Sunday, 7 June 2020

Spells & Summoning monsters

Magic Spell Research Speculation Stuff
Me and a friend did 12th level wizards and hoping to pad out the higher levels with content as what I have only really good for about that high maybe 14th. Considered having some skills with fx that kick in at 10th or perhaps unlock stranger skills. Part of me thinks might revise magic to be a bit more different to dnd ip. I like spells in dcc that lets a basic spell get more powerful so burning hands can burn an army eventually. I like some Lamentations spells and enhanced simplicity. I dislike all those hugely detailed spell descriptions that talk about some wizard. Long ago I had a system that had basic combat spells that you chose what the missile was with your version of the spell. I like summoning spells to do this too. Had an ant wizard in one game only called ants. Or a wizard that summons only lame 1HD clone copies of themself. Aso don't really like the Summon Monsters I, II, III, etc

So I like spells that stay useful a long career. Magic missile and charm person in older dnd both stay useful at a high level. Having lots of custom variant spells makes magic people vary more if their summonings and magic zaps have distinct appearances. Reskinning a web to being slime and purple worms might not be a big deal. Even go as far as everyone makes a little paper a6 spellbook to describes vis fx of your versions of the spell??? Some kids like describing spells too hard and using to hijack narrative (ok it can be done well).

Anyway I'm playing with ideas for summoning but none of this set in stone yet
Must avoid rewriting all spells and monsters.
Watching LOTR with friend who informs me one elf makes many orcs

Summoning and Monster Making Magic
So summoning I have played with a bit

I like the idea of more spells to make monsters to populate dungeons
-monsters not necessarily obedient but you can tame or deceive them
-or lock them up in your dungeon to run feral after you die
-make orc spell Lv1=murder an elf becomes a near ageless sterile mockery of elf kind
-make orc spell Lv2=use fresh human corpse disproportionately from male soldiers
-make orc Lv3=make orc from mud but these are sexless bigger brutes d12HD
(modern orcs breed and live longer and most wary of wizards stuff and dark lords)
-make abhuman Lv4 spells fuse human and animal via arcane surgery easiest to make
-loved alchemist art from medieval times of dragons being grown in vats
-jack Vance had quite a bit of this like the AD&D clone spell
-i guess lonely wizards will make cat women and other creepy stuff
-i like spells with some risk so lots of making undead spells risk they will betray you
-golems are slow and expensive to make but less horrible than undead
-alchemists make golems, slime monsters, simulacra, homunculi, even draconic monsters
-safer higher level spells don't have these problems
-perhaps a spell to control summoned beings but I guess charm could

Common Spells
Summoning Creature 1st Lv Spell
-1HD per caster level for one turn per level or dies/vanishes/melts/fades at zero
Summoning Circle 3rd Lv Spell
-1HD critters per caster level for around per level, minimum of 4 creatures
-create lots of figures to strategically tie up the battlefield
Summon Monster 4th Lv Spell - 1HD/Lv
-creatures with multiple attacks or other non-magic advantages
Conjure Planar Thrall 5th Lv Spell
-8hd elemental or lesser demon or devil or angel or faerie
Conjure Planar Power 6th Lv Spell
-16hd elemental or major demon or devil or angel or faerie
Conjure Planar Throne 7th Lv Spell
-nobility of hell/demons/elemental lords/efreeti
Gateway 7th Lv Spell
-open portal to another world or close one

Wizard Summoning
-instantly calls being or beings to point in the range
-from another world or creates from elemental, ectoplasmic, shadow or spectral material
-creatures obey orders and mental suggestions but do have morale scores or own will
-creatures bit thick and naive and without orders stand around confused
-sometimes 1in20 chance a creature survives the spell expiry and flees a wild monster who hates and fears who called it into being

