CANTRIPS AND ORISONS
Long before mages and priests become adept at casting spells of meaningful power (i.e. 1st level or higher), they dabble in minor magic to help them practice the skills necessary for their work later in life. For a mage, these minor miracles are called CANTRIPS, while for the priest they are known as ORISONS. The 2nd edition PHB does not go into great detail about these things or their effects - they don't even mention Orisons - so they leave the details up to the DM. From supplements such as UNEARTHED ARCANA, however, we can still read many examples of what they intended.
Though I will use the source material from UNEARTHED ARCANA for cantrips and from SPELLS & POWERS for Orisons, I have made changes that will reflect my world, the way I envision magic, its capabilities and powers, and also that will work within the mana system that I have devised. Additionally, I will include cantrips or orisons of my own design and exclude ones I felt were too powerful or too trivial or too repetitious (or limit them in some manner where I foresaw problems). If you're unfamiliar with my mana system of spells, you may find it by following the link immediately below:
Mana System, A Different Way To Cast Spells (A Good Alternative System To The Standard Memorization Of Spells. Add Diversity To Your Spell Casters)
Cantrips are minor spells (0th level) studied by wizards during their apprenticeship. When the mage comes into their true power (1st level spells), they usually let these minor magic spells fall by the way side, forgotten mostly due to their total disuse or at least infrequent use, and often such things are felt unworthy to warrant cluttering up one's spell book or taking the effort to transcribe them into a proper spell book with the blood based inks mages must use. However, some of the more useful ones may be retained.
If one wished, the mage may retain 4 cantrips in lieu of each 1st level spell the mage could normally have in his or her spell book. This is limited due to the mage's intelligence. For example, a mage of 16 intelligence may normally know up to 11 spells/level, or more specifically, up to 11 first level spells (check Intelligence table in the PHB). If they wish, they may instead learn a maximum of 10 first level spells and 4 cantrips, or 9 first level spells and 8 cantrips, or 8 first level spells and 12 cantrips, etc. Thus, you see cantrips really do clutter up one's spell book and count against the mage's spell limits for their spell book. However, if they should ever decide to 'forgot' these cantrips and let them fall into disuse, the DM should allow them to take out four of them and replace them with a 1st level spell. Also, though it will take some time, they should be allowed to replace one cantrip with a more desirable cantrip.
FORGETTING CANTRIPS TO MAKE ROOM
To limit possible abuse and help prevent a player from changing their character's spell book frivolously, the DM should require the following, but only if the mage has already reached their spell limits and filled their 1st level spell allotment. To make more room in their spell book, the mage must first 'forget' a cantrip or cantrips. To forget a cantrip in this manner, the mage simply removes it from his or her spell book, does NOT use it, look at it, or practice it, and after a month has passed, each cantrip so designated will be completely forgotten even from memory as the mage's more active and powerful spells have a way of blurring such disused details. (Ostensibly the month is required to forget, but mostly to prevent game system abuse). Once so forgotten, the mage may then start to research a 1st level spell as normal (if he forgot 4 cantrips), or start to practice a new cantrip (if he forgot one cantrip).
HIGHER LEVEL SPELL SLOTS MAY NOT BE USED
A mage may NOT use 2nd or higher level spell slots to take cantrips any more than they may take a Magic Missile spell at 2nd level (unless they research a special 2nd level version of the spell). The power level of such a spell slot disrupts the delicate, flimsy nature of cantrips and may simply not be taken at those levels.
LIMITS ON QUANTITY OF ONE'S CANTRIPS
As these cantrips are usually retained from the days before their adventuring career really started, they are not generally researched during play (except perhaps in lower level, slower moving games). The DM should allow the mage's player to pick the cantrips they wish to retain from the given or approved list. The number of cantrips retained should be a multiple of 4 and should be limited to 4 x (INT-9). For example, with a 16 INT the mage would be limited to no more than (16-9=7, 7x4 = 28) 28 cantrips (and this would count as 7 of his possible 11 first level spells, so it's unlikely they would retain so many anyway.
Some cantrips are reversible, but these would each count as a cantrip as well, so Freshen and Curdle, for example, would count as two cantrips and not just one. The DM may be an ol' softy, however, and let a spell and its reverse (including cantrips) count as one toward these limits and not count as two. (Note: I am not soft).
After their adventuring career begins, mages may still research cantrips (and take one from the list below or devise one of their own creation, subject to approval by the DM, naturally). If they have room in their spell book to do this, they should simply spend one week learning the new cantrip (and pay double their normal living expenses during that week). If they do not have room in their book they must spend a month forgetting a 1st level spell (and make room for 4 cantrips) or a month forgetting one cantrip so they may then later spend a further week learning the new cantrip. They may NOT engage in the manufacture of potions, scrolls, or other magic items, nor may they engage in normal spell research during the week they are learning a cantrip, though they may be so engaged while simply forgetting some. While learning the cantrip, they may freely talk, rest, shop, party, travel, etc. and may even do this while adventuring (provided they leave one first level spell slot open for its continued practice the ENTIRE time). Thus it may not be very wise to do this while adventuring, but it is possible. During the time of practice, it will be assumed that particular cantrip will fail about 50% of the time it is tried. After six days of practice, the spell caster must spend one more day and transcribe it into their spell book. After that, it will normally work without the need to roll.
CANTRIPS FROM OTHER MAGES OR SPELL BOOKS
If one is lucky to find another spell book with cantrips in it, or fortunate enough to have a friendly mage offer them as a present, it will only take 3 days to practice them and one day to transcribe them into one's own spell book. Also, no extra money need be spent for materials to practice on or to replace broken or damaged items.
TRANSCRIBING CANTRIPS INTO SPELL BOOKS
Since the cantrip must still be transcribed into the mage's spell book before they may employ it without a failure roll, this will take a day while in town somewhere after the required week (6 days) of research and practice is over. This will take a quiet place, the ink, mage's own blood, and their spell book just as it normally does for transcribing higher level spells (that usually takes one day/level for actual transcription, but research for higher level spells is one week/level and that already includes the transcription time), but cantrips are easy so only one day is required for each such transcription.
