Thaumaturgical Diffusion Hexes

Deadlands Magic
Thaumaturgical Diffusion Hexes
Recently, a few enterprising souls have started to examine what happens when you mix and match some of the various magical practices to be found in the Weird West. Most of these experiments end in failure – nature spirits don’t play well with manitous, praying for a gadget doesn’t seem to do much of anything, and black magic just tends to take over whatever it’s allowed into. Hexslinging and mad science, however, seems to be a match with potential. Bringing the two sides together can be difficult – mad scientist dementia mixed with huckster recklessness can be a deadly combination – but slowly, new hexes are being developed which draw from and supplement mad science techniques.
List of Hexes
Analyze
Barricade
Blast Furnace
Bullet Proof
Bullet Stopper
Caustic Glop
Decrypt
Dementia
Devil’s Workshop
Haywire
Infernal Machine
Mad Insight
Magazine
Magic Bullet
Power Leak
Power Surge
Razor Coils
Reflect
Repair
Reverse Engineeer
Ride The Rails
Shard
Shocker
Silverspray
Steganogram
Transcribe
Tweak
Upgrade
Waste Product
Weird Science
Wire Tap
Zilch
Hex Descriptions
Analyze
Time to cast: 10 minutes
Duration: Instant
Range: 1 elixir
Cost to M: NA
Successful cast
Reveals the components of an alchemical formula and the procedure for creating it. Some chemistry equipment is required to cast this hex; the process is magical, but swirling liquids and lighting things on fire help the caster comprehend the information he is receiving.
Barricade
Time to cast: 2 seconds
Duration: 2 min / lvl
Range: 10 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
DR 3
DR 6
DR 12
DR 18
DR 24
Conjures a wall of metal shards in front of the caster, 3 feet high and 6 feet long for ever level of magery. It provides protection against ranged attacks for all body parts behind the wall; melee attackers can just reach over. The protection conferred by the wall depends on the hand drawn.
Blast Furnace
Time to cast: 2 seconds
Duration: 1 minute
Range: 20 yds / lvl
Cost to M: 2 FP / min
+20°
+40°
+60°
+80°
+100°
+120°
+140°
+160°
+180°
+200°
+220°
Causes metal objects of a mass up to 20 pounds per level of magery to rapidly heat. Over the course of the hex, the object will heat 20° for each hand level drawn.
Bullet Proof
Time to cast: 2 seconds
Duration: 1 min / lvl
Range: 10 yds
Cost to M: NA
DR 6, -2 DX
DR 12, -4 DX
DR 18, -6 DX
DR 30, -8 DX
DR 42, -10 DX
Causes a bulletproof carapace to grow from the subject’s skin. This provides a level of protection determined by the hand drawn, and adds +2 to Intimidation rolls from the unnatural appearance of the scales; however every level of protection comes with an attendant -2 DX penalty, to a minimum DX of 1. Subjects also suffer a -5 penalty to reaction rolls. The caster cannot choose a lower level of success; the full level of success indicated by the hand drawn will always take effect.
Bullet Stopper
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 1 minute
Range: 20 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
Successful cast
If a bullet or other ranged weapon misses during a fight in which the subject is involved, and the subject could possibly be hit, the subject is always the first possible unintentional target to be checked, and the roll to hit him is 12 rather than the usual 9. The zone of possible targets is also one hex wider for purposes of determining whether the subject could be hit.
Caustic Glop
Time to cast: 2 seconds
Duration: Instant
Range: 10 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
1d
2d
3d
3d+2
3d+4
4d
4d+2
4d+4
5d
Produces a fist-sized blob of acidic goo, which the caster can hurl at a target. The goo has Acc of 2; it ignores all modifiers for range, but not for target size or speed. The caster must hurl the goo using Throwing skill or the default of DX -3. It does damage according to the hand drawn, and then continues to burn the target on subsequent turns. Every turn does 1d less damage than the turn before. Caustic Glop affects and is affected by inanimate objects; hence, armor or cover can protect the target, but will be damaged in the process.
Decrypt
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 2 min / lvl
Range: Self
Cost to M: NA
+5
+7
+9
+11
+13
+15
+17
+19
+21
+23
Gives the caster a +5 to Cryptography and Mathematics (Cryptology). Each hand level drawn above the base hand adds an additional +2 bonus. This hex will work for a caster using these skills at default. Decrypt will provide its bonus to a message hidden with the hex Steganogram.
Dementia
Time to cast: 2 seconds
Duration: 2 min / lvl
Range: 10 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
Delusion (-5)
Absent-minded
Mild Phobia
Paranoia
Severe Phobia
Delusion (-15)
Subject is driven temporarily insane, according to the hand drawn. The caster may choose the madness corresponding to the hand drawn or any lower hand.
