The Forbidden Grimoire of J. Alfred Prufrock 2

Okay, look, quoting T.S. Eliot back and forth at each other was a significant part of how I got to know Kainenchen. All the more so when we reworked “The Naming of Cats” and “The Waste Land” to be about Fallen Earth, the MMO we both worked on. My point is, it’s April, which is a) the cruelest month, b) an ideal month for obnoxious tomfoolery, and – quite separate from the first two points – c) the month in which I, six years ago, asked Kainenchen to marry me. It’s a big deal around here. A lot of lines from Prufrock could make interesting D&D spells, so here we go. (These aren’t in any particular order; I’m just kind of writing them as they take shape.)

Yellow Smoke Cat

3rd-level conjuration

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You create a tendril of smoke or fog, or harness an existing cloud of smoke or fog. If you create a tendril of smoke or fog, it extends from a point that you can see within range. If you harness an existing cloud of smoke or fog within range, you reshape and control the movement of a 20-foot-radius sphere of smoke or fog, possibly leaving sharply-defined edges in the portion of the cloud you do not control. A creature in gaseous form can’t be harnessed in this way. The tendril is yellow and shows feline features, including a head and paws. It is 5 feet wide, and it can extend up to 30 feet from its point of origin. It can occupy another creature’s space. On the turn you cast this spell, and as a bonus action on any later round, you can command the tendril to do one of the following:

  • make a melee attack against a creature in the tendril’s space, or in an adjacent space. This uses your spell attack bonus and deals 2d8 slashing damage. If you have harnessed fog or smoke that would otherwise deal damage, the tendril deals 2d8 damage of that damage type.
  • knock a creature prone or knock an object down. The creature must be in the tendril’s space, or in an adjacent space. The tendril replaces its Strength (Athletics) check with your Intelligence (Arcana) bonus.
  • move to occupy a different set of six contiguous 5-ft cubes.
  • go to sleep. This command removes the Concentration requirement of this spell for up to 1 minute. At any point during that minute, you can resume concentrating on the spell. If you are not concentrating on the spell at the end of that minute, the duration ends.

The tendril is not a creature and can’t take damage from any source. It can only be dispersed by winds of 20 miles per hour or greater while it is asleep; otherwise, it can’t be dispersed by any strength of wind.


Overwhelming Question

4th-level divination

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V
Duration: Instantaneous

You hammer a creature’s mind with intrusive psychic force, in the form of a question. Choose one creature within range that you can see or whose name you know, and ask it a question. If the question you ask is nonsensical or a riddle, the creature must roll an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, it suffers 6d10 psychic damage and can’t speak intelligibly until the beginning of your next turn. On a success, it suffers half damage and no further effect.

If the question you ask is one that the creature can understand, it can choose to answer to the best of its ability, either aloud or telepathically, as you can pluck the answer from its mind. If it chooses not to answer or attempts to dissemble, it must roll a Wisdom saving throw, suffering 6d10 psychic damage on a failure and giving you the answer to the question. On a success, it suffers half damage and gives you any answer it wants. You can’t tell whether it has succeeded or failed this save.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot level above 4th.


Disturb the Universe

9th-level transmutation

Casting Time: 8 hours
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S, M (a forked, metal rod worth at least 2,500 gp, attuned to a particular plane of existence, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Permanent

This spell creates a permanent conjunction between a portion of the Material Plane and another plane of existence. Choose a 100-foot square within range, and place the plane-attuned rod in that area. As part of the spell, you can alter or hide the forked rod in any way you wish, as long as its final value is less than or equal to its starting value. The spell ends if the forked rod or its alternate form is destroyed.

Within the area of the spell, you are simultaneously on both the Material Plane and the other plane. Ambient effects of the other plane affect the area. This affects spells and other magical effects (such as teleportation circle, which is limited to travel on the same plane) but does not affect nonmagical travel.

If you cast this spell while already in the area of another casting of the spell, you can either bring the area into conjunction with yet another plane, or you can expand the area of the spell by 50 feet on each side. The material component of the second casting merges with the material component of the first casting.


Spell Lists

Yellow Smoke Cat: Sorcerer, Wizard

Overwhelming Question: Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Disturb the Universe: Cleric, Druid, Warlock, Wizard

I hope you’ve enjoyed these spells as much as I enjoyed creating them. I expect to write a few more posts like this one over the course of the month.

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2 thoughts on “The Forbidden Grimoire of J. Alfred Prufrock

  • Craig Cormier

    Nice content as always.

    I’m a huge fan of “Disturb the Universe” as it puts me in mind of Eberron’s manifest zones. I also love that it provides an excellent in-game tool for a villain to begin spreading literal Hell on Earth in a mid- to high-level game. Once you get multiple castings stacking you really start to cover ground at an accelerated rate. I would personally have made the area a 100′ radius sphere rather than a square, but that’s mostly a cosmetic issue.

    • Brandes Stoddard Post author

      Eberron’s Manifest Zones were indeed something I was thinking about for this spell, so I’m glad that came across. I feel like planar conjunctions show up a LOT in games (because they let interesting, weird stuff happen), but there’s no controlled way to do something like that. Admittedly, it’s usually a bad thing – but there’s nothing stopping you from creating a permanent access point to the Feywild or the Upper Planes.

      As to the area, I sorta don’t care. I mean, if it’s an NPC doing this, the area expands at roughly the speed of Plot, and if it’s a PC, a sphere is a much larger area, but a cube and a sphere are both large enough to encompass MOST of whatever you could want to do with the area. Probably.