ROBOTIC RUNES AND RADIOACTIVE RITUALS – High Technology Spells for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

TECHNOLOGY MAGIC (NEW SPELLS/FORMULAE)
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The following spells are drawn from Paizo’s outstanding Technology Guide.

I was reluctant to convert these over, since 5th Edition D&D seems to have dealt away with the kind of hyper-specialized spells that have characterized earlier editions of the game.

However, in a campaign like Iron Gods, where high technology plays such a prominent role, these spells may see more consistent use, so I decided it would be worth converting these spells over to 5E.

Each of these are assumed to be new additions to the alchemist, cleric, druid, magus, and wizard spell lists but, given that these spells relate to high technology, DMs may wish to restrict them to characters who have the Technomancer feat, the Artificer cleric domain, and/or the Renegade Technic Leaguer or the Kellid Tribesman backgrounds.

Boom

ANTITECH FIELD
7th- level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (10-foot radius)
Components: V,S,M (a pinch of rust)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You bring into being a mobile, hemispherical energy field that prevents high technology items, signals, and creatures from entering.

An antitech field suppresses any high technology effect used within, brought into, or deployed into the area, but does not negate it. Time spent within an antitech field counts against the suppressed effect’s duration.

Robots and other technological constructs that come in contact with an antitech field must attempt a Constitution saving throw each round they remain in the field or be stunned. Success indicates the creature suffers disadvantage on its ability checks and attack rolls until it leaves the antitech field. An affected robot can make a new Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a success, they are no longer stunned, but suffer disadvantage on it ability checks and attack rolls until it leaves the antitech field.

Partially technological creatures like androids or cyborgs merely suffer disadvantage on all attack rolls and ability checks if they fail this saving throw. Note that cybernetic equipment does not function in an antitech field, and all benefits granted by such gear are suppressed.

Non-technological creatures can enter the area, as can low-tech missiles like sling stones and arrows. High-tech missiles such as bullets and missiles, as well as high-tech rays like lasers and particle beams, immediately halt upon contacting the field, and either drop to the ground harmlessly or detonate. The antitech field does not offer any protection against explosions caused by technological explosives detonating against it—thus, creatures within the field could still take damage from a rocket that explodes against it.

If a creature is larger than the area enclosed by the barrier, any part of the creature that lies outside the barrier is unaffected by the field.

This spell can be used only defensively, not aggressively. Forcing an abjuration barrier against creatures that the spell keeps at bay collapses the barrier.

ANTITECH MAGIC CIRCLE
4th-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 10 feet
Components: V,S, M (powdered copper worth at least 100 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: 1 hour

You create a 10-foot-radius, 20-foot-tall cylinder of magical energy centered on a point on the ground that you can see within range. Glowing runes appear wherever the cylinder intersects with the floor or other surface.

While active, robots and other high technology creatures can’t willingly enter the cylinder by nonmagical means. If the creature tries to use teleportation or interplanar travel to do so, it must first succeed on a Charisma saving throw.

Robots and other high technology creatures suffer disadvantage on attack rolls against targets within the cylinder.

Targets within the cylinder can’t be charmed, frightened, or possessed by robots and other high technology creatures.

When you cast this spell, you can elect to cause its magic to operate in the reverse direction, preventing a robot or other high technology creature from leaving the cylinder and protecting targets outside it.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the duration increases by 1 hour for each slot level above 4th.

ANTITECH REBUKE
4th-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 150 feet
Components: V,S, M (powdered fragments of technology, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You shroud the targeted high technology item, or robot or other high technology creature, with disruptive magical energy. The target (or creature carrying the targeted item) must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw when you cast this spell or be stunned for the duration of the spell.

At the end of each of its turns, an affected target can make a Wisdom saving throw. If it succeeds, this effect ends for that target.

At Higher Level. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of higher, it targets one additional target for each slot level above 4th.

DETECT RADIATION
1st-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V,S
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

For the duration, you sense the presence of radiation within 30 feet of you. If you sense radiation in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature, item, or area that bears radiation which informs you of the level of radioactivity.

This spell can penetrate most barriers, but it is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt.

DISCHARGE
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 150 feet
Components: V,S
Duration: Instantaneous

Discharge dissipates the charges from one high technology item, temporarily depowers one electrically powered high technology item that does not use charges, or severely hinders a robot.

If the spell targets an item with charges, the object loses all of its remaining charges. If the object is powered by electrical means other than charges, its functions are suppressed for 1d4 rounds.

If the spell targets a non-robot creature, the target must make a Constitution saving throw or one charged or electrically powered item on their person is affected, as described above. If the target is a robot, the robot must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or it suffers disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls for 1 minute. An affected robot can make a new Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a success, the effect of the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, you double the number of high technology items you affect for each spell slot level over 4th level.

