how many effects they currently have that may double damage. For example, a Flame Elemental (which normally takes double damage from Ice) under a Destruction effect holding a cursed magic item which causes them to take double damage from everything would still only take four times damage from any Ice effect that hits them.

Engulf: Some monsters have the ability to engulf or absorb an unconscious character in preparation of digesting them. The target will immediately go to the Dead status as though they had been damaged below 0 Body Points and their Bleeding Out timer had expired. The creature will have to be slain in order to recover the body so that it may be given a Life spell. If you are engulfed by such a monster, you must walk around with the creature out-of-game until you are beyond the help of a Life spell. You may then proceed to the resurrect point.

In order to save someone who has been Engulfed, you must give a Killing Blow to the creature and then afterward cut open the creature with a three count. If the Engulfed victim has already gone to resurrect, his or her items will be recoverable at this time.

A creature with this ability may engulf anyone that is asleep, unconscious, dead, confined, paralyzed, or otherwise helpless on a three count of “I engulf you one, I engulf you two, I engulf you three.”

The creature may also engulf a victim that it has Prisoned with a three count of “I engulf you one, I engulf you two, I engulf you three, prison down.”

The victim must immediately begin their five-minute Death Countdown once Engulfed. If the victim was already dead, they must continue their death count from the same point it was already at; in other words, the Engulf does not reset the five-minute Death Countdown.

Escape Binding: Some creatures can rip free from some or all binding spells. This is a three count action with the phrase “I rip out one, I rip out two, I rip out three.” While the creature is doing the three count, it is vulnerable to attack. While ripping free, the creature may not use any skill requiring movement, such as Dodge or Parry.

A creature with this ability can break themselves free of binding effects from any source, not just spells. This includes Paste of Stickiness. The act of escaping will automatically interrupt a Killing Blow. A list of which bindings the monster can escape from will be defined on its monster card. A creature with this skill does not take damage from the act of ripping free when ripping out of binding effects, but is still vulnerable to all other attacks. This skill cannot be used to remove someone else from a binding effect.

Fey Curses and Fey Marks: Lesser and greater fey curses and marks are left to the discretion of the local Plot Committee. They are always Local Campaign Only and do not transfer to other campaigns unless agreed upon by the Plot Committees of the campaigns involved.
Lesser fey curses are generally no more powerful than Battle Magic spells while greater fae curses can be very powerful plot effects. How these curses are administered, removed and carried out is up to the local Plot Committee.

Gaseous Form: Some creatures will simply turn into a gaseous form when they are killed, and all possessions of the creature will fall to the ground. More powerful creatures have the ability to turn into a gaseous form at will. These creatures can take their possessions with them.

To become gaseous, the NPC must do a three count of “I turn gaseous one, I turn gaseous two, I turn gaseous three.” The monster can be affected by attacks while doing this three-count and if it uses any Game Abilities such as Phase or Resist Spell, the three-count is blown and one use of the gaseous form skill is expended along with the Game Ability.

To come out of gaseous form, the NPC should state “I solidify one, I solidify two, I solidify three.” The monster is vulnerable to attack while solidifying.

While gaseous, they can use no skills and are immune to all attacks except Solidify. They may move at a normal walking rate (no running). They cannot fly, nor can they move objects they aren’t already carrying.

Gaseous form does not permit the monster to walk through walls, Wards or Circles of Power. Gaseous creatures can be seen but cannot speak or make any sounds; however, they are aware of their surroundings and can hear and understand conversations.

A monster may not take anyone else gaseous with them, even if that person is dead (needing a Life spell or a resurrection). A permanently dead body, however, may be taken gaseous with a creature just like any other possession.

Group Mind: Some types of creatures (notably some giant insects) have a group mind. Each creature’s mind is but part of a larger whole. What one of them sees or experiences, they all know; however, Holds cannot be called for the NPCs to converse.

This ability makes the creature immune to all Command and Greater Command effects unless their monster card states otherwise.

