Thursday, April 14, 2016

A&A Quickstart Cantrips (Front)

I'm CDO so my quickstart updates will be infrequent and interrupted much like my sleep schedule for the next 48 hours shift.  Today we're going to talk about MAGICAL POWERS.


On the front page we have the following spell schools, Chronomancy, Conjuraion, Enchantment, Illusion and half of Lifa.  I talked a bit about spell schools before (...2014 gah!) and even went through a spell-storming session to develop a number of Vancian inspired spells for the game.  For the Quickstart though we're just looking for simple and straightforward spells for your extra-ordinary explorer.

The table has two columns that could use a bit of explaining.  Focus means that you spend 1HP / round to maintain that effect, and your GM may require a Discipline Save should you take damage or otherwise be interrupted.  Saving Throws denote which Save would likely be used to resist the effect, sometimes to completely negate and other times to only mitigate the effects.  If it's not spelled out then it's up the GM and the circumstances to decide. 

As discussed before we have three tiers of spells, Cantrips, Lesser and Formidable, so you can thank Mazirian for their naming conventions.  One thing I wanted to avoid was having Cantrips be a 'useless' level of spells reserved only for parlor tricks and as the editions advanced a paltry d3 of damage.  Magic is a fantastic thing, so I see no reason to artificially weaken it even at the lowest level since that breaks up a lot of folks verisimilitude.  On the other hand Formidable spells shouldn't go too far off the deep end for the same reason.  The Cantrips presented here offer quite a bit of potency you'd expect from a 1-3rd level spell.

Chronomancy deals with time and space so at the Cantrip level you can expect to slow down your foes, receive a bonus action on occasion or ruin someone's stockpile of Hit Dice and Intrepid Dice.  While Cantrips are the lowest Tier of spell that doesn't necessarily mean they stop being useful as you advance in level and strength.  Demi will be much more effective against stronger foes while Alacrity can prove useful at any level of the game.

Conjuration introduces some fun spells and quite a lot of utility for a spell-crafty player.  Creation lets you create some simple objects, the basic intent is to bridge the gap in exploration, creating immediate planks or boxes to cross pits or perhaps create a weighty object on a pressure plate for a puzzle or trap.  Unseen yet heard servant allows for your lazy wizard to have a cleaning service for their abode, due to their noisy nature they make for terrible scouts.  Lastly you have create trap, which allows for a lot of fun when setting up ambushes or defending where you're are.  The benefit to Focus here means that once the trap is triggered you know about it since your HP immediately starts draining making for a decent alarm system as well.  Move too far away and your trap will disappear back into the aether.

Enchantment is always a favorite school of mine although you'll find the Cantrips fairly straightforward.  Overwhelm allows you to defeat a foe non-lethally even from a range; Ensorcelled steel allows you to bolster yourself or allies (and cut through non-magical armor like butter); Disenchant allows for an all purpose spellbreaker.  Rather than deal with Dispel Magic's level competition there really isn't much of a problem with allowing a universal solvent of spells to remove nasty magical effects. 

Moving onto Illusion we have the always useful disguise, the ability to rout enemies Fear and the ever fun illusory wall which pairs excellently with a trap springing conjurer. 

Lastly we have Lifa, who's first of three spells is quite the boon.  Nightfall is when the true terrors walk the earth, the light of day is one of the few things they fear.  A disciple of the Sun is a valuable companion in any environment.  Although their fervent devotion to the Sun 'God' is certainly outlandish their incandescence is welcome wherever they go.