|| DRAGONQUEST Newsletter 2003
|| Volume 8 / Number 2
The DQ Newsletter is for discussions of the DragonQuest role-
playing game. The key addresses you need to know are:
Rodger Thorm (Editor, Article Submissions, Etc.)
All articles are copyrighted property of their respective
authors. Reproducing or republishing an article, in whole
or in part, in any other forum requires permission of the
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C O N T E N T S [v8/n02]
Editorial -- New Content
Dragon Magazine Articles, Intro -- Rodger Thorm
Enhancing the enchanter -- Craig Barrett
EDITORIAL: The Dragon Articles
This volume of the DragonQuest Newsletter is going to contain the
text versions of all of the remaining Dragon magazine articles for
After this series, the DQN is going to adjust to a new focus. We
will roll out the new changes in 2004 with the first issue of
DRAGON MAGAZINE ARTICLES, INTRO
-- Rodger Thorm
In the early- to mid-1980s, when DragonQuest was still present and
viable, there was enough interest in it that Dragon magazine ran
several articles on the game. These articles addressed different
aspects of DQ and suggested some additional rules that were though to
be missing from the original rulebook. Some of these included rules
for swimming (two different articles), hunting, and learning magic.
The authors were not part of the SPI team (although they may have been
playtesters), and their articles all seem somewhat at odds with SPI's
style. Nonetheless, some good material is present, even if it needs
further modification to be used in a DQ campaign.
An anonymous contributor recently made .PDF files of all nine Dragon
magazine articles available. These files are now posted as individual
articles in the Files section of the DQN-list group
as well as in a single .ZIP file containing all nine .PDFs which is in
the Files section of the DQ-rules group
The nine articles are:
Travel & threads for DragonQuest
The versatile Magician
The thrill of the hunt
Enhancing the enchanter
The warrior alternative
Learn magic by the month
Going up and getting wet
Getting in over your head
For a fuller background
These articles are also being converted into plain text files by a few
other dedicated members of the DQ community. These articles will be
included as a regular part of the DragonQuest Newsletter for the next
nine issues (starting with this one) to make the files accessible to
as many people as possible. As soon as we have the entire set of text
files ready, those will be made available as well.
Thanks to the following individuals for their help in collecting and
preparing these articles for the Newsletter: the anonymous contributor
for supplying the .PDF articles; John Rauchert, John Kahane, and
Steven Wiles for text conversion and proofreading.
ENHANCING THE ENCHANTER
-- Craig Barrett
(Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine, February 1984, pp. 20-26)
Enhancing the enchanter
Changes and additions to DRAGONQUEST rules
by Craig Barrett
Of the twelve initial Magical Colleges in the DRAGONQUEST game system,
the College of Ensorcelments and Enchantments is my favorite. So it
makes me just a bit unhappy to realize that it's also the weakest of
the twelve. In the interest of fair play -- and not just because one
of my favorite Primary Characters is an Enchanter -- this article
proposes a few minor changes, as well as a couple of major ones, in
the DRAGONQUEST magic rules that will rectify this state of affairs.
Is the case on behalf of Enchanters overstated? Consider that while
spells 36.T-1, 38.T-1, and 46.T-1 are all called "Witchsight, " the
Enchanter's version of that Talent is the least powerful of the three,
and it is the only Talent available to Enchanters. And that 36.G-4,
"Spell of Walking Unseen, " is less potent than its namesakes, 43.G-5,
44.G-9, and 46.G-3. And that Enchanters have only a single spell that
in and of itself inflicts damage. "Poison Dust" (36.Q-4) can
potentially cause damage, but it's a ritual, it's exorbitantly
expensive for low-Ranked Adepts, and it isn't all that useful. These
are just a few examples. Only Namers are as weak as Enchanters, and
they have some compensating advantages.
All of which are marvelous, if prejudiced, excuses for this article.
Actually, the changes proposed here aren't all that radical. With two
exceptions, they're all either clarifications or extrapolations
already implied by the game rules themselves or by supplemental
materials. Here goes:
The question arises: Can an Adept invest (by Rule 32.3) a spell into
an object when the duration of that spell is governed by the
concentration of the Adept? Yes, he can, because in the supplement The
Palace of Ontoncle (page 4) the character Loklar has a medallion
invested with 42.S-4, "Web of Fire," a spell that has a duration of
"Concentration." So, Enchanters can invest spells 36.G-7, "Mass
Charming," and 36.S-5, "Web of Entanglement." And, logically, this
advantage has to be extended to members of the other Colleges as well.
But Enchanters do realize some benefit.
