Hedge Magic Heroes, Part VII

   For this entry, it’s the summary of the sample hedge magic spell list, some sample Conjures, and the answers to some questions.

   Level Zero Hedge Magic

   Includes three existing arcane spells (Mage Hand, Message, and Prestidigitation), one existing divine spell (Purify Food and Drink), and one existing arcane/divine spell (Light).

  1. Air Mattress. Cushions an area.
  2. Blanket. Inhibits heat transfer in an area.
  3. Butcher. Makes it easy to cut up a corpse.
  4. Call Domestic Animal. Makes a tamed animal come to you.
  5. Check Edibility. Checks for toxins and contaminants.
  6. Check Health. Diagnoses injures, diseases, and poisons.
  7. Clean Clothing. Freshens and makes minor repairs on clothing.
  8. Contraception. Prevents unwanted parentage.
  9. Create Element. Produces a quantity of earth, air, water, or fire.
  10. Cure Hide. Turns a hide into leather, fur, or a pelt.
  11. Dry. Removes excess water or dehydrates unliving materials.
  12. Extract. Pulls a desired material from a mass of other materials.
  13. Gauntlets. Protects hands without impairing fine control or sensitivity.
  14. Implement. Produces a simple, cheap, tool or weapon.
  15. Jumpstart. Gets a device to start quickly and easily.
  16. Light*. Object shines like a torch.
  17. Mage Hand*. 5-pound telekinesis.
  18. Magnification. Provides x10 magnification.
  19. Message*. Whispered conversation at distance.
  20. Mill. Turns material into powder.
  21. Mnemonic. Allows precise recall of studied material for a week afterwards.
  22. Painkiller. Eliminates pain in the area touched, may risk further injury.
  23. Pantomime. Gets a simple message across a language barrier.
  24. Powercell. Recharges batteries or powers some small device.
  25. Prestidigitation*. Performs minor tricks.
  26. Purify Food and Drink*. Purifies 1 cu. ft./level of food or water.
  27. Sharpen. Puts a fine edge on tools and weapons.
  28. Soothe Infant. Keeps an infant dry and happy.
  29. Tally Up. Counts or measures in an instant.
  30. The Good Cook. Improves the flavor of a meal.
  31. Transfuse. Transfers up to 6 HP from a donor to a recipient.
  32. Umbrella. Repels small amounts of liquids.
  33. Unplug Drains. Expels the contents of a pipe or drain.

   Level One Hedge Magic

   Includes two existing arcane spells – Alarm and Unseen Servant.

  1. Alarm*. Wards an area for 2 hours/level.
  2. Animal Influence. Suggests various behaviors to an animal.
  3. Child Ward. Keeps a child out of trouble for a day.
  4. Dentistry. Repairs teeth.
  5. Deodorize. Removes or replaces odors.
  6. Dowsing. Find creatures, locations, and things.
  7. Expel Parasites. Removes internal parasites.
  8. Generator. Powers large devices.
  9. Goldberg. Makes temporary repairs on machines and devices.
  10. Power Tool. Makes a simple tool perform as a power tool.
  11. Preservation. Keeps food from spoiling.
  12. Process (Variants). Performs tedious labor.
  13. Relieve Poison. Reduces the effects of poison.
  14. Relieve Illness. Reduces the effects of a disease.
  15. Remove. Destroys small vermin.
  16. Scarecrow (Variants). Performs some specific, minor, task for a full day.
  17. Sheer. Cuts hair.
  18. Snapshot. Preserves the impressions of a moment.
  19. Tarp. Produces and hangs a quantity of canvas.
  20. Unburn Meal. Repairs culinary disasters.
  21. Unseen Servant*. Invisible force obeys your commands.

   Level Two Hedge Magic

   Includes one existing arcane spell – Continual Flame.

  1. Continual Flame*. Makes a permanent, heatless torch.
  2. Dreamcatcher. Calls up a dream-guardian and advisor.
  3. Find Stray. Locates a missing animal or child.
  4. Fountain. Produces large amounts of water.
  5. Fuel. Produces modest amounts of oil or fuel.
  6. Harvest. Collects the yield of a field or orchard.
  7. Hearthfire. Conjures a small fire that burns for a day.
  8. Herb Mastery. Sustains and heals small amounts of damage with herbs.
  9. Macgyver. Makes an improvised device work.
  10. Produce Kit. Produces minor tools and supplies.
  11. Render. Breaks a body down into usable components.
  12. Sow. Scatters material over an area.
  13. Spring Cleaning. Cleans and straightens an area.
  14. Technical Mastery. Repairs complex devices.
  15. The Laborer’s Word. Performs hours worth of labor.
  16. Thresh. Separates grain from chaff or performs some similar task.
  17. Train Animal. Impresses a knowledge of how to behave on an animal.
  18. Tree to Lumber. Reduces a tree to usable boards.
  19. Turn Soil. Ploughs a field.
  20. Ward versus Vermin. Keeps out small pests.
  21. Weedkill. Eliminates unwanted minor plants in a field.

