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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

[HOW] Merlin's Miscellany Of Magical Spells...


A selection of spells for use in Heroes & Other Worlds, inspired by the early seasons of the BBC fantasy serial Merlin.

There's a pair of flashy, but undemanding, IQ 8 spells that will be found in many wizards' spell books and then a pair of powerful, dark magics that will be virtually impossible for the player-characters to get their hands on without embarking on particularly dangerous quests and dealing with some very scary people.

LEGERDEMAIN (T), IQ: 8, EN: 2, R: Personal

This spell allows the magic-user to perform (for a number of minutes equal to his IQ plus the level of the spell) feats of minor conjuring, stage magic etc to entertain or distract a crowd. He can pull rabbits out of hats, make (worthless) coins or clouds of butterflies appear, exhale (harmless) jets of flame from his mouth etc

If this act is performed in, say, a tavern with the idea of generating an income, the magician must make a (3/IQ+Spell Level check). If he makes the roll, he will earn 3d6sp from an average tavern audience (a lower-class establishment the payment will be 2d6sp instead, while from an upper class one it will be 3d6x10sp).

If he fails the roll, the DM decides his penalty - depending on how badly he failed - from being boo-ed off stage to be being physically ejected from the tavern.

SMOKE SIGNALS (T), IQ: 8, EN: 1, R: LoS

The wizard is able to mould existing plumes of smoke, be they tiny puffs from a pipe to giant clouds from a bonfire, into shapes at will (The DM may impose penalties for complicated shapes like sailing ships complete with rigging).

Each use of the spell allows the magician to create one shape.

This spell, which works best outdoors, can be used for entertainment purposes or to send messages across vast distances - depending on the lay of the land.

MAGICAL CONCEPTION (I), IQ: 16, EN: 6, R: Touch

"To create life, a life must be given"

This is one of the most powerful, dark magic spells and it comes at a great cost. It is unlikely - although technically possible - that the magician will cast it on himself, instead he will probably be approached by a desperate man (or woman) who wants an heir, but is unable to conceive for some reason.

The sorcerer casts the spell and lays his hand on the recipient. The next time that person engages in sexual intercourse a child will be sired (of the gender chosen by the subject of the spell, no matter what obstacles there are to the act).

However, the moment the child is born a person highly prized and loved by the spell's recipient will die within 1d3 combat rounds (definitely NOT the newborn). The chances are it will be the other parent, but the DM could rule that ties are closer with a grandparent or perhaps another child.

A child born of magic this way will grow up to be a paragon with one of his stats automatically increased to 15 (roll a d6: 1. ST, 2. EN, 3. DX, 4. IQ, 5. roll again and stat is 16, 6. roll again and stat is 17).

This does reduce the number of 'Hero Points' the newborn has to spread between his remaining statistics to six (6) and no additional points can be added to magically increased stat at character creation.

Obviously, these are his stats when he is fully grown - and not when he is an infant!

SUMMON THE DEAD (I), IQ: 15, EN: 5, R: 10ft

The wizard can call up from the afterlife the spirit of a named, specific, dead person, no matter how long they have been dead. They will materialise in front of him as a solid, three-dimensional entity and will remain corporeal for 1d3 minutes and cannot move more than 30ft (six spaces) away from the spellcaster for the duration.

Their willingness to talk and impart information - the usual reason for calling up the dead - will depend on a reaction roll on the table below. The spirit will only know information it would have known in life, just because the person is now dead doesn't make them all knowing.

She will also only know of events that happened up to the moment she died and will have no frame of reference for any questions about "what's the afterlife like?" as it's not a concept easily explained to the living.

Of course, the person who chose the spirit may have other plans for them (although bear in mind they are already dead, are limited in their movement, are still governed by the reaction table and only stick around for a very short time).

Note: on the table below, if the questioner is NOT the magician who summoned the spirit the magician's level in the spell is not added to any target numbers.


Modifiers:
  • -2 Questioner is unknown to summoned spirit
  • -3 Questioner was an enemy of the spirit in life
  • +3 Questioner is a beloved, close, blood relative of spirit (ie. father, mother, son, daughter etc)
  • +1 Questioner is related by blood to the spirit in any way (can be a descendant, distant cousin etc)
  • +2 if there is an object present that is precious to the summoned spirit (e.g a painting of their child, a treasured piece of jewellery etc)
  • +2 if Questioner's IQ is greater than that of the summoned spirit

The Dungeon Master should actually time the duration of the questioning (once all the dice rolling is out the way) to ensure the spirit doesn't give away too much information.

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