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Obsidian and Drawback of Magic


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Black and glassy in appearance, Obsidian is a highly active grounded substance found in a number of Volcanic terrains. Miners note the crystal-like material with its fragile handling. For this reason, it is impossible to craft into armor, weapons and cannot be used as a grand building material- but with the right tools, much care, and a long time, one can successfully mine a reasonable chunk of it. Near the material, though- many magical users, arcane and divine, will find it a bit harder to call upon their abilities. Active enchantments and spells are brushed off near a specific range, but spells which actively mis-align against it will backfire on the caster. A spell to shatter Obsidian, for example, would likely rend the caster immobile as it backfires, whereas a spell to light obsidian on fire would have no effect whatsoever, and a spell to increase the strength of obsidian would incur a result beyond the caster's ability.

The origins of Obsidian are obvious, but how it's begun to show signs of recoiling and preventing against arcane and divine magic can date back to the time a shade of purple light started to linger upon the landscape. A phenomenon occurred upon the world where the remnants of arcane and divine magic in the air conflicted with the material for months afterwards, forging its new purpose.

With correct study and application, it is feasible that someone could either utilize Obsidian for nullifying properties in the walls of a fortress or city to provide a barrier against magical attack or even to provide a magic-dampened room within said fortress or city. Albeit the greater the distance between the magic user and the mineral/rock itself, the lesser the effect. Only active spells cast in its sphere are effected. Passive spells can be carried into the sphere without nullification, unless they are triggered to be used inside.

Only those actively interacting near Obsidian in the following setting are able to have an inkling of its abilities:

D20 Modifiers Against Arcane & Divine Magic Users

At least 9 cubic meters (9 MC Blocks) of Obsidian is required to have enough cumulative effect against a person with magical abilities. When this quantity is reached, the following modifiers are taken into account.

+This does /not/ stack if more than 9 blocks are placed.
+If someone is 20 blocks away from one set of 9, but within e.g. 10 of another, they will take the -4 penalty from the closer set, but not extra -2 from the 20-distance set.)
Over 30 blocks away: -1

Over 20 blocks distance from a source: -2
Over 15 blocks: -3
Over 10 blocks: -4
Five or Less: -5
Spell is Targeted Directly at the Rock: -10

(Note from Solus: If I see anyone making obsidian fortresses, raw, I will kick y'all. These are not meant to be materials for building, but decoration-al, hence why its limited to 9 blocks held together with a lengthy range).
Warwolf For the Modifiers and write up
Jstar for the idea and proposal with Warwolf
Ced Solus Archbishop for the review, major edits and fixer upper for Lore.
Naelwyn Faelin For original lore
Last edited:


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+I'll maintain that passive spells aren't effected and can carry into the sphere without issue unless they're triggered into activity in the open.


Non sum qualis eram

Naelwyn's minor immersion and integration suggestion for future events & interesting happenings:

Make this also apply to "The blood of the earth" AKA Lava / Magma in addition to Obsidian. There are reasons this makes sense logistically while also making the Nether much more dangerous to magicians.

(Mfw I don't get the original credit for Obsidian having anti-magic properties.)


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bodejodel nyet

Naelwyn (Added credit) And we've explored terrains having negative effects spells once- may do so again. Additional lava would have been interesting.

Some people raised Q's about spells that don't require rolls at all- as mentioned, passive spells won't be effected unless they end up activated (like a glowing spell cast before entering obsidian range will be fine, but a spell that needs to be triggered needs to submit to the modifiers). But I'll be raising the first bit about non-rolling spells and get back to people with an additional update in mind to word things better.