Sunday, December 23, 2012

Toil and Trouble


On page 314, under the heading General Principles of Wizard Spells, you will find the following quote:
Simply learning that a spell exists is a great accomplishment . . .
That simple sentence has captivated me. Elsewhere in the rules it is stated that there is a finite number of known spells. I'm not sure if spell research is permitted by the rules. It is my understanding (based on my woefully incomplete reading) that spells are "given" by powers beyond the kin of the masses, and that this is the way to gain them. If that is correct, then not only is it an intriguing assumption, it definitely means that a count of "spells known to exist" is conceivable.

At any rate, there are very interesting rules for Wizards learning of spells, in order that they may actually learn them and study them. I think that is a completely awesome idea. Upon attaining each level  a Wizard has the opportunity to learn a new spell. This is not simply a matter of the player perusing the spell lists and saying "I'll take this one". During the course of adventuring at the previous level, the player must make the effort to learn of the existence of spells. In fact, this should be as common to the Wizard as seeking rumors of fabled blades of power is to the Warrior. The judge should, of course, concoct these rumors and have them sketched out. Any spells that the Wizard learns of are eligible to be chosen from to be learned at the next level. But it doesn't end there.

If the Wizard knows of the spell through a tome or some other actual record of the spell, he must expend a certain amount of time and make a roll. If successful, the ordeal is over and he can cast the spell.

On the other hand, if he knows of the spell, but doesn't actually possess a "copy" of it, he must obtain such. It can be written, whispered from a demon's lips, or imparted in any creative way the judge can envision. In any event, it may take a quest of some nature to reach the source of the knowledge. There may also be a cost for acquiring the knowledge. Nobody said the path to magical power was smooth or easy.

If, by chance, no knowledge of a spell is discovered, there are tables to randomly determine certain particulars. There are three tables: Where Is the Knowledge Found, What Is the Cost of the Knowledge, and What Components Are Required. So, for example, I just rolled on the tables and discovered that the spell can be found in the purest drop of water, the price of knowledge of the spell is the Wizard wearing his hair in a topknot, in the custom of a sect of monks. Finally, a mother's love for her child is a required component for the spell to function. Of course, it falls on the judge to weave these random elements into something adventurous.

DCC is rife with tables such as these, but it should be remembered that the tables given are more like examples than holy writ. It would be a simple, and fun, matter to develop other results for these categories.

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