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A.K.A. Drill Fiends, Devil Dentists, Scrivellians (after the dentist from Little Shop of Horrors)
(First, a note: I'd like to thank my dad, Dr. Norman R. Feldstein, D.M.D., for sharing some of his dental knowledge with me to help me write this school. Especially since it draws from everything he dislikes about some unscrupulous dentists.)
Ever wonder why so many people dread going to the dentist? It could be because one of their dentists was a Dentomancer.
Like any doctor, a dentist must take the Hippocratic Oath. For some, it just doesn't seem to stick, and for some of those, harming patients becomes a full-blown magical path. Some Dentomancers harm their patients physically, some financially, and others (usually the most powerful ones) both, but harming at least some of your patients is unavoidable as a Dentomancer. Naturally, because of all the Violence and Self checks involved, this means successful Dentomancers go mad rather quickly, making them even more dangerous than before. Dentomancers' patients also tend to become traumatized from all the pain.
Dentomancy works in the same basic areas as dentistry itself - creating or numbing pain, inflicting or healing dental maladies, and helping or hindering speech, in addition to accomplishing some other weird tooth-related effects. Dentomancers gain charges by performing dental work, but only dental work that's either unnecessary, free of anesthesia and sedation, or both. "Unnecessary", in this case, also covers dental work that the patient didn't originally need, but which became necessary after the dentist did something to make the patient need it. Some examples of how to do this without a patient noticing are provided under "charging tips".
Since the patient's consent is irrelevant to charging, some Dentomancers work on their normal patients, while others kidnap people, lock them up, and perform awful dental experiments on them. Either approach is equally effective, and both have their benefits and drawbacks - an imprisoned patient isn't going to be able to sue you for malpractice, but will probably go straight to the police if he ever escapes. (If the Dentomancer is really good at what he does, though, a patient who escapes will be so traumatized, and so physically unable to speak properly, that no one will ever really be able to find out what happened.)
Charging tips: Learn to fast-talk people into buying things they don't need without them feeling pressured. Become an expert on all the possible side effects of anesthesia and sedation; possibly have a sob story ready about a close friend who never woke up or was never the same after anesthesia or sedation, and end it with, "That's why I'm not willing to take that chance ever again." Prescribe your patients medication that causes dry mouth, which over time will cause major tooth decay. Sell your patients "special" mouthwash that contains high quantities of sugar, decay-causing bacteria, and gum-disease-producing bacteria; it might also contain some rust, with the hope they'll get tetanus ("lockjaw"). Convince your patients to drink lots of distilled water or Coca-Cola, or other items that leech vitamins from the body, or to stop consuming anything with Vitamin C in it, so that they get scurvy. Kidnap people, keep them somewhere secluded, and perform dental experiments on them without anesthesia. Start a "natural, homeopathic" dental practice in which you use herbs (completely ineffective ones, of course) instead of traditional sedation or anesthesia.
Generate a minor charge: Perform a relatively simple dental procedure on someone. The procedure must be either unnecessary (as defined above) or without anesthesia / sedation. If it's both unnecessary and without anesthesia / sedation, it's worth two charges. Good examples include fillings, extractions, and root canals.
Generate a significant charge: Perform a more complex dental procedure on someone. The procedure must be either unnecessary (again, as defined above) or without anesthesia / sedation. If it's both unnecessary and without anesthesia / sedation, it's worth two charges. Good examples include reconstructive surgery; more than three fillings, extractions or root canals at once; implants; or installing braces.
Generate a major charge: Perform a complex dental procedure, both unnecessary and without anesthesia / sedation, on someone famous or influential. Alternatively, be directly responsible for an entire city developing a major dental problem at one time (scurvy, tetanus, rapid tooth decay, advanced gingivitis with receding gums, losing all their teeth, mouth cancer, etc).
Dentomancy Minor Formula Spells:
Novocaine - 1 to 3 minor charges
Temporarily numb one source of pain, either for yourself or someone else. This effect lasts one hour per charge spent, up to a maximum of 3 hours. Because it acts like a local anesthetic, it must be cast separately for each wound.
Toothache - 3 minor charges
This is the Dentomancy minor blast. It creates a phantom toothache that lasts about 15 minutes - extremely painful, so it does inflict the normal minor blast damage, but actually illusory, so the wound points return once the effect wears off. The pain is very distracting, giving the person -15 shift on all rolls for the duration of the spell. A person reduced to 0 by damage includes this spell passes out from the pain, but doesn't die without receiving enough real damage to kill him (toward which this spell doesn't count).
Lockjaw - 2 minor charges
Temporarily prevent one person from speaking; try as they might, they just can't get their mouth to open. Like Toothache, this effect lasts about 15 minutes.
All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth - 1 minor charge
Give someone a pronounced whistle every time they make an "s" sound. This is mostly just annoying, but it tends to make people laugh at the target (-10 shift on rolls involving intimidation, leadership or impressing people). It lasts for the scene, or at most 30 minutes.
Cockney Smile - 3 minor charges
Makes it appear temporarily that someone's teeth are really disgusting - either cracked and yellow, or completely black, or about half of them are missing. In any case, this gives the person a -30 shift on all social rolls except those involving intimidation. (The person receives a +10 shift on intimidation-based rolls, because it makes them look rather freakish.) This lasts for the scene, or 30 minutes at most.
This Won't Hurt a Bit - 5 minor charges
The Dentomancer can heal any dental or oral condition, whether genetic or acquired; this spell requires the Dentomancer to touch the target, though not necessarily on or near the mouth. (The reason this is a minor formula spell rather than a significant one is that it only applies to the mouth; Dentomancers can't heal anything that isn't mouth-related.)
