Friday, March 16, 2018

AD&D Players Handbook part 52: 6th-Level Illusionist Spells

There are 8 spells of 6th level for illusionists in AD&D, up from 6 in OD&D.  Shadow Monsters III has been renamed to shades, demi-shadow magic has been brought up from 5th level, and veil is brand new.

Conjure Animals: Like the 6th-level cleric spell, it allows the caster to summon a number of animals whose total Hit Dice are equal to the level of the caster.  It has a duration of 1 round/level (vs. 2 rounds/level for clerics) and a casting time of 6 segments (vs. 9 for clerics.)  I find the actual conjuring of for-real creatures somewhat of an odd fit for illusionists.  Doesn't it go against the theme a bit?  I suppose stage magicians are always pulling animals out of things though, so maybe it's fine.
  The OD&D version of the spell wasn't limited by Hit Dice.  It allowed the caster to summon one creature the size of an elephant, three the size of bears, or six the size of wolves.

Demi-Shadow Magic: The spell works like shadow magic (detailed in my last post), but it also allows the illusionist to cast quasi-real versions of wall of fire, wall of ice or cloudkill.  As with shadow magic, the spells function as though real to anyone who fails their saving throw.  Against anyone who makes it, the damage is reduced, and in the case of cloudkill it will only kill creatures with less than 2 Hit Dice.  It can still be used to cast the same spells as shadow magic, but they now deal 2 points of damage per level instead of 1 against those who make their save.
  The OD&D version of the spell was the same in that it dealt more damage then the weaker version of the spell.  It didn't allow for the casting of magic missile, cone of cold, or cloudkill.  The original spell allowed the casting of death spell, which seems to have been replaced by cloudkill.

Mass Suggestion: This works like the suggestion spell, but it affects one creature per level, as long as they're all within 3" of the caster.  Every target is under the same suggestion.  If cast on a single target, there's a penalty to their saving throw.
  The OD&D spell was the same, but it affected 1d8 targets rather than one per level.

Permanent Illusion: Like spectral force, it creates an illusion of a creature or object with visual, sound, smell, and thermal elements.  The main difference is that the illusion is permanent, requiring no concentration from the caster.
  The OD&D spell was exactly the same.

Programmed Illusion: This spell sets up a spectral force that is triggered by certain conditions, and last for 1 round/level.
  The OD&D spell had a flat duration of 12 turns, rather than 1 round/level.

Shades: Similar to shadow monsters and demi-shadow monsters, but the creatures created are 60% real.
  In OD&D this spell was called shadow monsters III.  It granted creatures a base AC of 7 (whereas the AD&D spell remains at AC 10), and allowed the creation of a total Hit Dice equal to double the illusionist's level (in AD&D it still remains equal to the caster's level).

True Sight: Like the 5th-level cleric spell (called true seeing), it allows the caster to everything within range in its true form, regardless of illusions, polymorphs, and other forms of disguise.  Unlike the cleric spell, the illusionist isn't able to discern alignment.  The illusionist spell has a range of 6" (vs. 12" for clerics) and a casting time of 1 round (vs. 8 segments).  Illusionists don't require any material components.
  The OD&D spell allowed the caster to discern alignment, class, level and the intentions of any target.  I'm not surprised that Gary jettisoned all of that.  It also had a complicated duration formula of the character's level minus 10, + 1d6 rounds.  In AD&D it's a simple 1 round/level.

Veil: The caster is able to change the visuals of their surroundings and/or their party.  These illusions can be touched without disappearing, and will only be penetrated by true seeing, a gem of seeing, or the like.

As you may have noticed, I'm powering through these entries as quickly as possible.  I started detailing these spells all the way back in 2016, and once I got started I felt obligated to see it the whole way through, regardless of how tedious it got.  Well, the end is quite literally in sight: I'm finally at a page in my PHB where the spell entries are done.  For those of you who followed me through this, thank you.  It should be quite a while before I do something like this again: I'm thinking it'll be when I hit the Moldvay Basic Set, and obviously that won't be anywhere near as long.  Regardless, I'm glad to be almost done.  It can only get more interesting from here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

AD&D Players Handbook part 51: 5th-Level Illusionist Spells

There are 8 spells of 5th-level for illusionists in AD&D, the same number as in OD&D.  The lists are a bit different, though.  The spells create spectres and 2nd level magic-user spells have both been dumped entirely.  Shadow magic is now 5th-level, whereas it was 4th in OD&D.  This means that demi-shadow magic has been bumped up from 5th to 6th.  Maze has been added in from the magic-user list, and shadow door is brand new.

Chaos: This is a variant of the 7th-level druid spell confusion, but instead of affecting 2-8 creatures it affects everyone within an area of up to 4" x 4".  The only creatures that get saving throws against this spell are straight fighters (not paladins or rangers), illusionists, and monsters with no magic and an Intelligence of 4 or less.  If I'm reading this spell correctly, it's incredibly powerful; you could take multiple high-level foes out of a fight unless they have magic resistance.  Going through this list is making me begin to realise why some 1e players love the illusionist.
  The OD&D spell only affected a 3" x 3" area.  It only gave a saving throw to high-level fighters and illusionists, whereas AD&D makes no such distinction.  It also lasted for as long as the illusionist maintained concentration, whereas AD&D changes it to 1 round/level. The range has also been changed from a flat 12" to 1/2" per round.

Demi-Shadow Monsters: This spell works exactly like shadow monsters (detailed in my last post), but instead of being 20% real the monsters created are 40% real, with an AC of 8.
  The only difference from the OD&D version is that the original spell allowed the caster to summon 1.5 times their level in total monster Hit Dice.  The AD&D spell keeps it to 1 level per Hit Die, the same as shadow monsters.

Major Creation: This spell is like minor creation (detailed in my last post), but it can also create mineral objects, things made from metals and stone.  These will last for 6 turns/level, and any vegetable-based items created last for double that.
  Again, as with  minor creation, the items created by this spell in OD&D were limited by weight rather than volume.  It also said that the caster gets "full djinni creation powers", which is a lot stronger than the AD&D spell, as it gives any vegetable matter created a permanent duration.  Metal items created were limited in duration based on the hardness of the metal, with gold lasting a day.

Maze: Like the 8th-level magic-user spell, it traps the target in an extra-dimensional maze.  The only difference between the two spells is that the illusionist spell has a casting time of 5 segments, whereas magic-users take 3 segments.  It has no saving throw, but a duration based on the target's intelligence.
  The OD&D spell had only minor differences in duration.  It also didn't mention that Minotaurs are immune to it.

Projected Image: Like the 6th-level magic-user spell (called project image), it creates an illusion of the caster that can be used to cast spells.  It has a range of 1/2" per level (1"/level for an m-u), and a casting time of 5 segments (1 turn for an m-u).  For some reason, the illusionist spell gives no duration at all, which I would assume is a mistake.  The magic-user spell has a duration of 1 round/level.
  The OD&D spell had a flat range of 24" and a duration of 6 turns.  It also didn't mention anything about the image being immune to damage, or specifically vulnerable to dispel magic.  It was otherwise the same as in AD&D.

Shadow Door: This spell creates an illusory door.  If the illusionist steps through, he turns invisible and can flee.  (No word on whether this spell functions like regular invisibility or improved invisibility).  Anyone else who looks through or enters this door will find a 10' x 10' room, and only a true seeing spell or a gem of seeing will reveal the truth.

Shadow Magic: The caster can cast quasi-real versions of the following spells: magic missile, fireball, lightning bolt or cone of cold.  It will deal regular damage on someone who fails their save, but against anyone who makes the save it deals 1 hp/level.
  The OD&D spell was similar, but it allowed the following spells instead: lightning bolt, fireball, wall of fire, wall of ice, and death spell.  As in AD&D, these spells were fully effective against those who made a saving throw.  Against others they dealt reduced damage, and the death spell would kill 1d8 1st-level creatures.

Summon Shadow: Summons one shadow for every 3 levels of the caster, fully under their control.  The material component is a bit of smoky quartz.
  The OD&D spell summoned one shadow for every level of the caster over 5th, so this spell has been significantly nerfed.

Monday, March 12, 2018

AD&D Players Handbook part 50: 4th-Level Illusionist Spells

There are 8 spells of 4th level for Illusionists in AD&D, the same number as they had in OD&D.  Two of the spells on the AD&D list were 3rd level in OD&D: phantasmal killer and dispel exhaustion.  They replace shadow magic (which gets bumped to 5th level) and 1st-level magic-user spells, which is bumped up all the way to 7th level.

Confusion: Like the 4th-level magic-user spell and the 7th-level druid spell, it causes all those affected within the area to act at random, as determined by rolling on a table.  It has a range of 8" (vs. 12" for magic-users), a duration of 1 round/level (magic-users get the same, with 1 round extra), and an area of 4"x4" (vs. 6"x6" for an m-u).  Illusionists have the same parameters for this spell as druids (except for a casting time of 4 segments, vs. 9 for druids).
  The OD&D spell gave no saving throw for creatures under 4 Hit Dice, where as this version has no such power.  It also had a delayed effect on any creature over 2 HD; again, that's not present in the AD&D spell.

