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    The Spells of the Mage Hunter
    Posted on Mon, February 28, 2005 by Dongul
    cwslyclgh writes "Who exaclty is it that strikes fear into the hearts of Iuz's spellcasting followers in the Vesve, and what magics does that person use to foster this fear? Read on to begin to uncover some of these secrets.

    The Spells of the Mage Hunter
    By: C. Wesley Clough, aka cwslyclgh
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    There are places, deep in the reaches of the Vesve forest, where spell casters in the service of Iuz fear to tread, even members of the Old One’s elite Boneheart think twice before entering these areas. These deep areas of towering moss-cloaked trees that dim the light of even the brightest day are the haunts of a powerful elf known through out the Evil One’s legions simply as “the Mage Hunter”. The name is something of a misnomer however, as the strange elf has been never been known to exclusively prey on arcanists in service of Iuz, wizards, sorcerers, clerics, or even bards that do the Old One’s bidding – the elf is an equal opportunity slayer. A great many spell casters in the service of Iuz would give nearly anything to get information upon the identity of the Mage Hunter. However, their divinations invariably fail to provide any conclusive answers.

    In truth, there are two mage hunters, not one, but a pair of gray elves. These elves are father and son, and they bear a striking resemblance to each other and usually operate separately, which accounts for the mistaken belief that there is just one of them. Both are powerful wizards, employing a great diversity of unique spells that are of greatest use primarily against other spell casters. The two elves have secret hideouts and hidden laboratories scattered through out the deepest parts of the Vesve, and magical wards alert them when evil spell casters get too close to these places.

    The future of the Mage Hunter(s) is ever in doubt; they play a very dangerous game, which, although they are well equipped to play, is likely to kill them in the end. For the moment however, they serve as an example that a single person (or in this case a pair of persons) can make a difference in the world. The existence of the mage hunter has directly affected Iuz’s policy in the Vesve, with the Evil One relying more upon brute force tactics and less upon spell casting followers in the area.

    There exists a book, in the library of the wizard Braidon of Highfolk that some claim was created by the Mage Hunter. Certainly, the effects of the unique spells contained within are very similar to some of the spells that the Mage Hunter has been known to use. How Braidon himself came into possession of this book is a subject that the wizard staunchly refuses to discuss. The book itself is a plain leather-bound tome, 18 inches long, 12 inches wide, and four inches thick. The pages are covered in flowing Elvish script. The book (which has no name, either upon the cover or anyplace within) contains the following spells: antimagic field, dimensional anchor, dispel magic, enervation, expunge, glitterdust, globe of invulnerability, halt foe, lesser spell turning, mental distraction, mind blank, mind fog, mind numb, mislead, prismatic aura, prismatic sphere, protection from energy, protection from spells, random discharge, shield, spell stones, spell turning, touch of idiocy, time stop and true seeing.

    The Spells

    Enchantment [Mind-Affecting]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 3
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
    Range: Medium (100ft.+10ft./level)
    Effect: Ray
    Duration: instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Will half
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    A ray of soft white light streaks from your outstretched hand, and if your ranged touch attack succeeds, the subject of the spell is engulfed briefly in this soft radiance. Spell casting creatures will immediately lose 1d4 spells, +1 spell for each 2 caster levels that you possess (1d4+5 maximum) although a successful Will save will reduce this amount by half. The spells are taken from the highest level available, and will be wiped clean from the subjects mind as if they had been cast (spontaneous casters will lose that many available spell slots instead). These spells or spell slots can be regained normally (after rest etc.). This spell will have no affect on subjects that do not cast spells.

    Halt Foe
    Enchantment (compulsion)[Mind-Affecting]
    Level: Clr 3, Sor/Wiz 3
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
    Range: Close (25ft.+5ft./2 levels)
    Target: 1 creature
    Duration: 1 round
    Saving Throw: Will Negates
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    The target of this spell freezes in place, unable to move or act for 1 round. It continues to breathe and be aware of its surroundings but it can take no actions, not even speech. A winged creature cannot flap its wings and falls; a swimming creature cannot swim and may begin to drown. A creature under the effects of halt foe is considered helpless.
    Material component: a small wooden skewer.

    Lesser Spell Turning
    Level: Sor/Wiz 4
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: personal
    Target: you
    Duration: until expended or 1 minute/level

    Like the seventh level spell spell turning, this spell can be used to turn spells that target you back to their original casters. The abjuration turns only spells that have you as a target. Effect and area spells are not affected. Lesser spell turning also fails to stop touch range spells.

