Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account
DriveThruRPG.com
Photo

The Book of Mundane Magic


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#1 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 09 April 2007 - 09:30 AM

OK folks,

This collaboration area on the forums is going to wreck and ruin so I thought I would start a new project here. I think we should write a collaborative PDF for DnD 3.5. The Magic Item Compendium provides a lot of nice new shiny magical items for your character, but in a world so infused with magic there must surely be a whole host of items with much more mundane uses. These things may be so commonplace that they are not mentioned in any setting but could be a simple as self mending clothes or a chilled tankard.

What I am propsing is that we start to post up some suggestions of The Book of Mundane Magic. This would include items which are totally mundane in purpose. It would give a DM the option of providing some magical items to the party that would not ruin game balance but that would add an elemant of enchantment to the setting.

Once we have a load of them I can collate them into a PDF book and let everyone have a copy :D

The rules for the creation of Magic Items are over in D20 SRD Magic Item Creation and Magic Item Basics. The method of laying out the description should be the same as in the DMG and there are details at the bottom of the Basics link.

I think we should try to keep the costs low and the spell level down and provide some useful and interesting items. I think it might be quite a nice PDF to have lying around when you want to give the party something different but not another magical sword.

Feel free to post up ideas as well as fully worked out items and we can start to see what categories we are getting :D Also feel free to just generally comment ;)

Cheers
Hal :hal: (waits for first item to appear)
  • 0

#2 Thing

Thing

    a Bad Man

  • Administrators
  • 12,601 posts
  • LocationNear Seattle, WA, USA

Posted 09 April 2007 - 09:43 AM

I think this is a great idea, and an overlooked niche.

The relatively low level magic spells can create a host of items that could be of great benifit to any adventurer, or the stay at home worker.

It always struck me as odd how the common campaign world tends to stick with a straight middle ages feel with real magic bolted on, when wizards and sorcerers should have a vast impact on society.

Not to mention clerics that can heal the sick and druids that can make the crops grow.
  • 0

#3 centauri

centauri

    Lantern Archon

  • Members
  • 1,275 posts
  • LocationSeattle, Washington

Posted 09 April 2007 - 10:55 AM

It always struck me as odd how the common campaign world tends to stick with a straight middle ages feel with real magic bolted on, when wizards and sorcerers should have a vast impact on society.

It's odd, but how else to do it? Since the magic in the game wasn't planned out to allow for a perfectly consistent world, if you go to the trouble of taking magic to its "logical" conclusions you're likely to wind up with a paradoxical mess. It's far easier, less frustrating, and more "fantastical" to take the setting as given and either ignore the effects of magic, or assume that there are other forces at work in the world (visible to the players or not) that maintain the status quo.

Anyway, Hal, I like your idea as a way to give flavor to the game. I don't see that there's any reason to stick to the rules for such items, though, since you posit that they don't ruin game balance. I mean, just as there are likely to be mundane magical items in the world, there are likely to be "mundane" spells, that aren't worth codifying. The early Romans (and likely some of the current ones) had "house gods" who oversaw minor mundane duties. It's certainly not game-breaking to assume that D&D has such deities and that they can be relied upon to help homemakers perform literally what my mother always referred to as "the daily miracle" of homemaking.

If we are to follow the rules, however, then we'll need spells to put into them. Prestidigitation and other 0-level spells can really cover most situations but I offer the following as both a starting point for other spells, or as a basis for magical items.

Warm Greetings
Universal
Level: Ritual (Family)
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 hour daily
Duration: See text
Spell Resistance: No
A household that performs this ritual daily is blessed in such a way that they are prepared at any time to receive any number of guests for a single meal. Chairs, table space, place settings are always available and no matter how many people enter the dining area it only seems pleasantly cozy, not crowded. The food and drink never seem to run out, and are always the right temperature and taste. Time can run as slowly as half speed at this gathering (DM's discretion).
All guests and members of the household present for this meal tend to be happy and good spirited but there is at least 1% chance per hour per guest that a disagreement will arise between two of those in attendance. The DM may increase these chances, but not decrease them. When the disagreement occurs, the spell begins to wane. Within thirty minutes, all effects of the spell are gone; the room becomes uncomfortable, food begins to run out, and time resumes its normal course. Any member of the household can end the effect deliberately at any time, prior to a disagreement.
Should this ritual ever not be performed on a given day, the spell is broken and cannot be reestablished for an entire week. All members of the household (including pets and servants) must participate in this ritual, and the primary homemaker (who may be the head servant) must lead it. If a member of the family is not present and no absence ritual (such as Search for Knowledge or Call to Arms) has been performed for them, the ritual fails and is not considered to have been performed.
Material Component: a complete miniature meal, including drinks and desserts, presented to the house god.