Devil’s Workshop
Time to cast: 1 hour
Duration: Special
Range: 1 yd
Cost to M: NA
-10%
-20%
-30%
-40%
-50%
-60%
-75%
Provides supernatural assistance for mad scientists, reducing the time required to build a gadget by a percentage determined by the hand drawn.
Haywire
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 2 min / lvl
Range: 40 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
Check for Malfunction (16-18)
Check for Malfunction (15-18)
Minor Malfunction
Major Malfunction
Catastrophic Malfunction
Induces malfunctions in mad science gadgets. The severity of the malfunction depends on the hand drawn. If Haywire is used against a complex device with multiple component gadgets, the caster must pick one gadget to affect. Haywire will not affect alchemical elixirs. A gadget under the effects of Tweak (see below) is affected by Haywire as if the hand drawn for Haywire were one level lower.
Infernal Machine
Time to cast: 1 minute
Duration: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Cost to M: NA
Slight improvement on existing technology (armor piercing ammo)
Major improvement on existing technology (25% faster locomotive)
New use of standard technology (flamethrower)
New use of cutting-edge technology (steam wagon)
New but realistic technology (submersible boat)
New technology that ignores the laws of science (heat ray)
New technology that defies common sense (mind control lasers)
Assembles available scraps into a gadget on the fly. The caster must describe the gadget, and its difficulty, before casting the hex. Gadgets created with Infernal Machine are unreliable. Whenever checking for malfunction, a gadget thus created will malfunction on a roll higher than 10, plus 1 for every level of magery, plus 1 for every hand level drawn above the minimum needed to create the gadget. Gadgets will always malfunction on malfunction rolls of 17 or 18. Infernal Machine cannot produce normal equipment. The caster gains no knowledge of how to build the gadget at a later time.
Mad Insight
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: Instant
Range: 1 yd
Cost to M: NA
+5
+7
+9
+11
+13
+15
+17
+19
+21
+23
+25
Assists a mad scientist in creating a gadget. The subject gains a +5 to Gadgeteering, plus an additional +2 bonus for each hand level drawn above the base hand. If the caster suffers backlash, a severe flaw is inadvertently introduced into the gadget.
Magazine
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 1 minute
Range: 10 yds
Cost to M: NA
Successful cast
Gives a single hand-held weapon unlimited ammunition for the duration of the hex. This hex will not work on larger weapons like Gatling guns, or on exotic weapons like flamethrowers. Magazine does not affect the weapon in any way other than increasing its ammunition.
Magic Bullet
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 20 sec / lvl
Range: 5 yds
Cost to M: NA
1 extra target
2 extra targets
3 extra targets
4 extra targets
5 extra targets
6 extra targets
Turns any ordinary pistol or rifle round within the hex’s range into a “magic bullet”. If the magic bullet hits its first target, it bursts out and flies toward another target as if it had been fired from the position of the first target, doing normal damage to each target it hits. It will continue to attack new targets until it reaches the maximum number of extra targets for the hand drawn or until it misses a target. If the bullet fails to penetrate a target’s armor, it still counts as a hit and the bullet continues on. If the duration of the hex expires before the bullet is fired, it returns to being a normal bullet.
Power Leak
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 20 sec / lvl
Range: 10 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
10% reduction
20% reduction
30% reduction
40% reduction
50% reduction
60% reduction
70% reduction
80% reduction
90% reduction
100% reduction
Drains energy from the power source for a machine or gadget. This hex reduces the effectiveness of a device (speed, power output, damage, etc.) by 10% at the base hand, and reduces it by a further 10% for each hand level drawn above the base hand. This causes most machines to slow down and perform less effectively. Power Leak also works on explosives. As soon as the hex ends, all affected power sources return to full power. Power Leak and Power Surge offset each other.
Power Surge
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 20 sec / lvl
Range: 10 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
10% increase
20% increase
30% increase
40% increase
50% increase
60% increase
70% increase
80% increase
90% increase
100% increase
110% increase
Enhances a machine or gadget’s power by increasing the production of its power source. The affected machine gains 10% of its effectiveness at the base hand, plus a further 10% for each hand level drawn above the base hand. A machine affected by Power Surge consumes a proportionally greater amount of fuel.
Razor Coils
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 10 sec / lvl
Range: 10 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
DX
DX -2
DX -4
DX -6
DX -8
DX -10
DX -12
DX -14
DX -16
DX -18
Wraps the subject in barbed wire. The subject may attempt to break free by making a DX roll, at -2 for each hand level drawn above the base hand. If successful, the subject wriggles free and may act normally next turn; otherwise, the subject remains trapped and takes 1 point of damage for every 2 points by which he missed the DX roll.