Harmed by : Some creatures take damage when struck by certain spells or effects, even if it is an effect which would not normally cause damage. If this happens, the creature only takes the stated damage, not the original effect. In this case, the creature should call “Altered” to indicate that the effect did something different from normal. For example: a strange magical creature has “Harmed 20 by Sleep” on its Monster Card. If the creature is struck by a Sleep spell, it will call “Altered” and take 20 damage instead of being Slept. If the creature is struck by a poisoned sword with the call “5 Poison Sleep,” it would call “Altered” and take 25 damage total—20 from the Sleep and 5 from the weapon itself.

Heal from : Some creatures are healed by certain types of spells or effects (for example, Flame or Stone). Creatures with this ability cannot be healed by carrier attacks, but can be healed by elemental packet attacks, by spells, by “Spell ” or by “Arcane ”. A creature that is “healed” by an effect is also immune to that effect in carrier attack form. For example, a zombie that is “Healed by Chaos” would be immune to the carrier attack “2 Chaos.” As noted in the “Defenses” section, anyone healed by something other than Healing or Chaos must state “Healed” when they regain Body Points from one of these unusual effects. Immune to : Many creatures have immunities to certain effects. Creatures must call “No Effect” when using this ability.

Immune to Weapons: Some monsters are immune to certain types of weapon attacks in addition to its regular immunities. Any attack that has the verbal of what the monster is immune to in it will not affect the monster.

Immune to Normal weapon attacks (example: some lesser undead)
Immune to Normal and Silver weapon attacks (example: some greater undead)
Immune to Silver and Magic weapon attacks (example: some fae)
Some monsters require special weapons in order to be affected by a weapon attack. In these cases, the weapon attack must include the verbal the monster is affected by, or the monster calls “no effect.” Examples:
Only affected by Healing, Silver or Magic weapon attacks. (example: some lesser undead)
Only affected by Healing or Magic weapon attacks. (example: some greater undead)
Only affected by Silver weapon attacks. (example: a werewolf)
Only affected by Normal weapon attacks. (example: some fae)
Only affected by Magic weapon attacks. (example: a bone golem)
Only affected by Magic or Doom weapon attacks (example: a life elemental)

Keep in mind that other immunities also play into this. For example, a life elemental that is affected by Doom weapon attacks would still be unaffected by a “10 Poison Doom” attack if it is Immune to poisons. Also keep in mind, a creature that is “healed” by an effect is also Immune to that effect as a carrier. For example, a zombie that is “Healed by Necromancy” would be immune to the weapon attack “2 Chaos.”

Infection: Some creatures have the ability to infect helpless victims with material that will turn the person into a version of the creature. Unlike a werewolf or vampire curse, this is only a physical transformation of the victim’s body. Players will be told of specific triggers if necessary. Victims will lose all memory of their former lives, and the player must follow the commands they are given by Plot until the character is slain. The spirit may then proceed to be resurrected as normal.

Infection is inflicted just as a Killing Blow, with a count of “I infect you 1, I infect you 2, I infect you 3.” An infected character will remain so even if killed and then given a Life spell. Infection may be removed by various methods depending on the type of infection. The cure may vary based upon the plot of the event, and may possibly be discoverable only through in-game methods. A resurrection will always cure an Infection.

Innate Pyramid: Some monsters possess “innate pyramids.” This means the monster does not have to study their spells from a book, but still must choose spells and write them down on their monster card or get tags. This also means that the spell is delivered as “Spell ” instead of the whole incant. Remember that Signature Spells will always be delivered as their base effect when used this way—for example, a 4th level Evocation Bolt delivered from an Innate Pyramid as Stone would be called as “20 Spell Stone.” If a monster has additional PC skills, additional PC spell pyramids are not innate.

Innate Reflect Spell: A monster with this skill will reflect all Spell qualifier attacks. Some monsters have weaknesses to particular spells and can not reflect those particular spells, which will be noted on the monster card. A monster with this skill may choose to accept touch-cast spells, but will always reflect thrown spells. When this ability is triggered, the player must call “Reflect.”

