Wednesday, December 27, 2023

A GLOG Grimoire

    There are a number of spells I've written which have no wizard to accompany them as yet. I've decided to write them down, so that someone might get some use out of them regardless. Friend-of-the-blog Phlox has done this and so spurred my decision.

    General notes: these are spells for the GLOG, Arnold Kemp's (pbuh) fantasy heartbreaker. They operate on Magic Dice. Unless specified otherwise, assume that:
  • if a spell targets a creature/object/point within range that target must be visible to the caster along an unobstructed path
  • a cone is 60° and so is 10' wide 10' away from the caster, 30' wide 30' from the caster, and so forth
  • beams and rays with a provided length but no provided width are about the thickness of a pencil
  • a 10' sphere has a radius of 10', a 20' sphere a radius of 20', and so forth
  • a 10' cube has an edge-length of 10', a 20' cube an edge-length of 20', and so forth
  • spells which apply a condition to creatures provide them a save at casting time and otherwise continue for the duration
  • spells with an indefinite duration keep the MD invested in them until they are ended by other means
  • you should ask your DM about any specifics, which will vary by campaign


  1. Death Glow
    R: touch T: an object or creature D: [sum] minutes
    The target glows with an unhealthful light for the duration. Unembodied undead are unceremoniously pushed 30' from the target. Embodied undead make a morale check with a [dice] penalty when they first see this light, even if they normally can't make morale checks. In this light, all failed checks are fumbles and all successful ones are critical. Creatures whose unprotected skin is exposed to this light (and the target, if it be a creature) must save every minute of total exposure or take [dice] damage to a random stat.
  2. Vorpal Air
    R: n/a T[dice]*20' cone, originating from caster D: instant
    The caster points a finger and utters a word of power, and a cone of vorpal air bursts forth. Creatures and objects within the cone save or take [sum] damage as if struck by many invisible blades from all directions. At 2MD, creatures are only permitted to save if their armor is at least leather and flimsy objects and structures are hacked apart, at 3MD creatures only save if wearing at least chain and objects softer than stone are shredded, at 4MD creatures must have at least plate and any non-metallic object is chopped to bits.
  3. Predator
    R: n/a T: self D: [dice] rounds
    Caster is rendered invisible for the duration, and can move [dice] times again as fast. They can deal [sum] magical damage with a touch (roll to-hit vs. unarmored if in combat), no save. This is extremely frightening.
  4. Summon Cosmic Crocodilian
    R: 20' T: an area large enough for a bigass crocodile D: indefinite
    A cosmic crocodilian (a type of Outsider) appears in the target area. It is not grateful, and it is not obedient. It weighs [dice] tonnes, has AC as plate and [sum]*2 HP, and its jaws are a massive weapon which automatically grapple those it strikes.
    Like all crocodiles, the cosmic crocodilian can perform a Death Roll to force a creature caught in its jaws to save or die. Unlike most crocodiles, a cosmic crocodilian has 18 intelligence, 2MD, and knows the spells Haste, Mummify Bird, Turn Hippopotamus (works at -1 [dice] against other horses) and Summon Cosmic Crocodilian.
  5. Cone of Collapse
    R: n/a T: [dice]*20' cone, originating from caster D: one round
    All creatures, objects, buildings, landscapes and materials in the targeted area, including air, briefly experience a significantly increased F𝓰, the force due to gravity. Effects are highly variable, but assume that delicate objects are destroyed, flying objects fall and creatures human-size or larger must check strength or drop to their knees. If [sum] is 7 or greater, not-particularly-reinforced buildings will be damaged or destroyed, and mundane creatures horse-sized or larger are killed. If [sum] is 14 or greater most structures, including natural stone, will collapse and human-sized bodies will suffer massive structural damage and organ failure: affected creatures die, or check constitution to merely take [sum] damage. If sum is 21 or greater every living creature larger than an ant within the cone dies with no save, all matter within the cone is aggressively crushed, and there is a large negative-pressure effect for the duration followed by a thunderclap and moderate explosion when the spell ends.
  6. Summon Mobat
    R: 60' T: a volume large enough for [sum] vultures D: [dice] hours
    Target volume is filled with [sum] mobats. The common mobat (Pteropodidae Mobatti parbatti) has 4HP, AC as leather, and is significantly less intelligent than even a very stupid person. They will follow one-word commands from the caster to the best of their ability. These abilities include flying around frantically, screaming, shitting, attempting to eat strongly-scented objects, and crashing into things. Those bitten by a mobat must save vs. disease or contract leprosy. The bats disappear at the end of the duration unless killed, in which case they leave behind a corpse (mostly cartilage) which can be unwisely cooked into 3 rations of delicious soup.
  7. Polarized Shield
    R: self T: n/a D: [sum] minutes
    The caster is surrounded by a 20' spherical shroud of impenetrable darkness, with enough interior space to contain [dice] creatures if they're willing to get comfortable. This shroud is invisible along a single axis in 3d space that passes through the caster's head, which the caster can pitch and yaw as they please. From all other angles, the shroud foils scrying, infravision and all other forms of detection. Because it blocks vision and cannot itself be targeted by spells, and most combat spells cannot "pierce" the shroud and conventional countermagic cannot dispel it.
  8. Woundweep
    R: 30' T: an injured creature D: instant
    Target saves or takes as much damage as they are already missing from their max HP (e.g. a creature at 6/9 hitpoints is now at 3/9 hitpoints). This process is excruciating. The damage cannot directly kill the target, but if it reduces them to 0 hitpoints they must check constitution or fall unconscious from the pain, and if they have sustained any injuries they must also check constitution or suffer that injury a second time.
  9. Summon Planetar
    R: touch T: a constructed body worth at least 100gp per [die] D: 24 hours
    The caster performs a long and difficult ritual for the duration of the spell. If they cease repeating a long and complex mantra or break contact with the constructed body the spell fails and all MD are lost. Traditionally they are assisted by multiple apprentices, who may sing songs to keep them awake, physically hold them up, or grab their arms to keep their hands in contact with the constructed body.
