I was in an Italian deli / sub shop today, grabbing lunch for myself and a crew of people. So, I was standing there waiting for sandwiches to be made for about 15 or 20 minutes.
That 80's classic "99 Luftballons" song by Nena came on the radio. Obviously, I know the English version, too - "99 Red Balloons". Undistracted, I really listened to the song - even though I couldn't understand anything other than "luftballons", which means air-balloons, basically. You gotta get those syllables where you can.
Anyways, I decided to actually read the lyrics online just a few minutes ago. I was shocked to find a deeper message than just watching a bunch of balloons (probably red) floating up in the sky.
Apparently, the idea for the song came from the guitarist who noticed balloons being released into the air. As he watched them move toward the horizon, shifting and changing shapes like an alien spacecraft, he wondered what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet sector.
So, I decided to come up with a spell tribute. Even though I earmarked this for Crimson Dragon Slayer (even the album came out in 1983!), I believe any OSR game worth its salt could find this usable.
99 Crimson Balloons
Also known as 99 blood balloons or spheres of blood, this spell of the fourth level was crafted by the bloodlust sorcerer Chang Xikurr during his time imprisoned in the ultra-zone.
Upon casting this spell, the wizard summons exactly 99 spheres filled with a dark red substance - they are actually filled with blood... demon blood! The spheres rise into the air quickly and burst soon after (the very next round).
The blood's effect lasts 3d6 rounds. Mechanically speaking, those sloshed with infernal gore receive an extra attack each round - but only if the player describes his character's violent escapades graphically.
After the bloodlust has subsided, there's a period (2d4 rounds) of wistful reflection where nothing but moping around and gentle weeping can be accomplished.
If you like this, use it and tell us what happened!