Druid Summoning
-basic spell calls whatever animals or giant animals available
-basic spell calls beast with one attack like wolf, goat or deer
-monster summoning is for animals with multiple attacks like bears or lions
-later spells call magical wilderness beings from faerie land and elementals
-creatures hang around for hours but take a d6 rounds to arrive
-could be recruited as a follower if treated well after the battle
-animal intelligence but not stupid or suicidal but protect and aid druid
-mostly summon animals most with one bite attack like wolves
-high-level spell sylvan or faerie or elementals later usually intelligent
-when animals die their children starve
-druid could charm or befriend animals if like them or reward them
-nice to not just eat them or use a cannon fodder and first aid or feed them after

Cleric Summoning
-each cult has spells to summon beings of the cult Horus priests know summon hawk
-sent by god arrive from sky or a pit or portal, fanatic service to god through the summoner
-summons is instant and creatures vanish back to the gods household
-don't strictly obey you but will fight to death versus enemies then vanish
-low level spells summon a npc character or basic beast with 1 attack
-higher level monster summoning spell calls cult spirits and beasts usually intelligent
-planar summonings call divine servants basically magic monsters angels or devils
-some beings are spirits that coalesce a body from local matter
-beings slain return to the divine source to be reborn again serving the god

Alchemist might mix some potions and charge with a philosophers stone or plant some dragon teeth on the fly for a summoning. Some alchemy might require prep time and money as well as magical energy-infused during a ritual. Mostly they make constructs like golems.

Ideas On Summoning & Creating Monsters
If the plan is to make spells more customisable then I need to
Rough Guide for summoning and creating spells
Roughly a HD/Lv and conditions
Ive considered some extra magic skills such as
-improve average HP per dice from 4 to 5 possibly stack four times to 8hp per HD
-better minimum average on spells that summon random amounts of critter
-i guess familiar might concentrate for you to maintain a spell or command summoned things

1 LV = D8 HD on average but you could
swap a d8 HD for d4x2 HD eg two kobolds or rats instead of a orc
swap 3 d8 HD for d6x4 HD eg four goblin or bandit or dogs instead of three orcs
swap 3 d8 HD for d12x2 HD eg abhuman, dwarf, barbarian  instead of three orcs

Basic HD & HP     Common Critters

d4 or 2hp               Rat, Kobold
d6 or 3hp               Goblin, Dog, Human Guard
d8 or 4hp               Orc, Dwarf, Hobgoblin, Skeleton
2d8 or 8hp             Abhuman beast folk (lizard or hyena), wolf, Zombie
3d8 or 12hp           Bugbear, Wild Boar
4d8 or 16hp           Ogre, Dire wolf, Bull
5d8 or 20hp           Carrion Worm (-2 for lots of magic attacks)
6d8 0r 24hp
7d8 or 28hp           Lion (-2 for extra attacks)
8d8 or 32hp           Hill Giant, Grizzly Bear (-2 for extra attacks)
9d8 or 36hp
10d8 or 40hp
More intelligent creatures -2
Creatures with 3 attacks -2
Some magical or special abilities -1
Many magical abilities or spellcaster -2
Undead have dangerous powers but also liabilities like clerics
Spectral Minions are perfect as can be any level or in group and fade on "death"

Other Thoughts
Most basic summoned creatures are not bright
-wizard summoning drawn from other dimensions or created instantly
-priest summoning calls cult beings that are fanatics that might not do as you wish
-druid summon actual local animals or giant ones whatever is near might come

Higher-level summoned beings are supernatural and often genius intellects

These lists are just tooling around and preferring the above systems. This was an older version of the idea which I gave up on but useful notes and ideas on this stuff.

All this starts to feed into my monster book project which aims to reduce IP monsters.
Possibly a future rewrite will significantly rename monsters and spells.