Dispel Exhaustion: This spell restores 50% of a target's hit points, affecting up to 4 creatures touched by the caster in a single round.  It also allows a target to move at double speed for 1 round per turn.  This effect is illusory, and when the spell ends the targets all drop back to the hp total they had before (modified, one assumes, by any damage taken in the interim).  The spell has a lengthy duration, though, so it's actually worth using in lieu of genuine healing.
  This spell was 3rd-level in OD&D.  It didn't mention restoring hit points specifically.  Instead it "allowed action without rest", but after the spell the recipient had to rest for twice the amount that they missed.  It allowed those recently raised from the dead to act normally, as well as those badly wounded, but they took 1d6 damage while doing so.  It had a flat duration of 4 hours, whereas in AD&D the spell lasts for 3 turns/level.

Emotion: Causes all creatures within a 4" x 4" area to react with one of four emotional effects.  Fear causes them to panic and flee, like the fear spell, but the targets suffer a -2 penalty to their saves.  Hate grants the recipients +2 to morale, saving throws, attack rolls and damage.  Hopelessness makes its targets utterly dejected. They will turn back from any task, submit to any demands, and have a 25% chance of doing nothing at all in any round.  Rage drives the recipients berserk, giving them +1 to hit, +3 to damage, and +5 to hit points, but causing them to fight with no regard for their own safety.  Fear and rage counter each other, and the same goes for hate/hopelessness.
  The OD&D spell was the same in principle, but its practical effects were completely different.  Fear was much the same, mimicking the OD&D version of that spell.  Battle lust was the equivalent of rage, but its mechanical effects weren't quite so extensive.  It simply allowed the recipient to fight as a Berserker, granting them +2 to attack and and making them immune to morale checks.  (I suppose it could have been referring to the Berserker class from Dragon magazine, which would grant more extensive benefits.)  Fear could counter battle-lust, but not vice-versa.  Deprivation was the equivalent of hopelessnessBravado granted immunity to fear, and could counter deprivationHate didn't grant any bonuses. Instead it made the victim attack a random target, as rolled on a chart.  There was even a result for "hate self", meaning that they would commit suicide.  It's not hard to see why Gary tweaked that.  Also, the OD&D spell never specifies how many targets or what area it can effect.  It's completely open to interpretation.

Improved Invisibility: This spell works like invisibility, except the target can make attacks and cast spells without reappearing.  They can be detected by a tell-tale shimmer, but all attacks against them suffer a penalty, and they gain a bonus on all saving throws.
  In OD&D, the spell was said to be the same as Invisibility 10' Radius, which would have meant that it could affect numerous targets instead of the single target of the AD&D spell.

Massmorph: Like the 4th-level magic-user spell, it gives a number of creatures the appearance of a copse of trees.  Unlike the m-u spell it requires no material components, and only takes 4 segments to cast (magic-users take a full turn).  It affects a 1" x 1" area.  Weirdly, the magic-user spell affects an area of 11' x 1".  It's a very odd measurement for a D&D spell, and I wonder if there's perhaps a typo.
  The major difference from the OD&D version of the spell is that in OD&D it affected a flat 100 man-sized creatures.  The AD&D spell affects 10 per level.

Minor Creation: The caster can create a non-living, organic object of 1 cubic foot per level in volume.  This generally means things made out of wood, ropes, and "soft goods", which apparently means cloth and fabric.  The items last for an hour per level.  Material component is a small piece of the same kind of object being created.
  The OD&D spell creates the same kinds of materials, but is limited by weight rather than volume.  It also has a duration measures in days rather than hours, with a nebulous bonus or penalty to be applied by the DM based on the hardness of the item created.

Phantasmal Killer: This spell creates an image in the target's mind of the most horrible creature that their subconscious can dredge up.  This image attacks as a 4 Hit Dice creature, and if it strikes a blow the target will die from fright.  Saving throws against this spell are rolled in a nonstandard manner, being a 3d6 roll under the target's Intelligence (with various situational modifiers applied).  My favourite part is the note about helms of telepathy: not only does wearing one grant a -3 bonus to the roll, but it also allows the target to turn the phantasmal killer back on the caster.
  The OD&D version of this spell was 3rd level, and I can see why they bumped it up.  The spell works almost exactly the same, except that the various modifiers to the saving throw are different.  Having been attacked by this spell previously grants a flat -5 bonus, whereas in AD&D it's -1 per previous attack.  The OD&D spell had a range of 6", as opposed to 1/2" per level in AD&D.

Shadow Monsters: Creates a number of semi-real monsters, whose total combined Hit Dice cannot exceed the level of the caster.  They only have 20% of their usual hit points.  Against any target that fails their saving throw, the monsters defend and deal damage as normal.  Against those that make their save, they will have AC 10 and deal 20% of normal damage.
  The OD&D version of the spell also summoned semi-real monsters, with much the same parameters.  All those monsters had an AC of 9 (the worst possible in OD&D), regardless of whether the targets believed in them or not.  The spell was much more specific about monster special abilities, such as breath weapons and petrification: they only worked on those that believed they were real.  AD&D is a bit vaguer, saying only that they "perform as normal with respect to armor class and attack forms".  Shadow monsters in OD&D took double damage from silver weapons, a weakness not present in AD&D.

Monday, March 05, 2018

AD&D Player's Handbook part 49: 3rd-Level Illusionist spells

There are twelve illusionist spells of 3rd-level in AD&D, the same number as their were in OD&D.  Phantasmal killer was on this list in OD&D, but has been bumped up to 4th level.  Dispel exhaustion has also been bumped up to 4th level.  Replacing them are rope trick and dispel illusion, the latter of which has been bumped up from 2nd level.

Continual Darkness: Like the 2nd-level magic-user spell darkness 15' radius it creates a 3" diameter globe of impenetrable shadow.  It has a flat range of 6" (vs. 1"/level for m-u) and a casting time of 3 segments (vs. 2 for m-u).  The biggest difference is that this version of the spell is permanent in duration.
  In OD&D, this spell was based on the anti-cleric's continual darkness, which was a reversed version of continual light.  That gave it a whopping diameter of 24", which has been greatly nerfed here.

Continual Light: Like the 3rd-level cleric spell, it creates a globe of light that illuminates a 6" radius.  It has a range of 6" (vs. 12" for clerics) and a casting time of 3 segments (6 for clerics).  Both versions are permanent.
  As mentioned above, the biggest difference from the OD&D spell is that the illumination has been greatly reduced from 24".

Dispel Illusion: The caster is able to automatically dispel any phantasmal force created by a non-illusionist.  It can dispel any illusion/phantasm created by an illusionist, with a base 50% chance adjusted up or down depending in the level difference between the two casters.
  In OD&D, this was a 2nd-level spell.  It's able to dispel any illusions cast by a non-illusionist, which is a broader rule and probably a better one; the AD&D version doesn't account for new spells that may be introduced.  Against those of other illusionists it uses the OD&D rules for dispel magic, which was a ratio of the dispeller's level over that of the original caster.

Fear: Like the 4th-level magic-user spell, it causes creatures caught within a conical area to flee in panic.  The only difference is that it doesn't require any material components, and it has a segment time of 3 (vs. 4 for magic-users).
  The OD&D spell worked similarly, but targets had a flat 50% chance to drop what they were carrying, unmodified by level.  The duration was 6 turns, whereas in AD&D targets will run for a number of rounds equal to the caster's level.  The spell had a range of 24", while the AD&D spell only goes to 6".  The OD&D spell functioned like the fear wand, though, so it's still a 6" cone.  Does this mean that OD&D casters could designate the beginning of the cone anywhere within 24"?  It feels a little odd, but I guess it's not that different from lightning bolt.  The AD&D spell almost certainly originates from the caster.  (Yeah, I did a a cut-and-paste from when I covered the magic-user version.  I have a life to live, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.)

Hallucinatory Terrain: Like the 4th-level magic-user spell, it can changes the appearance of terrain in a 4"x4" area (with 1" added to both dimensions per level).  The magic-user spell was a flat 1" square per level.  The illusionist version also has a 2" bonus to range over the magic-user version.  The illusionist spell has a casting time of 5 segments (vs. 1 turn for magic users, which is a lot longer).
  The OD&D spell is similar, if a bit more vaguely worded.  It doesn't have a specific area of effect, it's simply said that it affects a "large area".  It had a range of 24", whereas AD&D has as range of 2" + 2"/level.  (See, I told you I'd do it again.)

Illusionary Script: Gary, the word you're looking for is "illusory".  Anyway, the caster can write something and then make it appear as though it's written in a foreign language.  Only those that the caster designates can read it, with all others being confused for 5-20 turns.  This duration drops by a turn per level of the victim.  Other illusionists can tell that the script is an illusion.  The material component is a lead-based ink that must be specially made by an alchemist.
  The OD&D spell only confused its victims for 1-6 turns, not affected by their level.  It also had a limit of one page of writing, which isn't present in AD&D.

Invisibility, 10' Radius: Like the 3rd-level magic-user spell, it casts an invisibility spell on every creature you want within 10 feet of the original target.  The only difference is that the illusionist spell requires no material components.
  The AD&D spell isn't clear as to whether it grants invisibility to multiple creatures within the area, or if it creates an area of invisibility that moves with a single target.  I've gone with the former option.  The OD&D spell was similarly vague.  It had a range of 24", whereas in AD&D it's a touch spell.

Non-Detection: Makes the caster completely immune to detection spells, ESP, clairaudience, clairvoyance as well as scrying from magic items.  It's a somewhat advanced version of misdirection, although by providing false information the latter spell remains useful.  Its material component is a pinch of diamond dust.
  The OD&D spell worked similarly, although it wasn't as specific about which spells it protected against.  It did specify protection against ESP and crystal balls.  It had a duration of 2 rounds/level, whereas the AD&D spell lasts for 1 turn/level, about five times longer.

