"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

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dragon #54, Cassandra's Minor Replicas

I try to not use issues of Dragon magazine too much. I will use them sparingly and only when they have some significance to me or stand out for some reason. Issue #54 is one of the ones that stand out in my mind. This issue very much IMHO could be the benchmark for why Dragon Magazine back in the early days was so good. This issue has "Cavern Quest" which is a competition module. I will not say it was the best module they ever used but I liked it because it was different. The next item of note was the write up on how to create a DM designed mythos even though it was, unbeknown to me,  from the setting that would later replace my much beloved Greyhawk as the default TSR game world. The next item of note is one of the two best parts of the issue. This is the multipage write up on Ruins and how to construct what is in them. I may have used this article as much as any I ever read during my early DM days. Next there is a great article on "Weapon Dame"....not to the victim but to the weapon and with fumbles. I did not implement that but it was mined for ideas. Next comes a write up of the Jabberwock which was just it for me as far as monster write ups. There is also an expanded write up for Boot Hill dealing with price lists and equipment and the final episode of Finieous Fingers for Dragon Magazine. The best though was the short fiction called "Abomination" by D. Aaron Achen. I won't spoil it for those that have not read it but there are few short fiction pieces I remember almost 30 years after first reading them. Do they still make gaming magazines this jam packed with worthwhile material? If so can someone tell me the name of them.


Cassandra's Minor Replicas

Level: Fifth
Range: 6"
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Ares Effect: Caster
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None

With the casting of this spell the magic user brings into being a number of physical replicas of themselves. There will be 2-5 replicas created for each casting of the spell. Each replica will be free acting and will not require any direction from the magic user but will know immediately what the caster would and will want done as soon as the caster thinks it. The replicas will have non-magical version of any equipments that the caster may have but these items will have no special abilities. It should be noted that the replicas will have working copies of any material components in the casters immediate possession.

The replicas will each have one quarter of the casters hit points and their armor class regardless of what armor is worn will be AC6 less one for every two levels over 9th. The replicas will have none of the casters magical abilities but can go through the motions of casting spells just as the caster would. If engaged in combat the replicas will fight as if they are one half the level of the caster. Should a replica be killed before the duration of the spell expires or the caster ends it the caster will suffer 2-5 points of damage.

The material component of this spell is a small wax figure in the general shape of the caster. The wax figure must contain some part of the caster be it hair, blood or even part of a mail etc. The wax figure is destroyed with the casting of the spell.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up 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.


Trey said...

Cool spell.

Tim Snider said...

This is my favorite issue of Dragon for all of the reasons stated. I still have my original (and tattered) copy. I've reread Abomination a zillion times over the years.