Massive: Some creatures may swing for Massive. This weapon carrier represents a blow with immense strength behind it, so much so that no protective ability may stop it. A weapon strike made with the Massive carrier will cause damage even if it is physically blocked by a weapon or shield. A Parry or Intercept will not stop the damage, though these skills may be used to take the damage on behalf of another character within range as per the constraints of those skills. Massive will still take away Armor Points before Body Points, and may be stopped by Evade (with its normal constraints still applying), Dodge, or Phase. The Massive carrier will affect other defensive abilities in different manners depending on the ability. An expend-able defense such as Weapon Shield will not stop the attack, but will still be lost. In this case, “Weapon Shield, taken” should be called. Defenses which are not expendable (such as Prison or Threshold) will not stop a Massive attack, but will not themselves be taken down by the blow.

Natural Armor: Some monsters have skin that acts like armor. It can be refit in sixty seconds. Creatures with natural armor who are wearing another source of armor (such as a physical suit or Arcane Armor) must choose one and only one source of Armor to use at a time; switching will require a full refit. Natural Armor is not subject to the restrictions for physical armor. Note that a “Shatter Armor” effect will reduce a suit of Natural Armor to 0 Armor Points until it is refit, just like a physical suit of armor.

Non-Corporeal Form: Some monsters are non-corporeal, having no physical form but composed mainly of magic or energy. While they are in this form they are immune to normal weapons, and cannot be affected by most binding magics. They may move at a normal walking rate, and may pass through objects if the object is not living matter (wooden walls are fine, but trees are living and cannot be passed through). While walking through an object, they may not change directions. They cannot float down through floors, walk through walls at an angle, nor stop inside a wall or walk backwards through a wall. They cannot fly or move up through an object. They cannot carry or move objects they aren’t already carrying. Creatures with this ability are immune to all binding effects.

Phase: Some creatures can become non-corporeal for an instant, avoiding an attack as the Dodge skill, and announcing “Phase.” Unlike Dodge, Phase can be used even if the creature is completely immobilized, such as if in a Web or a Paralysis.

Reduced Damage or Timer: Some monsters take less than full damage from physical weapons or types of eldritch damage. Some monsters can even take a maximum amount of damage (a “damage cap”) from every blow. Similarly, some monsters may be affected by certain debilitating attacks for less time than usual; for example, a strong-willed Goblin King might “Reduce” all Command effects to last only 10 seconds. The NPC must call “Reduced” when using this ability.

Regeneration: Some creatures can regenerate Body Points by spending Focus time to regenerate, much like refitting armor. The time it takes to regenerate is most often one minute but this may vary from creature to creature. If the regeneration time is interrupted by a weapon blow or a spell that affects the creature, the process must begin again. If the process is completed, then the creature regains all lost Body Points.

Renew skills: This ability allows a creature to renew one or more abilities or skills that have limited uses by fulfilling some condition defined by that creature’s abilities. The most common condition is to take a minute of Focus to reset the ability in a manner similar to resetting armor, where any interruption prevents the abilities from returning. Some creatures may also renew skills when entering an area or even if they use another power like Revive.

Resist : This ability is similar to an Immunity except it is for a limited number of times per day. Unlike an Shield, the creature with this skill can decide when to use it.

Revive: A creature with this skill can rise back up after five minutes of semi-death. Instead of dissipating and going to resurrect, the creature rises with full Body Points. The creature will either have a limited number of uses of this ability or there will be some special method of preventing the creature from reviving; for example, some creatures can be prevented from using this skill by applying a Killing Blow with a silver blade.

Rift: Some creatures can open a rift to another plane or time to allow for entrance or exit. This is a three counted action. (“I rift in one, I rift in two, I rift in three.”) When rifting, the creature may also be able to take items and others along, even against their will. You need to be conscious, able to make decisions, and not be completely immobilized in order to Rift. Opting to expend a smart defense while Rifting will interrupt the Rift, as will losing the ability to use Game Abilities.