As to what the duration of such spells should be (separated as they
are from the actual concentration of the Adept), where maximums are
given, as in "Web," the maximum duration applies and is subject to
deliberate reduction by the Adept himself. Where no maximums are
given -- 14 separate spells in the first 12 Colleges fall into this
category -- the maximum can be determined by comparing the spell with
other, similar spells for which a maximum duration is given. Thus,
36.G-7, "Mass Charming," should be compared to 36.G-1 and 39.S-1,
"Spell of Charming." Both of the latter spells have a multiple of one
hour, and are targeted at a single entity. "Mass Charming" can be
targeted at several entities, so it's reasonable to assume that its
duration as an invested spell should be relatively shorter, perhaps
"1/2 hour + 1/2 hour per Rank." In any case, the duration should be
specified at the time of investment, not at the time of use, with the
Gamemaster's judgment final.
Investing rules, 32.3 and 84.2-84.5
On the subject of investment, here's another extrapolation: The spells
listed under Rules 32.3 and 84.2-84.5 can, generally, be invested in
objects, using 32.3, just like any other spells (see 84.1).
"Deathcurse, " listed under 84.4, isn't covered by this rule, since
the dying Adept isn't going to live long enough to go through an
Investment Ritual. (See Rule 75, paragraph 20 for how a Deathcurse
should be used, which in ultimate effect isn't so different from
investment.) On the other hand, "Geas" (84.2) merely needs a change in
its Range qualification in order to work as an invested spell. Here,
it's the person rather than the caster who must be within
communicating distance of the object in which the geas has been
invested, and must be clearly able to see it. The geas, still couched
in 25 words or less, is considered to communicate itself to the person
through a kind of extra-sensory perception, which the person hears as
audible words. The geas will have been invested with a number of
charges equal to the Adept's Rank with the Investment Ritual (32.3),
and each person who is "spoken to" by the geas in this fashion will
exhaust one charge. When all the charges are exhausted, the invested
object no longer contains the geas.
This kind of modification should be used on all aspects of all spells
covered under this rule.
A necessary condition of allowing the investing of Rule 84 spells is
that Adepts of all the Colleges must have absolute control over the
number of spell-charges they invest in an object. An Adept can't
exceed the limitations of Rule 32.3, paragraph 3; however, he can
invest as few charges as he pleases, because if investing a major
curse (84.4) into an object is going to cost him a decrease in his
Endurance value for each charge he invests, he's going to want to
control exactly how many charges he's investing. This ability is part
of the Investment Ritual (32.3) and not something that has to be
Activation instructions are a vital part of investment. It's fairly
clear from Rules 32.3 and 32.4 that two different sorts of activation
instructions are possible, one for spells and one for Wards.
Instructions for spells imply deliberate intent on the part of the
person who activates the spell. Instructions for Wards imply lack of
intent on the part of the person who activates the Ward. In practice,
however, the distinctions tend to get a little blurred. For example,
an Enchanter might protect his strongbox by investing it with 36.G-8,
"Spell of Invisibility," with the instruction to activate if someone
approaches within five feet unless that person utters a special word
that prevents activation. The spell is still activated by the
deliberate action of a person who approaches, but now possesses the
characteristics of a Ward, in that the person did not intend to
activate the spell.
Spell instructions are less detailed than Ward instructions. A Ward
might be set to activate only when a particular person enters or
exits, but a spell can never be so specifically personalized. Exactly
how tricky an Adept can get with his spell instructions depends on his
Investment Ritual Rank and on the GM's discretion. The GM might
require a Rank of 5 for an Enchanter who wants to invest 36.S-7,
"Enhance Enchantment, " but who also wants to wait until the moment of
activation before he decides which characteristic the spell will
enhance. But, the desire to activate with a single whisper or gesture
might be allowed at Rank 2.
Ward instructions require a much lower Rank in order to be
sophisticated. Primarily, Rank will extend sophistication rather than
enhance it. For example, an Adept who creates a Ward might be allowed
to specify that its effect be delayed for 1 minute per Rank of the
Adept. Or, a Ward might be restricted from attacking specified
individuals (1 person per Rank of the Adept), but this instruction
would endure only one hour per Rank and then the Ward would attack
anyone who triggered it.
GMs ought to allow for great flexibility when players set up
activation instructions. Remember, this is a kind of "verbal
shorthand" in which a single word or gesture will mean just exactly
what the Adept wants it to mean.
In The Palace of Ontoncle, on page 20, three rings are described, each
magically endowed as a charm against spells of the College of Fire
Magics. Since counterspells come in pairs (Rule 31.3), each ring must
have two spells in it. A single ring adds +5 to the Magic Resistance
of whoever is wearing it, and an individual can benefit from the
protection of only one ring at a time. But no limit is given on the
number of times a ring can protect its wearer, so "spell charges"
cannot be involved.
