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30 Alchemists
NPCs  (Extras)   (Mystical)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-06-01 10:39 AM


And a fifth vote.  Seriously, you really can't give us TOO much information; I doubt too many people come here who aren't interested in packing more stuff in.


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30 Alchemists
NPCs  (Extras)   (Mystical)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-06-09 04:36 PM


Serious ass-kicking detail.  I second Cheka Man with an HOH tout, as soon as it's eligible.

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Cartogramancy - The Magic of Maps
Systems  (Mystical)   (Defining)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-06-03 06:46 AM


A strong, excellent sub.


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Cartogramancy - The Magic of Maps
Systems  (Mystical)   (Defining)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-09 01:29 PM


Alright, here are a few ideas from my own spells, stripping as much system-specific info as I can:



CONSTELLATION:  The caster can elect to view the sky as if it were a celestial map, with lines drawn between the stars to join them into constellations and the names of the major stars written next to their positions.  This spell also allows the caster to view the night sky from the point of view of a sky-watcher from another culture of which the mage has heard.  In this case, the caster will see the stars arranged into the appropriate constellations and names for that culture. 



DETECT CHANGES: The caster may determine what physical changes have been made to a place since he last saw it, even if the changes aren't visible to the naked eye.  All changes that have occurred since the last casting of this spell on the subject by the same caster will be detected.  



BATTLE MAP:  This turns an ordinary map into a detailed three-dimensional topographical rendering of the area covered by the map.  It includes the precise location of tactically or strategically important objects such hills, houses, bridges, fortifications, trench lines and formed bodies of friendly troops.  Enemy troops or unknown formations are only shown on the map if they are visible to the caster when the spell is cast.  Otherwise, they appear as a hazy, but still distinct shape, in their last known location. 



VISION OF BATTLE: Observers may view a diorama of toy soldiers as if it were a real battle.  When the spell is cast, the toy soldiers begin to move on their own.  After a few minutes of careful observation, observers will see not animated toy soldiers on a tabletop but a real battle, with forces of the size of the actual battle depicted (regardless of the diorama pieces previously put into place). Time passes quickly; each battle is over in about 10 minutes, even if the viewers think that they have seen several days of combat.



The scale of the toy figures permitting, uniforms, faces, terrain, and equipment of the soldiers will change to produce maximum realism, including terrain effects, extreme weather conditions, smoke, fire, explosions and gruesome injuries.  The caster can recreate a real battle or a hypothetical battle based on historical military organization and tactics.  If he wishes, the caster can “change history” at any point in the battle to see how the outcome would be different; the caster can also freeze the battle in place at any stage, at which point the observers lapse back into real time until the diorama resumes.  However, the depiction is only as good as the caster’s information; any flaws in the caster’s knowledge of the equipment, troop strength, capabilities or battle plans of all the forces involved are reflected in the presentation.


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The Mask that Grins and Lies
Items  (Clothes)   (Cursed)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-12 06:04 PM
Nice flavor text.  What's the deal behind it?  (Withholding vote pending completion.)

(EDIT: And there we go ... deal! A good, solid idea.) Go to Comment
The Mask that Grins and Lies
Items  (Clothes)   (Cursed)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-15 03:40 AM
Only voted Go to Comment
The Undead Knights of Knonii
Society/ Organizations  (Combative)   (Regional)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-09 01:43 PM


Yikes, Cheka is right: this would be a ghastly thing to find in a barrow.



One heck of a sub.


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Romero Coultier
NPCs  (Minor)   (Combative)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-09 01:37 PM


Holy hell.  I don't do horror - my experience is that it's difficult to make the players feel it viscerally - but this chilled me down to my bones.  So far every voter's given this a perfect score, and deservedly so.  I'm voting this HoH as soon as it's eligible.


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Lydecker Cain, The Universe That Was
NPCs  (Campaign)   (Knowledge/Lore)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-04-02 04:58 AM


Mm, similarly.  It sure strikes me as a creation myth, and as a creation myth it works, but here's the rub: where's the tie in to the Quest?  How does this relate to fallen empires?


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Lydecker Cain, The Universe That Was
NPCs  (Campaign)   (Knowledge/Lore)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-09 01:16 PM


A little more, yep, but only that.  Too many unanswered questions.  Who and what are the "Conflicted Ones?"  Who and what is Lokatt?   We get some of the metagame knowledge about Cain here, but what do the PLAYERS perceive?  How is it that he remembers nothing about the Shattering (in one paragraph) but has all this pre-Shattering knowledge (in another)?



Beyond that, the presentation looks like a cut-and-paste of bits from several files into this one; no rhyme or reason to the organization.  The vote comes from the definition of votes in the 1s: a rough draft not yet suited for public consumption, and a month and a half in, it should be finished or converted into a WIP sub.


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The Shattering
Plots  (Event)   (Campaign)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-09 01:03 PM


It's a start, but only that, IMHO.


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Inns, Taverns, and Pubs
Locations  (Establishment)   (Any)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-09 01:01 PM
Only voted Go to Comment
53 or More Cantrips
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-09 12:05 PM
An excellent, necessary sub.

