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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Weird old D&D spells

    Hey folks. In a couple weeks, I'm planning on running a Kobolds Ate My Baby game in the Tomb of Horrors. Yes, that Tomb of Horrors. To that end, I'm reading up on a lot of the really weird and vaguely defined stuff that you could do in old-school (i.e., pre-3.5, since that's what I'm most familiar with) D&D, since that's sure to cause some delightful havok when they're heading into one of gaming's more famous meat grinders in the name of King Torg (ALL HAIL KING TORG!).

    I've dug up copies of the AD&D PHB and the 2nd ed PHB, but I don't have any of the expansions with weird spells in them. I'm reading through them, but since I'm sure I'll miss something . . . what are some of the weirder spells and effects you could find in 1st and 2nd ed D&D, ideally stuff that didn't make the transition to 3rd ed and above? Things like Sticks to Snakes or Duo-Dimension . . . you know, bizarre stuff like that. (OK, Sticks to Snakes isn't that weird, but it will be once the kobolds get their fuzzy little paws on it.) What kind of spells were there in the days when you were expected to bring a stack of character sheets to the table (I'm exaggerating, but I am reading the Tomb of Horrors)? If there are any spells that are substantially different from the modern version (you know, like Polymorph having that whole "system shock" business) in ways that would be interesting and funny in a KAMB game, I'd be interested in hearing about those too.

    In short, what old-school spells and effects should I give to (and inflict upon) these hapless kobolds?
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Just as an aside, I'm pretty sure 3.5 actually has Sticks to Snakes or something very similar as a Wu Jen spell.
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by averagejoe; 2011-06-25 at 02:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Evard's Black Tentacles from 1st e unearthed arcana

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    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    This site: http://www.wizardmark.com/spellinv/spells.asp has lots of the old 2E spells.

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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    2nd edition had There/Not There, which was really strange, especially the one time I saw the effect in actual play. There was a fair number of odd spells in Tome of Magic, actually
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    I highly recommend taking a look at the AD&D Wizards' Spell Compendium. It's a 4-volume set and has nearly all of the AD&D spells.

    Offhand...

    Featherfall used to make the subjects actually weigh as much as a feather and the spell specifically called out that it combines well with gust of wind. Also, it reduced falling speed to 2 feet every second.

    Memory was a 3rd-level Wu Jen spell that allowed the caster to insert false memories into victim's minds. It could be reversed into erasement. You'd need a mindrape to do this in 3.5
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    There's a super low level cleric spell that's like time stop but a lot more restrictions. I think you can only heal yourself, cast divinations and have a metagame reason to be allowed to take your time in figuring out what you're doing.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2011-06-20 at 01:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Quote Originally Posted by rayne_dragon View Post
    2nd edition had There/Not There, which was really strange, especially the one time I saw the effect in actual play. There was a fair number of odd spells in Tome of Magic, actually
    There/Not There was my first thought, too. You cast it on an object; each time a viewing creature stops looking at it and then looks again, the object has a 50% chance of not existing for that creature. Items can exist for some creatures and not others simultaneously. HILARITY ENSUES.

    The other that pops to mind is Frisky Chest. Third-level, I believe, probably wizard. Whenever someone disallowed comes within a certain radius, the target object grows feet/wings/fins, immediately running/flying/swimming away at a very high rate of speed. There are detailed rules in the spell description for how it could and could not be caught. It would run away to a safe distance, lose its appendages, and wait, ready to run away again. Hilarity once more ensues if your players are at all in the mood for the game.

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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Not 'old' D&D spells, but let me read off some druid spells from 3e's 'Masters of the Wild':

    Druid Grove
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    Transmutation
    Level: Drd 5
    Components: V,, S
    CastingTime: At least 10 minutes (see text)
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft/2 levels)
    Target: One or more trees
    Duration: 1 day/level or until discharged
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No
    By casting druid grove, you reshape a living tree so that it
    can contain a spell. Thereafter, you can access this stored
    spell at any time, as if the tree were a very large, immobile
    scroll.
    In conjunction with druid grove, you can cast druid
    spells totaling no more than one-third of your caster
    level (rounded down, maximum 6th). Instead of taking
    effect, these companion spells are stored in trees within
    the area. Each tree can hold only one spell. Druid grove
    and the companion spells must all be cast during the
    same uninterrupted ritual. The 10-minute casting time
    noted above is the minimum for the entire ritual; if any
    of the companion spells take longer than 10 minutes to
    cast, use the actual total casting time instead.
    By touching the tree that contains a companion spell
    (a standard action), you can activate that spell instantaneously.
    You must make any decisions about its effect
    (such as targeting and direction) upon touching the
    tree.
    You may have only one druid grove in effect at a time. If
    you cast a second druid grove before the first expires or is
    fully discharged, the first is dispelled .
    A tree affected by druid grove detects as magical, but the
    detection process does not harm the tree in any way.