What are these rings, and who can control them? Obviously, each ring
is a kind of amulet, similar in nature to the amulets created by the
"Special Alchemy" Talent (46.T-3). As to who created them, the answer
to this question leads to another rule extrapolation, added to Rule
32, "Special Magical Preparations":
[32.5] An Adept of any College can create an amulet against the magic
of his own College by investing both of his College's counterspells
into a single object.
A full 10-hour Preparation Ritual must precede two full 10-hour
Investment Rituals (one for each counterspell) for a total of 30 hours
expended, with one of the rituals performed on each of three
successive days. The result is a permanent charm in the form of a
ring that adds to the wearer's Magic Resistance against the spells of
the Adept's College a number of points equal to the Adept's Rank in
whichever counterspell of his College his Rank is lowest in, providing
the Adept has at least an equal Rank with the Investment Ritual. As
with the Ontoncle rings, the effects of wearing more than one ring are
not cumulative. A character can benefit from the protection of only
one such ring at a time -- from the strongest, if the other rings
protect against the same College, or from the first one put on, if any
of them protect against different Colleges. (See Rule 31.3, paragraph
7.) A ring-amulet is effective if worn on a chain instead of on a
finger, but not if carried in a pouch.
Cost: The rings in Ontoncle are worth 2,000 Silver Pennies (SPs), but
a large portion of that value would be for the rubies with which they
are adorned. The rubies, by the way, would have no effect on the use
of the rings, the coincidence of their color and their anti-fire
effects simply a conceit of their creator or a convenient means of
identifying them. A bare ring would weigh about two ounces (maximum
weight for a ring), would have a high platinum content, and would cost
about 50 SPs -- part of the price would be due to craftsmanship and
merchant's mark-up. On each of the three days of the ritual, the
Adept would have to expend material worth 30 SPs x the ring's ultimate
Rank. A ring-amulet offering +5 protection would therefore cost 50 +
450, SPs, or 500 SPs all told.
Adepts of the College of Naming Incantations can create ring-amulets
against the magic of any College, and are unique in this respect.
GMs should treat this formula as Special Knowledge. It is not
properly speaking a ritual of its own, and it has no Experience Multiple.
Invest a ritual?
Ritual Spell Preparation (Rule 32.1) is a very valuable piece of
Special Knowledge, but its use is somewhat restricted. Can it be made
more flexible? Yes: Any Adept with Rank 10+ in Investment Ritual
(32.3), or any Enchanter with Rank 5+ in Investment Ritual and Rank 5+
in 36.S-7, "Enhance Enchantment," can invest Ritual Spell Preparation
into an object as if the ritual itself were a spell.
The procedure requires two Adepts of appropriate Ranks and compatible
Colleges working together. While one is performing the Ritual of
Preparation, the other performs the Ritual of Investment in an
adjoining room, compartment or area. The moment both rituals are
complete -- and they must be completed within one minute of each other
-- one "charge" of Spell Preparation is invested in a given object.
This "charge" will contain up to +30 Base Chance points (+3 for each
hour spent in the combined ritual, up to a maximum of 10 hours), and
will be retained in that object for up to 10 days at full potency, at
which time the charge will dissipate instantly.
In effect, the object has been turned into a "storage battery" so that
the Ritual Preparation can be executed ahead of time and its effects
saved for when they're needed. The process is similar to that used by
the character Aestus in the DRAGONQUEST supplement The Blade of
Allectus (page 8) to store magical energies equivalent to 30 Fatigue
points in his oaken-wood staff. And just as that staff is of use only
to Aestus, so this object is of use only to the person the two Adepts
designate at the time of preparation, which can be one of the two of
them or someone else entirely, so long as the designated person was in
the presence of one Adept or the other during the entire combined ritual.
When the "charge" is activated by the designated person, the points
are applied to the Base Chance of any spell he casts in the same
pulse. (See Rule 33, paragraph 2: When the character uses a full pulse
in Pass Action to prepare a spell, part of the preparation is the
activation of this "storage battery," so that in the next pulse both
the spell and the "storage battery" will operate together. Activation
instructions for the "battery" must therefore be very simple.)
In the process of the rituals, the two Adepts will each expend 100 SPs
worth of non-recoverable materials.
GMs should treat this procedure as slightly less well-known than the
Investment Ritual (32.3); that is, Adepts will be in a position to
learn that this can be done when they reach about Rank 5 in that ritual.
All the modifications and extrapolations proposed so far have been of
benefit to all Adepts, not just to Enchanters. But Enchanters,
logically enough, have a special concern with enchantment (Rule 36),
so it's reasonable to give them a few special advantages in the area
of enchantments and investments, such as these:
Investing cold iron
For example, can cold iron ever be used as an object of investment,
providing it isn't touched during the Investment Ritual? Read Rule
29.1 carefully (italics by the author): "A character may never prepare
a spell or engage in ritual magic while in physical contact with cold
iron.... The amount of cold iron that will prevent an Adept from using
his powers is relatively small, but not minute.... The Adept must be
in direct contact with cold iron for this stricture to apply.... An
Adept cannot prepare a spell, use the special talents of his College,
or perform Ritual Magic while wearing armor made of cold iron or
holding weapons or tools made of cold iron...." And finally, the
second-to-last sentence of the rule: "A character is not protected
from the effects of magic by wearing cold iron."
