Saturday, May 24, 2014

Spontaneous Wizard Magic

Previous post about clerics here.

So, if clerics can benefit from some spontaneous choices, couldn't wizards do the same?  Maybe.  I'm willing to give it a try.

Seems to me that if wizards didn't feel like they always had to have Fireball or Sleep memorized, they might just memorize Gust of Wind or Mount.  

My thought was that (whether you use Schools of Magic or not) wizards could attach themselves to a school and in doing so, they would get access to certain spells to use "in exchange" for any spell they have memorized.

Of course, you can always exchange a higher level spell for a lower level spell.

I've tried to match a "theme" to the wizard school.  I think these groupings have a lot of potential.  I also think that Invocation/Evocation will be a popular choice.  :)

SchoolLevel 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5
AbjurationProtection from EvilProtection from CantripsDispel MagicMinor GlobeDismissal
AlterationFeather FallLevitateFlyDimension DoorTeleport
Conjuration/SummoningMountSummon SwarmMonster Summoning 1Black TentaclesFaithful Hound
Enchantment/CharmCharm PersonForgetSuggestionConfusionFeeblemind
Illusion/PhantasmPhantasmal ForceInvisibilitySpectral ForceMinor CreationDemi-Shadow Monsters
Invocation/EvocationMagic MissileWebFireballIce StormWall of Stone
DivinationDetect MagicESPClairvoyanceMagic MirrorContact Other Plane
NecromancyChill TouchSpectral HandVampiric TouchContagionAnimate Dead
Created with the HTML Table Generator

As always, YMMV.  I have not playtested this yet, but I'm planning on it.

EDIT: I'm going to make wizards roll INT or less on d20 to change a spell on the fly.  If they want to change it in memory, they can do that over the course of several turns -- no problem.  Clerics (because of "divine favor" make their swaps at will.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Spontaneous Clerical Magic

I like Vancian spellcasting.  I think having limited choices focuses the player, makes planning important and inspires creativity.

That said, I'd much rather have my clerics and wizards memorizing some more "oddball" or "creative" spells than the usual Cure Light Wounds, Sleep, Magic Missile, etc. (More on Wizards in a later post)

I believe in D&D 3.0 (?) clerics can cast Healing spells without memorizing them.  Basically trading in a memorized spell for a healing spell (if it exists at that level.)

This allows them to memorize Detect Evil at first level and then trade it in later for Cure Light Wounds if it is needed.  Flexibility and choice.

In the game I was playing in, now running, I was privileged to be able to swap out spells for healing.  It made playing a cleric A LOT more fun.

So, here's some changes that I would make to the "swap" system.  I think this makes it even simpler.  You can always swap a higher level spell for a lower level spell, if you are so inclined.

Spell Level SwappedHealing AmountSwappable Spells other than Healing
11d8+1Create Water, Detect Poison, Purify Food and Drink
21d12+2Know Alignment
32d8+3Create Food and Water, Cure Blindness or Deafness,
Cure Disease, Remove Curse, Remove Paralysis
42d12+4Detect Lie, Neutralize Poison
53d12+5Raise Dead
6Use HealHeal, Heroes' Feast
7Use HealRegenerate, Reincarnate, Restoration, Resurrection
Created with the HTML Table Generator

You might not like my large healing dice rolls, so feel free to make your own.

As always YMMV.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Fiend (Grenadier mini... I think...) Nope Citadel!

I've had this mini for a long, long time.  I don't remember buying it specifically.  I think I may have purchased it as a "loose mini" from a local game store (or maybe Toys by Roy.)

I think I actually painted him with Testor's Model Paints.  I used to use them (badly) back in the day.

When I was looking up the Tarrahook Bat in an old White Dwarf, lo and behold, I discovered this.

Who knew he was an actual "Fiend?"  I just thought that was the name of the mini.  :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Successful Adventurers Returning to Town (NPCs)

Saw this picture over at the OBI Scrapbook Blog -

And I couldn't resist trying to write these guys up as a group of NPCs.  I'm a bit of a minimalist, but these should work just fine in any old school game.

