May 21, 2018

Ritual Spells

Spells
Comments from the Finger: I've been writing a number of spells for Dark Matter (new spells and races at the end of this month on Patreon!), and for new base classes (new base class next month on Patreon!), so I thought I'd share a few of them here.

Ritual Spells
These spells are presented in alphabetical order.

Consecrated Armor
2nd-level abjuration (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (A drop of blessed oil)
Duration: 8 hours
You trace a holy symbol on your chest, and an invisible barrier protects you until the spell ends. Your base AC becomes 12 + your Dexterity modifier. If you are attacked by a fiend or undead, your AC becomes 15 + your spellcasting ability modifier against that attack.

Benign Dismemberment
3rd-level necromancy (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 hour
For the duration, a willing target's body parts (fingers, legs, tail, and even its head) can be harmlessly severed from its body. It takes no damage from such dismemberment, as long as the cut removing the body part is swift and leaves a clean cut. The target's head remains alive and conscious, and parts connected to it also remain alive. All severed body parts become inanimate, but do not begin decomposition for the spell's duration. Any of the target's severed body parts that are removed during this spell's duration can be held back to the stump, which instantly causes the part to knit to the stump, restoring the body part.
     At the end of the duration, severed body parts become permanent, and the target dies if vital organs have not been reattached to its head.

Clue
1st-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (a magnifying glass and pipe)
Duration: 10 minutes
When you cast this spell, all footprints and fingerprints within range become highlighted and glow faintly for the duration. At the time of casting, choose any period of time up to the last 10 days to the present; only footprints and fingerprints left within that time will be highlighted. Each creature whose footprints or fingerprints are detected by the spell is assigned a unique color, but are not otherwise identified. Any creature that moves or touches objects in the area will also leave colorful footprints and fingerprints, which might reveal invisible creatures in the area.

Distort Gravity
4th-level transmutation (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a gyroscope)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour
This spell changes the direction of gravity within a 60-foot square area on surface you touch. The affected area can wrap around a surface, if its geometry permits. For the duration, creatures and objects within 15 feet of the surface fall toward it as if it were the ground. A creature can walk on this surface as if it were level ground, even if the surface is perpendicular to the ground or upside down.
     When the duration ends, all creatures and objects fall from the surface.

Memorize
1st-level enchantment (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a page of written text and a length of silver string worth 25 gp, tied in a knot, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous
While casting this spell, your eyes pass over the words on the page, which are committed to your memory. For the next year, you exactly remember the details of all information on this page. After that time, you have advantage on all Intelligence checks you make to recall this information.

Soul Bond
4th-level necromancy (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (two nails from a coffin)
Duration: 24 hours
This spell forges a mortal connection between yourself and a creature that you touch. A target creature must be present for the entire time of casting. If the creature is unwilling, it must make a Constitution saving throw to resists the bonds effects.
     For the duration, if you are reduced to 0 hit points, the target is also reduced to 0 hit points, and vice versa. This spell ends if you cast it again, or if you choose to dismiss it as an action.



Changelog: 5/24/18: Distort Gravity: Casting time reduced to 1 action
Memorize: Components: Have a material cost

19 comments:

  1. Distort Gravity. Is it a ritual spell?

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    1. What do you mean? Of course it is <.< >.>

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  2. (Before Idan gets here: Soul Bond /does/ have more of a point in that upcoming base class I mentioned -- it's not /completely/ useless.)

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    1. LOL. I actually did think of a use for it- when you capture an enemy and want to use them but make sure they don't betray you. Also, I'm guessing the upcoming class is going to use its own hp as a resource to fuel abilities? AND is a full caster? I'm guessing Blood Mage.

      consecrated armor probably needs to say that it only works if the target wears no other armor. The AC it gives it worse than usual armor, especially for holy types, but the AC versus fiends and undead is better, so if it works with armor you'd get the vs. evil AC without necessarily having the 12+dex AC.

      A spell like Memorize seems like it should have some sort of cost attached- it IS basically permanent. Maybe silver lock and key which must be specific for that casting of the spell, worth 50 gp?

      One last thing- Benign Dismemberment might just be the most fun spell I've ever seen. I'm SO gonna give that to villains.

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    2. Nah, the next class hitting the patreon is the Investigator, which is going to be able to cast rituals as an action (thus, we needed more rituals.) Think John Constantine or Hank Blackstone.

      For Consecrated Armor, shouldn't the AC calculation just give you the higher of the two, even if you're wearing armor?