The intent of the designers is clear: Cold iron inhibits magic, to
keep it from arising from its source (the Adept), but does not affect
magic once it has arisen! Thus, the spells for enchanting weapons and
the spells for enchanting armor can be used to enchant cold-iron
weapons and armor, not just neutralized cold iron. But also remember
that Rule 56.3 requires a mechanician to silver a trap before it can
be invested. Cold iron can accept the effects of an enchantment;
however, when it comes to being the "surrogate source" of a spell, the
non-neutralized cold iron even inhibits itself. So, under normal
circumstances cold iron cannot be invested with a spell unless it is
Two pieces of evidence have yet to be heard, though: Rule 29.1 states
that "a few ounces" of cold iron is enough to inhibit all but racial
Talent Magic; and, under "Special Alchemy," 46.T-3, the sixth amulet
is "of Iron." Obviously, Adepts of the College of Black Magics can use
cold iron in working magic. And if a member of one of the other
Colleges can do that, then Enchanters, with their special affinity for
enchantment, ought to be able to do that as well.
So let's be generous and assume that "a few ounces" is four ounces,
and that some quantity less than four ounces -- say, three ounces or
less -- not only won't inhibit magic but also can itself be used for
magic, provided one has the right formula.
The Adepts of Black Magic have one formula; the Enchanters have
another one, which goes like this: An Enchanter first invests the
spell "Enhance Enchantment" (36.S-7) into a non-metallic item --
perhaps a piece of cloth. An object made of (non-neutralized) cold
iron is then rested on the cloth while the Enchanter performs a full
10-hour Investment Ritual, using the spell of his choice and with no
penalty because of the cold iron. During the ritual, one charge of
"Enhance Enchantment" is activated. If the ritual succeeds, the
cold-iron object is invested with the chosen spell at -20 to the Base
Chance but +1 to the Base Chance per Rank of the "Enhance Enchantment"
The procedure is a little lengthy, but can be very rewarding,
particularly since only one "Enhance Enchantment" charge was used and
the enchanted cloth can be employed at once for another cold-iron
object. This formula has no cost other than that of the non-metallic
and cold-iron objects used. GMs should treat this formula as
moderately restricted. The knowledge that Enchanters can do this at
all should be highly scarce among non-Enchanters.
Note: Spells can be invested in neutralized cold iron. Except for the
case of Rule 56.3, however, the Cast Chance is penalized as described
in Rule 29.1, numbered section #3.
The wyvern-horn amulet
Have you ever wanted to be able to detect the presence of magic before
you stumble into it? An Enchanter, using this formula, can make it
possible to do just that. And this formula doesn't break any of the
DRAGONQUEST rules, though it may bend one or two of them.
The formula is based on the fact that while a wyvern (see the
rulebook, page 115) doesn't know any magic, it can obtain magical
items and so must have some kind of affinity for, or attraction to,
magic. Neither a picture nor a detailed description of the wyvern is
offered, which makes it possible to suppose that the wyvern has a
small, backward-curving horn growing near the tip of its snout. It's
in this horn that the wyvern's affinity for magic is centered; and, on
the principle of Sympathetic Magic, an Enchanter can use this horn to
create an amulet that can be used to detect magical auras.
The horn itself shouldn't be enormously difficult to obtain, since
wyvern horn has recognized medicinal properties in addition to its
little-known magical-detection properties. A horn of the proper size
will cost about 1,000 SPs. But to be of any magical use, the horn
must have been cut from a living wyvern, since the trauma of death
destroys its affinity. About 40% of the horns being sold will have
come from living wyverns. (The "horn" is actually made up of horny
hair fibers growing out from the skin, just like the horn of the
rhinoceros; and experienced hunters know that if the wyvern is left
alive in the wild after its horn and poison are harvested, in about a
year its quickly growing horn can be harvested again.) An Enchanter
can easily tell whether a horn has been cut from a living or a dead
wyvern, simply by holding the horn in his hand.
Once the wyvern horn is obtained, the Enchanter uses it to create an
amulet by performing the "Ritual of Creating Crystal of Vision"
(36.Q-2), using the horn in place of a piece of crystal. This takes
about three hours, and the total cost of creating the amulet is the
cost of the horn plus the cost of the ambergris used, in all about
The amulet can be employed in two ways. In the simplest procedure, a
character holds the amulet in his hand and recites whatever activating
phrase the Enchanter has built into the amulet. For one minute
thereafter, the character will be able to recognize any magical aura
-- spell, Ward, amulet, etc. -- within his field of vision, providing
he continues to hold the amulet, though he will be unable to
distinguish the nature of the magic (the kind of spell or Ward it is,
its purpose, how it's triggered, etc.). This procedure can be used
one time each day, +1 time per Rank the Enchanter has with the "Ritual
of Creating Crystal of Vision."
