Sunday, 6 March 2011

Illusionist magic: Codex prisms

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I've been giving some thought to the role of illusionists in my campaign world. I love the class, and I'd like to give them a role in the world, and some new spells and abilities, that really allow them to shine, especially in comparison to the standard magic-user (who kind of outshines them, I feel, at the moment). I don't currently want to go into too much depth explaining the half-formed ideas I have of what guilds of illusionists get up to. Firstly because it's all very much still formulating in my own mind, and secondly because I want to try to not post too many 'spoilers' for my players who might read these posts :)

Anyway, you can probably begin to imagine the kind of things I have in mind from reading the descriptions of the spells and magic items as I write them up.

It's interesting to note that one of the biggest inspirations for my thoughts on extending the repertoire of illusionist magic is their affiliation with and mastery of the rainbow and prisms (as evidenced by spells such as
refraction, mirror image, prismatic spray, prismatic wall, and so on).

So, without further ado, three new spells and a new magic item...

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

Script Codex
Level: 1
Duration: 1 round
Range: 50' per level

As masters of light and colour, illusionists have developed a variety of spells enabling the storage and transmission of information in the form of light. This spell is the first in that series. When the spell is cast the illusionist must be touching a book, scroll or other item bearing script of some kind. Upon uttering the spell's final syllable, the script is magically transmuted into a series of flashing colours, which can be seen anywhere in range. The light patterns last for one round, during which time up to one page (roughly 1000 words) of information per level of the caster can be transmuted. No kind of magical script can be successfully transmuted by this spell.

The usefulness of the spell is only realised by its reversed form -- which allows an illuionist to transmute a perceived stream of light instantaneously back into script, which appears in his mind as if he had read the transmuted writing. If the script is in a language the receiver does not understand, the spell is wasted and no information is transferred.

This spell is commonly used in conjunction with a codex prism (see below), allowing transmuted light patterns to be stored and decoded at a later date.

Sound Codex
Level: 2
Duration: 1 minute per level
Range: 50' per level

Similar to the 1st level script codex, this spell allows an illusionist to transmute all sounds within his range of hearing into encoded light patterns which can then be decoded by the reversed spell, thus remotely reproducing the perceived sound.

This spell is commonly used in conjunction with a codex prism (see below), allowing transmuted light patterns to be stored and decoded at a later date.

Light Codex
Level: 3
Duration: 1 minute per level
Range: 50' per level

Similar to the 1st level script codex, this spell allows an illusionist to transmute all visual phenomena within his range of perception into encoded light patterns which can then be decoded by the reversed spell, thus remotely reproducing the perceived scene.

This spell is commonly used in conjunction with a codex prism (see below), allowing transmuted light patterns to be stored and decoded at a later date.

New Magic Item: Codex Prism
This minor magical item, much used by illusionists in the employ of guilds and noble houses, is created expressly for use with the codex series of spells. Codex prisms are relatively easy to create -- a suitable prism must be purchased (usual cost is 500gp), and can be enchanted for magical use, over a period of one week, by any illusionist who knows one of the codex spells.

Once enchanted, the prism can be used to receive and store any transmuted light pattern which it is exposed to, and can release the light pattern on demand upon the casting of the reversed form of the spell which originally produced the pattern. Each codex prism can store but a single light pattern, with any subsequent patterns replacing the first. However, once stored, a pattern can be released any number of times, when the appropriate spell is cast to decode it.

6 comments:

  1. You're doing very good work with these specialist magicians, and I hope you collect them up into a pdf at the end.

    Once you're done with the illusionist, fancy having a go at some kind of elf/druid nature spellcaster?

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  2. Thanks Kelvin :)

    Yes I'd definitely like to make a PDF eventually, as the spells build up.

    Regarding elf / nature magic, did you see my fey class? That's the spell list I'm using at the moment for that type of character. A few players have created fey characters so far, but none of them have thought much of the random spells they received... I guess they were hoping for magic missile or something (which isn't on the list) and were disappointed to get like auditory illusion. I think that's a thoroughly useful and interesting spell though!

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  3. Yes, this is an awesome concept -- well done!

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  4. Yes, I've seen that class, and commented on it too. ;)

    I suppose what I'm asking for is some druidery in your own style, as I've never found the standard D&D druid that satisfying.

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  5. @kelvin: Oh yes, that's a very good point ;)

    I see what you mean now about the druid... It's a class I've also never been that keen on really (in general my interest in divine magic using classes is low, for some reason I'm all about the wizards!). So coming round to making new druid type spells is low on the list, at least behind the illusionist, necromancer, wild mage and perhaps some kind of diabolist.

    Having said that I could probably enthuse myself for such a class if I mentally rephrased it as a nature wizard, rather than a divine spellcaster (though that does have some cross-over with my elementalist). The idea has been planted anyway, so I'll see if anything gestates... :)

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  6. Oh, the puns!

    Yes, the druid as a divine spellcaster has never really worked for me, but a nature wizard would be much more interesting.

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