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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Let's Talk About Pacing!




The idea, I think, is that the RPG is ultimately about the long game.  Even rolling back to the early days of Basic & Expert, the goal of the player was to keep the character alive for as long as possible.  For many DM's, new and old, it's tough to keep a game on track in order to fulfill this desire.  With character death hanging over the party like a never-ending storm cloud, getting the player character to the next adventure was (and is) key.

Whether it's the DM worrying desperately that the players are bored, or wanting to explore every moment in real time, it can be a real challenge for any DM to keep a steady and enjoyable game pace.  I'm pretty sure we ALL suffer from it, either directly as the DM, or on the receiving end as the player.  We feel game time speeding up to 'Go Plaid', or slowing down to the speed of golf.  So the question that needs answering is, how do we moderate the pace of the game to make sense for the DM, the players, and the story (if story is a part of your game).

Some guys just wanna go fast.  There is a bad guy to snuff out and a treasure to be taken, and there exists a mostly straight line between the lonely village and the deepest dungeon.  Other folks want you to feel every campfire, smell every roasting rabbit, and manage every item in your backpack.  These extremes can drive a player mad unless you happen to be of a like mind.  For every game there is a player, and a player for every type of game.

I must assume that there are players who want to simply move from one plot point to the next, one battle to another, without ever experiencing the 'in between' time.  These folks don't care to experience the road less taken, but simply wish to get to the end, the final boss, the big pile of gold that sits waiting at the end of some game adventures.

By that logic there are certainly folks who wish to live the 'slow foods movement' gaming life-style.  For some DM's, the adventure is what the PC's get to between hunting for dinner, breaking camp, and random encounters.  While this is fine in certain circumstances, it's going to be difficult to keep the players engaged for very long if it's the primary game mode, all...the...time.  Even the most dedicated inventory accountant occasionally wants to see a goal met, an enemy vanquished, and a maiden saved.



In my experience, not unlike the Sandbox VS. Railroad play style examination, this is not a matter of finding your perfect extreme but instead locating the happy medium along the infinite number line of options available to us as DMs.  There is a time and a place for both pacing styles to exist in your game, and your job is to know when and where to speed things up, or slow them down.  Here are some guidelines I use to try and pace my games, and BTW, i'm NOT always successful.  Sometimes my game is off-the-rails too fast, and other times things are moving so slowly that I can hear the screams of my player's internal dialogue.

1. Low level games aka In The Beginning games should pace on the slower side.  This means fewer planned encounters, fewer random encounters, and more NPC interaction.  Don't misunderstand me here, you DON'T need to introduce plot hooks or get everybody on the train at the 'railroad' station here.  Instead, use the extreme danger and high risk of PC death at lower levels drive the pace.  This is the time for a good city adventure, or a more sand-boxy small jobs environment.  Let your players drive the game a bit here by providing a variety of NPC interaction.

Party staying at a large-ish inn?  It's got a BIG rat problem in the cellar.
Is the group looking to leave town?  The drovers need a few extra hands for that load of bear-pelts they are taking north for sale, and the road has some bandits.

If a few hours are consumed by roleplaying at the inn, and then another few in a very short dungeon with a few enemies, a few traps, and even a one-off odd encounter then you have produced an enjoyable session, even if a PC died. 

Yup.  I said it.

You can get alot done in one game session where the play radius is 500 yards.

2. The Monty Haul is the HOV lane to terrible pacing.  If you give out gold pieces and magic items (especially at low levels, but really any time) and the players have not earned them through significant game play/hardship, you are going to speed up play.  More powerful players will trample their way through your encounters, necessitating more frequent AND more dangerous encounters, which in turn requires you to keep pace with gold and magic and XP...it's a runaway train that quickly runs short of track.  Anyone who has played for a while has experienced this game, great on session 2, dead by session 5.  The DM has lost control, the players know it, and going back is no longer an option because those bridges have been fire-balled.

Keep your magic items rare, give the players enough gold to enjoy life and purchase incremental upgrades to equipment and skills, and the game pace will naturally slow. 

