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    Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone
    Posted on Wed, March 24, 2004 by Farcluun
    cwslyclgh writes "Since the advent of 3rd edition it has been possible to make dwarven sorcerers, wizards, and even bards. This brings up the whole sticky question of where these arcane magic using dwarves came from, as all previous editions barred dwarves from classes such as this. This article (and the followups that I plan) goes with the idea that dwarves have always had arcane magic users, but have kept them hidden until recently. As always I am looking for comments and critiques.

    Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone
    By: cwslyclgh
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone

    By C. Wesley Clough

    As a race dwarves have never been well known for their use of arcane magic, in fact most scholars across the flanaess refused to believe that dwarven mages even existed until the last few years have brought more conclusive evidence to light. The dwarves, of course, knew all along that dwarven mages existed, however like many things about their society they felt that the truth of the matter was best kept secret from outsiders. Slowly, however, more about their magical practices are being brought to light. In recent decades an order of dwarven mages worshiping Marthammor Duin, the dwarven god of travel and exploration, has arisen, leading to an increasing number of these elusive dwarven mages leaving their clan strongholds and adventuring in the world. From interaction with these adventuring mages more is being gleaned about the secrets of dwarven magic. The following spells have been taught by these wandering dwarven mages to friends, associates, and apprentices of other races, it is suspected that these spells only represent the tip of the iceberg as far the dwarven arcane tradition goes, and there are many more spells that the dwarves have chosen for various reasons not to share with mages of other races.

    Abrasive Blast
    Conjuration (Creation) [Earth]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V,S,M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: 30 ft.
    Area: Cone shaped burst
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Reflex partial
    Spell Resistance: no

    You fire a cone shaped blast of grit, sand, and small stones from your outstretched hand. Creatures in the area of effect take 1d4 points of damage for every two caster levels you possess (maximum of 5d4) and are blinded for 1d4 rounds. A successful saving throw reduces the damage by half, and negates the blindness. Constructs, Elementals, Oozes, Plants, Undead and any creatures with out eyes are immune to the blinding affect of the spell, although they still take the physical damage normally.

    Material component: A handful of sand and pebbles.

    Blood of the Earth
    Transmutation [Earth, Fire]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 8
    Components: V,S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Close (25ft. + 5ft./2 levels)
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Fortitude partial
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    This deadly spell actually changes the blood coursing through the targets veins to the blood of the earth itself: magma. Of course having ones blood changed to molten rock is devastating to any living organism, and a creature that fails its save dies instantly and has its body consumed by the fire generated by the intense heat inside its circulatory system. On a successful save the targets blood has managed to resist the transformation, and is simply heated to near the boiling point. On a successful save the target still suffers 10d6 points of fire damage, and could well still die from the damage. Blood of the Earth has no effect on creatures with out blood, including constructs, elementals, oozes, plants, and most undead. Creatures that are immune to fire can still be killed if they fail the saving throw, but take no damage if they succeed.


    Dust Cloud
    Conjuration (creation) [Earth]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 3
    Components: V,S,M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Medium (100ft. + 10ft. level)
    Effect: cloud of dust spreads in 20-foot radius, 20ft. high
    Duration: 10 min/level
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    A cloud of thick dust, grit and swirling sand billows out from the point that you designate. The dust obscures all vision, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. A creature with in 5 feet has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures further away have total concealment (50% miss chance and the attacker can?t use sight to locate the target). In addition the grit and sand irritate the eyes, nose and mouth of creatures within the cloud. Any creatures with in the cloud are treated as if dazzled (-1 to attacks, spot and search checks), and the ability to cast spells is impaired requiring a caster level check (DC 10+spell level) or the spell is lost.

    A moderate wind (11+ mph) will disperse the dust cloud in 4 rounds; a strong wind (21+ mph) disperses the dust cloud in a single round.
    Dust Cloud does not function underwater.

    Material component: A pinch of sand.