    Green Blockade
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    Conjuration (Creation)
    Level: Drd 2
    Components: V, S, DF
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Effect : 20-ft.-long, 1-ft.-thick wall of vegetation
    Duration: 1 round/level
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No
    You raise a barrier of plant life before you. Any creature
    trying to pass through this blockade must succeed at a
    Strength check (DC 15) to do so; success ends its movement
    on the other side of the wall. Fire burns away the
    blockade in 1 round, or creatures with appropriate implements
    can chop through it in 1 minute.

    Mandragora
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    Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting]
    Level: Drd 6
    Components: V, S, M
    CastingTime : 1 action
    Range: 15 ft.
    Effect : All creatures in a 15-ft. radius
    Duration: 1 round/level
    Saving Throw: Will negates
    Spell Resistance: Yes
    With this spell, you can trigger the insightful and baleful
    magic of a mandrake root. When you pull it from its
    dark container, you and all other creatures within IS
    feet must make a Will save against its scream . Those
    who succeed gain a true seeing effect ; those who fail
    behave as though affected by confusion . Both effects last
    until the spell ends.
    Material Component: A mandrake root worth at least
    100 gp in a secure container with the same value.

    Thunderswarm
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    Evocation [Electricity]
    Level: Drd 9
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft ./level)
    Area: Pattern of lightning spreads similar to a fireball (see
    text)
    Duration : Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None or Reflex half (see text)
    Spell Resistance : Yes
    Like the arcane spell meteor swarm, thunderswarm
    evokes blasts similar to those of the spell fireball, except
    that this spell creates balls of lightning . When you cast
    it, either four large (2-foot-diameter) spheres or eight
    small (1-foot-diameter) spheres spring from your outstretched
    hand and streak in a straight line to the spot
    you designate. Each sphere leaves a trail of sparks
    behind it .
    Any creature in the straight-line path of these spheres
    is struck by each one and takes a total of 16d6 points of
    electricity damage (no save) . The spheres dissipate after
    dealing this damage.
    If the spheres reach their destination, each bursts like
    an electrical fireball in a spread. The patterns oftheir detonation
    and damage dealt to creatures in the area depend
    on the size of the spheres, as follows. (See the meteor
    swarm spell description in the Player's Handbook for details
    on the patterns.)
    Large Spheres : Each large sphere has a 15-foot-radius
    spread and deals 4d8 points of electricity damage. The
    four spheres explode with their points of origin forming
    either a large diamond or a large box pattern (your
    choice) around the spell's central point of origin . The
    blasts are 20 feet apart along the sides ofthe pattern, creating
    overlapping areas of the spell's effect and exposing
    the center to all four blasts .
    Small Spheres : Each small sphere has a 7 1/2-footradius
    spread and deals 2d6 points of electricity damage.
    These spheres explode with their points of origin forming either a box-within-a-diamond pattern or a diamond-
    within-a-box pattern around the spell's central
    point of origin . Each of the pattern's outer sides measures
    20 feet long. All four areas overlap in the center of
    the pattern, and two or three areas overlap in various peripheral
    sections.
    A creature caught in one of the blasts may attempt a
    Reflex save for halfdamage. Creatures struckby multiple
    blasts must save against each blast separately. Any creature
    that fails a save is stunned for 1d4 rounds in addition
    to taking full damage.

