I have always liked to include cantrips in my games.
I find it enjoyable to utterly crush an opponent.
Rothgar the HUGH steps out with his sword of Massiveness and swings hard overhead. Smiting his opponent so hard that the life is crush out of him, leaving a lifeless shell.
But that can get a little boring. More fun is beating someone who is tougher than you are. Beating them stealthily requires though, a plan, and a little luck. I think it is fun to use distraction and manipulate the victim to do what I want instead of what they want.
Rothgar the tiny (a magic school drop out) cast 'spot on the wall', one of the few spells that he ever learned, causing a red spot to appear on the wall in front of Mangus Magnison the giant guard. Mangus immediately saw the spot and began to follow it; Rothgar saw this and caused the spot to go down the hall away from Rothgar. Then Rothgar...
So that is my reason. The key thing is that none of these are powerful, no body will wil the war single handedly with these cantrips.
Some of the cantrips that I like are (standard saving throws apply):
Twitch (cause victims eye to twitch)
Spot on the wall
Somewhere in my collection I have a D&D net spell book, that has a good collection of cantrips, if I can find it I will post the cantrips. Can anyone think of fun to do spells that do not have to much power? I am looking for something a Magic School dropout/washout might have learned before leaving Magic School.
Please remember the rules for Cantrips
1)No cantrip can Directly injure another individual
2)No cantrip can Directly interupt anothers concentration
3)When influencing another or anothers possessions then that person is intitled to a save vs. spells
4)Cantrips will not harm any magical item,or any item or person within the protection of a Protection from Cantrips Spell
5)Specialists cannot creat cantrips belonging to their opposition schools
6)When two wizards are attempting to influence the same person or item with teleknesis cantrip or a similar type a Prof Check is Required the one with the best check wins.
p.s. I should include a link to Strolens own http://www.strolen.com/netbooks/cantrips.txt
The following are spells learned by first-year wizards, and which drop-outs from magical universities may remember in their future lives.
Groan: A spell which generates groaning noises. These could be used to embarrass foreign dignitaries, engender caution or fear in mineshafts or create distractions. It's more limited than ordinary aural illusions, as it can only make groaning noises.
Summon wasp: After a whole term's work on conjuration theory, this is the first conjuration spell learned by all wizards in their first term at university. It's fairly self-explanatory.
Extinguish candles: Creates a mere whisper of wind for blowing out candles at a distance. This is the sort of spell learned by naughty first-year wizards who are punished by being forced to clean up after the senior wizards' dinners. Walking from one end of the table to the other is seen as too strenuous, so cantrips like this are learned for efficiency.
Minor telekinesis: This is for manoeuvering small objects from a short distance. Pens can be lifted, but coherent writing is very rare. It feels like trying to do up a button with cold hands.
rustle - cause a small rustling or snapping sound to divert attention. Particularly a teachers attention diverted away from an act.
minor illusion - allows the student to look awake and mask any snoring noises while sleeping in class.
wilt - at a touch and dry up and shrivel a plant. Can possibly be used as a prank to drain a class of liquid as well.
control insect - only a single small bug at a time, can direct the bug to move where the caster wills.
mind blank - works only on a single thought, but can make the person who is trying to make a point draw a blank and momentarily forget what they were talking about. Only lasts small amount of time then they can remember naturally what they were saying. No long term affects.
Students NEED practical jokes. And what is a better joke that causing someone else to project a body sound. Were would we be with out this kind of fun.
The following are minor versions of Ventriloquism (Ignore any Game-Specificness). To use them the caster must create the sound and project it on the targets area, not necessarily the target himself/herself. This cantrip is designed to teach the student how to summon the appropriate mystical energies. This cantrip cannot be used to project voice, or else the caster could not chant and therefore not cast the spell.
Burp Self explanatory
Fart Self explanatory
Stomach Growl Self explanatory
Requirements - Line of sight, Caster must create the sound, chanting (does not have to be loud)
Distance - 50 yards
Power Word Poop cause the target of your choice to greatly desire to defecate (something akin to two strong cups of coffee). Can work instantly with animals like horses that have no desire to restrain themselves. Can wreak havoc during parades when preformed simultaneously with eight or so friends.
Distance touch (no where specific)
Power Word Piss See above.
Lube - designed to allow students to lubricate door jams and hinges. Can be used on anywhere that oil can be applied manually (e.g. armor, doors, windows, other places as well)
Requirements - oily rag
Distance - Touch
Reversible - yes requirements are a clean rag
Pull a small illusion out of one's hat (i.e. rabbit, squirrel, mouse)
Spark - used to light candles and pipes; a favorite of the students who are too lazy to get up first thing in the morning. Might also be able to light a torch, if the spark was sustained.
