Poll Position: Spellbinding

Continuing our D&D style RPG slant these days here at the ol' blog, here's a new question for you:


Discussion after the jump, and you can find further explanations of all these spells (and more!) at the d20 spell index.

wizardcastspellI'm going to posit, for the purposes of this hypothetical discussion, that you're a sorcerer and not a wizard, thus obviating the need for a spell book. Which would be darn awkward to lug around the ol' steel factory here in the real world, you know? So you could cast this one spell multiple times in a day, but not an infinite number -- let's call it five times per day that you could cast it, along with the other inherent limitations of each in terms of duration and whatnot.

Now, when I consider these sorts of "magic or powers in the real world" sorts of questions, I have found I tend to think more about what kind of a person I would want to be, given that power, than about the power itself for the most part. So for instance, I tend to wonder how I would hold down a job if I could do this thing, and since I'm not really a mob type guy, "hit man" is not usually on that list. So I don't generally go for the more offensive sorts of abilities.

  • Air Walk: This is kind of like levitation, but with the additional bonus of being able to walk around while airborne. Which is kind of neat. I'd think this would be a blast for outdoor explorers, or even for just getting around the city.
  • Animate Dead: For those of you with a more sinister bent, this would have to be appealing. Remember, though, you're not reincarnating or raising the dead, you're just animating them -- zombies and skeletons and that sort of thing. If you like the idea but "evil" isn't your bag, you could be the greatest special effects guy ever.
  • Charm Animal: Siegfried and Roy are looking for a new partner. Or you could be a great horse trainer, whale tamer, horse jockey, etc.
  • Charm Person: Essentially you get to make someone feel like you are their best friend for a while. Excellent for getting out of tickets, getting someone to help you shoplift, scoring a date with that person who never talks to ANYone, etc. You basically could get by almost on your charming personality alone.
  • Clairaudience / Clairvoyance: The ability to see or hear through walls, at a distance, as if there were a video camera in the target room. You could be a spy, or a blackmailer, or an investigative journalist, or the greatest employee the National Enquirer ever had, or just kind of a pervert. Endless possibilities!
  • Commune: You get to ask your divinity simple one-word-answer questions. Depending on your deity, bugging them from time to time could be either a Good Thing or a Very Bad Thing, so believe wisely. Pretty powerful stuff, though.
  • Cure Moderate Wounds: You could help a lot of people a fair bit, but not work miracles. I always loved the idea of healing magic.
  • Darkvision: Who doesn't want to see in the dark? It's a spelunker's dream! As an aside, I love that your choice of components for this spell are either a gemstone or a piece of dried carrot.
  • Dimension Door: Basically a short-range teleport.
  • Ethereal Jaunt: Like being Kitty Pryde for a while.
  • Finger of Death: If you DID want to be a hit man, you'd be the best one ever, as within a range of fifty feet or so you can cause instantaneous death.
  • Glibness: Unlike Charm Person, this spell would work on multiple people at once, by making you sound inherently more believable. So in other words, it would presumably work through a television camera. I'm just sayin'.
  • Levitate: Pretty self explanatory.
  • Locate Object: Hey, you could make a living.
  • Polymorph: You get to change someone else into almost any other creature you can think of. What I like about this idea is how flexible it is, but that you'd have to rely on others to help you accomplish your goals. If you were creative enough, you could duplicate an awful lot of other spell effects by polymorphing someone into a magical creature with a similar ability.
  • Remove Disease: You wouldn't be much good in a trauma ward or combat situation, but think of the great good you could do.
  • Speak with Animals: I'm an animal lover, so this would be pretty cool for me. Note that you don't get any special ability to order them about, just to talk. I've always wondered why my dog eats poop, for instance, I'd like to find that out.
  • Water Breathing: This would be pretty amazing, but the drawback is that it doesn't protect you from pressure, so you couldn't go all that deep into the oceans, for instance.

So, looking over that list, I'd probably go with either Remove Disease because I love to help people, and hate disease, or with Polymorph for the flexibility it'd give you to do other things with a willing accomplice. Plus, you could make a fortune getting people to pay you so they could experience a few hours as, say, a leopard or gazelle or whatnot.

What about you, what would you choose to be able to do?