Saturday Sorcery: More Old Magic Spells

Many moons ago, I shared with you some spells from an old AD&D 2nd Edition campaign (see here and here). Well, I keep finding more of those old spells that we designed in our misspent days of youth, so I thought I would share a few more with you.

These are Magic-User spells, researched and created by the wizard Scorpio (and inspired by the player Brad S.). Scorpio was a hard, blood-thirsty war wizard whose best friend was a surly dwarf. He liked practical, usually deadly spells with kick. Here are a few of his patented invocations:

Scorpio's Lesser Fireball
Level: 2
Range: 5 yds. + 5 yds./level
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Instant
Casting Time: 5
Area of Effect: 5ft-radius
Saving Throw: ½

Scorpio hated goblins. Absolutely loathed them, and he loved nothing better than killing as many of them as possible. Too impatient to wait until 5th-level so he could learn fireball, he conconcted his own spell, specially designed to scatter (and hopefully incinerate) tightly-pack groups of goblins in dungeon corridors.

This spell is nearly identical to the 3rd-level spell fireball, except for the modifications to range and area of effect described above, and that it only inflicts 1d2+1 damage per level of the caster, to a maximum of 10D2 +10 damage at 10th level.

The material component for this spell is a goblin’s penis (Brad’s idea, not mine).

Quiet Steps
Level: 1
Range: 0
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 turn/level
Casting Time: 1 round
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

This spell grants upon the caster the special thief ability Move Silently. The ability works exactly like the thief ability, with a base chance of success of 40%, modified by +5% per level of the caster. This base chance is not modified by Dexterity, though it is affected by the character’s race and his encumbrance (see section on Thieves in the Player’s Handbook).

Once the caster has achieved 5th level or higher, he may opt to cast this spell on another character instead of himself. In this case, the base chance is reduced to 30%, and the duration is halved.

The material component for this spell is a sprinkle of salt water.
Note: Scorpio never used this to sneak past or avoid enemies. Its only purpose was to get behind foes and stab them in the back.

Thorn of Torture
Level: 2
Range: 50 yds. +10 yds./level
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Instant (Permanent)*
Casting Time: 2
Area of Effect.: Special
Saving Throw: None

This spell creates magical thorns, similar to magic missiles, which strike out at any target chosen by the caster within the spell’s range.

The caster may create 1 thorn per level, which appears magically before him and then flies at high speed towards it chosen victims. Each thorn inflicts 1d4 points of piercing damage, and the thorns may be fired at any number of different targets or the same target, at the caster’s option.

One roll to hit is made for each creature targeted by this spell. If the roll is successful, all thorns hit. If the roll fails, all thorns miss. All attack rolls are modified by +3.

After the thorns hit, they will stay in the creature’s body until removed. Removing the thorns does not inflict any additional damage, though the pulling of each thorn adds 1 to the creature’s initiative roll. If the thorns are ignored, the creature suffers -1 to all of its attack rolls and saving throws for as long as at least one thorn is in its body.

The material component of this spell is a rose stem, which is consumed in the casting.

Like this?


  1. Joe NelsonJuly 18, 2011

    Lesser Fireball sounds like delicious fun. Not too overwhelming, but definitely destructive.

    For my use, I'd probably modify Quiet Steps to be a little less effective, maybe starting at 30% for the caster just so that it wouldn't be too powerful and make any of the rogues in my party angry.

    Actually though, that's what I love the most about the spells even all the way up to 3e. You can tweak 'em however you need without obliterating game balance so long as you don't go too far.

  2. CDGallant_KingJuly 20, 2011

    Yeah, the % might be a bit high, but remember, at low level a mage can only cast this spell once or twice a day (and that's if he doesn't take magic missile and sleep), and even if he sneaks up behind his opponent, he's still going to have a below average attack and damage roll against him.  In most cases, it would really be much more useful just for sneaking past/away from enemies.

  3. CDGallant_KingJuly 21, 2011

    Didn't I reply to this comment yesterday?  Where did my response go?


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