Flicker - an illusion for the aspiring mage, it ceates a faint motion in the air, just enough to attract attention and distract people.
Magelight - a ball of pale light that hovers around at the caster's will. It sheds only enough light to allow a mage to read within a 2' radius, and allows sight to perhaps 10'.
Flavor - enhance the natural flavors of the food being consumed.
Mask Flavor - Subdues the natural flavors of the food being consumed. Good for those pepper eating contests.
Alter Flavor - Makes a subtle change to the flavor of the food being consumed, so gruel could taste more like oatmeal with apples and cinnimon, hard tack could taste more like a flaky pastery, or conversly, some offending persons steak could taste more like it was marinated in the privies. The caster must have knowledge of the flavor being imitated, though...
Booger - Make the illusion of a slimy booger just on the edge of hanging out of the targets nose.
Gooseflesh - Gives target goosebumps. Great for those campfire stories.
Smudge - Creates a small blurry mark on the surface of an object.
Naughty - Creates a brief mental image in targets mind of something obscene and uncivilized. Examples: French kissing your mom, Seeing grandma naked, rubbing your naked body with produce, etc. They arn't compelled to act, but simply get the small flash that may or may not influence them.
Break quill - Weakens the tips of feather quills to cause them to snap. Will not work on especially exotic feathers, like the kind used in scribing scrolls, or any other type of quill, like metal or bone.
Tinitus - Creates a ringing in the targets ear that makes things a bit more difficult to hear. Picasso suffered from chronic tinitus, which drove him mad and was one of the reasons he cut off his ear.
A chunk of the Domestic series
Mend Will "heal" small objects back together if all the pieces are present.
re-Warm: Will heat the material back to a previously heated temperature. It will not reach forge temperatures, but will reheat food and such.
Room Cool: Brings things to room temperature.
Chill: Chills target to about 35F or 3C for a while. Will not work on things with a body temp.
cook: Warming spell
Slip Makes someone's feet slippery for an instant.
Stick - a moment Makes something stick like glue for a second or three. Great for gags and causing falls.
Stick Two objects are bound like they are glued by conventional glue.
Tangle - for shoelaces, purse strings etc. Makes a very difficult knot to untie.
Serpent Charm - the cantrip counter to tangle, it unravels tangles of laces, hair, rope, twine, etc with little trouble.
Tune - a favorite of bards, this cantrip tunes any stringed insturment to perfection.
Puff - conjures a puff of smoke; often enough to distract a guard for several minutes.
Smoke Ring - Can shape a puff of smoke (usually from a pipe, but any puff will do) into any shape that the caster is familiar with.
Example: Fellowship of the ring, Gandalf while talking to Frodo (I think that is where I saw it)
The Kinetic Sequence
Push- like a strong shove from the caster.
Pull- a single handed pull from the caster
Veer- Makes a thrown or rolling object veer to the right or the left. Works only on a single object. Useful defensive cantrip.
Toss- As if the caster tossed said item. If the caster has no skill in tossing or throwing, the aim of said item can be dodgy at best.
Stay- Hold the item down, as if the caster was holding said item down with one hand.
Spin- Will cause the item to spin. The amount of spin depends on the weight or the resistance. The amount of spin is based upon the caster's strength with one hand.
Together- Cantrip makes any bundle or bag stay upright and together, as if the caster was there holding it and trying to prevent it from spilling.
Spill- The reverse of together, as if the caster was knocking the bag over. Usually the only way to knock over a 'together' item and have it spill.
Light- It makes it easier to carry an object. It is as if the caster was lifting (or assisting in lifting) target object with a single arm.
The item required to cast all of these is a glove.
This skill simply adds a +1 to a specific skill check. (+5% guess). This spell can stack, so you can have skill bonus 4, granting +4.
The requirement for the spell is to stare at a mandela and concentrate for five minutes or so. This psuedo meditation limits the raw effectivness of the Skill Bonus cantrip for the adventurous sorts.
The bonus will end when the task ends or the 'end of the scene' which ever is first.
This will mostly be used for crafting skills (cook, craft wood, craft metal, farming), though someone will create Use Sword, Use Mace, Use Bow, and so on. Concentration and magic skills proper might be an option.
Adapt this to your system, with a cap of a good modifier to a skill roll (+4 on a 1d20 system for example, +2 for 2d6, +1d not kept for a dice pool system, and so on.)
This cantrips comes in levels, so you can learn Hexing 1, 2, 3 or 4, with the prerequisite of the previous level.
