Monday, November 26, 2012

Praise be to Armok! - New Dwarven Craftpriest Spells

I am sad to say that I had a Dwarf Fortress relapse during the parts of Thanksgiving when I did not have guests.  In between eating leftovers, experimenting with surface farming, and pondering what to do with the two owlmen caught in my cage traps, I was struck by the fact that ACKS' dwarf craftpriest uses the same spell list as their standard cleric.  This is somewhat ridiculous, given that Bladedancer use a different spell list, and it hardly seems reasonable for the folk-under-the-mountain to worship some surfacer sun god.  So I got to thinking about what some suitably dwarfsome spells would be, and while I don't have full descriptions or levels, the rest should be fairly doable.
  • Detect Treasure - Dwarves love gold, and their priests have perfected means for locating it.
  • Detect Ore - Like Detect Treasure, but lower level and somewhat less utile.
  • Plague of Cats - Summons 3d4 cats which harass, distract, trip up, and reduce the frame-rate of the target.  A long-term Curse version is also available, whereby the subject suffers a +4 to reaction rolls with cats, cat-like monsters, and cat owners, and is forever plagued by their unhelpful presence and 'gifts' of dead animals.
  • Fell Mood - A uniquely dwarven Curse with Geas-like attributes, the target of a Fell Mood must save vs spells or be driven mad by an obsessive need to construct an utterly implausible work of art.  Should he fail to do so within six months of the casting of the spell, he goes irrevocably insane.  Should be succeed, however, he becomes a master of his craft.  Sometimes used as a means of trial among the dwarves along old Medieval "trial by superstition" lines; if he succeeds, he must be innocent.
  • Deforestation - Kind of an inverse of plant growth; sends a wave through the earth which uproots trees and other plants in the affected area.  Originally designed for fueling the furnaces of industry, later discovered to be good for depriving those accursed goblins of their cover too.
  • Speak with Stones, Stoneshaping, Burrow, and similar earthy spells
  • Water to Ale - seriously, why do you think they keep these guys around?  Arguably just a reflavoring of Purify Food and Water.
  • Create Ale - A similar reflavoring of Create Water.
  • Bless Tools - A possible replacement for the ability of high-level clerics to create holy water with the Bless spell.  What blessed tools do, I don't rightly know.  Maybe +2 on the next proficiency roll using them in the next unit time?
  • Beard of Iron - Grants the subject's beard the strength of steel wool, providing a bonus to AC and to mortal wounds rolls against the chest and head for the duration.  When applied to a subject without a beard, causes severe facial itching instead.  Might work as a replacement for Shimmer on the Bladedancer list.
  • Stranglebeard - Causes the subjects' beards to attempt to strangle them, much like multi-target Choking Grasp that only works on targets with beards.  Applications in the dwarven justice system are again clear.  An improved version instead strangles the target using the caster's beard.
  • Vulcanism - Flame Strike, but from below rather than on high.
The bladedancer spells Vigor and Flame Blade (er, Hammer) also seem plausible, as well as the Player's Companion spells Call Dragon and Summon (Dwarven) Berserkers.