Thursday, June 27, 2013

First level spells, 21 - 41

Quick post as I have some building to do in the shed tonight, and it's freezing out there...

More Spells;

21. Shield - an almost transparent shield (normal shield size) appears floating in front of the caster and protects them as a normal shield for the duration of the spell. 

22. Doze - not as powerful as the ubiquitous sleep, this spell makes a sleepy, bored or inactive target fall into a natural sleep. Not for felling a room full of goblins, but for sneaking past the lone guard.

23. Break - allows the caster to attempt to break a fragile object within about 4m. Objects include glasses, potion bottles, crystal ornaments, thin windows, etc. If being held by a person, need to overcome their magical defence.

"And, bang, there went his last healing potion..."

24. Telekinesis - anything that could be lifted and carried in one hand (caster's hand) can be slowly moved and manipulated within 4m, but with little strength. Turning a key might be about it. Stabbing someone with a knife - not unless it's really really sharp...

25. Slithery Rope - provided the caster is hanging onto one hand, the rest of the rope (max 20m) can slither along floors, through gaps, and up walls, and tie loose knots. It can't rise up through thin air, and can't tie anyone awake up. Can form trip ropes, though.

26. Paresthesia - a sensation of tickling, tingling, or burning of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect. Gives the caster a touch attack, doing 1d6 temporary damage with each attack to a target, leaving them needing a good night's sleep to recover fully.

27. Temere - this enchantment emboldens the target, making them act more rashly and foolhardy. Useful on the party's thief...

28. Moonglow - another light source, this one creates a soft glow within a 5m radius.

29. Dig - allows the caster, by making shovelling gestures, to move 1 cubic metre of dirt, soil, muck, etc in 1 minute. Multiple castings needed to dig a moat.

30. Dazzle - bright flash blinds all looking in the direction of the caster within about 10m. Clever parties use a code word to remind them to NOT look at the mage.

31. Grease - coats 4 square metres of ground, a person, an object, a pig, etc with a thin layer of slippery grease. Produces hilarity all around. The grease evaporates when the spell expires.

"We're running because her spell missed and hit the King's saddle, while he was in it"...

32. Ice Darts - three of them, that can be thrown in one round at one target. 1d4 damage each, but if all three do damage, the target must roll under STR on d20 or take another d6 damage and be frozen until they make the STR roll.

33. Phantom Mail - a ghostly shimmering armour coat surrounds the caster, and absorbs 2d6 damage of physical damage before fading.

34. Preserve Dead - this spell affects one dead body, and ensures that it will not rise as undead in the next month. Useful in certain circumstances. Also does 2d6 damage to any lesser undead (zombie, ghoul - not skeletons - doesn't work on bones).

35. Prestidigitation - quick fingers, sleight of hand. Allows the caster to manipulate small objects such as coins, cards, rings secretly. Great for card sharks...

36. Fumble - target takes a pratfall, juggles what they are holding, etc - if in a dangerous situation where dropping what they hold could cause drastic problems, they can avoid it, but be distracted for a round, by rolling under DEX on d20, but failing this may involve a trip to any fumble table you have lying around.

37. Protection - yet another armour-for-mages spell. This one gives +2 to their Armour Factor for the spell's duration.

38. Warm - protects the target from the effects of natural cold. Will bring them up to a safe temperature from moderate hypothermia, but as it doesn't last that long, other measures really need to be taken if you're in the Arctic...

39. Cool - protects from overindulgence concerning natural heat, like a reserve of the spell above. Same, can cure the effects of heatstroke, but they will get it again if subjected to the same conditions.

40. Sate - allows the caster to ignore the effects of a day without food or water. They are still in serious trouble and will weaken and die without water after a few days, but this allows them to avoid feeling hungry or thirsty.

41. Push - a light force, like a firm but gentle push, on a target or object within 10m. Useful if Hozal the Necromage, your sworn enemy, happens to be leaning out a high window when you see her.

That's all for now, but stay warm (or cool), where-ever you are.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Magic, or at least, 1st level.

So, not dead, again, but work is taking me plenty of places and the end of summer is busy with gardening and fruit.

And I've been finally reading through the large collection of random RPG papers and pdfs I have stashed away.  Finally bought all of the Fight On! magazines, and printed off some of the old 1st Ed pdfs I bought from the wizards site, just before they pulled them the first time.

One of the things I started on was working out a coherent yet mystical magical system.  Challenging, but none of the systems I've used before have satisfied me entirely. Mainly either too few or too many spells, and everyone gravitates towards the impressive ones (sleep, anyone?). And the gotta-catch-em-all exponential increase of Rolemaster...

