Thursday, January 26, 2017

Exploring Cantrips: Acid Splash

Description: You fire a small orb of acid at the target. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to hit your target. The orb deals 1d3 points of acid damage. This acid disappears after 1 round.


The heart of this is the ability to conjure acid. Whether you use it offensively or not, everyone who can cast this now has the ability to apply acid where they will. Today acid is used to create fertilizer, dyes, paints, and explosives. Perhaps the ready availability of acid would accelerate these discoveries? 

Acid could also be used to get rid of unwanted materials: corpses, both of murder victims and natural causes, as well as perhaps misguided attempts to deal with waste disposal, resulting in awful side products that would be worse than the original problem.

It could also be used for 'pickling', where the surface of metals is cleansed of imperfections. A service offered by weapon smiths? Used perhaps to scrub/clean any kind of surface that defies easy washing? 

And of course there's the obvious offensive use, employed by thugs and muggers. I doubt the state would use acid against prisoners or rebels, so it would probably be an underworld kind of thing. 

I'm not coming up with much here. Nothing really world shattering, at any rate. Not until chemistry grew more advanced, allowing for the creation of more complex substances. 


Actually, after further thought, I take this back. The very fact that any intelligent woman could possibly cast a ball of acid into your face if attacked/molested would suddenly change the dynamics on the street. It's like our modern license to carry arms. You never know who might be able to melt off your face. And while the number of women who could do this would be small, and no doubt relegated to the educated and wealthy, it would still give men greater pause in a time and place where abuse was far more common than it is today.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Exploring Cantrips: Resistance

Description: You imbue the subject with magical energy that protects it from harm, granting it a +1 resistance bonus on saves.


This would affect will, fortitude, and dexterity saving throws. Which in turn covers all forms of challenges and trials, with everything ranging from resisting diseases and poison to mind control to accidents and magic in general. 

This is potent and while not game changing - it's a +1 after all - it can more than double most average people's chances of falling afoul of something. The kicker, however, lies in its duration: 1 minute. 

What sort of ills can someone expect to befall them within the next minute? People going into dangerous buildings, such as ruins or those that are on fire. People entering sick wards or dealing with very ill patients. People entering courts where their wills might be twisted. 

Then again, there is no limit to how often this can be cast, so if the caster were willing to attend the others, they could renew the charge every minute. So doctors going on their rounds, firemen entering buildings - well, not so much, as there would be too much active danger to the accompanying mage. It could perhaps give sick people a temporary boost, such that going from one bed to the next would be of help. Dangerous sites could have someone placed there for good will... 

The one clear example I'm coming up with is hospitals and the sick. That's a stable environment with a constant problem that could benefit from this spell being cast on a normal basis. The other two saves - will and reflex - are too situational and brief to be of regular public use. 

The other use of course is for adventurers, guards, and criminals, who knowingly enter dangerous situations. Casting this on themselves before breaking into a home or invading a criminal den would be wise. So groups of people who engage in dangerous activities routinely would probably have someone who could temporarily boost their resistances. 

I could also see students paying to have this cast before exams simply for good luck. Judges, to avoid influence? Duelists? 

So, in summary: this cantrip would be of constant use and thus perhaps a presence in hospitals or by doctor's sides, embedded in criminal/law enforcement/adventurer groups, perhaps occasionally used by students going into exams, duelists about to fight, or judges or others going into court who wish to avoid mental manipulation. Finally, fire fighters and construction workers in perilous locations would probably pay to have this cast on them as they go into a dangerous site.