Saving Up for a Rainy Day

Copyright Peter Rudin-Burgess © 2015

Edited by Terence Wynne for The Guild Companion

"Spell Store pops up under two different essence lists, Rune Mastery and Spell Reins. It is the Spell Reins version that has become much more interesting."

I was looking at Spell Store in the Beta 1 Spell Law and hoping to see something interesting had been done with this spell and I am pleased to see that at least something has been.

In my experience Spell Store is an odd spell. In RM2 and RMC it is frequently completely ignored. The problem seems to be that once you have stored something then you cannot cast any other spells so unless you know exactly what you want to cast first tomorrow morning then the price is not really worth the gain.

Furthermore, Spell Store only really saves you the preparation time but as you go up levels more and more spells become instantaneous anyway, so that benefit is transient at best. As you gain in levels the options open to a spell caster are his/her greatest strength. To use something that takes away all that flexibility just doesn’t make sense.

Spell Store pops up under two different essence lists, Rune Mastery and Spell Reins. It is the Spell Reins version that has become much more interesting.

What we have gained are four new storing spells. The first allows you to store a spell cast by another person or item and then cast that as an instantaneous spell and then the second allows you to cast other spells whilst still having spells stored, albeit at a minus. Now, that, I think, is finally a useful spell. The third and fourth spells are 35th and 40th level so I suspect they will be used very rarely, but they allow many spells to be cast, stored and then released at the same time.

I still think that there is more that could be done with Spell Storing. I would like to see a version that allowed more than one spell to be stored maybe on a last in first out basis with a limit on the total number of levels of spells that could be stored. Something less powerful than the Complex Spell Storing but along those lines.

Looking at the new Spell Reins list this could become one of my new favourite lists and there does seem to be a lot of potential for researching new spells to build up this list even further. If you take Spell Store, 1st level, as one end of a spectrum, storing a spell today so I can cast it tomorrow and at the other end you have the 13th level spell Power Loan where you can use tomorrow’s power points today. It would seem natural that there should be a spell between them that allows you to store unused raw power points from today to use tomorrow.

With Power Loan you get your full allotment of power points back right now but you get no power points for the next two days. So how about for every two power points you store today you can use one tomorrow? I think I would stipulate that the stored power points would have to be used discretely meaning that for example 5 stored power points could be used to cast any combination of 1st to 5th level spells that totalled 5 power points but could not be used to contribute power towards a 6th or higher level spell. You either using the stored points or your own natural points but not mixing them. You could not store power points derived from a spell multiplier, only your natural remaining power points.

Is that too powerful a spell? Well it is equivalent to a + spell adder or less. It rewards spell casters that are conservative in their spell use but at the same time it boost the power of essence spell casters over the other realms. Having said that mentalists have just the basic Spell Store as part of Mind Mastery so researching the other storing spells should be possible. I am not aware of any spells of any sort that allow Channelling users to store spells for later use without having a one ton stone monolith to hand. On the other hand though Channelling users can channel spells between each other which is an ability that essence and mentalism users do not have. I think that balances out.

I know I am an advocate for spell research. I think it is massively under used. To my mind Spell Law is a framework dotted all over with reference points upon which to hang your own spells while at the same time knowing where they should sit in the grand scheme of magic, which list, and within the structure of relative power, which level. The power storing spell I described above I would probably put at 10th level. The spells on Spell Reins list occur at 1st, 4th, 7th, 13th, 35th, and 40th. There is a conspicuous gap at 10th level which is also the point at which you could usefully cast such a spell and have enough left over power points that even at a one for two ratio the spell would be worthwhile.