    Magma Grasp
    Conjuration (creation) [Earth, Fire]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 3
    Components: V,M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: creature or object touched
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    Your hand begins glowing red and is surrounded by cascading waves of magma, which does not harm you. Your touch transfers a glob of molten rock to the target, which suffers 1d6 points of fire damage per two caster levels (maximum of 5d6) on the round it is touched, and 1d4 points of fire damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d4) on the next round. Creatures can avoid the secondary damage if they spend a full round action to scrape the magma off of themselves. For every 3 caster levels you possess beyond 5th you can make one additional touch attack (maximum of 6 touches at 20th level).

    Material component: an obsidian chip worth at least 1 gp.


    Rock Burst
    Evocation [Earth]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V,S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Medium (100ft. + 10ft. level)
    Target: one rock or stone
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None (object)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (object)

    A non-magical rock or stone (or an object made of such) with in range that you designate bursts in blast of forceful energy. This explosion sprays sharp fragments of stone over a 10-foot radius burst around the target object. Creatures and unattended objects in the area of the burst take 1d8 points of slashing and piercing damage. The target object itself is destroyed if it weighs less then 5 pounds per caster level, if it weighs more then this it the object suffers 5 points of damage per caster level (maximum of 100 points) which directly damages it (ignoring its hardness rating).

    ShatterSteel
    Evocation [Sonic]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 5
    Components: V,S,M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: 50 ft.
    Area: Cone shaped burst
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Fort half (object)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (object)

    Upon the completion of this spell you release a wave of sonic vibration that is extremely harmful to metal objects. Any objects made of any sort of bronze, lead, iron, steel, mithral, or adamantine with in the area of effect takes 1d6 points of sonic damage per caster level (maximum of 15d6), objects made of the ?precious? metals (copper, silver, electrum, gold, and platinum) are not affected. Unattended non-magical items receive no save, while unattended magical items or attended items of any sort receive a fortitude save for half damage. Creatures made primarily of metal (including Iron Golems, whose magic immunity does not extend to this spell) suffer damage as if they were objects.

    Material Component: A tiny steel cone.


    Strength of Stone
    Transmutation
    Level: Sor/Wiz 4
    Components: V,S,M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: creature touched
    Duration: 1 min./level
    Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    The subject becomes stronger and tougher. Strength of Stone grants a +6 enhancement bonus strength, adding the usual benefits to melee attack and damage rolls and to other uses of the strength modifier, additionally the subjects gets a +6 enhancement bonus to it?s natural armor rating (a creature with no natural armor rating is considered to have a natural armor rating of 0 for this purpose). While under the affects of this spell the subjects skin changes to a stony gray color.

    Material component: a chip of granite, or similar hard rock.

    Temper
    Transmutation
    Level: Sor/Wiz 4
    Components: V,S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: one weapon touched
    Duration: 1 min/level
    Saving Throw: Will Negates (harmless, object)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless, object)

    This spell magically strengthens the steel parts of the weapon touched, making the weapon temporarily hardier and letting it strike harder. An affected weapon gains a +2 to its hardness rating, and +10 hp, additionally the critical modifier of the weapon is increased by 1 (for example a longsword that normally has a critical modifier of 19-20/2 would have a modifier of 19-20/3 while under the affects of temper).
    Only weapons that are made mostly of metal, or have a large metal striking surface can be affected by this spell (for example a mace, sword, battleaxe, or war hammer could all be affected by the spell, but a quarterstaff, morningstar or arrow could not).

    Temper, Mass
    Transmutation
    Level: Sor/Wiz 7
    Components: V,S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Close (25 feet + 5ft/2 levels)
    Target: two weapons per level, no two of which can be more then 30 ft. apart.
    Duration: 1 min/level
    Saving Throw: Will Negates (harmless, object)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless, object)

    This spell functions just like Temper, except it affects more weapons as noted above.