3. Need to speed up the game?  I've got one word for you...PORTALS!  No matter what game world I run my players through I make sure that the fairie folk, or a magical cataclysm, or some ancient race of higher beings have left behind a mode of magical transport from one place to another.  It's not a device that I make available at lower levels, but if the party makes it to level 4/5, it's a good way to cut down on travel between important or integral places on the map.  

Maybe access to these portals is an adventure of it's own!  Perhaps travel between places through portals is somehow dangerous?!?  There are loads of ways to make this both useful to increase the pace of the game, and at the same time a risky option that may not warrant use without deeper consideration.

4. Manage that XP sir!  If the players level from 1 to 3 in a single game session, your pace is blown.  Your players don't need XP for every little thing they do.  Maybe leveling is contingent upon plot-line landmarks being reached.  Perhaps you shouldn't give XP for every gold piece, but instead, for every ten.  I have ruined a game the fast way by doling out the experience points like the Mad Hatter pouring tea.  Beyond magic items and gold pieces, xp is the ultimate pace management tool.  Use it with discretion, but remember...a player who goes too long between levels will lose interest as quickly as a player who speeds through levels like a hot knife through butter.



5. The False McGuffin. 

Definition: In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin) is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or another motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation

If you want to slow the pace of play, there's nothing more satisfying as a DM than watching the party chase after something that is utterly, 100% meaningless.  I will often throw one or two highly desirable objects into the fray that the party is certain they require in order to complete a quest.  They don't.  But if you need to sidetrack them the only thing that beats a McGuffin is to have something stolen from the party in plain sight.  They will chase a thief to the ends of the earth, even if it's to the detriment of the entire quest.  

There are likely endless ways to either slow down or speed up the pace of a game.  The important thing as the DM is to be aware of the pace, to manage and control the pace, and to be mindful of the ways in which the pace has and can be thrown off.  Keeping the players engaged, but not pandering to them, is not an easy task.  It takes time and skill to master game pacing, and not even the most experienced DM can control it 100%.  At the end of each session, assess.  How far did the players get, did they level too quickly, or did they complete a quest or goal far too soon?  If the answer is yes, adjust.  It's only when you ignore the warning signs that the game falls apart too quickly, or players lose interest.  






Friday, March 15, 2019

The Magic of Exclusion




Last week I had a "Pre Table Interview"  Did ya ever have one of these?  It's like a job interview, except you're being questioned, reviewed, looked at under the gaming microscope before being allowed access to a particular game.

Wait, wait... wait just a damned minute!  You're off the blog for months, nary a word, hardly a tweet, barely a buzz and then you just SHOW BACK UP HERE and start in on some crap about a game interview?  Where the hell have you been?!?  You can't just drop off the face of the blogosphere and then casually show back up like nothing has happened!  

ok...I hear ya.  Let's go with the short version, ok?

Got pretty sick, had to have a series of procedures from Early September until about mid November.
Better now, thanks.

Looked for, and bought, a house during that same time period...packed and moved.
All moved in, mostly unpacked, still organizing shit.

Worked a TON trying to make extra bucks to deal with the household items that needed attention post-move (new dryer, new hot water heater etc)...you know, the shit that always goes wrong after you move and you're no longer renting, but you own now and you gotta deal with it on your own.

Did you play in any games? Yup, a few, but not heavily invested during that rough time.
Did you run any games? Nope.  Just too busy to deal, but I'm going to be running a new AD&D 1e game on Fantasy Grounds starting next week!  Super Excited for that.

What about your precious Photography?!?!?  Did you do any of that junk? A small bit, but not as much as I would have liked.  Hoping that the spring weather sparks some movement.  I wasn't 100% stagnant but I feel like my work in that arena has slowed significantly

Are we done with the recap?  You satisfied?  Can I blog now?

Yeah...go ahead.  Sorry I got a bit pissy there.

No problem.  I understand.  Hope we're cool.

Yup, we're good.  Roll on.