    If the ritual is successful then the constructed body is occupied by a Planetar, a powerful force of Good from distant realms (stats to be found in any respectable MM). They are not in any way obligated to obey you. It's traditional for the apprentices to greet the Planetar with songs of rejoicing. Just as traditional is for one of them to reveal he's been Evil the whole time, murder the caster and the other apprentices, and enslave the Planetar to his dark will.
  10. Crown of Vengeance
    R: touch T: a creature D: [sum] minutes
    Target's head is illuminated by a halo of golden light. For the duration, the receive a [dice] bonus to AC and to-hit. Creatures who know they have wronged the target must save each round they can see the halo; on a failure, they cannot move from their place. Creatures struck by the target who have not wronged the target may save; if they succeed, the Crown is passed to them.
  11. Tomb Rune
    R: n/a T: the caster's hand D: [sum] hours
    A mysterious, shifting rune appears on the palm of the caster's dominant hand. When the hand is extended before them like a shield for an entire round, it projects dazzling sunlight that deals [best] damage each round to undead, creatures from other planes and magical constructs, no save. When the hand is closed above their head like a fist for an entire round, they are protected by a magical forcefield that grants them a [dice] bonus to AC, imposes disadvantage on ranged attacks against them, and gives them advantage on all saves. The spell ends immediately if the caster uses the runèd hand to grasp an object or if the hand is severed.
  12. Curse of the Dark Eye
    R: 120' T: a creature within range D: [sum] weeks
    Target creature is afflicted with wild spirits of Tigerdom and Chaos. They must make a reaction check against every person they meet, with a [dice] penalty. If they wish to speak, they must save per sentence or have the words replaced by animalistic growls. If they wish to clothe themselves, they must save at dawn or be unable to do so that day. Any respectable cleric or Wise One recognizes this curse and can mix up a remedy that can reduce the remaining duration, though of course the afflicted target may have a negative reaction to their presence. 
  13. Death Ray
    R: sight T: any point in range D: [dice] rounds
    A ray of raw magical power projects from the caster's hand towards the target point. It cuts through wood and earth at 10' a round, stone or brick 5' a round, and solid metal 1' a round. Unarmored creatures caught in the ray suffer [sum] damage, armored creatures may save to throw themselves out of the way before their armor melts. Their armor is obliterated in any case, and creatures who are killed by the ray disintegrate into ash. At two [dice] the ray cuts at double speed and creatures wearing only leather are not permitted a save, and so on and so forth for three and four [dice].
  14. Horizon Blade
    R: touch T: a pre-prepared magical fetish worth at least 10gp per [die] invested D: [sum] rounds
    Upon casting, a portal to the Astral Plane opens 3' long and 1" wide. One end of the portal is attached to the fetish, allowing it to be manipulated like a sword's grip. The outside edge of the portal rapidly shreds matter it comes into contact with, cutting through 10' of wood or 1' of stone per round if used as a saw. If used as a sword, it is a medium weapon +[dice].
  15. Secret Beige
    R: 5' T: waterproof vessel to contain [dice] quarts  D: indefinite
    Target vessel is filled with a supernatural paint whose quality varies with [dice]. At one [die], the paint renders a coated object or surface extremely dull and boring. Inattentive bystanders will assume the object has some sort of municipal purpose and isn't worth much money. At two [dice], the object or surface is actively uncool. Creatures without a definite reason to carry or associate with the object or surface will avoid it. At three [dice], painted object or surface is eminently forgettable. Even after having it pointed out, creatures will be generally unaware of the object or surface, and will unconsciously step around it or treat it as an impassable barrier.
    Three [dice] is the last practically useful level of this spell, partly because the caster is at risk of succumbing to the effects, but mostly because a four [dice] Secret Beige is totally useless. It cannot be, and has never been recorded to have been, applied to an object or surface. Stick to three.  
  16. Torturous Inspirations
    R: same plane T: intelligent creature whose body parts (hair, blood, nails &c) you are touching D: indefinite
    Target creature is afflicted with horrible visions in the labyrinth of dreaming. Each morning they wake they must save. Upon failing the save, they are obligated to obtain 20gp of materials by any means necessary, and spend the day converting them into an artistic piece with a value depending on their personal skill. Details of the piece varies according to their inclination, and with multiple failed saves they may continue on the same piece or create multiple. Upon passing the save they are under no obligation to continue their piece or pieces, but may anyway. After [dice] successful saves the effect ends.
  17. Abducting Buzz
    R: 30' T: a visible creature with fewer than [dice] HD D: [dice] hours.
    Target creature is borne aloft by a swarm of invisible insects and carted off to the Plane of Morgellons for the duration. They return safely to the place they left, horrified but unharmed. If the place they left is no longer safe (from the bugs' perspective), they are returned to the nearest field of flowers (however far away that might be). If [dice] is 4 or higher, the target returns after a year and a day, and is likely permanently mentally scarred.
  18. Summon Chitin Predator
    R: 30' T: an unoccupied space large enough for a bigass dog D: [dice] hours
    A Chitin Predator is summoned to target area. It resembles a dog-sized antlion with AC as chain, [sum] hitpoints and a single heavy bite with a [dice] bonus to-hit. It is hostile to any people you consider your enemies, and not initially hostile to you or your allies For each [die] invested in this spell, choose an additional bonus for your antlion:
    • Can fly at 60' per round
    • AC as plate
    • Gains two additional medium claw attacks
    • Gains a sting attack, save v. paralysis
    • Camouflageable exoskeleton, granting near-invisibility when not moving
    • Can be dismissed at will

