Monday, November 3, 2014

Previewing Book of Spells 2E: Wizard Eye

Well, here we are are the end of Halloween weekend. Some people say that their greatest fear is spiders or something like that (I think I spent too much time growing up on the farm with all creatures great and small walking under me, next to me, and on me from time to time). Even the invisible stalker from last week really intrigues more than terrifies me. No, what has always completely freaked me out is disconnected or dislocated body parts. So here, let me share with you my partner Isabelle's page of rough concept sketches for the Book of Spells, 2nd Edition "wizard eye" spell and give you the creeps for another week:


Among the priorities for the 2nd edition (available Dec-1 with the even more horrifying final art within, how's that for a sales pitch?) has been to bring the text even more closely in alignment and theme with the Original D&D game. For example, I've switched numerous names back to the recognizable classic ones: Arcane eye is once again wizard eye. Likewise: Arcane lock is back to wizard lock. Protection from arrows is protection from missiles. Summon elemental is conjure elemental, and summon stalker is invisible stalker. Circle of death is once again the death spell. Stuff like that.

(Now, not absolutely everything is back to OD&D standards. Like: I just can't get over how much I loathe the acronym ESP in the spell list, nor did I like the SRD-brand detect thoughts, so I settled on read minds as the title it really should have had all along -- having some amount of real myth/magician resonance to it. Also, those spells with numerical parameters in the title: invisibility 10' radius is still invisibility sphere, and protection from evil 10' radius is what I now call the protective sphere.)

Anyway, here's my cut-and-polished version of the wizard eye spell for you to sneak a peek at yourself. Small is beautiful!


Wizard Eye: (Range: 6 inches, Duration: 6 turns) The caster creates an invisible, magical eye through which he or she can see from a distance. Once conjured, the wizard eye can travel at a speed of 12” per round, up to 24” from the caster. The eye can pass through cracks about the size of a mouse-hole.


7 comments:

  1. Whatever is going on in that picture, there sure are a lot of wizards interested in watching it. Arcane Pay Per View.
    Mouse Hole: Any hole big enough for a mouse to squeeze through (Pencil width)?
    or
    Mouse Hole: Cartoon opening for a mouse, about 2 inches wide 3 inches tall?

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    1. Well, this is an interesting question, now that you mention it. Online I see "pencil-sized" or alternatively "dime-sized" value given. Personally I just got this phrase from the 3E SRD and didn't see any ambiguity initially. But check this out:

      The language originally comes from Gygax in the 1E DMG (spell errata section), where it says "no larger than a small mouse hole (about one-half inch diameter)". In 2E the value was bumped up to, "no smaller than a small mouse hole (1 inch in diameter)"; perhaps this seemed reasonable to the editor, or just simpler. in 3E/SRD it's identical, "no smaller than a small mouse hole (1 inch in diameter)".

      I guess when I edited things down I cut out the "1 inch" specifier, thinking it didn't make much difference. Perhaps I should cut that out and instead say "The eye can pass through cracks about one inch in diameter."? (Although that's potentially confusable with the table-inches scale.)

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    2. Yeah I had assumed you were trying to avoid "table inches" vs "in world inches" confusion.
      -Size of the caster's eye?
      -a hole the size of a Gold Piece?
      -Size of a human thumb?
      or
      "The eye can pass through any crack large enough for a mouse"

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  2. No. no. It's being broadcast on Palantir-vision, these are the "hackers" who aren't paying for it.

    Shouldn't it be able to pass through a hole eyeball sized or larger? As long as the "tail" doesn't get snagged.

    And it's creepier if the eye isn't invisible and is an actual eye from a "donor".

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    1. I like that last part. :-)

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    2. On the size, if mice can go through a dime-sized hole, then Gygax's original "half-inch diameter" is about spot on. But then as you say I got thinking about the eyeball, and was measuring my eye in the bathroom mirror with a ruler, which seems more like the 2E inch-diameter, at least in longitude. But then I got thinking if the distended eyeball could "squish" through a smaller hole like a mouse does. And with that I think I should go to bed. :-)

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