Paralyzation: The spell creates an "illusionary muscle slowdown" in its targets, paralyzing them if they fail a saving throw.  It affects a 2" x 2" area, but can only work on a Hit Dice total up to double the caster's level.  A dispel magic or dispel illusion will end the paralysis, or it can be ended by the caster.  Otherwise, it apparently lasts forever.  Harsh.
  The OD&D spell worked the same, although it didn't limit the spell area at all.  It had a range of 18" (vs. 1"/level in AD&D).

Rope Trick: Like the 1st-level magic-user spell, this causes a rope to stand on end, and opens a portal to a pocket dimension at the top.  The only difference is that it takes 3 segments to cast, instead of 2 for magic-users.
  The OD&D spell could work with a shorter rope, but it could only let the caster and three others inside the pocket dimension; the AD&D version allows five others inside.  It had a duration of 6 turns +1/level, whereas AD&D gives it 2 turns/level.

Spectral Force: This spell functions like phantasmal force, but along with the visual element it also includes sound, smell and heat/cold.  It lasts for 3 rounds after the caster stops concentrating on it.
  The OD&D spell was called spectral forces.  It was otherwise similar, with one major difference: it created illusions that could not be destroyed by touching them.  This isn't specified in AD&D.  Also, it lasts for 5 "turns" after concentration, as opposed to AD&D's 3 rounds.

Suggestion: Like the 3rd-level magic-user spell, the caster is able to influence a single target.  The illusionist spell lasts for 4 turns + 4/level, whereas the magic-user version lasted longer at 6 turns + 6/level.
  The only real difference that the OD&D version of the spell had was its duration of one week.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

AD&D Player's Handbook part 48: 2nd-Level Illusionist Spells

There are 12 illusionist spells of 2nd level in AD&D, the same number as in OD&D.  The only difference between the two lists is that dispel illusion is now gone, and has been replaced by ventriloquismVentriloquism was a 1st level illusionist spell in OD&D, but now it's been bumped up a level.

Blindness: The target must save vs. spells or be struck blind, permanently.  Healing magic won't fix it: only a dispel magic will work, or the caster removing the effect.
  The OD&D spell was exactly the same, except that it had a range of 12" as opposed to 3" in AD&D.

Blur: The caster's outline becomes blurry, making him more difficult to hit.  The first attack by any foe suffers a -4 penalty, and subsequent attacks are at -2.  It also grants a +1 to saving throws against direct magical attacks.
  The OD&D spell granted a flat -2 penalty on all attacks, and a +2 bonus to saving throws vs. wands and staves.  It had a duration of 4+1d4 rounds, whereas AD&D has one of 3 rounds + 1/level.

Deafness: The spell strikes one target deaf if they fail a saving throw.  As with blindness, the spell is permanent and can only be fixed by dispel magic or the caster's dismissal.
  Again, the only difference between this and the OD&D version is that the original had a range of 12" and the AD&D version has a range of 6".

Detect Magic: This is the same as the 1st-level cleric/magic-user spell, in that it detects magical radiations within the area of effect.  The only difference between the illusionist and magic-user versions is that illusionists cast with a time of 1 segment, as opposed to 2.  The cleric spell takes a full round to cast, and has half the range (3", as opposed to 6" for the others).  The cleric spell lasts for a full turn, whereas the illusionist and m-u versions last for 2 rounds/level.  It also required a holy symbol; the illusionist and m-u spell has no material component.
  The only difference from the OD&D spell is that it had a duration of 2 "turns".  (Could be rounds or turns. You know, typical OD&D ambiguity.)

Fog Cloud: Creates a billowing cloud of fog that moves away from the caster at a rate of 1".  It looks like a cloudkill spell, but it only obscures vision.  For practical purposes, it's probably not as good as the 1st-level spell wall of fog, which covers a larger area when cast by a 2nd level+ caster.  Other than that, I guess it's used to scare enemies who think it's actually a cloudkill?
  The OD&D spell was simply called fog, but it otherwise functioned the same.

Hypnotic Pattern: Creates a pattern of colours in the air.  Up to 24 Hit Dice worth of creatures within the 3"x3" area of effect must make a save or become fascinated.  Such creatures will stand motionless for as long as the caster concentrates on maintaining the pattern.  The material component is a glowing stick of incense or a crystal rod full of phosphorescent material.  All told, this is a very useful spell - anything capable of negating a 24HD creature is pretty good, even if it's not all that likely to fail the saving throw.
  The OD&D spell had the same effect, but rather than a Hit Dice total it affects a number of targets based on their level: 2-24 1st level types, 3-18 2nd-level types, etc.  It tops out with 1-6 5th or 6th-level types.  This is a lot less potentially powerful, if you interpret level here to mean Hit Dice.  If you interpret it as referring to the levels from the Random Encounter Tables, it's a bit closer to the AD&D spell, but what do you do when its cast against monsters that aren't dungeon dwellers?  The OD&D spell lasted for 4-9 rounds after the caster stopped concentrating, whereas in AD&D it stops right away.  The OD&D range is 12", as opposed to a range of 0" in AD&D (AD&D covers this with an area of effect instead of a range).

Improved Phantasmal Force: Like phantasmal force, this spell creates an illusory creature or object that can damage anyone who believes it is real.  It doesn't require as much concentration to maintain, however, as the caster can move at half speed and still concentrate upon it.  It also lasts for 2 rounds after the illusionist stops maintaining it.  Most significantly of all, it can now make sounds, though not intelligible speech.  The silent nature of phantasmal force is probably the thing that most holds back its believability, so this is a pretty big deal.
  The OD&D version of the spell was called improved phantasmal forces, and it gave the caster the ability to move and still maintain the spell.  It also continued after the caster ceased concentration, but it lasted for 3 "turns" extra.  It didn't say anything about making sounds, but then again the OD&D phantasmal forces didn't specify that it was silent.

Invisibility: Just like the 2nd-level magic-user spell, it turns a character invisible until such time as they wish to reappear or make an attack.  The only difference is that it requires no material components.
  The only real difference between the OD&D and AD&D versions of this spell is that OD&D gives it a range of 24", while in AD&D it's a touch-based spell.

Magic Mouth: Like the 2nd-level magic-user spell, it allows the caster to endow an object with a magic mouth that can relay a short message.  The magic-user and illusionist versions of this spell are identical.
  The main difference from the OD&D spell is that it could be triggered based on the alignment of someone nearby, whereas that's expressly forbidden in AD&D.

Mirror Image: This is like the 2nd-lvel magic-user spell, but rather than creating 1-4 images to surround the caster, it creates 1d4+1.  It also has a range of 3" per level, as opposed to 2"/level for magic-users.
  The OD&D spell didn't grant the illusionist an extra image.

Misdirection: The caster places this spell on a creature or object, and any detection spell cast upon it (such as detect evil or detect snares and pits) will return the wrong information.  The caster of the detection spell gets a saving throw to avoid this.
  The OD&D spell was called misdetection, which was more literal but also a little awkward.  It used the same method as dispel magic to gauge its success, which was determined by the difference in level between the two casters.  Using a saving throw is certainly a simpler way to get it done.

Ventriloquism: Like the 1st-level magic-user spell, it allows the caster to make their voice come from somewhere else.  The illusionist version increases the maximum range to 9" (vs. 6" for magic-users) and also increases the duration, to 4 rounds + 1/level (vs. 2 rounds + 1/level).  Illusionists have a casting time of 2 segment, whereas magic-users could cast it in 1.
  The OD&D spell was 1st level for illusionists, but otherwise the same.  It had a flat range of 5".

Sunday, February 18, 2018

AD&D Player's Handbook part 47: 1st-Level Illusionist Spells

There are twelve illusionist spells of 1st-level in AD&D, the same number as there were in OD&D.  Two of these spells (audible glamer and dancing lights) are new to the list, replacing ventriloquism and mirror image.

Audible Glamer: Like the 2nd-level magic-user spell, it creates whatever sound the caster desires.  The m-u description says that, when cast at 3rd level, it creates a sound volume equivalent to four men.  Illusionists can cast the spell at 1st level, so I need to figure out if their spell volume begins at four men, or if it starts lower.  I'll probably start them at four, just to make the spell more useful.  The illusionist version of the spell lasts longer (3 rounds/lvl as opposed to 2), is quicker to cast (2 segments as opposed to 5) and requires no material components.

Change Self: The caster is able to change their appearance to that of another man-shaped creature, although they can't make themselves look more than 1 foot taller or shorter.  The illusion can affect their equipment as well.
  The OD&D version of the spell says that the user can appear as a creature of the same general size and shape, which I actually like better.  It makes the spell useful for dragons and other non-humanoid spell-casters.  The duration in OD&D was 10 rounds + caster level + 1d6 rounds.  In AD&D it's 2-12 rounds + 2 rounds/level.  Those durations seem a little needlessly complex, but I suppose it's to inject a little bit of uncertainty as to when the spell's going to end.

