Magical Mondays: Spells for the Discerning Enchanter   Leave a comment

For this week’s Magical Mondays, I’d like to offer a few spells. These spells should be suitable for anyone playing a Pathfinder, D&D 3.5, or other similar d20 OGL fantasy game. Specifically, these spells are for the Discerning Enchanter, a series of spells catalogued by the mage’s college of Thandal Henge for those specializing wizards who have developed other spells outside of the normal. Even more specifically, these spells were developed (or at times discovered and documented) by Haselar Charl, one of Thandal Henge’s chief researchers into enchantment. While there is always some risk when using unknown enchantment spells, these spells all bear Thandal Henge’s seal of approval. The land of Cantadel has many similar spells, though much of the art of enchantment is known only to the fair folk and the bards who throw themselves into such studies.

 

Haselar’s Placebo
School Enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]; Level Bard 0, Sorcerer/Wizard 0, Witch 0
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/F (see text)
Range touch
Targets one willing living creature, plus one per three levels to a maximum of five
Duration 1 hour per level (D)
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance no
The caster uses magically-enhanced suggestions to make a target believe, on some level, that a material component or focus item will grant resistence to some physical or mental malady. The target gains a +1 morale bonus to an expected Fortitude or Will save in the near future, such as to an impending effect from poison or disease. The material component (such as a cup of warm milk or harmless pinch of flour) or focus item (such as a holy symbol placed on the target’s head or a packet filled with mustard seeds worn around the neck) is not actually magical; however, the spell allows the target to believe the dubious claim enough to grant the boost to morale. The morale bonus increases to +2 at level 5 and +3 at level 10.
Any other morale, alchemical or circumtance bonus does not stack with this spell. (For instance, a +1 morale bonus granted by this spell would be completely nullified by a paladin’s Aura of Courage against a fear effect. However, a +3 morale bonus granted by this spell at level 10 would override a +2 circumstance bonus against poison granted by a Heal check assisted by a medical kit (or looked at another way, the user of this kit would gain a +3 bonus instead of the usual +2 bonus when making a Heal check in the place of the patient’s Fortitude save against the poison effect.) Any Fortitude or Will save encountered before the duration of Haselar’s Placebo ends will end the spell prematurely even if the benefit from the Placebo spell isn’t used.

Devil’s Advocate
School Enchantment (Charm) [mind-affecting] [language dependant]; Level Bard 1, Sorcerer/Wizard 1, Witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one living creature with an attitude of indifferent or greater toward the caster
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw no; Spell Resistance yes
The favorite spell of many an evil advisor who wants to steer a king in a certain direction, this spell makes the words of everyone but the caster seem flawed, illogical, or untrue. While the actual opinion about others might not change, it becomes harder for others to convince the spell’s target of anything (and easier for the target to lose standing.) In order to improve the attitude of a target of this spell through a Diplomacy check, the check results needed are as if the target was one category more hostile toward the speaker (unless the speaker is the caster of the spell.) For example, the DC to improve the attitude of an Unfriendly NPC would be increased as if the target was Hostile. An NPC who begins as hostile has the DC to influence its attitude increased by 5.
(When using Pathfinder rules, Diplomacy DC modifiers for making a Request of a person increase by 5.)
The verbal component of the spell consists not of magical words and phrases, but instead is comprised of comforting statements, reassurances, and reminders of all the ways that the caster supports the target of the spell. The spell automatically fails if cast at a target with an attitude of unfriendly or hostile.
As a final benefit of the spell, the caster gains a +2 enhancement bonus on Diplomacy checks made to influence an NPC.
(If you play with the houserule that social skills can affect PCs as well as NPCs, this spell will provide the same bonuses against PCs.)

Lizard Lackey
School Enchantment (Charm) [mind affecting]; Level Sorcerer/Wizard 2
Casting Time 1 full round
Components V, S, M
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Area Multiple targets, no two of whom can be more than thirty feet apart
Targets Humanoids with the lizard subtype, up to one HD per class level
Duration Instantaneous
Saving Throw yes; Spell Resistance yes
This spell improves the attitude of one or more humanoids with the lizard subtype to helpful. The targets become loyal and willing to help the caster, even to the point of taking great risks. The spell grants no direct control over the target, and the target will likely disobey an obviously suicidal command, though a target may be willing to take incredible risks such as fighting an obviously superior foe while the caster escapes.
The target remains loyal and helpful to the caster as long as its attitude remains helpful or friendly. Poor treatment by the caster may cause the target’s attitude to drop as it would any other NPC.
There are rumors that this spell occasionally works on goblinoids. While the relative scarcity of goblinoids has prevented Thandal Henge from testing regularly, field studies have indicated that this is not the case. It may simply be an equivalent spell discovered by other enchanters. Similarly, rumors of variations on this spell that effect humans, elves and orcs exist, but may simply be urban legends intended to frighten. However, research into spells of that type has often quickly, and mysteriously, been stopped.
Finally, researchers have not yet determined how villainous casters of this spell seem to get away with browbeating, insulting, and sometimes physically attacking targets of this spell without the attitudes dropping again. It could be a stronger variation of the spell, or it might be the result of multiple castings. The bizarre possibility remains that these villainous spell casters might simply be very diplomatic, or capable of bribing or threatening minions without the use of magic. Stranger things have happened, after all.

