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Vantarius' Handy Forge

by Derek Adam

Level: 1
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: A container up to 1'x1'x2' for every 3 levels of the spell caster rounded up
Duration: 1d4 turns + 1 turn / level of the caster (maximum 12 turns)

A Thyatian-born mage named Vantarius created this spell to allow him to continue his smith craft while travelling. This spell makes the interior of a container as hot as a forge while the exterior of the container retains its normal temperature; the container is unharmed by the spell. The spell fails if cast on a container that is larger than the caster's limit. If the size of the container increases beyond the area of effect, or if the container develops more than 2 openings, the spell ends immediately. A magical container gets a saving throw versus Spell equal to its creator, or the lowest level the creator could have been if unknown. The spell may be cancelled by the caster at will before the duration expires.

The container must have enclosed sides, like walls, but may be open at one or two ends. A low-level caster would only be able to affect a belt pouch, a jewellery box, a dagger sheathe, or a cook pot, for example. A 36th level wizard could affect a large pit, or a small room so long as there were no more than two doors.

The heat of the container can be changed at will from round to round, from that of a warm cook oven to that of a red-hot steel forge. Special metals that are not workable with a normal forge, like adamantite or World-Shield ore, cannot be Forged with this spell.

Items exposed to full heat inside the Forge are affected appropriately. After 1 turn of exposure, silver and gold melts and runs, iron and steel becomes red-hot and pliable with blacksmith's tools. Edged weapons exposed to this treatment without the care of a smith will lose their edge, doing 1 less point of damage for every turn left in the forge. If this would bring the item's maximum damage to less than half normal, the item has completely melted to slag. For example, a normal sword left in the Forge for 3 turns would do 1d8-3 points of damage until repaired by a qualified weaponsmith, while a dagger would be completely reduced to slag.

Magical items withstand the Forge better; they save versus Spell each turn as the level and class of their creator, avoiding damage if successful.

Note that the Forge does not produce flames, though inflammable items like paper and oil can catch fire quickly after being placed inside, as the temperature of the forge is above their respective flashpoints.

Creatures caught inside a Forge take 1d6 points of damage per round of full exposure. However, the magic of the Forge is not designed for living matter, and will end at the end of the first round that any victim makes a successful save versus Death Ray. (Minimum exposure is 1 round.)

Victims that escape before dying are incapacitated for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 the length of exposure, rounded down. A successful save versus Spells reduces this time to 1/4 the length of exposure, rounded down. For partial exposure, damage is reduced proportionately and incapacitation is at the DM's discretion.

Suggested guidelines are:
1 point for quick exposure
1d4 per round for significant partial exposure (an arm / hand trapped in a Forge)
1d6 per round plus normal incapacitation effects for covering the victim's head.

Other uses for this spell include cooking without a fire, heating oil or tar to pour from battlements, melting sheathed weapons and (at high levels) trapping pits.

Upon reflection, though, there are a couple of things that might make this spell more powerful than 1st level, so here are some amendments:

- The spell cannot be cast on magical items (containers) at all.

- Placing a magical item into the Forge has the same disruptive effect as putting a living or animate undead matter inside. Each round of exposure to the Forge, the item saves versus Death Ray as its creator; on the first successful save the spell ends.