March 30, 2020

Spells from Songs

Spells
Notes from the Nails: I hope casting these brings you as much joy as creating them brought me. Also I make no apologies for being out of touch with popular music. Get one of the other digits to do a follow-up post or something...

Spells from Songs

It's funny how inspiration works sometimes. I got the idea to turn song lyrics into spells because I happened to be checking the wording of the 'investiture' spells in Xanathar's Guide when my media player's shuffle decided to play Andrew Bird's Masterswarm. The line "investments of translucent alabaster" sounded so similar to the spells, it gave me an idea. A quick skim through my library gave me "did they get you to trade... hot ashes for trees" (Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd) and "she seems to have an invisible touch, yeah // she reaches in, and grabs right hold of your heart" (Invisible Touch, Genesis), and the plan was cemented in my mind.



But I Get Up Again
1st-level abjuration (ritual)

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (a whiskey, a vodka, a lager and a cider, all of which the spell consumes)
Duration: 8 hours

Casting this spell reminds you of the good times, preventing anyone or anything from keeping you down. You are immune to the prone condition for the duration, even if you lose consciousness.


Hot Ashes to Trees
5th-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (an unburned match)
Duration: Instantaneous

This spell doesn't enable you to tell Heaven from Hell, but it does reverse the combustion process of one object that filled a space no larger than a 10-foot cube before it was burned. You must touch the ashes or other remains of the object when you cast this spell, and all of the object's remains must be present; the spell fails if some of the ashes have been lost for example. After you have finished casting this spell, the target object is restored to whatever condition it was in immediately before it was burned. The spell does not repair damage not caused by fire. This spell can restore life to mundane plants that have been destroyed by fire, but it cannot restore life to any other type of creature.


Investment of Translucent Alabaster
6th-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Until the spell ends, your body is encased in flakes of white stone, and you gain the following benefits:
  • You have resistance to necrotic damage, immunity to all disease and, as long as you have at least 1 hit point, you regain 1d8 hit points at the start of each of your turns.
  • You can understand all languages and speak them with perfect diction.
  • You act with more conviction, gaining advantage on all Charisma checks.
  • You gain mastery over all swarms of creatures -- they will do your bidding when ordered as if magically charmed.

Invisible Touch
4th-level necromancy

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You create an invisible hand and use it to reach into a creature you can see within 120 feet, taking hold of their heart and slowly tearing them apart. Make a ranged spell attack against the creature. On a hit, the target takes 4d8 necrotic damage and the hand continues to cling to their heart for the spell's duration.
     As long as the hand clings to the target's heart, they cannot regain hit points, and they take 2d8 necrotic damage at the start of each of their turns. The target can make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC at the end of each of their turns, ending the spell on a success.


Paper Wings
2nd-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a sheet of paper)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You touch a willing creature while begging them to fly halfway around the world. The target gains a flying speed of 45 feet for the duration. This spell ends early if the target takes fire or radiant damage. When the spell ends, the target comes spiraling down, landing in a random location within a horizontal radius equal to their altitude when the spell ended.


Psychic Spy
3rd-level enchantment

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: Special, see text

With this spell, you can try to steal the elation from the mind of one humanoid you can see within 60 feet. The target must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failure, you can steal one beneficial effect that they currently possess, such as an ongoing spell (as long as its level is equal to or less than the slot level that psychic spy was cast from), temporary hit points, or possession of Bardic Inspiration dice. The effect ends for the target and transfers to you for the remainder of its normal duration. If the effect requires concentration, you must concentrate on it instead of the original caster.


Role Reversal
4rd-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a sugar pill)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

When you cast this spell, the universal muse comes over you, inspiring you to break it all down. Choose two willing humanoids with class levels that you can see within range. The targets exchange one class feature (other than spellcasting) with each other, losing their ability but gaining access to the other party's ability for the duration. For example, you could choose a barbarian and a bard, granting the Bardic Inspiration feature to the barbarian and Rage to the bard. A creature cannot gain an ability it already has through this spell, and abilities that have limited uses are not recharged at any point: the creature gaining the ability inherits however many uses were remaining at the time the spell was cast, and the original owner of the ability is left with only as many uses as were unspent at the end of the spell's duration.


Shimmering Light
4th-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 300 feet
Components: V, S, M (a miniature replica of a mission bell)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You shine a light towards a creature you can see within range, causing their head to grow heavy and their sight to grow dim, such that they might need to stop for the night. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, they are blinded for the duration and gain 1 level of exhaustion. The target can repeat the save at the end of each of their turns, ending the blindness effect on a success.


Thunderbolt and Lightning
5th-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You do the fandango and call down a very, very frightening blast of energy, which explodes in a 20-foot radius sphere centered on a point you choose within range. Each creature in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, a target takes 4d6 thunder and 4d6 lightning damage and becomes frightened of you for the duration; on a success, it takes half as much damage and is not frightened. A frightened creature can repeat the save at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect for themselves on a success.


