Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Mass Death - A new perspective.

by Barry Clarke

The Potential of Chromatic Orb/Chromatic Orb to the Nth Degree.

The combined armies of the Mystaran Known World were sent on a mission. The armies were composed of paladins, holy warriors, clerics and many orders of knighthood. Their mission was to put to death one man, ONE MAN. This man a wizard was known by many names but the most well known were Thanatos on Mystara and Black Death.

Black Death was a master of the Dark Arts and mentor to many a infamous necromancer. The armies of the Known World were sent to slay him in his keep, 'Praise to Thanatos.' The armies marched several days coming to his keep. They made camp for the night. The scribe recorded the size of the camp as 'equal to many a town, with the most strongest, battle-harden soldiers the Known World has ever seen gathered in one place - to kill one man.

Morning came and they packed up ready to storm the Keep, when the multitudes saw a lone figure flying overhead. A crackle of energy erupted from the flying person and hundreds of tiny black orb-like missiles were directed to cover the camp. Then in one hand gesture from above each orb released its 'cargo'. Each orb contained a death spell which wiped out nearly everybody in one foul stroke. The Known World was in disarray, the best warriors died in their thousands, the Immortals wept but Thanatos was kept happy. Mystara was shaken on its axis as a sign of the sorrow, felt on that day. Thanatos pleased with Black Death and he was granted demi-Immortal status.

- ---So ends the Story of Sir Llyelwyn of Threshold

Dave "Just raking in the XPs by the thousands, wahoo"
Bob "The man's a genius"
Sara "Poor soldiers, I express my sorrow"
B.A. "Dave, roll for demi-Immortal status"
Dave "Ah, NO!"
Bob "Ha, ha you rolled an 01"
Brian "Now your a thinking zombie, man you blew it"
Dave (crying)
Sara "I give Dave my cloak of sympathy"
B.A. "Ok Sara, man Dave you really blew it"

The spells that Black Death (L20) used were these, Chromatic Missile III, Id's Missile X, Id's Chromatic Missile Metaspell (all of them), Id's CM Wrapper (when done), Death Spell and another unnamed spell to release the effect all at a given signal (the hand gesture, maybe Chain Contingency). That is approx 400 missiles with the Death Spell stored in each missile, covering line of sight (that is why Black Death was air bound, to see all the armies), no saving throw (as per Death Spell).

That effect can cause potentially, well I'll step through it. AoE for Death Spell (DS) is 30 foot cube per level. One missile has an AoE of a 600 foot cube each. Total AoE is 240,000 foot cube or 20 kilometres. The number of people killed is up to 32000. With that combination of spells (Chain Contingency comes to mind) overlapping the AoE to kill the more powerful creatures (as discussed before, with the combination of the Death Spell and Death special power) would be a smart idea. Kill the lower characters first, then wipe out the 'tall poppies' - the leaders of the armies to complete the job.

Well as you can see the combined effect would certainly cause a lot of death and put a big hole into the combined armies of the Known World. End result is a total loss of morale for the army not to mention the logistics on how to bury thousands of people I do not want to imagine. (For a necromancer to raise as a skeleton army :). Now you know about MASS DEATH.

Id's Chromatic Missile Metaspell (Alteration?)
Level: 5
Range: Special
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 5 segments
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: None

This spell alters the spell Chromatic Missile I, II and III. Some of these metamagical effects can also affect the spell Magic Missile and variants and the spell Chromatic Orb. The list of known metamagical effects (so far) are:

List of Chromatic Missile Metaspells.
Id's Line of Sight: Spell range is increased to line of sight. (Useable with Magic Missile)
Id's Missile 3: 3 missiles per level of caster. (Useable with Magic Missile)
Id's Effect Duration: L1, The effects from the special powers are extended from 1 round to 1d4 rounds and rounds become turns. (Useable with Chromatic Orb)
Id's No Last Dice: No saving throw for targeted victims if spells has one. (Useable with Chromatic Orb)

Material Components are [up to you Jon, suggestions are below, co-credit?]

Id's Missile X (Alteration?)
Level: 5
Range: Special
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 5 segments
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: None

This spell increases the number of missiles per level of the spell Chromatic Missile I, II and III. The formula for calculating it is the maximum spell level the caster can cast * 2, then subtract 1. Note this is per level of the caster. For example at 9th level the caster can control [5*2-1] = 9 missiles per level i.e. a maximum of (9*9) 81 missiles. Material components are the same as Chromatic Missile, one gem of the appropriate hue worth 50gp or a diamond per missile.

This spell is compatible with Magic Missile and variants and the material components for this use of the spell are one diamond per extra missile generated with this spell. For example a 9th level caster needs 76 diamonds, as the Magic Missile spell is only capable of generating 5 missiles. Damage is the same as Magic Missile for this use of the spell, 1d4 per missile.

This spell must immediately cast before the Chromatic Missile I, II, III or Magic Missile either by the same wizard in the next round or by another wizard in the same round or following round. Failure means the spell dissipates without effect.

Still have the spell wrapper to complete, but might be best to work that out on Friday or Sunday. Will have to come up with a list of common spells, to put with it and uncommon ones. Rare and very rare spells will be up to individual DM's. A quick list includes: Heat Metal, Fireball, Stinking Cloud, Superior Magnetism (PO:S&M), Hold Person, Petrifying Gaze (WSC) and Death. Light and Blindness are included in Chromatic Missile for free. Replacing Stinking Cloud for Cloudkill come to mind. Of course the wizard might end up being caught up in his own death trap, so discretion is the better part of valour. Id's Line of Sight is a good choice to put some distance between the caster and the place the spell explodes.

One use for multiple missile capability of Chromatic Missile is having each missile with special power Light explode 20 foot from the other one for a continuous source of light in a dungeon. This requires another metaspell, soon to be developed.

Eventually I'll put together the Idiot's Spellbook of Chromatic Missile when all the spells are detailed. Is it to late to change Id's legacy to his Chromatic Missile Spellbook, when detailed?

Not even did I think that one spell, Chromatic Missile, could be so useful, in so many ways, and lead to all this tinkering with the Magic System of AD&D.