Viking Magic

December 20th, 2012

Alex Riggs

Obscure Arcana Archive

            Well, it’s almost Christmas, and what would Christmas be without hordes of angry Vikings? Probably a lot quieter, and a little more like what you would expect from Christmas, but since it’s Viking Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest, it’s not what you’re going to get.

            In case you haven’t heard, we recently released a book devoted entirely to Vikings. Entitled Ancient Warriors: The Vikings, this book seeks to capture a taste of what makes these proud, northern warrior cultures so cool and resonant, and allow you to tap into that awesomeness at your game table. To celebrate its release, we’ve been pulling out all the stops with Vikings all over the site this week. And even though, on the surface, it seems like Vikings and magic go together like fire and ice, the fact is that the Vikings had a rich magical tradition. Not that terribly much is known about it today, but you can learn a little bit more in the book. Whatever the case, the following spells have all been handcrafted to be Viking appropriate, in some cases to the facts of historical Vikings and their interpretation of magic, and in other cases to the myth of Vikings we all know and love today.


Einherjar’s Call

Einherjar's Call

            You invigorate the target with the power of glory and honor in battle, allowing him a chance to fight on beyond death. For the spell’s duration, the target does not die as a result of having negative hit points in excess of his Constitution score (or any other amount of negative hit points). The target does not become disabled at 0 hit points and can act normally, though he takes 1 point of damage in any round in which he takes more than a single move action, unless his current hit points increases to 1 or more by the end of his turn.

            While this spell can be used to extend the target’s life long enough to provide him with healing, it is not well adapted for this, as its true purpose is simply to allow the target to fight a particularly glorious final battle. If the target is reduced to -1 or fewer hit points at any point during the spell’s duration, then at the end of the spell, he must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC equal to the amount of damage he received during the entire duration of the spell) or instantly die, regardless of his current hit point total and any immunity to death effects he might possess, as the trauma of enduring beyond death becomes too much for his spirit. The target must make this Fortitude save even if he is healed to a positive hit point total before the end of the spell’s duration, but not if he is never reduced to -1 or fewer hit points. Even if the target succeeds on his saving throw, if he is currently at negative hit points he may die or begin dying, as normal, unless special circumstances would prevent him from doing so.

            Anything that breaks your concentration immediately ends the spell.


Rage, Greater

Rage Greater

            Each affected creature gains a +4 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus to Will saves, but suffers a -2 penalty to AC. The effect is otherwise identical to the barbarian’s rage ability, including the fact that the targets are fatigued at the end of the rage. Further, when you cast the spell, you may choose any four rage powers that do not have any prerequisites. For the spell’s duration, creatures affected by the spell gain the benefits of those four rage powers.

            As soon as you cease concentrating on the spell, you become exhausted. Once the spell’s effect actually ends, this is reduced to fatigued (if you are cured of your exhaustion before then, this does not apply). If you are one of the creatures affected by the spell, then you do not become exhausted when you cease concentrating, but instead become exhausted at the end of the spell’s duration, and remain exhausted until cured of that condition by the normal means.


Summon Brownie

Summon Brownie

            You summon a brownie who does your bidding for the duration of the spell. This functions as summon monster I, except that the creature summoned is always a brownie, and there are a few specific instances that may allow the brownie to end the spell early and return to where it came from.

            First, if you ever direct the brownie to take an obviously dangerous action, including engaging in combat with a creature whose CR is 1/2 or higher, then the brownie can make a Will save (DC equal to summon brownie’s DC). If it succeeds, the spell ends and the brownie returns whence it came. If the creature is CR 4 or higher, the brownie automatically succeeds on this saving throw.

            If you ever insult the brownie, threaten it, or raise your voice at it, the brownie is entitled to a Will save (as above) to end the spell and return whence it came. Similarly, if you direct the brownie to “do whatever this person says,” or otherwise attempt to bestow the brownie on another character, the brownie may make a Will save to try to end the spell.

            Finally, up to three times each time this spell is cast, when you tell the brownie to perform a task, it may ask you for milk, honey, or some other foodstuff, trinket, or bauble worth no more than 2 gp. If you decline to give the brownie this gift, it is entitled to a Will save to try to end the spell.


Warrior’s Fate

Warrior's Fate

            You meddle with the target’s combat ability, either helping or hindering him. You can either grant the target a +2 bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, AC, and saving throws, or you can impose a -2 penalty on those things. This spell can affect the target regardless of distance, as long as you are on the same plane as the target. If you are granting the target a bonus, the spell is considered harmless. If you possess a piece of the target (hair, fingernails, etc.) or an item of importance to the target, then the target suffers a -4 penalty on his saving throw to resist this spell.