City-Slick Spells

June 11th, 2014

Alex Riggs

Obscure Arcana Archive

                We’re right in the middle of City Week, and even us poor country folk are spending this week celebrating the places where humanity gathers in great numbers. For those of you who’ve never been to the big city, let me give you a quick run-down: people are everywhere, making it impossible to move. Construction is everywhere, making everything ugly and making it even harder to move. If you do move, you’ll find advertisements and neon flashing signs everywhere, advertising everything. Plus, you get lost a lot, if you’re not from the area.

                The bottom line is that I made some spells which I think help capture the essence of the city, or at least will be useful if you ever find yourself adventuring in one.


School transmutation; Level cleric 8, druid 9, sorcerer/wizard 8
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a small piece of a cobblestone)
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area all man-made surfaces in a 10-ft./level-radius spread
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Reflex partial; Spell Resistance no

                With a word, you cause all worked earth, masonry, cobblestones, and similar man-made surfaces in the affected area to roll and quake at your command. Each round on your turn (including the round in which the spell is cast), each creature in the affected area that is not one of your allies must succeed on a Reflex save or fall prone and suffer 2d6 points of bludgeoning damage. Creatures that are already prone when this occurs take 4d6 points of bludgeoning damage, instead (no save). Additionally, creatures in the affected area that are not your allies treat the affected area as difficult terrain for the spell’s duration, and suffer a -2 penalty on attack rolls and AC for as long as they remain in the affected area, as the shifting of the ground interferes with their movements. Creatures in the affected area that are your allies instead gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls and AC as the ground shifts to aid them, instead of hinder them. Note that only man-made surfaces within the spread count as “affected area,” and any natural earth or rock is unaffected.

                This spell is incredibly damaging to structures built on the affected area, and inflicts 4d6 points of damage to each such structure each round. If less than half of the structure is on the affected area, the damage is reduced to 2d6. This damage is not subject to hardness.


School illusion (shadow); Level bard 5, inquisitor 6, sorcerer/wizard 7
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect 3 quasi-real people/level
Duration 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw Will disbelief, see text; Spell Resistance no

                You create a crowd of people from thin air. The illusory people that you create appear in unoccupied squares of your choice within the spell’s range. Any creature that interacts with one of these illusory people is entitled to a Will save to disbelieve that individual person. Success allows the observer to disbelieve that individual person, but not any other quasi-real people created by the spell (each of which requires its own Will save).

                The people created by this spell wander randomly, but never travel more than 60 feet from the spot in which they were created. They make small talk to one another and to other humanoid creatures, but anyone paying attention to their conversations quickly becomes aware of the fact that the things that they say are not in any way related (Sense Motive DC 5). The quasi-real people are treated as non-ally creatures for the purposes of moving through their squares, and have an effective CMD of 10 + your caster level. Creatures that successfully disbelieve an illusory person can move through their square without difficulty. You have no direct control over the individuals created by the spell, but automatically disbelieve them.


School divination; Level bard 1, cleric 1, inquisitor 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a piece of wood from a merchant’s sign)
Range personal; see text
Target you
Duration concentration + 1 round/level; see text

                You sense the direction of an established merchant or serviceman who sells a particular type of good or performs a specific service that you envision when you cast the spell. This spell only provides you with the location of the closest merchant or serviceman that meets the description, even if there are several nearby. If no such merchant or serviceman that meets the description exists within 1 mile per caster level you possess, the spell produces no result.

                If you cease concentrating on the spell, it continues for up to 1 round per caster level you possess. You may resume concentrating on the spell during this time, but if you do, the number of rounds that you failed to concentrate count against the number of rounds that the spell will continue without your concentration if you cease concentrating again.

                A spell known as Quintin’s mercantile beacon is used by some business owners to cause any locate shop or service spell that could produce an affected shop or service as a result to do so instead of other results, even if the other results are closer. This practice is considered perfectly acceptable in some communities, considered bad business in others, and outright illegal in a few.