Monday 26 December 2016

Start of 2017: Projects in the Works

As is traditional, I thought I'd write a short post mentioning the various RPG-related projects that I have in the works for the coming year:

  • I've finally started a proper campaign set in Dolmenwood! Previously, I've just run odd one-shots and side-adventures in the forest, but my latest campaign is set firmly within the its bounds. I'm running Barrowmaze, which I've situated in the middle of Dolmenwood, as the "tent-pole" for the campaign, but plan on introducing various other side-quests and complications to involve the players in the wider wood.
  • I'm play-testing the first in the Dolmenwood Adventures line -- a 5th level adventure code-named "Wormwood Falls", written by myself and Greg Gorgonmilk. We've had one session so far which was a lot of fun. The adventure features a lot of very weird, psychedelic stuff and I was happy to see that it played out really well, in practice. The second session is in a few weeks. The adventure is going to be illustrated by Andrew Walter and should be out in early spring. Full colour, A5, around 50 pages, maybe hardcover and softcover options.
  • Following on from that, the second Dolmenwood Adventures module is beginning to coalesce. Tentatively, it will be a 1st level adventure written by myself and Yves Geens and may involve fairies. Publication date unknown.
  • Continuing the Dolmenwood theme (clearly, much of my gaming life is dominated by the setting now!), issue five of Wormskin is nearing completion for a tentative February release. This issue reveals much about the Drune, who have remained stubbornly mysterious until now.
  • I also plan to publish a short "Welcome to Dolmenwood" guide, containing a brief introduction to the setting, a gazeteer, and descriptions of some of the main factions. This will act as a great starting point for anyone interested in Dolmenwood. Should be out in Jan/Feb. Probably a free download.
  • Onto other things... My Complete Illusionist project is coming along nicely. I have a few dozen spells to write up still and am awaiting some contributions from other people, but it's looking like a 2017 release of the book is pretty feasible. Illustrators as yet undetermined.
  • Another small project which I have on the go is a series of print-at-home booklets to speed the creation of wizardly PCs. The first booklet in the series is quite far along, so more info on that coming soon.
  • Last but not least, I have the long overdue B/X Warrior. Honestly, I go back and forth on the concept a bit -- the mechanical aspects don't fit quite as naturally as they did with the thief/rogue archetype. However, the book is 95% written, so I just need to put the finishing touches to it and it will be done.

Sunday 11 December 2016

The Complete Illusionist: Work-in-Progress Spell List

Work on my next big project, The Complete Illusionist (which popped out of nowhere, quite unexpectedly), has been progressing rather well. I'm still in the stage of collating a lot of ideas for spells of different levels and trying to build up the spell lists. Adding to the base illusionist class in the Labyrinth Lord AEC, I've been doing OGL write-ups of the illusionist spells from AD&D Unearthed Arcana. I also have quite a number of interesting submissions from other people now, following my recent call out. All in all, it's looking like I should have a very nicely rounded out spell list in the final book.

Just out of interest, here are the lists so far. These only include spells which I actually have a full write-up of. I have lots more to write up and put in place. I also need to read through many of the submissions still and decide which fit.

1st level

  1. Auditory Illusion
  2. Color Spray
  3. Dancing Lights
  4. Darkness Globe
  5. Detect Illusion
  6. Detect Invisibility
  7. Doppelganger
  8. Hypnotism
  9. Light
  10. Phantasmal Force
  11. Refraction
  12. Wall of Vapor
  13. Glamour
  14. Invisibility, Lesser
  15. Lost and Found
  16. Script Codex
  17. Spook
  18. Discernment of Pyschic Location
  19. Evoke Nightmare
  20. Semblance of Wakefulness
  21. Sweet Dreams
  22. Wizard Mark
  23. Faerie Fire
  24. Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter
  25. Brilliant Pattern
  26. False Script
  27. Phantom Armour
  28. Silent Image
  29. Chromatic Orb
  30. Hush

2nd level

  1. Blindness
  2. Blur
  3. Deafness
  4. Detect Magic
  5. Fog Cloud
  6. Hypnotic Pattern
  7. Invisibility
  8. Magic Mouth
  9. Mirror Image
  10. Misdirection
  11. Phantasmal Force, Greater
  12. Ventriloquism
  13. Sound Codex
  14. Light Codex
  15. Somnambulism
  16. Vapours of Dream
  17. Imaginary Companion
  18. Whisper Thief
  19. Whispering Wind
  20. Darkvision
  21. Pyrotechnics
  22. Fool's gold 
  23. Fascinate
  24. Amnesia

3rd level

  1. Continual Light (reversible)
  2. Dispel Phantasm
  3. Fear
  4. Hallucinatory Terrain
  5. Illusory Script
  6. Invisibility 10' Radius
  7. Nondetection
  8. Paralyze
  9. Rope Trick
  10. Spectral Force
  11. Suggestion
  12. Full Codex
  13. Energy Reflection
  14. Dreamspell
  15. Black Light
  16. Semblance of Life
  17. Phantom Steed
  18. Doppelganger, Improved
  19. Wraithform
  20. Enthrall
  21. Lost
  22. Deadly Darkness

