Saturday Spell-Kill the Lights

The human guards and patrols were pretty tightly packed. With the corridors well lit, Talmuk Rugscrugk had little chance of making his way to the vault with so many eyes in the area.

But they were accustomed to the light of the torches; he had the way to the  vault memorized and knew just the spell for this situation. The goblin mage-thief began to cast, waving his arms, fingers flitting. He muttered “ki gruo liu.” 

The corridor became dark.

This spell intrigues me mechanically, so I’m going to go about this a little different than usual. Let’s talk about how to construct this spell. First we need a scenario and goal. The scenario will be a short (30 feet or so) corridor with plenty of guards and 6 torches spaced down the corridor, 3 on each side, 10 feet apart. The corridor is 10 feet wide. The guards are human, accustomed to high light, and we figure they have no Sense Magic between them, so using magic won’t cause a problem. We want to reach the other end unnoticed.

Unnoticed means no incinerating the guards. There are some good stealth options. 1) We could cast a powerful darkness source and darken the corridor to utter blackness and make a break for it, but that kind of unnatural darkness would tip the guards off to the fact a caster is in the area. 2) We could cast an invisibility spell, but if the light is too high or there is a door, that risks detection with a reasonable perception check. 3) We could turn the torches off. I like this one. The darkness isn’t magical, but it happens suddenly and causes confusion.

I like option 3, but how we turn the torches off affects greatly how stealthy this approach is. The four basic approaches are to 1) blow them out with gusts of wind, 2) douse them with water bubbles, 3) burn them out with a flare of fire, or 4) utterly destroy the torches with earth. We want the one that draws the least immediate attention. There are good arguments for each, but I personally think that if the torches suddenly vanish, in the resulting confusion it would seem plausible that someone picked them up. Other options might be noticed if someone is particularly attentive at the moment of the spell. It also leave minimal evidence for later investigation.

Now we have to talk delivery mechanism. I see two options: 1) Six simultaneously released charges, each with nearly 40 feet of range. 2) A Chain Lightning or Wild Fire approach, which normally allows only an odd number of targets, but we’ll use a bonus DoP to get the sixth, rather than have a one torch over kill. Did I mention I like approach 2? Lastly, we really need a detect syllable to pick out our targets.

We need 2 feet extra from target to target for 10 feet total, plus whatever additional range to reach the first target. We’ll call that range 20 feet and if its more maybe put some bonus DoP toward it. Here’s the spell.

Right Hand:

Dain (Occult Radius): Earth (Full), Order (Indirect)

Oh (Wind Arc):

Oh (Wind Arc): Earth (Full), Order (Indirect)

Dain (Occult Radius):

Left Hand:

Dain (Occult Radius): Wind (Indirect), Chaos (Indirect)

Oh (Wind Arc):

Oh (Wind Arc): Wind (Indirect), Chaos (Indirect)

Dain (Occult Radius):

saying “ki (destroy), gruo (material), liu (detect)”

That should take care of it. With 4d6 cubic feet of dirt destruction we average nearly 3 cubic feet of wood destruction. That’s more than enough for a torches, but we need to account for AoE loss target to target and low rolls. Any extra bonus DoP should be applied to making sure we have enough to completely destroy the last torch. Any remaining bits might raise suspicion.

The spell costs 104 SP, it takes 13.33 seconds to cast with 15 Dex and no agility regardless of handedness.

Did you like seeing the construction of a situation specific spell? It demonstrates the purpose of the Mind Weave spell system. Suggest them below and we might get to them on a later Saturday.

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