Color Spray: This spell creates a cone of clashing colors that affects 1-6 creatures within its area. Creatures with HD equal to or lower than the caster are struck unconscious, those up to 2 HD higher are struck blind, and those 3 or more HD higher are stunned.  Creatures with more HD than the caster has levels receive a saving throw, as do any creatures with more than 6 HD.  Its material components are a pinch of powder or sand colored red, yellow and blue.
  There's a line in the spell that seems contradictory to me: "The spell caster is able to affect 1 level or hit die of creatures for each of his or her levels of experience".  If that's the case, how would the spell affect creatures with more HD than the caster's level, as detailed above?  Is there something I'm missing here?
  The OD&D version might shed some light here.  It affects 1-6 levels of creatures, rather than 1-6 individual creatures, with the number of levels equal to the caster's level.  The target is randomly assigned, with fully affected targets receiving no saving throw and any partially affected one getting a save (with a bonus for every HD unaffected).  The spell couldn't affect creatures with more than 6 HD at all.  It also couldn't blind or stun targets: it always knocked them unconscious.
  I don't know, I can't get that line to make sense.  Perhaps it works like the OD&D spell, only partially affected creatures are blinded or stunned rather then getting a saving throw bonus?  However it works, the OD&D spell was more clearly explained.

Dancing Lights: Works exactly like the 1st-level m-u spell, creating 1-4 balls of light or a glowing, man-shaped figure.

Darkness: Works like the 2nd-level m-u spell darkness 15' radius, creating a globe that light and infravision can't penetrate.  The illusionist version doesn't last as long as the m-u spell (2-8 rounds + 1 round/level, as opposed to 1 turn + 1 round/level) but it's quicker to cast (1 segment vs. 2) and requires no material components.
  The OD&D spell was said to be the same as that cast by "Anti-Clerics," and was defined only as an opposite of light.  That gave it a similar radius of 15", and a duration of 6 turns + 1/level.  That could be a super-long duration, but as ever in OD&D it's hard to say if this was intended to be turns of ten minutes or combat rounds.

Detect Illusion: Allows the caster to know an illusion for what it is, and to allow others to do so with a touch.  Its material component is a piece of yellow crystal, glass or mica.
  The OD&D spell was the same, although it said nothing about bestowing the ability upon others.  It had a range of 6" (1"/level in AD&D) and a duration of 3 "turns" (3 rounds + 2/level in AD&D).

Detect Invisibility: Like the 2nd-level m-u spell, it allows the caster to see invisible, astral, ethereal, hidden, or out of phase creatures and objects to a range of 1"/level.  The illusionist spell is a bit quicker to cast (1 segment vs. 2).
  The OD&D spell was named detect invisible, and detected invisible creatures and objects.  It mentioned nothing about those that are hidden, astral, ethereal or out of phase.  It had a duration of 6 turns (5 rounds/level in AD&D) and a range of 1"/level (same as AD&D).

Gaze Reflection: Creates a mirror-like area around the caster that reflects gaze attacks back upon the gazer.  Extremely useful, but it only lasts 1 round.
  The OD&D spell only mentioned reflecting the gazes of basilisks and medusae.  It was given a range of 8", whereas in AD&D it's presumably effective at whatever range the creature's gaze has.  It lasted 1 turn, which might mean the same thing as the 1 round duration in AD&D.

Hypnotism: With gestures and a droning incantation, the caster can hypnotise 1-6 creatures and give them a suggestion (like the spell) that they will follow for the spell's duration (1 round + 1/level).  Suggestion as a spell in its own right only affects a single creature, so hypnotism is stronger in that regard, but it has a far shorter duration (minutes as opposed to hours).
  The OD&D spell worked like charm person, with a penalty opposed to the target's saving throw and the requirement that they look into the caster's eyes.  A completely different spell, basically.

Light: Works like the 1st-level m-u/cleric spell, creating a globe of light that illuminates a 2" radius.  It has the same specs as the m-u spell exactly.  It has half the range of the cleric spell (6" vs. 12"), a duration that's shorter by an hour, but a quicker casting time (1 segment vs. 4).
  The OD&D spell created a 3" diameter illumination, rather than the 4" of AD&D.

Phantasmal Force: Like the 3rd-level m-u spell, it creates a silent illusory creature or object that can damage foes who believe it is real.  It has a shorter range than the m-u version (6" + 1"/lvl vs. 8" + 1"/lvl), and a smaller area of effect (4" square + 1"/lvl vs. 8" square + 1"/lvl), but a quicker casting time (1 segment vs. 3).
  The OD&D spell, called phantasmal forces, mentioned nothing about the illusion having no sound.  It had a range of 24", far longer than most AD&D casters will ever manage.

Wall of Fog: Creates a fog in a 2"/level cubic area that obscures sight.  It can be dispersed by a strong breeze.  Its material component is a pinch of split dried peas.
  The OD&D spell mentioned nothing about strong breezes.  It had the dimensions of a wall of fire, which meant a flat wall 6" wide and 2" high, or a 3" diameter cylinder 2" high.  Its range was 16", far higher than AD&D's 3". No duration was given.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

AD&D Players Handbook part 46: 9th-Level Magic-User Spells

There are twelve 9th-level magic-user spells in AD&D, up from ten in OD&D.  One of those OD&D spells - maze - was changed to 8th level for AD&D, so we're looking at nine pre-existing spells and three new ones.

Astral Spell: This works much like the 7th-level cleric spell, in that it allows the caster and up to five others to travel through the Astral Plane, and into the Outer Planes.  The only difference is that a magic-user can cast it in 9 segments, whereas it takes a cleric 3 turns.
  See the link above for my comparison between the OD&D and AD&D versions of the spell.  One thing I didn't mention is that in OD&D if the caster's physical body was moved so that the spirit became out of range, they were sent to "jibber and shriek on the floor of the lowest hell".  The spell also had a much higher range when used outside than it did underground.  Really, the OD&D and AD&D versions of this spell have completely different uses.  In AD&D it's a spell for planar travel, but in OD&D it seems more useful for exploration, reconnaissance and perhaps some spell-casting on unsuspecting enemies.

Bigby's Crushing Hand: The final spell in the Bigby's hand series creates a giant hand that squeezes a single opponent.  It deals 1d10 damage on the first round, 2-20 damage on the 2nd and 3rd rounds, and 4-40 damage on every round thereafter.  It lasts for 1 round per caster level, so that's a lot of potential damage.  The hand only has as many hit points as the caster, though, which probably won't be a lot even for a high-level magic-user.  It's material components are a snakeskin glove and an eggshell.

Gate: Like the 7th-level cleric spell, this creates a portal to another plane and summons a powerful being that may or may not grant the caster some aid depending on the circumstances.  The only difference between the cleric and magic-user spells is that clerics have a casting time of 5 segments, and magic-users take 9 segments.  It's a rare case of the cleric spell being quicker to cast than the magic-user's.
  The link above (under Astral Spell) also details the difference between OD&D and AD&D.  Mostly it was that OD&D gave more specific examples of the type of creature that could be summoned (Crom, Set, Cthulhu, etc.).

Imprisonment: Any victim touched by the caster of this spell will be entombed far beneath the earth, in perfect suspended animation.  Nothing can free the victim except for the reverse of this spell, freedom, and even then the caster needs the victim's the name and background.  If this information isn't exact, there's a 10% chance that 1-100 other imprisoned creatures are also set free.  (One thing I love about Gygaxian D&D are the little touches that are there to screw over PCs who haven't done the adequate preparation.  High-level spells are powerful, but just about all of them have a catch.)

Meteor Swarm: I had a little trouble figuring out exactly how this spell works, but here's what I got. The spell creates either four 2' orbs, or eight 1' orbs, that streak to the distance chosen by the caster.  Any creature in that path is affected as though hit by a fireball.  The orbs explode in a pattern at their destination, with the larger orbs dealing 10-40 damage and the smaller ones dealing 5-20.  These explosions can overlap, so certain targets will be hit twice, or possibly four times if they are at the direct centre.  This is a spell that could really benefit from a diagram, particularly for the eight-orb version..
  The OD&D version of the spell simply creates four fireballs that can be thrown as the caster desires, or eight fireballs of half strength.  It's a much simpler spell, and still quite potent.  I'm not sure why Gary felt the need to overcomplicate it.

Monster Summoning VII: Summons 1-2 7th-level monsters, or a single 8th-level monster.  If we go to the OD&D spell, it recommends that the DM use their own special tables, but gives some example monsters: iron golems, a 20th-level lich, a ten-headed fire-breathing hydra, and others.  As for 8th-level monsters, those aren't catered for by the OD&D rules.  For this spell, I'm going to jump ahead to the at-this-time unreleased Dungeon Master's Guide, and see what this spell can really do.  For 7th-level monsters, it's a lot of demon and devils, and a bunch of other very strong monsters (including a 10-12 headed hydra).  For 8th-level, it's much the same, but has Type VI demons and purple worms, and just a load of very, very nasty creatures.  Neither of them feature a 20th-level Lich, so I feel like OD&D is still a more powerful spell on the whole.

Power Word, Kill: This spell will kill a single creature of up to 60 hit points, or a bunch of creatures with less than 10 hp (totalling 120 hp worth).  It has no saving throw, so it's good for knocking off one strong foe or a bunch of small ones.  Probably not going to work on any boss monsters, though.  (That said, my sense of AD&D's power scale is off because I haven't played it in so long - it might be that a lot of powerful monsters won't have more than 60 hp.  I remember the spider queen Lolth only having 66 hp in Vault of the Drow, for example.)
  The OD&D spell killed a single creature with up to 50 hp, so it's notably less versatile.  (It might be about as effective otherwise, due to OD&D monsters rolling their hp on 1d6, as opposed to 1d8 in AD&D).

