I Cast "Fomend’s Beating Sphere"
May 10, 2017 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Janelle Shane, super-genius, trained a neural network to come up with new D&D spells, based on a dataset of 365 "actual" D&D spells. Highlights include Cow of Auraly, Mous of Farts, and Farming. Slate attempts valiantly to kill the joke by explaining it, including the gem "As a game designer, then, Gygax himself was a bit like the open-sourced neural network employed by Shane, trying to come up with new ideas from a familiar set of influences."
posted by Etrigan (47 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
Damn it, Etrigan! You posted while I was writing this up.

And here's a friend's proposed Fomend's Beating Sphere: Summons a shiny metal sphere about the size of a basketball that flies at impressive speed and, well, beats the target, slamming into them repeatedly for the duration of the spell. Does 1D4 damage per round, makes spellcasting impossible, and imposes a -2 penalty on any attack or other skill rolls. The target or someone else can attempt to restrain the sphere, but that's all they can do, and success requires a Strength save each round.

Wrathful Hound is obvious, and probably an actual spell by a different name.

End Wall creates a solid stone wall of up to 10x10 feet wherever the caster designates within spell range, but only if all edges of the wall will be in contact with solid matter. So for blocking off corridors, basically.

True Steake either creates food or kills vampires. Not sure about that one.

Heat on Farm I can't help you with...
posted by Naberius at 9:59 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


There is absolutely nothing grosser in D&D than the somatic component to Fomend’s Beating Sphere
posted by griphus at 10:02 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


is it too late for some of these to show up on The Adventure Zone because I need that to happen
posted by Countess Elena at 10:04 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


Farming, of course, allows the mage to continue fighting low level monsters in her sleep so when she wakes up she's gained three levels.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:12 AM on May 10 [18 favorites]


Hold Mouse

Ah, cantrips.
posted by GuyZero at 10:15 AM on May 10 [9 favorites]


Finger of Enftebtemang

I cast that one all the time
posted by aubilenon at 10:19 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


There is absolutely nothing grosser in D&D than the somatic component to Fomend’s Beating Sphere

So obviously you've never seen two beholders getting it on.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:20 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Fromend's and Enftebtemang are those essential me-time spells introverted wizards use when Bigby's hand just doesn't work any more.
posted by bonehead at 10:23 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


trick question, beholders multiply by budding
posted by griphus at 10:29 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


I mean, Quidditch balls have to come from somewhere.
posted by darksasami at 10:34 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


You cast Q's Invisibility and roll a critical failure.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 10:37 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


Gland Growth

WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THAT! I'm just... the conceptual horror of this being something that causes damage through exploding lymph nodes or something.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:39 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Here’s the latest: a list of 365 different spells you can cast in Dungeons and Dragons.

I was promised 365 spells. I only see 22.
posted by wildblueyonder at 10:40 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


The great Sage Gygax thought that the tyrants might reproduce by parthenogenesis, but also talks about "Great Mothers"/beholder hive queens and various sub-species interbreeding. The recent publications by Volo, however, imply that beholders literally dream themselves (and their offspring) into existence.

Perhaps Gland Growth is the answer.
posted by bonehead at 10:42 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


I haven't read every post on Goblin Punch, but I wouldn't be surprised to find Gland Growth on there somewhere.
posted by Caduceus at 10:43 AM on May 10


Gland growth would be a buff in the style of One Piece's Emporio Ivankov (Frank N Furter with hormone superpowers)
posted by knuckle tattoos at 10:43 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I didn't say reproducing, I said getting it on.

you think you know something about eye-fucking
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:44 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


is that an anti-magic field or are you just unhappy to see me
posted by griphus at 10:51 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


trick question, beholders multiply by budding

Dreaming. Every beholder is the dream of another and since beholders are paranoid, the others they dream about usually try to kill them, so they have to kill their dream-children ASAP. Also, because beholders are vain, they often dream of themselves, so any beholder getting it on is going to be a messy, self-love snuff film.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:51 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Is there any crossover with this list?
posted by JohnFromGR at 11:12 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Man, I cast "Cursing" an awful lot at the table - if my DM makes it take up a spell slot now...
posted by nubs at 11:12 AM on May 10