Dentomancy Significant Formula Spells
[b]Sedation - 1 or 3 significant charges
This spell allows the Dentomancer to put someone to sleep, exactly as if they were sedated. It costs 1 significant charge for a willing target, or 3 for an unwilling target.
Dental Curse - 2 significant charges
This spell lets the Dentomancer permanently inflict one curable dental problem on the target. Popular choices include TMJ, advanced gingivitis with receding gums, scurvy, tetanus, tooth decay in about half the teeth, chronic tooth-grinding, sleep apnea, a lisp or other speech impediment, and oral cancer. (While oral cancer is treatable, it's more difficult to cure, and so inflicting it costs two extra charges.)
Extraction of Suffering - 2 significant charges
By extracting a tooth from a target (with a +10 shift if there's actually something wrong with the tooth), the Dentomancer may remove up to one Failed or two Hardened notches from one of the target's Madness Meters. It must be a real, natural tooth that's extracted for this spell to work. The tooth may be replaced with an implant or prosthetic afterwards if desired.
Extraction of Secrets - 3 significant charges
By extracting a tooth from a target (with a +10 shift if there's actually something wrong with the tooth), the Dentomancer may also extract one secret from the person's subconscious without their knowledge. If the Dentomancer knows what he wants to find out, that's fine, but it must be something he's sure the target knows or the spell fails. Otherwise, he gets a random secret chosen by the GM. It must be a real, natural tooth that's extracted for this spell to work. The tooth may be replaced with an implant or prosthetic afterwards if desired.
Calling the Tooth Fairy - 1 significant charge per tooth, up to 5
The Dentomancer calls a spirit that (for whatever reason) desires the teeth of human children, and may ask it to perform one simple task for each tooth he gives it, up to a total of five teeth. The spirit may refuse to perform any or all of the tasks, but the Dentomancer may then keep the teeth (but not the charges, which are spent in advance). Because there's more than one such spirit, the Dentomancer may try to summon a different one that's more agreeable, but must cast the spell and pay the charges again.
Crippling Toothache - 3 significant charges
This is the Dentomancy significant blast. It works like Toothache, except the damage is significant rather than minor, and the shift is -30 instead of -15. In addition, if it's used in combat, the target must successfully roll Mind (with the -30 shift in place) for each of the first three rounds he or she is affected; a success means he / she has accepted the pain for now and doesn't need to roll again, a failure forces the target to collapse and howl in pain for the round, a critical success negates the spell, and a critical failure causes the person to pass out from the pain.
Invincible Mouth - 5 significant charges
For the duration of a scene, or up to a maximum of 15 minutes, the Dentomancer's teeth become literally indestructible, allowing him to use them in a variety of ways. They can be used to stop bullets or other projectiles, though this will normally knock the Dentomancer down like any large blow to the head. The Dentomancer may also (with a successful roll of his Obsession skill) use his teeth to perform feats of strength (ever seen the video of a guy dragging a truck with his teeth?) or to bite through nearly anything (GM's discretion).
Sowing the Dragon's Teeth - 2 significant charges per tooth, up to 10
Much like in the story of Jason and the Argonauts, the Dentomancer may plant teeth in the soil (yes, that means there must be soil available) and in one combat round, they grow into skeleton warriors under the Dentomancer's control. (Actually, tooth warriors - they're made entirely of teeth of different shapes, sizes, and species of animal. Very creepy.) Seeing one for the first time is a rank-6 Unnatural check. The tooth warriors have Wound points and a Struggle skill equal to half the Dentomancer's Obsession skill, rounded up. They can obey simple commands (no more than two or three words), and they collapse at the end of the scene, or at most 15 minutes.
Dentomancy Major Effects:
Learn everything there is to know about a person by extracting all their teeth. Give yourself Invincible Mouth permanently, or create permanent tooth warriors to serve you. Give someone a major dental problem and make it incurable, or teeth so long and sharp they can't close their mouth without causing injury. Make it so one person has no mouth at all, and must be fed through a tube.
An addition to the charging rules: To be charge-worthy, a dental procedure must be painful. A simple tooth-cleaning is worth no charges, whether it's necessary or not.
An addition to the taboo:
And one final addition to the taboo:
Looking back over it, I think the part about the Dentomancer's immediate family is unnecessary. However, the Dentomancer must still do all his own dental work, or forgo any procedure he can't do without help.
Taboo: never allow anyone else to perform dental work on yourself, does this include getting your teeth pucnhed? Because I would like it very much if it did, with all the finesse and premeditation of the school being possible to counteract with old-fashioned violence. Plus it gives you a reason to beat the evil dentist up, gotta like that!
Mattias | profile | Nov 20, 07 | 3:13 am
Mattias, I definitely agree. And as Neville said when commenting on Chronomancy, there should always be some way to trick (or in this case, bludgeon) an adept into breaking taboo.
Also, regarding the taboo: A Dentomancer may not use sleeping pills either. That includes anything that induces sleep, so taking melatonin or valerian root is out also. GM's discretion on things that "may cause drowsiness", such as allergy medication.
A minor formula spell I forgot to include:
And a new significant formula spell I thought of:
Whoops. Wisdom Teeth should cost 1 to 4 significant charges, not minor charges.
Powerful school, but lengthen the duration of Crippling Toothache, to maybe an hour. It's a Significant spell, leave it at a Minor drawback.
Anon | profile | Nov 20, 07 | 6:32 pm
I have a friend - a magician friend - who for a short while had a standing offer. She'd go to bed with you for one of your teeth. She offered a lock of hair, too, if people were worried she'd try to voodoo *them* in particular. She wasn't looking for that, she just wanted teeth.