In the second procedure, the Enchanter performs an Investment Ritual
(Rule 32.3) on the amulet and invests it with "Wizard's Eye Spell"
(36.S-10). When this spell is activated, the character will not only
be able to recognize magical auras as in the first procedure, but if
he has the Witchsight talent (36.T-1, 38.T-1, or 46.T-1, but not the
44.G-7 spell) he can also learn something about the nature of the
magic. Base Chance for success in this is the same as the Adept's
normal Base Chance with Witchsight, with no penalty for failure. If
the Adept succeeds, the GM should tell him one fact about the magical
aura he is investigating, such as the name of the spell or Ward
involved, or its effects, or its activation instructions, or what
College is involved (and whether General or Special Knowledge), etc.
Exactly what piece of information the success yields is up to the GM.
The Adept has only one opportunity to learn one fact about each
magical aura he investigates while the "Wizard's Eye Spell" is in
effect. Using a second "Wizard's Eye Spell," he can re-investigate
auras he failed to learn anything about, but he can learn nothing new
about auras that he has already succeeded in investigating.
GMs should treat this formula as not very widely known, about as
difficult for an Enchanter to obtain as the "Wizard's Eye Spell"
itself -- and even less well known to non-Enchanters. The
availability of appropriate wyvern horns can also be restricted.
An attendant danger in carrying a wyvern-horn amulet is that wyverns
tend to notice such things and then react in an unfavorable manner.
In fact, it's not impossible that a wyvern's trove of magical items
could contain a wyvern-horn amulet taken from some unwary and
Another amulet that Enchanters can make also follows the principle of
Sympathetic Magic: Since gryphons (see the rulebook, page 109) have a
talent for locating buried treasure, they can "contribute" a key
ingredient for an amulet that can be used in treasure hunting. This
key ingredient is a lock of fur taken from the gryphon's chest --
specifically, the black lock that always grows nearest the heart.
Since the death-trauma would destroy the magical value of the lock, it
must be taken from the chest of a living gryphon, and if this is done
it will grow back in about 18 months.
Once the lock is obtained -- on the open market its cost will vary but
should never be less than 1,500 SPs -- the Enchanter uses it to make
an amulet by performing the "Ritual of Creating Crystal of Vision"
(36.Q-2), using the lock in place of a piece of crystal. This takes
about three hours, and the total cost of creating the amulet,
including the lock of gryphon fur, the other materials for the amulet,
and the ambergris that is burned, is at least 3,000 SPs. When the
amulet is completed, the Enchanter then invests it with the "Spell of
Location" (36.Q-6), which can be used in the normal fashion.
The treasure-hunting aspect of this amulet depends on the presence of
the "Spell of Location" but does not require the use of any of that
spell's charges. So long as a single charge of the spell is present
in the amulet, the treasure-hunting aspect will work. When the last
charge has been used, however, the amulet becomes dormant until it is
When a non-dormant amulet is brought within 10 feet (+5 feet per Rank
with the "Ritual of Creating Crystal of Vision" of the Adept who
fashioned the amulet) of any buried, hidden, or secret treasure of any
kind, a special arrow will automatically appear to the Adept without
any special activation on his part, providing the amulet is touching
some portion of the Adept's anatomy. This arrow is visible only to
the Adept himself; its presence will neither interfere with his combat
efficiency nor distract him from concentration; and, so long as the
Adept remains within range, the arrow will direct the way to the
treasure. This use of the amulet has no limit on duration, and since
it doesn't depend on magical charges, it can be used any number of times.
The Adept need not have encountered, or studied, or even known about
the treasure in order for the amulet to activate itself. In addition
to direction, the amulet will also indicate distance to the treasure
and the treasure's "strength," which might be a clue to its value,
size, or some other aspect of its nature. The Adept will also be able
to tell if he has previously encountered or studied the treasure, but
the amulet will tell him nothing more.
If two or more separate treasures are within range, the amulet will
indicate all of them at once, or each in order as it comes within
range, and the Adept must determine which one he wants to hunt before
the amulet will guide him any further. If too many treasures are
present (GM's discretion), the amulet will "blur" and won't guide the
Adept toward any of them, but will merely indicate to the Adept that
he's in a treasure-rich area. The amulet will never blur if a
specific target has been selected, or if the Adept is hunting a
particular treasure that he knows to be in the vicinity. The blurring
will clear if the character approaches within 10 feet of a specific
treasure; and, given leisure to accomplish it, an Adept can always
voluntarily reduce the amulet's range at a rate of five feet every 30
seconds in an effort to eliminate the blur, thus perhaps getting a fix
on the nearest treasure.