Suicide Ability: Some creatures have the ability to destroy themselves if they are captured. This ability is the equivalent of a Killing Blow. In some cases, it can be triggered by a Group Mind even if the creature itself is incapacitated.

Superhuman Strength: Any creature with superhuman strength (also called Monster Strength) can do more damage with any particular weapon than can a normal human. Creatures with Superhuman Strength may also throw boulders and smash down doors. Walls may never be smashed. It is a greater level of strength than what is represented by the Endow spell. This ability can also be used to perform certain limited role-playing tasks such as dragging an unconscious or debilitated creature for five seconds, after which the monster must only walk for five seconds before it can again run with the other creature. It cannot be used to throw other creatures or jump long distances. The amount of superhuman strength will be defined by a number on the monster card. This number will be added to any damage swing of the monster regardless of whether it is using a one handed or two handed weapon.

Swarmed by : : Any card with this ability allows an NPC to use the named ability when they are actively engaged (meaning approximately 10 foot range unless otherwise defined locally) by or more foes. For example, “Swarmed by 4: Spell Doom by Weapon” would allow the NPC to swing for “Spell Doom” with their weapons so long as 4 or more enemies are within approximately 10 feet. The named ability may alternately be called by OOG Marshals in the fight.

When this ability is triggered, the player must state “Swarmed” before using any Swarmed By abilities listed on their card. If the player is not going to use these abilities, they need not call Swarmed even if they are engaged by the specified number of other characters. Swarmed need be called only once even if multiple Swarmed By abilities are used in a row. Swarmed would need to be called again if if the flow of combat changes such that the NPC becomes “un-engaged” by enough players but then later in the same combat is triggered again.

Example: Jayla is playing an NPC card with “Swarmed By 2: Weapon Strike Weakness at will.” She soon finds herself dueling 1 on 1 with Anna. Her Swarmed By ability cannot be triggered, as she is only fighting 1 other player. Soon, Beatrice jumps in to help Anna out. Now that Jayla is actively engaged by 2 other players, she can trigger her Swarmed By ability. Jayla decides to do so and calls “Swarmed!,” then starts swinging “Weapon Strike Weakness” at both Anna and Beatrice. After a few blows, Beatrice falls back to get her Weakness removed, leaving Anna alone. Jayla stops using her Swarmed By ability, since there are no longer 2 enemies in range to trigger it. A few minutes later, in the same fight, Beatrice and Anna again engage Jayla. If she wants to trigger her Swarmed By ability again, she needs to again announce “Swarmed” once before using it.

Threshold: Some monsters have a very tough hide that will allow them to ignore attacks that do only small amounts of damage. A monster with a threshold of 10, for instance, would only be affected by damage of 11 or more. If you are striking the creature, the NPC will tell you “No Effect” to indicate that you are hitting it but do not seem to be hurting it. If you can exceed the limit of the hide, then the creature will take full damage from your blow. A Killing Blow can always go through a Threshold. Spell Defenses and suits of armor are affected by all blows, even if the creature wouldn’t normally be affected. However, armor and spells must be taken into consideration as they are counted before the Threshold.

For example: Fangthorn the troll has a Threshold of 4 and a suit of armor worth 10 Armor Points. He is attacked by Terin, who is calling “three normal.” The first few hits from Terin will breach Fangthorn’s armor. After those 10 points are lost, Fangthorn will begin saying “no effect” to the rest of Terin’s blows since they are now affecting only his body.

Some monsters may even have a “reverse threshold” where any damage above a certain amount has no effect.

Vengeance: Delving deep into potent magic, some creatures may inflict Vengeance damage. This effect (which may normally only be delivered via Ritual sources) may not be avoided or mitigated in any way, including defenses such as Reduction and Immunities or skills such as Phase or Resolute. If your character takes Vengeance damage, it will be taken no matter what skills or abilities you try to use on it. This will never be delivered as a weapon swing or packet, but instead only by powerful abilities like Warder Glyphs or on reaction to a Killing Blow.