Cool.

OK, so back to the original thought.  I was interviewed for a spot in a game. Lemme start the story by saying that I did NOT get into the game.

Back at the begining of this tale, I had reached out to a Meetup dot com group and posted that I had recently moved and was looking to join or run a game in my new area.  It was a casual post, and I got only a few responses...most of them not helpful.

A few months passed.

Out of the blue, a fellow contacts me about joining his game.  I'm interested so I reply, and then within the Meetup dot com app messaging system he begins to ask me a series of questions.  Most were harmless, it seemed like he was just getting a feel for my skill level, experience, etc. 

A few questions in and it started feeling like more of a deep dive.  I wasn't offended (and you know how easily I can get offended), but I was curious...so I answered the questions.

In the end, the fellow requested a meeting.

Not a 'come to a game session and see how it goes' type meeting, which at this point would have seemed the next, normal step...but instead he asked me to meet him a a local bar for a chat.

Okaaayyyyy.  I'm fine with a beer, and the place is close by, and I have the time....so I agree.

I don't want to get to deep into our meeting.  Suffice it to say that it went fine, we had a number of things in common, and a few items where our ideas or ideologies may have not met, but it was all handled by both parties in a mature, adult manner and I had a pleasant evening sharing a few drinks with a new friend.  He ran down some info on his game, and on his group, and while many of his players were relative noobs it didn't deter me.  I knew that the real test was going to be time spent at the table.  Either I would fit in, or I wouldn't.  Playing since 1981 I have had my fair share (and then some) of gaming groups where I was NOT going to fit in.  Finding that out is an integral part of the gaming experience, IMHO.

I never got the chance.

A few days after our meeting, I received a text message via the app again, and in as pleasant a manner as is possible, the fellow informed me that he did not think I would fit in with the group.  He enjoyed the hang, maybe we could do something else gaming related, but this particular game was not going to be one for me.



Listen...I'm not mad.  Was I a bit shocked?  Sure.  I didn't expect to be spurned before I even got to the table.  Do I know WHY I was refused admittance?  Nope.  Yeah, I have some theories, but it doesn't really matter.  Am I going to yell and scream about it like a child being sidelined at a kickball game?  Fuck no.

Honestly, I can't think of too many folks who would have let that interview process go as far as I let it go.  I was curious.  I was bored.  I'd like to find a game table to play at IRL instead of every game being VTT, but i'm not a crybaby.  If anything, kudos to that dude for caring so much about his table to put up such an extensive series of hurdles and barriers.

I've let many folks just join right in only to find out in short order that they didn't fit in, and then I have to cut ties.  It's never pleasant, and for some folks it's damned near impossible to grow a pair and table-fire a player.  I get it.  I'm not judging, just relating.

There are many folks who would have gotten past the text message questions and then, once they found out the guy wanted to meet before a game to make double-dog sure about them, would have quietly fucked off.  Not me.  I enjoyed it.

Let's not harass folks for their preferences.  In that guy's mind, I was not going to fit in.  It was HIS table, HIS game, and ultimately HIS decision. I would want the same right of refusal, even if I wouldn't approach the 'interview' process in the same manner.

I hope he does reach out again.  He might be a cool guy to hang with, and to play with, even if it isn't in that game that he's running.  We had common ground.  Books, movies, and even some games.  We didn't see 100% eye to eye on everything but there was enough shared experience that we could be friends.  Will he wanna hang out again?  He indicated yes, but my guess is no. 

His perception of our meeting could have been very different from mine. 

Exclusion is often bandied about these days as a bad thing, a negative connotation hanging heavy in the air once spoken.  Sure, it can feel bad to have someone tell you that you aren't welcome to join in their fun, but as an adult I have learned to respect that right in others in much the same way I expect others to respect my right to exclude them when and if I deem it necessary.

That is life people.  Not everyone belongs everywhere.  Not everyone fits in.  Every game is not for every body.

Game on.


