venerdì 3 aprile 2015

Invisible reflections and 2 new OSR spell

During the years I had lots of discussions on invisibility spells as presented in the AD&D 1st edition game (and also 2nd edition and by extension the OSRIC clone).

The first observation is that invisibility spells are of the Illusion/Phantasm type, where illusion magic create an image (usually with 3 dimensions) in the real world that can be seen by normal means (that is the image of a tree will be seen as a tree by all the onlookers) while Phantasm spell are hallucination in the mind of the spell victim.

My conclusion are that invisibility spells are to be considered of the Illusion type since they don't have area limits and the invisible creature will not be visible to everyone looking at him (less of "see the invisible", "true vision" and the like), even someone looking from far away with a crystal ball will not see the invisible character.

So it must be an illusion spell since it is just 2nd level and it cannot be so powerful to create a phantasm in the mind of everyone looking at the character location (this could be thousands of people if the character were walking on a tower in the middle of a siege). It must be a sort of hologram that give the character perfect blending with his surroundings.

There are many other ways to become invisible, like to be shifted out of reality maybe in some shadowy plane, like happened to Frodo when he donned the One Ring, or how it happens in Crypts and Things where invisibility shift the caster in The Shroud the plane of the "others" making invisibility a black magic spell and putting the sanity of the invisibility subject at risk (but I think this make the invisibility spell a little too much for a 2nd level spell).

But the usual 2nd level spell should just surround you in an illusion capable of cloaking yourself, by the way this means that throwing flour or chalk to the invisible character don't make him covered in flour (since what you pick up become invisible, as specified in many OSR games like the Basic Fantasy RPG) but help his enemy by making visible his footprints on the flour covered floor.

I'll end this article with two new "invisibility" spells:

Cloak of the chameleon

Level: Mage 2nd, Illusionist 1st
Range: Touch
Duration: 10'/level
Area of effect: One Creature
Components: V, S, M (a bit of powdered chameleon skin)
Casting time: 3 segments
Saving Throw: None

This spell make the subject totally invisible if he stay still, if he move, attacks or cast spells he become visible again but the spell is not broken. If the subject of the spell becomes still again - and the spell is still in effect - it will turn invisible after 2 rounds.

Faerie Tapestry

Level: Mage 4th, Illusionist 3rd
Range: Touch
Duration: 10'/level
Area of effect: A square area with sides of (100' + (10' * Caster Level))
Components: V, S, M (a small tapestry woven by faeries worth around 100gp)
Casting time: 10'
Saving Throw: None

This spell affects an area, when the spell is cast the caster will designate who will become invisible by the spell beyond himself (up to 1 humanoid * caster level, this number must include the caster). All the subject of this spell, until the end of the spell, when are in the spell area and take an invisible stance (don't make attacks, cast spells, speak to who cannot see them) are invisible except to the other subject of this spell. If they break the invisible stance they can become again invisible if the hide from view (going behind a wall or a tree). Notice that multiple casting of this spell from different casters or on different group of people makes for a very fun and confusing situation.

Note: this is the english version of a the Riflessi Invisibili blogpost

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