Thursday, October 18, 2012

Five Weighty Spells

Palimpsest Pack
Load yourself to your limit with bags and goods and cast this spell. The pack will disappear into the luminous aether and return whenever you call it, requiring a turn to materialize.  You can cast the spell multiple times (one pack per level).  Wear a normal pack as well and carry all the comforts with you into the wild.

Baba's Ox
Cut the ox's throat and cast this spell before the last drop of blood drains from it.  It will pull loads silently while needing no water, no food, no rest, and no sleep, for as many days as you are powerful (level).  Peasants consider this evil.

My Pretties
Cry "Take These!" to call small creatures forth (1d6 per level) which will each take a few items from you (up to 7.5 pounds) and then scatter back into the landscape.  Cry "My Pretties!" to call them back and retrieve your items.  These creatures-- monkeys, opossums, raccoons, bats, rats, cats, anything that can grasp or bite-- will shadow you along your path as quiet as their kind, until called again.

Burdensome Kiss
Cast the spell and kiss someone within an hour.  That person will then feel the weight of all you bear for a week.  They will also know what you did.

Gold adds Light to the Air
A solid gold model of an object is made and the spell cast on it.  The original, will be light as a coin and perfectly balanced.  Hide the golden model somewhere safe.


  1. That was excellent, the last two in particular

  2. Fantastic stuff! They're baroque in concept but simple in statement.

  3. These are awesome! I'm thinking of creating a weight themed dungeon just to expose my MU players to these.

  4. re: Pack: What percentage chance is there for someone to rummage thru your stuff on another plane?

    re: Baba's: Can you eat the ox afterwards, or has it decayed? Is it undead, or animated (still has a drop of blood)? Seems pretty expensive way to haul some stuff, when you could just use the ox, and sell it later. Maybe no fear check?

    re: Pretties: What's the likelihood/chance of someone else/predator catching an animal, and snagging your stuff?

    re: Burdensome: Can you select who you kiss (ie: what if the King/Pope shows up, and demands a kiss (Italian or Arabic cultures). What if it's an old lady, or a young kid, and can't hold up the weight you could normally bear? What if you decide to hold up a castle? It says, whatever you choose to bear - which could be more than you normally could lift, yeah?

    re: Goldlight: I assume the model become heavy as the real thing (since you're directed to hide it)? Or is the model just its own weight? I assume you need to hide it somewhere safe because monkeying (how?) with the model could break the spell? How easy is it to do this? I'm thinking I'd prefer to have the model with me (if it's not heavy). There probably should be a duration, or I'll drop the model in some wet concrete, and bury it under a mountain.

  5. Hi, I'm Kha and I liked this post so much that I adapted one of the spells to a system I use. Also I expanded it a bit myself. I hope you don't mind. It is in my blog if you want to take a look: . It is in Spanish, by the way.

  6. Thanks, everyone!

    @anon: Those are all great questions about rulings that individual DMs might make differently. Here's my take: 1) Has to be low enough that it doesn't ruin the utility of the spell. Also The caster has to be aware of it. Maybe link it to how many packs are in play so that its tied to a player decision: "You want more packs, greedy, you might lose one."

    2) No eating. I'd say the day limit is how long the rotting flesh and ligaments holds together well enough to ambulate. It makes no noise, requires no feeding or shoeing (today I learned oxen need shoes!), you dispose of them when you are finished, and yeah they make no morale checks, seems perfect for the morally ambivalent mage.

    3) I probably wouldn't do that unless it was something epic like a forest fire or swarm of other vermin- because it isn't that powerful of a spell, just offloads some weight that you have to inconveniently call back and sort though to get your potions or spell components.

    4) Choosing was how I imagined it, unless kissing is a big custom in a culture giving a kiss seems an interesting player challenge, receiving one seems like DM plotting. I hadn't imagined people lifting more than they normally would, just that you would suffer the weight of your 70lb pack. If it was on a little kid or something, yeah, they might not be able to move. That could be an adventure hook, child in a village that can't move.

