Sunday, 2 January 2011

1st to 9th level: Spells of thread & rope

Well, I've done it! I've completed my sequence of thread & rope spells from 1st to 9th level. It's been a thoroughly enjoyable exercise, one which I'll no doubt repeat in the future (well, I've kind of started already with the sequence of elementalist summoning spells). If any other bloggers fancy taking the 1st to 9th challenge... ;)

Here's the full list of eighteen spells, each linked to the post in which its description appears.

Ascend (6th level)
Attach Rope (1st level)
Bond Bane (4th level)
Command Rope (1st level)
Conducting Skein (4th level)
Conducting Web (7th level)
Conjure Rope (1st level)
Grapple (2nd level)
Relentless Binding (3rd level)
Rope Like Steel (7th level)
Rope Walk (1st level)
Rope Ward (5th level)
Sever (8th level)
Skein (1st level)
Spider Skein (2nd level)
Strengthen Rope (1st level)
Web of Arachne (9th level)
Web Walk (2nd level)


  1. Great work! So often I've seen projects like this abandoned half way through, so it's good to see someone finish.

    I'd like to one day put together a new spell list for the Labyrinth Lord/Swords & Wizardry elf class, drawing on nature and illusion magic rather than leaving them with the bog-standard wizard list, but it's not something into which I've put much thought as yet.

  2. Brilliant! I'm glad you finished the sequence, elf23! My nefarious plans for my players keep getting more nefarious thanks to you, amigo :)

  3. Thanks guys!

    Yeah it was interesting that it was perfectly possible to build a full sequence of spells based around something as humble as the rope.

    @kelvingreen: Are you thinking of a completely new spell list for the elf? (Ie not using any of the existing spells?)

  4. Ah no, so in that sense it would be easier than what you've done here. I'd pull spells from existing spell lists.

    The main obstacles are that I don't D&D well enough to be familiar with all the quirks of the system, and that it would be for nothing, as I'm unlikely to run an old-school game for long enough for it to be relevant.

  5. Right, fair enough, that's not such a monumental job then! :)

    I've been finding that I can get by on my D&D instincts from having burned every nuance of it into my neurons at an early age! Haha. Yeah I know what you mean though, if you can only see yourself maybe running the odd one-shot then it's much better to stick to the Rules As Written - there's not so much point in messing about with house rules.

  6. ps. I've just changed my blogger name from 'elf23' to 'Gavin' - I've had enough of being anonymous ;) It feels more community-minded somehow to use ones real name...

  7. Gavin, I'm putting your spells together in a PDF; would you like to post it on your blog?

  8. Gavin -- here's the link if you like it.

  9. Wow Jim that is awesome!!! Thanks so much! I'll post a link shortly...

  10. ps. I notice you went with the traditional "sorted by level then alphabetically" ordering of spells. I'm totally torn between that and the modern "only alphabetical" ordering. In a way I'm still more latently familiar with the traditional way, but I can see a lot of sense in the modern way...

  11. Gavin, its too late for me to re-sort it tonight, but I could do that and then we'd have two versions. I'll do that tomorrow. I sorted it that way because I want to give the book as a treasure to a magic user in my game. :) Thanks for sharing such excellent work.

  12. Here it is. Couldn't sleep anyway...


  13. Thanks again! I've updated the post with links to both versions.

    And that's a really cool idea to give a magic-user's player an actual mini book of spells as an item of treasure! Do you work with the "max known spells per level" rule? I was thinking recently how that rule kind of somewhat limits the thing of magic-users collecting a huge range of spells, some of which might only be used very occasionally.

  14. Gavin, I don't use the "max known spells". Most of the chars that become MU's have high INT anyway; as I recall, its only restrictive at the mid/low range. I could be wrong. I do make them roll 5%xINT to see if they understand a spell. If they fail -- they have to find another version...

  15. Yeah I guess it depends how often the DM gives out spells as treasure. For example, in the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion, the maximum spells known per level for a magic-user of Int 15 or 16 is eleven spells. (Higher Int MUs have no limit.) A maximum limit of eleven spells per level makes spell choice pretty tactical, and makes it pretty unlikely that most magic-users would bother to learn many of the more obscure / utility spells. On the other hand such a limit does perhaps make it more likely that each magic-user will end up with a "personalised" spell list.

    Hm, it's an interesting topic.

    I like your idea that failure to learn a spell means that the wizard has to find a different version of it. I presume you mean a version in another wizard's spell book, or second scroll of it? Like the original one they tried to learn from was so cryptically written that they couldn't understand it, and need another reference for further elucidation. That sounds like a nice way of doing it, and increases the idea of magic-users as arcane "treasure hunters".

  16. Gavin -- that's what I mean. Wizard A's handwriting is sooo bad that you'll have to find the notes from another wizard.

  17. Hey Jim, I like it! I've always interpreted that rule as "if you can't understand a spell the first time you can never understand it", but your version adds a lot more flexibility plus some interesting adventure possibilities - the wizard who fails to learn fireball might set out on a journey to find a master to teach it to him.

  18. Hey Gavin -- can I include these spells in my new zine? Credits & links will be given, of course.


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