Come to think of it, I'm not sure how this would lend itself to any kind of a portable item, so I'm not really helping. And this sort of effect should really not have rules applied to it. You only need rules when you need the game not to break. Well, felt good to type that anyway. Let me know if you'd like me to expand on the concept.
  • 0

#4 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 09 April 2007 - 12:10 PM

Hey I like that!

Shall we extend it to include spells in a similar vein? I think that would be fine :D It is still Mundane Magic after all :D

Hal :hal:
  • 0

#5 SnackGirl

SnackGirl

    Stirge

  • Members
  • 390 posts
  • LocationBradford

Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:43 PM

There's some good mundane spells in Victoriana that you could, erm, adapt. I would do it be my knowledge of DnD would fit on a stamp! It has things like a spell to comb your hair and one to get rid of hangovers. If someone wants to adapt them, and has no access to Victoriana, I will post them here. Otherwise I won't :D
  • 0

#6 Thing

Thing

    a Bad Man

  • Administrators
  • 12,601 posts
  • LocationNear Seattle, WA, USA

Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:57 PM

Warm Greetings
Universal
Level: Ritual (Family)
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 hour daily
Duration: See text
Spell Resistance: No


That is a pretty powerfull little spell. You are basically altering space for the dinning area, mood of attendanst, and creating food for the attendants. It is limited with being a daily ritual and the half hour duration, but pretty powerful none the less.

Would this be an invocation to the god of hearth and home? And I assume it would be performable by common folk rather then trained clergy so it would be basically a cantrop equivelant?
  • 0

#7 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:58 PM

Cool! Throw up the list and we can make spells and magic items out of them :D A lot of basic effects can be covered by Prestidigitation so we might be able to make a nice magic pill to cure hangovers or whatever ;)

Cheers
Hal :hal:
  • 0

#8 Thing

Thing

    a Bad Man

  • Administrators
  • 12,601 posts
  • LocationNear Seattle, WA, USA

Posted 09 April 2007 - 02:05 PM

One of the Monte Cook suppliments for his system (I know you don't like em, Glenn ;) ) had some wizards spells I thought made a lot of sense. Spells that basically lasted 1 year and gave Damagre resistance to books, for those travelling spell books.

I would assume there would be a lot of spells created around library maintenance plus a lot of spells for things like copying mundane texts and such. Unless you figure on their being enough apprentices that are trustworthy enough to pass those tasks off to.
  • 0

#9 centauri

centauri

    Lantern Archon

  • Members
  • 1,275 posts
  • LocationSeattle, Washington

Posted 09 April 2007 - 02:35 PM

That is a pretty powerfull little spell. You are basically altering space for the dinning area, mood of attendanst, and creating food for the attendants. It is limited with being a daily ritual and the half hour duration, but pretty powerful none the less.

I just whipped that off, so it's not fleshed out yet. Technically anyone can perform rituals, assuming they met the other qualifications, such as being part of a family unit, being of a certain age, or being in a certain place. I don't think this is an original idea on my part, I think there is mention of these kinds of things in some official supplements. This ritual would be restricted to a family home, and could only be performed by the members of that home. A party of adventurers couldn't just throw together a building, call it a house (there being, after all, rituals for the beginning of a new house), move in and perform this ritual, even if they all happened to be related. The Book of Mundane Magic would specify all this. Bottom line, this ritual meets the requirement of not ruining game balance.

Would this be an invocation to the god of hearth and home? And I assume it would be performable by common folk rather then trained clergy so it would be basically a cantrop equivelant?

No, I'd say it's better than a cantrip, as it has the effect of not only creating food but also pleasant accommodation as well. But it's more limited than a cantrip, as to how and where and by whom it can be performed and what it can be used for. Despite the wording of the rough draft above, it couldn't, for instance, by used to cram a horde of archers into a room and turn a building into a massive pillbox. Basically, if you can think of a useful game effect for the ritual, it doesn't work that way.