The Wall
7th-level conjuration

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S, M (another brick)
Duration: Until dispelled or torn down

A nonmagical wall of bricks and mortar springs into existence at a point you choose within range. The wall is 6 inches thick and is composed of twenty 10-foot-by-10-foot panels. Each panel must be contiguous with at least one other panel. Alternatively, you can create 10-foot-by-5-foot panels that are 16 inches thick, incorporating a 4-inch cavity. If a space would be surrounded below and on all four sides by the wall (or the wall and another solid surface), the spell can create a pitched roof of tile and timber to create a fully enclosed volume. Roof sections do not count towards the total number of panels conjured by the spell.
     If the wall cuts through a creature’s space when it appears, the creature is pushed to one side of the wall (your choice). If a creature would be surrounded on all sides by the wall (or the wall and another solid surface), that creature can make a Dexterity saving throw. On a success, it can use its reaction to move up to its speed so that it is no longer enclosed by the wall.
     The wall can have any shape you desire, though it can’t occupy the same space as a creature or object. The wall doesn’t need to be vertical or rest on any firm foundation. It must, however, merge with and be solidly supported by existing structures or landforms. Thus, you can use this spell to bridge a chasm, create a ramp, or build a cantilevered annex onto an existing building.
     If you create a span greater than 20 feet in length, you must halve the size of each panel to create supports. You can shape the wall to create battlements, windows, doorways and so on, though you cannot create details finer than the width of a brick (i.e. 3 inches).
     The wall is an object made of brick that can be damaged and thus breached. Each panel has AC 14 and 30 hit points per inch of thickness (not including cavities). Reducing a panel to 0 hit points destroys it and might cause connected panels to collapse at the DM’s discretion.
     Any creature that is surrounded on at least 4 sides by the wall is immune to being charmed or frightened and has resistance to psychic damage.


Weather With You
5th-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Self (5-mile radius)
Components: V, S, M (a small boat made of china)
Duration: Concentration, up to 30 days

You sing like a bird released, allowing you to take the weather with you everywhere you go. When you cast this spell, the current weather conditions (which are determined by the DM based on the climate and season) are fixed in a 5-mile radius around you. These conditions remain constant for the duration of the spell, and stay with you when you move. The weather conditions in the spell's area cannot be changed by any means short of a control weather spell.
     When the spell ends, the weather gradually returns to its normal variability.

15 comments:

  1. No PDF on this one! I have a special post coming soon which should more than make up for that.

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  2. I don't see a single AC/DC song here and I am *offended*.

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    Replies
    1. Seriously. Hell's bells, thunderstruck, rock n roll ain't noise pollution, we salute you

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    2. Yeah, sorry. I never got into AC/DC. Don't @ me.

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  3. Currently AFB, but does the time of day count as a weather condition? Would I be able to keep non magical darkness around for 30 days so my party can all benefit from Shadow Blade advantage?

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    1. Um, no. Time of day is not a weather condition.

      A sunny day means a clear night etc.

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  4. I don't recognize some of these, could someone list all the songs?

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    1. In order:

      Tubthumping by Chumbawamba
      Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
      Masterswarm by Andrew Bird
      Invisible Touch by Genesis
      Paper Wings by Rise Against
      Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers
      Nancy Boy by Placebo
      Hotel California by The Eagles
      Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
      Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd
      Weather With You by Crowded House

      I know some of those are a little obscure, but as they say, "write what you know". I'm hoping that one of the other digits writes a follow up based on some actually popular or modern music, because I wouldn't know where to start on that front.

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    2. Call me maybe is a budget Sending with a failure risk :V

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  5. LOL, this is wonderful. Made me thinks of the song "Chain Lightning" from the band Gygax, which is the exact opposite of this article.

    Let's see... Nails, it seems we have the same taste in music.
    I recognize Wish You Were Here, Invisible Touch, Californication (Psychic Spy), Hotel California (Shimmering Light), Bohemian Rhapsody (Thunderbolt and Lightning), and Pink Floyd's The Wall.

    But where's Zeppelin? "(Achilles') Last Stand"? "Ring of Calm" (Carouselambra)? "Dragon of Darkness" (Battle of Evermore)? They have a strong fantasy theme in many songs.

    Anyway, awesome idea. Now I wanna make some of my own.

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  6. As for the balance: Shimmering Light seems awfully weak compared to Blindness (concentration and no higher levels, 4th instead of 2nd, and only adds 1 exhaustion).
    Hot Ashes to Trees also seems really weak, more like a 2nd lvl spell than a 5th.

    All others seem really fair. Psychic Spy and Role Reversal look especially fun to use.

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    1. On the other hand, blindness/deafness is right at the top of the curve for a 2nd level spell, possibly even overpowered. And I'd say being able to target a Wis save is a boon over targeting Con for the average monster. Plus I'm giving you 10 times the range into the bargain!

      Seems like we just have a different perspective on hot ashes to trees. I feel that it solves problems that a tier 1 party shouldn't be able to solve.

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    2. I don't think a tier 1 party would ever have such a spell (hatt) prepared, even if it was low level; It's awfully specific, and that means you'll only ever take it if you have quite a bit room for maneuvering and still got preparation slots after covering all essentials.

      Mmmaybe in an intrigue adventure where someone burns an important letter... But c'mon.

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  7. Next up: Heavy Metal Hamsters by Helloween.

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