Sunday, July 30, 2017

50 Ways to Prepare Spells

Wizard Hookah from [16]

50 Ways to Prepare Spells
For OSR Adventures

[1] You have a blank book you must spend time writing with your epiphanies and spiritual discoveries, as you get closer to enlightenment you get the power to change the world (spells). Every morning when you wake up you've forgotten everything and your book is blank again.

[2] Find some privacy and lay some eggs. Each egg is a spell, and you must merely hold it and allow the spell to be 'born forth' from the egg when you cast the spell. The larger, more colorful, and harder to lay the egg, the higher the spell's level.

[3] Two tiny beings, one an angel and the other a demon, appear on your shoulders and speak to you privately. As you promise good/bad deeds to them, they grant you your good/evil spells for the day.

[4] Excise your tumors every morning- you see them as they are, astral parasites that drain your magical and sexual prowess. The tumors themselves are not magical, but you have a compulsion to collect them in jars.

[5] Stick your face in the corner and think about what you've done. Your brooding thoughts form into spells in your mind.

[6] Tiny childish fairies visit you every morning and sell you your daily spells. You can only pay them in worthless beads and painted wooden chips, play money, but the negotiations are serious and can get really heated.

[7] You do not prepare spells. Instead you simply vomit up yesterday's spells- they exit your body as a faintly glowing rainbow puke that loses its shine as it cools. You must vomit up all the spells before you can cast any today.

[8] Strange game board that you set up each day, keeping the positions and moves from all the pieces from yesterday. You spend the entire preparation time moving one piece, and you memorize the board before packing it up again.

[9] Paint your hands, fingers, and fingernails with bright colors and strange ring designs. You ritualistically wash yesterday's paint off each morning you prepare your spells, then paint different colors and patterns back on.

[10] Box full of blind rats. You feed them and play with them each morning, but your eyes never leave their tails. The way they coil, wiggle, dance and snake about as the rats fight and play teach you secrets. To cast a 9th level spell you must cut off one of the rat's tails and throw it as a spell component.

[11] Old dice. You throw them down over and over again, looking for patterns in the numbers until you are satisfied. You swear like a sailor the entire time.

[12] Scarification. You make tiny cuts all over your body in strange designs and patterns, too shallow to cause any damage to hit points. When you cast your spells these self-inflicted wounds miraculously heal.

[13] The script of what happens later that day sits in your lap, and you giggle knowingly as you read ahead. You refuse to let anyone else see it.

[14] Polishing a single metal object for the entire preparation time, either a secret medallion/locket or creepily polishing your knife.

[15] Breathing and stretching exercises. Anyone who joins you without 15+ Dex and Con cannot keep up. If you lack the stats yourself you can somehow still do the exercise, much to everyone's amazement.

[16] Hookah. You spend the preparation time setting up, lighting, and enjoying an extremely elaborate hookah pipe. Once the embers go cold you are ready to adventure that day.

[17] Genie. You've tricked a genie into giving you unlimited wishes, but he tricked you back by making them extremely weak wishes. These are your daily spells.

[18] Seize up and convulse for the entire preparation time. You get offended if anyone shows concern or tries to help.

[19] Book of Butterflies. You have a book of preserved, flattened butterflies that come to life when you remove them from the pages. They float around you and die when you cast their spell. You make certain to carefully pick up their bodies and place them back in the book.

[20] Sleep. You still need your normal sleep in addition to preparation time. Days when you aren't working you easily sleep 16+ hours.

[21] Tantric masturbation.

[22] Set up an alter and pray to your strange foreign god. The other party members turn their back on you in disgust.

[23] Exotic Spices. You mix tiny amounts of rare and exotic spices and slip them in with your rations, even if that is just a tiny cracker.

[24] Debate with the wind, the tiles of the floor, your clothing, etc. You eventually browbeat the inanimate object into giving you your spells.

[25] Catch a rodent, frog, fish or big spider and swallow it whole. Every time you cast a spell it kicks in your belly. It takes the entire preparation time to catch and swallow the poor creature.

[26] Ritual Bathing. For practicality, you can use a damp cloth and a special brush, but you much prefer a stream or hot bath.

[27] Giant warts appear on your nose and you examine yourself in the mirror while they grow. Whenever you cast a spell one of the warts disappears.

[28] You must examine the map or if you don't have one scrawl your own in the sand or on a wall. You spend the entire preparation time trying to calculate the divine geometry of where you are, and prefer to cast your spells in the center of certain rooms or in small tucked alcoves.

[29] Ritual ceremony where you call upon the spirits to grant you your powers for the day. Requires several props that you carry with you and use for no other purpose.

[30] Tiny magic scrolls written with a single strand of hair. You can keep them up your sleeve or attach them to the brim of your hat so you can easily read them to cast your spells.

[31] Skull of your master. You study the skull and prepare spells from them, ala Phrenology.

[32] Bound demon appears from fire and gives you your daily spells in the form of a black grimoire which pages burn when cast. The demon is under a strict contract and cannot do anything but give you your spells, but it is hateful so it does it slowly (prep time) to spite you.

[33] Bag of Pebbles. You have a bag of tiny pebbles you count every day you want to prepare your spells. The number never changes but you need to count them fresh every day.

[34] Braid and knot your hair in very specific and arcane ways using your silver mirror. Whenever you cast a spell these untangle.

[35] Musical Instrument. You spend the entire preparation time quietly playing an unusual instrument, such as a sitar or paper organ.

[36] Write letters to heaven requesting your daily spells. You can mail them by simply throwing the letters down a hole or burning them, and receive spells in a shaft of light after a brief moment of deliberation among the Gods.

[37] Fastidiously clean the immediate area.

[38] Solve puzzle boxes to gain your spells. You collect the boxes but each day the puzzles reset and even randomly change their solutions.

[39] Peer into your seer's stone to maddening vistas. Anyone else looking in sees alien geometries and dark things, and cannot bare to look again. But you? You stare.

[40] Alchemy. Carefully mix together tiny amounts of ingredients into little crystal forms or tiny potion vials. These are your spells, but they have a short shelf life so use them today.

[41] Spend your preparation time knitting a scarf. Every time you cast a spell, the scarf gets a little shorter until it is gone with your last spell.

[42] Pot full of rare tropical frogs. Disembowel one and examine its entrails to gain your spells.

[43] Spellbook. You carry around a standard spellbook, but to prepare your spells you crawl into the book and wrestle with them in the astral realm. Nobody in the party can join you.

[44] Tinker with clockwork toys and devices. Each one, if properly calibrated, is a spell.

[45] Liquefy yourself into a puddle of goo. To stay safe, change in a pot or pan. Other party members need to be careful not to knock it over.

[46] Possessed by spirits. Every day you are assaulted by demons or other spirits that inhabit your body- you let them in willingly and in return they grant you dark powers.

[47] Age yourself to a decrepit geriatric then age backwards, using your new wisdom to cast spells. Every time you do this your 'base' age gets a bit older, you can't outrun time. Yet.

[48] Morning rituals of a dozen or more people; one for each of your many split personalities. Whenever you cast a spell one of the personalities takes over for a second.

[49] Puppets. You have a collection of puppets each dressed and shaped as famous characters from a famous play in the campaign setting. You voice and act out the entire play.

[50] Gag yourself and slavishly serve all the requests of the other party members. Once the the time is up you act as a proper Wizard again and will suffer no commands or disrespect.

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