Reflect
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: Instant
Range: Self
Cost to M: NA
Successful cast
Summons a jagged piece of reflective, magically charged metal in front of the caster. This shard of metal provides no resistance to physical objects, but certain forms of magic – hexes, black magic spells, and Harrowed powers – are reflected by it. If the subject power fails to resist Reflect, the original caster suffers the effects intended for the caster of Reflect. Reflect does not work on area-effected powers. Harrowed powers resist with the IQ of the Harrowed.
Repair (new)
Time to cast: 1 second per 5 lbs.
Duration: Perm
Range: Touch / Self
Cost to M: NA
2 lbs., 100%, no complexity
5 lbs., 95%
7 lbs., 90%, minor complexity
10 lbs., 85%
15 lbs., 80%
20 lbs., 75%, moderate complexity
30 lbs., 70%
40 lbs., 65%
50 lbs., 60%, any complexity
100 lbs.
250 lbs., 50%, structures
Repairs the qualifying subject object completely; also works on mad scientist gadgets but will not restore supernatural properties to any previously magical item. Qualifying objects are limited to items owned by caster (or meta cast on someone) for at least a week. The hex returns the item to the condition that it was in when first taken possession of by the caster. If the item is typically powered somehow, the hex does not provide a power source and will still require that a power source be provided. Maximum weight, required percent of material present, and maximum item complexity allowed depends on the hand drawn.
Reverse Engineeer
Time to cast: 5 min / C lvl
Duration: 1 hr / lvl
Range: Touch
Cost to M: NA
Successful cast
Complexity level (C lvl) of the gadget is determined by the GM.
Enables the caster to intuit the theory behind a gadget, permitting him to construct similar gadgets without taking the time and expense to develop it himself. This means that the caster need not spend the development time, make the development skill roll, or spend the development cost; he can go straight to building the gadget for only the production cost. If the caster is not a mad scientist, he may attempt to explain it to a mad scientist before the hex expires. The mad scientist must make an IQ -6 roll to understand what the caster is trying to explain; only one attempt is possible. If the caster is unable to convey the idea, he must cast Reverse Engineer again to get a fresh perspective.
Ride The Rails
Time to cast: 1 minute
Duration: Special
Range: Self
Cost to M: NA
10 miles, 1 minute (300mph)
25 miles, 5 minutes (250mph)
50 miles, 10 minutes (273mph)
100 miles, 20 minutes (286mph)
200 miles, 30 minutes (387mph)
300 miles, 40 minutes (439mph)
400 miles, 50 minutes (471mph)
500 miles, 1 hour (492mph)
750 miles, 2 hours (372mph)
1,000 miles, 3 hours (331mph)
2,000 miles, 4 hours (498mph)
Allows the caster to travel very quickly along the railroad tracks that crisscross the American continent. The caster must be touching the rails when casting the hex. He remains visible and tangible for the first 50 feet of travel as he accelerates – then he vanishes in a flash of light, becoming pure energy for the remainder of the journey. The caster travels a distance which depends on the hand drawn. If he hits a break or end in the line, he stops abruptly. This sudden stop does 1d+2 damage to the caster. Encountering a train after the caster has dematerialized, fortunately, has no effect.
Shard
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: Varies
Range: 20 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
1d-1 FP
1d
2d-1
2d
3d
3d+2
4d+1
6d+1
8d
10d
Creates a handful of jagged metal nails and hurls them at a designated target. The caster may create as many nails as he wants, up to a maximum of twice his level of magery. Each nail conjured after the first causes a -2 penalty to the hex roll. The nails have Acc +2; they suffer no penalties for range. The caster must hurl the spell using Throwing, the default of DX-3, or Spell Throwing (Ice Dagger) skill. He may throw nails at separate targets and even call hit locations on targets, but must hurl at least one nail per turn until they are all used up.
Shocker
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 2 min / lvl
Range: 10 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
1d-1
1d+1
2d
3d
5d
7d
10d
Charges a metal item with a massive buildup of static electricity. The first person to touch the item before the hex expires triggers the charge, becomes stunned for 20 -HT turns, and takes fatigue damage according to the hand drawn.
Silverspray
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: Instant
Range: 2 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
1d-1
1d
2d-1
2d+2
3d
3d+2
4d
6d
7d
Fires a spray of small metal splinters from the caster’s hand. These splinters spray across a wedge-shaped area in front of the caster out to the hex’s maximum range. This wedge covers about 60 degrees. Every creature within the spray takes damage according to the hand drawn. Armor protects normally.
