Reports of Sorcerer’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Poor demon-blooded schlub… I need to get all these characters on a rotating schedule or something. Last time we saw Sorcerer before that disastrously dry desert was way back in August, and that’s too long. I know I wouldn’t want to wait eight months between sessions!

As for today’s topic, I always thought that Maslow’s Hammer would be a good name for a spell. It would be like a souped-up version of prestidigitationdealing damage and passing out bonuses in social encounters and helping out when you’re exploring the wilderness and ordering out for Chinese when you’re hungry. Of course, fireball can already do all that. Obviously it deals damage. That’s just a no-brainer. But there’s nothing quite like the threat of a fireball to give you a circumstance bonus is those tense negotiations. And if you find yourself in need of a little brush clearing out in the woods, there are few more effective way to get rid of all that difficult terrain. I’ll admit that the Chinese food is a bit setting-dependent, but if you take the time to develop a relationship with your local Goblin Pizza joint, a fireball makes one hell of an “I’ll take an X-large with pepperoni” signal flare. I guess I’ll have to give up on designing the maslow’s hammer spell. As it turns out, that’s damn near every spell in the book already.

My point is that a limited spell selection can be a good thing. When you’ve only got a handful of spells at you’re disposal you’re forced to get creative. The sorcerers and bards and warlocks of the worlds have to stretch their imaginations and make square pegs fit round holes every single adventuring day. You wind up looking for every little nuance, squeaking advantages out of secondary effects (e.g. fireball‘s propensity for property damage or its ability to conjure improvised smoke screens). That makes for interesting play and unusual situations. And that’s at least as much fun as having the perfect spell for the situation.

What about the rest of you guys? Have you ever had a signature spell or ability that solved problems in new and unexpected ways? What was it? Let’s hear it in the comments!


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