It's merely designed to provide some atmospheric magic to the world, say for when the PCs come to a new village. The DM wants them to go to a party to meet a contact, and they find themselves led to a small cottage. Inside are far more people than they'd think would fit in, along with copious amounts of food and drink. The layout of the room doesn't matter, and neither does the time. If the PCs start a fight, the effect ends, people disperse and the PCs have dug a hole for themselves, as they still need to meet the contact and probably apologize for their boorish behavior.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Hal, but I think this class and its new spells are the kind of things you're thinking about.
  • 0

#10 Fox

Fox

    Stirge

  • Members
  • 371 posts
  • LocationRedmond, Wa, USA

Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:44 PM

Washboard of Cleaning
Any garment cleaned with the Washboard of Cleaning is magically cleaned of any stain, dirt or grime. Colors remain bright and vibrant and it prevents them from fading or bleeding to other garments while being washed. Garments being washed with the washboard are able to withstand the test of time far better and are prevented from being threadbare, worn looking or from having loose threads. After being washed all garments are imbued with a fresh pleasing scent.

Minor Universal/Transmutation; CL 3rd; Prestidigitation, Mending; Craft Wondrous Item. Price: 150gp; Weight: 2 lb

Seamstress' Needle & Thread of Repair
This silver needle and thread is able to repair any garment. The thread is capable of matching any color on any garment and will never run out. In the hands of a skilled seamstress it can be used to fix any hole, tear, cut or other damage to an article of clothing.

Minor Transmutation; CL 3rd; Mending; Craft Wondrous Item. Price: 50gp; Weight: 0.5 lb

The Lady's Comb of Comeliness
A much sought after item by women of fashion and noble birth. This item is capable of cleaning any woman's hair and styling it in any imaginable way. It also adds a light bit of perfume to the lady's hair for an evening of entertaining among high society. Any hair style so combed by using the comb will maintain it's look for 1 day.

Minor Universal; CL 3rd; Prestidigitation; Craft Wondrous Item. Price: 150 gp; Weight: 0.10 lb

Dust of The Huntsman
This leather pouch with a drawstring opening is filled with a fine sand that is sprinkled over any kill. The purpose is to preserve the kill for travel so that it can prepared at camp, in town or days afterward. This item is sought after by many a hunter, ranger and druid due to the convenience it provides as additional uses can keep the remaining portions of a kill well preserved until their use. Many a seneschal have also wanted to procure such an item for their own larders due to it's incredible value.

Minor Necromancy; CL 5th; Gentle Repose; Craft Wondrous Item. Price: 300 gp; Weight 2 lb

----

These are the ones off the top of my head that I can think of, I have a few others in the works that I'll post up later (Boots of the Herron, etc) I haven't gotten any full out spells but I'll see what I can't whip up.
  • 0

#11 centauri

centauri

    Lantern Archon

  • Members
  • 1,275 posts
  • LocationSeattle, Washington

Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:57 PM

These are the ones off the top of my head that I can think of, I have a few others in the works that I'll post up later (Boots of the Herron, etc) I haven't gotten any full out spells but I'll see what I can't whip up.

Hey, good stuff. I should stop being such a party pooper and just play along, as these seem handy and non-balance-ruining, not to mention well-written.
  • 0

#12 Fox

Fox

    Stirge

  • Members
  • 371 posts
  • LocationRedmond, Wa, USA

Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:15 PM

I would assume there would be a lot of spells created around library maintenance plus a lot of spells for things like copying mundane texts and such. Unless you figure on their being enough apprentices that are trustworthy enough to pass those tasks off to.

Actually there is! It's called: "Anamuensis", it's in the Spell Compendium. I think it's a Forgotten Realms spell natively. Which gives me an idea.... stay tuned for the spell, etc later. I'll follow up with the details along with the other spell ideas I have in my head.
  • 0

#13 Fox

Fox

    Stirge

  • Members
  • 371 posts
  • LocationRedmond, Wa, USA

Posted 09 April 2007 - 08:39 PM

Spectacles of The Healer
These glass spectacles are made with a thin wire frame and clear lenses of glass or polished quartz crystal. When used by a healer they can assist in the diagnosis and healing process of the patient. The healer is granted a "second sight" ability to determine what ailments and ills the patient is experiencing in addition to their current state of well-being. The healer is also aware of just how ill or damaged the patient is at the point of diagnosis. In addition to assisting with any healing magics, they also grant the healer better sight as normal non-magical spectacles would.

