I feel nostalgic today – so I’m putting up an old second-edition AD&D character built using the Player’s Option: Skills and Powers rules. Like most second edition characters he had odd proficiencies, unique spells, and other bits of weirdness. Here are his unique spells – a number of which have migrated over to third edition as a part of the Paths of Power book.
Adrenal Rush (Level One): Alteration, Range; 12″, Components; V, S, Duration; 3 Rounds, Casting Time; 1, Area Of Effect; One Target, Save; Only if desired.
Adrenal Rush “Hastes” a single target for three melees. This does not cause unnatural aging, but may cause serious stress problems (Save vrs “Death Magic” or take 3D6 damage) if it’s used more then twice per day on any single target. Used personally, it allows you to act again in the same round – but this counts as the first round of effect.
Bonding is simply a variant on “Charm Person”. It has only touch range, must be accepted by the target (the saving throw automatically succeeds if attempted), requires a full turn to cast, and is generally considered an evil spell. Its advantage is that it does not allow later saving throws, remaining in effect until dispelled.
Enhance Potency (Level One, Reversible): Alteration or Enchantment/Charm. Also seen as a priest spell of the “Animal” sphere. Range; 1″, Components; S, M, Duration; 1 Day/Level, Casting Time; 2, Area Of Effect; One Creature, Saving Throw; Special
One of most commonly-researched, and rarely-discussed, spells around, Enhance Potency greatly increases male sexual stamina and performance. It may or may not (at the option of the caster) similarly increase the chances of conception. The reversed form allows a saving throw, and renders it’s target impotent for the duration. The base version calls for a strip of leather from the skin of a stallion or bull, the reverse from an ox or gelding.
While this spell has many practical applications in animal husbandry, most of those mages who learn it have far more personal intentions. Dunstan’s variant apparently has some subtle twist that – combined with elven physiology – virtually guarantees conception, rather than merely increasing the chances.
Enhance Pheromones (Level One, Reversible): Alteration or Enchantment/Charm. Also seen as a priest spell of the “Animal” sphere. Range; 6″, Components; S, M, Duration; 48 Hours, Casting Time; 2, Area Of Effect; One Creature, Saving Throw; None
A common, if rarely-discussed, bit of magic designed to enhance the “targets” attractiveness. This provides a +2 modifier to any relevant social rolls, including reaction. The reversed form simply deodorizes the target, and may or may not have much of an effect. Casting it requires a drop of perfume or soapy water.
The Laborer’s Word (Level One). Alteration. Range; 6″, Components; V, S, Duration; One Round, Casting Time; 3, Area Of Effect; Special, Saving Throw; Special.
This handy bit of spellcraft turns high magic to the most pedestrian of tasks; digging ditches, cleaning the floors, darning wounded socks, shoveling out stables, and otherwise performing assorted tasks. Such labor may be performed a trifle clumsily (Effective skill ratings of Int/2), but the charm will do several (2, +2 per additional spell level channeled into the spell) hours worth of work for a healthy, well-equipped, laborer in mere moments. It cannot, however, work against resistance; living targets must willingly accept being brushed/cleaned/whatever, and the spell cannot overcome conditions which would balk a normal laborer, such as magical defenses, people holding doors shut or defending the barricade you want to tear down, and so on. (Building a wall around someone is fine however). Accomplished work cannot be “dispelled”, it’s actually done. It can be undone through normal means however. Materials and such are not created; supplies must be available.
Shadow Cloak (Level Two): Conjuration. Range; Touch, Components; V, S, Duration; One Day per Level, Casting Time; One Full Round, Area Of Effect: Creature Touched, Saving Throw; Yes, if desired.
Shadow Cloak imbues the recipients skin or clothing with a wisp of darkness, providing a +25% bonus to the targets chances to Hide in Shadows (if any), immunity to being located by long-range divinatory magic (such as clairvoyance spells and crystal balls), and a +2 bonus on saves against divinatory magic.
The Walls of Air (Level Two): Alteration. Range; 6″, Components; S, Duration; 3 segments, Casting Time; 0, Area Of Effect; 6 foot Radius, Save; None.
A momentary, and far weaker, relative of the Wall Of Force which can be erected at a moments notice to protect a small area from some attack. The Wall can absorb up to 36 points of damage during the few segments it lasts, but is quite unaffected by things like flame, corrosives, and poisonous gases; only attacks which carry an impact affect it. The spell is designed to be released by a simple, defensive, gesture – and so may be employed at any moment, regardless of initiative or prior action during the round. Sadly, the strain of doing so inflicts 1d6 points of damage on the caster.
Warlock Pact (Level Two): Divination. Range; Special, Components; V, S, M (A pile of ceremonial junk, costing a total of 250 GP), Duration; Permanent, Casting Time; One Day, Area Of Effect; Special, Saving Throw; None.
A Pact brings the caster into contact with the minor elementals. In exchange for a variety of small favors (burning special herbs and rare oils, clearing springs, planting trees, getting bards to sing to them, and so on) these can bestow a small pool of elemental magic. Those using a pact can accumulate up to (Chr/3) “points” with each type of elemental, expending them either to invoke elemental magics (1/level, Maximum of L3) or to protect themselves from relevant attacks (at will; the spirits handle this; they want the favors to keep coming). You can go into debt to the elementals – but this is a sure route to getting sent on bizarre little “quests”. The debt limit is equal to the usual, positive, limit.
Pacts can make lower-level mages substantially more powerful – but can also be an awful nuisance. While the elementals may come up with “requests” 2-3 times daily, many will be impractical. They don’t understand mortals any better then mortals understand them. Warlocks are unlikely to accumulate more then 1-2 “points” per day – unless they undertake special missions – and can easily hold up the party or entangle them in weird affairs. On a positive note, new warlocks start with full accounts. The elementals WANT a warlock to get used to calling on them.
A fourth-level version exists – or at least can be researched. It contacts an elemental lord or creature of the outer planes. Such creatures can grant spells of up to L5, and “pools” of up to (Chr) points, but are far more exclusive and demanding then the lesser elementals are. A warlock may only have one greater pact, but may retain his “lesser” elemental powers.
“What do you mean; “You need us to stand guard for a week while you clean out a spring”? In this wilderness? So you can score some points with the water elementals? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND???”
Winged Horse: (Level Two): Alteration. Range; Touch, Components; V, S, M (A feather), Duration; two hours/level, Casting Time; One Full Round, Area Of Effect; One Horse, Save; None.
This lesser, specific, relative of the “polymorph” spell allows any normal horse to operate as a Pegasus. Fortunately, the spell includes enough instinctive “adjustments” to let it do so without special training. Fortunately for the horses, no system shock roll is required. The transformation simply isn’t that extensive.