Prismatic Sphere: The caster is surrounded by a number of shimmering globes, each of a different colour and effect as follows:
  • Red - prevents all normal missiles; inflicts 10 damage on those passing through; destroyed by cone of cold
  • Orange - prevents magical missiles; inflicts 20 damage on those passing through; destroyed by gust of wind
  • Yellow - prevents poison, gas, and petrification; inflicts 40 damage on those passing through; destroyed by disintegrate
  • Green - prevents all breath weapons; death to those passing through; destroyed by passwall
  • Blue - prevents detection and psionics; petrification to those passing through; destroyed by magic missile
  • Indigo  - prevents all spells; insanity to those passing through; destroyed by continual light
  • Violet - force field; sends those passing through to another plane; destroyed by dispel magic
The globes must be destroyed in order from red to violet, but they can be negated by a rod of cancellation.  Any creature of under 8 Hit Dice will be blinded at the sight of it.
  The OD&D spell was actually called prismatic wall, but it still created a globe.  It was the same spell in general, but the specifics were quite different, with the effects and weaknesses of the different colours being mixed around.  Red and orange, for example, have their effects swapped, and the red globe is vulnerable to ice storm rather than cone of cold.  The blue globe protects against cleric spells, and there's no globe that prevents poison, gas or petrification.  There's also no globe that sends the victim to another plane; it replaced one that freezes the victim to death.  No colour is exactly the same between editions.

Shape Change: For the duration of the spell (a hefty 1 turn/level) the caster can assume the shape of pretty much any being, gaining all of its physical attributes (although retaining the caster's own hit points).  The only restriction given is that the caster can't become a demi-god, greater devil, demon prince, greater demon, or a singular dragon (like Tiamat).  The caster can change shape as often as they want while the spell lasts, and doesn't incur a system shock roll.  Although at the start it says the caster can become a creature, some example forms given later are a bush and a pool of water, so I guess it extends to objects as well.  The material component is a jade circlet worth 5,000 gp.  This circlet is left behind during the first transformation, and if it is shattered the spell ends.
  The OD&D spell was much similar, though it had no stated restriction on the power of the creature that could be mimicked.  It didn't specifically state that mental abilities weren't gained, but a reference back to polymorph other implies it pretty strongly, I feel.

Temporal Stasis: This spell places a single target in suspended animation, permanently and with no saving throw.  It can be removed with dispel magic or the reverse of this spell (temporal reinstatement).  The material component is a powder made of diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire, although the reversed spell doesn't require it.  The biggest oversight of this spell, I feel, is that it doesn't say anything about what happens when the creature in stasis is attacked.  I'd be inclined to make them impervious to harm, because any creature hit by this spell is pretty much out of the game anyway.

Time Stop: The caster stops the flow of time within a 3" diameter sphere.  Anyone who enters will be frozen in time, except for the caster, who can move and act freely.  This is another spell that can use some clarification on whether murders can be done to frozen individuals.  For this spell, I would rule yes, because only the caster can act, and the duration is measured in segments - there's only so much one character can do.
  The OD&D spell affected a cube rather than a sphere, and had a longer duration of 2-5 rounds.

Wish: This spell can pretty much do anything, but is dependent on the exact wording used, and the DM is encouraged to punish players using it for unfair purposes.  (The example given is a character wishing another character dead, and thus being transported to a time in the future when that character is no longer living, thus putting the wisher out of the game.)  It has no negative effect on the caster if it's used for healing, resurrection or to escape from a bad situation, but for everything else it drains 3 points of Strength and requires 2-8 days of bed rest.
  The OD&D spell was the same, but it didn't require bed rest after casting; instead, the caster was unable to cast spells for 2-8 days.

And, that is finally it for magic-user spells.  I still have the illusionist list to go, but that has less spells per level to deal with, and less levels overall.  I can see the light at the end of this self-made tunnel.  I got caught in a similar trap of providing too much detail with the Monster Manual as well, but after this it should be a good long while before I encounter a similar situation.  The variety will be much appreciated by me, that's for sure.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

AD&D Players Handbook part 45: 8th-Level Magic-User Spells

There are 16 magic-user spells of 8th level in AD&D, up from 8 in OD&D.  All 8 OD&D spells have made the transition to AD&D at the same level.  One spell - maze - was originally 9th level.

Antipathy/Sympathy: This spell imbues an object or an area with an aura that either attracts or repels certain creatures.  It can be set up to affect a specific creature type (hill giant, red dragon, orc, etc.), or a specific alignment.  If set up to repel, all relevant creatures need to make a saving throw to remain in the area, but if they do remain they suffer some loss of Dexterity.  If it is set to attract, all relevant creatures need to make a saving throw or they'll feel an overwhelming urge to remain in the area, or to grasp the object.  Even if they make the save, they'll need to make another in 1-6 turns to prevent themselves from going back.

Bigby's Clenched Fist: Creates a fist that the caster can use to strike opponents with.  It always hits, with its effect dependent on a d20 roll, ranging from 1-6 damage to 4-24 damage and stunning for 3 rounds.  It has the same number of hp as the caster.  The material component is a leather glove, and a device made of four rings that sounds a lot like brass knuckles.
  There's a bit of an inconsistency in this spell that I'm not sure about.  It says that no other spell-casting can be done while the fist is in effect, but later it says that it can be used with any of the other Bigby's Hand spells.  So can those spells be cast and no others?  Or can the Clenched Fist also be made to perform the actions of those earlier spells?  I might be inclined to allow the latter.

Clone: This spell creates an exact duplicate of a person that grows over 2-8 months.  The clone and original know of each other's existence, and will seek to destroy the other.  If this hasn't been achieved within a week, there's a 95% chance that one will go insane (most probably the clone), and a 5% chance that both will go mad and commit suicide.  The material component is a piece of flesh from the original, and the clone will possess the attributes of the original from when that flesh was taken.
  The OD&D spell was much the same, but with that spell it was inevitable that clone and original would both go insane.  It also spells out that the spell is useful for being brought back from destruction, provided a lump of flesh and appropriate instructions are left behind with the right people.

Glassteel: Gives a small amount of glass or crystal (10 lb./level) the strength of steel, with a permanent duration.  It material components are a piece of glass and a piece of steel.

Incendiary Cloud: Creates a cloud that burst into flame after a number of rounds.  On the third round it deals damage of 1/2 hit point per level, and in the 4th round it deals 1 hp per level, before dropping back to 1/2.  After the 5th round, it is simply an obscuring cloud.  It requires an existing fire source, and affects an area 100 times that of the fire.
  I'm tempted to criticise this as yet another high-level spell that doesn't deal a whole lot of damage, but that area effect is potentially massive - under the right conditions, you could wipe out an army with this spell.

Mass Charm: This works like charm monster, but it can affect a number of creatures with Hit Dice totalling up to twice that of the caster.  The spell is potent, and all targets suffer a -2 penalty to their saves.
  In OD&D, the spell affected a flat 30 "levels" of monsters, with "level" here presumably referring to Hit Dice.  It had a range of 12", as opposed to 1/2"/level in AD&D.

Maze: The target of this spell is doomed to wander in an extradimensional maze of force planes, for a time determined by their Intelligence.  In a lovely mythological touch, Minotaurs are immune to this spell.
  This spell was 9th level in OD&D.  It was much the same, but it's duration based on Intelligence had less tiers.  On the whole the AD&D spell lasts longer - a creature of average Intelligence in OD&D will be trapped as long as someone with an Int of 17 in AD&D.  There was nothing mentioned in OD&D about minotaurs.

Mind Blank: The recipient of this spell is protected from all forms of mind-reading and also cannot be discovered by scrying devices and spells.  This also includes psionics, and even wishes, but doesn't extend to powerful deities.
  The OD&D spell is the same, albeit with a much shorter list of powers that it protects from.  It doesn't specify protection from psionics, or mention deities at all.

Monster Summoning VI: This summons 1 or 2 monsters of 6th level.  Once more taking a look at the tables from Supplement I: Greyhawk shows some exceedingly nasty stuff: titans, golems, balrogs, beholders, liches, purple worms.
  The OD&D spell only summoned a single 6th level monster.

Otto's Irresistible Dance: The target of the spell must dance uncontrollably, suffering a -4 AC penalty, losing all shield bonuses, and automatically failing all saving throws.  Note that this spell also has no save, although it does require a touch attack.  Still, if it works it gives you 2-5 rounds to throw spells at a target for which it will get no saving throw, which seems pretty deadly to me.
  From what I can gather, Otto was an NPC magic-user that lived on the second level of Castle Greyhawk, who was subdued by various PCs and became the henchman of Robilar. 

Permanency: This spell can be used to make another permanent, but there's a finite list of spells (twenty in all) that it can affect.  Some of the better examples are infravision, protection from normal missiles,  and enlarge.  Any spell that is made permanent on the caster drains him of 1 point of Constitution.
  The OD&D version was known as permanent spell, and had far more leeway in interpretation.  It was recommended that there be a limit of one permanent spell per object, and two per creature, but otherwise it's left up to the DM.  It specifically mentions levitate, haste, fly, and water breathing, all of which are not allowable in AD&D.

Polymorph Any Object: This spell can be used to transform any creature or object into anything else, with the duration determined by the difference between the two forms.  If the forms are closely related it will be permanent, but otherwise it varies.  It's barely been changed from the OD&D version.

