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Drug withdrawal as a magic path
Your body is a furnace. Your brain is a constant warzone with your mind.
You take drugs - a lot of them. It doesn't help your magic. The drugs make you numb, and take you away from the world. They draw the curtains on the magic, and then your eyes adjust to the darkness. When you pull the curtains away again, the light is blinding, and that is the moment of magic.
You get your power from withdrawal. From the body losing and missing drugs. Drug it has taken as normal. Your eyes are opened wide by a lack of coffee, nicotine shakes, delirium tremens, and jonesing for a fix. When your nerves scream for the numbness to return, your soul soars in enlightenment of torment.
Generate a minor charge: Go into withdrawal that causes significant discomfort for at least three hours.
Generate a significant charge: Go into withdrawal serious enough to require hospitalization.
Generate a major charge: Go into withdrawal from at least six drugs at once, leaving you effectively dead for at least one minute.
Taboo: Your metabolism must never be allowed to reach a stable state. If a kraipamancer stays stable for 24 hours, whether by maintaining an addiction or by staying clean without withdrawal symptoms, she loses all charges. You can take non-addictive drugs or other poisons to shake things up and avoid taboo.
Note: For all charges, withdrawal must be from a physically addictive substance - psychologically addictive drugs do not apply. Examples of physically addictive drugs, which can earn charges, are heroin, nicotine, alcohol (from extreme use), caffeine, methamphetamines, and painkillers. Examples of physically non-addictive drugs, which aren't worth charges but can help keep the taboo away, are cocaine, marijuana, LSD, Ecstasy, and most hallucinogens. The intensity, legality, and destructiveness of the drug are not important for this school - what matters is that the body physically adapts to the drug to the point where the body's "natural" state of metabolism is consumption. A hangover won't do it - that's dehydration and a lack of vitamins - but the DTs from suddenly stopping heavy habitual drinking will do the job.
Random Magic: Divination, and chaos in the body. Kraipamancy rubs a person raw and leaves him sensitive to the unseen world.
Symbolic Tension: A shaker seeks pleasures of the flesh, but only as a way to reach the pain of its loss.
Blast: The kraipamancy blast jangles and tweaks the nerves of the victim, causing pain, spasms, tremors and neurological damage.
Charging Tips: It all depends on which drug habits you're forming and breaking. It's pretty easy to get a minor charge every other day by keeping irregular hours with coffee or cigarettes, or a charge a day for both. A speed habit can get you another minor charge every three days. Intensive drinking is good for a significant charge a month or so if you drink heavily enough that going cold turkey gives you serious DTs, and heroin withdrawal can get you a significant charge a week if you do it right.
Starting Charges: 4 minor
Moment of Clarity
1 minor charges
Get a brief sense of prescience about the next thing likely to go wrong for you, however big or small. A few specific details may be included. For an extra minor charge, you can instead give someone else a prescient flash instead, but you won't know what it is.
1 minor charge
For the next ten minutes, your senses are all heightened. You have a +30% bonus to Notice and similar skills. However, you're very sensitive to pain and discomfort - pain penalties are doubled, and uncomfortable intensity quickly becomes traumatic. For an extra two minor charges, you can make someone else oversensitive instead of you.
Trip to Oz
2 minor charges
This is another divination, but you can only ask questions about magical things with this one. You'll find yourself transported to another world, rich in fantasy and symbolism, where the answer lies at the end of a journey. There's just one problem; you're hallucinating the whole trip, but acting in the real world. In the real world, you'll be accosting strangers with questions and battling lamp-posts (or vice-versa). The hallucinations don't end until you find your answer, but the answer is real and valid. The more significant the question, the longer and more arduous the quest.
3 minor charges
This is the kraipamancy minor blast. It cause itching, shakes and spasms and does damage equal to the sum of the dice.
Voices From Space
4 minor charges
Pick a person - they don't need to be nearby, but you must be able to recognize him or her distinctly. For the next hour, you hear everything that person says, and nothing else. You'll hear your target's side of a conversation, but you won't hear an explosion behind you.
Betrayal of the Flesh
1 significant charge
A single target you touch becomes paralyzed for a minute for every Helplessness Failed notch he has, plus an extra minute. The victim can feel and perceive everything as normal, but can't move. This is good for a rank-9 Helplessness check.
Storm in a Teakettle
1 significant charge
The kraipamancy significant blast. It causes extended seizures and major neurological damage equal to the result of the dice roll.
The Body is Inside the Mind
2 significant charges
You override the limits of your body, using the power of your mind. You're capable of prodigious feats of strength, gaining +30% to Body and all Body-based skills. Furthermore, you're completely immune to pain, and you take no impairment penalty for injury, drugs or poison. This lasts a number of minutes equal to the result of the die roll, and does you damage equal to the sum of the die roll. You can use this formula on someone else at a cost of two minor charges.
The Mind is Inside the Body
2 significant charges
You tamper with your metabolism, causing accelerated awareness and calm. This gives a +30% to Mind and all Mind-based skills. Furthemore, the mechanics of stress are disabled - you are effectively Hardened-10 in every Madness Meter, which gives all the penalties of being a sociopath. You can't use your Passions or any Avatar skill. This lasts a number of minutes equal to the result of the die roll, and does damage equal to the sum of the die roll. You can use this formula on someone else, instead, at a cost of two minor charges.
3 significant charges
Ask any question at all, and specify how many words of an answer you are willing to get. Then, you fall into an epileptic grand mal seizure, flailing around uncontrollably, gurgling, and so forth. After a few minutes, when your brain is in an epileptic frenzy, you speak an answer. This is a very potent answer, direct from reality itself, plain and direct and perfect. It cannot be recorded and can only be heard by humans, and you don't hear it at all, even though you're saying it. Every human who hears it is hit by the power of the divination. This causes an Unnatural Stress check, at a level equal to the words spoken, to a maximum of 10. Furthermore, every listener will hear the spoken words in their head, repeating over and over like a hideously catchy song that just won't go away, forever. This causes a permanent penalty of -1% to Mind for ever word spoken. As a divination, this gives a perfect, clear and definitive answer at a terrible cost to an ally. As a weapon, it's dramatic but slow.
Kraipamancy Major Effects
Speak with Metatron's Voice instantly. Gain a permanent divination skill. Rewire someone's neurology permanently. Merge two brains together. Permanently change your blood into a potent neurotoxin. See in three hundred and sixty degrees.
Based on a line from _Naked Lunch_ in which William Burroughs mentions he gets psychic visions from heroin withdrawal. Well, and also a particularly rotten hangover I had last weekend from too much plum wine and rose vodka.
I really like this. It makes a good counterpart to Narco-Alchemy - it's users' magic rather than the creators'.
Something on how you you need a self roll to not take more heroin when the withdrawal kicks in? I just like the idea of the adept chaining herself with a time-release lock to keep from getting at dhe drugs in the cupboard. Shades of the withdrawal scenes from Trainspotting...
Mattias | profile | Jul 13, 05 | 5:42 am
Me like, except for the charging process.
this is very, very cool, though i agree with the nihohit about charging up being hard for minor & sig.
Cam | profile | Jul 14, 05 | 7:05 am
nihohit, I disagree.
Disagree with the very last bit, that about that you can get hardened against stress checks for staying off the drug. As an adept I think that that very urge is at the center of the magic, if you can't feel it, the mojo is gone.
Mattias | profile | Jul 15, 05 | 1:26 am