Sunday, March 7, 2021

Call Allies

I was fiddling with spells for wizard for Dwarfhack and got to thinking - you know what would be a good spell?  Call Demihumans, where you get a group of friendly humans, elves, or dwarves from the nearest settlement to come help you.  That would be very on-theme for wizards; "a group of friendly rangers happens by and Gandalf happens to know their leader; they're hunting the same orcs that you are.  What a fortunate coincidence!"

When the wizard does his job right, people won't be sure he's done anything at all.

Under ACKS' spell-building guidelines, we get something like this:

Call Allies
Arcane or Eldritch 2
Duration: 1 day
This spell calls two 1HD humans or demihumans (elves, dwarves, hobbits, gnomes, ...) per caster level to aid the caster.  When called, they travel dismounted from their lair to the caster's location at their wilderness movement rate.  If this spell is cast in a wilderness hex which is native terrain for them, they arrive in 1d6 turns.  If this spell is cast in a hex to which they're not native, the time to arrive is increased for each hex that they have to traverse in order to reach the caster's location from the nearest hex of native terrain.
Speed -> Turns per hex:
60' -> 24
90' -> 18
120' -> 12
If called while the caster is unreachable (in a dungeon, for example), they will travel as close as possible and then wait in the vicinity.  For the duration of the spell, the demihumans will serve as the caster's loyal companions and friends.  The spell ends when they are slain, the spell is dispelled, or one day passes, at which time they depart.  If the spell is cast again when they are about to depart, they will remain for another day.

Spellcasting math: 2HD per caster level is 150 points (per HFH), 1HD limit is x0.15, general class of monsters is x1, 1 day duration is x1.25, calling delay is x0.66

It's really interesting that this works out as a 2nd level spell, because you could make it a special power comparable to a proficiency and make it usable once per 8 hours with a casting time of 1 round, which would let you maintain 6x your HD in 1HD followers, wage-free!  This seems like a promising angle for retinue-calling abilities like Call the Cousins; if you make it available at 5th level, then it's a perfect "welcome to the wilderness levels, laddie" ability giving you a platoon.  Give a second copy of it around 9th or 10th and then you have four platoons for a company.

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