    5) My thinking was you make a scale model in th heavier, more valuable metal to avoid the encumbrance. So, your golden plate would be super tempting as a target of theft. I suppose you could allow smaller-than-normal-size models, either way I guess the DM will have to do some calculating. I'd want it as simple as possible maybe just weight for weight, so the models would, in fact be smaller.

    @kha: Cool, that's why I shared them. Thanks for sharing your link.

  7. I've also thought of a nice way to abuse 4. Does the child now weigh more? Can you put a 200lb toddler on a teeter-totter? Or do they just feel/suffer the weight (and the weight actually disappears from the equation)?

    Yeah, I know DMs have to make their own rulings - but it's nice when some of those things are thought about, and put into the rules.

  8. re: 5 weight for weight... minus a coin :D

    That's interesting, I'd not thought of weight for weight, I was thinking 'model' == 'smaller than real size'. Or perhaps size per size (that's a lot of gold), if it wasn't. In any case, I thought the gold would've been magically heavier. But weight for weight works, and works well.

    However, displacement and weight still work? Light as a coin makes for some really buoyant items.

    What about small items... like say a coin? It might be cool to make floating/bobbing along in the current coins... No more sunken treasure.

    Also, if that spell is identifiable, that would be a great way for a ruler to make a gold-equivalent, without letting the gold out to run around in the economy - and get clipped/debased.

    Btw, any speed bonuses or magic-user armor bonuses, since it's 'perfectly balance' and the weight of a coin?

    Strength of the item would use it's normal saves and damage profiles, yeah? But the awesomeness of an all steel-wagon might be amazing. Especially when you can gallop your horse at 100mi a day (with an empty wagon).

  9. @anon: For the first part, sure, why not, I can imagine lots of unfortunate and problematic situations that arise from having someone heavier than they should be. Part of the joy of the game for me, though, is having those arise unexpectedly in the game. If I worked out every possibility before hand and nothing surprised me I think it would get kind of boring.

    I would probably do normal saves and damages, displacement and balance would probably be the same. That wording was me trying to say (in a pretty way) that the non-weight aspects of encumbrance cited in 1eAD&D like bulkiness or fragility won't matter either. It is a "put up your gold and not worry about your heavy pack" kind of spell.

    As for the kingdom's gold, I'd imagine it would be difficult to do the on the spot verification like you realized you would need to do -- "no really, this wooden coin is government approved!" ha.

  10. Ha, I had the same question about eating the ox. :)

  11. Actually, now that I think about it, whether you can eat the ox is probably a good indicator of he tone of a campaign. Feasting on it sounds very mythic, like Odin's goats or a fairy tale treasure.

    I think my answer was shaded by my experience spraying weeds on dairies and how the dead cattle were dragged near the road for the renderers. Those things would bloat to horrific proportions. I'd probably make in mage in my world taking advantage of this hear all the gory details. But I'm prone to take the easy, creepy way out :)

  12. I quite like the idea of making the pack spell a generic "clothes change" one, where your clothes, including packs and armour, disappear, only to reappear on you over the course of a turn when you cancel the spell or when it finishes. If it's not physically possible for them to fit on you they fall on you instead, but given an unexpected dispellation you could still end up wearing a pack, two sets of clothing (winter and indoors) and a suit of armour, with a pack on your head.

    Rather than having the spell make you become naked when cast, I'd make it so that you must name the items of clothing to disappear and picture them in order to have them go from your body.

    This is mainly because I quite like the idea of enterprising mages putting on a suit of armour, and trying to cast the spell despite arcane failure chance, just so that the next time they accidentally walk into an anti-magic field, they are instantly prepared.

  13. Cool, all you need now is an impressive Vancian name. something like Jasper's Sequential Raiment or Cedany's Habliment Commencement :)