Spells Without Levels: Psychomancy

These spells are inspired by charm person, read languages, sleep, and feeblemind. See spells without levels for more information about this project.


Hostile creatures become neutral, neutral creatures become friendly, and friendly creatures become infatuated. Friendly creatures will be open to serving the sorcerer, given some basic incentive, and infatuated creatures require no incentive. Affects a number of HD worth of creatures equal to sorcerer level.


The meaning of obscured or indecipherable communications is laid bare. This spell may be used to understand the words of any language or read the true intent of a cyphered missive. Even spirit or animal speech, such as the groaning of clouds or the howling of wolves, may sometimes disclose their secrets.


By standing completely still with eyes closed in concentration, the sorcerer may enter the body of another within sight, gaining access to any of their senses, and dictate the subject’s physical actions (a saving throw applies, but does not end the spell, and the sorcerer may attempt command again in following rounds, against the same subject or another). Subjects of this spell may resist any given dictated action by taking a die of damage. Such manipulation is awkward (a minor penalty applies), and lends a marionette-like quality to the movements and demeanor of the subject so controlled.

Dust of the Sandman

Sparkling dust conjured from the land of dreams blankets a small melee, and all within must save versus magic or fall asleep.

Plasmic Manipulation

The sorcerer examines the mind of another for spells or other plasmic entities and may choose one of the following options: 1) steal one spell for later casting 2) implant (and thus lose) a spell into the target’s consciousness 3) free any number of plasmic entities from the target’s mind (in effect voiding prepared spells). The target of this spell is permitted a saving throw (use of a spell shield provides a +2 saving throw bonus rather than entirely preventing the effect), and if that saving throw is a natural 20 the target may instead raid the mind of the spell’s originator, with recourse to the same three options.

Redon - Closed Eyes (source)

Redon – Closed Eyes (source)


8 thoughts on “Spells Without Levels: Psychomancy

  1. katre

    Seems like “Dust of the Sandman” is another good place to use the “Affects a number of HD worth of creatures equal to sorcerer level.” rule.

    1. Brendan Post author


      Here is my thinking for not making Dust of the Sandman HD-based: 1) a save is permitted, making high HD creatures naturally more likely to avoid the effect, 2) if it’s HD-based, you need rules for which HD are affected first, which makes the text more tangled, and 3) there is almost always a danger of affecting friendlies in melee as well unless the spell is used stealthily.

      Also, only (maybe) being able to put one creature to sleep at first level is a bit of a downer.

  2. Max J

    Which of these is inspired by Feeblemind? I’m not seeing it.

    I really like the “take damage to avoid manipulation” part of Dominate. Excellent work as usual, Brendan.

    1. Brendan Post author


      Plasmic Manipulation was inspired by Feeblemind (the “wipe all spells” option, in particular). The final spell is rather different, but I’m trying to really make new spells here where possible, rather than just re-skinning. You should see what Disintegrate spawned (scheduled for tomorrow).

      1. Max J

        Oh, I am very glad that your desire is to make new spells instead of just re-skin: I did not mean to imply that something should be imitating Feeblemind, only that I didn’t see any connection between these spells and Feeblemind. I like your interpretation! And I am very very interested to see the son of Disintegrate: Death Ray was so good!

        Brendan, you are constantly producing wonderful content and I want to use as much of it as I can in my personal game rules: which I still plan to send you, although I am in the middle of some large rewrites for the 3rd-ish draft right now, and of course school is getting in the way. (The hardest part is figuring out a way to do wizard magic that isn’t Vancian “per-day,” “spell points” (which are kind-of in use for my version of Cleric), or “strict components” (which would be my preferred method but it’s super hard to come up with lots of differerent accessible components, and if I just use “X amount of Silver” then it infringes on the Clerical “sacrifice cash/HP/prisoner lives/time/etc. to get Faith (i.e. Spell) points” method.) I am thinking now of going a sort of OD&D route: very low spells “memorized” but you get those few spells as many times as you want per adventure. This shifts resource management from “number of casts” to “which spells can I be cleverest with?” As you might imagine, the multi-effect spells of this Spells Without Levels project inspired me to go this route, since so many spells (e.g. Pyrokinesis, Poltergeist) have multiple uses. On the other hand, this means that the dear-to-my-heart system of memorization I came up with (you memorize off your scrolls, if you want you can read off a scroll to get a free cast but then it’s gone! do your copying, little MU!) is no longer applicable, except of course in the reasonably-common situation of “oh shit I only have Transmigration and Plasmic Key for this adventure, I better read off my only scroll of Pyrokinesis to possess the guy’s torch, and hope that I can get another one some time soon…”

        I know I’m rambling, I’m trying to get this all out before I head to class (another reason my edits are taking so long, of course.) Again, looking forward to Disintegrate!

  3. George Cassie (@castlin)

    Two small thoughts. What about adding a trap-like effect to Dust of the Sandman, similar to the lightning trap from elementalism?

    Maybe make the chance to understand spirit or animal speech level based in Comprehension?

    I really like the simplicity of Bewitch.


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