Friday, August 31, 2018

My Recent Trip to the Land of Make Believe


Happy Friday to all the eyeballs that fall here!  Let's start the day with a fresh podcast, maybe something a bit longer, with two people having a conversation about gaming and creativity?  That's right you lucky somofabitch, it the GoblinStompCast Dynamic Duo with your truly and his ever talky pal, Deron!  That's @hedgewriter on the twitters, so hit him up, give him a follow (cause he won't clog up your feed either)!





Don't forget that there is a wealth, an absolute treasure trove of great podcasts by folks you may already know...Spikepit, Follow Me And Die, Gothridge Manor and many, many more and you can subscribe to them on anchor.fm OR screw that dumb app and just use Google Podcasts or itunes like the rest of the sheeple!

OK...enough of that talking and listening nonsense.  Let's get down to the meat of this blog post, and for many of you I hope you will find some relevance, some clarity, and maybe have some thoughts of your own not just about RPG's, but about creativity, and even (dare I say it) our feelings.

A few days ago I had the opportunity to watch the recent bio-doc about the life of Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers to you and me.  I'm going to bet that many if not most of you spent a good portion of your young life watching PBS, and maybe continue to do so even now.  I certainly do.  I was born in 1969, which means that Mr. Rogers had been airing for 2 seasons or so and Sesame Street had just gotten the green light.  These 2 shows, and thus those two hours of television each day had a very profound impact on me, and after watching the new documentary (titled Won't You Be My Neighbor obviously) I took away both a deep knowledge and intense feeling about how that show shaped me and is still an integral part of who I am as an adult, and how I use my imagination and feelings in my roleplaying life.



It should be noted that I don't believe that I am an especially better person for having spent time with Mr. Rogers, but I do think that he and I connected in a special but not unique way.  I was and still am a very emotional person, though through time I've learned to keep much of those feelings hidden, or even buried.  Mr. Rogers made me understand, however, that my thoughts feelings (whatever they were at any given moment) were not wrong, were valid, and that I should feel them in whatever way I deemed necessary as long as those feelings didn't physically hurt anyone else.

When that little red Trolley pulled into Mr. Rogers' living room, I knew that we were going to take a trip to the Land of Make Believe, that magical place where a crude set design, hand puppets, and overly-friendly actors would illustrate some deepness that was not going to be discussed at school, with my friends, or in my home.  My life was pretty normal, rather average, and while my parents told me they loved me often and with great hugs to follow, there were many other feelings and thoughts that a small child can manage that weren't addressed anywhere...except on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and a bit on Sesame Street (though the latter was more educational and less emotional).

What does any of this have to do with Role Playing Games?

Everything.

Players (like me) using OSR rulesets or still clinging to Basic, or 1st Edition, or any older game may be more about the fun of combat, the uncovering of lost treasure, and just having a raucous romp through the megadungeon may not be as focused on stories or characters.  I get that.  I do.  While I've engaged in that level of play I also know that regardless of system or setting and whether or not my character lasts ten minutes, ten sessions, or ten years I imbue that PC with a piece of soul, a chunk of creative life energy that i'm 100% certain can be linked directly and with a straight line back to Mr. Rogers.

Conversely, as the DM I channel the Land of Make Believe into each and every game, though my players and even I don't always realize that it's happening.  Being able to sink into the persona of an NPC isn't all that different from Fred Rogers voicing Daniel Tiger or X the Owl, King Friday or Meow Meow Henrietta Pussycat.  He taught me that part of DMing my games, even if he and I had no clue it was happening.




That's just fucking crazy.  It is.

 It's also true.

Watching that documentary made me realize several things, a few of them not altogether comforting. Do yourself a huge favor and find it, turn down the lights, and go deep.








Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Blog Switcheroo! A Guest Post...



It's Thursday morning folks, and that means that it's time for the second episode (really the 9th) of the GoblinStompCast Dynamic Duo, the Podcast where Deron and I catch up on the state of gaming and discuss topics we find interesting...even if you don't.

Remember that you can listen here, or to catch up on all the episodes as they go live, you can always subscribe via iTunes




...and now for something completely different...




