Friday, May 13, 2011

Haven: Magic-User (and Illusionist) Taboos

The first edition Oriental Adventures book included the following rule for the Wu Jen class:
Since wu jen draw their power from supernatural sources, they must operate under special taboos that do not affect other characters. Indeed, these taboos may seem silly or insignificant to other characters. However, they are vitally important to the wu jen since violating them results in the loss of spells, illness, or other evil events. At first level, a wu jen character must have one taboo. Thereafter, an additional taboo must be selected upon gaining every 5 levels. (p. 26)
While I generally have problems with the OA, the idea of wu jen taboos seems like a potentially cool way to give some flavor to magic-user types. So I think that this is worth considering as a house rule for the campaign. However, the original OA rules have only ten suggestions. To help characters have more options to build off, here is my d30-powered list of some options:

  1. Can't eat meat or animal products (milk, cheese, etc.)
  2. Cannot eat plant products (vegetables, fruit, grain.)
  3. Cannot touch the same sex.
  4. Cannot touch the opposite sex.
  5. Can't sleep within 20 yards of the opposite sex.
  6. Can't wear a certain color.
  7. Must dress only in a certain color.
  8. Must shun clothing, wearing the minimum required.
  9. Must hide flesh, wearing clothing that conceals as much as possible.
  10. Must cross-dress.
  11. Can't carry gold or precious metals on his or her person.
  12. Can't bathe (alternately, must bathe frequently.)
  13. Can't cut hair or fingernails.
  14. Can't drink alcoholic beverages.
  15. Can't sit facing a particular cardinal direction.
  16. Can't intentionally take the life of (roll d6) 1-2 = insects, 3 = arachnids, 4 = lizards, 5 = snakes, 6 = birds
  17. Can't speak after sunset (except to cast spells).
  18. Must remain both celibate and chaste.
  19. Must speak in proverbs.
  20. Must speak in rhymed couplets.
  21. Cannot speak in first person.
  22. Cannot touch the dead.
  23. May not breathe near the dead.
  24. Cannot light a fire.
  25. Cannot have more treasure than is able to carry.
  26. Must make a daily offering to one or more spirit powers.
  27. Must exit any building the same way it was entered.
  28. Cannot sit directly on earth or stone.
  29. May not follow in another's footsteps.
  30. May not see oneself in a mirror.