CASTING CANTRIPS USING BLANKS OR MANA POINTS
A mage may memorize 4 cantrips in place of a first level spell. However, a 1st level BLANK (in the mana system) may be used to cast any three cantrips. The mage may cast one cantrip using a blank and retain the remaining fractional portion of the blank for later use. This "fractional" blank is useless for anything other than casting more cantrips. If one still has an unused fractional blank when regaining their spells, treat it as if it were totally gone and take an entire 10 minutes to replace the 1st level blank. Thus, you see the price one pays for not memorizing which cantrips you wished to cast ahead of time is the loss of one cantrip (i.e. 3 instead of 4). OR, the mage may use ONE mana point (and no blank) to cast any one cantrip in his or her spell book at any time. In fact, so well known are these cantrips that the normal 24 hour period needn't be observed (i.e. the mage need not have seen the cantrip in his spell book in the last 24 hours as he must have seen for his higher level, more complex spells).
LIMITATIONS ON CANTRIPS
Always remember, cantrips are usually weak, will never surpass the abilities of 1st or higher level spells, typically have brief duration, are nigh valueless in combat, cannot cause direct damage to MOST creatures or people, often have stunning penalties when one attempts to employ them against unwilling, living, intelligent targets, and in general only will cause effects that are nearly trivial compared to the real power of 1st or higher level spells. However, they are still highly useful in non-combat situations and make life's little chores easier and often provide a source of fun and diversity for roleplaying.
Bear in mind the following limitations for all cantrips:
COMPONENTS OF CANTRIPS
Cantrips typically have only verbal and somatic components (though they may require materials to act upon, these materials do not shape the flow of energy or disappear as the normal material components of higher level spells may do). The verbal and somatic components are often softer or more covert than other spells. Unless under someone's direct observation, a mage may often employ a cantrip without anyone knowing its source. However, if directly observed, the mage will usually be seen employing some minor magic and it may even be taken as a hostile act, so be careful.
Cantrips may be memorized just as normal mage spells are memorized. For each 1st level spell slot, the mage may memorize 4 cantrips (the same one 4 times, or four different ones, or something in between). It takes 3 minutes to memorize one cantrip (or 10 minutes to memorize 4 cantrips) after the normal period of rest has elapsed just as would be required to regain 1st level spells. Thus, if you had four and used one (leaving three), you could get one back in 3 minutes when you could next regain your spells.
Under my system of regaining spells (more of a 1st edition thing, really), casting cantrips will not cause a mage undue stress or count as a break from any periods of rest. Thus, they may often sleep, get up, employ any number of cantrips, and still memorize their spells afterwards. If they had cast a 1st or higher level spell or engaged in combat, they would normally have to rest again before they could memorize their spells. For 2nd edition, I do not think this would matter as a mage may regain their spells only once/day and only after 8 hours sleep, so I think they could even engage in combat and cast spells and still regain their spells afterwards without further rest. I do not play by those rules, however, so if you are in my game, be aware of this. An article on regaining spells can be found at the following URL:
The Reacquisition Of Magic Spells In Various Editions.(How Long Does It Take And What Are The Limits?)
DEFAULT SETTINGS FOR CANTRIPS
Cantrips may have different settings other than the default ones, but these must be explicitly mentioned in each cantrip. If no mention is so made, assume the default setting is true except where that makes no #$&*%@! sense.
A LIST OF CANTRIPS
This cantrip causes the caster or the willing target creature to enjoy similar benefits of a nice bath with warm, soapy water. The target must be nude to employ this cantrip and receive full benefits; otherwise dirt and odors from clothing may simply reapply themselves to the skin. Thus, by casting this cantrip, external body odors are eliminated from the target. This cantrip, however, will not clean one's clothing, nor freshen one's breath or clean one's teeth. If the caster is well trusted, even a dumb animal may benefit, such as one's mount (horse or other) being cleaned and bathed, a pet (dog or cat or other), etc. This cantrip does not actually use soap or water but simply removes the offending soils, excess oils, and odor causing substances as effectively as soap and water. Thus, one could wash vegetables, for example, and not leave a soapy residue. The cantrip usually doesn't bother target creatures (as a cat might be bothered by a real bath). Substances that will not readily wash off with warm, soapy water will also not be well affected by this cantrip. Skunk spray, for example, will not be completely removed, but the cantrip may help, and several applications will begin to take its toll.
This summons a blue light (3-inch sphere (not scale inches, 1/4 of a foot) and illuminates a 5' radius area with an eerie blue light as long as the caster concentrates upon it. It will not affect Infravision or Ultravision, nor cast reflections outside its sphere of illumination. The caster may read by this light, but may not do battle, cast spells, or in other ways devote too much concentration elsewhere other than to maintain the illumination. In any event, the duration is no more than one hour/level.
This cantrip will summon air to the caster if there is some available with 100 yards/level. Poisons in the air will not be summoned, but only nitrogen and oxygen will be brought forth. Such air will fill the area around the caster up to 1000 cubic feet (enough air for one man sized, resting creature, to last 24 hours before the carbon dioxide build up would be sufficient to kill him, assuming no other air source is handy and the room or cavern or whatever is hermetically sealed). Any other non-magically summoned poisonous air already in the vicinity of the caster will be removed on a one-to-one basis (by volume). If the mage fell into a pit of methane, this may save the caster's life. Trapped in a cave in or sealed in a portable hole or other hermetically sealed room, it may prolong it. It will not, however, affect dragon breath, Cloud Kill, Stinking Cloud, or other such spells. On the other hand, the cantrip may simply freshen a room's air, removing smoke and lingering odors and replacing them with fresh air from outside.