    Four spell levels are affected by the turning, you cannot be under the effects of both spell turning and lesser spell turning at the same time, if you cast either spell while the other is in place both effects are rendered non-functional.

    When you are targeted by a spell of higher level than the amount of spell turning you have left, that spell is partially turned. The subtract the amount of spell turning left from the spell level of the incoming spell, then divide the result by the spell level of the incoming spell to see what fraction of the effect gets through. For damaging spells, you and the caster each take a fraction of the damage. For nondamaging spells, each of you has a proportional chance to be affected.
    If you and a spellcasting attacker are both warded by spell turning effects in operation, a resonating field is created.

    Roll randomly to determine the result.
    d% Effect
    01–70 Spell drains away without effect.
    71–80 Spell affects both of you equally at full effect.
    81–97 Both turning effects are rendered nonfunctional for 1d4 minutes.
    98–100 Both of you go through a rift into another plane.

    Material Component: A shard of a broken mirror.

    Mental Distraction
    Illusion (phantasm) [mind-affecting]
    Level: Brd 2, Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V ,S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: close (25ft. +5ft./2 levels)
    Target: One creature
    Duration: 1 round/level
    Saving throw: Will negates
    Spell Resistance: yes

    This spell causes the targets ears to fill with ringing, buzzing and popping sounds. The sounds are phantasms of the victim’s mind and are thus not truly a sonic effect, existing even in silenced areas. The noises are very distracting to the target, hampering any attempt to do anything that requires concentration.

    Subjects attempting to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) or the casting fails and the spell is wasted. Other skills or checks where the subject is required to maintain concentration (such as disable device, knowledge [any] or spellcraft) as well as listen checks gain a +5 to the target DC while under the effects of this spell.

    Mind Numb
    Level: Sor/Wiz 4
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: close (25ft. +5ft./2 levels)
    Effect: Ray
    Duration: 1 minute/level
    Saving throw: none
    Spell Resistance: yes

    An amber ray springs forth from your hand. You must succeed at a ranged touch attack to strike the target. The subject takes a penalty to intelligence and charisma equal to 1d4, +1 per two caster levels (maximum 1d4+5). None of the subject’s ability scores can drop below 1 from the use of this spell.

    This spell’s effect might make it impossible for the target to cast some or all of his spells, if the requisite ability score drops below the minimum score needed to cast spells of that level.

    Prismatic Aura
    Level: Sor/Wiz 7
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Personal
    Target: you
    Duration: 1 round/level

    The prismatic aura spell provides the spell caster with a potent defense against physical attacks. When the spell is cast an aura of ever-changing, swirling colors surrounds the caster (to a distance of about 3 inches). Any attacks directed at the caster will have to pass through the aura to hit, this gives the caster concealment for the duration of the spell (as if under the effects of a blur spell). In addition physical melee attacks against the caster put the attacker in grave danger, each of the ever-changing, swirling colors has a special property associated with it, and creatures physically attacking the caster in melee will be affected by the property of the color that is predominant when they make their attack. To determine which color is predominant during any given attack (and the effects on the attacker roll 1d8 and consult the table below).

    1d8 Predominant Color Effect
    1 Red 20 points fire damage (Reflex half)
    2 Orange 40 points acid damage (Reflex half)
    3 Yellow 80 points electricity damage (Reflex half)
    4 Green Poison (Kills; Fortitude partial, take 1d6 points of Con damage instead)
    5 Blue Turned to stone (Fortitude negates)
    6 Indigo Insane, as insanity spell (Will negates)
    7 Violet Sent to another plane (Will negates)
    8 Two colors equally predominant; roll twice more, ignoring any “8” results.

    Random Discharge
    Enchantment [Mind-affecting]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 7
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: medium (100ft. +10ft./level)
    Target: one creature
    Duration: instantaneous
    Saving throw: Will negates
    Spell Resistance: yes

    The target of this spell will automatically discharge a spell of the highest level it has prepared (or the highest level available spell slot if the target does not prepare spells) if it fails its saving throw. Non-spell casting creatures are unaffected by this spell. The spell will be randomly determined from among those available. Area spells will be centered on the target, target spells will work as if the target cast them on itself, effect spells will be aimed at the target (in the case of rays or energy missiles) or will other wise effect the target as if the target had cast the spell upon itself, or the closest legal target for the spell to it. The target gets any applicable saving throws to the discharged spell. (Note that this can actually be beneficial for the target, if the randomly discharged spell is a healing spell or a defensive spell for example). Once the spell is discharged the spell or slot is used up as if the target had cast the spell itself.