Power Word, Blind: This spell affects up to100 hp worth of creatures, striking them blind with no saving throw.  The spell lasts longer the less hp worth of creatures it affects.
  The OD&D version of the spell worked on a single creature of up to 80 hit points, and its blindness effect lasted for days rather than rounds.

Serten's Spell Immunity: The caster can grant resistance to various spells to a number of targets, one per 4 levels of the caster.  It lasts for 16 rounds, but this is spread out between all recipients.  The spells it grants resistance to (in the form of a saving throw bonus) are mostly mind-affecting: charm, suggestion, fear, hold, geas, quest, etc.  The material components are diamond dust sprinkled over each target, and a diamond in the possession of each target as well.
  Serten was a cleric played by Ernie Gygax, which raises the question: why is an 8th level magic-user spell named for a cleric?  He most certainly didn't develop it himself.

Symbol: This spell creates a magic rune that has one of a number of effects when triggered: death (killing up to 80 hp worth of creatures); discord (loud bickering); fear; hopelessness (the targets are dejected and basically helpless); insanity (targets act randomly); pain (-2 dexterity and -4 attacks); sleep; and stunning.  It has a material component of 5,000gp worth of powdered opal and diamond.
  The OD&D version of the spell has less effects (fear, discord, sleep, stunning, insanity, death).  The first three of those have no limit on the number affected.  The latter three start talking about "level points", which isn't entirely clear.  If it refers to Hit Dice, then the "death" function kills 75 Hit Dice worth of creatures, which is pretty full on.  If it refers to hit points, then the power levels are somewhat comparable.

Trap the Soul:  The target's soul is trapped in a specially prepared gem worth 1,000gp per Hit Dice of the target.  The true name of the target is required for this spell to work.  It can be cast directly on the target (in which case they get magic resistance and a saving throw), or it can be applied to a "trigger object" that will trap the target when it is handled.  The soul is trapped forever, or until the gem is broken.  If the creature trapped is a powerful extraplanar being, the person releasing them may demand a service of some sort.  In a great touch, this can apply to high-level PCs who are so trapped outside of the Prime Material Plane.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

AD&D Players Handbook part 44: 7th-Level Magic-User Spells

There are sixteen magic-user spells of 7th level in AD&D, up from the nine that were in OD&D.  The OD&D list has made the transition unchanged, and the remainder of the spells are all new.

Bigby's Grasping Hand: This is a more powerful version of Bigby's forceful hand, but rather than pushing targets away it grasps and holds them motionless.  It can hold a creature of up to 1,000 pounds weight, and it can move creatures of up to 500 pounds away from the caster.  The material component is a leather glove.  I'm a little underwhelmed by the weight limit for such a high-level spell, but on the other hand it offers no saving throw, and it ignores the target's level and Hit Dice, so I guess it's a good way of taking out a high-level NPC.

Cacodemon: This spell is used to summon a specific, named Demon of Type IV, V or VI, which can then be bargained with to perform some sort of service.  I'd be shocked if this spell wasn't one of the more oft-quoted passages during the 80s "devil's game" witch-hunts, as it has all sorts of language about making pacts with demons and blood sacrifices and whatnot, with little more than lip service given to the idea that this is something that would probably be restricted to evil characters.
  There are three methods given for bargaining with a summoned demon.  The first involves invoking the threat of the spiritwrack spell, which has a pretty good chance of turning said demon into your enemy.  The second method involves the offering of human sacrifices, which is a little safer, but can still go wrong if the demon decides that the tribute is insufficient.  The third involves using a trap the soul spell to imprison the demon within an inanimate object, which can be broken later on to release the demon to do the bidding of whoever just did the breaking.  All throughout these descriptions it's reiterated that dealing with demons is dangerous, that they will turn a bargain against the caster at any opportunity, and that the proper protection is required to deal with them safely (protection circles, thaumaturgic triangles, and the like, which aren't really described in the Player's Handbook but are further developed in the Dungeon Masters Guide.)
  As I mentioned above, the true name of the demon to be summoned is required for the spell.  It's specifically stated that there are no demons weaker than Type IV whose names are known, and the spell is not strong enough to summon anything stronger than Type VI (like Orcus or Demogorgon).  There's a chance with each casting that the demon named has already been imprisoned or destroyed in the past, or simply that the name has been pronounced incorrectly.  In all of those cases, a new name will be required to attempt the spell again.
  Material components are five black candles, a brazier of hot coals, sulphur, bat hair, lard, soot, mercuric-nitric acid crystals, mandrake root, alcohol, and a piece of parchment with the demon's name on it.  It also requires a dish of blood from some mammal, preferably human, so there's blood sacrifice going on with this spell regardless of how the caster wants to use it.

Charm Plants: Plants in a 3"x1" area come under the control of the caster, and will obey his commands to the best of their abilities (including any special abilities a plant might have).  Intelligent plants get a saving throw (with a -4 penalty).  The material  components are a pinch of humus, a drop of water and a twig or leaf.
  The OD&D version of the spell had more specific limits on the number of plants affected based on size, rather effecting everything in a blanket area.  It had a range of 12", which has been shortened to 3" in AD&D.

Delayed Blast Fireball: It's a fireball that deals 1d6+1 damage per caster level, that can also be delayed for 1 to 50 segments (a segment being 1/10th of a round).  I've never, ever seen the delay effect used, but the extra damage dealt has always been appreciated.

Drawmij's Instant Summons: A non-living object no larger than a sword and no heavier than a shield can be instantly summoned into the caster's hand from anywhere.  The item needs to be previously prepared, and a 5,000gp gem is also required for the preparation as well as the casting.  The object can be summoned from other planes of existence (being able to traverse more planes the higher-level the caster is), but it can't be summoned if it's in the possession of someone else (although the spell will reveal the identity of the possessor).  It's another spell that I'm not sure justifies its high level and exorbitant material requirements.
  This is the first in-game appearance of Drawmij, a character from the Greyhawk campaign played by (who else) Jim Ward.  Apparently the spell was created by Gary after a game where Ward's character had left a potentially life-saving magic item behind, and complained that wizards should have some means of summoning important objects to their hand.  It's not clear whether the name Drawmij was coined by Gary for the spell and later adopted by Jim Ward, or if it happened the other way around.

Duo-Dimension: The caster becomes two-dimensional (losing the dimension of depth).  Thus they can slip through cracks, and become invisible by turning sideways.  While so invisible they can only be detected by a true seeing spell, and they are immune to all forms of attack.  Otherwise, attacks on them deal triple the normal amount of damage.  Recipients of this spell are partially within the Astral Plane, and can be drawn fully into it if noticed and attacked by a hostile Astral creature.  The material components are a strip of parchment, and an ivory likeness of the caster worth 5,000-10,000 gp (which is consumed by the spell).  Again, it's a spell that costs a hell of a lot to use.

Limited Wish: A spell that can pretty much do anything the caster asks for, within ill-defined limits.  It can't create wealth or grant experience.  Some examples that the spell gives are as follows: it can partially or temporarily restore hit points, reduce damage and hit probabilities of enemies, increase a spell's duration, change the disposition of a monster, or give minor clues to treasure or magic items.  Greedy desires will often turn against the caster.
  The OD&D spell is much the same, but doesn't bother to give any examples of what the spell can accomplish.

Mass Invisibility: Works like invisibility, but it affects a 3" x 3" area.  Practically, this means that it can affect 300-400 man-sized creatures, 30-40 giants or 6-8 large dragons.
  The OD&D version of the spell could affect 100-300 man-sized creatures, or up to 6 dragons.  It had a range of 24", as opposed to 1"/level in AD&D.

Monster Summoning V: Summons 1 or 2 monsters of 5th level, that appear after 1-3 rounds.  Looking at the Supplement I: Greyhawk tables (the only ones available at time of publication) shows a very nice spread of powerful monsters: trolls, ogre magi, wyverns, umber hulks, and even lammasu.
  The OD&D version of the spell summoned but a single monster of 5th level.

Mordenkainen's Sword: Summons a "sword-like plane of force" that can be wielded mentally by the caster.  It attacks as a fighter half the level of the caster, and can hit any creature (even those that are astral, ethereal or struck only by magical weapons).  It deals 5-20 damage to a man-sized creature, 5-30 to anything larger, and will automatically hit on a 19 or 20 regardless of the target's AC.  The material component is a miniature platinum replica worth 500 gp.
  (I've already talked about Mordenkainen in an earlier post.)

Phase Door: The caster can pass through walls in a similar manner to the passwall spell, but a phase door is invisible to everyone else and can be used on multiple walls per casting.  It can be dispelled by dispel magic cast by a higher-level caster.  There's also an intriguing mention here of lower level casters being able to cast dispel magic in concert, and thus combine their levels for the purposes of the spell (though in this case they need to be double the level of the caster).  This isn't something mentioned in the dispel magic description, so I'm wondering if it's just useful in this specific instance, or more generally?  I rather like it.
  The OD&D spell is similar, but it can be used 7 times per casting rather than a number based on the caster's level.  The bit about casters combining their level for a dispel magic was also present in OD&D.