This cantrip removes foreign materials from one's teeth, gums, and tongue, removes plague and bacterial build ups, tarter, food particles, and helps eliminate bad breath. Furthermore, a flavored residue may remain in its place (minty, cinnamony, or plain). Finally, this residue may even slightly strengthen teeth. Such a cantrip may be employed on friendly animals. Used once per day, it is so effective it will prevent cavities and gum diseases such as gingivitis. It will not, however, reverse the effects of preexisting cavities.
Nonliving, non-magical liquid or solid materials may become up to 40 degrees F lower in temperature (not to be lower than 32 degrees F). The duration is instantaneous and then nature reigns. i.e. the target will warm up or cool down as normal from that point due to ambient temperature. Thus, a tepid or warm drink may be chilled to a frosty temperature.
This removes heavy soils, dirt, and similar material from the area of effect such as floors, walls, dishes, windows, a pile of vegetables, etc. The total material removed may not weigh more than 50 lbs. This material does not vanish, but will be collected in a container provided by the mage (a dustbin for example) or piled up where the mage so designates within the 1" range.
This brings color to an object. It may restore faded colors or add a tinge of new color. Even hair or skin may be so colored. If cast upon a non-creature the effect will last for 30 days before fading back to the original color. If cast upon a willing friendly domesticated creature (such as a dog, horse, etc. that trusts the caster and not any old animal on the street or in the wild), the effect will last for one day/level of the caster. If cast upon unwilling or unfamiliar living targets, they receive a +4 bonus to their save vs. spell. Success negates the effect, failure indicates the color will only remain for one day.
The area of effect will be permeated by a fog-like dampness that will leave all materials within moist and damp to the touch, hard to set aflame, or in other ways limp with moisture. Parchment may be ruined, inks may run, and powders may cake, for example. Items or creatures within can still be seen, but their details may be obscured in this light fog. At the end of the cantrip's duration, the moisture will quickly dissipate and evaporate as normal.
This cantrip is used to shorten hair and/or fur up to and including shaving it clean off in the desired areas (head, face, legs, body, body parts, etc.). If used to remove all hair from a selected area, it does this so well it will be 6+1d6 days before the hair will start to grow back (one individual need not roll this each time, but only once. It will be assumed for that individual whatever they rolled is typical of them. For example, a particular woman rolls 8 and thus this cantrip always removes the hair from her legs for 8 days each time it is cast on her legs. Anther woman's hair may grow faster, so she should roll for herself, etc.). If targets are unwilling recipients, they will get +6 to their save vs. magic (remember the extra +4 bonus on top of this for adventurers and the like). Success negates the effect. This cantrip will also remove peach fuzz on a peach, make a small patch of carpet bald, etc., or do similar things to hair and fur like materials one could do with time, a scissors, and a razor.
The mage holds his hands in the shape of a cup and utters the words and summons (from the nearest, freely available source) fresh, pure, water. Even a tainted or poisoned source will do as only the water is summoned and not the impurities. Unless pure water is available within 1 mile/level of the caster, the water is rather tasteless (distilled), but provides up to one quart of the required liquid. If NO liquid (or frozen) water (fresh or otherwise) is within 1 mile/level, the cantrip has no effect. As always, spells attempt to bring forth the easiest source, so a friend's water skin is not easy since water in the possession of a creature would get a save. The cantrip will first search for other sources before it even attempts to affect such a "owned" source.
This will dry out the area, render wet or damp clothing dry, parchments crisp, dry up small puddles, dehydrated mud, etc., and in other ways drive off excess moisture. It is especially good for drying herbs and spices or dehydrating meats and fish, vegetables, and fruits. It has no appreciable effect on the inner or natural levels of moisture of living creatures or living tissue, though it may dry off their wet clothing, skin, and/or fur after an unfortunate dunking in the river, for example. While the area must be inside the 1 cubic yard limit, the actual amount of water driven off can be no more than 1 cubic foot (about 8 gallons). This cantrip has no affect on other liquids (pure alcohol, mercury, etc.).
This will remove lose, fine dust and grit from exposed surfaces such as floors, shelves, walls, etc. The material (often mostly comprised of flakes of dead skin and hair) is removed to a handy dustbin within range or piled up where the caster wishes within range (10 feet). The removed material may not exceed 10 lbs. in weight. Care should be exercised while dusting delicate works of art (paintings, frescoes, etc.) as this cantrip may remove fine plaster or flecks of paint if not concentrating on the task at hand. The duration is instantaneous and normally takes no supervision, but if the mage concentrates on the task and oversees it for one-turn/10 square feet, no damage will come to fine objects.
The mage may actually kill a small creature of animal intelligence or less (no save) that normally has 1 Hit Point or less. (One could NOT kill a fighter currently at 1 Hit Point, for example). Thus a fly, mouse, small rat, beetle, bat, etc. may be killed if it is within range. The mage must be able to see it Ð OR - must be within one foot of it and be able to discern it in some manner. 'I can hear it behind this wall right here.' This spell will have no effect on enchanted beings. If an invisible wall of 20 square feet or less is erected (such as in a door way, open window, or tent opening), creatures effected by this spell will be killed as they come in contact with the wall if they fail save vs. spell. If they make save they will simply be turned away as if hitting a pane of glass. Thus, flying and crawling pests may be kept away. This spell will have no effect on summoned or enchanted creatures (such as a swarm).
This cantrip will give a surprising strong, sudden yank when directed at a small object within range. There is no direction or control to the object after the initial yank, and it may fly almost in a random direction. Thus, one may yank a small book off a table or shelf, a mug off a table, or even pull a single nail out of a board. This cantrip may be used on WILLING targets (or domesticated animal) to quickly yank a rotting tooth out of their mouth. Yes, it hurts like hell, but it is usually worth it to be free of such a cavity.
