Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spells as Traps (Pathfinder)


This new spell started as another Weird Arcana entry, turning midway to something different: a mix between a dweomer and a trap.

Pathfinder treats magic as an (arcane) science, so one can argue that many spells which were created in the past were later made obsolete; or that some dweomers are simply dangerous (or the result of yours traditional Mad Archmage©).

The idea is to both surprise the players and also to give back that indescribable aura of allure and danger that surrounds magic (or at least should surround). Please, note that the spell’s description is a little “old school” in approach (I don’t treat blue inebriation as a “normal” curse in Pathfinder terms).

The dweomer’s description is divided. The first part is “open” and can be discovered by a spellcaster by the normal rules. The “hidden effect” parts require either an NPC to inform the player character or a successful Knowledge (Arcana) check.

Sorcerer can’t learn beckon the blue servant as a known spell, but can cast it normally from magic items like scrolls.

Unseen servant is probably a modern (and safer) version of this spell.
 

Beckon the Blue Servant
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 3
Components: V, S, M (one electrum coin), T* (at night or underground)
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: One weird blue-skinned dwarf-like servant.
Duration: 33 minutes
Saving Throw: No
Spell Resistance: Yes (but see text)

This odd and archaic dweomer summons a blue naked hairless and sexless dwarf. Old arcane lore implies that this creature is an old dwarven king or demigod, forever cursed to perform the rotes of beckon the blue servant.

The Blue Dwarf will – at the command of the caster – summon a magical banquet, including an ancient blue wooden table, chairs and tableware, with at least one alcoholic beverage and weird fresh fruits, both unidentifiable. It will not leave the immediate area where it was summoned and attempts to remove or attack it will cancel the dweomer. The dwarf doesn’t talk and understand any tongue spoken by the caster. All objects summoned by the dwarf will disappear once the spell’s duration ends or if the servant is attacked.

The Blue Dwarf creates enough food to feed one medium creature per caster level. All those that partake of the entire banquet will gain 1 hit point per level, recover any nonlethal damage from lack of food or water, and remove the fatigued and exhausted conditions.

Hidden Effect (Knowledge Arcana DC 25): One randomly chosen attendant gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution and the ability to reroll any attack roll, save throw, ability or skill check for the next 24 hours. Another attendant (also chosen randomly) is cursed with blue inebriation for the next 24 hours (SR applies against this).

A target with blue inebriation suffers a -4 penalty to Dexterity and gains the confused condition for 1 round the first time he suffers damage in any encounter.

Hidden Effect (Knowledge Arcana DC 30): The second time beckon the blue servant is cast within the next seven days, the Blue Dwarf will appear slightly bigger, with fangs and shinning red eyes. It’ll chuckle while the attendants eat, as if the summoned food was poisoned. The food is fine, but looks rotten and has an acidic taste.

If summoned a third time within seven days, beckon the blue servant simply fails; roll 1d4 or chose one of the following events:

1. The Blue Dwarf will appear as a giant, out of control and attack the party. Use the gray render but add SR 20 and DR 10/adamantine. The Blue Dwarf can’t move 300 feet beyond the point of origin of the spell;
2. The Blue Dwarf will not appear now, but within 1d4 nights it’ll manifest itself, out of control and invisible. It’ll attempt to choke the caster to death. Use the advanced invisible stalker;
3. The Blue Dwarf will possess the caster (allow a Will save and SR normally). If successful, it can spend spell slots to spontaneously cast elementals to attack the party (like a summon monster spell of the same level).
4. The entire party is teleported to the original dwarven realm of the Blue Dwarf, probably in some forlorn location in the Realms Below.

If after this event the caster is stupid enough to cast this dweomer a fourth time within the same week, he simply disappears. The next time any member of the party see this spell being cast, instead of the Blue Dwarf they’ll see their lost friend as a crying, blind and tongueless servant. After that, he’s never seeing again (only wish or miracle can bring the poor fool back).

*New spell component: Time. Beckon the blue servant can only be cast at night or in the underground.