Hedge Magic Heroes Part VI

   Here we have another sixteen sample Hedge Magic spells, including the six remaining sample second level spells for the hedge magic spell list and ten spells from levels zero to two designed for more technological realms. Notably, this section includes the Laborer’s Word, which is perhaps the pinnacle of hedge wizardry.

   Like all hedge magic, these spells have few direct combat applications – but can be quite useful in the hands of a clever caster.

   Unless Otherwise Noted:

  • Level: Two
  • Components: V, S
  • Casting Time: One Standard Action
  • Saving Throw: Will Negates
  • Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless)

   Necromancy

   Render

  • Range: Touch, Target: Up to one large corpse or the equivalent, Duration: Instantaneous.
  • Render instantly breaks down deceased animal tissue into neat little piles and puddles of fat and glycerin, clean bone and bone meal, cuts of meat, sinew, hide, and other meat by-products. If the caster possesses enough biochemical knowledge, he or she may also extract various hormones, toxins, and enzymes – although he or she will need a selection of suitable bottles and containers for all of the meat by-products to go in. While this saves no end of time and noisome labor for common folk, for adventurers, Render principally comes into play when they’re trying to collect pieces from some fantastic creature – or are trying to make something poisonous edible.

   Weedkill

  • Range: Medium, Area: Up to one acre, Duration: Special, Save: Reflex for no effect (yes, only mobile plants get to make saves).
  • Weedkill is pretty straightforward: it instantaneously does 1d4 points of damage to each weed in the affected area and prevents new weeds from sprouting, and any surviving weeds from growing or healing appreciably for the next month. The spell is effective on an assortment of blights, rusts, and fungi, as well as on more conventional weeds, but mobile plants often evade the effects. It works nicely on aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation as well; making it easy to clear overgrown shorelines and choked waterways. Indiscriminate use of this spell is likely to upset the local druids and nature spirits however.
  • Adventurer’s rarely find much use for weedkill – unless they need to get past a field of toxic plants, or clear an overgrown fortification for action in a hurry, or open a path through a field of tall grass full of raptors or some such.

   Transmutation

   Sow

  • Range: Medium, Area: One acre maximum, Duration: Instantaneous.
  • Sow scatters – and tamps in if necessary – up to five hundred pounds of unresisting material over an area of up to one acre either evenly or in some simple pattern (such as even rows). Such material arrives with no particular force behind it, and in no particular orientation. It’s commonly used for sowing seed, spreading fertilizer or lime, and scattering straw or compost. Pranksters often use it to scatter mud or other minor debris over their targets. More militaristic applications are possible, but depend on having something appropriate ready to hand. If you just happen to have a huge stock of caltrops, or heated, flaming, oil, or green slime, or some such, you may be able to cause a great deal of havoc with a bit of simple hedge wizardry. Of course, that kind of thing rarely comes up without a good deal of careful planning and preparation.

   Thresh

  • Range: Close, Effect: Special, Duration: Time of Concentration.
  • Thresh converts a steady stream of rice, grain, corn on the cob, or similar foodstuffs into separate streams of prepared seed and husks. Similarly, fruit can be peeled, pitted, and cored, roots can be cleaned and pulped, and fish can be filleted. While the material to be so processed must be unresisting, and must all be processed in the same, simple, way, the spell allows such processing to be performed as quickly as (Wis) men could normally do it. Sadly, while Thresh is another enormously useful spell for the general population, adventurer’s rarely have too much use for it.

   Universal

   The Laborers’s Word

  • Range: Close, Effect: Special, Duration: Instantaneous.
  • The Laborer’s Word simply does work – equivalent to that performed by a healthy, well-equipped, laborer working with the caster’s skills for one hour plus one additional hour (to a maximum of eight) per three levels or part thereof. Sadly, the spell cannot work against resistance; living targets must willingly accept being brushed/cleaned/whatever. Similarly, it 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. Tools are unnecessary, but materials suitable for the task in question must be available if any are required; the spell can comb hair and straighten clothing on it’s own, but if you want it to darn socks, it will need a bit of yarn to work with. Outside of those limitations, the nature of the task does not matter; the spell will cook, clean, hammer out metalwork, dig out coal, or dig ditches just as well as the caster could – or better, if, say, the caster happens to be bedridden at the moment. Such work cannot be “dispelled”; it’s actually done. It can be undone through normal means however.
    • In many ways, The Laborer’s Word is the pinnacle of hedge wizardry; few other bits of hedge magic are so versatile. As such, it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the most useful hedge magic spells for adventurers. If you need the loose rubble piled up into a breastwork, a hole in the side of a ship patched before it sinks, boards nailed across the doors and windows of a besieged tower, or a meal cooked right now. The Laborer’s Word will handle it for you. Unfortunately, it can’t be put into most items very effectively; it uses the caster’s skills – and wands, rings, and other objects generally don’t have any at all. It can, however, be put into staves, since they use the wielders modifiers rather than their own.

   Turn Soil

  • Range: Medium, Area: up to two acres, Duration: Instantaneous.
  • Turn Soil loosens, aerates, and turns the soil in an area as if it had been ploughed – readying the area for planting and cultivation in mere moments. The effect, while unspectacular, is pretty fundamental to civilization.
  • To adventurers it’s most notable that a freshly turned field is pretty well guaranteed to slow up anyone trying to move across it quickly – an effect which may buy a couple of rounds lead on some pursuer or a few extra rounds of missile fire before an enemy can close.

