Creation Spell System

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This post is designed to better explain the Create and Object family of spells as well as provide some of the ways this family of spells is affected by spell research. Spontaneously generating an object is supposed to be a quick, but risky process whereas the prepared magic-user can reliably generate specific objects in the same way he or she can cast any other spell. Researching specific Create an Object spells are much cheaper and faster than researching other spells. The rationale is that the fundamentals of the spell are exactly the same, but the specific execution is different. The foundation of the spell is already there, what is left is the part of the spell that sits on this foundation.

One thing that I left out of my previous post was that spontaneous Create an Object spells have a set duration and range, regardless of the object created. The only way to alter the range and duration is through spell research. In other words, no one will be able to spontaneously generate a suit of armor and it last for several days. The default range is ten feet and the default duration is 6 minutes. Unlike the Monster Summoning spells, there is no 1 Turn delay in the object appearing.

I have a pretty extensive equipment list that I use. It includes types of wood, metal, textiles, bulk food items and various pieces of random equipment. Extensive equipment lists are not to everyone's liking, so I also included guildelines for creating objects that do not appear in the standard equipment list. The guildelines do not exactly corresponded with standard equipment lists. In other words, if an item is on an equipment list, it is always better to use the price from the equipment list. This is especially true for arrows. The standard S&W Equipment list has 20 arrows for 2 gp. Using the Create an Object guidelines, a powerful archmage might only be able to create ten arrows at the most.

So here are the revised and condensed rules for Create and Object spells. Note: I made one change. I found that there are a lot of items priced between six and twenty-five gold pieces and I didn't want many of those items to require a 3rd Level Spell to create them.

Creating Items with a Known Price

Cost (GP) Adjustment
0 1
up to 1 2
1 – 25 3
26 – 100 4
101 – 500 5
501 – 2,500 6
2,501 – 10,000 7
10,001 – 50,000 8
50,001 – 200,000 9
200,001 - 1,000,000 10
Anything over 1,000,000 11

Creating Items without a Price

Start with a +2 adjustment for most things, +3 for items made of stone and a +4 adjustment for anything made of metal. If your campaign makes use of mithril or other fantastic metals, start with +6. After that, based on the dimensions of the object, use the table below, courtesy of the d20srd. Use either Height/Length or Weight, but not both.

Height/Length Weight Volume (cu. ft.) Modifier
6 in. or less 1/8 lb. or less n/a -2
6 in. to 1 ft. 1/8 lb. to 1 lb. n/a -1
1 ft. to 2 ft. 1 lb. to 8 lb. Less than 1 0
2 ft. to 4 ft. 8 lb. to 60 lb. 1 to 8 1
4 ft. to 8 ft. 60 lb. to 500 lb. 8 to 64 2
8 ft. to 16 ft. 500 lb. to 2 tons 64 to 500 3
16 ft. to 32 ft. 2 tons to 16 tons 500 to 4000 4
32 ft. to 64 ft. 16 tons to 125 tons 4000 to 32000 6
64 ft. or more 125 tons or more over 32000 cu. ft. 8

It is important that only *one* column is used in calculating modifiers. Some things are easier to measure by Height or Length (whichever is larger), Weight or Volume. The Volume column is useful for summoning novel objects like metal spheres or stone walls.

What about elemental materials like fire, air, sound and other things? I start with an adjustment of +1 for those types of things. If the element is created as part of an attack, the spell will do 1d6 points of damage. For an additional +1 adjustment, it will do 1d6/level points of damage.

Converting Saving Throw Adjustments to Leveled Spells

Calculate the Saving Throw Adjustment per the rules above and multiply the result by 2/3. Round the result.

With all of that said, here are some practical examples of the Create and Object spell. The spell will be given in a one line format similar to spell listings in the S&W Complete Rules book. The only addition will be the ST Adj: field that appears before the description.

Summon Shield
Level: 2, Range: 10', Duration: 6 minutes, ST Adj: +3, Description: This spell creates a normal shield for the purposes of AC adjustment and Shields Shall Be Splintered rules. Although the shield is detected as a magic shield by a Detect Magic spell, it does not function any differently from a normal shield.

A shield is listed as 15gp in S&W, so looking at the Creating Items with a Known Price table, the ST. Adjustment would by +3.

Summon Sword
Level: 2, Range 10', Duration: 6 minutes, ST Adj: +3, Description: This spell creates any type human-sized sword or smaller. Although the sword is considered magical for the purposes of the Detect Magic spell, it does not offer any to hit or damage bonuses. A sword created in this way does not have the ability to hit creatures that can only be hit by magical weapons.

This is just like the Summon Shield spell. Any sword listed in the Equipment list is between 6 and 25 gp.

Summon Fire
Level: 1, Range: 10', Duration: 6 minutes, ST Adj: +1, Description: This spells creates a normal fire useful for lighting a torch or campfire. It acts as normal fire for all purposes. Anyone touching the flames suffers 1d6 damage. If the fire is cast on a target, it will suffer 1d6 points of damage per round until it is extinguished.

