2019/09/26

Detect Evil And Making Spells Unique

corpse_theft 
Mad Magic-User by Henrik Pettersson

A couple weeks ago, Jack Graham tweeted about the possible implications of the old-school Detect Evil spell. It got me thinking about how it actually manifests itself:

 

I made this thing as both an exploration of how Detect Evil might work and an experiment in making spells more unique. Essentially, it is a one-page sheet to randomize how the spell works. It is meant to be system agnostic and should work with both old-school games and D&D 5e.


Some of the ideas I had when writing this:
  • I've been thinking about Vance's Dying Earth. It's got weird spell names like "The Excellent Prismatic Spray" and "Phandal’s Mantle of Stealth". Some D&D spell names like "Tenser's Floating Disk" are inspired by this and it makes them sound cooler.
  •  When you copy a wizard's spellbook you end up getting -their- version of the spell. Not every footballer takes free kicks the same way, why would wizards all cast a spell the same way? Also makes it so that it's worth it to get a scroll or spellbook for a spell you already know, because every version works differently.
  •  Incentivizes challenge-based games. Nuances like making the evil thing visible to all can bring new opportunities or problems that lead to stuff. Also different ways to disrupt spells by blocking the means through which they manifest. If the enemy's Detect Evil works through sound, make noise to confuse them, etc.

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Detect Evil And Making Spells Unique

  Mad Magic-User by Henrik Pettersson A couple weeks ago, Jack Graham tweeted about the possible implications of the old-school Detect ...