"Too many treasures" might be defined as five or more treasures hidden
in separate places, or an area of "dispersed" treasure -- perhaps, a
gold mine. Just what is meant by "buried," "hidden," and "secret" is
open to wide interpretation by GMs, as is "treasure" for that matter.
In his enthusiasm for the "blur," the GM should beware of so-called
"Monty Haul" dungeons, but should also remember that one man's
treasure is another man's junk.
The primary use of this amulet is to discover hidden treasure troves
within a limited environment, such as a palace, a castle, a lair, and
so forth. Should an Adept take such an amulet into room c05-A of The
Palace of Ontoncle (page 20), for example, it would immediately point
out to him the trove buried in the corner of the lair.
The GM should treat the formula for this amulet as restricted
knowledge, similar to the wyvern-horn amulet and just about as
difficult for an Enchanter to obtain. It is almost completely unknown
to non- Enchanters.
There they are: nine rule modifications. Nothing startling, nothing
outrageous, just simple extrapolations from information the
DRAGONQUEST rules had already offered. But what follows is in a
different category: new rules, the creation of which is motivated by
the simple feeling that they ought to exist. On that basis, consider
Rule 32.3, paragraph 3, states: "... a particular object may never be
invested with more than one spell at the same time." And we already
know from experience that once a spell is totally discharged from an
object, the object becomes normal once more, without magical value.
Which means that mages in the DRAGONQUEST game can produce precious
few enduringly magical objects. Well, Enchanters ought to be an
exception to this rule. So, for the purpose of this article's
argument, below are given two ways in which Enchanters can get around
the general rule.
To support these exceptions, the rules offer this evidence: We've
already seen how two counterspells can be put into the same amulet
(the platinum rings), so the phenomenon of two spells in a single
object does exist. Among the amulets made by Adepts of the College of
Black Magics (46.T-3-C) is the "Amulet of Luck" (#3) which more
clearly than the others employs the effects of two separate spells.
And finally, the supplements The Palace of Ontoncle and The Blade of
Allectus have examples of objects containing multiple spells, though
admittedly some of these may have been (and probably were) created
outside the purview of the twelve Colleges.
With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that Enchanters,
with their famous affinity for enchantments (Rule 36), can invest more
than one spell into an object. Here's how they do it:
[36.7] Special Knowledge Rituals
1. Ritual of Multiple Investment (R-1)
This ritual is precisely the same as the Investment Ritual (32.3) in
all except three respects: First, during the ritual, the Enchanter
must burn a special incense costing 100 SPs. Second, the ritual is
performed upon an object into which a spell has already been invested,
with the purpose of investing an "extra" spell. Third, when the
ritual is complete, the additional spell(s) will have charges of its
(their) own equal to the Enchanter's Rank with this ritual.
At Rank 1, the Enchanter must be dealing with an object into which he
himself has already invested a spell, and he can add only a single
"extra" spell to the object.
At Rank 5, the Enchanter can also begin dealing with objects into
which another Adept (of any of the Thaumaturgical Colleges) has
invested a spell. To do this, however, the Enchanter must have full
knowledge of what the spell is and how it is activated, or the ritual
will fail. He can also begin investing an "extra" spell into magical
items, such as the products of rituals 36.Q-2, 36.Q-3, 36.Q-4, etc.,
providing he has full knowledge of the other ritual. Such objects can
never have more than a single "extra" spell added.
At Rank 10, the Enchanter can perform a second 36.R-1 Ritual on an
object that already contains two spells, in order to invest a third
spell. However, the second and third spells invested into the object
must both be the Enchanter's own, and must share between them the
"extra" charges that his Rank with this ritual allows. (This is
another reason why it is so important for an Enchanter to be able to
govern the number of charges he's investing; otherwise, he can't
determine which spell has how many charges. See "Charge control"
above.) Three spells is the maximum number that can be invested in a
single object using this ritual.
At Rank 15, the Enchanter obtains the skill to use the spells of other
Adepts of any of the Thaumaturgical Colleges as the "extra" spells,
providing that at least one of the three spells in the object is his
own. To use the spell of another Adept in this fashion, that other
Adept must be present and cooperating during the entire ritual, and
the cost of the incense burned during the ritual increases to 200 SPs.
The maximum number of "extra" charges remains equal to the
Enchanter's Rank with this ritual, and the Enchanter governs how
they're shared out.
