Classic Dungeons and Dragons and Old School Gaming

D&D etc.


"Heir to a crumbling summit: to a sea of nettles: to an empire of rust: to rituals' footprints ankle-deep in stone."

-Mervyn Peake

"...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped."

-Sir Bedevere in Monty Python and the Holy Grail



Sunday, September 13, 2015

Back to the Ol' Magic Word Rodeo

I've been thinking some more about magic words.

Over at d4 Caltrops there are a couple of lists of words - one from standard spell lists and one list of "weird" words.  Adding the weird word list is a really nice touch.  I like how one word like "Fungal" can tilt a Magic-Users spellbook in a whole new direction.

LS's idea to incorporate these magic word combinations by allowing a M-U PC to propose one new spell at the end of each session is pretty much perfect as is.  At character generation you can choose or roll up spells however you normally would so as to not slow down the char-gen process. The DM can then use the magic words from the d4 Caltrop lists as treasure to add to a wizards repertoire after the game is kicked off.  

The level One spells listed as magic words could look like this:

1
Charm
Person
2
Detect
Magic
3
Floating
Force
4
Hold
Portal
5
Magic
Light
6
Magic
Missile
7
Protect (ion from)
Evil
8
Read
Language
9
Read
Magic
10
Person (al)
Force
11
Magic
Sleep
12
Unseen
Voice

I took Parker's suggestion to make "Ventriloquism" "Unseen Voice" instead, and changed "Disc" to the more generic "Force". The Shield spell is now "Personal Force" (I like this because it draws a connection between those two spells which really seem like the same spell just cast vertically or horizontally and also kinda explains why they are two different spells)

If you did want to give beginning M-U characters the option to use Magic Words in a more free form style but still be limited to the first level spell list you could do it like this:

1
Charm
2
Detect
3
Floating
4
Hold
5
Magic
6
Force
7
Protect (from)
8
Read
9
Portal
10
Person
11
Light
12
Unseen
13
Missile
14
Evil
15
Language
16
Sleep
17
Voice
18
Phantasm
19
Fire
20
Ride

The Moldvay Basic level one spell list has 17 words in it.  I added the last three words based on what I thought looked good from the AD&D and 3e spell lists.  "Ride Phantasm" is what I've renamed the Mount spell. I never really liked the Mount spell, but Ride Phantasm sounds awesome: 


Alternately you could break the words down by the part of speech:

VERB
1
Charm
2
Detect
3
Hold
4
Protection from
5
Read
6
Ride

ADJECTIVE
1
Floating
2
Magic
3
Unseen
4
Phantasmal

NOUN
1
Magic
2
Force
3
Portal
4
Person
5
Light
6
Missile
7
Evil
8
Language
9
Sleep
10
Voice
11
Phantasm
12
Fire







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