Monday, 30 January 2012

April A to Z... an idea

After the fun I had with last year's April A to Z, and the nice collection of spells which resulted from it, I've been thinking recently about 1: if I'll do it again this year, and 2: if so, what will be the theme?

Early on I ruled out doing another A to Z of spells, and had the idea that I wanted to use the alphabetic inspiration to put a bit more flesh into my Labyrinth Lord campaign somehow. A gazetteer of some kind? Descriptions of some inns and  taverns in S'raka, the great city where the adventurers are based?

Yesterday an interesting idea came to me. I've had this concept that clerical spells aren't easy to come by. That you can't just walk into any old temple and request a raise dead or remove curse or whatever. The idea is that each spell can only be provided (and then usually as a long-winded ritual) by a temple or shrine whose patron is in some way connected to the effects of the spell. The only practical example of this in the campaign so far was when the PCs got one of their number extracted from his incarceration inside a magical book by visiting the temple of Hgriselde, lady of pacts and bindings, and getting a dispel magic cast.

So, I thought about maybe making an alphabetical list of all clerical spells, and for each one making up a few details about one or more temples in S'raka where the spell might be available. I reckon this would result in a very nice campaign resource, which would bleed over into adding a lot of detail to the various city districts, and to greatly fleshing out the multitudinous cosmic powers which are worshipped in the place.

I had a look, and there are no clerical spells (in Labyrinth Lord) beginning with the following letters: J, M, O, U, V, X, Y, Z. I'm not sure what I'd do about those yet. Perhaps also make up 8 new spells to fill the gaps... (I could probably also find suitably named cleric spells in AD&D 2nd edition.)


  1. I use something like that in my campaign. I was aiming for an ambivalent cast of gods, all of them with good aspects and all of them with evil aspects. This was going to explain why Orcus was still a respected demonlord/god: his priests are the ones that will cast raise dead.

  2. This was going to explain why Orcus was still a respected demonlord/god: his priests are the ones that will cast raise dead.

    Awesome! Consider that concept fully stolen and effective as of now in my campaign too :D

  3. That sounds awesome! Inspired me to make these up. Feel free to use any of them if you want.

    Jinx - Minor curse on an item to be given to enemies.

    Maternal Bond - Charms a child and adult to each other. Usually used to help repair family relations, but can also aid in training orphaned or dangerous animals. No species restrictions.

    Ophidian Slumber - A long sleep that can steal or reveal painful memories.

    Undetectable Aura - Protection from scrying

    Veracity - "Don't believe me? I'll go touch the Oathstone and say it again!"

    Xenomania - Temporary euphoria and love for all people and cultures. Repeated use might rehabilitate violent prisoners or slaves but reduces their mental functions.

    Youthful Vigor - Seen the movie Cocoon?

    Zealot's Kiss - ???

  4. Another idea: make up new "spells" for the missing letters that are in fact frauds.

  5. Great idea. You get to flesh out the setting, the gods, temples, and spells all in one neat package. The really intriguing thing about clerical spells is that they are actually the gods meddling in things via their servants, or at least these types of spells are an instance of the cleric working the will of their they interpret it...of course. Looking forward to what you come up with!

  6. Nice idea Gavin. I'll join the a-z challenge again this year as well me thinks, on the new blog not the Fallout one!