Since the investing Adept controls how his spells' charges will be
activated, an Enchanter using this ritual can specify that the spells
will activate separately on given commands, or in a particular
sequence on a single command, or even simultaneously. This allows for
numerous variations, depending on the GM's judgment of whether or not
the Adept has the necessary sophistication with this ritual, in terms
of Rank, to set up sufficiently complex activation instructions.
Whatever the activation instructions, Cast Chance, range, and other
aspects are determined separately for each spell.
This ritual can never be used with non-neutralized cold iron, no
matter how small the amount. It can be used with neutralized cold
iron, with two "extra" spells allowed if truesilver was used, or one
"extra" spell if gold or silver was used; the Cast Chance penalties of
29.1, numbered section #3, apply.
The GM should consider knowledge of this ritual to be only moderately
restricted among Enchanters, with few non-Enchanters even knowing it
exists. This ritual cannot be used on Spell Containers (see below).
Note: The existence of this ritual should not be allowed to discourage
or inhibit the imaginative use of non-ritualized spell combinations.
For example, the parts of an object are just that -- part of that
object and not subject to separate investment. The threads of a shirt
cannot be invested separately from the shirt itself. But the chain
that holds a medallion can be invested separately from the medallion.
The jewel in the pommel of a sword, provided it is properly insulated
from the cold iron, can be enchanted separately from the sword. And
the pouch that holds a Crystal of Vision can certainly be invested
with its own spell.
(Note: In the DRAGONQUEST rules, the words "enchantment" and
"investment" are sometimes used interchangeably (see 56.3) and
sometimes not. Players and GMs should pay careful attention to the
context in which these words are used.)
At the end of this process, the object is still essentially
non-magical, merely invested with magical charges. To create actual
magical items, the following Special Knowledge Ritual available to
Enchanters is used.
2. Ritual of Creating Spell Containers (R-2)
An Enchanter can create a permanent Spell Container out of any object
by subjecting it to this ritual. The effect is to create in the
object intangible "spell compartments," in each of which are a number
of "charge-niches" that can be occupied by spell charges when the
compartment is "filled." This ritual, however, does not actually
"fill" the compartment -- that requires a subsequent Investment Ritual
(32.3), using a specific spell. Each time the 36.R-2 Ritual is
performed on an object, it creates a single spell compartment that
contains one charge-niche for each Rank the Adept has with the ritual.
Each compartment holds only one kind of spell at a time; each niche
contains a single charge, and any invested charges that do not find an
empty niche to occupy are lost.
To construct a Spell Container, the Enchanter must purchase materials
worth 1,000 SPs (+1,000 SPs more for each compartment already in the
container) for use in the ritual, and these materials will be
unrecoverable whether the attempt succeeds or fails. A full 10-hour
Preparation Ritual (32.1) must be executed the day prior to the 36.R-2
Ritual, and the 36.R-2 itself takes 10 hours. Base Chance for success
at the end of the ritual is 50%, +1% per Rank, plus the Adept's
Magical Aptitude. However, magical "static" makes it dangerous to
keep adding spell compartments to a container, and each compartment
already existing in a container attaches a -10% penalty to the Base
Chance. Failure of the ritual means that the object will literally
disintegrate, immediately discharging any and all spells it contains,
with appropriate effects on anyone nearby.
The experience multiple for Ritual 36.R-2 is 500.
The number of compartments that can be created in a single object
depends on two factors. The first is "real presence," which for
simplicity will be considered as equal to the object's weight.
Although compartments are intangible, their existence creates a kind
of magical "static" that can be injurious to physical reality. A very
small metal object, such as a one-ounce silver coin, can safely
contain no more than one spell compartment. A larger metal item, such
as a three-ounce silver throwing dart, might contain two compartments.
But as compartments are added, the requisite size of the container
will increase by a factor of 3 until a seven-compartment container has
a requisite weight of 729 ounces, or a little more than 45 pounds.
Obviously, containers designed for personal use will seldom have more
than four or five compartments. Cold iron, even if neutralized,
cannot contain spell compartments at all, unless truesilver was used
in the neutralizing -- if so, treat the object as if it were organic.
Inorganic materials can generally contain more compartments than
organic materials, on a 3-to-2 scale by weight, rounding down. Items
already possessing magical power -- amulets, Crystals of Vision, etc.
-- can never be made into Spell Containers.
Exactly how many compartments a given item can contain is a matter for
the GM to decide, and the player of an Adept character should consult
the GM concerning specific objects. It's no fun to go to the trouble
and expense of enchanting a Spell Container, only to have the GM
announce, "That container has been jammed with too many compartments,
and the static has just caused it to disintegrate, releasing all its
spells with the following effects on everyone in the vicinity...." The
initial decision of the GM should be considered final, however, since
Enchanters are expected to have a very accurate "feel" for how many
compartments an object can contain.
