New Spell Ideas for Pits & Perils

New Spells

Here are some spell ideas, none of them playtested by me. PEST is just a generic retheming of CROW, created by Damn Elf Press. Some of my ideas are frivolous, and some are more serious. If you can think of a better four letter word for them, by all means please do share them. And if you think that any of these effects can be achieved by just retheming existing Pits & Perils spells, please tell me! I dislike redundancy. It’s a minimalist system, so let’s be minimal.

As usual with my writings, this list of spells is public domain. Enjoy them.

Bolt Spells

The Fear Fire Foes! supplement details some variants to the standard Bolt spell, including Fire, Force, Ice and Lightning. Using the same base damage, we can create other bolt spells.

Necrotic Bolt – A bolt of putrescence causes the target to break out in sores, boils, and rotting flesh. This will also rot leather armor, food, waterskins, backpacks, ropes, planks on a wooden bridge, or anything else organic.

Holy bolt – A beam of divine light that will inflict double damage to an undead or demonic target. This spell only harms undead or demons. This spell is often found embedded into wands created by magicians in cooperation with high level clerics.

Acid Bolt – A bolt of acid burns the flesh of the target and damages metal armor, weapons, or any other metal object.

Other Spells

PEST

Summon a swarm of pests that peck, sting or poison anyone near the caster.   The pests can be a flock of birds, bees, ants, wasps, frogs, or any conceivable plague of nuisance creatures suitable to the game setting. The effects are identical to CROW created by Damn Elf Press. Click the link to see his spell.  Particular effects can be created for a given pest type.  For example, the frogs may be covered with a poison that does not cause damage but causes hallucinations to those who touch them.  A swarm of locusts might a racket so loud it attracts other foes in the dungeon, and so on.

FART

Summon a stinking cloud of noxious vapor within 60′ feet of the caster, having a radius of 20′ from the target point. Any breathing creature within the cloud must save or be disabled by coughing, choking and heaving, resulting in being at -2 to all actions while in the cloud. The spell duration is 1d6 + 1 per three levels of the caster.

HURL

Cause one man sized object within 30′ to be flung forcefully at any target within javelin range. The attack roll and damage are +1 per three levels of the caster. Even if the attack misses, the flung victim takes 1d3 damage and is at -1 for one round.

SAND

Range 60′. Cause a 20’x20′ sandy or dirt floor to become a pit of quicksand for 1d6 rounds. Extend the duration by +1 rounds per three levels of the caster. Anyone partially sunk into the quicksand will be trapped in the ground when the quicksand fades away.

FALL

Cause a target within 60′ to save or trip and fall whenever it tries to move. This spell lasts 1d6 rounds, with +1 round per three levels of the caster.

BUFF

Cause all persons within 30′ of the caster to gain +1 to all actions for 1d6 turns. Extend the duration by +1 per three levels of the caster.

LUST

Range 30′. Cause the target save or become sexually enamored with another target within the caster’s line of sight. This lasts 1 turn, or until the target’s advances are violently rebuffed.

VILE

Range 30′. Cause one gallon of drink or up to six regular meals to become poisonous for one turn. Anyone consuming must save or take one hit, and be at -3 due to gut pain and vomiting for 1d6 rounds.

DUMB

Range 60′. Target loses all powers of speech, including screaming and yelling, for 1d6 rounds. Extend the duration by +1 per three levels of the caster.

RACE

Range 30′. The target can run at 3 times normal movement for one turn.

HONE

Range 30′ radius. Edged weapons deal +1 damage for 1d6 rounds. Extend the duration by +1 per three levels of the caster.

BASH

Range 30′ radius. Blunt weapons deal +1 damage for 1d6 turns. Extend the duration by +1 per three levels of the caster.

HATE

Range 30′. Cause target save or become enraged at another target within the caster’s line of sight for one turn. The spell is broken if the first target is violently struck.

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High Magic Spells for Blood of Pangea

This is an old post I had saved as a draft from September 4, 2017.  I release it now as it does no good sitting in the draft bin.

In a previous post I brainstormed some magic spells that fit within the rules of regular sorcery in Blood of Pangea.  Now I want to brainstorm some high sorcery, as I personally prefer a game where there’s amazing magical spells of all kinds.  I  like the idea of a free form magic system.

The challenge with free form magic is there’s no yardstick for determining cost vs effect.  There is a Might cost, but one must have a metric for how much might it costs for a given effect, and that is difficult for me.

Having actual limits to your magic helps spur creativity.  You have an idea of what realm you have mastery over, and focus your efforts at making it work within that realm.  World Of Dungeons has an interesting system whereby the magician has use of two “spirits” that grant the caster powers, and those spirits each have mastery two domains of power, such as lightning and stone.  Spell damage is capped at 2d6 or 3d6, and otherwise you can cast any spell that’s plausible within the domains of the spirits in your service.  It’s not quite free form, but it’s free form within a limited domain.

A creative person might take this spirit of lightning and stone and work their creativity on it.  Stones that explode with electricity, stones that glow with electric light, electric sparks that follow the caster like a torch, animating stone statues, making your target’s hair stand on end, charging your staff so anyone you poke with it gets a nasty electric shock, crumbling stones to dust, etc.