Also, "Q's Invisibility" sounds like a great plot device for the next Bond film.
posted by nubs at 11:18 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I cast True Steake, teleporting the entire party to a Sizzler in 1985, thus evading the kobolds.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:41 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]


I figured "Q's invisibility" was one of those spellomancy ones, so you could turn a queue into just you, for example. Sort of the opposite of the "Visible 'E'" spell that, for example, lets you turn the edge of a sword into a fluffy little dog. You know, those spells you find in bubble gum wrappers and old Christmas Crackers (a jar).
posted by bonehead at 11:45 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Finger of Enftebtemang

That does sound rather Germanic.
posted by acb at 11:45 AM on May 10


Conjure Velemert

It's gotta suck to be the one guy that every mage can learn how to conjure.
posted by Jpfed at 11:46 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]


Several of these are also shots available during happy hour at your local Shenanigan's.
posted by bgrebs at 11:56 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Finger of Enftebtemang

This is obviously Finger of Enfeeblement and Finger of Feeble Mind rolled into one.
posted by hat_eater at 11:59 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Conjure Velemert was developed by the ancient archmage Velemert as an emergency spell that would allow his apprentices to yank him back to the safety of his tower from pretty much any dire situation he got himself into.

This, of course, meant that it had to be pretty well hard-wired so even an apprentice could cast it. Thus it can't really be customized to conjure something or someone else. It can only work on Velemert. But it was good for bailing out of incredibly complicated and esoteric sorcerous dilemmas where his apprentices would otherwise be in way over their heads and unable to help him. No matter what happened - yanked to another plane, buried in the middle of a mountain, even removed from existence entirely - when Velemert signaled an emergency to his apprentices, or when they lost contact with him suddenly, they could reliably get him back. It was like a reset button on his more dangerous experiments.

The problem was that eventually, it leaked. And it spread. And it was a cinch to cast and it always worked. So now pretty much everyone knows Conjure Velemert. And Velemert has been dead for thousands of years, but back in the day, that spell got him out of a lot worse things than that...

It's not really very practical these days, but it's become a rite of passage and a popular party spell for harried apprentices who like to amuse themselves by conjuring Velemert and berating him, soaking him with sheeps' guts, generally just messing with him for the lulz until the spell ends and he goes back to being long dead.
posted by Naberius at 12:14 PM on May 10 [18 favorites]


Finger of Enftebtemang

This is obviously Finger of Enfeeblement and Finger of Feeble Mind rolled into one.


I will suggest that this is a relic of dark magic, much like the Eye and Hand of Vecna. Enftebtemang was a goblin general, noted for his leadership at the Defiance of Krowldowl's Cave, where the goblin army held for twenty days against the numerically superior dwarven army. After his defeat, the dwarves cut the middle finger from his hand as retribution, not realizing the dark power that the finger contained...
posted by nubs at 12:17 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


The same neural network generates some awesomely surreal pickup lines.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 12:20 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


It's not really very practical these days, but it's become a rite of passage and a popular party spell for harried apprentices who like to amuse themselves by conjuring Velemert and berating him, soaking him with sheeps' guts, generally just messing with him for the lulz until the spell ends and he goes back to being long dead.

I like the Weekend at Bernie's version of this, where he remains dead but is conjured. Skillful sorcerers could deploy the corpse at just the right moment, instantiating him at a fairly great height and having him fall on an opponent.

This could lead to some hijinx, obviously. Or even a magic-user game similar to bocce or lawn darts, where the players take turns conjuring Velemert for accuracy and at progressively greater distances from the target.

Grisly? Yes. Fun? You bet!
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:41 PM on May 10 [6 favorites]


Just wait until someone miscasts it and accidentally reanimates Velemert

He. Will. Be. Pissed.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:10 PM on May 10


I am so disappointed, I thought MeFi was filled with REAL geeks.

How am I the first person to write up one of these properly:

Grove of Plants
Druid Level 2
Components: V, S, M
Range: Touch
Casting Time: 1 round
Duration: 1 turn/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: 1" diameter/level circle
Explanation/Description: When this spell is used by a druid, he or she can turn groves of anything else other than plants into groves of plants. The druid cannot control the type of plants. Roll on the plants table to determine plant type.