    Waterball
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    Evocation
    Level: Drd 4
    Components: V, S, M
    CastingTime: 1 action
    Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
    Area: 20-ft .-radius spread
    Duration: Instantaneous
    SavingThrow: Reflex half
    Spell Resistance: Yes
    A waterball is a spherical burst of water that looks like a
    blue fireball . As with a fireball, you point your finger and
    determine the range (distance and height) at which the
    waterball is to burst. A blue, pea-sized bead streaks from
    the pointing digit and, unless it impacts upon a material
    body or solid barrier prior to attaining the prescribed
    range, blossoms into the waterball at that point. (An
    early impact results in an early detonation.) If you attempt
    to send the bead through a narrow passage, such
    as an arrow slit, you must "hit" the opening with a
    ranged touch attack, or else the bead strikes the barrier
    and detonates prematurely. (See the fireball spell description
    in the Player's Handbook for details of the blast
    pattern .)
    When it detonates, the waterball deals ld6 points of
    subdual damage per caster level (maximum 10d6). An affected
    creature can make a Reflex save for half damage.
    Since the damage is subdual rather than energy, it is subject
    to damage resistance .
    Objects take no damage unless they have a hardness of
    0, in which case they take full damage. If the damage
    caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks
    through it, the waterball may continue beyond it if the
    area permits; otherwise it stops at the barrier just as any
    other spell effect does.
    Material Component : A full waterskin that you burst
    when casting the spell .

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    There's a super low level cleric spell that's like time stop but a lot more restrictions. I think you can only heal yourself, cast divinations and have a metagame reason to be allowed to take your time in figuring out what you're doing.
    I think that's a second level Cleric spell called Withdraw it is awesome.

    I have 2 of the 3 Spell Compendiums at home. There are some CRAZY spells in them. I'll make a list for you when I have the books in front of me.
    Last edited by Caliphbubba; 2011-06-20 at 11:52 AM.

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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Hm, I remember a cleric spell that chronoports the entire party one day into the future. Not a bad way of escaping.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    A Day in the Life is a cleric spell that turns the target into a halfling for one day. Class abilities are lost for the duration of that one day, and equipment does not change size with the target.

    Solipsism is another cleric spell. It creates an illusion that the caster automatically believes. Other creatures must pass a saving throw if they wish to believe in it. Any creature which believes the illusion, though, treats it as real - i.e. a character can cross an illusory bridge.
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Quote Originally Posted by Thane of Fife View Post
    Solipsism is another cleric spell. It creates an illusion that the caster automatically believes. Other creatures must pass a saving throw if they wish to believe in it. Any creature which believes the illusion, though, treats it as real - i.e. a character can cross an illusory bridge.
    That reminds me of a homebrew concept I saw once. Is there any spell that allows the caster to disbelieve something that's actually real and, if successful, treat it as an illusion?
    Last edited by Douglas; 2011-06-20 at 02:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Man, there needs to be a 3.5 Solipism. I'd love to use a spell like that.
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Hallucinatory Forest and Dissention’s Feast were great 2E cleric spells the first was a great illusion that made an open space seem like a dence forest and those that didn't make there save spent alot of time trying to muck thru it. And dissention’s feast is a chaos spell that caused anyone who ate/drank something it was cast on would become argumentative and will start fights with anyone they talk to and will disagree with just about anything someone tries to tell them untill the spell expires.

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    Andrui's Baneful BackFire
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    Basically causes the next dispel magic on an item OR a temporary enchantment to auto-fail. And on top of that, causes the dispeller to lose a memorize spell of equal level to the effect he tried to dispel, or the next highest level if he doesn't have one of that level. Specially called out on working with de-buffs like Slow and the like. Nasty Surprise


    Arachnophobia
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    AHHHH SPIDERS!!!! creates an illusion of spiders crawling all over the victims body, basically a save or lose, but with spiders. effects 1 target per level. two saves, fail both and be completely unable to act for 1 round/level, fail only the second and still run away in screaming spider terror for 2-5 rounds.