Power Word, Stun: Stuns any one creature for a number of rounds based on their hit points (4-16 rounds for creatures with 1-30 hp, 2-8 rounds for 31-60 hp, and 1-4 rounds for creatures with 61-90 hp).  Creatures with over 90 hp are not affected.  It should absolutely be noted that this spell offers no saving throw: it's an instant death sentence for any solitary creature that's under the hp limit (unless they happen to have magic resistance).  It's also interesting that the spell goes off the creature's current hit points rather than their total.  I tend to do the opposite in most cases.
  The OD&D spell was similarly tied to the target's hit points, but it had a maximum cap of 70hp.  This is understandable, as the hit points of monsters and PCs has increased on average since the spell was first created.  It had a range of 12", whereas AD&D has changed that to 1/2" per level, shortening the range for the vast majority of casters.

Reverse Gravity: Affects a 3" x 3" square area, causing everything within that area to fall upwards for a single second.  Apparently it can affect things even thousands of feet in the air, so it has no practical upper range.  The objects "fall" 16 feet during that time.
  The OD&D spell was the same, but it didn't have anything to say about the spell's vertical limit (or lack thereof). It had a range of 9", which has been changed to 1/2" per level for AD&D.

Simulacrum: A duplicate of the target is created from snow and ice.  It is physically indistinguishable from the target, but is significantly weaker in level and hit points, and doesn't have the target's full knowledge.  The simulacrum is mindless, and must be commanded by the caster.  It can be given "vital force" with a reincarnation spell, and a limited wish empowers it with a portion of the target's knowledge and personality.  The simulacrum can never gain levels.  The material component is a powdered ruby, as well as a piece of the target placed within the snow or ice.
  In OD&D, an ice storm spell was necessary if there was no snow present, and an animate spell was required as well (presumably this was changed to reincarnation).  It's noted that the real person will be easily identifiable the two are encountered together.  There's also a bit about the simulacrum gaining in strength if the original person is killed, which I like a lot.  (On the whole, I would say that the OD&D spell is better explained than its AD&D counterpart.)

Statue: The target of the spell is transformed into a statue, and can change back and forth for as long as the spell lasts.  The target retains all of its senses while a statue, and can be damaged, but is indistinguishable from a regular statue.  Somewhat alarmingly, the use of the spell requires a system shock roll to survive, albeit one that's easier to survive than usual.  The material component is lime, sand, and a drop of water stirred by an iron bar.

Vanish: The caster can cause an object to disappear, and reappear elsewhere at a location of their choosing.  It has a weight limit of 500 gp per caster level.  Heavier objects can be made to disappear, but when they "reappear" they are replaced by a like amount of stone.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

AD&D Players Handbook part 43: 6th-Level Magic-User Spells

There are twenty-four 6th-level magic-user spells in AD&D (argh), up from sixteen in OD&D.  All the OD&D spells have made the transition to AD&D at the same level, and there are eight spells that are brand new.

Anti-Magic Shell: The caster is surrounded by an invisible barrier that stops all spells, magical attacks such as breath weapons and gazes, and the functioning of magical items. It also blocks entrance by creatures that have been charmed, summoned or conjured.
  The OD&D spell only specified that it negated spells, not items and other magical attacks.  It was also very specific in pointing out that the caster couldn't send any spells out through the shell, which the AD&D spell doesn't mention.  The AD&D spell does say that it's impervious to all magic and magic spell effects, and probably does work like the OD&D spell, but I feel like this is the sort of thing that needs to be stated outright.  It had a duration of 12 turns (1 turn/level in AD&D) and no specified diameter (1 foot/level in AD&D).

Bigby's Forceful Hand: Much like Bigby's Interposing Hand, it creates a hand that blocks the target from reaching the caster.  The Forceful Hand exerts more pressure, though, and can push creatures weighing less than 500 pounds away.  Heavier creatures will have their movement rate slowed.  The hand has as many hit points as the caster. It's material component is a glove.
  Does anyone else feel like these Bigby's Hand spells are a little underpowered for their level?  I've been saying that for quite a few AD&D spells, but I don't have a lot of experience with high-level magic in this version of the game.  Is there something I'm missing?

Control Weather: Works much like the 7th-level cleric spell, in that it allows the caster to make a one-step alteration in up to three prevailing conditions (clouds/precipitation, temperature, and wind).  The only difference between the two versions is that the spell's duration for magic-users is half that for clerics.
  The OD&D version of the spell didn't take the prevailing conditions into account, and simply gave the following options that could be performed: rain, stop rain, cold wave, heat wave, tornado, stop tornado, deep clouds, clear sky.  Not as versatile, perhaps, but probably more immediately useful as part of a game.

Death Spell: Instantly kills a number of creatures within the area of effect, with no saving throw.  The number killed is based on Hit Dice, and ranges from a whopping 4-80 creatures of less than 2 Hit Dice, up to 1-4 creatures of 6+4 to 8+3 Hit Dice.  There's a system given for when the spell targets a group with a mixed range of Hit Dice.  Examples are given for the spell affecting the weakest creatures first, and also for it affecting the strongest creatures first, so I'm thinking that this is up to the caster.  Naturally the spell doesn't affect the undead, or creatures who aren't from the Prime Material Plane.  Lycanthropes are immune as well, which is a little surprising; I can't think of any other instances where they're immune to instant death effects.  The material component of this spell is a crushed black pearl worth 1,000gp.  So it's mega-powerful, but casting it is costly.
  (There's a bit in this spell description about the death being "irrevocable", which could be interpreted as not allowing raise dead.  Gary has clarified that this was meant to refer to the spell granting no saving throw.)
  The OD&D spell killed 2-16 creatures of less than 7 Hit Dice, with a fixed 6" x 6" area.  It's more effective against foes of 4 to 6 Hit Dice, but far less so against weaker enemies, and not being able to affect anything of 7+ HD is a big drawback.  I'm also pretty sure that, by the book, the OD&D death spell would allow a saving throw.

Disintegrate: Disintegrates one creature (including undead), or up to a 1" cube of nonliving matter.  Unlike the death spell, the target gets a save.  It has no effect on a globe of invulnerability or anti-magic shell.   The material components are a lodestone and a pinch of dust.
  The OD&D version of the spell works similarly, although it does mention that it can't affect magical matter, whereas the AD&D spell can do so.  The OD&D spell had a range of 6", whereas AD&D has a range of 0.5"/level.

Enchant an Item: This is the spell that is used to prepare an item for enchantment.  It takes 16 hours, plus an additional 8-64 hours to cast, but given that the caster can only work 8 hours per day this effectively comes to 2 days + 1-8 days.  This work basically consumes all of the caster's time during those days, and the object to be enchanted must remain close to him the whole time or the process is ruined.  At the end of the casting the item to be enchanted must make a saving throw vs. magic (using the caster's saves), and if it's successful it's ready to have further spells imbued into it (which must be done within 24 hours, or the enchant an item spell fades).  Each spell to be cast takes 4 hours, plus 4-8 additional hours per spell level, and each one requires a saving throw to take hold.  A permanency spell is then required to make the enchantment permanent, although this can't be done with any items that have charges, such as wands and staves.  Enchant an item can never be successfully cast from a scroll or a wand or the like.
  The material components for this spell are pretty much up to the DM.  The only actual requirement is that the item to be enchanted must be sound and undamaged, and of the finest possible quality.  The value of the item varies depending on what it is, but should never be less than 100gp.  As for the enchantments, some examples are given: a cloak of displacement needing the hide of a displacer beast; a dragon-slaying sword requiring the blood or body parts of a dragon; or a ring of shooting stars needing a piece of meteorite and the horn of a ki-rin.
  I fully expect that the Dungeon Master's Guide will expand on this spell significantly.  This spell wasn't in OD&D, but the times given here are actually quite modest compared to those in OD&D, where a simple scroll might take weeks to create, or a ring of x-ray vision a full year.

Extension III: Doubles the duration of 1st-3rd level spells, and increases those of 4th-5th level by 50%.
  The OD&D version of the spell also went up to 5th level, but doubled the duration of all spell levels.

Geas: Compels the target of the spell to perform a task as set by the caster, so long as that task isn't self-destructive.  Failure to follow these orders causes the target to get sick and die within 1 to 4 weeks, and attempts to deviate or twist the intentions of the orders result in a loss of Strength until the deviation ends.  Remove curse and dispel magic are not sufficient to remove this spell: only a wish will suffice.
  The OD&D spell gave no guidance for how long it takes a geas to kill someone who isn't following orders.  It had a range of 3" (it's a touch spell in AD&D).

Glassee: This spell makes an area of metal, stone or wood transparent (although it's not effective on lead, gold or platinum). The "window" is one-way, or it can simply be made to apply only to the caster himself.  In the latter option, it seems to me that the caster can make a different window every round until the spell expires, although it's not 100% clear. The material component is a piece of crystal or glass.

Globe of Invulnerability: This (surprisingly new) spell creates a globe that blocks all spells of 1st-4th level. The caster can still cast spells from inside it, though, which makes me think that this mustn't be the case for Anti-Magic Shell, otherwise there'd be no reason to take it at all.

Guards and Wards: This spell has the following effects within a radius of 1"/level from the caster: it fills all corridors with a mist that obscures visibility, it wizard locks every door, it covers a number of doors equal to the caster's level with an illusion that makes them look like a wall, it fills all stairways with webs, it gives every junction a minor confusion effects that makes those choosing a direction take the opposite passage half the time, and it makes the whole area radiate magic.  The caster can also choose from the following: dancing lights in up to four corridors; two magic mouths; two stinking clouds; a gust of wind; or a suggestion. These latter options (and the illusionary walls) can only be used if the area is super-familiar to the caster.  Remove curse is completely ineffective against this spell, and dispel magic can only remove one random effect per casting. The material components of this spell are burning incense, a small measure of oil and sulphur, a knotted string, some umber hulk blood, and a silver rod.
  I've never paid much attention to this spell, but navigating an area where it's been cast sounds like a nightmare.  I really want to give it to the next NPC magic-user that my players go up against.

