Dire Ape, I choose you!!!
Rotten piles of choss, that’s all that was left of the wizard’s tower, that’s it.
"a new (scientific) truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
I have never been happy with the way that magical constructs were presented in games. Admittedly, a large statue stomping the surrounding countryside is an impressive image. But the logic (or lack thereof) involved has always bothered me.
The school of Entwiners is formed around the art of creating magic with rope and knots.
Deep forests hide many secrets, and traditions older and stranger than civilization itself.
The art of putting spells within spells.
Elven soldiers, elven armies? What a human, and therefore shortsighted, idea…
Athiyk student quote
Somewhat system specific, but bear with me.
Galron has found lasting fame for simply being the first one who mentioned the stones in the record. This ancient parchments, translated into so many languages, is a hodge podge of various techniques that can be done, processes to do many of them, and vague hints about what can be done what the older magics.
“...the experiment performed last year by Michelson and Morley, in which the movement of the Earth with respect to the Ether was successfully measured, has only compounded the problem by adding yet another member to the list of so-called “fundamental” elements. The seemingly unending proliferation of this “element zoo” is one of the most pressing questions in natural philosphy and thaumatics…”
How may times have you read a book in which a famous hero’s sword is treasured and valued, not because it is magic, or because of its powers, but just because the hero wielded it. The “Sword of Enthar” the great warrior may just be a normal steel broadsword; but because he used it, it will be prized and treasured.
Most of the people who “spell components” really don’t know anything about magic. Components are used as tools, symbols to help focus the concentration and associations for the spell caster. Rarely is anything “consumed” in the casting, unless it is a sacrifice or burned.
The little things matter.
It is said that dwarves have problems with using magic (maybe they cannot cast spells at all). This is an attempt to create a distinctly dwarwen school of magic. The way you use it is of course yours.
But, O Fellow Denizens of the Citadel, I ask this - what other kinds of unique elements can you come up with?
One of the common variations on magic is the concept of ‘sword mages’ or ‘knight mages’. We all know and love them as the folks in full plate that split globes in twain with flaming swords, before twirling around to change their flame sword to an ice sword so they can stab the flaming angel of vengeance in the chest to maximum effect.
Peldor scrambled for his staff. It has all his tactical spells anchored. He dived to the floor, trying to dodge the incoming dart spells. All he had was his ring (for energy enhancements) and his belt buckle (which carried his personal enhancements spells). Papers, smoke, and wood splinters flew everywhere. In the chaos, he saw it - his lab desk’s sextant. He stretched, just touching with the tips of his fingers. He rolled forward. A dart struck infront of him. Spitting dust out of his mouth and squinting against the flying debree, he made solid contact. He whispered the trigger, utilizing his ring to make it cost less mana. The green mystic glow unfolded. It formed a full serephamic sheild. The hex bolts and darts were bouncing off it. Slowly he rose. He was able to take the three steps to reach his battle staff. Now, things would be different.
The Seeker was a mystic guardian from long ago. He was a hero and a companion to Greater Heroes. To ensure the Realms would be protected, he charged his apprentices to teach others.
Folk magic is more of a magical tradition than a school of scholarly research being as old as the hills, some say as old as time itself. It is as deeply ingrained to the psyche of the country folk as the changing of the seasons and has been passed down from father to son and mother to daughter for countless generations.
Bag on a Stick
Very simple gag but a great one, since it can be used multiple times over, even in the same adventure. Great for tribal natives gone restless and humanoids, but anyone can have set this up. Just what the header says, a simple bag over a stick stuck in the ground or floor.
As GM you can place the bag on a stick anywhere, in a floor crack the heroes have passed before, outdoors in a clearing or path, or at the edge of the PCs' encampment the following morning, what have you. Place anything on the stick - a coiled yellow viper angered by the bag removal, mini crossbow w/poison, transdermal hallucinatory drug dusted on the bag, yellow mold colony, an NPC ally's head, a weapon, scroll tube or satchel, what have you.
The idea is to build tension and/or stall for time/distract the party. Provided it's used properly, you'll be amazed at how paranoid players will get from this simple gag.