New Cantrips


Homebrew and House Rules


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So, as a GM, I like cantrips/orisons as a sort of narrative device; not necessarily the most useful spell, but good if used creatively, as well as a way to show off your magical prowess in-game without wasting a spell slot. That being said, there's only a few (relatively speaking) 0-level spells, so I thought that this could be a place to share those home brew cantrips, and get some feedback from others.
I'll start it off:

Shell Trick
School: conjuration(teleportation); Level: bard 0, sorcerer/wizard 0, summoner 0
Casting time: 1 swift action
Components: V, S, M ( a piece of walnut shell and a pebble)
Range: 5 ft./ level
Target: 1 small, unattended, nonmagical item
Duration: instantaneous
Saving throw: Will negates (object); Spell Resistance: yes (object)
You teleport one tiny object, whose largest dimension cannot exceed 6 inches, and weighing no more than 1 pound,, between two points. The object must be in range at both its starting point and destination, but you do not need to teleport the item to or from your person. (For example, you could teleport a coin from a nearby table to your bag, into your hand, or to any other point somewhere in range.) a common use of this spell is to retrieve or store small items as a swift action, though the spell cannot reach inside an extradimensional space.

I'm a fairly new GM, so I'm not sure if this is balanced.
Thoughts?


Dot.


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Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:
Thoughts?

If you can hide your spellcasting, it's a great way to pickpocket.


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Except that the target must be unattended.


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Ah, right. Guess we'll have to pilfer from strongboxes then.


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Use it for Swift action reload for crossbows at early levels?


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Uses, abuses, and issues:
- Teleport the gem focus for Magic Jar into inaccessible locations.
- Plant bombs in inaccessible locations.
- Teleport the bottle out from around a flask of alchemist's fire. Prevent that, and people instead teleport bags with objects.
- A five page thread arguing about whether you can teleport something into somebody through a loophole, followed by a ten page thread about how there's no rule saying you can't teleport people's organs out of them.
- Replacing Quick Draw single cantrip. This probably shouldn't be a swift action.
- It should probably be "Target: 1 tiny, unattended, nonmagical item".
- Removing the internal components of machinery, locks, etc. Alternatively, wedging things in such that it's impossible to remove them without this spell and knowledge of what's where.
- Removing and replacing the contents of sealed envelopes.


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fearcypher wrote:
Use it for Swift action reload for crossbows at early levels?

Nope. You can put the bolt in as a swift action, but that's not actually loading the crossbow.


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Bolts also tend to be longer than 6" unless you are small or smaller, as do most weapons and wands.

Potions would be a useful target.


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To me it feels more like a 1st level spell.

To make it more 0 level, I would change:

Range to stay at 5'

Target to one item in your possession that remains in your possession.
Like from one pocket to another, or one hand to the other.

I would give it a bonus on hiding something on your body from searchers.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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This is too strong for a 0-level spell. A cantrip that's essentially an automatically successful Sleight of Hand check with greater effect, better range, and better action economy is too powerful as a 0-level. The fact that it explicitly lets you cheat the action economy of drawing and storing objects is a giant red flag to me. It's like if you invented a way better version of Quick Draw as a cantrip.

At the very least, the spell needs to be a standard action and always have a range of 5 feet. Even then, I still think it would be too strong, but that's a good starting point to balancing it.


Add a weight limit and line-of-sight. Then add an obvious noise sounding first at the location of the object's original position, and then immediately at its new location.

The fact that it's a Swift Action really hurts its eligibility as a 0-level spell. I know you have your heart set on it, but it's definitely too strong as is. If you REALLY want to keep it a Swift action cast, consider one of the following in addition to what I suggested above:

It's a Swift action to cast, but the object doesn't finish teleporting until the start of your next turn.

It's a Swift action to cast, but it leaves you Staggered on your following turn (can't be cast while Staggered).

It's a Swift action to cast, but it still provokes an attack of opportunity.

It's a Swift action to cast, but the exact location it end up in is hard to predict. 50% chance it winds up in the desired location. if it doesn't, roll 1d8, with 1 being the square north of the destination, and count clockwise as you go up. The item winds up in the square dictated by the d8.