 

   For some technological hedge magic samples, we have…

   Level Zero:

   Implement (Conjuration)

  • Range: Touch, Effect: One simple tool, Duration: Ten minutes per level.
  • Implement produces a simple tool or item, such as a hammer, drill, crowbar, rope, or staff/lever. In general, it can handle any simple, mundane, inedible, implement worth 5 GP or less. Such items are fully functional, but are never masterwork and always appear a bit cartoonish.

   Jumpstart (Transmutation)

  • Range: Close, Target: One Machine, Duration: Instantaneous.
  • Jumpstart bypasses up to three minute’s worth of the usual startup sequence for a device or vehicle – bringing most such instantly into operation.

   Powercell (Evocation)

  • Range: Touch, Target: Special, Duration: Special.
  • Powercell can either instantaneously recharge up to one small chemical energy cell per level of the caster (it doesn’t matter if said power cell is supposed to be rechargeable or not) or it can directly power a device designed to operate on such power sources for one hour per level of the caster. While such power cells are insufficient to power effective energy weapons other than tasers, radios, lights, and laptop computers are all excellent targets for this spell.

   Level One:

   Generator (Evocation)

  • Range: Touch, Target: Special, Duration: Special.
  • Generator can instantaneously recharge a set of powerful chemical batteries, storage systems, or fuel cells (car batteries, capacitance systems, and so on) or effectively replace a small generator for up to one hour per level of the caster. While this is generally still too limited a source to power effective energy weapons other than tasers and sensory-assault systems, most personal machines will operate quite well on such a power supply.

   Goldberg (Illusion)

  • Range: Touch, Target: One device, Duration: Special.
  • Goldberg allows the user to tinker up an improvised repair or component replacement on a device – whether that’s a spacecraft air recycler, a power generator, or a vehicle engine. Such improvisations are generally bulky, clumsy, and unreliable – but they will work to some extent if the user manages to make a successful skill roll. Such repairs normally last some 1D6 days, but rush jobs (such as getting the engine working before the plane crashes) reduces the duration to 2D6 minutes. Each time the duration on a “Goldberged” repair runs out, there is a 1 in 6 chance that further attempts will be ineffective. Eventually, you simply have to do it right.

   Power Tool (Enchantment)

  • Range: Touch, Target: One device, Duration: Ten minutes per level.
  • Power Tool allows any simple hand tool to operate as a power tool for the duration. A saw would be as effective (and quick and easy to use) as a chainsaw, a hand drill as a heavy power drill, and a sledgehammer as a jackhammer or mining machine.

   Level Two

   Fuel (Conjuration)

  • Range: Touch, Target: One appropriate container, Duration: Instantaneous.
  • Fuel provides up to ten gallons of diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, oil, or some equivalent, per level of the caster. For good or ill, unlike “Create Water” and similar spells, Fuel requires an appropriate container. If you want the stuff spread around, or dumped into an existing fire, the caster will simply have to do it physically.

   Macgyver (Universal)

  • Range: Touch, Target: Special, Duration: Special.
  • Macgyver is a blatantly silly spell that allows a tinkerer to ignore the practical details of some bit of gadgeteering. Applying it to devices that ought to work in theory allows them to work in practice – at least once. Sadly, this requires the player to provide a description of how the device is supposed to work and what the user is using for components. In general, the simpler and more reasonable the device (and the higher level the caster), the less detail will be required by the GM.

   Produce Kit (Conjuration)

  • Range: Touch, Effect: Produces one kit, Duration: One hour per level (D).
  • Produce Kit produces one ordinary toolkit with a value of 80 GP or less – such as an Artisans, Thieves, Climbers, Mechanics, Electronic Technicians, Disguise, Cooks, or Healers kit. While such kits will disappear again in a few hours, any minor supplies used from them – bandages, solder, makeup, and so on – is real and permanent.

   Technical Mastery (Transmutation)

  • Range: Touch, Target: One device, Duration: Instantaneous.
  • Technical Mastery repairs complex devices with a mere touch (despite rumors, having a technician enter the room is not quite sufficient). While it can’t perform truly major feats – replacing automobile engines or rebuilding a computer from a pile of scraps – it can fix minor component damage and losses, restore broken wiring, fix power supplies, and lubricate jammed parts. If a technician could normally take the item to his or her shop and expect to fix it without too much in the way of special-order parts, Technical Mastery will fix it instantly.
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4 Responses

  1. You know, looking over these spells, I’m suddenly curious: what’s the point of the Hedge Magic feat (from The Practical Enchanter) for non-spontaneous spellcasters?

    What I mean is, these spells (which presumably default to every spell list – or at least the big ones, such as cleric, druid, and sorcerer/wizard) can be learned by anyone – any mage can scribe them into his spellbook, any druid can pray for them and receive them, etc. As such, there doesn’t seem to be a need to take a feat to receive them (and surely, few DMs would care about just letting a wizard have such low-powered non-combat spells).

    The Hedge Magic feat presumably adds all of the listed spells to a spontaneous spellcaster’s spells known, and it allows for conjures (one-shot magic items with a hedge magic effect) to be made for 50% of the normal price. But that aside, why would a wizard take the feat?

  2. Would it hurt very much, to make complete versions available for download? Printing them is sometimes not handy for GM preparation.

    • Perhaps I will have time for that one of these days – or include them in a web expansion for The Practical Enchanter.

      In the meantime, I would suggest copying and pasting into your word-processing application of choice for personal use. That will have the same general result as “making complete versions available for download” as far as you’re concerned – an electronic document which you can consult or print at will with the added advantage of being able to modify it or organize it to suit yourself.

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