[House Rules-Spell]Chosen Bond

Bandits!”

The clearing exploded with activity as leather-clad men leapt from hiding.  The horses screamed and reared as steel clashed amidst falling leaves.

“Drive them back!” Ransor shouted, his bright steel cutting a swath through the brigands.  Three men surrounded him, stabbing with spears and short blades, but they could not touch him beyond his shield and mail.

Men screamed and died.

“Give me a moment and I will end this,” Averessa shouted.  Her hands moved with alien fluidness and an unfelt wind twirled her auburn hair. As the air bent and folded around her, a bandit saw the threat she represented and threw his spear.

It flew straight into her chest, impaling her.  Tendrils of magic wafted like smoke around her and the spear fell limply from her chest.  Her spell finished, the remaining bandits fell, their faces turning blue and distorting in pain.

“Is everyone all right?” Vanan asked, scanning the group.  Everyone called out that they were fine.  Everyone but Ransor.

He lay where he fell, surrounded by dead bandits, blood seeping from his mouth.  His armor was untouched, and his body had no wound upon it.

Chosen Bond

Arcane:             1
Range:              Touch (Special)
Duration:           24 Hours

This spell links the caster and a single target.  For the duration of the spell, if the either the caster or the target of the spell takes damage, and the other is within 10’, they can absorb to 2 hit points per caster level per attack of the damage.  If one absorbs all the damage from an attack, it is almost like the blow did not occur (so a caster would not lose a spell for example).  Note however, that attacks with carrier effects, such as poison or disease still effect the original target.  So if a snake bit one of the two characters after declaring they started casting a spell and inflicted 3 damage and forced a save versus poison, the other character could choose to absorb up to 2 points of damage per level.  If they absorbed all three, the other character would be treated as though they hadn’t been hit and could, if they survive the poison saving throw, continue on with their spell as though they’d not been hit.

Further, while this spell is active, both characters gain a +1 to avoid surprise.

This is almost always the first spell a warden is taught.

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9 thoughts on “[House Rules-Spell]Chosen Bond

  1. D. says:

    I almost feel bad saying this, but this seems way overpowered, something I am rarely moved to say, either because it is obvious or because it’s a close enough call that I figure it is a matter of personal taste.

    How about a maximum amount of total damage that can be absorbed? Or a limited number of attacks, or not quite such a range or duration? Or perhaps argue that the caster must always absorb at least 1HP?

    Also, what happens if this is cast by multiple wardens on the same target? How does that work?

    D.

    • Hey don’t worry about it: critical feedback is still feedback! You still bothered to read it and consider it, so I appreciate that!

      The range may well be too large. 30′ might be better.

      I’m ok with the duration and the amount of damage because in part, I’ve created this to ‘fix’ a ‘problem’ I see with ACKS. In ACKS, any successful attack automatically scuppers a caster’s spell, and expends that spell (slot) for the day. While I am in general cool with this as it helps to balance wizards, it also means that high level wizards and liches are not a threat by themselves without tons of allies to screen the party. I’m leery of having big evil mage as the villain knowing that even a 14th level mage could be gubbed by a far lower level party if they simply jump him without his spells up, or even just win initiative. No likey!
      Now, a different initiative system would fix it, as well as simply ignoring the disruption rule (which I’m not too sure about). For right now this is the fix I’m considering and that’s why it’s kind of powerful.

      Also, without a long duration (which a lot of B/X spells have…heck, Shield lasts 30 minutes!), I don’t see the point of casting it. And also ACKS greatly limits the number of spells known, unlike traditional DND, so a wizard who learned this would be giving up something important, like Sleep or Magic Missile to do so (and scrolls are prohibitively expensive to create for something like this… like 500 gp I think).

      If I were playing a different version of D&D, I think I’d agree, but with ACKS particulars, I think (and I haven’t honestly had a chance to playtest it) that it feels right.

      As to what happens when multiple people cast it… er, that’s a good question! I’ll edit that!

      • D. says:

        I can see what you’re saying and woulld even agree – but I also tend to agree with the “screening forces” concept for mages. You could also do a couple of different stages of this spell – a 1st level version, a 3rd, and a 5th. This one seems closer to a 3rd level version than a 1st level in my brain (actually it seems like a 2nd)

        D,

  2. Considering that the Warden is there to protect the Mage, I’d put the range of the spell at 10′, in order to encourage the behavior.

  3. Ok, I’ve updated the spell. Now you have to stay within 10′ to transfer damage, to encourage the warden to stay near.

  4. Shelley says:

    The story at the beginning of this post gave me chill bumps. I love the idea of this (can’t comment on the mechanics however).

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