Tuesday, June 15, 2010

OD&D Magic Champions Style Part 7


This is the first time that I have been compelled to look at later editions. Although there have been some surprising mechanics (such as CLW taking one full turn to take effect) nothing so far has been either confusing or ambiguous. Until now, that is. Both Dispel Magic and Dispel Evil have a duration of 1 turn. I find this difficult to interpret. Is this a spell that lasts for 1 turn until one object/spell/creature is dispelled? Or can the caster dispel everything with in range for 1 whole turn? Or is the one thing that is dispelled merely dispelled for a duration of 1 turn? Both B/X and 1ed give Dispel Magic an area effect (20' or 30' cube) which acts instantly and has a permanent duration, but does not affect magic items. In other words, the intention of the spell is to instantly cancel-out a spell or spell-like effect. It is in this spirit that I will proceed. Here are the spells as written:
Knock (2)
Dispel a magically locked door. Range = 6"
Dispel Magic (3)
Dispel all magic spells and/or spell-like effects. Range = 12"
Dispel Evil (5)
Dispel evil magic and evil creatures. Area Effect = 3"r.
Antimagic Shell (6)
Shield that blocks magic in and out. Range = self Duration = 12 turns


There are several mechanics that suggest themselves:
  • Dispel Type: Knock is a very specific dispel — it cancels out one magic spell effect. Dispel Magic is general. Dispel Evil also affects summoned/extra planar creatures.
  • Area Effect: Base is none. 3"r. would be the next step.
  • Range: Self/touch would be the base. Problems arise with the different ranges of Knock and Dispel Magic. If 6" and 12" are kept as different steps, Dispel Magic should be a 4th level spell. Since the area effect of 3"r. would always include the caster, I am going to use 12" for a range step.
  • Shield: This allows for a shield that cancels out spells going both in and out.
  • Duration: Although there is only one duration given (12 turns for Antimagic Shield), if there is only one step for duration, it would leave Antimagic Shield a 5th level spell. Thus, I am going to add another step — 6 turns.

Base Dispel Spell: 1st level. Cancels out a specific spell or spell-like effect instantly and permanently. Range = touch

The following add 1 level:
  • Affects all magic.
  • Range = 12"
  • Area Affect = 3" r.
  • Duration = 6 turns
The following adds 2 levels:
  • Affects summoned creatures (a missed saving throw = banishment; save = morale check failure)
  • Duration = 12 turns
  • Creates a shield that blocks spells in and out
Example Spell Obfuscate
4th level spell. Creates a shield (+2 levels) that cancels out Detection Spells both going in and out of the shield. Range = touch. Duration = 6 turns (+1 level).

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