    Tunnel
    Transmutation [Earth]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 6
    Components: V,S,F
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Medium (100ft. + 10ft. level)
    Area: 5ft wide by 5ft high line out to 10ft./level
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    This spell creates a 5-foot high by 5-foot wide tunnel through earth and stone. This tunnel stretches in a straight line from its point of origin to a maximum distance of 10 feet per caster level through earth or 1 foot per caster level through stone, both types of terrain can be tunneled through by a single use of this spell (for example a 12th level wizard casts tunnel, after tunneling though 40 feet of earth the tunnel hits solid stone and continues an additional 8 feet). The caster must have line of effect to the origin point of the tunnel, and all of the tunnel must fall with in the spells maximum range. Tunnels created by this spell will be stable, and will not be at risk to collapse when made. The spell does not provide for maintenance, however, so once created the effects of time, earthquakes etc. affect the tunnel as they would a naturally made one.

    Focus: A miniature mining pick made of gold and set with precious gems worth not less the 500 gp.

    Magic of the Dwarves (Part 2): Spells of Steel and Stone

    "
     
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    Revised & Expanded Druid Spell List

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    Re: Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone (Score: 1)
    by Abysslin (abyss@canonfire.com) on Thu, March 25, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://www.canonfire.com
    I allow dwarves to play Earth Elementalist out of the 2nd Ed. Tome of Magic in my 2nd Ed. campaign, and one of my players has a soft spot for playing dwarves, so I will get some good use out of these. Thx, Wes!



    Re: Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone (Score: 1)
    by WightNight on Thu, March 25, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
    Awesome submission, wes! Consider it stolen. ;) I'm looking forward to the next installment.
    -wn



    Re: Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone (Score: 1)
    by cwslyclgh on Thu, March 25, 2004
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    glad you guys will find use for them :)



    Re: Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone (Score: 1)
    by Lefto on Thu, March 25, 2004
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    Great spells - defintiely have a dwarven flavor. I'm completely unfamiliar with 3e rules, so this is the first I've heard of dwarven mages.

    A few comments - First, some of these spells are strongly offensive in nature. If dwarven mages were confined within clan holds until now, why would they have developed offensive spells?

    Perhaps the mages fought in UnderOerth battles, but not on the surface. This would have kept surface races from learning about dwarven mages directly, but, unless they only fought monsters that found their way into the mines, intelligent UnderOerth races would most likely have spread the word over the centuries.

    Second, why, after keeping the mages on a short leash all these millenia, would the dwarf elders permit some mages to adventure? I have to imagine that dwarven mages in the past would have wanted to.

    Third, I don't know when you campaign in the Greyhawk timeline, but I might use the Greyhawk Wars as the reason dwarven mages have finally revealed themselves. Pressed to the very gates of their holds in Ulek and in the Jotens, the dwarves finally had to play their trump card in the open - the dwarven mages sallied forth and managed to tip the scales to the point where the dwarves were able to stop the enemy advances.

    Forced by circumstances to reveal the existence of dwarven mages to their human, gnomish, halfling and elven neighbors, the dwarven leaders relented in their strict ban and have allowed some mages to adventure.

    Keep these posts coming!



    Re: Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone (Score: 1)
    by Cebrion on Fri, March 26, 2004
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    Overall some very nice ideas! These would make good specialty Domain spells for priests of Dumathoin in particular!!!

    As for some of the spell's particulars I would add a somatic component to Magma Hand, as the magic affects the hand and most spell components have a sympathetic aspect to the effect they have or to what they actually affect. Magma Hand also seems a bit powerful for a touch attack doing so much damage, and only being a 3rd level spell(compare to vampiric touch being usable only once per casting). At that level of power I'd rate it at at least 4th level but more likely 5th level.
    My only other critique would be regarding the Temper spell. Morning stars should be affected as well as arrows. The head of a morning star can be "tempered" as well as an arrowhead. It is the metal of these weapons that cause the damge to occur rather than the wooden handle(many morning stars actually have metal handles) or shaft of the weapons. Just state that non-metal weapons(including metal-shod quarterstaffs and clubs) do not benefit from the spell. You also need to state if the critical modifier enhancement stacks with feats or special abilities/magical properties that also do this(I'd sugggest that it doesn't stack though). Blood of the Earth might also have an Alteration(as it actually changes something) and Necromancy(it transmutes biological substances) school attached to it, though some must be eliminated as most spells only fall into a few schools/domains.