Summon Stone Cage (Take that Rust Monsters!)
Level: 3, Range 10', Duration: 6 minutes, ST Adj: +5, Description: This spell creates a stone cage that measures just large enough to imprison one rust monster (6 ft x 4 ft x 4 ft). Although a Detect Magic spell will register the cage as magical, its only magical power is giving you enough time to safely run away from a rust monster.

A stone cage starts with a +3 modifier because it is made out of stone. The cage measures 6 ft by 4 ft by 4 ft. The longest measurement is 6 ft, which adds a +2 modifier. (A stone cage is not going to weigh less than 60 lbs.)

Summon Siege Engine
Level: 4, Range 10', Duration: 6 minutes, ST Adj: +6, Description: This spell creates an onager.

I have an equipment list with the price of an onager, trebuchet and other siege enginers included. For the purposes of this spell, however, I am assuming that there is no handy listing. It is made out of wood and metal, so there is a +4 modifier to start. (You may decide to handle mixed materials differently.) The longest part of an onager is the arm which measures anywhere between 6 and 8 feet long. This adds a +2 modifier providing a total modifer of +6.

Summon Small Galley
Level: 5, Range 10', Duration: 6 minutes, ST Adj: +8, Description: This spell creates a small galley that can hold up to 20 people including the 15 sailors required to operate the ship.

You never know when you will need a ship for only six minutes when you just so happen to have 15 sailors handy while standing at the edge of a dock, but it is important to be prepared. In all seriousness, this is the type of spell that can be improved by Spell Research. Through research, the duration could be extended to a few days or a month, depending on the length of the journey. In the next section, I'll deal with customizing the spell.

Customization

Range Duration Adj.
up to 10 ft. up to 6 min 0
30 ft. 1 hour 1
60 ft. 12 hours 2
240 ft. 1 day 3
½ mile 1 week 4
2 miles (LOS) 2 weeks 5
1 month 6
2 months 7
4 months 8
1 year 9

Looking at the Summon Small Gallery spell again, let's say that we need a boat for a short journey, maybe a week with extra time in case of bad weather. The magic-user successfully researches the spell to create a small galley for two weeks. The standard spell had a ST Adj of +8. Looking at the customization chart, a duration of 2 weeks adds an additional +5 to the adjustment for a total of +13 ST Adj. This would translate to an 8th level spell.

FWIW, it would be an eighth level regardless of the size of the ship. Also note that this creates the ship with sails and rigging, but it does not include cannon, ammunition, or provisions.

Summon Small Galley (Improved)
Level: 8, Range 10', Duration: 2 weeks, ST Adj: +13, Description: This spell creates a small galley that can hold up to 20 people, including the 15 required to operate the ship. This spell does not create balista or other weapons on the ship. It also does not create any provisions. The ship last for two weeks after which time it will dissipate into the nothingness from whence it came.

Here's another spell based on Summon Fire:

Summon Fireball
Level: 3, Range: 240', Duration: 6 minutes, ST Adj: +4, Description: This spell creates a ball of fire about the size of a small campfire at a selected target. Anyone hit by the fire suffers 1d6 damage/level of the magic-user. A Saving Throw negates all damage. Any other object hit by the fireball will be set on fire until extinguished or the spell expires.

It's just GM Fiat that says that anyone hit by the fireball doesn't take 1d6/level damage per round. Notice that this is not as powerful as the Fireball spell. It doesn't fill an area of 33000 cubic feet and there is no explosion. The ball is fairly small in size and can be entirely avoided. Being normal fire, however, it will ignite any combustible materials for the duration of the spell. What follows is a more typical use of summoning fire.

Summon Firewall
Level: 4, Range 30', Duration: 6 minutes, ST Adj: +6, Description: This spell creates a wall of fire 10' high and 30' wide. Any creature attempting to pass through the fire will suffer 1d6 damage and may ignite flammable items that they are carrying. At the end of the spell, the fire will immediately go out.

Building this one was Fire +1, 30' longest dimension +4, Range 30' +1 for a total of +6.

Limitations of Create an Object

Even though livestock have a price, Create and Object cannot be create or summon living creatures. I allow this system to create rations, but that is up to the individual GM.

An item created by a Create an Object spell cannot be made permanent by the Permanence spell. The only way to make an item created by this spell into a permanent item is my performing rituals usually associated with the traditional method of making magic items.

It cannot be used to create magic items, with a few specific exceptions. Those exceptions are unintelligent magic weapons that do nothing more than offer a simple bonus on attack rolls and damage. I also allow normal weapons created by the Create and Object spell to be turned into any type of magic weapon, even those with intelligence and other powers. The rationale is that a wizards, especially enemies of the party, may not always have access to a blacksmith to make a sword. Despite bypassing the need for a blacksmith, there is extra cost associated with making the weapon a permanent item.

When the magic-user that casts the Create an Object spell dies, any object he or she created with the Create an Object spell at any point in his or her life will immediately dissipate.

For the next post, I'll talk about the Summoner Class that uses this magic system.