Minor Necromancy/Divination; CL 3rd; Deathwatch, Status; Craft Wondrous Item; Price: 500 gp; Weight: 0.02 lb

Boots of The Heron
These finely crafted boots are the signature of any marshland dwelling huntsman, ranger or druid. They grant the wearer the ability to traverse across the trackless wet wilds of marshlands, wetlands, swamps and bogs. As such the wearer is subject to no movement penalty while in those terrains. No amount of magic or polishing will ever remove the smell of tromping around in bogs and through wetlands from the boots. Despite this drawback they are still desired and recommended to any traveller planning to head into marshy environs.

Moderate Transmutation/Abjuration; CL 7th, Pass Without Trace, Freedom of Movement; Craft Wondrous Item; Price: 2500 gp, Weight: 1 lb

Pebble of The North
This pebble is a small rounded pebble smoothed and round as if worn by countless hands. When held in the palm and the command word is uttered this small pebble shows it's value by rolling in the direction of north.

Minor Divination; CL 3rd; Know Direction; Craft Wondrous Item; Price: 20 gp; Weight: N/A

Knife Block of Master Chef
This wooden knife block is for holding and storing cullinary knives between use in the kitchen. All knives placed in this smooth wooden block, stained a deep rich burgandy color; will keep their sharpness. The block also has the ability to clean the muck and any residue left on the blade when the knife is returned back to the block.

Moderate Universal/Transmutation; CL 5th; Prestidigitation, Keen Edge; Craft Wondrous Item; Price: 75 gp; Weight 3 lb

Trivet of the Hostess
This finely embroidered hot pad is made from thick cotton and allows the
weilder to hold containers of any temperature; hot or cold in complete comfort. When an object is placed on top of this the owner need not worry about marring or defacing whatever is under it.

Minor Abjuration; CL 3rd; Endure Elements; Craft Wondrous Item, Price: 20 gp; Weight: N/A

Pillowcase of Boogeyman Warding
This fanciful pillowcase is made of soft cotton or sometimes silks. Typically these items are decorated with various childlike designs across them. Knights of bravery and powerful wizards are common motifs. All usually show children fighting off boogeymen riding nightmares of flaming hooves or other fantastical images and decorations. It is whispered that the high ranking ruler of one nation still keeps their pillowcase since childhood. All rumors however are vehemently denied by the authorities. Any child that has 1 nights' sleep is granted a restful sleep and is not subject to Fear effects the following day. Any conditions such as: exhaustion, fatigue, frightened, scared or confusion are removed. Adults are immune to any benefits from this item.

Moderate Enchantment; CL 5th; Sleep, Calm Emotions, Heroism; Craft Wondrous Item, Price: 25 gp; Weight: N/A

-----

I debated on the last section and I admit I'm not very happy about it at all. But this is for Thing and his comment about the librarians. I may rewrite this as a Construct, as a lower level type of Homunculus. I was picturing something similar to the Dedicated Wright from the Eberron Campaign Setting only say... more bookish and requiring the casting of Unseen Servant and Amanuensis. Instead I have written it up as a Spell of the Conjuration (Creation) school. I think a Spell of the Conjuration (Summoning) may also work suitably. I'm having trouble drafting up the stat-block however. I probably will re-work this into three types. A construct for permanent facilities, a summoned/bound creature for other work and then the created being for temporary situations.

-----

Thothian Attendant
Conjuration (Creation)
Level: Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 day
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: One 'attendant' creature
Duration: 1 week/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

This spell creates a force similar to Unseen Servant, it resembles a smokey willowy stork-like humanoid dressed as a simple scribe. In many respects this spell is to function the same as Unseen Servant and Anamaneusis. This force knows everything the caster knows about their books, items scrolls, etc. The conjured being will never leave the boundaries of the library, archive, repository. If forced to leave the creature evaporates and the spell is dispelled. The creature cannot speak and will not write, Detect Thoughts will not work on the force. It understands all spoken languages. Upon casting the creature has an intimate knowledge of all items contained within the archive / repository / library and will perform any action as directed by the caster. These actions are always non-violent and will not harm any being. They are usually custodian, clerical or administrative like tasks such as but not limited to: "assist any guests with finding their requests", "organize this bookcase according to this criteria" or "retrieve any works relevant to the topic of", "copy the works from this book into this other book". The Attendant does not sleep and will work tirelessly to perform it's assigned duties.

