Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fairy Tale Spell Names

I was planning on doing more with magical effects charts but work sucked all my mental energy. What I do sometimes when I want to be creative but that muscle is tired is trawl through online books for public domain illustrations. I was going through an old book of Perrault Fairy Tales when I realized that some of the titles would make cool, almost-Vancian spell names. Then I poked around online looking for more possible examples. Here are the best I found:
  • The Palace of Revenge
  • The Prince of Leaves
  • The Fortunate Punishment
  • The Impossible Enchantment
  • The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs
  • The Bright Sun Brings It to Light
  • The Crumbs on the Table
  • The Thorny Road of Honor
  • The Last Dream of the Old Oak
  • The Story of the Wind
  • Beauty of Form and Beauty of Mind
  • The Storm Shakes the Shield
  • Go I Know Not Whither and Fetch I Know Not What
Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to take the title most interesting to you and turn it into an actual spell.


  1. I play Changeling and the Contracts (spells, basically) have great names like The Devil's Jawbone, Songs of Distant Arcadia and Touch of the Workman's Wrath. I also love the names you came up with. Good stuff.

  2. Thanks. Your examples are cool. Just out of curiosity, what does that last one "Touch . . ." do?

  3. The Bright Sun Brings It to Light

    (I'm statting this up as a generic early edition DnD spell)

    Cleric Spell
    Level: 3
    Duration: 2 turns per level
    Range: personal/see below

    For the duration of the spell 'The Bright Sun Brings It to Light' the nature of the Cleric's Turn Undead is changed.

    When the Cleric would normally destroy mindless undead instead of destroying them this spell allows the Cleric to bathe these mindless undead in the healing light of the sun (or the moon, or stars, or fire, or whatever) which emerges from their holy symbol. Instead of being destroyed the curse of undeath is removed and the hapless victims are redeemed in the eyes of the Cleric's Deity. In all other ways the Cleric's Turn Undead is used exactly the same as normal.

    I have always been amused that there are no overt anti-necromancy spells out there. Death is not one way but un-death seems to be. So, when I read the title I instantly thought of this spell that might be fun for some people who like playing Clerics.

  4. That's awesome, DeForest. Thanks for sharing. Just a clarification, does "the curse of undeath is removed and the hapless victims are redeemed" mean the zombie, or whatever, would just slump to the ground, a peaceful corpse?

  5. I like these kind of spell names more than the utilitarian "Fireball" and "Sleep".

    The Thorny Road of Honor: No participant in melee combat may retreat from the battle for the duration of the spell.

  6. @Stuart: Ooh, I like that one. Good show!

  7. The Workman's Wrath contract causes a piece of machinery to stop functioning for a while. Very handy when disabling an enemy's get away vehicle. :)

  8. 3rd level Clerical Spell
    The Bright Sun Brings It to Light
    Range: 0 (Cleric only)
    Duration: 1 Turn
    Effect: The cleric and a 30' spherical volume centered on cleric

    When this spell is cast the cleric will glow with holy light. This light will shine as per the Light spell, and will protect the cleric as if Protection from Evil has been cast upon him. In addition, any illusion power of 3rd level or lower will be revealed so long as the light shines upon the area affected by it. Phantasms become indistinct, invisible items or creatures appear as merely fuzzy around the edges, and ghost sounds become tinny and obviously faked.

    x-posted to my blog: http://towerofthearchmage.blogspot.com/2010/04/fairy-tale-spell-names.html

  9. Here's an idea...

    The Story of the Wind
    4th Level Druid Spell
    Range: 0
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Effect: special

    This spell must be cast outdoors. When the spell is cast, the wind begins to pick up and as it does so, it begins to moan with a haunting voice. The wind can answer a single yes or no question that pertains to the natural world in the particular region the spell is cast (DM discretion as to details).

  10. Here is another -

    2nd level Druid Spell

    The Storm Shakes the Shield

    Range: 60'
    Duration: 1 round/caster level
    Effect: 100' x 100' area

    This spell causes a howling wind to blow across the battlefield into the druids opponents. This wind will pick up any loose debris in the area and cause it to be flung against everyone in the area of effect for 1d2 points of damage every round. Missile fire suffers a -4 penalty to hit at close range, and an additional -2 for each increment thereafter. For the duration of the spell shields lose their effectiveness as the wind catches and pulls them at inopportune moments. This spell is only effective in areas large enough to accommodate the area of effect (i.e. outdoors or large caverns).

    Also x-posted to my blog.

  11. Awesome folks! Thanks for sharing. How about The Fortunate Punishment? Anyone . . .?

  12. The Fortunate Punishment: If an attack would kill the character (reduced to 0 or fewer hit points), permanently lose a point from an attribute of your choice instead of taking damage.

  13. And Stuart rises to the occasion! Great, sort of like "the attributes will be splintered."

  14. Haha. Yeah - "The Charisma shall be Splintered!" ;D

  15. Great ideas!

    Not old school but for Pathfinder, the Prince of Leaves:

  16. Thanks, it does seem the appropriate time of year for that one.

  17. 3rd level Wizard & Druid Spell

    The Prince of Leaves
    Range: 240'
    Duration: Concentration + 1 round per 2 levels
    Effect: Summons one 8 HD Treant

    When the wizard or druid casts this spell in a forested area, one tree of sufficient size animates as a treant for the duration of the spell.
    The treant will perform any tasks within its power (carrying, attacking, etc.) as long as the caster maintains control by concentrating. The caster cannot fight, cast other spells, or move over half normal speed, else he will lose concentration.
    The spell's caster may return a controlled elemental to its home plane simply by concentration. A dispel magic or dispel evil spell can return an uncontrolled elemental to its plane.

  18. Beauty of Form and Beauty of Mind

    Twisting it a bit that becomes Beauty of Form or Beauty of Mind:

    For your campaign:
    Divine Petitioner Spell:
    Level: 3
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Range: personal/see below

    The caster must choose between increasing Charisma or Intelligence by one at the cost of a point of the other.

  19. I like that choice involved C'nor, thanks.