Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is for Donovan's Diary

Donovan's Diary

A simple journal, cloth-bound with parchment pages. Half of the book's two-hundred pages are empty, the rest are filled with spells, notes, and song lyrics scribed in a neat, flowing, elven script, as well numerous sketches. This journal and spellbook was compiled by the adventuring mage and herald Donovan Phillips Leitch, and was among his most prized and closely kept possessions until his death in the kobold warrens carved into the corpse of the ancient black dragon, Onyx.

The diary portion of the book covers only about a week of Donovan's life, detailing his adventures after leaving the service of the Council of New Phlan. The book describes his desire to create a new path of his own, his encounters and growing obsession with several 'magical maidens', his research into teleportive magics, his acquisition of other books of arcane lore, his research into magical circles, his party's attempt to defend a village on the outskirts of Melvaunt, some research into human sacrifice and the dark arts, and even a bit of amateur pornography.

Scattered amidst Donovan's ramblings are numerous spells and incantations. The book details the entry-level spells and the underlying theories and principles of The Apprentice’s Path, the Road of Soul’s Release, the Road of Pentacles, the Road of True Names, the Path of Hands, The Sage’s Path, The Councilor’s Path, the Road of Cups, and the Road of Dreams. The book also contains notes detailing the theory behind three unique spells.

The Spellbook contains the following spells:

  • 1st: Cantrip, Detect Magic, Detect Untruth, Detho's Delirium, Donovan's Heroic Fray†, Find Familiar, Friends, Gauntlet, Identify, Know Faction, Know History, Know School, Magic Fist, Message, Protection from Evil, Protection from Vermin, Ray of Fatigue, Read Magic, Sleep
  • 2nd: Donovan’s Ominous Valediction†
  • 3rd: Donovan’s Carapace of Corpulence†
† New spell described below. All other spells can be found in the Wizard's Spell Compendium

Donovan's Heroic Fray
(Alteration, Enchantment)
  • Level: 1st
  • Range: 5 yds./level
  • Components: V, S, M 
  • Duration: 5 rds./level
  • Casting Time: 1 
  • Area of Effect: 1 creature or object 
  • Saving Throw: N/A
This spell instills in the target with the speed and ferocity of a true warrior. It can be cast only upon a single creature. The creature must be seen to be affected.
An affected creature this is not already a warrior doubles his normal rate of attack, but only against creatures of less than 1 hit die. Thus a character who normally makes 1 attack per round can make two attacks when engaged with mobs of weaker opponents. The affected creature gains no additional abilities when fighting opponents of 1 hit die or greater. 
An affected creature that is a warrior gains the ability to make one additional attack per round, but only when engaged with opponents of 1 hit die or less. This additional attack is added after the doubling normally granted to a warrior, thus a warrior who normally makes two attacks per round, can make five attacks when engaged with weaker opponents (2, doubled, +1).
The material component of this spell is a vial of sweat collected from a professional fighter while he is training or practicing, which must be drunk by the caster as part of the spell.

Donovan’s Ominous Valediction
(Abjuration, Enchantment)
  • Level: 2nd
  • Range: 10 yards
  • Components: V, S, M 
  • Duration: 1 hour per level
  • Casting Time: 2
  • Area of Effect: 1 creature
  • Saving Throw: Negates
A target that fails his save vs. spells finds himself the target of undue and unwanted attention during conflicts. Any enemy that is faced with multiple targets to attack will always single out the spell's subject over others. The enemies will not go out of there way to attack the subject if other targets are more immediate or convenient, but they will target the subject over other equally viable targets. Enemies of the spell's target are still subject to morale normally.
For example, an orc in melee with both the spell's subject and another warrior will always swing at the subject first. If the subject withdraws out of melee range, the orc would finish off the other warrior before charging after the subject, rather than leaving an enemy at his back. Similarly, ranged attackers and spellcasters will not waste ammunition or spells on the subject if he has cover, but will focus their fire on him if he is in the open.
Intelligent enemies (Int 11 or higher), who recognize the subject as strategically insignificant are allowed a save vs. spells to ignore him in favor of other targets. Unintelligent (Int 2 or less) monsters will always attack the subject relentlessly, regardless of other threats (so long as their morale holds).
This spell may be removed with Remove Curse or similar effects, in addition to dispel magic.
The material component of this spell is a piece of red cloth with a bullseye painted on it.
The idea for this spell first appeared on The Mule Abides. 

Donovan’s Carapace of Corpulence
  • Level: 3rd
  • Range: Self
  • Components: V, S
  • Duration: special
  • Casting Time: 1
  • Area of Effect: 1 creature
  • Saving Throw: none
The caster swells as a magical layer of hardened fat forms beneath his skin, doubling his weight. So long as the spell lasts, any physical blow that deals equal or less than 1 point of damage per 3 caster levels (rounded up) is ignored, having only reached the sorcerous blubber.
Any blow that deals more damage than this (i.e. more than 2 points of damage for a 5th level caster) causes the blubber to harden into an unbreakable shell, leaving the caster unable to move for one round, and also leaving him completely invulnerable to physical damage for that round. At the start of the caster's next turn, the layer turns into a disgusting yellowish slime and sloughs to the ground, ending the spell. 

Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I open my eyes to take a peep
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquillity.
'Twas then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love,
Then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love.
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy he sang.

Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity.
'Tis then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Comes singing songs of love,
Then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Comes singing songs of love.
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy he sang.
Here comes the roly poly man and he's singing songs of love,
Roly poly, roly poly, roly poly, poly he sang.
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy he sang.