   Creating Conjures

   The ability to make Conjures is simply a thematic version of the usual “Create Item” feats – in this case, the theme being “using Hedge Wizardry spells to make cheap, minor, items”. For it’s cost – a mere half a feat – it’s actually quite powerful. That’s essentially the same design decision that has made Clerics so powerful ever since first edition; playing the healer has never been all that popular – and making useful but minor and undramatic items isn’t that exciting either. A clever hedge wizard can, however, do pretty well at it – and be a great deal of help to a low-level party.

   Here are some sample Conjures – leaning heavily towards those an adventurer might find useful.

  • A Night Fan is a delicate fan which the user waves while he or she recites the charm written on it. It casts Blanket once per day, and so has a cost of [½ (a Level Zero spell) x 1 (cast at Caster Level One) x 1800 GP (Unlimited-Use Command Word) x .2 (Usable Once per Day) x ½ (Conjure)] = 90 GP, or 45 GP and 4 XP to make. You could halve that again by adding the Ambient Magic restriction – reducing the effective spell level to “-1” and the multiplier for it to .25 by greatly increasing the casting time – but why bother? If an adventurer wants this spell, he or she usually wants it to help avoid some thermal hazard, and usually wants it in a hurry.
  • A “Big Bag of Tools” casts “Implement” and “Power Tool” each three times per day, but it takes a minute or so to find any particular tool within the bag – a one-minute activation delay, which allows the application of the Ambient Magic limitation (reducing the two spells involved from a L0 and L1 spell combination to a L(-1) and L0 combination – both of which use the same calculation as the Night Fan with a x.6 instead of x.2). You never know when it will be convenient to get out your toolbag, rummage through it for a minute, and pull out a chainsaw, power drill, or jackhammer – even if such a tool will only last for ten minutes. A Big Bag of Tools has a total cost of 405 GP to buy, or 202.5 GP and 16 XP to make.
  • A Stores-Stone – a permanent Ward versus Vermin for a village granary or storage area – takes the form of a massive, rune-inscribed, stone pillar and costs [1 (Level Two Spell with the Ambient Magic Limitation to reduce it to Level One) x 1 (Caster Level One) x 2000 GP (Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x .1 (Usable Once per Week) x½ (Immobile) x ½ (Conjure)] = 50 GP to buy, or 25 GP and 2 XP to make – a project well within the reach of almost any village mage and certain to prevent a good deal of spoilage and hunger in the long term. It’s a bit less delicate than the standard Conjure, but a good whack from a log or something would still damage the runes.
  • Bracers of Legerdemain are sets of copper-and-enamel wristlets that produce a continuous Gauntlets effect – a boon to low-level Rogues. They will take several minutes to become effective after being put on, but that’s a small price to pay for their protection. Unfortunately, they’re as delicate as any other Conjure, which means that the user is well advised to take them off and store them somewhere safe before going into combat. They’re also pretty simple: [.25 (a Level Zero spell reduced to Level (-1) by the Ambient Magic limitation) x 1 (cast at Caster Level One) x 2000 GP (Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x ½ (Conjure)] = 250 GP, or 125 GP and 10 XP to make.
  • A Wand of Transfusion is a delicate blown-glass tube which must be touched to the donor and then – trailing a globe of ruby light – to the recipient. That’s [½ (Level Zero Transfusion Spell) x 250 GP (50 Spell-Completion Charges) x ½ (Conjure)] = 62.5 GP to buy or 32 GP and 3 XP to make.
  • An Air-Bladder contains a limitless supply of fresh air; all you have to do is stick the tube into your mouth and inhale. That’s [½ (Level Zero Create Element) x 1 (Caster Level One) x 2000 GP (Use-Activated Unlimited Use) x .75 (specialized application/air only) x ½ (Conjure) = 375 GP to buy or 188 GP and 15 XP to create. Air-bladders are fragile, but will allow the user to operate underwater, in smoky areas, and in many gases, can supply plenty of breathable air if simply left to run, and can even be used to fill gasbags – and thus lift great weights – while underwater.
  • A Painless Blade simply carries the Painkiller spell; the wounds it inflicts may pass completely unnoticed, possibly allowing a stealthy character to make several attacks before he or she is spotted. It can also, of course, be used to perform painless surgery, which is a boon to any doctor or veterinarian. Sadly – or perhaps fortunately – it will only work on three victims per day and the blade is quite thin and fragile; if used in direct combat a Painless Blade will probably wind up broken in short order. That’s [½ (a Level Zero Spell) x 1 (Caster Level One) x 2000 GP (Use-Activated Unlimited Use) x .6 (three uses per day only) x ½ (Conjure) = 300 GP to buy or 150 GP and 12 XP to create.
  • A Flarespear is a hollow, ironbound, staff, with a constantly-refilled reservoir of light oil – naphtha. It’s tip burns with a continuous flame, which does 1d4 points of damage. On command, it will spray a stream of highly-combustible oil through the flame, doing 2d4 points of nonmagical fire damage to everything within a 5′ x 20′ line and leaving them all on fire for 1d4 points the next round. Unfortunately, if someone hits the staff, it has only 5 Hardness and 5 Hits – and breaking it while it’s lit tends to set the user, and his or her space, throughly on fire, while splashing neighboring spaces for 1d4 damage each. Similar problems often appear when the user is struck by magical fire and fails to save. A Flarespear is very useful against animals, vermin, swarms, and other minor threats, but has distinct limitations when used against more formidable – or smarter – opponents. It is, however, one of the most powerful Hedge Magic weapon enchantments available, and can certainly be quite dramatic.
    • A Flarespear is built using three spell effects:
      • Hearthfire once per day [1 (Level Two Spell with the Ambient Magic Limitation to reduce it to Level One) x 1 (Caster Level One) x 1800 GP (Unlimited-Use Command Word) x .2 (Usable Once per Day) x ½ (Conjure) x.8 (dangerous to use)] = 144 GP. This provides the flaming tip.
      • Fuel [1 (Level Two Spell with the Ambient Magic Limitation to reduce it to Level One) x 1 (Caster Level One) x 2000 GP (Unlimited-Use Use-Activated) x ½ (Conjure) x.8 (dangerous to use)] = 800 GP. Sadly, the Ambient Magic limitation reduces the fuel production to a mere one gallon per round – but that’s plenty to fuel a small flamethrower with.
      • Unplug Drains [½ (a Level Zero) x 1 (cast at Caster Level One) x 1800 GP (Unlimited-Use Command-Word) x ½ (Conjure) x .8 (dangerous to use)] = 360 GP. This is the effect that propels the fuel through the Hearthfire tip in a fine spray.
    • That winds up with a net price of 1300 GP or 650 GP and 52 XP to make.