Golems Making Spells Per Level

0 doll, animated tool
1 grass golem , scarecrow, jack o lantern, iron cobra
2 wood golem, silver statue, necrophidius
3 crystal Statue, Jade statue
4 gargoyle, guardian warrior, iron statue, caryatid column
5 Bone golem, obsidian golem, mud golem, rock statue, steel statue, gargoyle
6 Flesh golem, mud golem
7 clay golem, amber golem
8 stone golem, silver golem
9 rock golem, iron golem, bronze golem, juggernaut

Undead Making Spells Per Level

0 zombie rat, crawling hand
1 Skeleton, spectral minion, malice, corpse worm
2 Ghoul, flying skull, poltergeist, haunt, shade,
3 Sheet phantom, Huecuva, Coffer Corpse, shadow, ghostly horde, topi, juju zombie
4 Sheet Ghoul, Son of Kyuss, penanggalan, Wyrd, ghast, wight, agarat
5 Mummy, wraith, banshee, ghoul elder, draugr
6 Revenant, Apparition, Nosferatu, Greater Wyrd, spectre, dusunu, grey philosopher, sacrol, mesmer
7 skeleton warrior, ghost, groaning spirit, vampire, darkhood, phantom
8 Death Knight, crimson death
9 Iich (18HD) Colossus (20HD)

Elementalist Making Spells Per Level
0 1
2 fire snake, giant strider, hoar fox
3 ice lizard, water weird, fire bat
4 Fire Lizard, lava child, mephit, fire toad
6 Winter Wolf
7 Fire lizard, Salamander
8 Efreeit, Medeum fire elemental
9 Efreeti Viier, huge fire elemental

Making Spells Per Level
1 shade
3 Shadow
4 Shadow mastiff
5 Wraith
6 Shadow Demon, nightmare, ebon tiger, shadow dragon
7 Soul Eater, Bhutr, terithan
8 Randara, night hag,
9 blackball, nightwing,

Faerie Making Spells Per Level

1 Elf, Faerie
2 Pixie, sprite, atomie, grig, brownie, leprechaun
3 Wychlamp, buckawn, swanmay
4 Elf cat, dryad,
5 Shargugh,
6 Wyrdglow, Satyr, korred, nymph, siren, sylph, niad, oread
7 Faedorne
8 Treant, willowisp

