spellcasters are weak fighters when it comes to direct combat? Mages make
especially interesting characters when they prepare to engage in combat.
Many spells lack somatic components, and can therefore be used without
penalty while wearing armor. Among my personal favorites are ventriloquism,
blur, and true strike. You mislead an attacker with ventriloquism,
cast blur on yourself, and as your foe investigates the magic noises,
you attack from behind with true strike.
touch is a helpful spell in several ways. It allows wizards and sorcerers
at the end of their spellcasting to participate in combat. Its a
nasty surprise for those who think mages carry only ineffective weapons.
And, finally, it allows spellcasters to use any cool magical item (like
the dwarven waraxe +1 in The
that happens to fall into their hands.
spell is most commonly used by bards, multiclassed wizards, and sorcerers
(who can therefore wear armor), and rage mages (Dragon,
Level: Brd 1, Sor/Wiz 1
Components: V, F
Casting Time: 1 action
Duration: 1 minute per level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
touch is a spell often found in the repertoire of the adventurers
that specialize in casting arcane spells. It grants casters the knowledge
and experience to claim proficiency in whatever single weapon or shield
they hold in their hands when the spell is cast. The lack of a somatic
component means the spell may be cast in the midst of a fight while keeping
ready whatever items stand between the caster and danger.
is granted for only a single, specific item, although multiple castings
allow for multiple proficiencies. For example, a sorcerer holding a short
sword and rapier, with a buckler strapped to his off hand, could cast
the spell three times, once for each weapon and shield.
that this spell does not grant proficiency for a class of item, but only
for the one specific item held in the hand at the time the spell is cast.
Should the caster set that item down or otherwise lose his or her grip
on it, proficiency does not fade away; the proficiency is due to knowledge
gained, not due to any transmutation of the caster or the item. The caster
may therefore recover that specific item and continue to use it with proficiency
until the spells effect runs out.
touch does not convey any information about a magic item to the caster.
The caster may not even be aware that an item is magical at all.
Focus: The item in whose use the caster wishes to be proficient.
Bolme has written for a variety of games, including Paranoia, Castle
Falkenstein, Cyberpunk, Cybergeneration, and Necroscope. His
fiction work includes Title Deleted for Security Reasons, The Wind
Blows Also Softly, and the forthcoming short stories "The Dragon's
Paw" and "The Dagger of Chaos," both due out this year.
His next novel should be released in March 2002. Check out his original
online adventure The