   There are many other possible conjures – Perfumer’s Rods (Extract), Spyglasses (Magnify), Mirrors of Memory (Mnemonic), Surveyor’s Transits (Tally Up), Rings of Animal Influence, Dowsing Rods, Girdles and Wands of Poison Resistance (Relieve Poison), and even “Cameras” (Snapshot) – but those should be enough to provide the basic idea.

   Now, for a question from Alzrius – which is being answered here, instead of in the Comments, simply because the answer is pretty long:

   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?

   I believe that we have a couple of differing assumptions there.

   First up, these spells are Hedge Wizardry – an arcane list, if a fairly minor one. The spells are usable by normal Wizards and Sorcerers, but – by default – they aren’t generally available to Clerics and Druids.

   Secondarily, I wouldn’t agree that any cleric or druid can pray for any divine spell that happens to be assigned to their class. After all, according the SRD:

   Divine spellcasters most frequently gain new spells in one of the following two ways.

   Spells Gained at a New Level: Characters who can cast divine spells undertake a certain amount of study between adventures. Each time such a character receives a new level of divine spells, he or she learns new spells from that level automatically.

   Independent Research: A divine spellcaster also can research a spell independently, much as an arcane spellcaster can. Only the creator of such a spell can prepare and cast it, unless he decides to share it with others.

   The players handbook goes on to note that some divine casters share new spells with their churches, that others don’t, and that other divine casters of the same class who obtain a written copy – “a special text similar to a spellbook” (which, from the reference, apparently must be deciphered according to the rules for Arcane Magical Writings) can also learn to pray for it.

   Evidently clerics and druids can only pray for the spells which they’ve learned. By inference, most of the major faiths teach a pretty similar basic list, containing many of the most useful spells – albeit possibly with cosmetic differences.