So I've developed a quick and dirty list of 100 first level spells (well, 103 so far, due to inspiration striking a little too late). Nothing overpowering or game changing, I hope. Each first level mage gets three upon starting, all the result of a d100 - probably roll six times and take the three most desirable.

The number of spells the aspiring mage can learn at each level is dependent on their Psychic Talent. This 3-18 stat is nothing like D&D's wisdom - it's more of a psychic awareness or sensitivity, and the Dragon Warriors mailing list has been discussing how to play a character with a really low (or high) PT. recently. Somewhere between 4 and 7, although 7 needs superhuman stats, so not for 1st levels.  Intelligence gives the chance of learning a new spell from its tome, from 50% to 90%. I possibly got this idea from something I read in Holmes, or at least one of the old D&D rulebooks. So two stats give how many you can learn and how easy to learn.

Spells are complicated little beasties - the manipulation of energies and other dimensions requires diagrams, equations, poetic phrasing and goodness knows what else, so the instructions how to cast a spell take up a book about the size of a text book - a large text book. It takes a week of studying at home, or two weeks studying every night while adventuring, to learn, and at the end, the roll to learn is made. Tough but them's the breaks. Add extra time without a teacher, for difficult or obscure texts or spells, and unsuitable study conditions.

And I don't use Vancean magic - once you know a spell, you can cast it until you're sick of it. Or, usually, till you run out of power. That's one reason why it takes a while to learn it.

Anyway, here's the first 20. More later

1. Detect Enchantments - any active magic within a few metres will be apparent to the caster. Not passive things like enchanted items unless they are doing there thing at the time.

"So if YOU didn't cast a spell just now, and YOU didn't either, and you haven't drawn that dagger, then what's THAT?"

2. Glow - the next object touched by the caster glows softly until the next sunrise.

"Next time, don't cast it with an itchy nose..."

3. Change Aura - alters the way you are detected magically

"No" said the Elven Seer, "those are not the druids you are looking for"...

4. Flame - gout of flame to engulf (and slightly burn) an opponent.


5. Lock - causes an ordinary lock to lock itself. Infinitely reversible.

 "If cast multiple times, the mage may forget whether the door is locked or not." The Nosgoan Text, verse 4:16:2

6. Weakness - target is at -2 to STR and all physical actions.

 "The trick was catching him lifting that anvil above his head"

7. Detect Undead - Can detect all the creepy little (and big) things in sight.

"That one's dead, that one's dead, that one's... RUN"

8. Mist Armour - appears as some sort of cloak around target. Absorbs 2-5 damage from magical attacks then vanishes.

"Higgins - the idea of the spell is to both provide protection, and let your opponent know you are warded. So I suggest you practise a form for the spell that does NOT resemble a feather boa"

9. Symbol of Watching - glyph placed on solid surface. Anyone passing causes a mental alarm to disturb or wake the caster, who must remain within 20m of it. Can cause restless nights if misplaced.

"Tonight, let me know where the guard is patrolling. Didn't sleep longer than 15 minutes at a time last night..."

10. Phlogiston Dagger - blade of fire that can be wielded as a +1 dagger or thrown at +3.

"How was I to know it was an oil warehouse?"

11. Presence - subtle aura makes the target seem more impressive. +2 to charisma.

"This time, I'm making sure his singing gets us free beer."

12. Eye of the Eagle - extra sensitive sight. +2 to perception.

"It's impressive that you can see those bandits, but did you know it makes your eyes glow funny?"

14. Legerdemain (stolen from Fight On!) - any one object carried or worn (within reason) is invisible.

"No, you cannot 'wear' the horse..."

15. Replica - target appears as a copy of a person that is within the sight of the caster

 "I'm sure I was talking to you just a moment ago, your Majesty."

16. Shadow - target appears as in shadow, and gets +4 to stealth, more if really shadowy.

"Thom, don't look now, but I think that shadow is watching us."

17. Suggestion - gives +2 to one attempt to convince or lie to someone.

"You ARE attracted to one-eyed, short, ugly..."

18. Desalinate - removes basic impurities from a litre of water (i.e. makes it drinkable.) Can be reversed. Does not purify the liquid, only just does enough to make it drinkable.

 "I know it won't kill me, but it tastes disgusting..."

19. Frost - coats all surfaces within a few metres with a chilling, slippery frost.

 "And that's how we kept the meat so fresh..."

20. Glyph - leaves an invisible mystical mark that contains a short message. To read, must cast this spell on it.

"Oh, very mature..."

More next time - 83 more to work through...