Spells Without Levels: Elementalism

These spells were inspired by fly, fireball, lightning bolt, protection from normal missiles, pass-wall, lower water, part water, move earth, and control weather. See spells without levels for more information about this project.

Chariot of Air

A tumult of air elementals, prismatic and cacophonous, bears the sorcerer aloft and in any direction desired. Buffeted this way and that, no subtle action may be taken or communication attempted over the roar and incoherent babbling of the winds. Despite the many voices they have stolen, these creatures communicate by caresses and only madly wail in confusion if not in contact with the sorcerer.


The sorcerer gains complete control over a fire, and may cause it to grow, shrink, or otherwise change. The fire may be detonated (causing 1d6 damage per sorcerer level to all nearby), though this ends the spell.


Awaken the greater spirit of a hill or other stone prominence. It will obey basic commands, but is usually very slow, and is aversive to areas of great corruption. There is a 1 in 6 chance that the shift will be immediate and accompanied by an earthquake.

Seduce Waters

Divested of all equipment and clothing, the sorcerer bathes in a water, such as a river, lake, or pool (but not sea or ocean, as those old gods are wicked beyond measure) and in so doing communes with the spirit of the water. The water spirit will obey basic commands (though sometimes in fickle ways), and thus may be parted, lowered, or otherwise modified. Spirits often have requests of sorcerers, given how they are during most of their existence hemmed in by rock and sky.

The Spell of Subterranean Gullets

All tunnels, pits, and lacunae are the mouths, throats, and visceral spaces of the greater earth god Maxilor. The sorcerer may command the instantaneous opening of such a void in stone or rock, either horizontally (as a tunnel) or vertically (as a pit) to a depth of 10 feet per sorcerer level. The stone slowly returns to its former configuration, and will have closed completely (crushing any within) by the end of the spell.


The sorcerer may command the weather, though only in generalities such as summoning powerful winds, occluding the sun with dark storm clouds, or causing a downpour. Invariably any weather modifications will result in threefold retribution as the skies become enraged by mortal interference and reassert dominance in days to come. Stormspeech is most commonly used for speeding ships on placid seas, as the seafaring sorcerer will likely be far away from the rebalancing when it comes.

Trapped Lightning

First a trap, such as a bottle or copper rod, must be prepared and then set out under an open sky in a cosmically enticing manner, which will draw the lightning. By speaking the words of the spell, the trapped lightning may be discharged, doing 1d6 damage per sorcerer level to all in the path of the bolt or radius of the discharge (which can be bound again immediately if another trap has been laid in the correct location), though beware that being doused with water will free and disperse the lightning prior to use. When used as a melee weapon by the sorcerer, an undischarged lightning rod will knock back human-sized targets and deal one die of damage if a saving throw versus magic is failed.

Wind Barrier

Swirling winds deflect small missiles such as arrows or spears. The spell moves with the sorcerer, and may shelter a number of people equal to the sorcerer’s level. Outgoing missiles are hindered as well.

Roerich - Spell-words (source)

Roerich – Spell-words (source)


8 thoughts on “Spells Without Levels: Elementalism

    1. Brendan Post author


      How do you see true names working here? Maybe getting the same elemental every time and developing a relationship with it? I could see that being interesting. Or are you thinking of some other kind of boon?

      1. George Cassie (@castlin)

        I’m not sure. In honesty I was thinking about players who would always choose Conjure at first level because otherwise they “miss out” on something, so perhaps it’s more about addressing that spell’s function. Do you have plans for a spell that lets you learn a demon’s name?

      2. Brendan Post author

        I hadn’t considered that some players might perceive that as missing out on content. I suppose it could come with the spell if learned at any level.

        My preference would probably be to have players discover true names in play. If a player told me that they wanted to discover a true name, I would probably use my magic research system (which works similarly to carousing) to abstract the process during downtime. The player could specify whether they were researching a least (HD 1), minor (HD 3 or less), lesser (HD 3 – 6), or greater (HD 7+) entity. (Those HD ranges reflect OD&D power assumptions, and might need to be adjusted slightly for systems where a 7 HD creature is not very fearsome.)

        A spell like petition could also perhaps be used to learn a true name (some demon might want to sell out its rivals).

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