  • A =  Adelfre the torchbearer. 
  • B = Brigeorferd the torchbearer.  Actually quite proficient with the shortsword.  
  • C = Jadat the Quiet.  Useful to have around.  Good with a knife and doesn't mind the sight of blood.  Knows how to brew a virulent poison that causes the victim to feel like they are burning inside.
  • D = Dakim the fighter.  Wears padded mail.  Prefers the mace to the sword.  Uneasy around the monkey-wizard, but is a mercenary through-and-through.  The monkey pays well.
  • E = Ernie the halfling ranger.  Quite good at tracking and has an affinity for animals in the wild. Can read the runes on the standing stones.  Seems nigh impervious to magic and this irritates Kan-lac to no end.
  • F = Frish the bearer.  Won't fight, but is quite happy carrying things.  Doesn't mind if a few little things make their way into his pockets during the trip.  
  • G = Gando the fighter.  Proficient enough.  Spies on Kan-lac for the Wizards Guild of Thray.
  • H = Hardgarl the oaf.  Not too bright, but strong as an ox.  Loyal to Kan-lac.  Is actually quite amazed by the talking monkey and will do anything it says.  Has magical chainmail under his threadbare coat.
  • K = Kan-lac the monkey wizard.  Transformed by a permanent polymorph spell, Kan-lac uses his size, speed and appearance to his distinct advantage.  He is extremely intelligent and knows many charms and enchantments.  Wears a ring of protection.  
  • L = Limbar the halfling footpad.  Best friend to Hardgarl.  Keeps him out of trouble.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Tarrahook Bats are DONE!

Previous post here.

Once again, not great art but completely usable and already striking fear into my players.  :)

You poor, dumb, dead bastard. 

I gave them different fangs so I could tell them apart.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Stirges are DONE!

They aren't great art, but they will do nicely.

I painted their bellies yellow, so I could refer to them as "yellow-bellied blood suckers."


Monday, May 5, 2014

Making some Stirges!

My two most recent projects are a result of me finding a box of Romex in my garage.  I used it for a home improvement project years ago and have been toting it around.  When I saw it, I thought, "What can I make with that?" and I decided on Tarrahook Bats!

That project is going well.  I have two more under construction.  When I get all three made, I'll commence to painting!  :)

On Saturday I decided to take a nap and when I did, I had an idea for how I could make some stirges.

The ones you can buy from WoTC are expensive!  Seriously?  Almost $10 for a single 1 HD creature that is going to show up in hordes!!!  No thanks!

So here's the plan.  I'll make a base with a small group of wires on it --

I bent the wires at a right angle.  The wires will be the proboscis of the stirge.  I thought that small groups of stirges (in this case 3 per base) would be better than singles because these things are small and attack in packs!

Next I needed to create wings!

I could make them out of putty, but they probably wouldn't be regular in size and shape.  I thought that "leaves" would be a good substitute.  I found some aquarium foliage that I thought would fit the bill.

Now, admittedly, my stirges are going to have a different aesthetic than the "new stirge."
I do like the "four wings" thing, but my stirges will always be bloated, round things -- kinda like flying ticks --

So, here are my DIY stirges (unpainted.)  I'm planning to make a set of 5.  Then I'll get down to the painting...

I may try to make them a little smaller, but heck, they look OK as is.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Making a Tarrahook Bat (Part 3)

Some more pics --

I drilled a small hole in his back and a small hole in the wooden base.  I then epoxied (not superglue) the wire into the base and the bat.

I'll be texturing the base with sand (I suspect) and then I'll be painting him up.  I'm thinking about brownish tones, but we shall see.

I think I'll try and make a couple more of these -- trying to go a bit smaller and to avoid the need to epoxy into the back of the bat -- then I'm going to work on STIRGES!  I have a plan that involves putty, pins, beads, a plastic plant, wire and paint.

Should be fun!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Making a Tarrahook Bat (Part 2)

So, here he is with his wings glued on.  This is a new bat body.  Slightly smaller.

I thought that paper might be too fragile for the wings, so I used part of a USPS mailer.  In hindsight, it was probably overkill.  Regular copy paper will probably be strong enough, especially once it is held together with hot glue.

I tried to add texture to the wings using more hot glue.  I added detail to the body using more epoxy putty.

The fangs are the tips of toothpics.  I made the eyes by pressing the tip of a retractable ballpoint pen into a blob of putty.  I ran an extra strip of putty down the back to integrate the wings into the mini.

I'm sure he'll look a lot better painted up.  He might be a bit too big, but, that just makes him more dangerous!  :)  I'm going to drill a hole in his back and make a "flying base" using wire and a wooden base.