This cantrip causes a 6-inch jet of flame to spring from the caster's finger causing easily combustible objects to ignite. It lasts 6 seconds. The aura of living creatures (of more than animal intelligence or more than 1 Hit Point) can ward of its effects (no damage). The cantrip is handy for starting campfires and the like, or even sterilizing daggers and needles. It is better than Spark, for example, in that it may set aflame harder to burn objects, but worse than Spark, in that it has no "within 10-foot" range and must be used up close.
This cantrip may greatly enhance the flavor of food, perhaps even making bland gruel taste like lobster bisque. Naturally, some people may still not like this flavor. The chosen flavor will reflect the caster's desires and all that eat the flavored food or drink the flavored liquid will taste what the caster intended (unless they make save vs. spell). The more radical or even obvious the change, the more likely it will be perceived as the actual food would normally taste. If this is only a slight enhancement (bland gruel to slightly better gruel or the like), no save is permitted. Moderate changes will afford the taster a normal save vs. spell, and if they succeed, the food will taste as it normally did without the enhancement. If a fantastic enhancement is used - going from a bitter poison to undetectable poison, or bland gruel to lobster bisque - one will get up to +4 to their save vs. spell to detect it (before swallowing). This spell will not affect magical things, nor will it affect wholesomeness. Spoiled food is still spoiled - and will still make one sick - and a poisoned drink is still poisoned. Of course these things may go unnoticed for a time. After the duration expires (one hour/level), the food's normal flavor returns. If consumed before that time, no notice is taken (unless it was spoiled or poisonous). This cantrip, due to the forced saving throw even for willing creatures, is not as good as other cantrips such as Spice, but that cantrip may require some measure of cooking skill so one does not over spice their food. The Flavor cantrip requires absolutely no skill along these lines.
This will bring freshness to things like beer, milk, meat, raw vegetables, and the like. It may restore freshness to drooping, cut flowers or herbs. Though it will remove the taint of SLIGHT spoilage, it is not as effective as Purify Food & Drink. The freshness will last only a single hour. If the object is consumed before then, no ill effect will come as the duration expires. If cast upon a creature normally harmed by such spells as Purify Food & Drink, they are NOT immune to this cantrip and will receive 1d4 damage if they fail a normal saving throw vs. spell.
Numerous small items may be gathered, picked up, or stacked into neat piles. Nails, nuts, coins, papers, etc. are fine examples. One wonderful application of the cantrip may sort items if their differences are readily apparent to the caster. For example, a pile of gold and silver coins can be so separated, just as grains of salt and pepper may be. The caster must be able to readily see this however. He could not, for example, separate the fine gold dust amid the black dirt as it is too well hidden, nor would he be able to separate platinum coins and silver coins unless there was something else besides a difference in metal (i.e. one may be much bigger than the other). Each application of the cantrip will separate out one type of item (all gold coins OR all copper coins, etc., and leave the rest). In essence, if the caster could do it by hand and without special equipment if he had enough time, this cantrip will handle it in less than a minute (even water and a pan while panning for gold is considered special equipment).
This spell gathers dirt and organic materials, moisture, and bacterial ingredients within one mile/level of the caster and places the mixture anywhere the caster wishes within range. This is humus, the black, enriched soil excellent for growing plants in pots or gardening. Of course, the mage may use it however he wishes, but it is usually for growing things in pots and window boxes. If no such materials are within 1 mile/level, the cantrip has no effect.
This will smooth and bring luster to objects of wood, metal, stone, leather, or ceramic. The object must first be cleaned by hand or by the Clean cantrip. The smaller the area or object, the better the job. Several applications may be required to 'sand' rough wood down to such a smooth finish.
This spell actually summons salt (Sodium Chloride, NaCl) (pretty impressive really). It salts food for flavor, covers a patch of nasty weeds or an icy walkway, will help salt fish or meats, etc. It is assumed the caster can control this and bring in the desired amount of salt up to the limits, and thus may be able to preserve a barrel of fish (30 gallons or less) for example, or lightly salt his steak. The summoned salt is permanent since there is no duration on this cantrip.
This will remove tarnish, rust, corrosion, and similar substances from the desired object. (Note, removing rust, for example, will not restore the metal; it only gets rid of the rust). The cantrip will bring objects capable of it to mirror brightness. It is excellent for cleaning coins, gems, and jewelry, and if done before sale may even slightly affect the evaluation of the object (make it a bit higher (no more than 5%)).
This creates a cloud of colored smoke (caster chooses the color of blue, gray, yellow, red, orange, white, blank, pink, purple, or green) to appear within 10 feet of the caster, and it will behave as smoke would (ascending and dissipating, usually, or flowing with the prevailing air currents).
This cantrip excites and agitates one small, nonliving, easily flammable substance to kindling temperature. Thin, dry wood, parchment or paper, candle wicks, torches, oil slicks, lanterns, and the like may be so ignited and set aflame. The object must be within 10 feet of the caster and not held at all unless held by a willing target. If no gaseous oxygen is in the area to support the flame, the cantrip will have no effect other than an instantaneous spark of light.
This cantrip actually summons a suitable spice (pretty nifty). Thus ginger, pepper, oregano, paprika, bay leaves, garlic, parsley, etc. can be summoned, but only one spice per casting, and the caster must choose which one and how much up to the limits, so knowledge of cooking or cooking skills will help. The spice will remain, however, only for one hour/level unless consumed or used in food preparation before then. Thus, one cannot stock up on spices, sell them (honestly), or in any other way keep them around except if they are consumed or used to mix with other food, so the mage must really summon them as needed. The cantrip is particularly effective for always having that one elusive ingredient, but even a good cook who employs this cantrip will have most of their spices as normal and from normal sources if they can get them (or it may take several applications to do a good job).
This will cause an acceleration of growth in plants, particularly with respect to the germination of seeds. It will make young, new plants grow about one inch, cause buds to flower, unripened fruits to ripen (or ripened fruits to over ripen).
This will produce similar results to the work of a seamstress for about 20 yards of cloth or 2 yards of leather. The sewn seam is no stronger or weaker than a normal hand sewn seam. It may be used to repair old work or create new work. If cast immediately it may save the trouble of casting it nine successive times later on.