      I think you're right about memorize, but surely the material component should be something which the casting consumes, right?

      I'm glad you enjoy Benign Dismemberment. It kinda popped out of my brain and I was like 'yeah, that's maybe the craziest spell I've ever written.'

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    3. Now that I think of it, both a cleric and a paladin normally have an AC of 18 or 20, which means getting 15+mod isn't a big deal, so the better of the two is fine.

      The cost to memorize should be something that can't be re-used, which is why I suggested a lock&key which have to be specific for that casting. It was mainly for flavor, but now that I think of it you may end up with loads of locks and keys (or just sell them afterwards), so yeah, something consumed makes more sense.

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    4. Or you have to tie a knot in a piece of magical string! And if it gets untied you instantly forget! ;)

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  3. Benign dismemberment is a surgeon's wet dream.

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  4. I think Distort Gravity is a bit overpriced for what it does.

    At first I thought it was approximate to Fly for combat superiority and obstacle avoidance, but it really pales in comparison giving its limited factors

    - A full minute to cast means you aren't going to be using it in combat, or any situation you can't explicitly prepare for.
    - Concentration makes it less ideal for combat, depending on your purpose.
    - It's immobile, severely limiting its use as an obstacle avoidance spell.
    - Touch range means you have to /get/ to the surface, putting anywhere really interesting out of reach without another spell to get you there (Fly, Spider Climb) and the concentration issue limits it further unless a second spell caster is providing your access to whatever surface.

    I think if I were playing a wizard, I'd find this useful for setting up a cool combat scenario/ambush/whatsit, and a second spell caster could make this useful for getting the party around obstacles, but that's a lot of magic to throw at a problem that might be better spent on other tactics.

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    1. I think the reason this has to be 4th level is that it's effectively a mass spider climb. The *whole party*, including followers, pack animals, wagons, etc. can now effortlessly scale the castle walls, for example.

      For me, it's just too much to put at 3rd level. Better to be safe than sorry, eh?

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    2. Perhaps I should have phrased it like "I think Distort Gravity is a bit underwhelming for its level."

      I don't think lowering it to 3rd is a good option; the fact it distorts gravity is worth 4th level as a spell.

      Instead, I would amend its abilities in one or more of the following ways:
      - Instead of 1 minute casting time, make it 1 action. This allows it to be useful to dynamically control the battlefield, for quick ingress/egress and give a reason to use a spell slot on it.
      - Give it a range with the effect tangent on the point chosen.
      - Create a higher level casting option allowing the position of the effect to be changed as an action.
      - Repeat castings over time should allow for a permanent effect.

      Also, I get that these are supposed to explicitly be Ritual Spells; I just think this one has value beyond ritual/situational applications with a bit of tweaking.

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    3. Agreed: that said, these spells are written to go along with a new class that is going to be able to cast rituals as an action, so you'll still get the flexibility you want out of it.

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    4. I think that a 1 action casting time might be appropriate here. Frankly, I can't remember why it had the 1 minute cast.

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    5. What if it is 1 action to cast on a surface you can touch, and 1 minute for something far away? It's now a solid combat ability and a slower Mass Spider Climb.

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  5. Stellar work as always, folks. I sorta agree with the slight problems mentioned above (listen to the Nails, that knot one was a fun idea) but nothing major. Which preestablished classes get these spells, by the way?

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    1. To be honest, I haven't done the leg work to figure that out. Memorize should probably be Wizard-only, and Consecrated Armor should be cleric/paladin, but I'm not entirely sure beyond that.

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    2. Scaalpel makes a neat point. While DMs can probably make their own judgement calls, you guys have a lot of spells out there and no spell lists to show where it's intended for them to belong outside the custom class they were designed for.

      Maybe there could be a compiled list of your homebrew spells along with the lists? Either here, or on your Patreon?

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    3. Such a thing has been proposed many times. I think it's even been on a few polls. I know I've shared my personal spell lists on discord.

      An official summary will surely happen sooner or later.

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  6. I am not sure I understand what to do with Soul Bond. Does it grant telepathy between the two individuals? Does it act like a Harry Potter & Voldemort curse? Is it akin to a Mindflayer's presence in your head? Taking a minute to cast it upon an unwilling individual makes it useless in combat, and even out-of-combat, this can act mostly as insurance on someone who is already restrained or unconscious because it already is there. For a 4th level spell, this feels mostly like a "ribbon" spell whose only use is as a ritual, unless there's something I'm missing and that might benefit from further clarification in the spell description.

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