Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Ultimate Sandbox: Supplement I - Greyhawk Part 5

Today, it's on to the Cleric spells. Their 1st level selection hasn't changed at all, so we go straight on to level 2.


SILENCE, 15' RADIUS: Can silence an entire party, or one object. Yet another spell that negates the usefulness of the Thief.

SNAKE CHARM: The caster can charm one hit dice worth of snakes per level. Handy, but a little niche. I couldn't see many Clerics packing this one unless they know there are snakes ahead.


PRAYER: Ah, the classic indispensable Cleric buff spell. Here it's a bit weaker than I recall - it lowers a group's saving throws by -1 per five levels of the caster.

SPEAK WITH DEAD: Allows the caster to ask three questions of a dead body. The higher level the caster is, the longer the body can have been dead - and 20th level Clerics have utterly no time limit at all, which could result in some interesting conversations. Again the ref is encouraged to answer in riddles - sweet.

There are no additions to spell levels 4 and 5, which was as high as they went in OD&D. So it's 6th level spells ahoy.


ANIMATE OBJECTS: Makes inanimate objects come alive and obey the caster's commands. The type of object dictates the properties and combat abilities, but it's pretty much up to DM fiat.

FIND THE PATH: Leads the caster out of a maze by the safest route, which in a megadungeon campaign could be a life-saver. It even works on the Maze spell - and I'm a sucker for when spells interact with each other, so cool.

BLADE BARRIER: Creates a barrier of whirling blades that deals 7-70 points of damage (!!!). That's pretty massive. Plus, the spell has one of the best visuals, at least in my head. It's a rare example of a Cleric spell that does damage, but it's still defensive in application.

WORD OF RECALL: Teleports the caster back to a designated spot - the ultimate escape spell. In the old days we had a Cleric PC who abused the hell out of this spell, as we'd come to the wrong conclusion that it also allowed the Cleric to return to the dungeon from where he left. Needless to say - not this time, chaps!

SPEAK WITH MONSTERS: Pretty self-explanatory, though Gary is careful to note that Monsters aren't all that interested in polite conversation.

CONJURE ANIMALS: The Cleric can summon 1 large animal like an elephant, 3 medium ones such as lions, or six small ones like wolves or dogs. Cannon fodder, basically.


EARTHQUAKE: Creates a tremor that can collapse a small house, rampart, cliff, etc. It can also open cracks in the earth to swallow 1-in-6 creatures, but their fates are left up to the ref.

AERIAL SERVANT: Summons a more powerful form of Invisible Stalker. It's only purpose is to bring the Cleric something he desires, be it a person or an object. Alas it can't fight, but it's strong, and can carry about 500 pounds. Someone with a Strength of 18 or higher can break free, and if this happens the Servant goes berserk, returns to the Cleric and tries to kill him. What a sore loser.

WIND WALK: The Cleric and possibly one other person become mist-like, and can travel really quickly to wherever the caster desires.

HOLY WORD: Will deafen, stun or kill creatures affected - and it doesn't specify Chaotic creatures either. It seemingly works on anything and everything.

ASTRAL SPELL: Just like the M-U version, but chances of failure are halved.

SYMBOL: Again, just like the M-U version, but the Cleric one can't cause permanent harm. Stupid Clerics.

CONTROL WEATHER: Like the M-U one. Clerics are a bunch of copy-cats.

RAISE DEAD FULLY: This is what Resurrection used to be called. It's like Raise Dead, but it restores all of the target's hit points, and he doesn't need to rest afterwards either. The reversed version of this spell is frightening - death no save, doesn't matter who you are. Having the right magic item is the only thing that can save you.

RESTORATION: At last, a counter to energy draining undead - this restores levels lost to those critters. Evil clerics cast a reversed version that drains a level from the target. The good version incapacitates the Cleric for 2-20 days, and so NPC Clerics won't usually cast it - Gary's dangling that carrot again... And note that the reversed version doesn't incapacitate the caster, so look out.

On Monday, I delve into my favourite part of any D&D supplement - monsters!


  1. How does conjure animals compare with Summon Nature's Ally in terms of duration? Just curious. :)

  2. The duration on Conjure Animals is 10 turns. Technically that should be about 100 minutes, but OD&D is a bit elastic with its definitions - it could also mean 10 combat rounds.

    Summon Nature's Ally (from 3.5e) has a duration of 1 round/level. So depending on your interpretation of the OD&D rules, it could be about the same, or significantly less.