Thursday, November 1, 2012

AD&D Spell Levels Re-Constituted

Admit it, it has always bugged you that spell levels don't match character levels.  That is, why do you have to wait until your Magic User reaches 3rd level to get 2nd level spells?  Why this arbitrary and confusing separation of church and state?  Why not streamline it so that at 2nd level you get 2nd level spells?

Well, there are plenty of reasons why, but I won't bother getting into them here.  My sole intention is to go through the ol' AD&D spell list and reassess spell levels so that at each level MUs get a whole new level of spells to muck around with while still preserving the balance of powers that the old spell list set out to establish.  How you work this into your campaign is clearly your problem.

Also, you might notice that I've included zero level spells--and no, these are not cantrips.  These spells need not be memorized; if an MU has learned said spell he can cast it without all the rigmarole.  How often, you ask?  Again, not my problem.

Without further ado, here is a partially exhaustive list of AD&D Magic user spells, re-stratified into handy new levels.

Zero Level Spells (aka. “Spells no self-respecting MU would ever admit they have in their spell book”)
  1. Affect Normal Fires
  2. Dancing Lights
  3. Erase
  4. Jump
  5. Mending
  6. Message
  7. Nystul's Magic Aura
  8. Read Magic
  9. Ventriloquism
  10. Write

First Level Spells (AKA, “Spells that pay the rent”)
  1. Burning Hands
  2. Charm Person
  3. Comprehend Languages
  4. Detect Magic
  5. Enlarge
  6. Feather Fall
  7. Find Familiar
  8. Friends
  9. Hold Portland
  10. Identify
  11. Light
  12. Magic Missiles
  13. Protection from Evil
  14. Push
  15. Shield
  16. Shocking Grasp
  17. Sleep
  18. Spider Climb
  19. Tenser's Herniated Disc
  20. Unseen Servant

2nd Level Spells (Formerly known as “Spells that make 3rd level MUs wonder why they even bother to put on their pointy hats”)
  1. Audible Glamor
  2. Detect Evil
  3. Detect Invisibility
  4. Fools Gold
  5. Forget
  6. Locate Object
  7. Mirror Image
  8. Pyrotechnics
  9. Scare
  10. Shatter

3rd Level Spells (Formerly known as “2nd level spells that don't suck taint”)
  1. Continual Light
  2. Darkness 15' r.
  3. ESP
  4. Invisibility
  5. Knock
  6. Leomund's Trap
  7. Levitate
  8. Magic Mouth
  9. Ray of Enfeeblement
  10. Rope Trick
  11. Stinking Cloud
  12. Strength
  13. Web
  14. Wizard Lock

4th Level Spells (Formerly known as “Invisibility is a 2nd level spell but these stinkers are 3rd level?!”)
  1. Feign Death
  2. Flame Arrow
  3. Gust of Wind
  4. Infravision
  5. Leomund's Tiny Hut
  6. Protection from Evil 10' r.
  7. Protection from Normal Weapons
  8. Water Breathing

5th level Spells (Aka. “The spells which will finally get that hot elven thief to notice me”)

I'm losing steam here, so let's just say that here reside all those bitchin' spells like Fire Bolt, Lightning Balls, and Wall of Sheetrock that--finally--convinced the rest of your party that it was worth protecting your pathetic ass through all those early dungeons.


Anonymous said...

Ventriloquism has prevented total party kills more than once.... If used correctly, it can even kill. I object to the notion that magic-users might be embarrassed by its presence in their spellbooks!

Timrod said...

I'd take a TPK over a life of shame anytime.

Anonymous said...

Yeah not even the most electric of Lightning-Balls will reverse the emasculation of even once casting Dancing Lights.

Zenopus Archives said...

Hey, Dancing Lights produces light equivalent to 1-4 torches or lanterns. If it could be cast at will that would be pretty useful...

Timrod said...

2 things, ZA:

1. just so the OSR police are clear on this--should they be reading--"cast at will" are your words, not mine.

B. have you no shame?