Specialisations For Summoners
1 Ooze - family of low HD basic oozes, better ones 
2 Worms  - disgusting
3 Ants - basic then flying or chemical attack versions 
4 Insect - beetles then with flying ones or preying mantis
5 Arachnids - with venom, webs, or extra attacks with better spells (scorpions and spiders)
6 Crabs - and crustaceans then bigger ones with extra attacks or hermit crabs spells
7 Cephalopods - amphibious versions ok short term but squids, ammonites, octopi
8 Slugs - basic the acid spitters and flail snails 
9 Isopods or Trilobites - basically bugs amphibious versions
10 Centipedes - lower HD but poison for size?
11 Fish- inappropriate in some places
12 Frogs - huge to gigantic forms and some magical types of frogs
13 Lizards - fancy types with more attacks and abilities later
14 Dinosaurs - all sizes and shapes some with more attacks or armour
15 Snakes - various sizes with deadly venom or constrictors or hydra at high level
16 Draconic - smaller drakes working up to dragons but mostly 
17 Synapsids - mammal-like reptiles before dinosaurs, so mostly dimetrodon's
18 Newts - huge to gigantic forms and including salamanders, olm &  axolotl
19 Plant - various mobile plants and vegepygmies
20 Fungus - various mobile fungus and mushroom folk
21 Canines - like wolves and dogs or dire wolves
22 Hyena - plus prehistoric versions
23 Swine including wild boar or prehistoric terror pigs
24 Marsuipials - possums, wombats, thylacene, koala, kangaroo, tasmanian devil
25 Ursinoids - various types of bears
26 Cetaceans - including amphibious and land based ancestors or whales and dolphins
27 Rodents - rats, mice and similar critters possibly beavers
28 Felines - cats, bobcat, lynx, panther, cheetah, lions, tigers, sabretoothed cats
29 Flightless birds - including prehistoric terror birds, moa, emus, ostriches, cassowary
30 Other birds but possibly specialize in raptors, ducks, flamingoes, etc
31 Various herd beast - goats, bison, ibex, deer, cattle, ibex, gazelle, 
32 Bats - winged mammals but flightless predatory versions exist
33 Primates - apes and monkeys and lemurs
34 Lagomorphs - rabbits and hares
35 Armadillos - prehistoric ones like glyptodons
36 Sloths - including prehistoric aquatic, burrowing and giant ones 
37 Weasels - nasty
38 Elephants - possibly woolly and midget jungle types
39 Rhino - possibly woolly and midget jungle types
40 Moles - giant carnivorous ones
41 Spectral phalanx spear warrior spirits
42 Spectral savage hairy warrior wild folk spirits from the Forrest
43 Spectral barbarian warriors from the long-gone tribe who long to fight
44 Spectral missile troops like archers
45 Spectral weapons and weapons
46 Spectral minion warriors from beyond called to battle
47 Spectral savage gibbering pygmies
48 Spectral degenerate mutant hordes
49 Spectral templar warriors
50 Spectral hound
51 Hags - from lesser hedge hags to powerful night hags
52 Centaurs
53 Corporal Undead from netherworld mostly skeletons and zombies
54 Non Corporal Undead from netherworld mostly spectral minions
55 Chimera
56 Slaad
57 Shedu
58 Lamia
59 Sphynx
60 Naga
61 Goblinoids - goblins then hobgoblins and bugbears
62 Orcs - some with fancier equipment and levels
63 Giants - cyclops, ogres and various giants
64 Kobolds - two for one HD deal 
65 Trolls - with hedge and barn trolls up to gigantic ones
66 Dwarves - summon fighting dwarfkind
67 Elves - summon fighting elfkind
68 Gnomes - summon fighting gnomekind
69 Halflings - summon halflingkind
70 Changeling spirit folk, planar hybrids and fey folk
71 Plant abhumans - tree folk
72 Fungus abhumans - mushroom folk
73 Worm abhumans - centipedes, maggots, grubs
74 Fish Abhumans - shark, eel, crab, catfish, carp, salmon
75 Arachnid Abhumans, spider, scorpion, tick
76 Insectoid Abhumans - mantis, ant, bee, wasp, beetle, moth, fly
77 Bird Abhumans - crow, vulture, owl, eagle, hawk, ibis, rooster
78 Mammal Abhumans - dog, lion, bear, walk, stag folk
79 Reptilian Abhumans - lizardfolk and others, some huge 
80 Elemental Abhumans - specialise in specific elemental types
81 Fire elementals  
82 Earth elementals 
83 Air elementals 
84 Water elementals 
85 Ice elementals
86 Lightning elementals
87 Crystal elementals
88 Vapour elementals
89 Metal elementals
90 Flesh elementals 
91 Faeries - chaos C call halflings, goblins, gnomes, elves, nymphs, dryad
92 Daemons - chaos C call elder spirits of the aether between worlds 
93 Celestials - law L Archons, 
ultraterrestrials and agents of cosmic law
94 Plutonians - law L netherworld spirits of the dead called as spectral beings
95 Elysians - G heroic and virtuous spirits from a place of rest and reward for the dead
96 Arcadians - CG wild folk, magical animals and nature spirits
97 Diabolics - LE  lawful evil, hells cultists & devils who imprison those damned by gods
98 Angelics - LG heaven totem animal or puritanical fanatics then angels
99 Demonics - CE cultists and abyssal hordes dwelling on fragments of creation 
100 Cthonics - E darkness & nightmare beings from beyond outer void 

forgive my not quite Gygaxian alignment and cosmology
daemons and faeries can be good or evil or indifferent or alien
i like idea a summoner calling spectral warriors called from ancient dead as a thing

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