The second factor governing the number of compartments is the
Enchanter's Rank with this ritual. At Rank 1, an Enchanter can create
one compartment in an object that has no compartments already. At
Rank 3, he can create a second compartment in a container that already
has one compartment. At Rank 6, a third compartment can be added; at
Rank 10, a fourth; at Rank 15, a fifth compartment. At Rank 20, an
Enchanter can create as many compartments as he pleases, but seven
compartments should be considered a strict functional maximum because
of the increasing danger, expense, and size requirements.
Once a Spell Container has been created, it is sufficiently flexible
to entirely offset the difficulties and limitations involved in its
creation. It can be invested by Adepts from any of the Colleges, and
a multiple-compartment container can even hold spells from different
Colleges without regard to alignment. When the charges in a
particular compartment are all expended, the compartment can be
refilled with the same or different spell from any of the Colleges.
When using a container, an investment can fail but it cannot backfire;
and simply because a container is being used, +10 is added to the
investment's Base Chance. A container created by one Enchanter can
even have compartments added to it by another Enchanter. Also, an
Enchanter can use the 10-hour 36.R-2 Ritual by itself to increase the
number of niches in an existing (but empty) compartment, each use of
the ritual adding niches equal to his own Rank with the ritual, up to
a maximum of 20 niches per compartment. When used to create new
niches in existing compartments, the cost of materials for the 36.R-2
Ritual is only 200 SPs, with no "static" penalties.
An Adept uses the Investment-Ritual (32.3) to store charges equal to
his Rank, as usual. But if one Investment Ritual isn't sufficient to
fill the compartment in question, the Adept can keep repeating the
Investment Ritual until the compartment is filled. Since investment
in a container is subject to almost complete control, if the container
has more than one empty compartment, then the Adept can direct his
subsequent investments with the same spell to fill niches in a
different compartment, thus putting the same kind of spell into two
different compartments. It's also possible to use the Preparation
Ritual (32.1) as an "investment" to increase the Base Chance of a
spell in a specific compartment. Since the Preparation Ritual must be
applied to all the spell's charges, divide the Preparation bonus by
the number of charges present to determine the net effect on the
spell's Base Chance. In this connection, 36.S-7, "Enhance
Enchantment," can be used to enhance a stored spell in a similar
manner. Charges subsequently added to the compartment adopt the Base
Chance and other characteristics of the charges already in that
compartment, whether higher or lower.
There's a limit to how much enhancing and recharging an Adept can do
with a stored spell, however, From the moment a spell is invested in a
compartment, the compartment begins to "close"; once it's closed, no
one can tamper with the stored spell in any way, not even Namers.
Only the Adept's own mind can act as a wedge to keep the compartment
from closing, and over a period of days he can continue to work on the
spell he has just invested. But the moment the Adept turns his mind
to some new endeavor, the compartment will close, and neither changes
nor new charges can be added until the spell is completely expended
and a new one is stored. The degree of continual concentration
required of the Adept is analogous to "walking meditation." The Adept
can perform minor tasks -- preparing and eating food, dressing and
undressing, sleeping -- without breaking this concentration, but the
moment he actually turns his mind to another task, such as combat or
conversation, the concentration is broken and the compartment will close.
Activation of spells stored in a container can be handled in three
ways: The Enchanter who creates the first compartment, and thus the
container, can direct that all spells are subject to the same
activation instruction and can use this chance to establish permanent
personal control over the container. Or, each compartment can be
given a separate activating instruction. Or, the investing Adept can
stipulate the activation instruction of the spell he is investing at
the time of investment. Proper activation could make it possible to
discharge from several compartments simultaneously, or in
predetermined succession, or instructions from any particular
compartment selectively. Under most circumstances, a given
compartment will release its charges only one at a time.
Finally, a container can be destroyed by any action that would damage
the object's integrity. An enchanted bow would be unaffected by a
broken bowstring, but its compartments would be irreparably ruptured
if the bow itself were broken. In this case, any stored spells would
be dissipated, not released. Fortunately, container objects are about
20% more difficult to damage with physical force than similar
non-container objects, and they resist direct magical attack to their
integrity as if they were persons with a total passive Magic
Resistance of 75 (see 31.1).
GMs should consider the 36.R-2 Ritual to be highly restricted
information. Among non-Enchanters, few people even know such devices
can be created. Among Enchanters, an Adept must have reached Rank 10
with at least ten magical abilities (at least two of which are
rituals) before he can even comprehend the principles involved in
36.R-2. Each container should have its own chart to record
compartments, niches, spells, activating instructions, and other
details of its nature.
That completes the list of alterations and extrapolations. None of
them are startling or dramatic; no new spells or weapons are added
with which an Enchanter can clobber the opposition. With proper use,
however, these changes will turn the Enchanter into at least a
marginally more formidable character than he was before.
### End of DragonQuest Newsletter v8/n02 -- 2003