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



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

4 YEARS

Happy 4 year Anniversary to me/this place/thing!


Built By Gods Long Forgotten: another place for stupid shit on the internet since 2011.

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







Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Are magic words hiding in your crappy spell lists?


"Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically"
-Sol Lewitt

LS had a cool idea. I liked it enough that I took the spell list for first level Magic-Users from Moldvay and started rearranging. Then today he said magic words are hiding in the dictionary. Of course they are!

But back to Moldvay:

These are color coded:

green = The ones that I think are the most promising, or in other words, that I could actually think of a spell for.

grey = In the book!

Are there great spells in here that I'm missing?

charm
person
In the book!
charm
magic
Counterspell – cast as a quick reaction against an attack spell.  Time slows for the Caster and the spell only. The Caster has 5 seconds to convince the spell to do what he wants, then the DM makes a reaction roll to see what it does.
charm
disc

charm
portal
A door that this spell is cast on will open,shut,lock, or unlock anytime in the future in the presence of the caster or one other person. Permanent.
charm
light

charm
missile

charm
evil

charm
languages
I want this to do something cool but I’m not sure what yet.
charm
shield

charm
sleep
When cast on a person as they go to sleep they will sleep incredibly soundly and either: not wake up until forcibly shaken no matter how long they lay there, or in the morning they’ll gain 1d6 HP.
charm
ventriloquism

detect
person
Caster knows the direction of the target for the duration of the spell.  Must have a personal item of the target.
detect
magic
In the book!
detect
disc
Those wily discs can be hard to find.
Maybe this could be used to find coins?
detect
portal
Find secret doors.
detect
light
If cast while lost in a cave this spell will whisper the direction of the above ground world until the caster finds it.
detect
missile
Caster cannot be surprised attacked with missile weapons. Is dispelled after the first time anyone does try to ambush them.
detect
evil
Caster knows who the bad guys are.
detect
languages

detect
shield

detect
sleep

detect
ventriloquism

floating
person
Kind of a lame levitate spell?
floating
magic
This spell needs a random table to see what it does. 
floating
disc
In the book!
floating
portal
This is where the floating magic comes from.
floating
light

floating
missile
The summoned “missile” hovers at the Magic-User’s shoulder and will strike back at any creature that attacks and hits the magic-user with an equivalent attack. (both roll and damage)
floating
evil
Summons a bad feeling that hangs in the air. A dark cloud. Demon whispers. 120’ range. 30’ diameter area of effect. Everyone effected must make a reaction roll -1 and will be at best grouchy and at worst argumentative or outright physically combative.
floating
languages

floating
shield

floating
sleep

floating
ventriloquism
Like regular ventriloquism, but better because it can move around?
hold
person
In a book, but not the one I used to make this list.
hold
magic
Counterspell - cast as a quick reaction against an attack spell. Both casters are locked in concentration. Neither the attacker nor the caster can move or take any other action until the attacker concedes and cancels the original spell.  Each round both casters can attempt to throw another spell by successfully saving vs. magic - the opponents level.
hold
disc

hold
portal
In the book!
hold
light

hold
missile
Freeze an arrow, spear, etc. in mid-air.
hold
evil

hold
languages

hold
shield

hold
sleep
Target of the spell does not require sleep for a number of days equal to the Caster’s current Hit Points.
hold
ventriloquism

magic
person
Target of spell can punch or otherwise physically interact with creatures that can only be hit by magic weapons, incorporeal creatures, etc.
magic
magic
Yes.
magic
disc

magic
portal

magic
light

magic
missile
In the book!
magic
evil

magic
languages

magic
shield
Ensorcels a mundane shield. +1 per caster level for 1 turn or +1 for number of turns equal to caster level.
It’s a tough call for the Level 1 Magic-User.
magic
sleep

magic
ventriloquism

protection from
person
Creates a magic barrier that prevents any one person from touching or attacking the Caster.
protection from
magic
Sounds handy.
protection from
disc

protection from
portal

protection from
light
The target of this spell may Hide in Shadows as a 9th level Thief (4/6 chance of success) until the next sunset or sunrise.
protection from
missile

protection from
evil
In the book!
protection from
languages
Renders any one intelligent creature dumb as an animal. Make a reaction roll to see if they are helpful, peaceful, skittish, defensive, or aggressive.
protection from
shield

protection from
sleep

protection from
ventriloquism
This spell shouldn’t be allowed because it will encourage power gaming.
read
person

read
disc

read
portal
This spell will provide the Caster with a detailed description of what is on the other side of a magic portal.
read
light

read
missile

read
evil

read
languages
In the book!
read
magic
In the book!
read
shield

read
sleep
Allows you to see what someone is dreaming?
read
ventriloquism


"Ventriloquism" and "Disc" are reeeeally hard to combine with other words to make cool spells. No disrespect to Floating Disc at all, I love that spell, but I just can't fathom how or why you would charm, detect, read or really do any thing to or with a disc.

"Charm", "Magic", "Person", "Protection from", those are way easy to combine with other words and come up with good spells.

This was a fun experiment and in my mind worth it for the counterspells Charm Magic and Hold Magic alone. I would not have thought of those with out this kind of process.