Hotrod Spells

    At the end of Nick Whelan's 2016 post of an example 100 words for the Magic Words system (which, incidentally, engendered the creation of this blog and its first now-depublished posts), he offers a series of 10 names. These are the names of historical figures (including Hitler, George Washington and Cleopatra) but the reader is instructed to use the names of well-known wizards of their own setting.

    "D&D has a long tradition of big-name casters like Tenser who live on through the spells that bear their name. I like this idea! So in the Magic Word system, using a specific wizard’s name as part of the spell you’re crafting means that what you’re actually doing is uncovering a spell first created by some long dead master of the arcane arts. And when the referee is writing up the spell, they can draw on that caster’s history and talent when determining the spell’s effects."

    Variations on this idea have haunted me for years. Importantly, in the GLOG, wizards often get two abilities — the first, the ability to "breed" spells together, producing novel mutants, and the second to designate one spell as their "favorite" or "signature" and receive bonuses.

    I forget why I started writing these paragraphs. That's happening more and more, recently. Anyway, here's a list of basic spells, and custom versions developed by famous dangerous wizards.

Source: Grimoire ensorcele by naiiade

Magic Missile

    One of the "classic spells", those developed by wizard-kings of eons past. You know them well; it seems like there's little point in me bothering to name them. Fly, the final rejection of the physical order. Charm Person, which made slaves. Protection from Evil and Good. Contact Higher Plane. Detect Invisible. Many more besides. Magic Missile in its basic form is incredibly simple, just a combination of object-location (to find its target), foresight (to circumvent defenses), and a powerful jolt of sidereal force. A wit might say that to have its own version of Magic Missile is a feature both absolutely necessary and absolutely sufficient for a Wizard School. Once you have that, you have a school.
    Archmages, or those who wish to be considered magical savants, love to hotrod the Magic Missile. A few examples are provided below.

Magic Missile
R: 200' T: up to [dice] creatures D: instant
[dice] magical projectiles fly from the caster's fingertips and strike their targets unerringly. Each deals damage equal to the face of the respective [die]. Targets may not dodge, save or otherwise avoid the magic missiles, unless they have a magical shield, which blocks all damage from this spell.

Blackfly's Magic Missile
R: 200' T: up to [sum]+1 creatures D: instant
[sum] minuscule magical projectiles, plus one queen, fly from the caster's fingertips and strike their targets unerringly. Each deals 1 damage. The target who was struck by the queen is infested with eggs, and will have a swarm of flesh-eating hornets burst from their skin next turn for [dice] damage. Targets may not dodge, save or otherwise avoid the magic missiles, unless they are wearing a wreath of garlic bulbs or a similarly powerful scent, which blocks all damage from this spell.

