JP On Gaming

Thursday, November 17, 2011

[Avatar of the Kaga] Spells and Tomes of Exodus

The NeoExodus campaign book contains just under sixty new spells for your group. Unlike the feats (which we saw yesterday), many of those spells are "generic" and could be used in other settings and campaigns. Spells are interesting and fun to design, but balance is also a big factor in determining if GMs will use them or ban them. Many spells in there affect perceptions and senses,

There are a few novelties (or course!).

First is the return of the First Ones spell subtype. Spells marked with this subtype first appeared in Enemies of NeoExodus: Widowmaker Scarlet. These spells call upon an inner darkness that should be repugnant to most people. Here is the entry for the subtype.

First Ones: Spells marked with the First Ones subtype are spells that call upon an inner darkness, a dark energy that most spellcasters avoid. Possessing a copy or knowledge of these spells is considered heresy by the Sanguine Covenant.

Second, many of our spells are only available to clerics of a certain deity. For example, the Sanguine Covenant has access to spells that protect one from shapeshifters, while the Cult of the Dragon has access to spells that unleash elemental fury, and Xonism provide its clerics with undeath-related powers.

Tied with spells, we have added to the game, the notion of magic tomes. These tomes are presented in a way that is both reminiscent of Call of Cthulhu and the old grimoire entries from Dragon magazines. Our goal is to give GMs another tool or quest-reward that is not a +1 longsword. Tomes can provide players with additional knowledge about a given topic, customizable to the current quest. The campaign book presents six of them, five of which have spells within and one without.

Tomes require some time to read and understand. As such, they provide bonuses to skills when dealing with a particular subject. For example, the Libram of Lunacy provides +5 competence bonus to the following skills: any Knowledge skill with regards to creatures with the shapechanger subtype, Knowledge (arcana) for astrological purposes taking a few minutes to consult this eldritch tome would grant someone who already ready the book (takes a few days to do so, the system is provided in the book).

The tomes found in the campaign book are the Hymnal of Sacred Flame, Libram of Lunacy, Manual of Burials, Raiding the Sorcerer-King, Somes Planaris Magicae and the Tome of Sensation. One of those tomes has already been included into one of the upcoming NeoExodus adventure!

Each tome entry is presented as follows to give everyone a good idea of what it contains but leaving a LOT of room for game-related additions.

Full Name gives the exact name of the book if different than the usual name
Author gives details about the author of the book.
Description describes the book and what it looks like.
Content describes what the book is about. Since few books "only" contain spells this details what the prose includes.
Status reveals whether or not this book is considered heretical by the Sanguine Covenant.
Language gives the original language in which the book was written. Generally, a book in the original language is more detailed and more complete than other, later copies.
Locations give the known location of the book. Private collectors often have copies of these tomes in their collection.
Reference gives the skill bonus given by spending 5 minutes to reference the book. If the PC lacks the Knowledge skill, having the book does not allow one to make a check, unless mentioned.
Spells gives the list of spells found in the original. This list is far from exhaustive. Feel free to add to the list as need be.
Other Versions gives a list of other versions of the book. These versions are often of lower quality or poorly translated. Their game effects and contents are listed.

Next Time: GM goodies, a look at the monsters found in the NeoExodus campaign book.


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