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Review: 1001 Spells

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1001 Spells brings another supplement for the ever-expanding Pathfinder Battles: Heroes & Monsters series. Created by Steven D. Russell and Joe Calkins, who both helped create the twenty-five books strong 101 Insert-level-here Spells series. 1001 ramps up the serving by 900 (obviously) and offers even more spells for each of its seven classes (Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer and Wizard.) There are a little over 100 spells for each class and the spells range from level 0 to 9.

These types books are great for the player groups who find they are constantly asking their DM, “What if I wanted to cast a spell that tied that guards boot laces in a knot?” To which the DM would normally reply, “Do you have a shoelace spell on your spell list? No? Then you can’t do that.” Well now you can. 1001 is full of spells that help players role play out of situations, spells like Fold, which can make a player paper thin and allow them to slip through door cracks or cell bars. There is a good mix here, offensive spells for combat are plentiful and most of them are great for variety or to give your character a specific feel. Enjoy making the sky rain poison blood? How about summoning tongues of fire to lap at your enemies? Or maybe you can just make every inanimate object in a room come to life and start attacking your foes. The spells in 1001 do have some crossover. There are a good number of spells that find their way into more than one class as options. This sort of cross-pollination helps negate that player feeling of, “Well I have to take this because I’m the only one who can cast it.”

Min-maxers may not be as interested. While there are high-level spells, if you’re more into counting die and seeking the highest numbers than creating unique and personalized characters, 1001 will feel a bit empty. There are some high damaging spells in 1001 but nothing like Finger of Death or Disintegrate. Still, the stat-counting player may find that the variety offered in 1001 gives a player more options in any given situation.

So, with that, lets take a look at a sample of some of the offerings for each of the classes…

Neat out-of-combat spells:

Mute: Subject cannot produce sound from its mouth.
Creative Use: Quiet an annoying NPC the DM has saddled your party with.

Jugs Have Ears: You can hear what’s happening around a vessel that you’ve enchanted.
Creative Use: while the party leader is speaking to the town mayor, place the enchantment on an object around his throne. Later you will know if he is indeed corrupt or if he has hidden treasure somewhere accessible.

Combat spells:

Deathchant: Your chanting saps the life from living creatures.

Destroy Utterly with Sound: Target disintegrates or suffers 5d6 points of damage (Move)

Neat out-of-combat spells:

Secret Speech: You and creatures you select conceal hidden messages in your normal speech.
Creative use: Decide to speak with an evil NPC before attacking. At any moment you may convey to the rest of your party to begin attacking before the enemy has any idea you mean him harm.

Eyes on the World: You can “keep an eye on” an area, creature or object.
Creative Use: Ask a dangerous NPC to meet you alone to discuss, then wait at a distance to make sure they arrived alone as agreed.

Combat spells:

Kinslayer: Target is compelled to kill nearest relative.

Blightfire Ray: Ray drains 4 points of Constitution each round and grants temporary hp to caster.

Neat out-of-combat spells:

Animate Wood: Animate small wooden item.
Creative use: have an NPC’s cot walk itself out the door with the NPC still asleep inside it.

Secret Speech: You and creatures you select conceal hidden messages in your normal speech.
Creative use: Decide to speak with an evil NPC before attacking. At any moment you may convey to the rest of your party to begin attacking before the enemy has any idea you mean him harm.

Combat spells:

Blood to Sap: Target’s blood thickens, dealing damage and limiting movement but increasing natural armor bonus.

Eruption: Volcanic eruption deals 1d6/level, releases fumes and lava each round.

Neat out-of-combat spells:

Summon Weapon: Melee or ranged weapon of your choice. (Immediate)
Creative use: Entire party captured, striped bare and locked in a cell? Not for long.

Wings of Heaven: Your mount grows wings and can fly.
Creative use: Not very creative, but FLYING MOUNT AT LEVEL 3!

Combat spells:

Heroic Sacrifice: You take the damage and effects for all chosen creatures. (Immediate)

Weapons Storm: You create force duplicates of your weapon that hit what you hit.

Neat out-of-combat spells:

Hidden Shelter: Creates a camouflaged shelter from the surrounding materials.
Creative use: Quick, hide!

Plant Spy: Turn a plant into a recording device.
Creative use: Know where the enemy is setting up camp? Listen to their plans.

Combat spells:

Armor of Thorns: You gain a +4 natural armor bonus, and whenever an enemy strikes you with a natural or hand-held melee weapon, it takes 7 points of damage.

Augment Poison: Changes a poison’s DC, adds +1 to ability damage, and adds 1 round to its duration.

Neat out-of-combat spells:

Cleanse of Alcohol: Subject is completely cured of alcohol effects.
Creative use: Trying to get information out of a drunk bar patron is the worst.

Gnomes Gold: Touched object appear more valuable than it is.
Creative use: can make for some very lucrative trading / selling of otherwise mundane items. Just don’t stick around the town afterwards.

Combat spells:

Vacuum Ball: Sphere of nothingness draws creatures and objects toward it, implosion deals 1d8/level damage in 20-ft. radius.

Meteorite, Superior: Calls down an actual meteorite strike.

Those are just a small sample of the spells 1001 offers. It’s an impressive collection of spells that cover the spectrum between useful for role playing and direct damage with everything in between. 1001 Spells should be out February 22nd. If you are a fan of the 101 Spells series or are looking for single book to increase player spell choice for all the base classes it’s a solid purchase.

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Thank you for posting a review of 1001 Spells. Steven D. Russell Rite Publishing
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