When lacking orders it can usually be found tidying a long forgotten corner of the library or raptly reading some random scroll or tome; sometimes stacking or organizing an unmaintained bookcase. Many librarians consider it a sign of status to have a Thothian Attendant performing clerical, administrative tasks for their library. Many well to-do private magical colleges, universities and religious libraries have at least 1 Thothian Attendant present.

Material Component
A mummified ibis.
  • 0

#14 centauri

centauri

    Lantern Archon

  • Members
  • 1,275 posts
  • LocationSeattle, Washington

Posted 09 April 2007 - 09:45 PM

Handy Handbook
This thin, grey volume fits in the palm of the hand but can store vasts amount of information. It functions in a manner similar to a blessed book but only for non-magical writings. A scribe can use a normal ink and quill to fill the equivalent of 500 pages with words or drawings. The original scribe of any given page can turn to that page as a free action. Anyone else must make a DC 10 Search check to find a desired page.

The pages automatically reject all magical writing, including wards, symbols and sepia snake sigils.

Any given page may be permanently erased by turning to the page and speaking a command word. Another command word blanks the entire book. The book must be open and held to erase or scribe pages.

A handy handbook left unattended for one week will become blank, its information forever unrecoverable. A permanency spell will fix the writing as if to a normal page, but no further information can be added unless the original is erased.

Faint transmutation; CL 5; secret page, erase; Craft Wonderous Item; Price: 1000 gp.

(Yes, based on a PDA. Pricy because it's a plaything and status symbol for, say, a city scholar.)
  • 0

#15 Fox

Fox

    Stirge

  • Members
  • 371 posts
  • LocationRedmond, Wa, USA

Posted 10 April 2007 - 10:56 AM

(Yes, based on a PDA. Pricy because it's a plaything and status symbol for, say, a city scholar.)

Thank you for the compliment earlier! :)

And would be very useful for any adventurer wanting to map a dungeon or any party wishing to chronicle their adventures.
  • 0

#16 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 10 April 2007 - 11:39 AM

I am liking this project very much so far :D

Have all these things been made using the rules for costs etc?

There are some great ideas there :D

Hal :hal:
  • 0

#17 centauri

centauri

    Lantern Archon

  • Members
  • 1,275 posts
  • LocationSeattle, Washington

Posted 10 April 2007 - 11:56 AM

Have all these things been made using the rules for costs etc?

Well, wonderous items don't always stick directly to formula. My item is a non-useful version of the blessed book, so I made sure to place it far below that in value. My other consideration was that there was no point in charging too much for the item, or requiring too much XP for it, since it's meant to be set dressing used by NPCs (albeit rich NPCs).
  • 0

#18 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 10 April 2007 - 12:41 PM

Thats true :D

I guess we could indicate a market price and an actual rules costs for the items!

Hal :hal:
  • 0

#19 Fox

Fox

    Stirge

  • Members
  • 371 posts
  • LocationRedmond, Wa, USA

Posted 10 April 2007 - 02:16 PM

I am liking this project very much so far :D

Have all these things been made using the rules for costs etc?

There are some great ideas there :D

No they have not been determined based from the creation costs per the rules. They were just rough guesses. Were they to follow the rules precisely I fear they would be priced out of affordability for most commoners who would benefit from such mundane items. Since an average worker is paid a few silver per-week.

You raise a very good point however. I'll re-evaluate my item costs per the Create Wondrous Item rules. That should at least give us a baseline for how reasonable the items are priced per the rules.

My apologies for not following the original post and adhering to the creation rules. Stay tuned for adjusted price lists later this afternoon/evening as I correct my mistake. I should have some more items and possibly a re-write of the Thothian Attendant as a construct and as a Summoned Creature. I want to write up some more spells instead of just the plethora of magical items I've been cranking out.

All future items will have prices listed "accurately" per the Create Wondrous Item rules in the SRD. :)
  • 0

#20 Hal

Hal

    Site Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,095 posts
  • Amazon Wishlist
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted 10 April 2007 - 02:20 PM

It's not an issue! I just thought it might be good to have the complete info for all of the items :D

I appreciate that the item creation rules might not be appropriate for the items but we can address that with a "market value" or perhaps some new item creation rules for mundane items.

Perhaps they can be made in batches, like potions should be :D

Hal :hal:
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Gravityscan Badge