A short while ago, a hand reached across the muddy waters of the Internet Bayou and asked me if I'd be interested in doing a guest post SWITCHEROO!  A little Throw Mama From The Train criss-cross action!!!

Well of course I would, that sounds like a good time.

Today I have the pleasure of introducing to you Mr. Chris Larr.  He's a Gamer, he's a CON Creator, and he's the Admin on the FaceBook page 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (UNCENSORED)

You can Check out his Blog, The Funky Grognard, which is full of great ideas and useful content!


His Annual gathering of gamer goodness is CAFCON, run out of Morganton, NC was a big success again this year.  He and His Co-Conspirators Mitch McPhetridge and Michael Pritchard worked hard to make it so, and you can follow the CON-Trail on twitter as well by clicking here!

Chris has extended a warm and welcoming hand to me, and I to him, so without further ado, I give you the meshugganah madness and creative whimsy that has wrought a NEW NPC Class...

THE COMPELLER




The Compeller – A devilishly deceitful NPC-only class designed by The Funky Grognard to vex your player-characters!  




by Chris Larr (aka The Funky Grognard:  https://funky-grognard.tumblr.com/ )

Author’s note:  This is a homebrew NPC-character class designed using the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st edition) ruleset.  Only references used in the creation of the character class were the Players Handbook and the Dungeon Masters Guide.  Any similarities to other non-referenced classes, spells, or abilities are purely coincidental and unintentional.

The Compeller form an NPC-only sub-class of Magic-Users whose talents and powers focus on mind control and mental manipulation.  To be a Compeller, a character must have a minimum wisdom score of 15, a minimum intelligence of 17, and a minimum charisma of 16.  Unlike Magic-Users, Compellers do not gain any experience points for having high scores in their required abilities of wisdom, intelligence, and charisma.

Compellers typically work behind the scenes, whispering false secrets and poisoning minds.  They are commonly the power behind the throne. Cunning, cleverness, deceitfulness, and wittiness are valued traits among Compellers.  Direct confrontation and combat are to be avoided at all costs (that’s what Fighters are for).  Compellers are also supremely arrogant, looking down upon other heroic classes.  Their opinion of other classes are as follows:
  • Fighter (Rangers, Paladins):  Idiotic, bumbling, hammer-waving idiots who only know brute power.  If they only knew what real power was!
  • Clerics (Druids):  Fools!  All of them!  My intellect, my mind… that is my power!  I am the source! I am not some sycophantic slave whose powers are metered out by the Gods in exchange for subservience and worship.
  • Magic-Users (Illusionists):  They know what true power is, but do not understand it.  They’ve lost focus and embraced distraction. They are diluted vessels.  I will show them the way.
  • Thieves (Assassins):  Useful, but dangerous, tools.  Use them and then discard them.
  • Monks:  I respect their discipline and devotion.  They will make fine servants.
  • Bards:  Frivolous!  Foolish! Folly-filled!  What a waste of flesh.

A few other rules regarding Compellers:  
  • Only Humans can be Compellers.
  • Compellers must be lawful in alignment – Evil, Good, or Neutral (although most tend to gravitate towards evil).
  • Compellers cannot be double-classed or multi-classed.
  • Weapons are restricted to staff and dagger ONLY.  Compellers will not use ranged (or any other) weapons, even if their life is at stake.  In fact, Compellers disdain the use of sheer brute force and base violence as they place value in winning battles using their wits, cunning, and ability to subvert the will of their opponents.
  • Use of oil is not permitted.
  • Use of poison is allowed.

