Saturday Sorcery - Ancient (15 year-old!) Magic

You've heard me gripe about clerics before. While I still maintain that playing them sucks, there was actually a time many years ago when I strongly encouraged people to play priests in my campaign. No, I wasn't trying to screw my players, hear me out. I was deep into my Fred Saberhagen phase, and the background of my campaign borrowed (*cough* stole *cough*) heavily from his Sword of Power series. One aspect that I lifted was a pantheon of "gods" that meddled openly in the affairs of mortals. I figured that since the gods were so prominent, their priests should be, too. I developed a variety of priestly traditions, each with their own unique beliefs, spells, rituals, weapons and powers. My players seemed to really enjoy this, because at one point I think I had as many as four different priests in the party, each worshiping a different god. Not only that, but they actually started creating their own spells, based on the unique powers of their deity.

Today I present 2 spells created by a priest of the Romi (Gypsy) Goddess of Luck. These were originally created for 2nd Edition D&D, but could easily be adapted to other settings. The original concepts were originated by my friend André D (who coincidentally I reconnected with recently through PBEM). Any wonkiness in power level or balance is entirely my fault - he came up with the ideas, I tried to fit them into the context of the rules.

Here's what 16-year-old game designers come up with:

¤ Gypsy Good Luck Charm ¤
Sphere: Protection, Numbers
Level: 3
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Until discharged
Casting Time: 2d4 rounds
Area of Effect: One item
Saving Throw: None

This spell enables a small charm to be enchanted with a “probability manipulator.” This allows the character possessing the charm to re-roll a single die roll that they make, at any time, then the magic in the charm is used up. The character must keep the more beneficial roll. The charm can only be activated if the character holding it knows or believes that it can bring good luck.

The reverse of this spell is bad luck charm. When the priest is creating the bad luck charm, he must state at what time the magic will take effect (eg. during an attack roll, a saving throw, a Dexterity check, etc.). The next time that the character possessing the charm makes the pre-designated roll, he or she must immediately re-roll, and choose the lower of the two as their result. The bad luck charm is not concerned with who is holding it when the roll is made. Whenever the designated roll is required, no matter who possesses it at the time, the magic will take effect.

The creation of a charm, good or bad, requires the priest to temporarily lose 2 hit points. These hit points cannot be restored until such time as the magic in the charm is discharged. The priest may hold the charm at any time and willingly dispel the magic.

The material component is any high-quality bauble (though not necessarily of great value), which must be in some way marked with the symbol of the priest’s deity.

¤ Magic Mushroom ¤
(Alteration, Enchantment/Charm)
Sphere: Charm
Level: 3
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 4 rounds
Area of Effect: One mushroom
Saving Throw: Special

The priest can use this spell to magically enchant an ordinary mushroom to give it extraordinary properties.

Once enchanted, anyone who sees the mushroom must successfully save vs. spell or believe that the mushroom is something that it is not. The affected character will believe it to be something that the victim perceives to be delicious, such as a cake, or a steak, and will be compelled to eat it. Once the magic mushroom is consumed, the victim must make another saving throw. If the second save is failed, two things will occur:

One, the character will think that he/she is a pig. They will fall down on all fours, squeal, and roll around in dirt if possible.

Two, the character will become ravishingly hungry. They will immediately begin rooting through their pack for rations. Once the rations are finished, the character will attempt to steal any other food nearby. They will not attack, even in an attempt to acquire more food, but they will defend themselves if attacked. If this curse should somehow take effect in the middle of a battle, the character will wait until the battle is over before it looks for food. This effect lasts for one round per level of the caster.

The mushroom, before being consumed, will hold its enchantment for 1 hour plus 1 turn per level of the caster, after which point it disintegrates. Only the caster, and creatures with more than 6 levels or HD and/or 17 points of Intelligence is immune to the effects of a magic mushroom. Anyone else must save any time they see the mushroom.

The material component of this spell, in addition to the mushroom, is the priest’s holy symbol and a platinum coin. The coin is consumed in the casting.

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