Monday, July 18, 2011

Cantraps, not Cantrips

'Cantrap' is an accepted spelling and the form that Jack Vance used. I've decided on this form since Tactical Simulation Ruleset uses a slightly different system than AD&D. And I like taunting spell-check. These minor magical effects do not require spell learning checks, memorization, preparation, or inhabit spell books. They are the basics that each caster learns during training and apprenticeship. Purists may argue that they ease the "tough love" survival of low level magic-users, but I feel they're more in character for how a wizardly type "should act" than constant hurling of molotov cocktails. My goal is to add a little flavour to these characters and give the player an imaginative tool to use, not up the ante in the race/class arms race.

Cantraps can be used, without fatigue or ill effect, by Magic-Users and Illusionists with the following conditions:

1) No cantrap can directly interupt anothers concentration.
2) When influencing another or anothers possessions then that person is entitled to a save vs. spells.
3) Cantraps will not harm any magical item
4) No cantrap can be used more than 3 consecutive rounds in row.

I've stolen these ideas from elsewhere, with some modifications in effect and form. More of these to follow, when work interfere less with my blogging quest. Additions and ideas are welcome.

Ghostlight (Conjuration)
Level: 0 (Cantrap)
Range: 0
Duration: Concentration
Area of Effect: 1' diam. sphere
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 segment

This cantrap conjures a small sphere pale green light in the palm of the caster's hand. Only a wave of the hand and a command word are needed for this incantation. The light can not be see behind 50 feet, and only illuminates an area of 5' around itself. The ghostlight does not produce heat, shadow, or affects infravision.

Specter's Voice (Illusion)
Level: 0 (Cantrap)
Range: 30'
Duration: 1 segment
Components: V
Casting Time: 1 Segment

The caster creates a brief phrase, of whisper or howling volume that can be heard up to 30 feet away.

Thorn of Vril (Evocation)
Level: 0 (Cantrap)
Range: 25'
Duration: Instantaneous
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: Saves negates all damage

A bolt of energy flies from caster towards a single target, hitting automatically for 1 hp of damage. The target can make a save vs spells, which completely negates damage. Note: even if damage occurs, the thorn will not disrupt the concentration of the target's spell casting.

Material Component: An item of power (a consececrated wizard's staff, for example) bound to the caster. It is not consumed by casting.

Base Dweomercraft (Alteration,Illusion)
Level: 0 (Cantrap)
Range: 10'
Casting Time: 1 Segment

This cantrap can perform a variety minor magical effects:

Create a small illusion for 5 minutes.
Clean or change the appearance of a cubic foot of material for an hour.
Extinguish or light a candle.
Change the flavour or temperature of a cubic foot of food or other item for an hour.
Write or scrawl a single letter or sign for one hour.
Create a puff of smoke.

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