Sunday, 12 December 2010

Spells of thread and rope

I was thinking this morning how one of the greatest pleasures I find in D&D is the magic system. I know that this is also for many people one of the most loathed aspects of the game, but I just love the complexity of it and the near infinite possibilities for new spells. Then I remembered having created a bunch of new spells back in my AD&D days, which I promptly dug up. I had a phase of inventing spells on a certain theme - dimensional magic being a big one, for instance. The spells below were a quartet based around threads and ropes, which I had in mind for an arachnomaniac wizard, perhaps. I've converted them into Labyrinth Lord format.

The rest of this post is designated Open Gaming Content according to the Open Gaming License.

Attach Rope
Level: 1
Duration: 1 turn per level
Range: 0

With this spell the caster can attach the end of a rope (normal or magical) firmly to any surface without the use of a knot. The caster touches the rope to the surface and an incredibly strong magical bond is formed. The bond is so strong that it cannot be broken - if great force is applied, the rope itself will snap first. At the end of the spell's duration, or at any time the caster wishes, the rope is released. This spell cannot be used to attach a rope to a mobile creature.

Grapple
Level: 2
Duration: 1 turn per level
Range: 0

The caster touches the end of a rope (normal or magical), and instructs it to attach itself to a surface which is within sight. The rope then snakes out and joins itself, as per the 1st level spell attach rope, to the surface indicated. The rope can only attach itself to surfaces that are within its reach (as determined by the length of the rope). As with attach rope, mobile creatures cannot be affected.

Skein
Level: 1
Duration: 1 hour per level
Range: 0

The caster reaches into his lightly clenched fist and pulls out a glossy, almost transparent thread. The thread can be unraveled for up to 200' per level of the caster, or until the caster wishes the spell to end. The skein created is as strong as thin copper wire - it can be deliberately cut or broken without much difficulty, but is unlikely to break without interference. At the end of the spell's duration, or at any time the caster wishes, the skein vanishes.

Spider Skein
Level: 2
Duration: 1 turn per level
Range: 0

The caster touches a surface and a sticky thread forms, connecting his hand to the surface touched. The caster can cause the thread to extend to a maximum length of 100' per caster level, and at a maximum rate of 60' per round. The skein is attached with incredible strength (as per the 1st level spell attach rope) to both the caster's hand, and to the surface touched. This spell is thus typically used to allow the caster to descend safely from great heights. The spell does not confer the ability either to retract the skein or to climb up it again quickly. The caster may climb up the skein, but only at the normal rate of climbing.

The thread itself breaks if more than 300 pounds of weight are suspended from it, or can be deliberately snapped by a creature with 18 or higher Strength. The caster can disconnect either end of the thread at will. When the spell's duration expires the thread vanishes.

2 comments:

  1. Oh man, the system can also be a big headache sometimes. Even after all these years it can be hard to fully understand and make a ruling on some of the more broken ones. Fun when it works though.

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  2. True, true :) I guess I'm currently coming from the perspective of having played a lot of more modern games recently (Savage Worlds, for instance), where the magic system has been really rationalised and simplified. And now I really miss the D&D magic system with all its weirdness and complexity.

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