The Damned In Legend - Pacts With Evil


Emperor Mongoose
I found myself thinking about Pact skill, and specifically Pacts with infernal beings. I had an idea that some Divine Magic effects could be made persistent (as if Extension were cast), for as long as the Pact is in place. The entity bestows the infernal effect dependent on how many Magic Points the pactee (aka the schmuck who signs the pact) dedicates. These infernal effects are known as investments and they are a stain upon the soul of the pactee, visible as such to any magical spell or ability allowing the perception of magic or souls.

The MP cost for each investment depends on the priestly rank minimum for each spell, as defined in Legend and Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic. This does not mean that a pactee has to be of Acolyte level, for instance, to have the demon bestow a particular investment - just that if the spell says "Acolyte" in the spell description, regardless of the rank of the pactee, the investment granted requires the dedication of 2 MP.

These MP must come from the pactee, taken from the pactee's very soul. Nobody else's. So no Tapping some other guy's POW or STR and dedicating that. There's no cheating the Devil on this.

Effective rank minimum - MP cost
Initiate - 1 MP
Acolyte - 2 MP
Priest - 3 MP

Aphrodisiac - 1 MP
Beast Form (something typically demonic) - 2 MP
Fog - 2 MP
Illusion - 1 MP
Laughter - 1 MP
Madness - 1 MP
Accursed Aura - 2 MP
Bloodbath - 2 MP
Rain of Flies (use stats for Rain of Blood, but it's flies and blood-drinking gnats instead) - 2 MP

These investments come with conditions attached (as one would expect). One condition applies per MP dedicated. The most powerful investments have the most conditions.
Use the enchantment conditions described in Arms of Legend:-

Environment Conditions:- "Not on holy ground" (within a Consecrate spell of a deity opposed to evil / diabolism); "only while debauched" (user must commit some sinful, wicked, humiliating or dangerously stupid deed to activate this investment)
User Conditions:- Obviously "The pactee only," though the entity bestowing the investment could throw in "and any ranking priest of the cult who knows the secret name of the demon"
Target Conditions:- "Only on the innocent" can be fun, but also "Not on someone wearing or carrying an item sacred to the entity" thus protecting the entity's priests from the pactee.
Sometimes, these conditions are natural and can be classed as an occupational hazard; particularly virtuous people, for instance, could be naturally immune to the pactee's monstrous depredations (which, if that means "anyone who has never lied, stolen, cheated on a loved one, gambled, used people, overindulged on drink, booze and/or drugs and most importantly never killed," excludes pretty much all the player characters).

There could be drawbacks, too, like a perpetual stink of sulphur associated with the pactee, a prominent witchmark which cannot be hidden, a creepy aura or physical pain when standing on consecrated ground.

This thing has been bugging me all day - I've had images of an infernalist selling off a piece of his soul for the ability to turn into some big, red, goaty-looking Thing with horns, tail, cloven hooves and bat wings - and it's also taken me all day to write too.
You could, if desired, lift the gifts & compulsions from Elric and use them. The POW dedicated to an 'entity' can be used to buy 1 gift (some gifts cost more than 1MP) at Initiate, Acolyte and Priest ranks. If you dedicate 5 POW to the 'entity' that is the maximum that can be spent to purchase gifts, so if you purchase a gift worth 4 POW at Initiate rank you may only buy one more gift worth 1 POW. Each gift also comes with a compulsion which is generally chosen by the 'entity'. Swearing a pact to some entities bestows a compulsion regardless of whether or not a gift is taken.

As the Pact deepens, so to does the compulsion. To resist behaving as a compulsion dictates the character must FAIL a roll against their Pact Skill.

One of my guy's compulsion was to collect bones, his preference was for the right knee bone of his victims, err sacrifices to Chardros (he was a Pan Tangian Deathbringer). Occasionally, particularly in the midst of combat , I would have him roll against his Pact skill. There is nothing worse than when in the middle of a melee against superior numbers, having to stop and collect the knee of a fallen foe!