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Nature's Rampart
By Rich Baker

Every group of adventurers preparing for an outdoor attack should have access to this fine defensive spell.

Nature's Rampart*
Conjuration (Creation)
Level: Clr 4/Drd 3
Components: V, S, M, DF
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: Structure up to 40 ft. square
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

You shape a natural setting into a formidable defensive position. Usually this is used to prepare an open outdoor area such as a hillside or a forest, but a large natural cavern could be shaped into a divine rampart. Artificial structures or features are not affected, although a divine rampart could be positioned to fill a gap between two buildings or barricade an unpaved road. The effects of the spell depend on the terrain:

Open Outdoor Site: A rampart or dike of earth 5 feet high and 5 feet thick at its base rises immediately behind a shallow ditch 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep along the perimeter of the site. Creatures behind the dike receive 75% cover. Attackers approaching on foot must scramble down into the ditch and then 10 feet up the dike (Climb DC 10).

Rough Outdoor Site or Cavern: Loose stones and boulders, deadwood, and patches of dense briars are arranged to form a defensible wall 5 feet high and 2 feet thick at the base around the perimeter of the site. Creatures behind the wall receive 75% cover.

Marshy or Low-Lying Site: In areas such as marsh, bog, swamp, or tundra, divine rampart cannot raise a wall, but instead creates a water-filled ditch 10 feet wide and 5 feet deep. Creatures forced to wade the ditch are reduced to one-eighth their normal movement (minimum 5 feet) and cannot charge or run.

Material Components: A small quartz gem engraved with the image of an exquisite tiny castle, worth at least 100 gp.

* This is the last of six spells Rich originally wrote for Player's Option: Spells & Magic and has updated for the new edition of the D&D game.

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