Invisible Stalker: Summons an Invisible Stalker, specifically from the Elemental Plane of Air. The stalker will serve the caster until the task it is set is completed, but it will resent prolonged service, and will seek to pervert its orders. Material component for the spell is burning incense and a piece of horn shaped like a crescent.
  The OD&D spell is much the same, although it says that the stalker is "extra-dimensional" rather than being from the Plane of Air. (I prefer it the old way for the sake of mystery.) There's nothing said in the spell entry about the stalker's resentment of long service, but it's there in the monster entry. I won't go into the differences between Invisible Stalkers in the two editions, as I did that here.

Legend Lore: May reveal information about a person, place, or thing, provided that the subject of the spell is sufficiently legendary.  The casting time of the spell varies depending on how much the caster knows about the subject.  If the subject is present it only takes 1-4 turns, but if all the caster knows is rumours it can take from 2 to 12 weeks, during which time the caster can't do anything except cast the spell, eat, sleep and go to the toilet. Any information given by the spell will be in the form of a cryptic hint or rhyme. The material components are some incense and strips of ivory, but the spell also requires the sacrifice of a magic item or a creature. (Guess which the average player would choose...)
  The OD&D spell worked similarly, but the casting time of the spell was 1d100 days, rather than being based on the knowledge of the caster.

Lower Water: Functions like the 4th-level cleric spell, in that it causes water to be lowered by 5% per caster level. It has a range of 8" (12" for clerics), a duration of 5 rounds per level (1 turn per level for clerics), and an area of a 0.5" square per level (clerics affected a 1" square per level).  The material components are a vial of water and a vial of dust (clerics didn't need the water, but they did need a holy symbol).
  The OD&D spell was simpler in that it lowered water by 50% for ten turns, with a range of 24".

Monster Summoning IV: Summons 1 to 3 monsters of 4th level. As usual, with no Dungeon Master's Guide available at this point in history, I'll go to the tables in Supplement I: Greyhawk. It's an eclectic bunch of monsters, with the usual range of NPCs and some weirder selections: dopplegangers, wraiths, gargoyles, displacer beasts, phase spiders, and rust monsters. Nothing too overpowered, and perhaps a little underpowered given the level of caster that will be throwing this spell around.
  The OD&D spell only summoned a single monster of 4th level, so it was even more underpowered.

Move Earth: Allows the caster to manipulate dirt and earth, thereby collapsing embankments, moving hillocks, shifting dunes, and so on. It seems as though there's no limit to the area that the caster can affect: it has a casting time of 1 turn per 4" square affected, but there's no upper limit given to the area of effect, so time is really the only limiting factor here.  For moving terrain features, a summoned earth elemental is required in addition to this spell. The spell doesn't work on rock, only dirt (and sand, given the dune example above). The material components are a mixture of soils and an iron blade.
  The OD&D spell only works above-ground, and is used to "move prominences such as hills or ridges". It has no specified area of effect, and a flat casting time of 1 turn. The movement of said prominences is given as 6" per turn, something that AD&D doesn't bother with. No earth elemental was required for any of the spell's effects.

Otiluke's Freezing Sphere: This spell has three different applications:
  1. A globe of absolute zero temperature, which can freeze 100 square feet of water per caster level, to a depth of 6 inches. This ice lasts for 1 round per caster level.
  2. A thin ray of cold which deals 4 points of damage per caster level. A successful save from the target allows it to avoid the ray, but anything in the ray's path will still be struck.
  3. A globe that can be thrown or slung, that shatters on impact and deals 4-24 damage to all creatures in a 10' radius (with a save for half damage). The globe, if not thrown, automatically shatters after a number of rounds equal to the caster's level.
  The material component is a thin crystal sheet for the globe of absolute zero, a white sapphire worth at least 1,000gp for the ray, and a diamond worth at least 1,000gp for the shattering globe.  It's a good spell, but it's offensive capabilities really aren't enough to justify the material costs.  Fireball and lightning bolt are free, you guys.
  Otiluke is yet another prominent Greyhawk NPC, but I had some trouble tracking down his real-world origins. There was plenty about his in-world history, being a part of the Circle of Eight and eventually being murdered by Rary, but nothing on his history in Gary's campaign. That's because he wasn't an actual PC played in the original Greyhawk campaign - rather, it was a name that Gary came up with by combining the names of his son Luke, and Luke's first PC Otis. Otis was a ranger, so it looks as though Otiluke will be free of the need to reconcile gaming anecdotes with TSR canon.

Part Water: This spell is identical to the 6th-level cleric spell, in that the caster can create a tunnel through liquids that is 3' deep, 1' wide, and 2" long (with all dimensions multiplied by caster level). The range and duration of the spell are halved compared to the cleric version, and the material component is a pair of glass sheets rather than a holy symbol.
  The OD&D version created a tunnel with fixed dimensions of 10' deep and 120' long (no width specified), and a duration of 6 turns (it lasts 5 rounds/level in AD&D).

Project Image: This spell creates a duplicate of the caster, which performs any actions desired. Spells cast by the caster can originate from the duplicate.  The duplicate is immune to all damage, but it can be negated with dispel magic, and it will disappear if it is ever out of view of the caster. The material component is a small doll of the caster.
  The OD&D spell had the slightly altered name of projected image. It was otherwise the same, although there was nothing to say that it was immune to damage, or specifically vulnerable to dispel magic. It had a range of 24" (1"/level in AD&D), and a duration of 6 turns (1 round/level in AD&D).

Reincarnation: The bane of dead PCs everywhere: nobody wants this spell used to bring them back, except as an absolute last resort. Rather than restore a dead body to life, the caster touches the corpse, and a new incarnation of the deceased appears in 1-6 turns, in a new body. Mercifully, the magic-user version of the spell restricts the new body to humanoid forms, with the most outlandish being ogre magi and trolls. The major advantage of the spell is that it doesn't require a system shock roll. Note that creatures of a strong good or evil alignment won't be reincarnated in the body of a creature of the opposite general alignment. The material component is a small drum and a drop of blood.
  In OD&D, the form that a creature was reincarnated in was entirely dependent on alignment. Those reincarnated as humans had to determine their class and level randomly (demi-humans only had to determine level, as they had no class options at the time the original spell was written). There's nothing in the AD&D spell about changing class.

Repulsion: Repels all creatures in the area of effect (a 1" path with a range of 1"/level) away from the caster.  They will either move at 3" per round if the target is stationary, or the speed of the creature if it tries to move towards the caster.  The material components are a pair of magnetised iron bars attached to a dog statues, one ivory and one ebony.
  The OD&D spell causes the target to move "in a course opposite from their intended course towards the caster".  The major difference is that the spell had no effect on a stationary target.  It had a duration of 6 turns (1 round per 2 levels in AD&D) and a range of 12" (1"/level in AD&D).

Spiritwrack: Aside from having the raddest name, this spell is used to torture and banish a creature from the nether planes (generally demons and devils).  It only works if the caster knows the name of the target creature, and it also requires the preparation of a sheet of vellum bordered in gold leaf, and inscribed with ink made from powdered rubies and the blood of a demon of Type I, II or III.  This sheet requires 8-32 hours of preparation, 1,000gp for the vellum and other materials, and a further 5,000 gp for the powdered rubies.
  When the inscription is read in the presence of the target creature, it will be rooted to the spot.  A successful roll against its Magic Resistance will allow it to avoid this effect, but the target is then most likely to retreat to its home plane, as it can't attack the caster.  So the affected demon is paralysed for the first round, and for the second it is wracked with pain and loses 1 hp for each of its Hit Dice.  In the third round it will lose half of its remaining hp, and then be consigned to a prison in its home plane, where it will remain for a number of years equal to the level of the caster.
  The description ends with a note that any demon/devil so imprisoned will become an enemy of the caster, and so most casters won't finish the spell, instead using it as leverage to force the target into submission.

Stone to Flesh: Turns any stone into flesh, and restores any character who has been turned to stone back to life (assuming a successful system shock roll is made).  This works on walls and the like as well, affecting 9 cubic feet per level, if you feel like carving a particularly gory shortcut through the dungeon.  The spell can be reversed as flesh to stone, and is mostly used to turn enemies and their belongings into statues.  The material components are a pinch of earth and a drop of blood (lime, water and earth are used for flesh to stone).
  The OD&D spell is the same, although it doesn't mention anything about a target's possessions being turned to stone (or back to flesh).  It also doesn't give a volume for transforming regular stone.  It had a range of 12" (1"/level in AD&D).

Tenser's Transformation: This spell transforms the caster into a berserk fighter, granting them double hit points, a +4 AC bonus, +2 to damage, two attacks per round, and the use of the Fighter table when attacking.  The caster will keep attacking until all enemies are slain, or the spell is ended.  The material component is a potion of heroism, which would make the casting of this spell a pretty rare occurrence.  Does the spell stack with the effects of the potion?  In OD&D the potion of heroism was only usable by fighters, and the same holds true for the DMG, so it's something of a moot point.
  Tenser has appeared before as the originator of Tenser's Floating DiscTenser's Transformation was created by Gary as a tribute to Tenser's habit of charging into battle with no regard for his role as a magic-user.