IRRADIATE
3rd-level conjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 150 feet
Components: V,S
Duration: Instantaneous

You flood a 10 foot radius area with Low Level Radiation that lasts until the start of your next turn.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you increase the level of Radiation by one for each spell slot level over 3rd level, to a maximum of Severe Radiation Level using a 6th level spell slot. When cast using a higher level spell slot, the radiation spreads, per the standard 5E radiation rules.

MEMORY OF FUNCTION
7th-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V,S, M (powdered skymetal worth at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous

You restore a broken item, or damaged robot or construct, to a functional state, as if it were new and intact. Any pieces missing from the item or construct remain missing. Significant missing pieces may prevent proper functioning. If the item uses charges, the item becomes fully charged.

A timeworn item becomes fully charged, but doesn’t lose the timeworn condition (this spell is one of the few ways a timeworn item can be recharged). For 1 hour after this spell is cast on a timeworn item, that item does not suffer any chance of glitching. Other consumables such as ammunition are not restored.

When this spell is cast upon a damaged robot or construct, all hit point damage dealt to that creature is healed. When this spell is cast upon a destroyed robot or construct, it is restored to full functionality and full hit points, provided no significant portion of the destroyed construct (such as an entire limb) is missing. Robots and constructs brought back in this fashion regain their memories up to the moment of their destruction and have no particular inclination to serve the caster.

PROTECTION FROM HIGH TECHNOLOGY
1st-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V,S, M (powdered copper, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch is protected against robots and other high technology creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against the target. The target also can’t be charmed, frightened, or possessed by them. If the target is already charmed, frightened, or possessed by such a creature, the target has advantage on any new saving throw against the relevant effect.

RECHARGE
3rd-level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V,S, M (200 gp worth of diamond dust, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous

You restore up to 10 charges to a battery or half that number of charges to a high technology item capable of being charged by a battery. If you recharge a battery, there is a 20% chance that the battery is destroyed by the attempt.

If you restore more charges than the item can hold, the creature holding the item must succeed at a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 points of lightning damage for each excess charge. This spell provides no knowledge of how many charges an item can safely hold, but you can choose to bestow fewer charges than the maximum allowed to reduce the risk; you must declare how many charges you are restoring before casting this spell.

REMOVE RADIOACTIVITY
4th-level conjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V,S
Duration: Instantaneous

You remove all radiation from a 20 foot radius around the point you touch. However, this spell has no effect on naturally radioactive materials, and as long as such materials remain in an area, the radiation that was removed may return.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 8th level or higher, this spell affects naturally radioactive materials, such as nuclear reactors or atomic warheads, as well.

TECHNOMANCY
1st-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V,S, M (oil stirred with a coil of wires)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

For the duration, you detect the presence of high technology within 30 feet of you. If you sense high technology in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature or object in the area that is of high technology origin, and you learn its rough function (weapon, pharmaceutical, robot, etc…). Using this spell grants you advantage on your first Intelligence check made to understand how to use a high technology item.

This spell can penetrate most barriers, but it is blocked by 1 foot of stone or 3 feet of wood or dirt.

DUNGEON MUSERS’ NOTES

While I was initially skeptical of whether it was necessary to convert these spells over from Pathfinder to 5E, now that they are done, I think they will add a lot to an Iron Gods campaign.

In particular, assuming that most of these spells were created by the Technic League, I think that these spells can help to explain why the League is so much better at dealing with high technology than any other group.

In my own Iron Gods campaign, in the interest of keeping high technology as mysterious as I can, I will likely restrict all of them to player characters who have the Technomancer feat and either the Renegade Technic Leaguer or Kellid Tribesman backgrounds.

Incidentally, in my conversion of the memory of function spell, I chose to dump the restriction that the Pathfinder version has relating to time (the PF version can only affect items destroyed up to 10 years per caster level ago). Most of the high technology gear found in the Iron Gods campaign is over 9000 years old and, since the spell grants no control over the restored items, who am I to prevent a foolish player from restoring an out of control annihilator robot to full health (like, say, the one encountered in Valley of the Brain Collectors…moo hoo ha ha ha!).

RESOURCEFUL RESKINNING

Apart from the memory of function spell, none of the spells presented here will likely see much use in campaigns that do not have a high technology presence, though you could rename the irradiate spell “exhaustion” and otherwise use it as written.

IS THIS A SPELLBOOK OR AN ENGINEERING TEXTBOOK?

I hope these spells give players and DMs playing/running 5th Edition D&D campaigns with a high tech presence (like, say, the Iron Gods adventure path) some additional opportunities to add a high technology vibe to their games.

Until next time, I remain;

  • THE DUNGEON MUSER
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ROBOTIC RUNES AND RADIOACTIVE RITUALS – High Technology Spells for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

4 thoughts on “ROBOTIC RUNES AND RADIOACTIVE RITUALS – High Technology Spells for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

  1. Quinn says:

    These are great! In my game, players won’t be able to learn them until they defeat a TL member and get their spellbook (or convince her to share, in one case), to make them even more rare and special.

    Liked by 1 person

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