    Arnvid's Unseen Limb
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    Conjures an invisible limb that can replace a missing limb, or act as an extra limb. Can become intangible if you want it, for instance you can send it into a locked box, uncork a potion and dump it out, but not pull the potion back out. Can be used to attack with and has a fully developed sense of touch. lasts an hour/level. Level 4 conjuration. Talk about giving someone the "Stranger" lol


    Basket Trick
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    very LuLzy version of Blink, requires large baskets or urns to work. The caster randomly blinks from one to another one within 10 yards per caster level. Places whatever was in the basket you are going into the basket you came from. I can see Kobolds having FUN with this one. Level 3 Alteration


    Bowgentle's Fleeting Journey
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    Like a Teleport Bungee Jump, teleport 20 feet horizontally or 10 feet vertically per level for one round and then on the following round return to where you started. It uses the hi/low mechanic and if you end up in an object you are shunted to the Astral rather than slain. can only be cast on someone other than the caster, and gives them one round of actions before snapping them back into place. Level 5 Alteration


    Bubble Breath
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    Breath out 1d6 bubbles that you make attacks for, if the attack fails they are harmlessly blown away. if it hits the it reduces the movement speed of the victim by half and inflicts a -2 on all combat rolls and saving throws. Level 6 Evocation


    Cache
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    Transfers an item to the Astral Plane for 1/hr per level. It follows you around while its in there, and has a 15%(-1% per caster level) chance of coming back damaged somehow. doesn't work on living creatures. level 3 Conjuration/summoning


    Maybe do some more later when I have a chance to look through them. hope they help lol

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    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    I forgot- Spliff's wonder bubbles- roll 1d6 for the effect of each bubble it can do 1d2,1d3 or 1d4 healing or aid, bless and sanctuary. you have to roll an attack for each bubble...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elyssian View Post
    I forgot- Spliff's wonder bubbles-
    And also, Scrubbing Bubbles. A first-level alteration spell that, assuming a target standing in water, covers it in soap bubbles and has a bunch of invisible hands wash it thoroughly (with, I think, some attack penalties while the scrubbing is in progress).
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    You folks are awesome. Many of these are going to be truly insane in a KAMB setting. I may need to track down a copy of one or two of these old books just to read for fun. Crazy stuff.

    I'm quite happy with what you've offered me, but naturally, I'd love to hear more. What other kinds of chaos do the olden days have to offer us?
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    These are not from official TSR publications, but from recent old-school material. AFAIK, all these are (c) Matthew Finch or Gabor Lux. I'm not quoting their levels, because you'd need to recalibrate that for nuD&D anyway.

    Yeloun's Touch
    Range: sight
    Target: 1 creature
    Save: negates

    The victim feels a soft touch, then his breathing stops and he starts to suffocate. He has a cumulative 10% chance per round to fall unconscious. However, the spell can also affect the caster, who has a cumulative 5% chance per round to lose consciousness. Once the spell is cast, it can only be stopped by Dispel Magic or one of the two participants fainting.

    Omar's Regrettable Mistake
    Range: medium
    Duration: 1d6 days
    Target: single creature
    Save: negates

    The result of failed spell research, it is surprisingly popular despite the creator's efforts to suppress it. The victim's eye glow with a pale blue light and all glass object within 20' of him start to quiver. Dogs will flee him, but cats feel a strong attraction. He will also feel an irrepressible antipathy towards the colour blue, and will be overcome by kleptomania.

    Ylam-Ylam's Red Spell
    Range: Medium
    Duration: 7 days
    Target: single creature
    Save: negates

    The target is overtaken by blind fury whenever he sees the colour red. He must make a Will save or lose self-control and attack with a +3 bonus to rolls. The target's wounds cannot be healed while the spell lasts.

    Dispel Magic will free the victim from the compulsion, but does not restore lost HP. Dispel Curse restores HP as well.

    Ylam-Ylam's Chimes
    Range: medium
    Duration: 10 rounds
    Target: single creature
    Save: negates

    The target rises into the air amidst the low, pleasant sounds of ringing bells, and stays in a euphoric until the end of the spell, when he floats back down to the ground. Suffering any injury entitles him to a new saving throw.

    Those who have been affected by the spell at least twice become addicted to it and must receive it at least once a week. If a victim doesn't get his fix, he must make a Fortitude save or permanently lose 1d6 HP. This state will continue until he withers away or gets rid of his addiction - the exact cure is unknown.

    The Munificent Eye
    Range: medium
    Duration: 3d6*10 minutes
    Save: none

    All silver objects (including alloys and silver-coated items) that the caster sees are instantly and automatically teleported into his backpack, sack, or under his cloak. The spell's unpleasant side effect is that it attracts all birds and drives them into a wold frenzy.

    Note that the spell also affects things like large silver-coated statues or silver domes, likely with fatal consequences for the caster (and anyone standing next to him).
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Weighty Chest is a good one
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    There was an April Fools issue of Dragon that had a bunch of great spells. Here are some I remember.

