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DIY Common Magic

Darius West

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We are all familiar with Rune Quest in its various manifestations.  We all know what basic/spirit/common magic is.  Now here is the question.  Is there a spell not otherwise covered within the rules that you think should be there?  We all know the sort of cantrip-like magic we are talking about, so nothing OP.  To get the ball rolling, here is a favorite of mine:


Touch.  Active 2pt

Cast on moist or damp subjects, this spell causes excess water to be liberated as a short burst of steam, rendering them increasingly dry with each casting.  This spell is valuable for drying one's clothes or gear after immersion in water, especially vulnerable gear such as bowstrings, fletching, etc.  It is also useful for preserving herbs, protecting wet books and scrolls from further damage, stopping the shrinkage of woolen garments, causing glues and resins to set faster, and seasoning timber with roughly 20 repeated castings.  It might even be used to dry simple clay objects in the absence of a kiln with repeated castings.  Casting against a live creature is also possible, requiring a successful POW vs POW contest, and inflicting 2hp damage if successful, but limited by the range of touch.  The damage can be healed normally but in place of a bandage, drinkable fluid is required.

Edited by Darius West
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Some of the non-standard spells in my campaign are:

Banish Pests - removes fleas, ticks, mites, aphids, etc. from one targeted life form. One point spell.

Purge Internal Parasites - purges mundane but not magical internal parasites and their eggs, etc. It also induces immediate and uncomfortable defecation for five minutes and can on occasion induce vomitting as well. The target must resist the spell even if they wish to be purged. Three point, ritual spell.

Ears of the Fox - Variable point spell which improves hearing skills by 5% per point or halves the perceived distance of the heard sound by 50% per point of the spell.

Spirit Chanting - Variable point spell which gives +5% per point of spell to spirit speech and can be used to give a temporary spirit speech ability to one who does not understand it.

Limited Invisibility - Variable point spell, concentration spell, Targeted at one target to make the caster invisible by distraction to that target. It can also be used to make invisible one other single person (instead of the caster) of the caster's choice, who the caster is touching during the casting of the spell. It's a variable point spell but the initial cost is two intelligence points with an additional point per level above; extra levels add more targets to the spell but not more recipients of its veil. It replaces the invisibility spell which is very rare and highly controlled in my game.

Clean Fabric - for removing stains and messes.

Tickle - Variable point spell, concentration spell, a favourite spell for tricksters and the like. If the target's power is overcome it loses 5% off all skill checks per point of the spell. On a special success the penalties are doubled and on a critical success the target is disabled with laughter and squirming. It lasts for one minute before the sensation subsides enough to not impede the target. The discomfort lasts for five minutes.

Stumble Tongue - Variable point spell which reduces the target's ability to use any communication skill by -5% per point of the spell if the caster overcomes the target. Special success doubles the penalty and a critical success makes the target incomprehensible except for non-verbal sign language or miming.

Dream Scaping - targeted at a sleeping being in direct sight (dark vision counts) the caster can share a dream experience with the target and can influence dreams if the target's power is overcome. Regular success means minor images or alterations which might be remembered (caster's power X 1); special success is a more major alteration which will be remembered upon waking at caster's power X 3. Critical success means the ability to fully orchestrate and control the dream with the caster's power X 5 to fully remember the whole dream vividly. If the caster fails to overcome the target's power then the target will awaken on a power X 1 roll using the target's power. A fumbled attempt to overcome the target's power immediately awakens the target with the strong sense that something is wrong. This is a four point, concentration spell and is tightly controlled by both benign and malign groups who know of it. 

Naughty Nimble Fingers - Variable point spell, concentration spell which improves manipulation based skills by +5% per point of spell and reduces the chance of observes from detecting the manipulation by 5% per point too.

Cheers and good gaming.


Edited by Evilroddy
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Here are a few from my Brightwater campaign:

First - a spell that the Tusk-Riders possess:

Agony [Beast, Magic]                       Ranged      POW Check – Yes

Cost to Learn – Initiation, 1 Permanent POWer per level     

Magnitude – Variable; Caster must dedicate a single Action per round to the Magnitude

in rounds or the spell ceases.

If the target’s POW is overcome, it suffers an immediate 1d3 damage to a random location [1d20], and loses the use of that location for his or her next action because of the intense pain. Each Magnitude subjects the target to another contest of POW and the listed effects on following rounds. Thus a Magnitude 4 spell would cost 4 POW and last for 4 rounds, subjecting the target to 4 POW vs. POW rolls to avoid the Agony.

If the Head, Abdomen or Chest is rolled and POW overcome, the target is overwhelmed by the pain and loses his next action.



A spell favored by Ogres:

Flesh to Scone [Man, Magic]                        Range – touch                       POW Check – Yes?

