29 December 2022

Look What I Found! A Cantrip List

This was written up in more or less this format for a website a bunch of years ago.  Some of these spells are ones I created for GURPS in an article over thirty years ago.  Having stumbled across it, I decided to spruce it up and post it anew.  Now if anyone wants the actual GURPS stats as written up for my campaign, feel free to ask!

Chisandra’s Magic Tool: Summons one of the following tools: chisel, axe, crowbar, plane, adze, handaxe, pick, shovel, handsaw, crosscut saw, file, or awl. It is made of steel, and holds a perpetual edge. It will be sized for the caster, and cannot be made larger or smaller. For some reason, the craftsmen who revile the wizard Chisandra for inventing the “Strike Breaker” spell (see below) – as well as others who would use it – have no problem with this spell.  Local blacksmiths, however, have different opinions ...

Chisandra’s Strike Breaker: Named for a enchanter noblewoman whose new mansion was held up by a work stoppage, this causes a standard tool with no moving parts to work independently at the caster’s bidding.  It will only perform actions for which it is designed (for example, however much it’s technically possible, the spell won’t cause a hatchet to work as a screwdriver), as if it were wielded by a human of average strength, with approximately the skill at its task of a trained apprentice of the appropriate craft. To this day, the spell is resented by local craftsmen, and wizards known to employ it are prone to having their windows broken by thrown bricks, their front stoops smeared with excrement, and so on.

Coins of Change: A coin of the caster's choice (and held in his hand) disappears, to be replaced by the monetary equivalent in the next lower denomination. However, one coin of the lower denomination is missing (as a magical "tip," if you will); for instance, a dollar coin would be replaced by three quarters.  If the coin is not easily divisible into the next lower denomination (quarters into dimes, for instance), it is rendered in the denomination below that. The new coins will be of the proper bullion, weight and minting, indistinguishable from other such coins were it not for the newness and lack of wear.  If the spell is cast on a coin of the lowest common denomination, it disappears ... to be replaced by something peculiar and/or worthless.

Denys’ Menacing Orbs: Creates a fistful of “standard” fiberglass marbles that appear in the caster’s hand ... whether or not fiberglass is a substance that exists in the gameworld.

Elaina’s Excellent Teapot: A silvery-violet teapot will appear (and float) in midair. The caster may put any kind of tea and sweetener inside the pot; it requires no water or strainer. The pot will brew away, producing 1 quart, appropriately sweetened. If no tea is placed into the pot, it will brew a basic pekoe. The pot will pour itself, at the caster's command, and vanish either at the caster’s command or when there is no tea left in the pot. Variants exist for cocoa and other hot drinks.

Elaina’s Ball of Fun: Created by the ice wizard Elaina Waflo more as a means to have a handy fistful of snow whenever she wanted one, this places a normal, if large and well packed, snowball in the caster’s hand. The snow itself is permanent, but will melt normally.

Flower Power: Any sort of flowers with which the caster is familiar can be created in a full bouquet. They will be in full bloom. Any part of the bouquet that is disassembled – for instance, processing for herbal or alchemical use – vanishes at once.  The bouquet will last for as long as a mundane cut bunch of fresh flowers would.

Hero Pointer: The most powerful character – in terms of levels, character points, etc. – in the caster’s line of sight is outlined with a visible ruddy glow. The caster can exclude certain people or types of people from the spell’s calculation, and/or make the effect visible to him or her only.

Iamedon’s Keener Edged Armament: Sharpens an edged weapon, tool or implement to have as fine an edge as the object can normally hold; the edge lasts as long as normal use provides.

Kinto’s Beneficial Breathing: The subject's nostrils, ears and mouth become impermeable to water. Normal air breathing is not impeded, but no oxygen is extracted from "breathing" in water – the spell will only keep the subject from drowning.