    Detect Fire--range: touch
    Djarmi's Instant Death--Instantly kills some poor guy named Djarmi, with no save.
    Remove hand--target: self, duration: permanent

    I should still have that issue of Dragon somewhere....
    Last edited by a_humble_lich; 2011-06-21 at 02:53 PM.
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Oooo Ooo! I just remembered stone tell it lets you speak with rocks!

    "So whats up rocks?"

    "Oh nothing much usual rock stuff"

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    Quote Originally Posted by zyborg View Post
    Man, there needs to be a 3.5 Solipism. I'd love to use a spell like that.
    Dragon #324, p.72.

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    Quote Originally Posted by a_humble_lich View Post
    Djarmi's Instant Death--Instantly kills some poor guy named Djarmi, with no save.
    Drawmij, IIRC (which is Jim Ward's character).

    I think that's from the same list as the spell Trap The Sole, and Change self.
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    Matthew's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Drawmij, IIRC (which is Jim Ward's character).

    I think that's from the same list as the spell Trap The Sole, and Change self
    Ha! Apparently that can be found in the article "Still More Outrages From the Mages" by John M. Maxstadt (Dragon #144).
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Did Sound Bubble ever make it to 3.5? That was always one of my favorites. It was a Bard spell that wasn't quite Silence; it created a 10' radius of isolated sound: everyone in the bubble could hear stuff happening inside, and everyone outside the bubble could hear stuff happening outside, but sound couldn't pass through the bubble in either direction.

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    Distance Distortion

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    Level: 5th
    School: Alteration
    Range: 10 yds/lvl
    Duration: 2 turns/lvl
    Area of Effect: 10 ft cube/level
    Components: V,S,M
    Casting Time: 5
    Saving Throw: None

    This spell can be cast only in an area completely surrounded or enclosed by earth, rock, mud, sand, or similar materials. The wizard must also cast a conjure elemental spell to summon an earth elemental. The elemental serves without attempting to break free when the spellcaster announces that his intent is to cast distance distortion. The spell places the earth elemental in the area of effect, and the elemental then causes the area's dimensions to be either doubled or halved for those traveling over it (spellcaster's choice). Thus, a 10 foot x 100 foot corridor could seem to be either 5 feet wide and 50 feet long or 20 feet wide and 200 feet long. When the spell duration has elapsed, the elemental returns to its own plane.

    The true nature of an area affected by distance distortion is undetectable to any creature traveling along it, but the area dimly radiates magic, and a true seeing spell can reveal that an earth elemental is spread within the area.

    The material needed for this spell is a small lump of soft clay.

    We always imagined that the elemental doesn't attack because it's too busy laughing. Perfect for an ambush (I suppose) or for the drow matron looking for more cave space for her cocktail party. . . .
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Weird old D&D spells

    I've got a few, since I've got a bunch of the 2nd ed books, like the wizard's spell compendiums...

    The vastly underpowered: Vipergout

    Level 7 spell, lets you vomit out 1 viper per 3 caster levels (max 6), which you get to control. This was 2nd ed, but it specifies they are normal (not giant) and are 2 hd. Level 7 spell to get 4-6 2 hd snakes..... they lasted for 5 rds, +1/caster level..... You don't have to vomit all of them out at once, you can hold some in your mouth, but can't speak or cast spells while doing so....


    Wow, here's an odd one; Dismind.

    9th level spell. Once you cast it, it stays on you until triggered. When you trigger it, your mind (in the form of a mind spirit thing) leaves your body, and an impenetrable barrier of force forms around your body. Your mind is undetectable by any means, and cannot consciously do anything, it just drifts aimlessly. Your mind needs wish, miracle, alter reality or similar to be restored. You have no real memories of your time as a floating mind thing.

    Oh, this one looks fun: Fang Fist

    Level 2 spell, turns one of your arms into a snake protruding from your body. It can change length instantly, being anywhere between 1' and 15' long. It gets a +1 bonus to attacks, and bites for 1d8+4. If it takes more than 12 damage, it ends the spell, and you still take the damage dealt to your snake arm. That arm can't be used for somatic components, though it can grip things by biting. It has the same amount of strength the caster's arm does.
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