Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More Barsoomian Magic from Michael Curtis

Hold Person – 2nd                               Sphere = Earth
Time/Duration = one action/ 1 round per level
Range/Effect = 2” per level/one creature
Saving throw = Fortitude
This spell causes a single target to be held in place as if encased in clay.  The magic of this invocation fastens the creature’s feet to the earth, causing flying creatures to fall and swimming creatures to sink.  The affected creature can see and hear, but may not speak, move, attack, or cast spells.  Held, sleeping, unconscious, or defenseless opponents enjoy no bonus to their armor class for dexterityor parrying and their enemies gain a +5 bonus to strike them.        A held, sleeping, unconsciousor defenseless being also rolls a d12 on  reflex and fortitude  based saving throws.

“The girl was still slightly under the spell of the creature’s influence—she had not regained full and independent domination of her powers.  She moved as one in the throes of some hideous nightmare—slowly, painfully, as though each limb was hampered by a great weight, or as she was dragging her body through viscous fluid.”   (CM, VI)


Hold Portal – 1st                                 Sphere = Earth
Time/Duration = one action/ d6 days
Range/Effect = touch/one closeable portal
Saving throw = 2d6 Strength throw
      This spell magically seals a single door or window, rendering it difficult to open.  A remove curse negates the spell, as does a successful strength throw against a DC of 12 on 2d6.  The caster of the original automatically bypasses the effect of held portals.     The material component is a reusable silver key (5 sc).


Type of Barrier
Strength Throw (2d6)
Damp/ stuck door
Solid/ locked interior door
Held Portal/ Banded  door
Reinforced door / manacles
Heavy chains /iron bars
Minor city gate  

Using a crowbar (1 sc, 2#) grants a +2 bonus to individual Strength throws.  If using a battering ram  (10 gc, 20#), a d20 is rolled adding the average Strength modifier of the four people employing the ram. 


Light – 1st                                                                    Sphere = Fire
Time/Duration = one round/1 zode per level
Range/Effect = 3” radius/1 object
Saving throw = N.A.

This spell brightly illuminates a 4” radius as if it were a torch.  The light spell or power produces no heat and can be cast on a transportable object such as a coin, dagger, rock, spear tip, etc.  The spell can be reversed, creating darkness that imposes a -4 penalty to all attack rolls made by creatures within its area of effect.  Darkness cancels out light and vice versa.  The material component is a piece of phosphorus (1 sc).


Lightning – 3rd                                    Sphere = Air
Time/Duration = one action/instantaneous
Range/Effect = 3” per level/ one creature
Saving throw = Reflex

By casting this spell, the priest creates a bolt of lightning that bursts from his palm to strike a target with explosive force.  Damage caused by the bolt is equal to one d6 per level of the caster.  Damage is increased to one d8 per level if cast outdoors or at a target standing in or immersed in water.  Likewise, damage is d10 per caster level if the target is outdoors during a rain or thunderstorm (an unlikely occurrence outside of Barsoom’s south pole). A successful save reduces the damage inflicted by half.  Casting this spell requires no vocalization, merely a series of gestures and a determined glare.

Mending – 1st                                       Sphere = Earth
Time/Duration = one xat/ 1 month per level
Range/Effect = touch/1 object
Saving throw = none

This spell repairs fractures or tears in metal, ceramic, leather, or cloth objects.  The object to be repaired cannot be larger than the caster’s level in mass units (#).  This spell will repair a magical item that has been shattered or otherwise broken, but the mended object loses its magical properties.  It retains its craftsmanship, however, and is now treated as a masterwork item (+1 modifier to skill or attack rolls, but no damage bonus).  Material component is a handful of dirt.

Message – 4th                                       Sphere = Sound

Time/Duration = one action/ instantaneous
Range/Effect = infinite/one target
Saving throw = none

      The magic of this spell instantaneously sends a spoken message from the caster to one chosen friend or ally with no restriction on distance between the two parties.  The recipient of the message is aware of who sent the message, but not the location of the sender.  The message is received without error and cannot consist of more words than the caster has levels.


Might of the White Ape – 2nd           Sphere = Combat

Time/Duration = one round/2d6 xats
Range/Effect = touch/one creature
Saving throw = Fortitude

This spell temporarily increased the Strength of a single creature by one point for every level possessed by the spell caster (maximum +10).  This divinely-granted increase is not visible to the naked eye (the target does not increase in size or physique) and it is therefore considered dishonorable to use this enchantment in duels or contests between warriors.   An unwanted might of the white ape can be resisted with a successful saving throw. The material component for this spell is a single, pristine hair plucked from a white ape’s scalp (1gc).

Negate Poison – 4th                            Sphere = Water

Time/Duration = one xat/ instantaneous
Range/Effect = touch/one creature
Saving throw = none

This spell neutralizes the effects of poison or venom from a single creature.  For the spell to be effective, no more than 10 xats per level of the spell caster can have elapsed since the moment the target was exposed to the poison.  The spell reverses mundane and magical venoms, and will restore lost ability points, but not hit points lost to the poison.   This does not impart future immunity from other poisonous attacks.  The material component is the priest’s holy symbol and a crushed amethyst (250gc).

“The fair-skinned, yellow-haired warriors, armed only with their long bows and a kind of short-handled, war-axe, were almost helpless beneath the savage mounted green men at close quarters; but at a distance their sharp arrows did fully as much execution as the radium projectiles of the green men…
                “Death seemed to follow instantly the slightest prick of a bowman’s arrow, nor apparently did one ever miss its goal.  There could be but only one explanation: the missiles were poisoned-tipped…
                “Thousands of dead lay upon the field a moment since.  It would have required many hours to remove them.  The thing is uncanny.”   (TMM, V-VI)
Artwork by Frazetta
Miniatures by BronzeAgeMiniaturesDOTcom

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