BOP has no restrictions on high magic except that  1 point of damage costs 1 Might.  The Judge can impose restrictions or conditions as he sees fit.  Here’s an example from a Google+ discussion, where member James Ciriaco explains his take on animating zombies.  It was an excellent idea.

With a Might cost related to damage inflicted, one could use that as a metric for all kinds of matter changing sorcery.  Without a lot of Might to spend, even your high magic effects are limited.

Someone commented over on the Google+ forum about my previous post having spell effects similar to using “The Force” in Star Wars.  That may well be a good point of reference.

So with that in mind, I will list a few high magic spells. I will add that ritual could be used to help achieve the desired result, but it would take time and materials to do so.

Here’s the spells:

Any kind of damaging spell could be themed to suit the style of the sorcerer.  A ball of energy, an ethereal putrescence, ice, fire, acid, doing damage equal to Might.  Over on the trollbridge forum, someone said they themed a “Take That You Fiend” spell as the victim’s shadow coming to life and strangling them. The Emperor in Star Wars used Lightning.

Breaking down doors.

Crumbling stone.  Levitating a 250 pound boulder might take only 1 might, but crushing it to rubble would take more, I think.  If the one hour duration and concentration rules are used, then you might negotiate a cost of Might vs Time.  Let’s say the 250 pound boulder blocks a crawl space you need to pass.  Then the Judge could offer a deal such as it would cost 1 might for one hour to slowly crumble the stone, or 5 might to break up the stone right now.

Set something on fire.  The larger or more flame retardant the target, the more it costs.

Call a prolonged wind to push a sailing boat or ship.

Push down a tree. * Consider how many axe strokes it would take to cut down a tree.  Toppling even one 40 foot tree with a 6 in diameter trunk could possibly take a tremendous amount of Might.

Removing body parts.  If a body can be levitated, surly part of the body can be levitated. If you’re into the macabre, then there’s some interesting implications to this idea.  I’ll leave that to your imagination.

Cauterize a bleeding wound.

Jump start someone’s heart with electricity.

Snap someone’s weapon in half. * This is a Pits & Perils spell.

Mend a broken sword. * This also is a Pits & Perils spell.

Cause the targets to lose control of their bowels.

Summon a small whirlwind.  Simple little dust devils cost little, more powerful gales or tornado speed winds, very expensive.

Heat a water-logged porous rock from a stream, causing it to explode like a bomb.

Attract lightning from an overhead storm cloud.

Summon demons.

Summon floating lights.

Animate thorny plants to entangle a target.

 

 

 

 

Clerics and Witches

I want to draw parallels to witch and clerical powers in RPGs.

Clerics get their power from a deity, and witches get their power from the entity they make a pact with. The two are similar in this regard. Advanced Fighting Fantasy has an interesting approach to clerical magic.

In Advanced Fighting Fantasy, a priest gets a unique suite of powers based on the deity he is devoted to. Each god grants three powers from a list of generic priest spells. There are generic spells such as Heal, Smite (damage versus a particular type of creature), Banish (undead), Bless, Ward, Shape Change.

Each god also grants one power unique to that god. For example, Usrel, the Goddess of Peace grants a spell which creates a space wherein no one may take an aggressive action for a short period of time.

All the good gods grant the Heal spell, but only Usrel grants Banish. Another good god, Hamaskis (the god of learning) grants the priest a photographic memory, and a bonus to Lore special skill tests.

There are neutral gods that grant powers related to nature. This is good for running a Druid type character. Hydana grants the power to walk on water. Pangara lets the priest summon wind. There are Beast Lords which are the essence of a type of animal that grant the power to speak and be friendly with animals of that type eg. bears, deer, snakes, etc.

The evil gods predictably do not grant healing spells but some rather potent offensive spells. The god Decay grants the power to rot or rust one item per day, Disease grants the power to inflict illness, and Arhallogen the God of Spiders grants the power to be friendly with spiders and communicate with them. He also grants the generic power to shape change, so your priest can become a giant spider.

All the gods grant a one time salvation spell that saves the priest and possibly his companions from imminent danger.

All the gods require the priest to follow the path of that deity or lose his powers, just as in other RPGs.

The priests can invoke each spell power once per day, and if they pay a cost in Luck, can do so twice. The magnitude and duration of certain priest spell effects depends on their Priest Magic special skill, but otherwise thats it. It’s mechanically fairly simple but very flavorful. Even if you don’t want to play AFF, I suggest the game material as a source of inspiration in this regard.

Something like this might work well with Pits & Perils for the clerics devoted to the saints of various orders. Perhaps each Saint may grant a spell unique to their domain of authority under the Triune God.

I got to thinking that something like this might work well for Witches making pacts with various spirits. Those spirits might grant a small suite of spells and in return of course the Witch offers her blood to pay for them. And like a cleric, the witch would have to help fulfill the agenda of that entity to keep the pact magic.  The entity may be satisfied with the witch spilling her own blood, but on the other hand, it may demand more.

I would need to playtest the witch to see how it works out.  What I don’t want to do is step on the toes of either the magician or cleric class, but offer something in between.