Spells Without Levels: Vivimancy

These spells are inspired by confusion, disintegrate, slow, haste, growth of animals, neutralize poison, polymorph self, polymorph other, and stone to flesh. See spells without levels for more information about this project. The category name vivimancy was borrowed from The City of Iron.


This spell awakens the inner beast, causing the growth of claws and fangs, granting a +1 to attack and damage, and a decrease by 1 to all damage taken (a saving throw is permitted for the unwilling). Any creature so enraged must make a melee attack against the nearest combatant every round in the most violent manner possible (this generally means that the target should be determined randomly). When the spell expires, the subject collapses into unconsciousness if a saving throw is failed, and if this saving throw is a natural 1, the subject contracts lycanthropy.


The sorcerer’s touch causes the chaotic workings of life to permeate contiguous nonliving matter, approximately the size of one human per level (living creatures touched during the workings of this spell are subject to mutation if a saving throw is failed). One exploration turn of contact leads to softening and weakness, as veins, entrails, and other organic appurtenances metastasize, and after three exploration turns of contact, the matter collapses entirely into warm, pulsing slime. During each turn of contact, there is a 1 in 6 chance of the transforming matter spawning some hitherto unseen organism, though such spawns are almost certainly unviable.


All within a melee area are stricken with lethargy, moving at half their normal rate, and acting last in initiative automatically. Creatures of less than or equal HD to the sorcerer’s level are affected automatically, while others get a saving throw to avoid the effect. Indolence may also be cast on mechanisms or other things that engage in progress or change.


Similar to indolence, but the reverse in all ways.


The growth processes of several animals are accelerated, inducing ravenous hunger. If sufficient food is not available, the creatures will attempt to consume anything nearby, and will gain sustenance from materials not normally consumable, such as wood or dirt, though food or flesh is preferred. The animals 1) double in size for the duration of the spell and then collapse into unconsciousness afterwards, 2) double in size permanently, or 3) grow until they become gargantuan and are driven insane.

Serpent’s Kiss

After casting this spell, the sorcerer grows long, hollow fangs, which may be used for a bite attack as if armed. These fangs may also be used to to draw out venom from someone that has been poisoned, negating the poison, though this process is painful and somewhat gruesome. Venom so extracted is then stored in a new gland that develops within the sorcerer’s body, and may be delivered by bite during the spell’s duration.


Every person has two totems, a predator totem and a prey totem, which are connected and should be determined randomly (and recorded): 1) bat/centipede, 2) cat/rat, 3) hawk/newt, 4) owl/frog, 5) serpent/chicken, 6) wolf/sheep. This spell allows the sorcerer to transform into the predator totem animal, or force another into prey their prey totem (marked by the sorcerer’s totem sigil), the enchantment being permanent as long as the sigil is present (though a saving throw applies). Equipment does not transform.


A form in stone, such as a statue, is endowed with life, viscera, beating hearts, flesh, and so forth. If the stone was once living, that previous existence is permanently restored. Otherwise, when the spell ends the new life will 1) return to stone, 2) dissolve into a mess of biological waste, or 3) be stolen by an incorporeal soul, demon, or spirit for unpredictable purposes.

Redon - Flower of Blood (source)

Redon – Flower of Blood (source)


9 thoughts on “Spells Without Levels: Vivimancy

  1. Ynas Midgard

    “Any creature so enraged must make a melee attack against the nearest combatant every round in the most violent manner possible (this generally means that the target should be determined randomly).”

    I understand why you put the second half there but it doesn’t really follow from the first half, unless combat positioning is so abstract that determining the nearest combatant is generally resolved by a roll.

    1. Brendan Post author


      Right, the relationship is not a direct A implies B. Really, I just want to state the basic principle (nearest) and then suggest that random determination is often a good way of handling that. Also, I think it is important to mention randomness in some way to help emphasize the abstraction of combat (I expect that most combatants in melee will be moving around quite a bit during a given round). I’ll play around with the wording some and see if I can come up with something better.

    1. Brendan Post author


      Yes, the transformation is gradual. The result is permanent though, and the spell can be used, for example, to dissolve walls into slime. It is not meant to be a direct combat spell, unlike Disintegrate (which inspired it).

    1. Brendan Post author


      Sorry for the late reply!

      Interpretations are expected to be by ruling for this sort of thing, but I would probably do increase by half (though positioning for me is abstract enough that it probably wouldn’t matter that much).

      That said, I am somewhat dissatisfied with how Quickening feels right now, and will probably weird it up a bit before the final version.

      I have seen Indolence in play though, and it worked out nicely. I’m also still pleased with the idea of applying Indolence to mechanical objects or abstract things in addition to the obvious “combat speed” use.

    1. Brendan Post author


      For quickening, I would rule that a creature with higher HD could resist the effect with a save if desired, but that would not be required to gain a benefit if not resisting.


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