One of my proudest moments as a gamewriter was seeing nine of my "petty" spells make it into the GURPS magic system.  For my entire GMing career, I've been disgusted with the widespread presumption that "wizard" = "paramilitary fire support platform."  Nonsense.  The vast majority of magicians would no more be loaded down with combat magics than the majority of people reading this comment are currently in training as soldiers, boxers or MMA practitioners.  The vast majority of magical items would no more be fireball wands or enchanted swords than the vast majority of manufactured objects throughout history have been weapons.  Were I a wizard in a real fantasy society, I'd ten times rather have Insect Repellent, Sunshade or Grow Flowers than lightning bolt or Paralyze Enemy spells.

I've collected hundreds of low-yield spells for my game, and many PC wizards have had a few, but I'll put up some I've written.

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53 or More Cantrips
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-05-09 02:20 PM


#62 - Chisandra’s Strike Breaker: Named for a enchanter noblewoman whose new mansion was held up by a work stoppage, this causes a standard tool with no moving parts to work independently at the caster’s bidding.  It will only perform actions for which it is designed, as if it were wielded by a man, with approximately the skill at its task of a trained apprentice of the appropriate craft.  To this day, the spell is resented by local craftsmen, and wizards known to employ it are prone to having their windows broken by thrown bricks, their front stoops smeared with excrement, and so on.  

                            

#63 - Malabar’s Miraculous Assay:  This spell allows the caster can determine the material components of any liquid or solid compound by chemical name, along with the proportion of the components in the compound, within the limits of general chemical knowledge.  However, the caster does not necessarily know the individual properties of the components, nor will he learn what the compound does absent scholarly knowledge of chemistry or alchemy skill.



#64 - “Limpy’s” Third Conjuration: This spell causes an inanimate object to bend in the middle.  Regardless of its natural qualities - brittleness, for example - it will bend and not break.  If the object makes its appropriate resistance roll, it is slightly warped in some way.  Created by the pompous Master Limsenien of the Warwik City College of Mages, it acquired its byname from the put-upon professional apprentice corps of the city - who claimed, inaccurately, that the wizard used this to blight the manhoods of his enemies - and “Limpy” was what the wizard was called behind his back thereafter, so much so that he dropped plans to publish his Fourth and Fifth Conjurations.



#65 - Ratri’s Blessed Shield: Cast on a female, this prevents fertilization of eggs.  If cast on a female pregnant within the last week, induces spontaneous abortion.  If cast on a male his sperm becomes non-viable.  Taught by the priestesses of Ratri, although its use is canonically discouraged.



#66 - Coins of Change:  A coin of the caster's choice (and held in his hand) disappears, to be replaced by the monetary equivalent in the next lower denomination.  However, one coin of the lower denomination is missing (as a magical "tip," if you will).  The new coins will be of the proper bullion, weight and minting, indistinguishable from other such coins were it not for the newness and lack of wear.  Cast on a coin of the lowest common denomination, it disappears to be replaced by something peculiar and/or worthless.



#67 - Elaina’s Excellent Teapot:  A silvery-violet teapot will appear (and float) in midair. The caster may put any kind of tea and sweetener inside the pot; it requires no water or strainer.  The pot will brew away, producing 1 quart, appropriately sweetened.  If no tea is placed into the pot, it will brew a basic pekoe.  The pot will pour itself, at the caster's command.  Variants exist for cocoa and other hot drinks.



#68 - Swami Balmy’s Flower Power:  Any sort of flowers with which the caster is familiar can be created in a full bouquet.  They will be in full bloom.  Any part of the bouquet that is disassembled - for instance, processing for herbal or alchemical use - vanishes at once.



#69 - Denys’ Menacing Orbs: Creates a fistful of “standard” fiberglass marbles that appear in the caster’s hand.



#70 - Spider’s Veil:  A fine rain of gossamer web floats down.  While it is easily visible,  it neither impedes vision nor movement.



#71 - Hero Pointer:  The most powerful character - in terms of levels, character points, etc. - is outlined with a visible ruddy glow.  The caster can exclude certain people or types of people from the spell’s calculation.



#72 - Mirith’s Restful Soak:  Creates a magical hot tub, which will materialize on the ground if the terrain is even and there are no intervening objects.  It will comfortably seat two people.  The temperature may be set between 95 and 120o F, with any desired degree of turbulence.  The spell was researched and invented at the request of Emperor Mirith of Vinaria, a frequent adventurer who in his later years suffered from arthritis.



#73 - Chisandra’s Magic Tool:  Summons one of the following tools: chisel, axe, crowbar, plane, adze, handaxe, pick, shovel, handsaw, crosscut saw, file, or awl.  It is made of steel, and holds a perpetual edge.  It will be sized for the caster, and cannot be made larger or smaller.  For some reason, the craftsmen who revile the wizard Chisandra for inventing the “Strike Breaker” spell (see above) as well as others who would use it have no problem with it.  Local blacksmiths, however, have different opinions ...



