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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Spell Keywords for One-Liner/Two-Liner Descriptions

For quite a long while now, I’ve been talking about creating a keyword system for spell descriptions, similar to the way I used keywords for monster descriptions. So, for example, I may have a monster listing that begins:

Tentacle Rat (Fantastic Aggressive Monstrous Vermin)
… And I’d like a spell listing like:
Enraged Finger (2nd Level Delusion Spell)
… or something like that.

I’ve also been working on a universal table of spell stats, but I’m constantly needing to tweak things, especially the ranged stat. But it just now occurred to me that I could use range keywords and stick those in the one-liner name, thus eliminating at least a few table look-ups.

Keywords I’m thinking of:
  • Melee: 12 paces (30 feet)
  • Short-Range: 24 paces (60 feet)
  • Mid-Range: 48 paces (120 feet)
  • Long-Range: 96 paces (240 feet)
And, if it really looks necessary, Touch could be a range, although I have some different ideas about handling that.

Similarly, Area would specify an area with the same width as Melee range, and Wide Area would be the same width as Short-Range (twice the width of Area.) If necessary, there could be a Terrain area keyword that matched the dimensions of Long-Range. Different range/area keywords would be accessible at different levels for different spell-casters, perhaps even for different spell-types, but this would help compress spell design tables, when I get around to those again.

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