Uncle Chan’s Spell List (and a couple of the remaining items)

There are about a million versions of an optimized wizard-style spell list out there, and this one isn’t really going to be any more definitive than most of those – but it might be handy if you need a quick one sometime and Uncle Chan wouldn’t be complete without out.

  • Level One: Charm Person, Silent Image, Grease, Mirror Image (it was important early on), Wall of Smoke, and Benign Transposition.
    • Level One Honorable Mentions: Identify (use Artificers Monocle), Magic Missile (a reliable classic, but he just uses Gloves of the Starry Sky as a part of his Legendarium), Sleep (great early on, pretty useless later, and so skipped – especially since he’d have been past it’s point of usefulness before he could cast it at all), Color Spray (again, great early on and useless at high levels), Protection From Evil (get a wand, covered by an item, and in the late game use Mind Blank), Enlarge Person (get a wand or something. While this would actually add something to his build, Uncle Chan is so far over the top anyway that who cares?), and Resist Energy (a pretty common item function and one that can be handled by quite a variety of abilities).
  • Level Two: Alter Self, Glitterdust, Web, Rope Trick, Scorching Ray, and Fog Cloud.
    • Level Two Honorable Mentions: Create Magic Tattoo (versatile and useful, but simply too weak at higher levels), Ray of Stupidity (takes down stupid creatures very nicely, but so do the attacks of high-level characters), Shatter (there are a LOT of ways to break things), and Hideous Laughter (pretty close to save-or-die, but mind-affecting – and so very often just ignored).
  • Level Three: Shrink Item, Suggestion, Stinking Cloud, Phantom Steed, Dimension Step, and Melf’s Unicorn Arrow (an eccentric spell, but why not? It fits his theme well enough).
    • Level Three Honorable Mentions: Nondetection (unreliable with a below-average casting level and you want Mind Blank anyway), Fireball (a classic – but he just uses Goggles of the Starry Sky as a part of his Legendarium), Lightning Bolt (another classic, but he has lots of ways to do damage and it was a lot more fun when you could bounce it to hit twice or more), Fly (handy, but he has other ways – and Phantom Steed is better later on), Shivering Touch (I don’t like it – and it’s not like he needs another way to hit opponents), Haste and Slow (a handy buff/debuff set, but already covered in part and better left to casters who can’t already inflict massive damage instead), Protection From Energy (his stances and other defenses can handle that), Sleet Storm (locks targets down at least briefly – but then you can’t see them), and Manyjaws (outdone by a Greater Evocation of Force, below).
  • Level Four: Greater Invisibility, Dimension Door, Black Tentacles, Greater Mirror Image, Enervation, and Bestow Curse (he happens to be fond of cursing animals with domestication, and thieves with shaky hands, and that sort of thing – but that’s just him).
    • Level Four Honorable Mentions: Resilient Sphere (outdone by a Greater Evocation of Force, below), Perfect Summons (OK, it’s wonderful if you’re up against a summoner, or a demon which keeps on summoning more demons – but getting a highly specialized mid-level spell just when you need it is what Limited Wish is for), Polymorph (either incredibly powerful or fairly useless depending on what GM, version, and errata you have. In this case rather out of character anyway; you don’t train for decades to turn your body into a living weapon and then turn into something else), Rainbow Pattern (it has a nice effect, but it’s mind-affecting, sight-dependent, limited by hit dice, and affects the low hit dice types first. Nice sometimes, but not a staple spell), Stoneskin (this is Eclipse; if you want some DR just go ahead and buy some), and Minor Creation (best left to psychic sources, where it’s only a first level effect).
  • Level Five: Hold Monster, Feeblemind, Fabricate, Telekinesis, Cloudkill, and Wall of Stone,.
    • Level Five Honorable Mentions: Teleport (he just uses a Belt of the Wide Earth as a part of his Legendarium), Evacuation Rune (he has plenty of ways to escape if he must), Dominate Person (too many high-level defenses out there, out of character, and – in Eclipse – easily blocked by The Adamant Will since there are few things players hate more than their characters being taken over), Friend to Foe (again, defenses – and rather limited duration too. If it’s needed, use Limited Wish to whip up a sixth level version that lasts a little longer), and Prismatic Ray (some nice effects, but inherently unreliable).
  • Level Six: Disintegrate, Greater Dispel Magic, Antimagic Sphere, Greater Invocation of Force (from The Practical Enchanter, produces any arcane Force effect of up to L5), Freezing Fog, and Ruby Ray of Reversal.
    • Level Six Honorable Mentions: Chain Lightning (he has better ways to blast groups), True Seeing (he can use Witchcraft for this), Summon Monster VI (he just uses a Robe of Mysterious Conjuration as a part of his Legendarium, which lets him summon things if he wants), Globe of Invulnerability (anyone trying to stop him with low-level magic is out of luck anyway), and Planar Binding (very cosmology-dependent, you need to know Magic Circle against Evil, and not really in his style anyway; he’s a Martial Artist; he runs his own errands).
  • Level Seven: Limited Wish, Greater Teleport, Spell Turning, Prismatic Spray, Waves of Exhaustion, and Reverse Gravity.
    • Level Seven Honorable Mentions: Project Image (he is, after all, primarily a melee specialist), Mage’s Mansion (lots of style, but a Rope Trick generally works and at his current level he has an item for this), Mass Planar Adaption (Nice, but REALLY situational. If you must, get a Runestaff), and Force Cage (way too expensive to rely on).
  • Level Eight: Horrid Wilting, Greater Prying Eyes, Polymorph Any Object, Greater Shadow Evocation, Greater Bestow Curse, and Maze.
    • Level Eight Honorable Mentions: Create Demiplane (this isn’t necessarily all that useful, but it is very cool. Get a scroll if you want one), Clone (honestly, you shouldn’t need this often enough to justify knowing it instead of just using a scroll or something), Irresistible Dance (good if it works, but it’s another easily-blocked mind-affecting compulsion), and Mind Blank (fairly vital really, but covered elsewhere. If it wasn’t, this would be a must-have).
  • Level Nine: Shapechange, Time Stop, Dominate Monster, Gate, Shades, and Iceberg.
    • Level Nine Honorable Mentions: Wish (he has a device that can access an equivalent effect), Summon Monster IX (He just uses a Robe of Mysterious Conjuration as a part of his Legendarium), Maw of Chaos (Very powerful, but not his style. That weakness – it doesn’t work versus creatures with the Chaotic subtype – is potentially annoying, but not a deal-breaker since it will work just fine on an awful lot of things), and Reality Maelstrom (very neat, but how often do you want to just banish things at random?). Now if your game master is unwilling to live with the consequences of one or more of Shapechange, Time Stop, and Gate, go ahead and trade them out. They are pretty gamebreaking if seriously exploited.

