Wednesday, June 24, 2015

CMG Extra - "Favorite Spell" Day 24 of The D&D Thirty-Day Challenge!

Day 24 - Favorite Spell

This is pretty tough because there are so many and unlike the monster questions on this list, I cannot fob off a second place answer to a different question on a different day (except maybe through curses and magic items!).  I am a fan of many of the "fire" spells but the fact that there are so many dilutes my love for any single one of them.  And once we've eliminated those as potential favorites, can I really go with any energy-based spell: cold, electricity, etc.?

Artist - Rackham, Arthur (illus) (1910) The Rhinegold & the Valkyrie

For the Superstitions Sourcebook I produced some years back in Era 3.5E, I included lots of Magic Items but also about two dozen new spells that I really enjoyed writing.  Dolphin Soul, for instance, allowed a caster to inhabit a dolphin for a time, though it left the caster's lifeless corpse behind for the duration at the tender mercies of his adventuring buddies.  Not always a good idea.  Locate Familiar's Owner is self-explanatory but of limited use.  Still, a fun one when it does come into play.  Another fun one was Pig of Himself which can cause someone to gorge themselves until they die.  But my favorite was a simple one that filled a need for Necromancers as follows:

Friend of Vultures
Transmutation [Earth]
Level: Clr 6, Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: See text
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Area: Dirt in an area up to 750 ft. square and up to 10 ft. deep (S)
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
     This spell is often used as a preparatory spell before creating undead. Friend of vultures moves dirt (clay, loam, sand), possibly collapsing embankments,moving hillocks, shifting dunes, and so forth to uncover any dead bodies or skeletons in an area suitable for use in a create undead spell.
     However, in no event can rock formations or buildings be collapsed or moved, though tombstones will be displaced and jumbled in the process. The area to be affected determines the casting time. For every 150-foot square (up to 10 feet deep), casting takes 10 minutes. The maximum area, 750 feet by 750 feet, takes 4 hours and 10 minutes to move.
     This spell non-violently breaks the surface of the ground causing any pockets that hold the dead to belch them forth to the surface. Trees, structures, rock formations, and such are mostly unaffected except for changes in elevation and relative topography.  The spell cannot be used for tunneling and is generally too slow to trap or bury creatures. This spell has no effect on earth creatures.
     Material Component: A mixture of soils in a small bag and a spade made of a vulture bone.

The original D&D 30-Day Challenge meme had a duplication and was a bit more edition-specific than I thought was useful for my purposes, so I made some adjustments and had some folks on the Internet give it the once-over.  Here's the result and what I will be doing through the month of June as "CMG Extras."

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