Similar to the Spice cantrip, except the summoned material is a sweetener such as sugar, honey, or even syrup. Up to one gallon of material may be sweetened (it does not summon a gallon of syrup, for example, but may sweeten a gallon of liquid). The sweetener so summoned has no duration.
This cantrip will help remove blood and bits of flesh from the hide or fur of a recently skinned animal, and further treat the surface with tannic acid to cure it and prevent rotting. The pelt of one medium or man sized creature may be so treated. Two or more applications will be required for larger pelts.
This will cause thread, string, cord, rope, or even cable to make a knot around a similar object or a fixed object within range (10 feet). The knot will be a square knot, half hitch, running bowline, or whatever sort of knots the mage could tie by hand if he could easily reach the object. If they have no knowledge of knots, a granny knot will be tied. Thus, this cantrip is primarily to tie hard to reach things together, though they must still be within 10 feet of the caster. Boot laces may be so tied, but if some unwilling target is wearing those boots, they will get a saving throw at +4.
Similar to Tie, this works on finer material like thread, hair, small grasses, causing them to become untwisted and free of tangles. It may be used to good effect on wind blown hair and will leave such hair free of tangles and looking rather well brushed or combed.
Nonliving, non-magical liquid or solid materials may become up to 40 degrees F higher in temperature (not to be higher than 212 degrees F, so you may not boil water, (at one atmospheric pressure, anyway)). The duration is instantaneous and then nature reigns. i.e. the target will warm up or cool down as normal from that point due to ambient temperature and conditions. Thus, a cold liquid (cold tea or coffee, for example) may be warmed to a higher temperature. Even a bath may be warmed, though 1 cubic foot only, and then its heat will spread out according to normal laws of physics. This cantrip could easily turn one cubic foot of snow or ice into water (assuming such material was at least -8 degrees F or warmer to begin with in order to reach its minimum melting temperature).
This cantrip will remove odors and stains from one garment or a series of small garments (enough for one person's outfit and under cloths). Particularly dirty or smelling garments (such as sweat and blood soaked leather padding in armor) may take up to 4 applications to totally remove the odors and stains. Naturally, the garments cannot be worn at the time of washing.
A strong sturdy wrapping comes forth and wraps around small targets - a bit of herbs, a heap of coins, a bundle of cloth. The wrap is of excellent quality and may even be waterproof. The wrap may be opaque, translucent, or clear (caster's choice). A living creature may not be so wrapped. The wrappings are easily opened by hand (they may NOT be "willed" open by the caster just by thinking about it). The wrapping material is permanent (i.e. will not wink out at duration's end), but such material may selectively be biodegradable, though it may take a decade or two to fully degrade, or be more durable, taking centuries to degrade. If the caster wishes, old wrapping material may be used again (it is essentially automatically cleaned) or, they may use the cantrip to deliberately dissipate the wrapping material. This is not simply a matter of will, but one of using a cantrip. Finally, it should be noted this cantrip wouldn't vacuum seal an object. However, one may further employ Vacuum (the opposite of Breath ) to create such a vacuum, and the wrap is strong enough to maintain this vacuum.
This does more than curdle milk, but will also hasten the spoilage of most items such as cut flowers, and many foods and beverages that can naturally spoil with time. It is not as effective as Putrefy Food & Drink, however, but its duration is permanent. Compare Freshen. Actually, if one knows how, one may make cheese from milk using this cantrip, but a knowledge of this skill is not imparted simply from learning the cantrip and must be learned separately.
The opposite of the Clean cantrip, this will soil, spot, and sully walls and floors, dishes, garments, etc. A handy source of dirt or mud must be available and in range to do a good job, for if this spell must summon such material, only 1/4 to 1/2 the same area may be so sullied.
This will cause a fine layer of dust and grit to settle, or a residue of grime to build up in the area of effect if such debris is handy. If the spell must summon the material, only 1/4 to 1/2 the area of effect will be so dirtied.
This cantrip will cause a willing or domesticated creature's hair or fur (or object) to grow from 2 to 12-inches of new hair or fur or fuzz. The smaller the area, the longer the growth. Unwilling creatures get +4 to their saving throw. Success negates the effect. Such objects must be naturally hairy or fuzzy. One cannot have hair grow on rocks, for example.
Similar to Tie, this will simply make the knot a tangled mess and difficult to untie (taking 2d4 rounds). This will not affect taut items (like a bowstring) or magic items. The knot will, however, not accidentally slip apart for at least 8 rounds, so one might climb down a rope knotted to a post if quickly done.
If a non-magical garment or object has a lose thread, this cantrip will unravel it and cause it to come apart. Compare Stitch.
This will cause the target food or drink to take on a vinegar-like taste. It can spoil wine, beer, pastry, etc. Of course, it can also summon about a pint of vinegar for normal purposes too. There is no duration on such a summoned liquid, and food or drink spoiled in this manner will not return to freshness.
This will simply over turn such a container within range. A character or creature may not hold the container, but sitting next to them is ok.
Similar to Tie, this works on finer material like thread, hair, small grasses, etc., causing them to become twisted and entangled. It will take 3d4 rounds to untangle such a mess unless one doesn't care if they damage the material.
The reverse of Shine, objects normally affected by oxidation such as tarnish, rust, corrosion and the like will quickly be so affected.
This cantrip will open the simplest of locks (such locks would give your normal rogue a good laugh and allow him +25% or more to his normal skill at picking them).
Simply the reverse of Tie.
The reverse of the Breath cantrip, this will disband up to 1 cubic foot of non-magically summoned air or gases from an area. Employed with the Wrap cantrip, one may vacuum pack certain items for outstanding preservation. A loud popping noise is heard if this cantrip is employed in the open air. This is caused by the surrounding air rushing in to fill the vacuum. Before then, however, it may cause living creatures who fail their saving (recall these must be 0th level, have less than one hit dice, and be of animal intelligence or less) to gasp. This cantrip is better employed to put out tiny fires, such as candles, lamps, and torches. Even very small campfires will survive, though briefly diminish for a second or two. Even small fires like candles, lamps, and torches will get saving throws if a living creature holds them. Otherwise, they get no save.