Hexing takes one to four minutes to perform. It requires a talisman to perform, a wand usually with feathers, stones, metal (copper), and glass, bits attached by a wrap or teather. Many people use a rattle.
Hexing can be done instantly, if the hexing person is willing to take a curse hex of the same level.
Hexing allows you to produce hexes for Luck (Positive Bonus to rolls) or Curse (Negative Bonus to rolls). A hex sits on the person until their next important event. The bonus is then used at that time. You can break it down, so a major important event/ a dramatic event will use all of it, a minor one will use half or just one hex). The hex modifier will last for the entire 'scene'. So if one is cursed, then tries to escape from jail, the jail break will be the entire scene, so the modifier will apply to all important rolls that entire scene.
Hexes can stack, but they are used up during the next important scene, so they do not last.
Luck hexes do not neutralize a Curse hex. Instead they only apply good bonuses when things are going bad, while the curse, applies negative modifiers when things are going good. This makes for very 'schitzophrenic' luck.
Adapt this to your system, with a cap of a good modifier to a skill roll (+4 on a 1d20 system for example, +2 for 2d6, +1d not kept for a dice pool system, and so on.).
Cantrips of cover are very fragile illusions. They are used to cover things, to make things seem like something similar. This can be used for to make someone seem like someone else, to change a brown jar to a blue glass one, or to make ripe food to appear unripe. These are minor illusions, so enough intent to see the object of the illusion, will break the illusion. So as long as someone is not actively looking for something, they casually see it as the covered form.
Good for making your place look better (or worse) or for hiding in the crowd or for avoiding bored guards. (Good or careful guards will see right through the cover).
Two for the cold, two for the warmth.
Gloves - protects hands against the cold effects of common snow and ice and the like, for a short time - ideal for a little snow-fight. Ice is not slippery to the hands for the duration.
Meld Ice - helps in forming ice and snow nicely, ice sculptures can be easily made so.
Comfort - looking into a campfire, the target(s) are comforted by the playful presence of a flame. Can be also a distracting spell.
Warm Bed - makes the blankets or whatever sleeping arrangement warm in just the way the caster likes it.
This simple yet rare cantrip will allow a moderately skilled magic user to make lead appear and taste like gold, allowing the mage to temporarily fool a shopkeeper.
This has several limitations.
Firstly, the lead does not change shape, and so has to be shaped into coins or ingots before the cantrip is cast (some unscrupulous mages have been known to carry illegal coin moulds and stamps to shape lead disks into coins)
Secondly, the cantrip only lasts for a limited amount of time, and shopkeepers will often know that they have been duped the next day, when they see lead in their coffers, making any long-lasting wealth impossible.
Thirdly, this cantrip is clearly seen as illegal and although not hard to learn, very few would teach it openly and its use is severely punished.
(Interestingly, this cantrip is often used by town guards to break up sieges and hostage situation, and due to its rarity, very few hostage takers will actually know they have been duped)
Ignite: The ability to start a small fire, much like pulling out a lighter or wooden match.
Snuff: The ability to put out a small fire. Once it gets beyond a small fire, this cantrip is useless, only slightly diminishing it.
Brighten: Intensifies the light from a candle or small fire.
Hood: Shadowing the light from a small candle or fire. Such a fire will put off very little light and what light it does is not very useful for seeing.
Flare: It makes a small fire flare up slightly.
Long Burning: This extends the span of a burning candle by nearly half again.
Miser's Bane: This shortens the span of a fire's ability to burn by one third.
Squires Aide: This will make a candle or small fire with kindling, more apt to catch fire.
Dragon's Heart: This misnamed cantrip cools a fire, making it merely warm and if perfectly done... just a touch cooler than the air around it. The naming of this technique thinks that all dragons are merciless creatures with no heart to speak of.
Jack's Curse: No matter how prepared the tinder, a cursed candle fire will not light another fire. Jack's curse is actually a handy safety spell.
Rainbow's Capture The link between fire and rainbows is intensified, allowing for the fire's color to be altered.
Light the Field: This allows for multiple small fires to be lit at one time. It is the powerful cantrip used to light several candles in a room at once.
Leaving the Chapel: This allows for the caster to extinguish several small fires at one time. This powerful cantrip will put them all out for the evening.
Missed Me - This cantrip for a few seconds makes the caster seem three feet from where he/she is, so arrows will be aimed wrongly and charging attackers charge in the wrong place. It only lasts for a maximum of ten seconds and vanishes if the caster moves.
Concentrating fully for a moment, best with closed eyes, the caster can make his presence felt in a place he knows well enough. In this place will his or her presence be felt.