The following magic items usable by Compellers are enumerated below:

  • Potions limited to Dragon Control, ESP, Extra-Healing, Healing, Human Control, Philter of Love, Philter of persuasiveness, Sweet Water, Treasure Finding.
  • Compeller, Illusionist, and Magic-User scrolls which contain spells usable by Compellers.
  • Ring of Human Influence, Ring of Mammal Control, Ring of Multiple Wishes, Ring of Protection, Ring of Spell Storing, Ring of Three Wishes.
  • Rod of Beguiling, Rod of Rulership, Staff of Command, Wand of Fear, Wand of Negation, Wand of Paralyzation, Wand of Wonder.
  • Miscellaneous magic items usable by Compellers are restricted to:  Amulet of Proof Against detection and Location, Bracers of Defense, Broach of Shielding, Cloak of Protection, Crystal Ball (with no added powers), Deck of Many Things, Gem of Seeing, Ioun Stones, Keoghtom’s Ointment, Medallion of ESP, Medallion of Thought Protection, Mirror of Mental Prowess, Pearl of Power, Robe of Eyes, Scarab of Protection, Stone of Good Luck, Tome of Clear Thought, Tome of Leadership and Influence, Tome of Understanding
  • Artifacts and relics which are not proscribed items with respect to Compellers (such as armor, swords, axes, etc.)
  • Magic daggers   

(this chart is for reference only; the Compeller can never be anything but a non-player character [NPC])
Experience Points
Level
4-sided dice for accumulated hit points
Level title
0-3500 
1
1
Convincer
 3501-6000
2
2
Influencer
 6001-12000
3
3
Constrainer
 12001-24000
4
4
Subduer
 24001-40000
5
5
Manipulator
 40001-65000
6
6
Dominator
 65001-90000
7
7
Subjugator
 90001-140000
8
8+1
Oppressor
 140001-235000
9
9+2
Compeller
 235001-385000
10
10 +3
Master Compeller
 385001-800000
11
11 +4
Grand Compeller


Spell casting:  Compellers have access to a very limited selection of Magic User spells (primarily focused on mental domination, mind control, and communication).  Rules regarding Change to Know Each Listed Spell (PH page 10) are identical to those of Magic Users.  Spells that a Compeller is permitted to learn and use are as follows:

  • Level 1:  Charm Person, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic, Enclosure, Erase, Friends, Message, Read Magic, Sleep, Write
  • Level 2:  ESP, Forget, Magic Mouth, Scare, Trance
  • Level 3:  Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Tongues
  • Level 4:  Charm Monster, Confusion, Fear, Oration
  • Level 5:  Feeblemind, Hold Monster
  • Level 6:  Geas, Sway  



Compellers Spell Level
Compellers Level

1
2
3
4
5
6
1

1
-
-
-
-
-
2

2
-
-
-
-
-
3

2
1
-
-
-
-
4

2
2
-
-
-
-
5

2
2
1
-
-
-
6

3
2
2
-
-
-
7

3
3
2
1
-
-
8

3
3
3
2
-
-
9

3
3
3
2
1
-
10

4
3
3
2
2
-
11

4
4
3
2
2
1


Special abilities:  The Compeller has the following special powers, each of which are acquired as the NPC advances in levels:
  • Level 1:  At level one, a Compeller can lie so effectively that even a Detect Lie spell (or similar detection magic) is unable to reveal the falsehood.  The lie, however, must be reasonable (DM’s discretion) for this effect to occur (e.g. the Compeller cannot point to a blazing fire and successfully lie that it is water).
  • Level 3:  Upon attaining level 3, a Compeller can mimic any alignment of their choosing so successfully that even a Know Alignment or Detect Evil/Good (but not Commune or True Seeing) spell will be deceived.  This includes the ability to flawlessly mimic a particular alignment-tongue. 
  • Level 5:  A level 5 Compeller will have had her mental discipline hardened to the point that she will be 65% resistant to the effects of beguiling, charms, hypnosis, and suggestion spells/magics.  This magic resistance cumulatively increases 5% per level thereafter.

Also, at level 5, Telepathic and mind blast attacks upon a Compeller are made as if the character had an intelligence of 18 due to the same hardened mental discipline and strength.