The reverse of Freshen, but this will affect only vegetable material (growing or picked), and not meat.
This can cause a change in one object from a kingdom (animal, plant, mineral, fungus) to a similar item in the same kingdom. i.e. change a bat into a rat or a bird, turn parchment into colored cloth, a copper coin into a silver coin, a silver coin into an electrum coin, an electrum coin into a gold coin, etc. The more radical the change, the shorter the duration. Changes may normally last 1 turn, but radical changes may last one round or less (copper to electrum, one round, copper to gold, 30 seconds), and very minor changes may last up to a day (like a change in color only). Living and unwilling targets (if they have more than animal intelligence) get +4 to their saving throw vs. Polymorph. Normal creatures of animal intelligence with 1 Hit Dice or less do not get a save. Animal intelligence with more than 1 Hit Dice will get a normal save. This spell may alter the weight (mass actually) of the object by an increase or decrease of no more than 50% of the original mass. This cantrip will not affect magical items or creatures that are naturally magic. The cantrip must be employed each time the caster wishes to change the object into a new form. No system shock is required for creatures. Furthermore, this cantrip will not affect objects in the possession of intelligent, unwilling creatures. For example, you could not turn that man's metal "mug" of beer (if he is holding it) into a metal rod (thus causing the beer to spill on him), but you could if he set it down first OR if he wanted you to change it (i.e. a willing target).
This cantrip will cause creatures of low intelligence or lower, 1 Hit Dice or lower, or 0th level to look for one segment to the left or the right of the caster (up to 10 feet away) allowing the caster to do something with their opposite hand and have it go unnoticed. Creatures of 1st level or higher AND intelligence higher than "low" (must have both these qualities), or 1+1 Hit Dice or higher, get a save vs. spell to avoid this distracting effect. Thus, for example, a farmer or shopkeeper would not typically get a save, but all adventurers would.
This cantrip simply causes an object of the caster's choice to become invisible to those in front of the caster (characters and creatures to the side or behind him can see it normally). The object cannot be the caster, nor may it be any unwilling target creature (it may be a domesticated or trained animal). The duration is 1 turn for objects of 2 cubic yards or less and is reduced by one round for each additional 2 cubic yards up to 20 cubic yards when it is hidden for only 1 round. After that, each additional 2 cubic yards reduces the duration by 1 segment until up to 40 cubic yards that will be hidden for one segment. Objects larger than 40 cubic yards still disappear, but reappear after one second. The object may NOT be larger than 100 cubic yards in any event or it will not be affected even for a second. The caster may prematurely drop the illusion any time they wish.
This cantrip creates an illusionary duplicate of an object that will last one segment (6 seconds). Attention is drawn toward that object and if the caster can conceal it before the duration expires (putting it in a pocket, behind a scarf, under a cup, etc.), viewers will not notice it wink out of existence. During this equally short time, the real object becomes invisible and the mage may be able to palm the real object before it becomes visible at the same time the duplicate winks out of existence. The illusionary object only has visual components, so one may not hear it, feel it, taste it, etc., but only may see it. The mage may act as if he can do these things, and it will look as if he is touching it and moving it, for example, but it's an illusion. There is normally no save vs. this cantrip as it happens so fast, but anyone of 1st level or higher, more than 1+1 Hit Dice, or more than average intelligence may, if they suspect something before hand and DELIBERATELY looks for an illusion, gets a saving throw. This would mean, for example, a player of such a character would have to tell the DM his is trying to disbelieve anything he sees because he is suspicious BEFORE it happens. Thus, if the cantrip is employed only once and the audience has no reason to expect it, there is usually no save, but if a cautious individual states they are really looking hard (even the first time) or looking hard the second time, they may get a save vs. spell. Success allows them to perceive the illusion and ignore it if they wish.
This spell will cause an item within a range of 2 feet to appear in the caster's hand upon the utterance of the proper command word. A minor Dimension Door, if you will. An object as large as a tankard or mug of ale will exhaust the spell, but a dozen coin sized objects could be produced over the duration of one turn. If these objects are in the possession of an unwilling creature, they get a normal saving throw, but if the creature is 1st level or higher or has 1+1 Hit Dice or more, they get a +4 bonus to their save. A successful save will shatter the spell bringing it to an end. The caster must know the exact nature of the item(s) and their exact location to do this at all. He may not attempt to bring forth, for example, 'whatever' that guy has in his left pocket, but may bring forth the silver coin that guy just put in his left pocket (if that guy fails save).
NOTE: Remember, these cantrips will have NO affect on magical creatures, summoned creatures, spell casters currently casting a spell, or creatures actively attempting to employ a spell like ability. Thus, one may not use them to disrupt spell casters. Also, 1st level or higher characters and/or creatures with 1+1 Hit Dice or more will, if successfully making their save, TOTALLY negate the effect of the cantrip. Where it says there is an effect even for those who make their save, this refers to 0th level characters or creatures with 1 Hit Dice or less ONLY.
The target creature will belch, but gets a save vs. spell. Success indicates the belch is low and muffled, failure indicates it is loud and noticeable.
This will cause the creature that fails their save vs. spell to momentarily blink (about half a second).
This cantrip causes the target to spasmodically cough. A successful save vs. spell indicates one cough, while a failure indicates 3 to 5 seconds of coughing.
This will cause the target to giggle or laugh. Save indicates one slight chuckle, while failure indicates 1 to 3 seconds of giggling.
Successfully saving vs. this cantrip will negate the effect, but failure will cause the target to give a short nod of the head as if in agreement or as if greeting someone. This is due to an involuntary muscular contraction.
