#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.
Wow. There is a lot of surface details but nothing that gets me into the family. Too many people with too long of a timeline. It turned sort of into a list of facts about these people and nothing I could really use in a game.
This seems more like a background an author would put together for a story. Many facts aren't useful to us by themselves but if intertwined into a story they make more sense.
Definitely use some bold on your headings though. Just the break up of the text would make it much more readable. Put a blockquote on the "letter" to have it stand out.
I think I don't know what to do with it as there is so much generic information packed in about each person that there is not much to hang your hat on. The letter is probably the best part as it has some possible plot hooks perhaps.
Yeah, sorry, not my cup of tea. I thought I would be nice and try to read it, even though your warning about its inspirations nearly ran me off. I'm always one for sport, but this is too much for me to handle. I won't vote, since I did not read it all, and as it is lengthy and there was nothing to inspire me to read more, which, if you ask me, captures the style of the first Harry Potter book quite well. But I think a few pointers are in order.
• Capture your audience: That may have been the intent of the dilly names, but it was more of a turn off to me. I did read the first paragraph, but what I got out of it was this - This is a wizard family with lengthy crazy psuedo-Rowling names, we won't use these names since they are lengthy crazy and psuedo-Rowling, but none of these characters would ever allow themselves to be referred to by their incomplete name. Now, that is an exaggeration but you get the idea. Very off-putting if you ask me.
• Presentation is important. Throw in some bold headers so we can find our way back if we happen to wander backwards and reread something. The paragraphs could probably be shorter, too. Trimmed for content and broken up more.
But, like I said, I skipped around a lot and it didn't look horrible, but it's not something I feel like I would enjoy reading. I think role-playing material for a Harry Potter style world has a niche, and can be useful, it's just a very small one from what I've seen. I'm really interested to see how the other Strolenites view this, but I don't expect it to yield high results. Might have better luck with some HP fanfic site.
I hope I wasn't too harsh or rude, and I know I'm being slightly stubborn by not reading the whole thing, but I also hope you can walk away from my comment having gained some insight... or something... about something... or something....
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It is what it is, there's a place for this kind of stuff, just not in my world.
The bolding helps a bit! Now it is easier to follow. Thanks for the edit.
Ok, so, I for one do not mind an author's campaign minutiae. I often do write-ups like this for every NPC as well, and often get carried away with the detail, trying to create believable people. I just don't post that kind of stuff on the site usually.
There are some interesting personality tidbits I can steal from this I guess. I like the "pertinent facts and notes" and the letter has some interesting bits as Strolen said.
I think when you begin a sub by stating, "this may seem generic" and "Harry Potter- If that hasn't sent you packing, enjoy." you're almost saying right off the bat that you feel readers won't warm up to this. Which is a weird way to start a sub. :)
This brings up an interesting topic. There are 2 types of submissions, as far as I've seen over the years. There is the "Hope everyone can use this idea" in your game type of sub, and there is the "I am detailing my world, go away, if you don't like it", kind of sub. :) I don't have a point, just making the observation.
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Getting back to the sub, I will say this: Its not bad, a detailed expose of a family of npcs. There just isn't much that jumps out though.
An interesting read, but I'm not sure I see much HP inspiration to warrant the intro warning. (aside from coming from a long line of wizards) Then again I never read much HP beyond the first book or two, preferring RA Salvatore and Piers Anthony's works when it comes to fantasy. *shrugs*
That bit aside it is a set of very well detailed (if rather old) individuals which makes it a bit difficult to use in a campaign as readily. (especially given how fragile and rare 70+ year old people usually are in a fantasy world, although these are wizardly/heroic types...)
The first and best use I see for this is as a background and family legacy for a young PC to be based off of, and the letter making for a great plot hook to draw them into their (great?) grandmother/fathers personal problems and intrigue.
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A well put together sub over all if a bit dry, a section at the end for plot hooks would be a nice addition and help bring it all together as well as provide ideas on how to include this in ones campaign.