The caster doesn't get any useful information from the place, but animals or sensitive creatures around may very well feel it - and that is the main purpose of the cantrip. Thus you will see a flock of birds suddenly taking off, for no particular reason. Or you could get a strong feeling of being watched, as if... somebody was there with you.
The cantrip may be a prerequisite for other spells (see from/hear from/teleport to other place), but is cast mainly for fun, and the spooky effect. You know you will meet a dramatic villain if this is used.
Darkness-causes darkness for a few seconds, will only work in an enclosed space, not out in the open.
Swear-Makes a person say one rude word.
No discussion of Cantrips would be complete without mentioning Cantrip Gloves.
A skilled entwiner can manually do most of these tasks almost instantly, these cantrips allow them to do them even faster when intending to show off or needing them done instantly.
Curl - A very weak, short range (6") telekinisis that allows for control of the end of a rope without actually touching it. Very useful when working in odd locations, or when only one hand is available.
Detangle - Untangles mundane knots at four times normal speed.
Defray - Transforms a frayed rope into a whole one.
Splice - instantly splices two ropes of very similar material and size. Splice is as strong as the weaker rope.
Thread - Causes tread or other material to become threaded into a needle instantly.
Dispell Numbness-does just what it says when one's hand or foot has been laid on whilst sleeping
Pop Pimple-Can pop a pimple or scratch open a mosquito bite on the caster or somebody else. In the right conditions it can be used to cause someone's death due to infection, but normally such a thing would not happen.
In the school of pubcrawling spellcasters, there are many spells which are passed around on looseleafed notes (or found in the margins of many used spell books).
Cool: To cool one's drink, useful on a hots day.
Warm: To warm one's drink, useful on cold days or if you have a proper brew.
Froth: Flat beer is a bad beer
Find Tap: Creates a floating bubble from the beverage, that will lazily head towards its tap. A fun trick to see if you are being served the good stuff or the cheap stuff. Also if you keep some beer from an tied or common house, you can follow the bubble back to that house.
Fix Mug: Well if your mug is cracked or broken, precious amber liquid could be lost. A quick spell will replace all but the worst damage
Careful Beer: This cantrip prevents the accidental sloshing of precious liquid out of the cup. One has to literally desire to pour it out for it to spill. This is handy if you have clumsy friends.
Water to beer: Rather than a full spell, it allows you convert a mug of water, with a splash of beer added to it, into a full mug of beer. A great spell that teaches many magical fundementals and allows cash strapped apprentices to get a drink with their friends.
Second Mug: This cantrip seems to make a tiny bit of extra space in you mug. Cast the cantrip and have someone refill your mug. It will load up with one and a half times the volume of normal drink (sometimes up to two times the volume if cast well).
Rosey Glow: This allows one a glamour of being into your cups. You will feel that happy warm, sloshed feeling, after drinking one drink with rosey cups cast on it. The glamour will shatter if you are hit with a sobering truth, potential violence, or hit up the head really hard.
Dart Sharp: This allows one to negate the adverse effects of drinking one or two many beers/ drinks for one task named at the time of the silent casting. Thus cast the spell and you can shoot darts like you are pefectly sober.
Returning Home: It returns the spilled beer back to its cup or mug, if cast right after the spill. If cast well, it will not bring any dirt, sawdust, or such back with it as it "spills back" into the mug.
Song of Drinking Home: It is a spell to weave into a song that gets everyone moderately inclined to sing along. It is a great way to get the ball rolling, as once people start singing, they keep singing more and more drinking songs.
Jostle Loss: Created by puny apprentices who drink among other bigger folk. It creates a magical aura around the person so they will not be bumped into or squished between folks in a crowd. THe problem with the spell is that it only works in a specific location at a specific time. So it would have to be cast every time your enter or exit the bar, building, or street, to be effetive.
The caster can reform a single regular-sized spider web in any way desired. Besides cleaning up for the squeamish, one could span a web across a room and create a nearly invisible, non-magical way to detect if someone entered it. Or create a nice little surprise: 'There must be powerful magic at work here - look at how those spiders made their webs!'
In another application, the caster can learn from a freshly disturbed web, how large was the one that disturbed it, if there were more of them, how long ago it was, and so on.
And you wondered why these wizards never bother to clean up.
Makes the target feel a kiss on their face or neck.
A weak mental effect, those who fail the saving throw will tend to feel ornery and unwilling to do what would be normally expected of them. Having less of an effect on adults, it is ideal to cast on babies and small children who can sometimes create a spectacular diversion.
