Sunday, January 2, 2011

Campaign Design - Spells: Cynthia's Cry of the Bat

Cynthia's Cry of the Bat (from the Player's Guide to Wizards, Bards, and Sorcerers; originally Sirohk's Cry of the Bat)

Level: Bard 2
Components: V, S, M, F
Casting Time: 1 full round
Range: Long (400 feet + 40 feet per caster level)
Target, Effect, or Area: One quarter sphere in direction caster is facing out to maximum range
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

When you invoke this spell, you emit an invisible and silent wave of sound 180 degrees in front of you and 90 degrees directly upwards (one quarter of a sphere in the direction you are facing). The cry of the bat travels out to the maximum range if not stopped by intervening obstacles. The sound wave is inaudible, but creatures with exceptional hearing (including many animal) may notice the passage of the cry with a DC 25 Listen check.

The cry can only continue out to its maximum range if nothing comes between the wave and its origin. Specifically, the cry of the bat will continue to travel to its maximum range as long as there are open spaces to travel into. If it is used in an underground corridor, room, or cavern that dead ends or have no means of egress, the cry will not travel beyond the corridor and only information of that area will be learned.

The cry of the bat returns information back to you instantaneously and it is received in your mind as a course of black and white images. In the mental picture, you will see outlines and be able to discern the size, shape, and distance of the various objects that the wave passed over. Furthermore, you will see rooms and passages of the area that the cry traveled through (such as from a dungeon, cavern, or tunnel). The spell will detect most items at their normal size and shape; only items 6 inches or smaller in size will not be distinguishable from their background surfaces.

Cry of the bat will not be able to detect color, life or unlife, doors (usually), or movement (unless cast again shortly after the first casting). Human sized humanoids will look alike - a zombie will look like any other human, doors will appear as walls, and treasure chests will appear merely as square shapes. In order to know what an object is by its shape and size, the caster must know about, be familiar with, or at least have seen the object once before.

Material component: A small wad of bat fur.

Focus: Your musical instrument.

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