   Of course, that leaves open the way for spells which are held as secrets of a particular faith, or for faiths which don’t teach certain spells – no matter how useful – because they violate their tenants. For example, the priesthood of a god of Death and Fate might not learn healing spells, curative spells, or the ability to raise the dead, seeing those as rebelling against fate. (In Eclipse, that would probably count as a Corruption on said deities clerics magic levels; those are a pretty important part of the usual spell list – but that would free up points to buy other things with).

   Now 3.0 had spells with a “Deity” discriptor (albeit with no mechanics to make it mean anything) and 3.5 (for example, in the Player’s Guide to Faerun) has feats which require being in the service of particular deity and grant the use of spells specific to that deity. The Hedge Magic feat falls into that general category, granting access to a group of spells that is not normally available to an adventurous spellcaster. (In Eclipse, it would be the “Domain/Path” ability).

   Learning a spell requires a certain amount of time and effort – per the rules, at least one day. At least as importantly, I’d suspect that many priesthoods – and possibly most deities – would prefer that the glorious power of the gods be used for more dignified things than spreading manure on the fields. Given that discouragement and the limited amount of time and effort available, it seems likely that most young adventurers will devote their time to learning the things that will be important to them later on (say, weaponscraft or other feats), rather than to spending two or three months learning the seventy-odd sample spells I’ve provided for hedge magic.

   On a similar basis, the class information for wizard notes that a wizard begins play with a spellbook containing “all 0-level wizard spells (except those from her prohibited school or schools, if any)”. Does that really mean “all 0-level wizard spells”? From every source? Including the ones invented by obscure creators and never released, those which are theoretically possible or described but not yet researched, and those which are so badly written or so overpowered that no game master in his or her right mind would allow them? Aren’t those part of “All”? Of course, that would give every first-level mage a selection of perhaps a hundred thousand cantrips occupying a thousand-volume library with a net scribing cost of ten million gold pieces.

   That really doesn’t work. Therefore I tend to read that as “all the 0-level spells on the standard list that are in use in the setting plus any new ones which the game master feels are common for adventurers in the setting”.

   The Hedge Magic feat is, indeed, very useful to a spontaneous spellcaster – classically a Sorcerer, Bard, or one of the spontaneous-caster variants on Adept, Cleric, or Druid. That’s why it specifically mentions Sorcerers. Of course, without a feat that offers access to a broad selection of such minor or specialized spells, no sane spontaneous spellcaster would ever take one of them. They’ll want to fill their very limited supply of known spell slots with spells that they can use all the time.

   For a conventional Wizard, the Hedge Magic feat offers somewhat less in the way of spell benefits. However, even sticking with the sample list I’ve provided, it does offer automatic access to seventy-one extra spells beyond a wizard’s base allotment – which would normally cost some 9200 GP in scribing costs alone (never mind getting access to them in the first place or the two that provide variants) and almost fill a spellbook. That doesn’t necessarily mean much to a high-level character, but 9200 GP is quite a lot for a low level character, and it’s especially important to the low-level wizards you find in hamlets and small villages. Access to Purify Food and Drink – normally a divine spell – is a pretty trivial extra.

   Clerics and Druids, of course, gain access to an arcane spell list – however limited. If you want to assume that divine versions of such spells (including the various existing arcane spells on the list) are available without a feat anyway, then the only benefit of the feat for standard clerics and druids would be saving the time and effort of learning those spells. Personally, I’d probably count learning seventy-odd spells, even if most of them are pretty minor, as at least as much work as learning a feat like – say – Deceitful, Far Shot, or Improved Feint.

   As for Conjures, they aren’t necessarily one-shot items (indeed, they’re cheap enough so that most aren’t). As I hope the sample list of Conjures above indicates, any of the major spellcasting classes might find the ability to make Conjures handy at times – particularly at lower levels.

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5 Responses

  1. […] Hedge Magic list is an excellent source for this kind of […]

  2. […] and Read (Common and Celestial), Telepathy with Owner, Heal Skill +12, Feats of Material Link and Hedge Wizardry. Ego 11, Lawful […]

  3. […] (Hedge Magic), reduced to Level One via the Ambient Magic Limitation times Caster Level One times 1800 GP […]

  4. […] sticking to the Hedge Wizard spell list there’s obviously room for hundreds of additional minor magical. items. Writeups for Shearing […]

  5. […] Illness (Hedge Wizardry, SL1, 0 after the Ambient Magic limitation): Caster Level One Unlimited-Use Use-Activated, x.2 […]

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