Saturday, May 15, 2010

OD&D Magic Champions Style Part 1

On to the task...

What follows is a rough draft for categorizing all of the spells that exist in OD&D according to Men & Magic. The spell level is listed after the spell name with Magic Users spells in ( ) and Cleric Spells in [ ]. I am assuming that shorter lists will be easier to break down mechanically, so some of these lists (Change Environment, for example) may have to be revised. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


Hold Portal (1)
Wizard Lock (2)
Wall of Fire (4)
Wall of Ice (4)
Wall of Stone (5)
Wall of Iron (5)


Protection from Evil (1)[1]
Bless [2]
Haste/Slow (3)
Protection from Evil 10'r. (3)[3]
Protection from Normal Missiles (3)


Light (1)[1]
Purify Food & Water [1]
Continual Light (2)[3]
Water Breathing (3)
Create Water [4]
Create Food [5]
Transmute Rock to Mud (5)
Cloudkill (5)
Lower Water (6)
Part Water (6)
Move Earth (6)
Control Weather (6)


Read Magic (1)
Read Languages (1)
ESP (2)
Speak with Animals [2]
Speak with Plants [4]
Commune [5]
Contact Higher Plane (5)


Conjure Elemental (5)
Insect Plague [5]
Invisible Stalker (6)


Fireball (3)
Lightning Bolt (3)


Detect Magic (1) [1]
Detect Invisible (2)
Locate Object (2) [3]
Detect Evil (2) [1]
Find Traps [2]
Clairvoyance (3)
Clairaudience (3)
Infravision (3)
Wizard Eye (4)


Knock (2)
Dispel Magic (3)
Dispel Evil [5]
Anti-Magic Shell (6)


Charm Person (1)
Confusion (4)
Charm Monster (4)
Feeblemind (5)
Quest [5]
Geas (6)


Cure Light Wounds [1]
Remove Curse (4)[3]
Cure Disease [3]
Neutralize Poison [4]
Cure Serious Wounds [4]
Raise Dead [5]


Phantasmal Forces (2)
Invisibility (2)
Invisibility 10'r. (3)
Massmorph (4)
Hallucinatory Terrain (4)
Projected Image (6)


Sleep (1)
Hold Person (3)[2]
Hold Monster (5)


Animate Dead (5)
Magic Jar (5)
Reincarnation (6)
Death Spell (6)


Levitate (2)
Fly (3)
Telekinesis (5)


DImension Door (4)
Teleport (5)
Pass-Wall (5)


Polymorph Self (4)
Polymorph Other (4)
Plant Growth (4)
Turn Sticks to Snakes [4]
Animal Growth (5)
Stone to Flesh (6)
Disintegrate (6)


  1. Just a few things that jump out at me, mostly with the aim of reducing the number of categories with small numbers of spells:

    1. I see incapacitation as a weaker form of charm effect, both affecting the ability of a whole creature to act in its interests. It's a fairly linear ramping up of power from robbing a monster of action (hold/sleep), to having it act randomly (confusion), to having it act for you (charm). Your putting the incapacitating spell Feeblemind under enchantment seems to speak to this basic identity.

    2. Likewise I see the function of fly and levitate as similar to the teleport spell, all allowing improved travel and movement, and varying as to whether gravity, inertia, and/or solid barriers are ignored. Telekinesis makes more sense as a way to affect the environment.

    3. Necromancy is a thematic category, but for your purposes I think you want to focus on the function of each spell. In that case animate dead works as a summoning, magic jar and death spell are incapacitation/enchantment, and reincarnation is maybe a combination of healing and transformation.

  2. Roger,
    Thanks for the suggestions. As I said, this is a rough draft.

    Mainly for personal reasons, I want to stick to OD&D Men & Magic. I am interested as to how far I can push that particular ruleset in this direction.

  3. Sorry I meant what edition of champions are you getting the rules from.

  4. Rob,

    All my experience with Champions is with 1st-3rd edition; however, I don't really intend to borrow a whole lot mechanically from Champions. I am interested in using their approach to superpowers. I have long admired how Champions uses a simple game mechanic to represent a huge variety of special effects. Using the OD&D spell list as a starting point, I want to do the same thing with magic in D&D.