"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, January 9, 2012

Monstrous Compendium Annual - Volume Four, Arcane Blessing

There is not much that needs to be said about this book. The  Monstrous Compendium Annuals were a great idea and this one in my  opinion is the best of them. It is not a dramatic change that  makes it the best and I am not taking into account the creatures  contained inside. This version included information about the  setting, periodical or other possibilities where the monster  originated in. This is not a major improvement but enough to set  it apart.

One can never have too many monsters is something I am certain I  have said before. This may not always be true though. I think it  needs to be modified to say that one can never have too many good  monsters to draw from. At some point the line has been reached  where the monsters are just either rehashing existing monsters,  just plain silly or even worse a combination of the two problems  above. This book had not fallen prey to that problem. This along  with its predecessors are worth additions to a DM's arsenal of  nasties.

Published: 1998
Pages: 96

From the Back of the Book:

Welcome to Annual Number Four! Drawn from our best adventures of  the recent past--not to mention the pages of DRAGON, DUNGEON, and  POLYHEDRON Magazines--this volume also returns old classics to  print and introduces some critters never before seen!

Over 100 creatures are presented, from the Prismatic Dragon and  the Clockwork Horrors to the Shades from the Demiplane of Shadow.  Creatures in this book have come from the FORGOTTEN REALMS,  BIRTHRIGHT, DRAGONLANCE, RAVENLOFT, DARK SUN, RED STEEL, and  GREYHAWK settings (and a few have just sprung from the fertile  minds of their creators).

This collection, which is fully indexed, features new monsters  from the Far Realm, and includes many creatures suitable for  nautical and undersea adventures.


Arcane Blessing

Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: 24 Hours
Area of Effect: 1 Creature/Level
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 6 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user bestows upon the selected  targets a blessing. The blessing will remain in effect for a  period of 24 hours.

When this spell is cast the magic user must select an additional  spell of up to third level. The other spell is then sacrificed  and the combined magical energies of the two spells are consumed  to provide the selected targets with a magical bonus to almost  all rolls except for damage calculations. The level of the spell  sacrificed will be the amount of the modifier.

The bonus will apply to the targets To Hit rolls as well as to  any saving throws they are required to make. It will also be used  as a modifier as needed to any ability checks or skill checks.  The modification will be a plus or minus as appropriate. The DM  can also apply the blessing to any other rolls that they think it  should be applied to.

There can only be one Arcane Blessing in place at any given time.  Higher level blessings will replace older ones of a lower level  but not the opposite of that. Attempts to place a lower level can  be made but the spell will fizzle and the sacrificed spell is  lost.

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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