4th level

  1. Confusion
  2. Illusory Stamina
  3. Implant Emotion
  4. Invisibility, Greater
  5. Massmorph
  6. Minor Creation
  7. Phantasmal Killer
  8. Phantasmal Monsters
  9. Solid Fog
  10. Looking Glass
  11. Shared Dream
  12. Masque
  13. Illicit Dream Projection
  14. Lonely Road
  15. Menioth's Instant Light

5th level

  1. Confusion, Greater
  2. Major Creation
  3. Maze
  4. Phantasmal Door
  5. Phantasmal Monsters, Greater
  6. Project Image
  7. Shadow Evocation
  8. Summon Shadow
  9. Time Flow
  10. Hyperreal Awakening
  11. Many Worlds, Many Lives
  12. Phantom Summons
  13. Overlook
  14. Shadow Servitor
  15. Phantom Palanquin

6th level

  1. Conjure Animals
  2. Phantasmal Monsters, Advanced
  3. Shadow Evocation, Greater
  4. Spectral Force, Permanent
  5. Spectral Force, Programmed
  6. Suggestion, Mass
  7. True Seeing
  8. Veil
  9. Through the Looking Glass
  10. Curse of Sleeplessness
  11. Psychic Cache
  12. Persistent Dream

7th level

  1. Astral Spell
  2. Limited Wish
  3. Prismatic Spray
  4. Prismatic Wall
  5. Vision
  6. Phantasm of Forgetting
  7. Dreaming
  8. Spell Reflection
  9. Unreal 
  10. Phantasmal Resurrection
  11. Duo-Dimension
  12. Animated Artwork
  13. Simulacrum
  14. Doppelganger, Greater

8th level

  1. Prismatic Sphere
  2. Memorium
  3. Figment
  4. Illusory Abode
  5. Pathless Land
  6. Mirror Image, Advanced
  7. Prismatic Beam
  8. Black Clouds

9th level

  1. Alter Reality
  2. Dream Travel
  3. Weird
  4. Mists of Madness
  5. Upper Hand
  6. Viral Phantasm
  7. Doppelganger, True

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Updated Illusionist Spell: Chromatic Orb

This spell was featured in the expanded illusionist spell list in AD&D Unearthed Arcana. I like the effects, but it's always struck me as weirdly balanced: almost useless at low levels and very powerful at high levels. This isn't a feature I'm fond of, so, as part of the work on my Complete Illusionist, I decided to try to come up with a version more to my taste. Here you go:

Chromatic Orb

Level: 1
Duration: Instant
Range: 60’
Cost: 25gp - 1,000gp (gem of appropriate colour)
This spell harnesses and amplifies the pure hue and intrinsic properties of a gemstone, which must be in the illusionist’s possession. Light is conjured in the heart of the stone, refracted, and amplified, conjuring an orb of pure colour in the illusionist’s hand. The orb may be hurled at an opponent within range, requiring a normal attack roll, with a +2 bonus. If the orb misses, it dissolves without effect. Otherwise, the orb inflicts damage on the target and another effect depending on its colour. The illusionist may conjure an orb of one of the following colours, depending on his experience level:

Gem Value
1st or greater
2nd or greater
3rd or greater
4th or greater
5th or greater
6th or greater
7th or greater
10th or greater
12th or greater

The gemstone must be of at least the value listed and must be of an appropriate hue. It is consumed by the spell.

Chromatic orb effects:

  • Light: Light in a 60’ radius for one round per caster level.
  • Heat: If the target fails a save versus spells, they suffer -1 to attacks and AC for one round. The heat of the ruby orb may also be used to melt ice -- up a cubic yard.
  • Fire: All flammable objects within 2’ of the target are set alight. If the target fails a save versus spells, flammable objects (e.g. clothing, hair, etc) on its person are also set alight. This inflicts 1d3 damage for three rounds, unless the target spends a round extinguishing the flames.
  • Blindness: The target is blinded for 1d4+4 rounds, unless it makes a saving throw versus spells.
  • Stench: A 5’ radius cloud of stinking vapours erupts around the target. Any within the cloud (including the target) must save versus poison or be overcome with nausea -- unable to act except to move at half movement rate. Once leaving the cloud, the nausea subsides after 1d4 rounds. The cloud is permanent but usually disperses after one turn.
  • Magnetism: The electrical energy of the orb strongly magnetizes any metal objects on the target (e.g. armour, weapons) unless a save versus spells is made. The magnetic charge lasts for 3d4 rounds and causes metal objects to stick together, typically making attacking impossible and causing a -2 penalty to AC.
  • Paralysis: Unless a save versus paralysis is made, the target is paralysed for 5d4 rounds.
  • Petrification: The target must save versus petrification. Failure means that it turns permanently to stone. Success means that the target is slowed for 2d4 rounds -- only able to move at half the normal rate and attack or cast spells every other round.
  • Death: The target must save versus death. Failure means that it dies instantly. Success means that it is paralysed for 1d4 rounds.