A wizard or elf may attempt to learn a spell he is aware of without spending the requisite time to study, but such an attempt is hazardous. First off, the character must make a check against DC 10 + the spell level as part of an attempt to cast the spell. The initial check consists of 1d16 + caster level + Intelligence modifier.
If this check fails, the character suffers a misfire from the attempted spell. If this check results in a natural "1" the check automatically fails, and the would-be caster suffers corruption as well. In addition, in the event of a natural "1", all subsequent attempts to learn the same spell on the fly reduce the die used for the check, as per the die chain.
However, each failed attempt also gives a +1 bonus to learning the spell if normal research is then used, to a maximum bonus of +4.
If the character succeeds, he has learned the spell! However, the hap-hazard method of learning requires a second Mercurial Magic check with a -20 penalty to the roll. The effects of both Mercurial Magic checks take place whenever the wizard or elf casts this spell.
I like this rule. I've yet to have run a Wizard in my games, but it seems like they have the power to steer the group towards adventures which center around the accumulation of arcane knowledge. This seems like a shortcut, albeit a dangerous one.ReplyDelete
It comes from re-reading Appendix N fiction, and in some cases reading stories for the first time. I just finished The Compleat Enchanter, which I have not read in years, and am reading The Fallible Fiend for the first time ever.Delete
Verbal, Somatic, and Material components occur in the Harold Shea stories explicitly....but so does Shea's learning spells on the fly, often with humorous side effects (for the reader; not so for Shea!).
I am admittedly not very much of a fantasy reader (though I read a lot, my interest are elsewhere). I've been trying to find fantasy I enjoy and have had middling success. I picked up Swords and Deviltry and took out the Conan stories from the library hoping they will change my mind about the genre. I'm definitely looking for inspiration in my games from them.ReplyDelete
I enjoy Howard's writing. I recently read my first Leigh Brackett, and found her quite readable.Delete
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