Before continuing the exploration of mystical states of matter I started in this post, I wanted to say a little more about the old mystical states of astral and ethereal matter and how they affect spell-casting.
I believe I mentioned a long while ago that illusions have a special relationship to astral matter. An illusion spell cast while the spell-caster is astral takes on its own semi-permanent reality. Hallucinatory Terrain creates a sort of pocket astral realm, while Phantasmal Forces can make self-willed astral beings. Conjuration takes this one step further, causing these astral beings created from pure thought to physically materialize for a while.
Similarly, ethereal matter is affected by desire and emotion and can be used to transfer these to another being. Call it “delusion” in contrast to “illusion”. The simplest delusion spells would transfer simple physical sensations, like sleep and hunger. Charm spells would also depend on ethereal matter.
The way I’m imagining it: spell-casters during their spell prep would imagine themselves feeling sleepy, hungry, or loyal, basically practicing self-hypnosis, while chanting magical phrases, scribing symbols, and burning incense or other ingredients, impressing their desires on etheric material and binding it to some trigger phrases and gestures so they can recall and direct it later.
Since Sleep and Charm Person are 1st level spells, while the first illusion (Phantasmal Forces) is 2nd level, I’m thinking astral equivalents of ethereal manipulations are all basically one level higher. For example, Invisibility (2nd level) transforms light that reaches the target into ethereal light, so that those unable to see ethereal things would be unable (or barely able) to see the target. An astral equivalent that is harder to detect and is more like an illusion, able to be turned on or off with a thought, would be 3rd level. Detect Evil and ESP are ethereal-based, Clairvoyance and Clairaudience are astral-based and one level higher.
Extrapolating further: Dimension Door (4th level) relies on astral distortions of distance (I know AD&D says its a form of ethereal travel, rather than astral, but I don’t see it that way…) What would the 3rd level ethereal equivalent be? No spatial distortion, but temporary intangibility. This is pretty close to Phase Door, although that is rated as 7th level. I think it should definitely be lowered in spell level, although the multiple use version could be set at 5th level (and the caster should be allowed to take up to two others through the phase door.)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
(CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license.