    Just a few suggestions. :)




    Re: Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone (Score: 1)
    by Firb on Wed, March 31, 2004
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    It's refreshing to see an explanation, as it were, for one of the more significant changes to the game (and particularly many, many campaigns that convert to 3/3.5 and are suddenly surprised to find the impossible is no longer ~!) brought about in the newer editions.

    The spells are excellent (though I'm a wee bit inclined to agree that 'Magma Hand' might be a little powerful for a 3rd level spell) - but great concepts and well written.

    Personally, I've had a kind of dwarven mage for quite a few years now (ever since using a [npc] dwarven sage 'mentor', created with the 1st Ed rules for sages, who was able to use mage spells).

    I expanded on this later, allowing a very rare dwarven spellcaster, which was/is a hybrid of my own ideas and some borrowed from other sources, who employed 'runes' as a medium for creating and directing magical energy.

    These dwarves descended from the smiths of ancient mountain dwarf clans, who enchanted weapons and armour with magical effects/abilities by inscribing runes upon them. This use of runes later evolved to creating rune-carved stones, gems, staffs or metal plates (or in some cases, tattoos) that allowed a daily casting of a magical effect (specific to a given rune).

    The class (Runesmith) was allowed to wield a variety of 'dwarven' weapons (axes, hammers, crossbows, etc) and small shields (but no armour), to use the fighter tables for melee combat and to roll d6 for hit points (also allowed full HP bonus for Con 17+, under 2nd Ed rules as was). In 3/3.5 I'd probably allow limited access to some weapon/melee foci at standard cost (as fighters) as well.

    These extra benefits are intended to try and balance the rarity of spell-effect runes and the difficulty in creating or finding them (often involving an adventure in itself, or having the required materials/knowledge gathered over the course of several adventures). Such characters need to have some utility outwith casting spells, as they will have a limited pool of spells available compared to wizards and sorcerers. [NB. Rare in this case means RARE, or else the characters could potentially become too powerful].

    The spell effects these dwarves were able to master/inscribe were generally defensive or utility spells (for the defense and aid of their 'hold') or concerned with the working and manipulation of earth, stone and metal. Level restrictions on using runes correspond roughly to mage spell usage restrictions by level/spell level.

    Such characters were also required to have some skill in a craft: weapon- or armour-smithing, gemcutting, jewelcrafting or metalworking; and some limited sage-like knowledge was also granted in a chosen area of specialisation - ie. humanoids (traditional clan enemies), arcane lore (specific to ancient Dwur artifacts & items), the Underdark, dwarven history, etc. [NB. I suppose that in 3/3.5 this would be covered under skills].

    Sorry to go off on a tangent, your post led me to go and look out some old notes!

    If I were to run a campaign now, I think I'd prefer to use this old system: to keep dwarven spellcasters a little unique, and to discourage everyone and their gran from giving dwarven fighters a few levels as a sorcerer or wizard .. Runesmiths would be trained and schooled in the art from a young age, and it wouldn't be an option for 3rd edition multi-classing except where it was the first class taken at creation (if at all).

    I look forward to the next installment! I'd love to see your take on defensive spells specific to dwarves.

    Firb



    Re: Magic of the Dwarves (Part 1): Spells of Steel and Stone (Score: 1)
    by DMShrauger on Wed, November 17, 2004
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    I like all of the spells except dust cloud. I keep picturing somebody in the middle going "caff caff" but otherwise simply being annoyed. Blood of the earth sounds like a very wickid spell, but in the body you leave yourself open to arguement when you mention "most" undead being immune to it. The Ichor/blood arguement concerning Vampires could last hours.




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