DetectionThe next category in my queue is the Detection Spells. Mechanics are in ():
Detect Magic (1) ("Limited" Range, "Short" Duration)This is the most difficult category I have tackled thus far, because spell level, range and duration are all over the place. Part of this variance is due to the Cleric versions of these spells, so I am going to ignore them. If then, the base Detection spell has a range of 1"/level and an instantaneous duration, we can determine that a duration of 6 turns and a range of +6" each add one spell level. Given this, a base Detect spell can do one of the following:
Detect Invisible (2) (Duration = 6 turns, Range = 1"/ level of caster)
Locate Object (2) (Duration = instant, Range = 6" + 1"/level of caster)
Detect Evil (2) (Duration = 2 turns [6 turns], Range = 6" [12'"])
ESP (2) (Duration = 12 turns, Range = 6", Blocked by lead/3' material)
Find Traps  (Duration = 2 turns, Radius 3")
Clairvoyance (3) (Duration = 12 turns, Range = 6", Blocked by lead/3' material)
Clairaudience (3) (Duration = 12 turns, Range = 6", Blocked by lead/3' material)
Wizard Eye (4) (Duration = 6 turns, Range = 24", Moves 12"/turn)
Please note: After looking at the mechanics, I decided to remove Infravision from this list and add ESP.
- General characteristic (Magic, Evil, Invisible)
- Specific Object (Locate Object, Traps, Thoughts)
Wizard Eye increases the range of Clairvoyance x4 and introduces the idea of moving the focal point of the spell. Buying a 12" range (2 levels) with a +1/caster level puts the range at 19" when a Magic User (at 7th level) can first cast a 4th level spell, thus approximating the 24" range. The duration of 6 turns adds another level and assuming that the eye has a 3" field of vision gives us a 4th level spell. This leaves the idea of a mobile focal point in question; however, mechanically it is meaningless. Functionally, there is little difference between the way Clairvoyance and Wizard Eye function. In the end, the moving "eye" is a special effect rather than a game mechanic.
Base Detection spell: Directionally detect a general characteristic or a specific object. Duration = instantaneous. Range = 1"/caster level or 6"+1"/caster level if spell will not work through a common element (i.e. lead) and cannot penetrate a wall 3' thick.
The following with add one spell level:
- Range = 6"+1"/caster level
- 3"r. Area Effect
- Duration = 6 turns (max 12 turns)
2nd level spell. Detect Trap. Duration = instantaneous. Range = 1"/caster level. 3"r area effect (one level).
ESP is such a campaign wrecker, I'm not surprised it's 3rd level. Really should be 7th ;) Seriously, look at how carefully you step when designing any kind of intrigue encounter, when you know the party has ESP.
That rant aside, I really want to encourage you to persevere in this series. Suitably pdf'ed up, it could end up as the standard document for OSR spell research and design.
Thanks for the encouragement. I was actually do plan on doing something with all this, so it is nice to know that someone is interested...
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