Cost to Learn – Initiation, 1 Permanent POWer per level

Materials – any added flavourings to the dough [raisins are common]         

Magnitude – Variable 

Duration – 15 Minutes if living flesh, Permanent if dead flesh

Each level of the spell affects one 1d6 SIZ of flesh, alive or dead, instantly transforming it into an identical volume of spongy biscuit, with or without raisins, cheese, or other oddments added at the time of casting. If cast upon a living creature, the Target’s SIZ must be equaled by the rolled SIZ of the Spell, AND the target’s POW must be overcome. If cast upon dead flesh, the spell simply transforms the rolled SIZ worth of flesh. The taste of the transformed flesh is unchanged. Living flesh tastes like flesh, complete with [so the author is told] the burst of blood on the palate at first bite, the tang of confusion and fear, etc. Only the senses of sight, smell and touch are fooled by the change.

While a living target is transformed they are, blind, deaf and paralyzed, but aware. They can take purely mental actions, but cannot move or speak. They also will experience no physical sensation while transformed. Whether this is a mercy or not is debatable. Should a living target be dispelled or survive the duration of the spell, any SIZ removed while en-sconed remains gone. Only a Heal 6 or greater will restore SIZ lost in this way. 



A spell favored by archers and especially crossbow users:

Reload [Movement, Magic]             Range – Personal Weapon Touched

Cost to Learn – variable 

Time to cast – 1 Action, including shooting the weapon if it is ready.

Magnitude – Variable

Duration – 5 Minutes

Each magnitude of Reload reduces the number of rounds that a weapon requiring actions takes to reload. If the Magnitude of Reload is equal to the number of actions required to load a weapon, it may be shot along with the casting of the spell. Otherwise, the loading time is reduced by the Magnitude. Thus with Reload 1, a Recurve or Short Bow could be shot each Action, whereas a Heavy Crossbow would take two actions to reload instead of three. The spell lasts as long as the weapon is in continuous use, or until a number of rounds equal to the Magnitude has expired. So, Magnitude 3 Reload would allow a Heavy Crossbow to be shot each round for three rounds, at a cost of 3 POW.

            This spell may affect larger weapons, such as siege machinery, but the Magnitude required for each round is double. So Reload 2 would reduce the number of Rounds the engine required to reload by 1, for example. Reload 1 has no effect on Siege Weapons.

            Reload may be cast on weapons that are under the effects of spells such as Multimissile or Speed Dart.




Edited by Baelor
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I wasn't aware that we were dong minor, just Common Magic. I might have misunderstood.

Agony is only available to Tusk Riders, which, I have worked differently in my game so they don't get a lot of other magic. Also it costs permanent POW to learn.

Reload: I was finding that no one bothered with a ranged weapon unless forced, because of the reload time. Reload allows players to actually consider bows in combat. But I admit that it could be exploited in some situations, though I have not seen that in my game.

Edited by Baelor
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  • make offerings and sing songs to Mr. Berry Bush and Old Man Acorn Grove
  • sacrifice when needed to Sister Water, The Guy in the Pool
  • wave their spell sticks over the butter pot to make that special cheese
  • pay the gal with the Healing Charms to get rid of the flux
  • eat the "color shrooms" when they need to find their cattle
  • go without food and water for three days when they want to find the pigs lost in the woods
  • chant over the birds found dead in the woods
  • bake special bread and leave it out for the things that used to come out of the woods
  • lay aside a portion of the ale for the ghosts of those who died near their creek
  • toss salt over their shoulder for good luck
  • cross their fingers and knock on wood
  • offer their own blood when the baby is sick



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What really happened?  The only way to discover that is to experience it yourself.

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Hi, yes, the brief was DIY Common Magic Baelor, so no Rune Magic, just "little" spells.  I love the fact that you included the stats. 

In terms of Agony, I think that it is a disruption spell with a pain effect, so increase the MP required to cast it, and have it only affect 1 location, and rather than agony call it pain, and have it incapacitate the victim if they fail a CON x4 roll

As to the ogre spell, I am sorry to raise this, but I think you are treading on some toes with that one.  If you recall, there is a certain cult IRL that is all about raisin the dead, that has a spell called "transubstantiation" which involved turning human meat into bread. In short I think it might be Divine Magic rather than common (or Sorcery).

Reload seems like a regimental spell.

For the record, I think Fireblade and Firearrow from RQ2 &3 are OP, and should just give an extra 1d6 damage over base weapon damage, not 3d6 flat.  That is a Glorantha Second Age improvement I like.

Roko Joko:  Spells in order=  Foodsong, Placate (Sister Water, Guy in  the Pool), Cheese Culture, Resist Disease, Detect Cattle, Detect Pig, Peaceful Cut, Placate (Woodland Entities),   Placate (Ancestors, Ghosts), Luck, Luck, Xemelan Healing.

This does raise the issue of the need for spells to placate local entities.  I think the placate spell would take about 4MP, would identify who the gift is for, and would cause the entity to be non-hostile to the caster and their party, and probably wander off for a while.

As to Luck, it is a simple spell that reduces your fumble chance to 00 rolls only for 1MP.

Evilroddy.  Good spells.  I am thinking that Dreamscape is more of a ritual than Common Magic though.  As for your Limited Invisibility, it is a good spell, but probably needs a different name, like Cause Distraction. It is a damn good idea though, as Invisibility is OP the way it is written up.

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