Thoth-Magog's Magic Missile
R: 200' T: one creature D: one full combat round
A glowing magical beam slowly extends from the caster's fingertips and navigates around inanimate obstacles to strike its target unerringly. This deals [sum]+[dice] damage, sets the target on fire, and reduces their lifespan by twenty years. Target may not dodge, save or otherwise avoid the magic missile, unless they cower behind another creature who is struck in their stead, receiving the damage and other effects of this spell.


    A brutal spell developed for the mass-extermination of mortals. Its whistle-thump-roar is as iconic a sound of war as trumpets or the crashing of swords on shields. Because of its versatility, lethality and ease-of-use, a wand pre-loaded with a few casts of Fireball is as common a sight as any magic item can be. Perhaps the simplicity of the spell invites wizards to make it their own.

R: 200' T: a point with an unobstructed path from the caster D: instant
A bead of flame flies from the caster's outstretched hand and races to the target point. Upon impact, it blossoms into a fireball of [dice]*10' radius, generally conforming to the space (care must be taken when casting underground), and dealing [sum] damage to all creatures caught in the deflagration, save for half.

Klausrod's Fireball
R: 75' T: a point with an unobstructed path from the caster D: instant
A black orb about the size of a mandarin flies from the caster's outstretched hand and races to the target point. Upon impact, it detonates with enough force to crack stone and liquefy soil. The explosion has a radius of roughly 20' per [die] invested in this spell. Those caught in the explosion are killed, or save to merely take [sum] damage and be flung bodily outside of the blast front. For every [expended], the radius of the explosion increases by 10', and a wave of shrapnel and unbreathable smoke extends for ½ of the radius past the edge of the explosion (that is, 1MD produces a 20' radius explosion, 1MD which expends produces a 30' explosion plus 15' of smoke and shrapnel, 4MD of which three are expended produces a 70' blast front plus 105' of smoke and shrapnel). Those caught out of cover by the shrapnel take [sum] damage, save for half. The smoke lingers for ten minutes or until dispersed by a strong wind.

Geist's Fireball
R: 1500' T: a point visible to the caster D: one round per 100'
A bead of white light leaps from the caster's outstretched hand and navigates to the target point, avoiding obstacles along the way. Upon impact a 20' radius sphere is concealed by a wall of opalescence. Living creatures of [dice] or fewer HD inside the sphere save or are reduced to clouds of powerfully acidic salt. This salt clings to other creatures in the area until removed with scrubbing or strong alcohol. If the creature is caught in rain or splashed with water before then, they take 1d6 damage per round for up to [sum] rounds. This spell is deeply offensive to planar entities and gods, and has a [sum]-in-20 chance of provoking reprisal within the next day.

Lightning Bolt

    This spell functions similarly to a bolt of natural lightning, but not identically. A powerful magnetic field is created for a fraction of a second, into which a tiny amount of plasma slightly hotter than the surface of the sun is injected. The field tends to form a long corridor, routing slightly through conductive mediums (e.g. metal armor) and reflecting off of strongly non-conductive mediums (e.g. solid wall of stone and earth), which infamously makes it possible to rebound the "bolt" back through the caster and create an extremely dangerous circuit. I suppose "Inject Plasma as Hot as the Sun into a Magnetic Field, Briefly" is a bit of a mouthful, so "Lightning Bolt" it remains.

Lightning Bolt
R: n/a T: a cylinder 5' in diameter and [dice]*100' long D: instant
In a flash, energy is projected from the caster's outstretched hand, striking all creatures and objects in the targeted volume for [sum] damage, save for half. Creatures wearing or holding large quantities of metal are not permitted to save. The force of the bolt shatters thin barriers, but is reflected off of hills or dungeon-walls, possibly striking the caster and his allies.

Scylla's Lightning Bolt
R: n/a T: [dice] cylinders 5' in diameter and 100' long D: instant:
In a flash, energy is projected from the caster's outstretched hand, striking all creatures and objects in the targeted volumes for [sum] damage, save for half. Creatures wearing or holding large quantities of metal are not permitted to save. After the initial bolts are created, each seeks the nearest creature within 100' and passes through them in a straight line, dealing [sum]-6 damage. This is repeated again, dealing [sum]-12 damage, and so on and so forth until the fury of the storm is spent.

Guinevere's Lightning Bolt
R: n/a T: n/a D: [sum] minutes
In a flash, an orb of energy 10' in diameter appears over the caster's shoulder. It seeks out the caster's enemies, or a target named in the casting, by leaping up to 100' per round and dealing [dice] damage on impact. If requested, this damage is subdual. The orb is as good a tracker as a bloodhound, though a good deal faster and slightly less intelligent.