De Plancy’s Spellbook [ACTION X]

I’ve been working on the spells and psionic powers for ACTION X, and wanted to not only go a bit “lower magic” for the game, but also make it as realistic as one can make the supernatural. To that end, I decided to only use psionic powers that reputedly exist in the real world (fair warning – I don’t believe in psychic abilities). For magic spells, I decided to use two main sources, since the magician class has two lists of spells – black magic and white magic. The source for the black magic spells is de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal and the powers the various demons were capable of granting to conjurers. For the white magicians, I looked at the miracles of the Bible and of the saints as well as the reputed powers of the druids.

Since lots of gamers are acquainted with de Plancy’s work, I thought the spell list I extracted from it would be of interest …

FIRST LEVEL
Audible Glamer
Burning Hands
Charm Animal
Charm Person
Command
Cure Light Wounds
Detect Evil
Detect Magic
Knowledge*
Light
Phantasmal Force
Protection from Evil

SECOND LEVEL
Augury
Calm Emotions
Charisma
Consecrate
Desecrate
Detect Thoughts (ESP)
Find Familiar
Improved Phantasmal Force
Intelligence
Invisibility
Numismatize*
Speak with Animals
Strength

THIRD LEVEL
Blindness/Deafness
Compel Return
Cure Blindness/Deafness
Cure Serious Wounds
Heroism
Hold Person
Locate Object
Putrify*
Rage
Reveal Secrets*
Speak with Dead
Spectral Force
Suggestion

FOURTH LEVEL
Cause Disease
Command Plants
Confusion
Cure Disease
Detect Lie
Divination
Fireball
Lightning Bolt
Modify Memory
Polymorph Other
Polymorph Self
Restoration

FIFTH LEVEL
Contact Other Plane
Control Winds
Feeblemind
Song of Discord
Teleport

SIXTH LEVEL
Find the Path
Legend Lore
Longevity
Transformation
Water Tell*

SEVENTH LEVEL
Control Weather
Raise Tower*
Transmute Liquid*
Transmute Metal*

EIGHTH LEVEL
Earthquake

NINTH LEVEL
Astral Projection

* New Spell

While most of the supernatural ability granted by these demons were easily converted into an existing spell, a few were not. I haven’t written these spells up officially yet, but the following will give you a brief idea:

Knowledge: Gives the conjurer expert knowledge in one particular skill.

Numismatize: Turns raw metal directly into coins.

Putrefy: Causes a wound to become ridden with worms and rot.

Raise Tower: Sort of a variation on the magnificent mansion spell; this one raises a stone tower with an armory full of weapons.

Reveal Secrets: Like ESP, only it plucks the secrets from one person’s mind and shares them with all people nearby.

Transmute Liquid: Transmutes one liquid into another, i.e. water into wine, wine into blood, etc.

Transmute Metal: Transmutes one metal into another, i.e. lead into gold.

Water Tell: Variation on stone tell; in de Plancy, one couldn’t talk to rocks, but they could talk to rivers.

2 thoughts on “De Plancy’s Spellbook [ACTION X]

  1. It wouldn't be a bad idea to limit the availability of spells in a game to the access ability to a limited number of grimoires. Copying spells from secondaity sources (like NPC wizards) could be risky because of “Chinese whispers” like mistakes and the only sure way of gaining a proper spell is through access to a Grimoire.

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  2. When looking into Black Magicians, I hope you will look into Aleister Crowley. That dirtwad abused any number of children, adults, and animals (goats especially) and inspired any number of creeps such as Anton LaVey, and Charles Manson. And he is STILL held up like a great visionary!

    So I totally agree that Black Magicians should be Charisma-based. Anyone who can be openly evil (with or without actual psychic powers) and get away with it in plain view, should be charicmatic.

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