Despite its relatively tame-sounding name, phase sickness is a debilitating disease that can affect any living or dead creature from any of the realms. Though the exact cause is not known, it is thought to be closely related to the events of the Joining. However, research suggests phase sickness has existed for perhaps hundreds of years prior to the more recent event.
The first telltale sign of phase sickness can often be mistaken for bad hearing. The afflicted individual will hear something, and though what exactly they hear varies from person to person-- ranging from soft humming to gibberish to strangled sentences-- there is always a strange sense of distress accompanying the noise.
Anywhere from several days to several hours after hearing the sounds, the afflicted individuals will experience a sudden surge in magical power. Even those who have never been able to control magic suddenly find themselves able to perform minor spells. Oftentimes, the individual may become unable to fully contain their magic, and magic-related accidents among those with phase sickness are far from uncommon.
Roughly a week after hearing the noises, the most well-known symptom of phase sickness begins: a phenomenon most commonly referred to as phasing. While the Joining is slowly unifying the realms in various places, those who are phasing are never fully in any one realm, united or not. Phasing individuals are in a constant state of realm shifting. One moment they may be in the Joined Realm, and the next, they may find themselves in one of the other realms. When this happens, they will simply disappear for the duration of being outside the Joined Realm.
The amount of time spent phased is directly correlated to the amount of time an individual has had phase sickness. The longer they have been afflicted with the disease, the longer their phasing lasts. While someone who has only been sick for a month may only briefly flicker in and out, those who have had phase sickness for much longer seem to blink out of existence for days at a time.
Phase sickness does not appear to be contagious. However, it does seem to be more common in the magically inclined. A cure for phase sickness, whether medicinal or magical, has yet to be found, though rumors persist of an antidote being in the works.
Any of the races may become infected with phase sickness. A character's size, abilities, and class do not change; however, their base speed is affected (see below). Infection does not need to occur at character creation, and characters may be infected during a campaign.
Must have been exposed to magic within three days of contracting phase sickness.
Those infected with phase sickness flicker briefly from realm to realm. Because of their tendency to shift realms unpredictably, they must be careful not to stumble over ever-changing terrain. Characters with phase sickness have their base speed reduced by 10ft.
In addition, a character infected with phase sickness may focus their energy to force a shift in realms. Using this ability, they may effectively teleport up to two times their movement speed as a move action, ignoring all obstacles and difficult terrain. They may not take another living creature with them, though they may teleport with any objects they are carrying. This can be done a number of times per day equal to half their level (minimum 1). The strain from forcing this shift inflicts 1d6 points of damage.
Stranger in a Strange RealmEdit
Characters afflicted with phase sickness are not always in control of the realm they are in, and phasing can be dangerous. Those with phase sickness must make a Fortitude save several times per day, the number increasing as their level increases. If they succeed the save, they are able to avoid shifting realms. However, if the save is failed, the character phases against their will, making it difficult to interact with other creatures. A phased character takes a penalty to all interactions with unphased creatures. For 1d3 rounds, they must roll twice when interacting with other creatures, and take the worse result.
These Fortitude saves are made at the DM's discretion.
Oddly, those who have contracted phase sickess receive a boost in magical prowess, even if they are not magically inclined. Classes who do not normally have the ability to cast spells gain unlimited uses per day of all 0th-level spells from the bard spell list.
Classes who are able to cast spells find that they are capable of casting spells beyond their usual power. Spellcasters gain one extra spell slot per day of a level one higher than what they are normally able to cast. For example, if a bard is able to cast 0th and 1st level spells, when infected with phase sickness they will also be able to cast one 2nd level spell per day. If the caster is already capable of casting their max level spells, they gain one extra spell slot of their max level spell per day.