Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cantrips For Christmas

Debating a number of things to post about, I think I'll keep this simple and straight-forward.  I already mentioned these on my campaign blog, but it's useful to copy them over here.

Just a few ideas for cantrips, spells not meant to be especially powerful, but to add that bit of window dressing that makes playing a mage fun.  These would all be legerdemain cantrips.


Creates an ordinary piece of household furniture, a chair, stool, small writing table, single-person bed or cot, cabinet, end table, cupboard or screen ... any of which will continue to exist so long as the mage is in physical contact with the item.

Thus, if the mage is sitting in the chair, laying on the bed, hiding behind the screen or inside a cupboard, the item will remain ... but upon letting go, the item will dissolve and disappear.

If the item receives a sharp blow, for example if it were used as a club, it would cause 1-3 damage upon a hit but then shatter and dissolve.  If two persons were attempt to sleep in the single bed, the bed would last for an hour and then break up and dissolve.  However, it will serve the mage all night and all day if he or she remains in it alone.

The DM may decide if a bench allowing two or three persons to sit is possible.


Creates any ordinary household object made of pottery or earthenware up to one cubic foot.  Pots, jugs, cups, mugs, plates, vases or jars are possible, or things of that kind.  The object will remain in existence until the sun rises the next day, until dropped (in which case it will automatically shatter and dissolve) or otherwise given a sharp blow.  The object will serve as a missile, causing 1-2 damage upon hitting, whereupon it will break and cease existence.

If used gently, the object will serve to hold water, or as a chamberpot, and will even allow itself to be fired if its use is desired to melt metals in an oven.


Like pottery, only this creates an up to one cubic foot object made of wood, such as a smoking pipe, spoon, candleholder, whistle, toy, windvane, bowl, cup, birdcage, ball, box, etc.  Like with pottery, the object can be thrown and will cause 1-2 damage, but will split and dissolve afterwards.  The types of wood that can be created are limited to pine, spruce, fir, oak, chestnut and maple.


Creates a small, useful object for up to 1 hour, which can be used as normally.  Such objects would include a corkscrew, woodplane, metal whistle, chisel, flint or steel (but not both), fish hook, sewing needle, dice cup or a die, a metal stamp (without an image) or tongs.  Other objects may be agreed to by the DM, so long as it is nothing that can conceivably be used directly as a weapon or as a threat.

There, just a few ideas.


Butch said...

I like Thingamajig!

Hm... in my never-ending quest to find a way to use harmless Cantrips in harmful ways...

My first thought was to use an object created via Pottery or Woodcraft as a burning oil delivery mechanism. Don't have to worry about the flask not shattering.

But that's too easy.

How about using it as a Timebomb?

I leave an innocuous looking container -- perhaps a perfect box with no apparent way to open it -- inside a home I wish to destroy. The following morning, the sun rises and the box disappears. Releasing 7 gallons of flammable oil, a couple angry rattlesnakes, or anything else that you'd care to deliver to an enemy.

Alexis said...

Okay, but you MUST leave the snakes on Christmas morning!

Lukas said...

So... When can I take these?

Alexis said...

Thinking about it, it does occur to me that some of the cubic foot occupied by your box has to actually be box ... so probably not quite seven gallons.

Also, it does say "ordinary household article," which would not include perfect boxes with no apparent way to open it. That would be quite the extraordinary article. Thus, the wooden box would have to be created so as to have sides and a bottom held together with joints, like a craftsman would create it, and NOT one piece as though carved from wood (which would still be extraordinary)

Alexis said...

Either 1) exchange a present legerdemain cantrip for one of these (which is my usual policy on new rules).

Or 2) Next time you go up a level and I randomly roll "legerdemain" as one of the cantrips you get to choose from.

Butch said...

Hm... now I'm pondering using one of these spells to activate a Rube Goldberg machine.

In effect, the spell is used as a timer. The object that triggers the Rube Goldberg device disappears either at sunrise (Pottery or Woodcraft? no time limit given for that one) or in one hour (Thingamajig), which sets off a cascade of events which ultimately end in me becoming master of the universe. (Details to follow.)

Alexis said...

There are a number of spells that could be used in a like manner. A heat metal spell that would cause a filament to evaporate and release a trap. An freeze cantrip which would let a ball fall into a tube of water once the ice melted. That sort of thing.