  • Level 7:  At 7th level, Compellers attract a body of 4-16 followers (average level 0 persons who have been completely duped by the Compeller).  These servants are so manipulated by the Compeller, they will believe anything they are told (no matter how farcical) and obey any command without fail (including a command to commit suicide).  At every additional level gained by the Compeller, an additional 1-4 followers are added under his thrall.
  • Level 9:  When 9th level is reached, if a Compeller verbally engages with a single, chosen recipient of lesser intelligence in a noncombat situation, the Compeller has a 5% cumulative chance per round of uninterrupted conversation of successfully implanting a suggestion (similar to the 3rd level Magic User spell, but performed at the level of the Compeller).  No saving throw is permitted.  Should the conversation be interrupted, then the entire effect is disrupted and the Compeller must begin again.  Due to the intense mental strain this effort can produce in the Compeller, this effect can be performed only once per day. 
  • Level 11:  At level 11, the Compeller’s mental abilities are such that, once per day, they can enact a mass control that is identical to the effect and duration of a Potion of Human Control.  


Unique Compeller Spells:

Enclosure (Enchantment/charm)
Level: 1
Components: V, S
Range: Personal
Duration: 1 turns + 1 turn/level
Area of Effect: Personal
Saving Throw:  None
Casting Time:  1 round
Explanation/Description:  When Enclosure is cast, the Compeller is able to create a temporary mental barrier that provides increased resistance to beguiling, charms, hypnosis, and suggestion spells/magics.  For every 3 levels of the caster, a +1 saving throw bonus is added (e.g. +1 bonus at level 1, +2 bonus at level 4, +3 bonus at level 7, +4 bonus at level 10).   Spell effects are not cumulative and only 1 Enclosure spell can be in effect at any one time.


Trance (Enchantment/charm)
Level: 2
Components: V, S
Range: Personal
Duration: 1 turns + 1 turn/level
Area of Effect: Personal
Saving Throw:  None
Casting Time:  6 turns
Explanation/Description: When this spell is cast, the Compeller will go into a deep trance for 6 turns.  Upon completion of the trance, the Compeller’s intelligence will increase by 1 point (even over 18) for the duration of the spell.  Should the trance be interrupted, then the spell is ruined and no benefit is gained. The spell is not cumulative in effect or duration (i.e. a Compeller cannot cast the spell multiple times to gain multiple points of increased intelligence or an increased point of intelligence for a duration greater than 1 turn + 1 turn/level).


Oration (Enchantment/charm)
Level: 4
Components: V, S
Range: 12” + 6” per level of caster
Duration: 1 turns + 1 turn/level
Area of Effect:  1” cone in front of caster + 1” per level of caster
Saving Throw:  Neg
Casting Time:  1 turn
Explanation/Description:  When Oration is cast, the Compeller must be speaking to a group of individuals in a noncombat setting.  The speech cannot be interrupted or disrupted significantly (DM’s discretion). While the speech is commencing, those who are within range of the Compeller and can both hear and understand the speech, must save vs spells or become charmed (as per the 1st level Magic-User spell, Charm Person).  The charm-effect lasts for the specified duration.  When the duration ends and the effect wears off, those affected must roll versus their Intelligence attribute.  Those who fail will be unaware they were under undue influence and believe their actions and behavior where their own.


Sway (Enchantment/charm)
Level: 6
Components: V, S
Range: 1”
Duration: Permanent (or until dispelled)
Area of Effect: One person
Saving Throw:  Neg
Casting Time:  12 rounds minus 1 round per level of caster
Explanation/Description:  The epitome of the Compeller’s power!  Sway allows a Compeller to completely supplant their will unto a victim (who is permitted a save vs spell to negate the effect), granting them total control over their decisions, behavior, and actions.  The Compeller must be direction in front of the intended victim and maintain eye contact for the duration of the spell casting – if the casting is interrupted, then the spell is ruined. If the victim fails their save, they will be under the complete mental command of the Compeller.  In short, they will obey any command and adopt any behavior desired by the Compeller (even if that behavior is antithetical to the victim). Once a victim is under the sway of the Compeller, the effect is permanent unless dispelled by a spellcaster of higher level (or Swayed by a rival Compeller of higher level).