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"Enigma's Variations":

by Carl Quaif

This is a small spellbook, 4"x6" in dimension, bound in blue velvet-covered wooden boards. It contains half a dozen 1st-level spells, one to a page, written by the flamboyant dilettante mage, Enigma.

Enigma (born Mabel Skeen) was raised on the Minrothad Isles by a merchant father and former-actress mother. Recognising both her innate magical talent and disruptive, theatrical sense of humour, her parents packed her off to the Great School of Magic in Glantri at age 13, to learn both magical theory and self-restraint. The plan half-worked; she was near the top of her class for the next three years, until she was expelled for a series of embarrassing magical pranks played on fellow pupils, teachers, and the occasional visiting dignitary. Unabashed, she toured the countries of the Known World and the Alphatian Empire as a performing mage, leaving admiring fans, angry creditors and (occasionally) outstanding warrants for her arrest wherever she went. Enigma's particular talent was not in creating new spells, but in adapting existing ones to her own purposes. "Enigma's Variations", written some years after leaving Glantri, includes spells she "created" during her time at the Great School. The spells are as follows:-

Enigma's Umbrella
Level: 1
Range: personal
Duration: 1d6+6 turns
Effect: creates a glowing disk
One of the most useful spells Enigma ever devised, the Umbrella is nothing more than a Floating Disk spell which manifests 6" above the caster's head. Enigma enjoyed walking in the rain, but disliked having to wear a heavy rain cloak (which would spoil the effect of her latest eye-catching outfit). The spell proved a very popular one with many of her peers, many of whom continue to use the spell years later. The Umbrella has all the carrying abilities of the standard spell, and can be particularly useful as a "bunk up" to enable colleagues standing on it to reach the tops of walls, etc.

Enigma's Headless Ghost
Level: 1
Range: touch
Duration: 1d6+6 turns
Effect: partial invisibility
Created to make a shocking entrance at a party, this peculiar variation on the Invisibility spell renders the recipient's head and neck completely invisible, while making the rest of the body and any items of clothing worn at the time translucent (clothing donned after the spell is cast retains full visibility so, for instance, a heavy cloak could be used to disguise the Headless Ghost until ready). While rather silly, it is still an impressive effect, and has some limited adventure uses; apart from the shock value (under this spell, the recipient always gets surprise in combat against human or humanoid foes if the opponent fails a Save vs. Death), the spell makes a concealed user harder to spot (seen on a roll of 1 on 1d6 if partially concealed by undergrowth in woodland areas, adds 15% to Hide in Shadows attempts).

Enigma's Evil Eyes
Level: 1
Range: touch
Duration: 1d6 turns
Effect: makes the recipients eyes glow
Created for an unprepossessing fellow student who wanted to make an impression when applying to join an adventuring party, this altered Light spell causes the recipient's eyes to glow. The brilliance of the Evil Eyes may be adjusted at any time from a simple glow (for effect) to the equivalent of a Light spell (in a 180 degree-arc only). The Evil Eyes can, if desired, be used as standard illumination when dungeon delving, although the light can shift violently if the bearer turns suddenly, and attacking creatures will often go for the bearer of the Evil Eyes in preference to other targets. Enigma's Evil Eyes can be used in conjunction with Enigma's Headless Ghost, giving a -1 adjustment to the opponent's Save vs. Death surprise roll. This spell cannot be used to blind others.

Enigma's Flattery
Level: 1
Range: 20'
Duration: 1 day
Effect: 1 human or humanoid
This peculiar version of a Charm Person spell has little or no combat use. If the target fails to Save vs. Spells, he or she becomes fascinated with the first caster, and attempts to imitate her in any way possible - mode of speech, mannerisms, dress sense (or lack of), etc. This can be amusing or embarrassing, depending on the circumstance. Enigma also created a slightly variant spell (only three words are changed in the formula) which makes the target imitate the first person he sees, whether it is the caster or not. This version of the spell is part of reason Enigma was expelled from the Great School; she was able to cast it on one of her tutors, who proceeded to ape the mannerisms of a particularly pompous and overblown visiting mage, nearly causing a major riot. Both versions of the spell last only a single day before expiring.

Enigma's Bullseye
Level: 1
Range: 60'
Duration: 3 rounds
Effect: 1 glowing missile
Unusually, considering its inventor, this spell actually has some combat use. Enigma's Bullseye, a Magic Missile variant, creates a glowing arrow which must be fired at a living target within one round; it hits automatically. Instead of causing damage, the spell creates a series of three glowing, concentric circles centred on the point of impact, resembling a bullseye target. This bullseye lasts for three rounds; any archers firing at the affected target during this time gain +1 to their "to hit" rolls. The spell was originally designed to assist fellow conspirators in aiming pea-shooters and toy catapults at an unpopular tutor....

Enigma's Lethargy
Level: 1
Range: 20'
Duration: 2d6 turns
Effect: This weaker form of the Sleep spell nevertheless has a range of useful applications. The affected creature(s) become weary and lethargic, suffering -1 to hit and damage rolls for the duration - unlike the Sleep spell, the effects of Enigma's Lethargy are not broken by non-fatal damage. In non-combat situations, the spell can make guards less observant or aware of their surroundings, cause affected listeners to believe things they are told and be more easily swayed to another's point of view, or - as used by Enigma, during boring lectures - make tutors uninterested in continuing the class, letting students sneak away early!

Enigma's current whereabouts are unknown; if she is still alive, no doubt she is merrily causing havoc somewhere.