#74 - Edroc’s Bane: This spell combines ingredients into a blended whole.  The ingredients must be normally able to be mixed by hand and be placed in a container, which will be filled by the resulting mixture.  The combination takes place in one second.  Edroc was a notable alchemical researcher working through the periodic table, and who discovered - a bit too late - that alchemically refining a large quantity of pure sodium and combining it with water (to “see what happened”) was not all that sensible an idea ...



#75 - Kinto’s Beneficial Breathing: The subject's nostrils, ears and mouth become impermeable to water. Normal air breathing is not impeded, but no oxygen is extracted from "breathing" in water.



#76 - Morgil’s Clouded Gaze:  The eyes of the subject adjust to any light brighter than normally comfortable, overtoning everything he sees in sepia tones.  The spell will not function against light-based magical attacks.  Prince Morgil Ravenswing of Gwenethlin was a renowned campaigner, but overly light sensitive, and richly rewarded the (unknown) wizard who invented this spell.



#77 - Puff of Breath:  The target feels a light puff of breath; it will blow out candles, and be noticeable, but not much else.



#78 - Verella’s Toy:  A small item becomes a recording device,  recording any sound generated (or permeating) within 30' of its location.  The sound pickup and quality is equivalent to that of a modern-day boom mike and tape player.  To activate the Recorder, the caster must speak a command word chosen at the time of casting.  A second command word stops the recording.  A third command word allows the Recorder to play back any sounds it has captured.  The object will only provide between six and twelve playbacks.  Created for Princess Verella of Vinaria, who as a small child loved the music of the nomadic Waertagi tribe and wanted to hear it still in her quiet home, hundreds of miles from the Waertagi steppe country.



#79 - “Show Business”:  Creates any minor special effect that the caster can imagine, suitable for use as a prop for a stage show.  Among the possible effects are minor sound effects, flashing lights, mini-fireworks, loud spectral applause, background Muzak, small puffs of smoke or thin fog.  The special effects created with this spell are not powerful enough to distract or fool a determined foe.  Several wizards were accused of inventing the spell in the 33 years it has been known; all hotly deny doing so.



#80 - Phoenix’s Fountain of Glory:  A fizzing jet flies straight up from the caster’s finger.  When it reaches an altitude of 400', it bursts into a brilliant flare of colored light and descends at a rate of 10'/second thereafter.  While the flare’s illumination is dim at best, it is visible for miles at night.  The spell does no damage, may not be targeted, and will not fire in any direction but straight up.  “Phoenix” was the errantry-name of the starlight wizard Sairin Wenairin, who is said to have invented it in the time he campaigned with the Kalínalumbë Legion.



#81 - Elaina’s Ball of Fun:  Created by the ice wizard Elaina Waflo more as a means to have a handy fistful of snow whenever she wanted one, this places a normal, if large and well packed, snowball that the caster can throw in her hand.  The snow itself is permanent.



#82 - Iamedon’s Keener Edged Armament: Sharpens an edged weapon, tool or implement to have as fine an edge as the object can normally hold; the edge lasts as long as normal use provides.


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My Favorite Characters
Articles  (Character)   (Gaming - In General)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-04-16 09:02 AM


Truth be told, I wish there were more on these people's personalities and character traits ... several of these folk aren't a lot beyond war stories of favored exploits.  Let's have some bones under the meat!


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Continuous Plot
Plots  (Mystical)   (Multi-Storyline)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-04-16 08:49 AM
Only voted Go to Comment
Campaign Level Thinking
Articles  (Campaign)   (Game Mastering)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-04-16 09:36 AM


Aside from other comments, I agree with many of the sentiments and disagree with others ... but heck, this is, after all, an editorial of sorts.  That's bound to happen.



That being said, hell yeah on the difficulty in killing dragons.  A few months back saw only the third dragon killed in the 33 year history of my campaign.  The warrior responsible for the first one became legendary through doing it; the minstrel who took out the second one with a colossal eye critical shot would never speak of it, because she felt that (with some justification) there'd be few who wouldn't laugh in her face at the thought that a slight rapier-and-dagger fighter could conceivably take one out.  The one which just got dropped fell at the hands of the most powerful PC wizard in the campaign's history, who was invisible at the time, and picked it off from above when it was heavily engaged with a platoon of adventurers.


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Adepts of the Doxology
Society/ Organizations  (Mystical)   (Trans World)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-04-26 03:27 PM
I always wanted that to be the answer to the cementheads who whined about Wizards and Cold Iron ... only, of course, when a wizard wrapped his hand around a sword; there was a notable lack of hassle given to wizards in close proximity to cook pots and belt knives. "Terrific" - would go the argument - "I'll just make arms and armor out of bronze instead!" Go to Comment
Sorcerers of Muircroinim
Society/ Organizations  (Mystical)   (Regional)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-04-12 07:32 AM


From a mystical order named in Kenneth Bulmer's Scorpio series.


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Wizards of Loh
Society/ Organizations  (Mystical)   (World Wide)
RGTraynor's comment on 2011-04-12 05:19 AM


This order is adapted from Kenneth Bulmer's Scorpio books, from which the summary text is excerpted.


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