Wednesday, March 19, 2014

B/X Spell Roundup: 2nd level cleric spells, part 2

 Like the first four spells, the second half of the 2nd level cleric spell list is a mix of awesome and ho-hum.

5. Resist Fire:  This is more useful than the 1st level Resist Cold spell, but it's still kind of "meh" in my book.  It affects only one creature, for only two turns.  It does confer complete immunity to normal fire, and -1 per die/+2 to saves vs. magical fire.  If you want to walk hot coals barefoot, shrug off flaming oil, retrieve a treasure chest from the bottom of a boiling hot spring, or do blacksmith work without tongs, well, here ya go.  Depending on how generous the DM is, you might be able to walk unscathed through a burning building, or you might still succumb to smoke inhalation.

6. Silence 15' Radius:  The standard use of this spell is to keep enemy spell casters from doing their thing, and it does a terrific job of that.  Even if the target makes the save and the spell doesn't "stick," it's still a globe of silence 30 feet across, and how many dungeon rooms are much bigger than that? 

But forget about spell casters for a minute.  A Silence spell can keep a leader from shouting orders to his troops.  It can also keep sentries from raising the alarm. 

Or, cast it on your plate-clad front-line fighter, and he's stealthy as a ninja!  So is everyone within 15 feet of him, and if you encounter a spell caster, the fighter just rushes forth like fighters do, and envelopes the caster in his globe of silence. 

Need to break open a stubborn door or a chest, but don't want every wandering monster in the dungeon converging on  your location?  Silence that thing! 

Silence 15' Radius is exactly what it says on the tin, which makes it wide open to player creativity.  It's also got crazy range (180') and lasts a full 12 turns. 

7. Snake Charm:  Hmmm...that's a little oddly specific.  You don't get to command the snakes, either, just "charm" them sort of like the classic guy with a turban and a flute does to the cobra in the basket.  If the DM is prone to using a lot of snakes in the game - maybe pits full of vipers or traps that release a deadly asp or something - then this spell could be helpful.  Otherwise, it's probably not worth the spell slot.  Sorry, Indy, suck it up and deal.

8. Speak With Animals:  Given that this spell allows the cleric to talk to any sort of normal or giant animal (presumably including snakes) there's even less reason to take the previous spell.  Granted, it doesn't make the animals automatically friendly or cooperative, but it opens up the possibility of negotiation.  The description indicates that the caster may communicate with one type of animal, which could mean that only one type may be chosen for the whole duration of the spell, or maybe that only one type may be spoken to at a time (i.e. something said to the dog will not be understood by the cat; you'll have to say it again in feline if you want her to understand.) 

The description specifies that animals may do small favors for the cleric if their reaction rolls are good enough and the task is within their capability.  Presumably the cleric could offer the animal something to sweeten the deal, too.  Animals would also be great sources of information.  True, they aren't likely to have the same ideas of what's important or interesting as a human adventurer would, so the cleric would have to ask just the right questions, but if you need to know something about the area or what happened or who has passed there recently, odds are there's a rat or songbird that witnessed it.

No comments :

Post a Comment