Lengchi’s Bane: This spell combines ingredients into a blended whole. The ingredients must be normally able to be mixed by hand and be placed in a container, which will be filled by the resulting mixture. The combination takes place in one second. Lengchi was an infamous alchemical researcher working through the periodic table, and who discovered – a bit too late – that alchemically refining a large quantity of pure sodium and combining it with water (to “see what happened”) was not all that sensible an idea.

“Limpy’s” Third Conjuration: Causes an inanimate object to bend in the middle. Regardless of its natural qualities - brittleness, for example - it will bend and not break. If the object makes its appropriate resistance roll, it is slightly warped in some way. Created by the pompous Master Limsenien of the Viridistani College of Mages, it acquired its byname from the put-upon professional apprentice corps of the city – who claimed, inaccurately, that the wizard used this to blight the manhoods of his enemies – and “Limpy” was what the wizard was called behind his back thereafter, so much so that he dropped plans to publish his Fourth and Fifth Conjurations.

Malabar’s Miraculous Assay:
The caster can determine the material components of any liquid or solid compound by chemical name, along with the proportion of the components in the compound, within the limits of general chemical knowledge of the caster’s tech level.  However, the caster does not necessarily know the individual properties of the components, nor will he learn what the compound does, absent scholarly knowledge of chemistry or alchemy.

Mirith’s Restful Soak: Creates a magical hot tub, which will materialize on the ground if the terrain is even and there are no intervening objects. It will comfortably seat two people. The temperature may be set between 95 and 120 degrees F, with any desired degree of turbulence. The spell was researched and invented at the request of the then-Emperor of Vinaria, a frequent adventurer who in his later years suffered from arthritis.

Morgil’s Clouded Gaze: The eyes of the subject adjust to any light brighter than normally comfortable, overtoning everything he sees in sepia tones. The spell will not function against light-based magical attacks. Prince Morgil Ravenswing of Gwenethlin was a renowned campaigner, but overly light sensitive, and richly rewarded the (unknown) wizard who invented this spell.

Phoenix’s Fountain of Glory: A fizzing jet flies straight up from the caster’s finger. When it reaches an altitude of 400', it bursts into a brilliant flare of colored light and descends at a rate of 10'/second thereafter. While the flare’s illumination is dim at best, it is visible for miles at night. The spell does no damage, may not be targeted, and will not fire in any direction but straight up. “Phoenix” was the errantry-name of the starlight wizard Sairin Wenairin, who is said to have invented it in the time he campaigned with the KalĂ­nalumbĂ« Regiment.

Puff of Breath: The target feels a light puff of breath; it will blow out candles, and be noticeable, but not much else.

Ratri’s Blessed Shield: Cast on a female, this prevents fertilization of eggs. If cast on a female pregnant within the last week, induces spontaneous abortion. If cast on a male his sperm becomes non-viable. Taught by the priestesses of Ratri, although its use is canonically discouraged.

“Show Business”: Creates any minor special effect that the caster can imagine, suitable for use as a prop for a stage show. Among the possible effects are minor sound effects, flashing lights, mini-fireworks, loud spectral applause, background Muzak, small puffs of smoke or thin fog ... but in any event, it will turn out on the cheesy side. The special effects created with this spell are not powerful enough to distract or fool a determined foe. Several wizards have been accused of inventing the spell in the 33 years it has been known; all hotly deny doing so.

Spider’s Veil: A fine rain of gossamer web floats down. While it is easily visible, it neither impedes vision nor movement.

Verella’s Toy: A small item becomes a recording device, recording any sound generated (or permeating) within 30' of its location. The sound pickup and quality is equivalent to that of a modern-day boom mike and tape player. To activate the Toy, the caster must speak a command word chosen at the time of casting. A second command word stops the recording. A third command word allows the Toy to play back any sounds it has captured. The object will only provide between six and twelve playbacks. Created for Princess Verella Waflo of Vinaria, who as a small child loved the music of the nomadic Waertagi tribe and wanted to hear it still in her quiet home, hundreds of miles from the Waertagi steppe country.

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