Happy Holidays!


Godsday, 4th of Needfest, 595 CY === Midwinter Night Been ages since I've had a chance to chat with many of you, so I hope this season sees you all in good spirits and tidings, and I hope you've all had the chance to find goodness in your lives. Although as a fellow who grew up in New Hampshire I'm still not used to these "green Christmasses." Is this normal for coastal Connecticut or is climate change to blame? Still, it does give me a chance to spray primer on some pewter figurines (like that sasquatch I picked up; could probably use it as a wookie in a Star Wars game). I've been keeping up with D&D, as is to be expected, playing the Thursday night 5th Edition games (I still prefer 3rd, but I've softened up to 5th, though I do keep getting some mechanics confused from time-to-time). Currently I'm playing as Variolus of House Baenre, a drow antipaladin/assassin multiclass, in Jon's version of "Storm King's Thunder," and the group's basically been doing everything except complete the plot; though we were deservedly TPK'ed after killing a plot-critical NPC (who was an otherwise useless bugger, so no regrets!). Otherwise I've spent the bulk of the year studying radio communications, earning my Technician, General, and finally my Extra Class Amateur Radio license; now I just have to double-up on my studies in order to earn a commercial license or two; that reminds me that I need to solder together the outer casing for a home-made 40 meter band receiver. Admittedly I'm in it more for the technical aspects rather than the social, but when I do get on the air, typically 40 meters, 20 meters, or 70 centimeters, I can be found via callsign W1CAH ("Calling All Hams"—it had originally belonged to a great uncle of mine, Melvin Eckert; his nephew and my uncle, Elliot Eckert, Jr., is the "Elmer" that got me into the hobby). A shame we couldn't have finished "The Shackled City," although with a good chunk of the villains defeated it was as good an ending point as one could hope for, with some of our characters attaining political influence, prime real estate, or the ability to freely traverse different planes of reality; well, there's always Skype or Roll20 or some other online format, I'm sure. So as a gift of sorts, care of the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors of Waterdeep… a spell! After playing as Quintessa in one-form-or-another for a decade, I finally pieced together a spell for her that seemed appropriate (i.e. not some cliché enchantment spell because "lol, femme fatale spellcaster"); after all, half-of-the-fun of playing a spellcaster is creating your own spells—you can't always play the same character game after game, but you can leave behind a legacy picked up by others (friend and foe alike!), setting your character's name alongside such luminaries as Mordenkainen and Elminster. Granted, with hundreds of spells made by WotC and hundreds more by their D&D predecessor, TSR, it's not easy to come up with something that's even somewhat new while retaining a semblance of balance. Also the spell utilizes the default, XP-based game mechanics, in that it drains the XP inherit in a magic item, typically 1/25th of the item's base price; for example, a 7,500 gp magic item would require 300 XP to craft, which the spell would then drain. Normally 1 XP is worth 5 gp, which is how Pathfinder priced the material components for spells that originally had an XP component; for example limited wish required a 300 XP cost in D&D, and a 1,500 gp diamond in Pathfinder. So, in Pathfinder or in a game that flat-out ignores experience, I imagine that in most cases the spell would drain "virtual material components" worth 1/5th of an item's base price (so that 7,500 gp item would produce a "virtual component" equivalent to a 1,500 gp diamond). If anything that could make the spell more powerful since it would apply to all spells that require a material component. I haven't figured out how to translate it all into 5th Edition mechanics, yet, since their magic item costs aren't quite as exacting as they were in 3rd Edition or Pathfinder (as far as I can tell, magic item prices aren't based on specifc formulae; they simply cost whatever the referee wants 'em to). I've actually had the spell up on the unofficial D&D Wiki since February 29th, and being one of the few spells with a "Q" name makes it easy to find. (What else is there? Quench?) So without further ado…

Quintessa's Dweomer Drain

Abjuration Level Sorcerer/Wizard 5 Components V, S Casting Time 1 standard action Range Touch Target Object touched Duration Instantaneous and 10 minutes/level or until expended; see text Saving Throw Will negates (object) Spell Resistance No

With but a touch you drain a pool of XP from a magic item and retain it for the purpose of casting spells that have an XP component. The XP gained from draining a magic item through this spell are not counted toward attaining a new level. Each casting drains from a single magic item the amount of XP it took to create the item, rendering the item nonmagical. You may draw from this pool whenever casting a spell that has an XP component, paying any leftover cost yourself. For example, if you touch a fully-charged wand of lightning bolt you drain 450 XP, or 9 XP (450 ÷ 50) per charge, with which to cast a spell such as limited wish. Drained XP are retained for 10 minutes per caster level; any points not spent when the spell's duration expires are wasted. An item in a creature's possession uses its own Will save bonus or its possessor's Will save bonus, whichever is higher. This spell does not work on artifacts.

Teleport Through Time

Merry Christmas!