Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Level 6 Magic Spells: The Limits of Common Knowledge

Maybe you can tell from my last post I was kind of getting tired of the idea that all the high-level spells should be codified and splatted out there for all players to see and figure out from day one. It's the same kind of instinct that makes me loathe the "Deities & Demigods" approach to divine power. If everything can be reduced to a known stat block, then everything can be munchkinized, starring now at a delayed-adolescent power trip near you. Power and knowledge should not translate to omnipotence or omniscience, at any level of viable play.

In other words - let's see more of the approach taken by the 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide, when it presented the abilities of its legendary artifacts as blanks, waiting to be filled in idiosyncratically for each campaign.

Anyway, the comments gave me some neat ideas for how to suggest designing magical schools and societies. And this makes me realize that the most helpful thing I can do is provide tools for people to customize, rather than dictate how everything works exactly, because magic systems are so inevitably tied up with a GM's own ideas about the setting.

And now, the last spells you learned about in any kind of detail from your classes at wizard school.

1
Chain Lightning
Red
30’
None
(Dex)
12d6 damage, drop 1’s and damage another in 30’, etc.; save for half damage
2
Force Field
Blue
90’
1 day
None
Creates up to 60 sq. ft. of invisible, invincible wall in any shape
3
Legend Lore
Orange
0
0
None
Reveals history of item or place at hand
4
Hand of Doom
Blue
90’
1 hr
None
Creates 6’ floating hand to block, hit or crush foes for 4d10 damage
5
Major Summoning
Silver
90’
1 day
None
Summons 1 monster of  7th level, or two 6th level monsters.
6
Meteor Swarm
Red
90’
3 rds
(Dex)
Creates 4 6d6 damage fireballs, each 40’ radius; save for half damage
7
Petrification
Yellow
30’
Perm
(Con)
Turns living being to stone or reverses petrification
8
Plane Walk
Silver
3’
None
None
Caster takes self and up to 5 other beings to another plane
9
Power Word (+)
Gray
90’
-
-
Adding 2 to spell’s level, a spell effect originally on 1-3 beings affects all within 60’ arc.
10
Reverse Gravity
Yellow
0
1 hr
None
Things fall up, up to 100’ square; damage = 1d6 / 10’ fallen, max. 10d6
11
True Seeing
Orange
Sight
3 min
None
Cuts through all visual illusion and concealment
12
Perfect Disguise
Purple
0
1 day
None
Perfectly duplicates appearance, garb, voice, manner of known person

As you gain character levels past, um, whatever level your version of the rules has you learn your first 6th level spell at, you still gain spell slots at level 7, 8 and so on. But those are just so you can memorize powered-up versions of level 6 and below spells, using the Gray School booster effects. New spells at those rarefied levels are not so easy to gain ...

1 comment:

  1. I like that idea... very very flavorful...

    ReplyDelete