Go to Bed
This compulsion was originally designed to 'pick up wenches', as in go to bed with me. It wasn't quite the powerful pick up spell the developer expected. However, when cast upon someone, they have a strong compulsion to lay down on their bed (or nearest bed that they would be willing to lay down on). They might go to sleep, nap, or just want to read/ relax. This has been handy for healers and parents to keep people in bed.
Sometimes, if the right person is there, they might do something else while laying down in bed.
Makes a person begin to sweat the equivalent of an hours hard work in a matter of seconds, great for looking like you just spent the afternoon doing something other than slacking off, also handy for making a romantic rival suddenly less attractive or a fleeing target easier to track by scent.
A lesser version of the standard cleanse spell, this one only removes body oils and odor from clothes or an individual, good for freshening up before dinner and when you don't have time for a proper bath or need to deodorize an especially nasty pair of socks.
Good for putting ones romantic partner/s 'in the mood,' however this cantrip will only make the the target have sexual desire, not confer an attraction to the caster or actively compromise their morals any more than normal arousal would.
Great for putting a shine on an otherwise lackluster date, animal breeders and farmers have also used it to speed up the breeding of their herds and it remains a popular prank often cast upon clergy and other conservative individuals.
Causes the next few paragraphs worth of speech the caster hears to repeat in their minds continuously for next hour. Great for remembering directions or complicated recipes this cantrip causes an impressive backfire when used to attempt to memorize other magical spells, often causing the caster to suffer severe mana burn from the attempt.
It's also used by bards who wish to annoy unappreciative listeners with a song or dirty limerick they won't be able to easily get out of their heads.
This will cause a willing recipient to immediately forget a recent (within the past few hours) occurrence of their choice completely. However this erasure of the memory is only surface deep and anyone bringing the experience back up or witnessing a similar event will return the erased memory at full clarity.
Regularly used on recipients who wish to forget a recent horrific event or tragedy that would otherwise scar them for life (seeing someone squished to goo by a tumbling rampart stone, a back fired spell melting the flesh off someones body, etc..)
Makes a single object or five to ten foot swath of fabric completely waterproof for up to an hour, (d6x10 minutes) great for keeping one self dry when caught in an unexpected shower or keeping the contents of ones backpack dry while fording a deep stream.
Makes a small five foot area of ground fertile, allowing anything planted in the area to grow readily. If cast upon a living creature the chances of conception should it have intercourse within the next hour is dramatically increased.
Works like a top quality topical insect repellent, preventing the target from being fed upon by flea, ticks, mosquitoes etc, very popular among mages that live in swampy areas.
makes the object/person or area highly attractive to all varieties of insects (and arachnids) causing them to gather in the area. useful for annoying a group of people or making a market stall appear unattractive it can also prove handy to disrupt someones restful sleep and potentially even deadly if poisonous spiders happen to be in the vicinity.
It can also be used beneficially to concentrate a swarm of bees or other insects for easy capture or eradication or to generate a feeding ground for bats and birds to more easily collect their guano for alchemical purposes.
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? Responses (21)
Someone commented and deleted. That is no problem. This submission really should have a comment.
Forgot about this one for a while. We should all do one of these.
wow..this is lovely...not much that didnt already appear in the original 'Unearthed Arcana', but lovely nonetheless!
Actually this thread predates that book for D20/ D&D. It just does not seem that way because of the movement to version 2.0
How could this thread have predated something written in 1985?
Well, there *is* a new Unearthed Arcana, but the original comment probably referred to the 1985 UA.
Indeed - the 1st ed Unearthed Arcana was the first AD%D hardback with cantrips. Before then they lived in Dragon magazines.
BUMP! Everyone, feel free to invent a new cantrip or two into this nice thread.
I like these.
For the first time in ages, the HoH was empty. So I added an old favorite.
It would be nice if we did this in groups and sequences, rather than just random splats of spells. So read through the piece, and fill in the gaps.
A nice, useful scroll indeed!
BUMP. More cantrips for the masses!
CANTRIPS DOMINATION FTW!!!! Maybe we should combine this with the recent post somehow? Kudos to co-founder/friend of Strolen(?) Drphluid.
Yep. One of the three originators of Strolen's Citadel. Him and Nimblefinder.
A very useful list. I can imagine that there would be literally thousands of cantrips in a high-magic world -- experiments originating in the wizardry dorms, failed thesis spells of upper classmen, or even the homebrew cantrips of local hedgewizards and witches.
Solid 5! I LOVE cantrips, Ill dig up my old list and add a few(eventualy)
This is a great page. I may be using a number of these for my upcoming Dungeon World campaign.
Really handy list, great stuff for making a spell caster just a little more unique and useful.