Spellbook: The Enchiridion

Title: The Enchiridion
Physical Description: The Enchiridion is a plain book, about a hand and a half high by a hand wide, containing 100 pages of rag linen paper rather than parchment. It is traditionally bound in dull red calfskin, and has three leather flaps attached to the back cover that fold over the edges and spine. A leather tie holds the whole collection together. The pages are bound into five sets of twenty pages each, arranged so that any pair of pages in the book can lie completely flat, thanks to the coptic-stitch binding. Each page contains a plain letter title in red ink, while the main text is in black. Most pages have a diagram or a seal in sienna ink, as well.
History: The Enchiridion is the most common and most widely known spell-book in the region, since it holds nearly the complete catalog of basic spells. More than ninety-nine complete copies are known to exist in the Archipelago, and hundreds of incomplete copies exist as well. Some are even in the collections of secular princes, where their own wizards may use them. The book is so common and well-known that no wizard must make an effort to understand the book; it is simply part of a wizard’s training that he learns to read the Enchiridion, which is the common spell book for training apprentices. The book’s creators, the wizards Tamloc and Hardiala of Frihalt, developed the Enchiridion as part of an effort to standardize the training of apprentices in their city’s wizard guild. For seventy-five years now, it has been the standard reference work for training apprentices, and most young wizards learn their art by copying the book for themselves. A collection of supplemental volumes exist for the use of the scribes, explaining how to achieve a certain standardization in assembling the book, but because they are not magical, the reference works are only an additional 600 gp.
Value: 5,000gp
# of Pages: 100 pages
# of Spells: 65 spells (1st-3rd)
Spell List:
0-level Cantrips (19 pages) 19 spells
Resistance, Acid Splash, Detect Poison, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Daze, Dancing Lights, Flare, Light, Ray of Frost, Ghost Sound, Disrupt Undead, Touch of Fatigue, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Open/Close, Arcane Mark, Prestidigitation
1st level spells (23 pages) 23 spells
Alarm, Endure Elements, Hold Portal, Protection from Chaos, Protection from Evil, Shield, Magic Weapon, Mage Armor, Mount, Obscuring Mist, Summon Monster I, Unseen Servant, Comprehend Languages, Detect Secret Doors, Detect Undead, Identify, True Strike, Sleep, Burning Hands, Magic Missile, Shocking grasp, Silent Image, Disguise Self
2nd level spells (40 pages) 20 spells
Arcane Lock, Obscure Object, Fog Cloud, Summon Monster II, Web, Daze, Monster, Touch of Idiocy, Flaming Sphere, Darkness, Gust of Wind, Blur, Minor Image, Magic Mouth, Bear’s Endurance, Darkvision, Rope Trick, Levitate, Whispering Wind, Spider Climb, Mirror Image
3rd Level spells (18 pages) 6 spells
Dispel Magic, Phantom Steed, Tongues, Hold Person, Daylight, Deep Slumber

5 comments

  1. I agree that spells for D&D are fraught with danger; that’s why the idea of having a clear sense of what’s in some spellbooks is such a good idea…

    Treading on cleric’s territory… hmm. A lot of city-oriented spells would work for that, though. I think of clerics as being suburban or rural community magicians, and wizards as town-oriented community magicians, but your earlier comments pointing out how unwelcome most wizards would be in most communities touched a nerve.

  2. > 1) that you’d be interested in helping write a group of such cantrips,

    Sort of.

    Writing new spells for D20 is fraught with danger. You want to be very careful not to tread too heavily on the Cleric’s gig and you want to balance a low spell level vs. community usefulness vs. smart players making a hash of your dungeon.

    I do like some of the cantrips you’ve come up with. Informational type spells are way useful to a community. Simple abjurations are good. But then you could think of “hedge magicians” who are really a Sorcerer type that never get very far, they’re just good with “fold magic”. I’d want to build in some actual “level spells” so that you’d have to go to someone to deal with it.

    > 2) that you’d be interested in having another boat or another character
    > on your Traveller line?