Steganogram
Time to cast: 2 seconds
Duration: 10 days / lvl
Range: Touch
Cost to M: NA
-2 to reveal, -6 to decipher
-4 to reveal, -8 to decipher
-6 to reveal, -10 to decipher
-8 to reveal, -12 to decipher
-10 to reveal, -14 to decipher
-12 to reveal, -16 to decipher
-14 to reveal, -18 to decipher
-16 to reveal, -20 to decipher
-18 to reveal, -22 to decipher
-20 to reveal, -24 to decipher
-22 to reveal, -26 to decipher
Cast on a written message or other information medium, this hex completely conceals the message from everyone but the caster and the intended recipients; the message appears to be discussing something completely different. The caster must name the intended recipients at the time of casting; the message may have two recipients for every level of magery. A message up to a single letter-sized page may be hidden; longer messages will require multiple castings of Steganogram.
A reader who suspects steganography may examine the message for hidden code. A Cryptology -2 roll will reveal if a hidden message is in the text. A second Cryptology roll, this time at -6, will be required to determine what the message is. Each hand above the minimum gives a -2 penalty to attempts to spot or decipher the message.
At the end of the hex duration, both cover and secret message become indecipherable jumbles – unreadable to anyone, including the intended recipient and caster.
Transcribe
Time to cast: 2 seconds
Duration: 10 min / lvl
Range: 10 ft / lvl
Cost to M: NA
Successful cast
Animates a pen, which will write down whatever is spoken within the hex’s range for the duration of the hex. It cannot identify speakers, but will use different types of handwriting to distinguish them. The hex cannot translate languages that are foreign to the caster, and its transcription of foreign tongue is phonetic. A writing instrument and writing surface must be available for this hex to work.
Tweak
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 1 minute
Range: 1 yd
Cost to M: NA
Gadgets malfunction on an 18
Roll twice for level of gadget malfunction
Improves the Malf of weaponry by one level
Reduces the probability of a malfunction in a gadget. A gadget under the effects of Tweak will only malfunction on an 18. At Three of a Kind, if the gadget does fail a Malfunction roll, roll twice for what level of malfunction it is, and take the better result. Tweak also improves the Malf of weaponry (from 15 to 16, from 16 to crit, from crit to ver., etc.).
Upgrade
Time to cast: 2 seconds
Duration: 10 sec / lvl
Range: Touch
Cost to M: NA
Successful cast
Allows the caster to tinker with a gadget, transforming it temporarily into a similar gadget at the next level of complexity. Hence, an Average gadget like a gatling pistol could become a Complex device, like a gatling shotgun. Unfortunately, this process also lowers the reliability of the gadget; Upgraded gadgets malfunction on a 16-18. Tweak will raise the malfunction chance back to 17-18.
Waste Product
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: Permanent
Range: Touch
Cost to M: NA
Successful cast
Ruins fuel and explosives, turning them into useless ash. The caster may transmute 10 pounds of fuel or explosives for every level of magery.
Weird Science
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 2 min / lvl
Range: Self
Cost to M: NA
2 rolls
2 rolls, +2
2 rolls, +4
2 rolls, +6
2 rolls, +8
2 rolls, +10
2 rolls, +12
2 rolls, +14
2 rolls, +16
2 rolls, +18
Allows the caster to put the inspiration of mad science to work in other fields. For the duration of the hex, he may make two rolls whenever he uses any scientific skill and take the best result. For each hand level drawn above the base hand, he also gets +2 to the roll. However, critical failure on either roll means that the caster has come up with some bizarre theory that he is convinced is utterly sound (-1 point Delusion).
Wire Tap
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 1 minute
Range: 40 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
Listen to all messages passing through the wire
Send a message
Stop a message
Listen to any message sent within the past day
Allows the caster to tap into a telegraph wire within range and listen to, send, or stop messages. The degere of control depends on the hand drawn. Any code used to prepare information for transmission – presumably Morse code, but other schemes are possible – is automatically translated; however, code used to conceal information are not broken by the hex.
Zilch
Time to cast: 1 second
Duration: 10 sec / lvl
Range: 10 yds / lvl
Cost to M: NA
Simple
Average
Complex
Amazing
Stops a mad science gadget from working for the duration of the hex. The hand required depends on the complexity of the gadget. A mad scientist may try to fix a gadget under the effects of Zilch by winning a Quick Contest of skill between the caster’s Zilch and the mad scientist’s Mechanic skill.

Thaumaturgical Diffusion Hexes

GURPS Storage Sandbox Belrathius