This will cause the target that fails their save to scratch at an itch for 1 to 3 seconds. The itch goes away after it is scratched. Making the save negates the effect entirely.
This will cause the target that fails their save to sneeze once. The nasal irritation goes away after the sneeze. Making the save negates the effect entirely.
This will cause the target that fails their save to twitch in the selected area (head, limb, etc.). Making the save negates the effect entirely.
This causes the target to wink. Save indicates a rapid, not very noticeable winking, failure indicate one long and very noticeable wink of one eye (several seconds).
Save negates the effect, but failing save will cause the target to yawn for 1 to 3 seconds. If a Sleep spell then blankets the area and such a creature (who already failed their save vs. Yawn and could normally be affected by a Sleep spell, will fall asleep, but does not count toward the Sleep spell's normal limit of hit dice that may be affected.
CREATURE SUMMONING CANTRIPS
NOTE:When it said (above) cantrips will have no affect on summoned creatures, it did not mean a particular creature summoned by a cantrip. Those are not considered summoned creatures and this usually means from other planes of existence.
This will summon one active bee if it is within 1 mile/level of the caster. If this is not available (such as in winter, for example), the cantrip has no effect. Such a summoned bee will land on a target creature within the 10-foot range and is 90% likely to sting the target. This will cause the stung creature to behave just as you would expect, but this is less than 1 Hit Point damage, so this cantrip will not cause spell casters to lose concentration (unless they are allergic to bee stings, I guess). Curiously, if one cast this cantrip in the dead of winter and a bee did appear, one might have to wonder from whence it came. (Perhaps there is a green house within 1 mile/level, for example, that has active bees in it). Thus, such minor cantrips may be the source of unexpected information.
Similar to Bee, an available bug will bite its target (90% of the time). See Bee.
Similar to Bee, available gnats will appear and the cloud will swarm around the head of a target creature within the 10-foot range. Such a target spends 1 to 4 segments swatting them away before the cloud breaks up. This cantrip will not break the concentration of a spell caster.
If a mouse is within 1 mile/level of the caster, this cantrip summons it to within 10 feet of the caster and it will magically appear and behave as a mouse would.
Similar to a Bee cantrip, this summons a spider from within 1 mile/level to appear within 10 feet of the caster upon a target creature. If poisonous spiders are in such an area, there is a 5% chance the spider is poisonous. If nothing but poisonous spiders is in such an area, there is a 25% the spider will come and a 75% chance no spider will come at all. If one is summoned, there is a 90% chance the spider will bite the target. Chances are the target will get a save vs. poison at +4 or succumb to its venom (whatever that may be). If a nonpoisonous variety, it will distract the target for one segment. This cantrip will not prevent a caster from casting his spell, but the poison may prevent further castings in the next round (if such a poison normally would).
Creak, Tap, or Whistle:
These cantrips (three separate ones written here to save time) create real forces to generate real sounds within 10 feet of the caster. Creaking, tapping, or whistling sounds are self-explanatory. Such sounds persist as long as the caster concentrates on them or until the duration of one turn expires.
Footfall, Groan, Moan, Rattle, or Thump:
These illusionary cantrips (five separate ones written here to save time) create illusionary sounds (self-explanatory) within 10 feet of the caster. Unlike Creak, Tap, orWhistle, creatures get a save vs. spell and may ignore the effect (do not hear it) if they successfully make their save.
It is possible to come up with more cantrips. Even special cantrips for a particular school of magic may be devised. Illusionists, for example, have this list (though I list them by name, I will not write them up here):
Colored Lights, Dim, Haze, Mask, Mirage, Noise, Rainbow, and two-dimensional Illusion. Such cantrips may only be employed by Illusionists.
The most humble of priestly spells is the orison, a brief prayer or invocation of a minor nature. Typically, priests learn a number of orisons as acolytes or students in order to hone their spell casting skills and emphasize concepts, ideals, or phrases of particular importance to the faith.
Because an orison is not even on par with other 1st-level magic, a priest may employ a number of individual orisons equal to three +1 per level (up to a maximum of nine) when he devotes a 1st-level spell slot to these orisons. He may so employ ONLY one 1st level spell slot in this way (never more than one spell slot may be used in this way). In other words, a 1st-level priest can only cast four orisons for one 1st-level spell slot, a 2nd-level priest can only cast five, and so on. A 6th level or higher priests may employ up to the maximum of 9 orisons instead of using the 1st level spell slot, and may do this only once/day. They may cast more than 9 orisons in a single day, but only by using mana points.
Very similar to a mage's cantrips, orisons may be cast by using ONE mana point OR by tapping into a first level BLANK. Once a blank is used thus, the fractional part of it remains until spells are regained or until the entire allotted number of orisons is cast. A fractional blank may not be used for anything other than casting more orisons.
Unlike cantrip, the priest never need decide which incantation he will use until he actually casts the spell. He must have a 1st level blank (or fractional blank) available, however, or use a full mana point to cast them at all. Regardless of the prayer chosen, the orison's duration is never more than one round per level unless otherwise stated as such.
LIMITATIONS ON ORISONS
Always remember, orisons are usually weak, will never surpass the abilities of 1st or higher level spells, typically have brief duration, are nigh valueless in combat, cannot cause direct damage to MOST creatures or people, often have stunning penalties when one attempts to employ them against unwilling, living, intelligent targets, and in general only will cause effects that are nearly trivial compared to the real power of 1st or higher level spells. However, they are still highly useful in non-combat situations and make life's little chores easier and often provide a source of fun and diversity for roleplaying.
Bear in mind the following limitations for all orisons:
Known Orisons Include The Following:
Alleviate: A single creature suffering from nausea or pain is relieved of its discomfort. Magically induced nausea or pain is only alleviated if the victim makes a saving throw vs. spell with at -2. The duration of Alleviate is 4 hours plus one hour/level. This spell temporarily relieves queasiness from disturbing thoughts or sights, seasickness, upset digestion, headaches or minor body aches, etc.