PLANTS TABLE
1. Flower, Edible. Eating will increase CHA 1d4, but also roll effects on Plant Side Effect Table (d20)....
posted by blahblahblah at 1:32 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]


Hold Mouse

Ah, cantrips.
posted by GuyZero at 1:15 PM on May 10


Ah, Catnrips.

FTFY...
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:55 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Everything was fine until Lutien cast Mind Blark on the local cleric. Now the walls are bleeding marshmallow, our weapons sing the Barney theme, and all the village animals are being repeatedly Cured of Light Wounds.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:10 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Anyways, this whole thing immediately makes me think of the Ring of the Grammarian that I was introduced to when listening the Adventure Zone; basically, a magic item that allows you to change one letter in a spell and then the DM figures out the new results. So you get things like:

Compelled Duet
Feather Wall
Dope Trick
Lure Wounds

etc. It's a fun game to play with your D&D friends.
posted by nubs at 3:21 PM on May 10 [8 favorites]


Vicious Markers causes a swarm of sharpies to appear and draw obscene and insulting things all over your body, like your friends might if you were passed out drunk at one of their house parties as a young adult. Can only be cast on yourself.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:25 PM on May 10


Mous of Farts summons one very flatulent mouse out of thin air to attack/astonish/confuse one's enemies. Damage is minimal but might be used to distract an opponent. Mouse vanishes after 10 rounds.

Mystics differ in opinion as to whether it's the same mouse summoned every time.
posted by Roentgen at 3:31 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I love these, and I don't doubt that neural networks are the way to go for really unexpected stuff. I'll also add that folks who enjoy the spells/Pokémon linked in the article might enjoy the Dying Earth spell generator and Pokéthulhu generator that I wrote ~15 years ago.
posted by cpound at 3:57 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Thanks, cpound. The Dying Earth spell generator is one of my favorite internet things.
posted by gamera at 5:25 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Neural networks are the new shiny, but nothing will diminish my love for markov chains through the PRD.
posted by bigbigdog at 6:29 PM on May 10


How am I the first person to write up one of these properly:

I don't remember everything and haven't looked at anything since AD&D. But.

CONJURE VELEMERT
Magic-user level 1
Components: V
Range: 100 feet
Casting Time: 1 round
Duration: variable
Saving Throw: N/A
Area of Effect: N/A
Explanation/Description: Note that while this spell is listed as a magic-user spell, a chaotic neutral character of any class may cast this spell. To cast, the character simply states I CONJURE VELEMERT; this act must be performed by the player and the DM should evaluate the seriousness and gravity of the conjuration. The spell conjures Velemert somewhere within 100 feet of the casting character, though not necessarily in the same room; DM should roll 2d10 to determine distance. Velemert is an ancient sorceror of middling abilities best known for his skills at active listening and his spaghetti bolognese recipe. Once summoned, he faffs about until killed.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:32 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


One of the systems I play encourages one spell casting class to mash up spell names by giving a significant power boost to spells with original names. However our GM ruled that if he couldn't figure out what spell was being cast by the name then nothing happened. Hilarity ensued.
posted by Mitheral at 9:53 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised that only 365 examples was able to generate such reasonable responses, but I suspect that they took over 1k "answers" and then selected the best 20 or so.
posted by koolkat at 2:04 AM on May 11


Hold Mouse

I think I'm casting that right now ...? Lemme see if what else they got on this list ...

Submit Tax Return
Stall Career
Cure Light Pork
Grip of Gripping
Cutlery!
Cause Washing-Up
Summon Waiter
Misplace Paperwork
Remove Favourite
Forget Anniversary
Not-On-Fireball
Jeff's Text Message
List Items

Oh holy shit guys I must be like a 50th-level Magic User or something!!!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:49 AM on May 11


nubs - Lure Wounds

Huh, that's kind of a plot point in The Liar's Key; a wound is inflicted with an enchanted weapon (that had Lure Wounds cast on it) that doesn't heal and gets worse the further away from the caster the injured party is/goes.

Heading towards the location of the caster slows the worsening of the wound, and starts to slowly heal when they are a certain threshold distance closer to the caster.

iirc, the caster could cancel the spell and/or the spell is cancelled upon the death of the caster.
posted by porpoise at 3:41 PM on May 11


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