Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Oaksteel, the spell

by Bruce Heard

For those of you who want to use the oaksteel spell. Here's a proposed spell description.


Spell Level: 4th (wizard), 3rd (druidic)
Range: 10'
Area of Effect: 100cn (10 Lb) per level of the caster
Duration: Permanent
Save: None (except magical objects)

Oaksteel magic turns non-living wood material into steel, giving it the normal weight and resistance of steel. It is in every other respect hard wood. Enchanted objects made of wood are immune to this spell. Transformed objects give off no magical aura and the effects cannot be dispelled. The number of items and their nature have an effect on the complexity of the magic and therefore level requirements for the caster. As a fourth level spell, the basic oaksteel spell requires a 7th level caster, with the following adjustments:

Single Item: no change
Multiple Items: +2 Exp. Levels
-- All Items are Identical: -1 Exp. Level
-- Half or less are different: no change
-- More than half are different: +1 Exp. Level

No Complexity: no change
Average Complexity: +1 Exp. Level
High Complexity: +2 Exp. Level
Moving Parts: +1 Exp. Level

No Complexity: simple items and their variations like mostly featureless cubes, cylinders, disks, spherical objects, rings, or any rough, unworked wood. This includes simple construction material such as planks, beams, doors, slats, etc.

Average Complexity: Items like the ones described above, but with special features like holes, notches, surface carvings, etc. A wood panel with some carvings, a chest plate with some decorative features, a typical coin, a sword of simple design and its hilt, and so forth, would fit in this category. The natural grain of the wood itself or its original leaves do not count as an intricate design pattern because of the nature of the spell, and therefore can fit in this category.

High Complexity: Includes items with complicated shapes such as keys, gears, a helmet, three-dimensional sculptures of animals or persons, and any item with unusually intricate decoration patterns. Use your best judgement for anything else.

Moving parts: This would include items intended to be part of some mechanism (a lock, a clock, articulated armour parts like knees, elbows, skirt, etc.

Comments: To transform a stack of average coins, one would need to be 9th level (multiple items, all identical, and average complexity). That wizard could affect 900 coins with one spell. One the other hand, the Wendarian coins feature unusually intricate carvings, which then bumps the spellcasting experience to 10th level (but 1,000 coins are then affected). A set of three unusually ornate, automatons -- if made of wood in the first place -- would require a 13th level wizard, assuming each automaton weighed no more than 43 1/3 pounds each.

Now, how much does that weigh in Wendarian terms? Lessee... A total of two logs and thirty baskets, or three times forty three baskets, a fruit, a pinch, and just under a sigh! :o)


Comments regarding levels are welcome since I adlibbed this entirely. I'm assuming Robrenn druids could cast oaksteel as a 3rd level druidic spell (so could Wendar druids). Using special woods is of course a very good suggestion. This means that these precious trees are growing in various areas of the nation. They would have to be protected by druids, and only dead wood would be harvested. Druids may be willing to help out with the oaksteel spells, in exchange for protection of these woods and removal of the dead trees. The location of these woods would be kept secret from the population. This also reminds me of an event described in AC1013 Almanac (Joshuan's) about a fire breaking out in one of Wendar's forests. This could be a problem! It's obviously a good idea to dip the coins into some unique finish that would both protect the coins (not much could affect them anyway) and give them special coloration.