    Absolutely. But it’s better if you run your own, parallel game rather than have an actual character on the Option. Makes it easier all around. I’ll send some email on it.

    later
    Tom

  3. Community Oriented Cantrips (COCs)

    Here’s some of the cantrips I’ve thought of…

    Such spells last for 1 week/level of the caster.

    Upwelling — This spell causes a dry well to begin producing water again at a rate up to 1d4 gal/min. The charm must be renewed at least 1/month or it fails.
    Fairscale — This spell prevents all mortal influence from causing a scale to give a false weight — added thumbs, rocks in the wheat, and other trickery fail to show up; the scale simply shows the weight of the product it was asked to weigh. The container weight is automatically subtracted as well. The wizard’s mark appears on the scale until the spell fails.
    Fairmeasure — This spell does for containers and yardsticks what fairscale does for scales. The wizard’s mark appears on the measure until the spell fails.
    Kindly Hearth — This spell lasts from dusk to dawn or dawn to dusk. The wizard’s mark appears on the hearth as a burning gold symbol reflecting the firelight. All Performance checks in the same room as the hearth receive +2, so that music is better and conversation is better.
    Bestale/Sweetwine — The wizard’s mark appears on the barrel for the duration of the spell. The wine or beer in the barrel will not spoil or grow stale while the mark endures.
    Safecoop — This mark, placed on a chicken coop or duck-house, prevents vermin from breaking in. The wizardmark appears above the door.
    Sweetcream — This mark, placed on the stall of a cow in a barn, or on the bell on her neck, causes that cow to give extra creamy milk suitable for butter or cheese for the spell’s duration.
    Featherdown — the wizardmark appears prominently on a bedstead. No matter how lumpy the bed, the person sleeping in it will get a good night’s sleep. An attack or unusual noise will wake the sleeper. The wizard mark vanishes when the spell expires.
    Fairshake — This rune, set on a table, will allow people coming to the table to bargain or settle a contract, to decide on fair terms for everyone. Someone coming to the table to deceive is not detected, but if both parties negotiate in good faith, the terms of the contract will be favorable to all parties. The wizard mark vanishes when the spell expires.
    Goodwork — This wizard mark, set on a bridge or building or scaffold at the time of its construction, will help hold real work done with mortal hands together for an indefinite period of time. The mark vanishes when the building is no longer completely sound and sturdy. The structure is at +1 to withstand earthquake or other natural damage, but magical acts and deliberate attacks on the structure like arson or battering rams affect it normally.

  4. I think it’s a quite fair critique. One of the realities of the game is that a 1st or 2nd level wizard, who can cast a fair number of useful cantrips, is far more useful to a community than a 7th or 8th level wizard.

    Message, Mending, Open/Close, Light, Prestidigitation, Resistance, Detect Poison, and Arcane Mark are about the limit of the useful spell options to a community, and they’re all cantrips.

    I’d like to see a larger list of community-oriented cantrips, like some of the ones that appeared in A Wizard of Earthsea, like the charm of safety on a boat, which prevents the boatuser from falling out accidentally, and the charm of Safereturn, which causes a boat or cart to nose in the direction of home if it gets lost. With a few dozen more such cantrips, I’d probably take out those 3rd level spells holding 18 pages, and a good many of those 2nd level spells as well. One of the things I was aiming for in this collection of spells was a Lorebook that clearly served a positive purpose in the world. In part because I wanted NPCs to look at a wizard and say, “OK, does he know his Enchiridion, or is he a Grimoire kind of fellow?”

    I don’t suppose 1) that you’d be interested in helping write a group of such cantrips, and 2) that you’d be interested in having another boat or another character on your Traveller line?

  5. Critics have noted that few, if any, of the spells have any wide-ranging applications for the public good. Indeed, they are quick to point out that many of the spells appear to do nothing more than facilitate murder or theft.

    Clerics, in particular, have noted that both priests and wizards spend roughly the same amount of time in training, but priests come out with a great deal more versatility and social significance. They point to the fact that a newly-minted cleric is likely to find ready employment almost anywhere while a new wizard is unlikely to find a warm welcome in most towns.

    heh
    Tom

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