As is to be expected, most of Uncle’s spells are straight out of the system reference document. After all, that list was the product of some pretty extensive playtesting over two decades. By the time that 3.5 rolled around, most of the obvious bases had been pretty well covered.

The selections is rather light on buffs and defenses though – mostly because this is Eclipse. Characters shouldn’t need to have a bunch of buffing and defensive spells stacked on them to do their jobs in the first place and defenses are often better purchased directly, without draining your caster’s magical reserves. Secondarily, it’s because this list is for a Martial character, with rather limited (if very handy) access to spellcasting. He just doesn’t have the magical resources to spare to do a lot of buffing; his spells are for direct utility and giving him new ways to defeat his opponents.

Next up we have some remaining items, starting with a couple of minor ones done in the Magic Item Compendium style.

Vest Of Coolness

  • Price: 650 GP
  • Body Slot: Torso
  • Caster Level: Third
  • Aura: Faint Transmutation
  • Activation: —
  • Weight: 1 lb.

This elegant vest is guaranteed to make you look good, draw in attractive members of the opposite sex (or the same sex if that’s the wearer’s preference), remind you of all the best jokes and pick-up lines, and provide an endless supply of smokes, recreational substances, hangover-free drinks, and tasty snacks – although these have no nutritional value, negligible potency (if a high placebo value), and no lasting effects. The wearer will soon draw an entourage of other party-goers, and will have a marvelous time at almost any social venue.

Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Prestidigitation and Charm Person, Diplomacy skill of +10 or more.

Cost to Create: 325 GP, 26 XP.

Performers Outfit, A.K.A. “Pants of Prance”.

  • Price: 5000 GP
  • Body Slot: Body
  • Caster Level: Fifth
  • Aura: Faint Illusion
  • Activation: —
  • Weight: 2 Lb.

This flashy – and variably ethnic – outfit provides it’s wearer with his or her own private light show, background music and/or accompaniment, minor props and effects, and costume changes, to suit the show – resulting in a +5 Circumstance Bonus to any Perform checks the user happens to make.

Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Prestidigitation, Disguise Self, +6 or more in at least three different Perform skills. Note that, if you make a Performer’s Outfit intelligent, it can make “Aid Another” checks with it’s own +5 to help your performances out even more.

Cost to Create: 2500 GP and 200 XP.

Why are these in the Magic Item Compendium style? For the Vest it’s because the rules don’t really cover items that don’t actually have mechanical effects. For the Performers Outfit it’s because it’s basically using Dancing Lights to provide lighting effects, Ghost Sound to provide sound effects, Prestidigitation to provide small props, strategic scents, make a performers hair blow in the non-existent wind, and so on, and Disguise Self to provide “makeup” and costumes. Each seems reasonably likely to provide a small circumstance bonus (arbitrarily set at +1 per level of the spell), but caster level one seemed a bit silly – and calculating out the modifiers for it being restricted to enhancing perform skills (however many any given game uses) only seemed likely to make it overly cheap. Ergo, a rather arbitrary cost for a trivial item.

5 Responses

  1. Can “Adamant Will” be countered via Lacing? It seems like it could be, because it is a rather ill-defined “resistance”, Bypass mentions “resistance” in place of an undeads immunity and “Adamant Will” pretty blantantly makes a character immune to mind control of any sort.

    • Yes, it can be. The Adamant Will is powerful, cheap, and easy to get for game reasons – because players hate having control of their characters taken away (and because game masters hate having their villain roll a “1” when hit by a charm spell). Still, it’s a relatively minor ability, and can be overcome in a variety of ways.

  2. Reading this over again, I just realized that there’s only five level eight spells, instead of the requisite six.

    • Also, why is bestow curse on his spell list, when he effectively has that via the Elfshot witchcraft power? Presumably because that’s limited to creatures with a “normal” life-force, and requires an attack roll, but that still seems like a pretty marginal reason to add it here as well. Can’t be just rap an unruly animal on the head to instantly domesticate it (via a “curse”)?

      • As far as the level eight spells go… I most likely miscounted and pushed one too many over to “honorable mentions”… I think I’ll just throw in “Horrid Wilting” just to have a direct attack spell.

        Bestow Curse is on there mostly due to special effects; His “Elfshot” is defined as Pressure Point Mastery (since it’s derived from Monk Tricks) and there are quite a few curses that he might want to use that don’t fit that theme.

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