Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And the Winner Is... (plus PDF link)

(by Daniel Smith)
Duration: 1 round per level
Range: Touch
The touched book animates, forming a mouth around the edge where the paper shows. You can ask the book one question per round, and if the information is inside it will answer. If anyone else approaches or asks questions the book snaps and growls that round instead of answering anything. Intelligent books may save to negate (as a Magic-User of a level equal to the author). Magical books don't impart their effect when they answer. The spell is a shortcut to actually reading a book, and it won't give more information than a careful reading would give.

Picking a winner really sucked. I had it narrowed down to 9 finalist spells which immediately stood out. But that was too much. I had to find some criteria to kick spells out. A couple really shouldn't have been first level, so that eliminated some. If it looked anything like another spell, it went. Recreated something another class does, gone. All awesome spells being dumped there. And I still had a handful. Do I go for something creepy that promotes the flavor of the game? Or do I go for something most likely to actually be chosen by a player? It's impossible - no matter what I chose there would be a better spell, if only the motivation behind the pick was slightly altered, left behind. But then that's the advantage of the PDF compilation of all the entries, right?

In the end, the spell chosen is not flashy or especially bizarre, but it is something actually useful in the kinds of adventures I run and write.

So, do I axe Magic Missile and add a second spell from the contest? :D

The PDF file is here.

np: Twisted Sister Stay Hungry
("In order to obtain maximum sensory enjoyment from the auditory representation contained herein, it is necessary to minimize load resistance through the potentiometer in ones preamplification section. In other words, PLAY IT LOUD, MUTHA!


  1. Axe Magic Missiles! Oooh, controversial ;)

    Congrat's to Daniel for winning. Looking through the PDF now and there are some fun spells to use. My players can look forward to finding scrolls of unique and obscure spells in the depths of the dungeons.

    Fun contest. I enjoyed that.

  2. I think a spellchecker clobbered Carfrith's Serous Illumination

  3. Congratulations Daniel!

    Now to check out the rest of the competition...

  4. Nice work Daniel and everyone else who contributed. Looking forward to reading these.

  5. Antagonistic Ball Sack?! While cool, it seems pretty powerful in taking out any male humanoid with dangly bits for a few rounds. And he might be rendered sterile.

    While the mechanical effect is small, the psychological effect would be huge. Any male that's witnessed such a spell would be terrified of every magic-user walking around. I think it would be enough to shift the campaign world to a matriarchal society, as no man would risk his jewels just to be King.

  6. Congrats to Daniel, and good work to everyone who contributed! More competitions like these, it was great fun.

  7. Congratulations Daniel! It's a nifty spell.

  8. Haven't looked at the other spells yet, but man, that is a really good spell. And I'm usually pretty critical about new spells.

  9. Congrats to Daniel!

    And now, a probably impractical idea, that I thought of during my ride home (that's when I came up with my spell idea as well - maybe I' getting high on gasoline?):

    Instead of axing Magic Missle, you could add all 9 "finalists" on top of the existing spells :) To make up for the resulting lack of higher-level spells, you can then open up contests for 2nd-9th level spells as well... And you don't have to give away a free copy for each winner (since that could add up to 50ish free copies) - you could award coupons, say 10-20% off the purchase price for each spell used/printed (not sure about other folks who contributed, but it sounds fair enough to me). And of course, Daniel gets a free copy anyway (since he fairly won it by the "old" rules).

    If you don't get an equal number of winners per level, just pick the same number of spells for each level... Or something.

    The above suggestion aside - seriously, contests like these are fun!

  10. Ehy, that's pretty cool! Now I have the perfect complement to Eldritch Weirdness, with all the first level spells I was missing! Thank you guys, and congrats to the winner! Actually, that spell makes me think to "Army of Darkness"...

  11. Congratulations to Daniel! A most excellent contest that all 137 of us to get to benefit from!

  12. Really like the winning spell. Thanks for hosting a fun little contest!

  13. O_O I totally didn't think I'd win, especially after reading the list of spell names! Pretty awesome. I'm glad you liked it :P

  14. Congrats to the winner! There were a lot of good entries.