Thursday, January 16, 2014

13th Age Options: The Wizard (Part 1)

I'm going in a different direction for this installment of 13th Age Options.  Instead of a list of new options for the Wizard, I'm going to explore an existing Wizard talent, Cantrip Mastery.  Any player who wants more variety of spells, including getting more control out of their Wizard, should seriously consider choosing Cantrip Mastery.

The simple fact is that this talent already gives a player carte blanche for creating new spells.  Instead of re-inventing the wheel, I'll provide some examples of new spells that can be created in this way, including some iconic ones that were not included in the core book.  These aren't meant to be a comprehensive list; use them as a baseline to create your own.  Not all of these spells are going to be geared toward use in a conventional fight, and some will be very situational, but that's the whole point.  A Wizard can create arcane formulae to solve whatever problem is at hand, and it makes sense that someone who can manipulate the very fabric of reality should be thinking outside the box.

As it turns out, I had a lot of ideas for cantrip-derived Wizard spells.  And they're pretty time-consuming to create.  Therefore, I'm splitting this article into two parts.  Click here for Part Two!

Cantrip Mastery

When turning Alarm into a daily option, the obvious routes are either defensive spells (though Wizards already get a lot of these, including the most iconic ones) or sonic-based spells (which can also apply to Ghost Sound).

Magic Circle Against Evil - see the 7th level Cleric spell "Circle of Protection."  Change it to a Standard action (because we don't want to upstage the Cleric).

Repulsion (3rd level spell)
Close Spell
Effect: For the rest of the battle any enemy that attempts to engage with you or an ally that you're engaged with must succeed at a Hard Save.
5th Level: An enemy that fails the save is bounced back and knocked Prone (they can stand up as part of their move action, but must succeed at a Normal Save to reach their destination).
7th Level: Enemies are bounced back with such force after failing a save that they take 4d10 damage.
9th Level:  6d10 damage.

Soundburst - see the 1st level Bard spell (starting at the 3rd level version).  Keep the damage dice, but don't add an ability modifier to damage (again, we don't want to upstage another class).

Arcane Mark
I immediately thought of the "Symbol of..." and "Power Word..." spells of previous editions of D&D.

Power Word Stun - (3rd level spell)
Ranged spell
Target: One nearby creature with fewer than 100 HP.
Attack: Int + level vs PD
Hit: The target is Stunned (save ends)
Natural Even Miss: the target is Weakened until the end of your next turn.
5th Level: 160 HP
7th Level: 250 HP (or 2 targets with 125 HP or fewer)
9th Level: 500 HP (or 2 targets with 250 HP or fewer)

Symbol of Sleep - (3rd level spell)
Special: takes several minutes to cast (so outside of combat).  You inscribe a magical rune on an object.
Trigger: a creature looks at the rune, reads it, touches it, or passes over it.
Effect: all nearby creatures (except you, if you're present) with 60 HP or fewer roll a Normal Save.  On a failure, they fall into an enchanted sleep for 3d10 minutes, and can only be woken up before that by magical means.  
5th Level: 100 HP
7th Level: 160 HP
9th Level: 250 HP

Ghost Sound
I can see this cantrip being used as a baseline for necromancy spells (things might change when the actual Necromancer class is published) and, like Alarm, sonic spells.

Ray of Enfeeblement (3rd level spell)
Ranged Spell
Target: 1 nearby creature
Attack: Int + level vs PD
Hit: 5d8 negative energy damage and the target is Weakened (Save Ends)
Miss:  Half damage
5th Level: 8d8 damage
7th Level: 8d12 damage, or 2 targets for 3d12 damage each.
9th Level: 4d4x10 damage, or 2 targets for 2d4x10 damage each.

Shatter (3rd level spell)
Close Spell
Target: All Nearby crystal, glass, ice, or objects of similar material.
Effect:  Target items shatter, and any such structures that a creature is standing on or under (i.e. standing on the surface of a frozen lake) must make a Hard Save to avoid damage (see p.186 Impromptu Damage chart) or other negative effects.
Special: this spell doesn't automatically get better by leveling, but when you're in higher-tier environments the impromptu damage will go up.  You'll also be hindering the plans of your higher-level enemies.  In practice, just prepare this in your lowest-level spell slot (whatever level that may be) and call it a day.
Note: Yes, this spell will destroy potion vials.  Unless the PCs take special precautions to insulate their potions, they should stay at Far Away range when the Wizard sets this off.

Soundburst - see the 1st level Bard spell (starting at the 3rd level version).  Keep the damage dice, but don't add an ability modifier to damage (again, we don't want to upstage another class).

If Knock normally helps you get through mundane doorways, a daily version might manipulate planar doorways.  Or if your vision of knock involves smashing the door open, then there's all kinds of object-destroying potential to be had.

Banish/Dismissal (5th level spell)
Ranged Spell
Target: 1 Nearby creature with 100 HP or fewer.
Attack: Int + level vs MD
Hit: The target is removed from play, sent to a dimension or plane of your choice.  Of course ripping holes in the barriers between realities usually results in some side effect.  You gain 1 cursed die (see the Bard's Balladeer talent) with the Icon associated with the banished creature, or with another Icon of the GM's choice (the Archmage, Diabolist, High Druid, Crusader, and the Great Gold Wyrm are all good candidates).  A roll of 1 or 2 might mean that something else came through the barrier, you opened another tear somewhere else accidentally, or the Icon has sensed what you've done and...taken an interest in you.
Miss: You gain 3 cursed dice with an appropriate Icon.
7th Level: 160 HP or fewer
9th Level: 250 HP or fewer

Destroy Object (3rd level spell)
Ranged Spell
Target: 1 Nearby object of any material, no bigger than a humanoid creature.
Attack: Int + level vs PD of the object's wielder (if applicable); true magic items are only destroyed on a natural 16+, otherwise on a hit they're taken out for the scene or battle.
Effect: The object is destroyed violently, and any creatures engaged with it are hit with shrapnel (see p.186 of the core rulebook for the Impromptu Damage table).
Level 5: The affected object can be Large or smaller.
Level 7: The affected object can be Huge or smaller.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome. When I get a chance to play 13th age a wizard with cantrip mastery and Vances Polysylabic Vocalisations is a must - it's all I ever wanted and more in a class! And these are great ideas to get creative juices flowing. :D