Fairy Field
School Enchantment (Charm)[mind affecting] [language dependant]; Level bard 2; sorcerer/wizard 3
Casting Time 1 minute
Components V, S
Range personal
Effect gain a miss chance equal to ten times the caster’s Charisma modifier
Duration 10 min./level
Saving Throw yes; Spell Resistance yes
Calling upon the powers of the fair folk, this spell causes adversaries to see the caster as a dear friend, surprisingly beautiful figure, pitiable entity or other sort of person who should not be attacked even though they may know better. People attacking the caster of this spell who fail a saving throw have a chance of missing the caster equal to ten times the caster’s Charisma modifier (to a maximum of 50% with a Charisma of 20.) Those who fail the saving throw suffer the miss chance for the duration of the spell, while those who succeed can shake off the charming effect and don’t need to roll again on subsequent rounds.
The spell is only effective against creatures of the caster’s type or who resemble creatures of the caster’s type (a doppleganger could gain this benefit against a human, for instance). It is similarly only effective if the attackers are capable of seeing or hearing the caster (though in the latter case, the caster will need to speak every round for the enchantment to remain effective.)

 

Haselar Charl and the rest of the department of enchantment believes that this taste of the enchanter’s art will be sufficient to attract potential enchantment students to declare their specialization early on in their career at Thandal Henge. Your average enchanter focuses on the ability to case Charm Person, Hypnotize crowds or otherwise Fascinate multitudes, but there are, as you can see, more options.

Since you don’t play in the Cantadel setting at home and likely don’t use Thandal Henge (though feel free to include it in a game if you need a quick name for a college of wizardry and magical research), the contributions of Haselar Charl aren’t as important as the spells themselves. I created these spells (and then wrote them into Haselar’s history) to create some interesting spells for players to find in the spellbooks of enchanters because there’s very little that a player enjoys more than a new magical toy.

More to the point, each of these spells also represents something that I could see an enchanter doing in a story that wasn’t yet covered by the rules. The Placebo Effect is a real-life phenomenon and this magically enhanced one called Haselar’s Placebo is stronger than the real world’s by a notable amount; the ability to persuade someone that they are getting better echoes the illusionist’s ability to persuade people that they’re getting worse. The Devil’s Advocate spell is my personal tribute to Wormtongue from Lord Of The Rings, and every evil advisor who’s ever poisoned their boss against other people. Lizard Lackey is simply an explanation for how evil spellcasters manage to get their gangs of surprisingly loyal minions (and the presence of other versions of this spell is a terrifying thought that could easily make people fear the abilities of enchanters. Are you their friend because you like them, or because they made you like them?) Finally, Fairy Field is a the ability for an enchanter to gain such a beguiling personality that other people don’t want to harm them (and it’s easier for Bard’s. “You wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses, would you?”)
If you’re a player, feel free to use these spells, but make sure to get your GM’s permission first. A new spell can upset an evening’s gameplay significantly.

That’s all for this week’s Magical Mondays. As a final note: I’m considering changing Magical Mondays to a different article called Monstrous Mondays. While I love discussing magic, the topic is so wide and varied that I always feel a bit overwhelmed when I sit down to think about what I’m going to write in a given week. I may be fooling myself when I think this, but it seems that monsters would be a narrower focus. There may be some overlap as I consider this concept: some of my monster ideas definitely fall in the scope of magical discussion.

I’m also considering dropping the monday article in favor of creating free content for GMs on Thursdays (the night before weekend gaming would begin for many gamers out there.) It would, after all, be very easy to create a self-contained adventure that demonstrates some of the concepts in Magical Mondays without just talking about them like they’re far-off topics. Plus, it would make it easier for me to provide material for games that don’t come up in magic-related topics. Cosmic Patrol and Adventure! have both snuck into my talks here, for instance, and make scenarios for systems like that might be a fun variation for a week.

This is all a bit in the future, though. For now, prepare to see Magical Mondays again next week here at Crater Labs.

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