"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Monday, December 19, 2011

AC11 The Book of Wondrous Inventions, Vermin Spy

I sometimes read people talking crap about WG7 and I can't defend it all that well but it does not deserve the ridicule it gets as much as this book does. I am not one of those people who take the game too serious. I love a good pun and Monty Python reference as much as the next person but this book ....really...I am at a loss for words.

I know this was reviewed at Something Awful and they will have done a much better job at beating it up than I ever could. The sad part is that this was a serious product that they charged real money for. If the introduction says that the items in the book should be viewed with humor then I think it might not be something you charge money for.

Many of these items, maybe all or the vast majority, were written as gnomish inventions. Gnomes take a beating in the game as well and though I have only ever played one gnome in all my years of gaming I don't think they deserve the hate they get sometimes. It is books like this that don't help that cause.

I have said many times that every book has something of value that can be taken from it. I am sure there is some gem in here that I have overlooked. If you own this I feel your shame as I own it as well. If you can find it dirt cheap and can shake off the eventual shame of having bought it go ahead but don't say you weren't warned.

Published 1987
Pages 96

From the Back of the Book:

Have you ever wondered why, in a world full of magic, there are no enchanted labor-saving devices? Few magical modes of transportation? No bespelled byproducts of the inventor's art? Wonder no more! They are all here, in this latest compendium from the Game Wizard's lair: The Book of Wondrous Inventions!

The Book of Wondrous Inventions is usable with both the D&D and the AD&D game systems. Each invention is clearly outlined, including function, form, and hazards of use. Statistics and spell details are presented in a manner compatible with both game systems. Adventure scenario suggestions are given, as well as design instructions for characters who wish to build a duplicate device.

As an added bonus, a section is included which details a system for creating spells and magical items. This will prove especially useful to players and DMs who use the D&D game system; the detailed information is also of help to AD&D game players.



Spell:

Vermin Spy


Level: Third
Range: 6"
Duration: 1 Turn/Level
Area of Effect: 1 Creature/Level
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None

By means of this spell the magic user is able to summon forth a  small contingent of four legged spies. The spell will imbue the  creatures with low level intelligence for the duration of the  spell. The spell will also allow the caster to communicate with  them.

The creatures summoned will most often be rats or mice but the DM  can insert other common four legged pests as needed for the area  the spell is being cast in. These creatures will have their  intelligence increased to the point where they can be given  specific orders and understand them. The creatures can observe  and report but will not fight.

The vermin will be able to tell numbers and describe general  locale information but not provide details such as races and  detailed contents of rooms. They are not to be considered dumb  but they will have a limited knowledge base to draw upon. The  creatures are serving willingly and will try to be as helpful as  they can.

Anytime this spell is cast there is a 1% chance that one of the  vermin will retain their increased intelligence. When this occurs  the creature will not desire to stay with the caster but strike  off on their own. They will often form large communities of their  kind training the others to perform routine tasks becoming a  ruler of their kind accumulating "wealth" and even information.

The material component of this spell will be a type of foodstuff  that is palatable to the vermin as well as a small silver flute.  The flute can be reused but the food will be eaten by the spies.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the  write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the  80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other  than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be  slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of  spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :)  Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on  me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please  let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.

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