Friday, December 20, 2019

Secret Santicorn 2019: D66 short, utility-only spells

Secret Santicorn came up again on the OSR discord, but this time around, I have a functioning blog to post things on and no school to get in the way. So, here's my writeup for @annowme's prompt of "d66 short, utility-only spells". Annowme, I hope you like them!

From Demonui

The prompt specified "utility-only", which I decided to use as a constraint to write spells with as limited combat utility as possible, however, I'm sure that a smart player could find some sort of use for all of them, and as things went on, I found it harder and harder to not think of combat situations, so the latter half of the list does have some. A fair number of them ended up somewhat tech themed, but the names could be tweaked for a less gonzo game. They are all written to be system neutral, and I wasn't sure on some of the specifics cause I figured the gift recipient may want to tweak those to their preference, or have them scale somewhat.

All spells are assumed to be level 1 spells, or in a system without leveled spells, they can be somewhat improved on with more dice/power invested. Unless otherwise specified, the durations are all 10 minutes.

11 Ping: Caster lets out a ultrasonic wave that maps out the nearby area. Functions like sonar, and can detect invisible objects or entities.
41 Temperate Touch: An object touched can be heated or cooled. This is enough to boil water, or freeze it, but not enough to affect an area larger than about 1 square foot.

12 Escape Rope: Teleports caster and any number of willing targets to the entry point of the dungeon they are in.

42 Ventriloquism: Caster can throw their voice and have it emerge from somewhere else nearby without moving their own mouth.
13 Ariadne's Thread: Once cast, the caster can perfectly retrace their steps through any environment without getting lost for the duration.

43 Adhesive: Stick any two adjacent objects together for the spell's duration.
14 Copy: Create a copy of a small object or signature. Can be reversed to detect if an object or signature is not an original.

44 Grease: Make a surface (10x10 area or less) incredibly slippery and impossible for anyone to keep their balance on.
15 Arcane Eye: Target a small object or location. For the duration of the spell, you can see out of that object as if it were your eye.

45 Photograph: Creates a small postcard sized representation of what you can see in front of you.
16 Ward: Target an area (10x10?). If a creature enters that area you get a ping in your head.
46 Iron Gullet: Transforms your stomach and throat into a sturdy vessel for transporting liquids. For the duration of the spell, you can swallow dangerous fluids, sharp objects, and all manner of objects as long as they fit inside your mouth without harm. They can be spat back out at any time before the spell ends.

21 Historical Reconstruction: Generates a holographic image of the history of your immediate surroundings. With more skill you can hone in on a particular point of history, otherwise this reveals the most charged historical moment that happened in that space.

51 Conjure Rope: Creates 50' of hemp rope.
22 Speak with Dead: You can speak with the spirit of a corpse, however the longer they have been dead the more likely the subject doesn't remember details or has already moved on.

52 Wall of Force: Creates a 10x10 wall of force. With some effort, it can be sculpted into a specific shape or moved around.
23 Transmute Art to Wealth: Transmutes an art object to 50% of its value in GP.
53 Save State: Anchors your self to this exact point in time and space. You return to the same spot in space in time 1 minute after the casting of the spell.

24 Poise: Targeted creature automatically picks up on etiquette cues and social atmospheres for the duration of the spell. Anyone speaking to the target has their disposition bumped up to at least friendly. This spell also subtly alters their clothing to be appropriate for the situation.

54 Hint: Contacting the gods of luck, you are gifted with a brief and cryptic hint about your current predicament.
25 Locate Origin: This spell will point the caster towards the place of manufacture of an object, or the parent of a creature.
55 Create and Extinguish Light: Can create small lights, or extinguish small lights within range. Can also put out mid-sized fires or suppress natural bioluminescence.

26 Tidy: Sorts, arranges, counts, catalogs, and cleans everything in a small area. Generates a professional looking report afterwards.
56 Arcane Lock: Creates a magical lock on a container or portal, and up to 4 associated at casters discretion. Lasts for spell duration, roughly 24 hours.

31 Detect Gold: Objects made of gold can be seen through walls for the duration of the spell.
61 Illusory Entry: Creates a door on a wall that only the caster can step through onto the other side. Anyone else sees a painted door on a wall.

32 Detect Lies: Caster can tell when people are lying for the duration of the spell.

62 Preserve: Transforms up to 10 rations into preserved rations that last twice as long.
33 Summon Vermin: Summons a few small rodents, a bunch of tiny insects, or one large rat. Just enough to bite through someone's bonds, carry an object over to a location, or bother a guard.

63 Remove Gravity: Makes an object weightless for the duration.
34 Absorb Knowledge: Instantly absorbs the knowledge from a written work, no matter the language. Can also be used on a willing target, mind-meld style to transfer knowledge.
64 Select: Fires a small bolt of force at a target. Cannot miss. The target can now be seen by the caster through walls with a faint highlight, and draws all attention from around it. It can also now be targeted by spells and attacks as if it was at arms reach the caster.

35 Mold Earth and Stone: A 10x10 or less area of rock or earth can be shaped like putty by shaping a smaller portion of the material in the caster's hand.

65 Paint: Creates an texture/image of the caster's choosing manifest on a target.
36 Crystal Net: Enchants a number of small crystals or gems so that they can be spoken through like walkie-talkies. (3-6. More if the spell is enhanced)

66 Conjure Ham: Summons one bone in rum ham. Serves 3-4. A bit boozy. Very tasty. (counts as rations for 3-4 people)


  1. Tidy is such a good idea for a spell--I definitely have to start including it in my games in the future. The ratio of "seems useless on first impression" to "incredibly useful once you think about it" is A+