Monday, May 24, 2010

OD&D Magic Champions Style Part 3


The next category is the Illusion Spells. Here are the OD&D spells with their mechanics in ( ):
Phantasmal Forces (Illusion, Duration = Concentration or until touched, Range 24")
Invisibility (Single person invisible (cannot attack), Duration = until broken, Range = 24")
Invisibility 10'r. (Single person invisible (cannot attack), Duration = until broken, Range = 24", Area Effect)
Massmorph (Group of people disguised as trees. Duration = until dispelled, Range = 24" Area Effect)
Hallucinatory Terrain (Illusion, Duration = until dispelled or touched, Range 24", Large Area Effect)
Projected Image (Fully Functional Illusion of Magic User, Spells cast appear to originate from Illusion, Duration = 6 turns, Range 24")

When examining these spells, I was struck by the mechanical description of Phantasmal Forces: "vivid" illusions of "nearly everything." There is no limitation upon which senses are engaged — rather we are allowed to imagine "nearly everything." This suggests that Invisibility means that the spell affects all of the senses. Given that higher level spells have area effects, the "nearly" qualifier on Phantasmal Forces must mean approximately the space occupied by one person.

Duration for these spells is also interesting. They are almost all "permanent" until dispelled. Lower level spells are dispelled by touching them (or by attacking). Higher level spells may be interacted with without being dispelled.

Range and Area Effect are also modifiers.

Base Illusion Spell: Vivid illusion approximately the size of one person. Duration = concentration until touched for more complex illusions; Until dispelled or when the person affected by the illusion attacks for simple illusions (Invisibility, for example). No Range.

The following add one spell level:
  • Giving the spell Range = 24"
  • Giving the spell a 10'r. Area Effect (up to 20'r.)
  • Permanency (can be interacted with without being dispelled)

The following will add three levels, requires Permanency, and can only have a duration of 6 turns:
  • The illusion can physically interact with the world around it — any damage done will be according to the attack capabilities of the spell caster.
For example — Phantasmal Killer:
4th level spell. Illusion of a phobia inspired abomination. No Range. Permanent until dispelled up to 6 turns (one level). Can physically interact with environment and attack to do damage as per the spell caster (three levels).


Now, onto what one might assume to be the first Cleric only category: the Healing Spells. What follows are the OD&D spells with their mechanics in ( ):
Cure Light Wounds (1d6+1 HP healed. Takes one turn(!))
Remove Curse (Just as the name suggests. When cast on a cursed item, it turns that item into a mundane, non-magical item)
Cure Disease (Just as the spell name suggests (instantly, I presume))
Neutralize Poison (Counters the harmful effects of poison. Duration = 1 turn)
Cure Serious Wounds (Same as CLW but with 2d6+2)
Raise Dead ("Cures" death. Only works on PC races (though not halflings!), has a time limit (4 days, with an additional 4 day per level of caster beyond 8th), and does not work on those with a low Constitution (I'm assuming a negative modifier, here). There also seems to be a range factor here, because the cleric "points his finger")


Going in, I thought this was going to be a bit boring, mechanically; however, upon a closer inspection, there is quite a bit of variation. The most intriguing for me is that CLW takes one turn to accomplish. Since other spells take effect immediately, this suggests a mechanic for instantaneous effect. Neutralize Poison seems to be more of a preventative spell, rather than a curative — cast it on someone about to trigger a trap so as to counter whatever poison is there. Thus, the duration of 1 turn and cannot save someone who has already failed a save or die roll. Raise Dead suggests a ranged mechanic for healing spells; however, this means that "curing" death is a 4th level spell. Thus, I will require an additional modifier when "cure death" is used, insuring that it will always be a 5th level spell. Finally, it is of interest that Remove Curse is available to Magic Users at one spell level higher.

Base Healing spell requires 1 turn to take effect and can cure any one of the following:
  • 1d6+1 hp
  • Disease
  • Curse*
  • Poison (though not someone already dead) This also adds one level (for a minimum spell level of 2)
The following add 1 level:
  • Make the spell Ranged*
  • Make the spell take effect immediately.*
  • Duration = 1 turn (requires immediate effect)*
The following add 3 levels:
  • Cure an additional 1d6+1 hp
  • "Cure" death — requires one other modifier
*These are available to Magic Users; however Cure Curse requires 2 levels instead of 1.
For example — Ray of Hope:
3rd level spell. Cure 1d6+1 hp (one level), Ranged (one level), takes effect immediately (one level).

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