Saturday, August 11, 2012

A "Late Vancian" Spell for Your Old School Game

A little content follow-up (the first of several) to this post about my desire for some “Late Vancian” indirect magic.

Summon and Bind Minor Sandestin
Magic-User Level 2
Range: 10'
Duration: Special

Yonder are the stones! I seized them while she bathed. I suggest that you send a sandestin to replace them with the false stones. If you hurry, there is still time; the Murthe dallies at her toilette.”
- Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous

Now I am more settled, and I no longer try to fathom fairy logic. Someday, if you like, I will explain the difference between fairy magic and sandestin magic, which is used by most magicians.”
- Jack Vance, Madouc

Sandestins of lesser-stature are summoned and bound by casting this spell formula as part of a ritual. Ritual materials fluctuate in cost at 1d4 x 100 gp. Only one sandestin can be bound into service for each five levels of the mage.

Once per day the sandestin can be called upon to act as Unseen Servant. Once a week it will also produce the effect of an extra first-level spell (this spell must be specified before the session begins). Once a month it will produce an extra second-level spell (again this must be specified beforehand).

As perennially lazy creatures sandestins are constantly seeking to "work to rule". At the beginning of a session the DM should secretly rolls 4d6 against the magic-users INT (this roll can be modified to reflect good/bad roleplaying by the player as it wheedles and negotiates with the sandestin). If the roll is above the INT score roll a d6 the following mishap chart:

Escapes. The sandestin finds a loophole in their contract and breaks free. The magic user must attempt to summon and bind a new sandestin.
Major Bending. The sandestin has managed to find a work around its spell obligations almost completely. No second-level spells can be cast. First level spells are ignored by the sandestin or on a roll of 1 on a d4 attempt be reversed in effect, double back on the caster, or ignored. As an Unseen Servant the sandestin may lie and not complete tasks if out of eye shot
Minor Bending. No second-level spells can be cast. As an Unseen Servant the sandestin may lie and not complete tasks if out of eye shot.

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