Change EnvironmentI have been dreading doing this particular category since I conceived of this project, because it is a tangle of mechanics that forced me to make several choices. The first was to remove Purify Food & Water, Create Water and Create Food from this list. All three spells had consistent mechanics between themselves, but did not translate well to the rest of this category. The remaining spells:
Creates a circle of light with a 3" diameter. Not equal to full daylight. Duration = 6 + caster level turns.
Continual Light (2)
Creates a light where ever the caster wishes in a 24" diameter circle. Duration = until dispelled. Range = 12" Cleric version is equal to full daylight, Magic user version is not.
Water Breathing (3)
Makes water breathable. Duration = 12 turns. Range = 3"
Objects up to a weight of (200gp x caster level) may be moved by mental force. Duration = 6 turns. Range = 12"
Transmute Rock to Mud (5)
Transmutes any kind of rick into mud up to 30 square inches. Movement through mud is reduced by 90%. Reversible. Duration = permanent until dry (3d6 days). Range = 12" Takes 1 turn to take effect
Cloud Kill (5)
Creates a poisonous vapor in a 3" diameter cloud that is deadly to all with less than 5HD. Duration = 6 turns (may be dispelled by strong winds). The cloud may be moved 6"/turn with the wind. SInks to the lowest possible level.
Lower Water (6)
Lowers the water level of a river or similar body of water by 50%. Duration = 10 turns. Range = 24"
Part Water (6)
Parts 10' deep water. Duration = 6 turns. Range = 12"
Move Earth (6)
Moves hills and/or ridges. Takes 1 turn to take effect. Duration = 6 turns. Range = 24" Terrain is moved at a rate of 6" per turn.
Control Weather (6)
Can change current weather into any of the following: Rain, Stop Rain, Cold Wave, Heat Wave, Tornado, Stop Tornado, Deep Clouds, Clear Sky.
Here are some of the mechanics suggested by these spells:
- Duration: 6+ caster level turns / Permanent until dispelled (or natural forces deteriorate the spell effects).
- Area Effect: 3" diameter / 24" diameter / 30 sq in. (Mtn/lake/river.)
- Range: none. 3" / 12" / 24"
- Effect: Minor Change (light) / Major Change (has mechanical affect — daylight — that affects a certain category of creature).
Water Breathing is the next challenge. Since the base of this spell category is Light, all spells must have an area effect, Water Breathing does not. Its 3" range nicely corresponds to the 3" diameter of the base area effect; however, this renders it a 2nd level spell — it has a base duration (12 turns approximates 6 + caster turns) and a Major Effect (water breathing, which has a mechanical effect for a large group of creatures) (+1 level). This opens up the possibility of creating a 3rd level water breathing spell with a permanent duration. Which leads me to Cloud Kill. It has a base area effect, a base duration and a Major Change (+1 level). Even if I add a spell level in order to independently move the spell effect around, that still renders it a 3rd level spell. Now you know why I have been dreading this spell category.
What this tells me is two things: I need to add a level step for the Effect of the spell and I need to allow for a relatively easy way to dispel permanent durations (the spell affects the water not the character, so that once the character leaves that body of water, the spell is dispelled, for example). Thus, for a Major Change there would be two level steps. The first would be a mechanical effect that affects a specific group (i.e. creatures affected by full daylight). The next step would affect a general group of creatures (i.e. non-water breathers or creatures with less than 5HD). This gets Water Breathing up to a 3rd level spell and eliminates the possibility of permanently being able to breath water. This only gets Cloud Kill to 4th level, even with a level added for independent movement. Frankly, I think I am okay with that.
Here are the rest of the spells in this category according to these mechanics:
- Telekinesis: base duration, base area effect, range 12" (+1 level), Major Effect [general group] (+2 levels), moves independently of caster (+1 level) = 5th level spell.
- Transmute Rock to Mud: duration = permanent (+1 level), area effect = 30" sq. (+1 level), range = 12" (+1 level) Major Effect [general group] (+2 levels) = 6th level spell.
- Lower Water: base duration, area effect = river (+1 level), range = 24" (+2 levels), Major Effect [general group] (+2 levels) = 6th level spell.
- Part Water: base duration, area effect = body of water 10' deep (+1 level), range = 12" (+1 level), Major Effect [general group] (+2 levels) = 5th level spell.
- Move Earth: base duration, area effect = hill or ridge (+1 level), range = 24" (+2 levels), Major Effect [general group] (+2 levels), moves independently of caster (+1 level) = 7th level spell.
- Control Weather: duration = permanent (+1 level), area effect = 30" sq. (+1 level), range = 24" (+2 levels), Minor Effect = 5th level spell.
Base Spell: Make a minor change in the surrounding environment (light, temperature, etc.). Duration = 6 + caster level turns. Area Effect 3" diameter. Range none.
The following add 1 spell level:
- Duration = permanent (but can be easily be dispelled)
- Area Effect = 30" sq./a single small geographic feature
- Range = 12"
- Effect = affects a specific group mechanically
- Spell effect may be moved independently of the spell caster
- Range = 24"
- Effect = affects a general group mechanically
4th level spell. Duration = permanent [dispelled when caster leaves the water] (+1 level), Area Effect = 3" diameter, Range = none, Effect = makes water in the diameter breathable (+2 levels)
Are you going to have a document summarizing all this? This is looking good.
Thanks for the kind words, Rob. Yes, God willing, I plan to put this in a single document for general consumption.
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