Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Apparently I suck at blogging

In fact, I've been needing a break from running the campaign. Even with a rules-light approach like vintage D&D offers, I still find that I need to invest a good deal of energy in to the game - detailing new dungeon levels and running the encounters is a helluva lot easier than in a lot of systems I've tried, but I still burn up plenty of mental energy in the process.

Well, that and playing the roommate shuffle, sorting out the new finances, getting back in touch with old friends, and trying to develop a stable schedule with my girlfriend now that she's both moved in and working regularly. You know, all that "life" stuff.

So I've been a little more enthusiastic about pick-up kind of games, like Magic, Bang, or Small World. I've also been thinking of occasionally dipping into some other games for a one-shot kind of thing, like having  a game of TSR's classic Marvel Superheroes one night, or playing out a Savage Worlds one-sheet scenario, or something.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Grimoire of Avathar

This book has seen better days.
This week, the party defeated the spectre of Avathar, Sorcerer of Akban-sham, in the crypts below the buried temple of Zhothoqquah. They found a pretty astonishing amount of jewelry, most of it adorning the skeletons that lay upon the lesser slabs - most likely concubines or the like. But in a hidden compartment beneath Avathar's own sarcophagus was a badly decayed codex - the sorcerer's grimoire! Bill the Green has begun to decipher it.

The book is in terrible condition. Most of what remains is but the fragments of spells and forbidden lore that hint maddeningly at what has been lost. At once time this tome held spells to conjure up storms of ice, shapeshifting magic, and even a spell to fold space itself. Sadly, these spells have been destroyed by the ravages of time. Fortunately, a handful of spells are whole enough for Bill to study them. Some are just common spells known to any journeymage, others are sorcery of a kind forbidden to the wizards of Bill's order, but a precious few are prizes for the young magician.

The spells that are complete and legible are of three kinds. Those that Bill already has in his own grimoire include Charm, Gloaming, Sense Motive, and Sleep. Those that are sorcerous include Flying, Phantom Double, Shroud, and Unseen Servant. It may be possible to derive usable spells from these, but the powers they invoke defy the laws of wizardry. Finally, there are spells which Bill can freely add to his collection, both at rank III: Binding, and Circle of Protection.

Transcribing a spell into his own grimoire will take at least three days, and could take more than a week depending on the alignment of the stars, the phase of the invisible moon, and other such details. And of course rare incenses must be burned, special inks must be mixed with exotic ingredients, and similar ritual measures taken, which will cost 10 silver per day of work.

Range: 120'
Duration: 1 hour
  This spell will paralyze up to 4 humanlike targets. If focused on a single target, that target saves at -2. The spell is ineffective against giants and undead. 

Circle of Protection
Range: 10' Aura or Ritual
Duration: 2 hours
   The caster radiates an aura that protects all allies within 10 feet, granting a +1 to AC and Saves. Additionally, creatures that are otherworldly, animated, or enchanted cannot enter the aura of protection or touch those within it. Warded creatures can still attempt ranged and magical attacks, of course. If anyone within the aura attacks a warded creature, the barrier effect will be broken (but the defensive bonuses will continue to apply).
   This spell can also be cast as a ten-minute ritual, enchanting a 20' x 20' area with an aura of protection. This can be used to block a passage or even to imprison a warded creature. This ritual requires the caster to draw a line of chalk to anchor the spell. If any creature unaffected by the spell's barrier should break this line, the magical barrier will be likewise broken.

Sadly, only another mage can see how badass you really are.