    Spell Stones
    Level: Sor/Wiz 9
    Components: V, S, F
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: one or more gems touched.
    Duration: 1 round/Level (d)
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless, object)

    When you cast this spell you convert one or more gems into a potent magical defense. You can turn one gem into a spell stone for every 4 levels of experience you posses, to a maximum of 5 gems at 20th level. For the duration of the spell these gems orbit around your head much like an ioun stone does. Each gem is capable of absorbing a single spell that is cast at you, area spells and spells with a range of touch can not be absorbed, but any spell which directly targets you, or that creates an effect that is aimed at you (such as an energy missile or ray) will be absorbed harmlessly by the whirling spell stone. Absorbing a spell does not harm the gem, but each can only absorb a single spell per casting.

    You can use the spell power stored within a spell stone that has absorbed a spell as a free action. Doing so immediately consumes the gem, crumbling it away to worthless dust. You retain the next spell that you cast (spontaneous casters retain that spell slot), as long as that spell is of lower level then the spell that was absorbed. If you chose to utilize the spell power stored in the gem and then the next spell that you cast is the same or higher level then the spell that the gem absorbed, the effect is wasted, and the gem still crumbles. You do not have to utilize the spell power in this way, if you chose not to, the spell power stored with in the gem dissipates harmlessly when the spell stones duration expires.
    Focus: The gems to be made into spell stones, each must be a black opal, or a black sapphire of at least 1,000 gp value.


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    Re: The Spells of the Mage Hunter (Score: 1)
    by Cebrion on Tue, March 01, 2005
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    Nice stuff Wes. A few criticisms though.

    Expunge is pretty heinous for a 3rd level spell. I'd recommend changing it from removing 1d4(+1 per 2 levels of the caster) whole spells to removing 1d4(+1 per two levels of the caster) levels of spells. I'd sary it would be a bit too powerful to have a 5th level caster rip down the spell invventory of a caster of much higher level, in particular as this spell targets the highest level spells in the subject's memory. The spells that are affected should be the lowest level ones first as well, as affecting he higher level spells first is too much akin to the negative effects of level loss by whatever means, which is a pretty heinous thing. The saving throw should be "negates". Compare this spell with your 7th level spell Random Discharge and you will see that your 3rd level spell Expunge can be up to 1d4+5 times more effective.

    Halt Foe is just an underpowered version of hold person, and should be a 1st level spell intead.

    Mental Distraction is good, but if the caster is casting defensively anyways then this spell has no real effect. I'd recommend the following addition:
    "If the target attempts to cast spells defensively, the added distraction of this spell increases the concentration DC to 20."

    Mind Numb is great, but it takes too much of an advantage of the Wizard's low armor class and removes the wizards abilities too easily. The spell is basically way too effective for it's level. I'd change this to a targeted non-touch attack that allows a Will save to negate. A single casting of this spell is about as effective as a feeblemind spell with regards to effectively disabling a wizard in 3e+, except that with feeblemind there is at least a saving throw, and its a 5th level spell. Feeblemind is utterly debilitiating but the wizard at least has as a defense their best saving throw, which is far more likely to be better than what it takes your average 7th level wizard to hit using a ranged touch attack(a 7).

    Random Discharge, Prismatic Aura, and Spell Stones are great and are going straight into my "Tome of Surprises" as is. The others will be added to a list of spellslayer spells that I use, or introduced via found spell books or scrolls.

    Overall its nice work and there are some great ideas, though some of the spells pack too much or too little punch for the level or influence game balance unduly. It should not be too easy for a low level mage to take out a high level mage through the use of low level spells, otherwise there would be no archmages.

    Re: The Spells of the Mage Hunter (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Sun, March 13, 2005
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    Reminds me of Ed Greenwood's incantrix NPC class...

    ~Scott C.

    Re: The Spells of the Mage Hunter (Score: 1)
    by DMShrauger on Thu, March 24, 2005
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    Some of the speels outlined here would be tremendously fun to cast and tremendously vexing to have cast on you. The background was well thought out, and may help to explain a certain part of the Flaness' geopolitical state. My favorite part is the observation that one motivated individual can make a difference.

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