Sunday, August 23, 2009

Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry part 8

Today I'm going to take a look at the new spell list for the Druid class. Previously, as a monster in Supplement I, Druids were a sort of multi-classed Cleric/Magic-User, and could cast spells from both classes. Now they get their own spell list. Although it draws from the list for Clerics and Magic-Users, and also includes a few brand new spells, the power level is a stiff drop. I'm going to take a stab at explaining that tomorrow, but first I'll look at the spells themselves.

1st LEVEL: Predict Weather, Locate Animals, Detect Snares & Pits, Detect Magic, Purify Water, and Faerie Fire.

Most of these are self-explanatory, and in general are just nature-themed variations on existing spells. Faerie Fire outlines the target in a faint glow, and is mostly useful for making an enemy easier to hit in the dark. Nevertheless it's a well-known D&D spell, and makes its debut here.

2nd LEVEL: Produce Flame, Locate Plants, Speak With Animals, Cure Light Wounds, Obscurement, Create Water, Heat Metal, Warp Wood.

Speak With Animals, Cure Light Wounds and Create Water are existing Cleric spells, while Locate Plants is a variation on Locate Animals (itself a variation on Locate Objects).

Produce Flame: The druid can make a small flame spring from his palm. It's mostly useful for igniting combustibles like wood and paper, and it's definitely not intended as an attack spell, as no damage range is given. No doubt someone will try it at some point, though, so I'll probably go with a range of 1d4.

Obscurement: This spell summons a mist that the Druid can hide in.

Heat Metal: Given that Druids are forbidden from using metal armour and weapons, it's appropriate that they get a spell specifically designed to hose anyone who attacks them with those very things. It makes any metal get progressively hotter, causing damage, and maybe blistering a hand or baking someone's head until he gets dizzy and fall unconscious.

Warp Wood: This spell makes straight pieces of wood bend out of shape. The examples given are spears, arrows, and boats, but I would think that the most useful application is on dungeon doors.

3rd LEVEL: Pyrotechnics, Protection From Fire, Call Lightning, Cure Disease, Hold Animal, Plant Growth, Water Breathing, Neutralize Poison.

Pyrotechnics, Cure Disease, Plant Growth, Water Breathing and Neutralize Poison are all existing spells. Hold Animal is a variant on Hold Monster that only affects birds, mammals, reptiles and fish.

Protection From Fire: Really? Is this the first time this spell has appeared? I'm shocked. Anyway, when cast on a non-druid it confers the same abilities as a Ring of Fire Resistance. On a Druid, it confers complete resistance to fire, and that includes fire balls, meteor swarms, balrogs, and dragons. Very, very nice, even though the spell ends when one of those attacks hits it.

Call Lightning: This spell summons a lightning bolt that deals 8d6 damage, with an extra damage die per level of the Druid. That sounds awesome, but the spell can only be used outside during a storm, and you can only summon one bolt every 10 minutes. But, combine it with the 6th level Weather Summoning, and you've got yourself a nasty spell.

4th LEVEL: Produce Fire, Protection From Lightning, Speak With Plants, Plant Door, Insect Plague, Control Temperature 10' radius, Cure Serious Wounds, Animal Summoning I, Hallucinatory Forest, Dispel Magic

Speak With Plants, Insect Plague, Cure Serious Wounds, Animal Summoning I and Dispel Magic are all existing spells. Animal Summoning I was a Cleric spell called Conjure Animals. Also, Protection From Lightning is much the same as Protection From Fire.

Produce Fire: A version of Produce Flame with a much larger area. It can also be used to extinguish a fire, so that's useful.

Plant Door: The use of this spell is a little hazy. It allows the Druid to create a door in dense plant growth or a tree trunk, and only other Druids or a dryad can pass through. But where does the door lead? Is it anywhere within a 100' radius? That seems the likely option, but it needs a little clarification.

Control Temperatures, 10' radius: This spell can raise or lower temperatures by 50 degrees (Fahrenheit, I assume). It needs a bit of mistletoe, which is the standard Druid holy symbol.

Hallucinatory Forest: This spell makes the target believe it is in a forest, though it doesn't work on other druids, magical forest creatures, or ents. I'm having some trouble thinking of uses for this, but those are some of the best spells I think. I enjoy it when the players take something like this and turn it against me.

Tomorrow: I'll finish up the Druid spells.

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