EDIT: Considering Mage Hand is 5lb Telekinesis, and this is in every way better than Mage hand, make the weight limit 1lb.


Okay, thanks for the feedback everybody. Given the feedback, I've changed a few things regarding it;
Shell Trick
School: conjuration(teleportation); Level: bard 0, sorcerer/wizard 0, summoner 0
Casting time: 1 move action
Components: V, S, M ( a piece of walnut shell or a pebble)
Range: 5 ft.
Target: 1 tiny, unattended, nonmagical item
Duration: instantaneous
Saving throw: Will negates (object); Spell Resistance: yes (object)
You teleport one tiny object, whose largest dimension cannot exceed 6 inches, and weighing no more than 1 pound,, between two points. The object must be in range at both its starting point and destination, but you do not need to teleport the item to or from your person. (For example, you could teleport a coin from a nearby table to your bag, into your hand, or to any other point somewhere in range.) This spell is blocked by any effect that blocks divination attempts, and cannot reach inside an extradimensional space. If you attempt to teleport an object into a space already occupied by a solid object, the spell fails.

A few things to call out based on comments:
I do have a weight/size limit, set to 6 inches and 1 pound, and it must be nonmagical and unattended. This makes it not possible to use for sleight of hand.

Also, to save some headaches as people try to figure out what I changed:
The casting time is now 1 move action, and the range is now fixed at 5 feet. The spell is now also blocked by anything that blocks divination (1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt).

Also, as the name and material components suggest, my idea for the spell are the sort of sleight of hand tricks real-world magicians use (pulling a coin out of someone's ear, making a card vanish, and so on), as well as the 'shell trick' scam, (where a pebble is moved between covered objects, making the mark guess wrong for where the pebble is hidden).
Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

It's still too strong for a move action. Action economy is a major balancing lever for spellcasting. It's pretty rare for spells to have a casting time less than standard action. Cantrips are typically not meant to be combat spells, anyway.

Even as a standard action, the cantrip would still accomplish your goals and have usefulness that competitive spells do not.


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Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:


Also, as the name and material components suggest, my idea for the spell are the sort of sleight of hand tricks real-world magicians use (pulling a coin out of someone's ear, making a card vanish, and so on), as well as the 'shell trick' scam, (where a pebble is moved between covered objects, making the mark guess wrong for where the pebble is hidden).

That's what prestidigitation was originally for: a variety of useful minor magical effects not covered by other cantrips.


Unfortunately, it explicitly can't do exactly what the OP is trying to get done, here. Go figure.

(It's still one of the best spells in the game.)


I'm not sure if this would help, but since this is supposed to resemble the shell game and similar tricks, perhaps it can be limited to:

Cups: If you put one qualifying object under a cup (or similar container) you may designate another cup (or similar container) to be the teleportation destination. You can only designate one other cup at a time as the destination cup, but you may change which one this is until the actual teleportation takes place. The sending cup and destination cup may not be more than 5 feet apart. Taking either the destination cup or sending cup out of this range causes the spell to fail.

Cards and Coins: You may teleport a card, coin or similar qualifying object from somewhere on your body into your hand. You can choose the destination hand at the time of teleportation. While the object you so teleport may be anywhere on your body, the spell automatically fails if you have the object placed inside an extradimensional space or similar.

Vanishing: You can make a qualify object teleport from either in your hand or under a cup (or similar container) to some predesignated destination on your body that's not an extradimensional space. This causes a visible puff of smoke (you can determine the color) and may be accompanied by a loud sound at your discretion (such as a bang or ring - you can determine the exact sound) from the point at which the item vanishes (but not the point where it's teleported to). You may then teleport the item into your hand or into a designated container. This can also be accompanied by the aforementioned effects if you desire.

Under no circumstances can you teleport the object to or from another person, though it is possible to teleport a qualifying object to and from a familiar so long as that familiar is no further than 1 foot away from you. The familiar must be able to hold the object in some way and this use always causes a puff of smoke (again, you can determine the color) at both points. It can only be teleported from a held point into one of your hands (for instance, a familiar could hold a tiny ball in its muzzle and it will appear in your hand; the reverse is also true so long as the familiar has an Intelligence of 4 or higher and is ready to receive the object - otherwise this version of the spell automatically fails).

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