Calm: A single creature that has been startled or frightened is soothed. Victims suffering from magical fear may attempt a save vs. spell at -2 to calm themselves. Though the duration is one round, the fear will not come back. A new terror, however, may scare them again. After being CALMED, one round later you will not worry. However, a new dragon would still be frightening.
Clarity: For the duration of the orison, the priest's speech is clear and free of impediment (such as Tourette's Syndrome or stuttering, laryngitis, strained vocal chords, etc.), useful for reading out loud from sacred texts and other such rites. Magical conditions such as confuse languages cannot be overcome by this orison. The duration of this orison is one hour.
Contraception: The priest or priestess may prevent sperm from meeting the ovum. This is effected by the destruction of the sperm (if cast by a priest) or destruction of the single and ready ovum, if any, (if cast by a priestess). Note: Some deities may not grant this orison, so check with your DM.
Courage: The priest gains a +1 bonus to his next attack roll, as long as the attack is made within the spell's duration (i.e. within one round/level of the caster after it is cast).
Divine Illumination: This orison will summon a small, holy sphere of light. (Yellow in appearance, like sunlight). The sphere is 3" in diameter and will well illuminate objects within a 5' radius. Viewers outside of this sphere will be able to notice the light, but it will provide no useful illumination for work outside the 5' radius. Within the sphere, one can work, read, etc. as well as they could in normal sunlight. This orison's effect will last as long as the priest maintains his concentration upon it, but no longer than one hour in any event. He may read or walk, talk or sing, etc., but may not engage in combat, cast spells, or do anything that requires similar concentration while maintaining this orison. This orison will not affect Infravision or Ultravision.
Divine Stature: This orison will lend a holy aura to the priest or some suitable item (holy symbol, holy animal, holy site) for one round/level. During this time, all viewing the priest or item or area will feel the presence of the priest's deity and know what god inspired this feeling. The area may be no bigger than a sphere of 10' radius. Though no one coming into the area or seeing the item anew will be affected after the duration of one round/level, the psychological affect may linger on those who did see it for quite some time (perhaps days).
Guidance: The priest gains a +1 bonus to a Wisdom or Intelligence check to determine the right course of action in a MORAL dilemma or puzzle. Thus, it is useful to help stay inside an alignment (if one really needs this).
Healing: By his or her touch, the priest may heal a creature for 1 hit point of damage. No one creature may be the recipient of this spell more than once in a single day.
Magic Sense: If there is a persistent spell effect or magical item within 10 yards, the priest feels a recognizable tingle or sensation of some kind. He has no way to determine what item or spell may have caused the reaction.
Memory: Any item the priest commits to memory during the spell duration is more completely and permanently learned; he later gains a +2 bonus to any checks to recall the exact appearance, wording, or meaning of an item, text, or message, they have committed to memory using this orison.
Protection: This orison will cause any target with an AC of 10 to have an AC of 9 during the orison's duration of one turn/level.
Resistance to Magic: The caster gains a +1 bonus to his next saving throw against magic of any type, as long as it occurs during the orison's duration of one turn/level.
Resistance to Poison: The priest gains a +1 bonus to his next saving throw vs. poison, as long as it occurs during the orison's duration of one turn/level.
Other orisons of similar power or scope may be permitted by the DM. Generally, an orison should not affect more than one creature or die roll at a time, and an orison that can actually cause immediate harm to a creature should inflict no more than 1 or 2 points of damage. An offensive orison would be quite rare and most probably associated with an evil or chaotic priesthood.
There are fewer orison than cantrips since mages tend to putter with things as they often do, but one must actually bother their deity to research orisons. It takes careful, reflective thought and prayer to develop a new orison. It must be within the guidelines of the deity's alignment and major spheres of influence. Finally, it takes longer and cost more money in sacrifices. Specifically, it takes 1d4 weeks and cost 1d4x100 GPs. (These are different 1d4 rolls). If this is too expensive for you, don't bother god, and try to make due with what he has already offered (though a different DM under a different economy may have a different cost in money, the time should be the same).
Naturally, all priestly blanks, mana points, and orisons will act independently of all mage blanks, mana points, and cantrips. There should be no cross over for characters that are capable of both clerical and wizardly abilities.
Classes that may cast spells other than Mages and Priests may or may not have access to cantrips and orisons. Ask your DM. For my world follow these guidelines:
Rangers may employ cantrips if they used the mage path or orisons if they used the standard priestly path. They may start one level before they normally get their spell abilities. The DM will limit them to a few cantrips or orisons. After capable of 1st level spells, the normal limitation will be reached (i.e. 4 cantrips in lieu of one 1st level spell slot, or 4+N orisons where N is the number of levels they attain AFTER capable of 1st level spell casting.
Paladins or Holy Warriors may employ orisons. They may start one level before they normally get their spell abilities. The DM may limit them to a few orisons at first, and later when capable of 1st level spells, 4+N orisons where N is the number of levels they attain AFTER capable of 1st level spell casting.
Specialist magic users (illusionists and others) may have their own cantrips, but they should NOT be able to employ any cantrips of those schools of magic not normally allowed to them.
Bards may employ cantrips, but like always, these are picked up here and there and they may not research them. Usually, they must obtain them from a friendly wizard.
Monks capable of spells may pick 4 orisons. They must select only from those 4 and not the entire list, and thereafter be limited to using those 4 choices only. This reflects the fact monks do not dwell on their spell casting abilities but rather concentrate on their martial arts and the like.
In general, if for some reason your non-mage, non-priest, character is capable of casting spells, they may have access to a few cantrips or orisons. If you are uncertain, check with your DM.
Finally, I invite all interested readers to submit their ideas for cool and/or useful cantrips and orisons. If I like them, I will include them in this listing for this page. Thank you.
Email Jim Your Comments (Send Praises, Critiques, Complaints, Suggestions, Ideas, or Submissions).
© July of 2000