Boil and Bubble: The Power of the Soul

Recently a poster on the forums asked:

“I was wondering how someone would model soul stealing spells and creating soul gems (that function basically the same way as Mana-stones). I don’t see any spells, besides maybe soul jar, that represent ripping the soul of of a being and converting its energy into a Mana-stone.
I was also wondering how damage to someone’s soul would be modeled. Maybe direct damage to their Will rather than HP or FP with 0 Will resulting in instant dead with no chance of resurrection?
And finally, could such a soul stone function like a dedicated mana-stone that only recharges based on soul damage that is dealt?”

 Well that’s an interesting series of questions, isn’t it? As someone who has toyed around with the value of souls before I felt obligated to weigh in on this.

Soul Furnace (VH)


A Soul Furnace is a Powerstone that is powered by the soul trapped within it. Use all normal Powerstone rules (limits by value, etc.), except that a Soul Furnace does not recharge its power normally. Instead, each Furnace contains a trapped soul (usually via Soul Jar or some other necromantic spell) that provides power to its bearer. No Soul Furnace may supply FP higher than the trapped spirit’s Will+IQ; multiply this value by 1.5 if the soul possesses Magery 0, by 2 for Magery 1, by 2.5 for Magery 2, and so on. Those with FP (Magic only) or ER (Magic) add this value to Will and IQ before taking Magery into account. Soul Furnace’s recharge at a rate equal to the trapped soul’s Will/5 per hour. Mana Zones have no effect on this rate and multiple Soul Furnaces can recharge near one another without ill effect. As long as the bearer takes no more than total FP/10 in one use, the Soul Furnace can indefinitely supply power (but see below). If this limit is exceeded, make a roll against the trapped soul’s Will (plus Magery) at -1 per each 1/10th FP used (round up), Success reduces the Soul Furance’s FP by 1, failure reduces it by 2, and critical failure reduces it by the margin of failure. A critical success means no loss…this time.

For example, if a Soul Furnace had a value of 30 (Will 15, IQ 15), then it could provide up to 3 FP to its bearer for a single casting. If 9 FP were drawn from one casting then an immediate Will-3 roll would have to be made, with the usual results.
Soul Furnaces have no effect on the recharge rate of nearby Powerstones. Trapped souls prevent resurrection while imprisoned – destroy the Furnace first to free the jailed spirit!
Energy cost to cast: 50. Each casting primes a object for accepting a captured soul (this requires its own roll with another spell or means of spirit capture!)
Prerequisite: Magery 3, Enchant, and Soul Jar.

Picking Over the Bones

I’m sure the concept could be easily applied across multiple masgic systems that feature powerstones or the like (heck, you could easily convert the rules over to Ritual Path Magic Mana Batteries). Of course, the social implications of such magic might lead to all sorts of problems. Mages will especially become paranoid because their souls both last longer and have larger reserves of power. Soul Furnaces might quickly become outlawed as callous wizards hunt their own kind down for more and more power.
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