Monday, April 23, 2012

1E Geomancer Class

Geomancer Character

May 5, 1977 Original Design

Today was a red-letter day. The first successful testing of the gem class with six players and two NPC's. During the play-test, questions arose after two of the three gem class users hailed from a very rural community and another from a large city - which had mining as one of it's chief resources. The question was how would you modify the class to give a slight advantage to different backgrounds they were raised in. After an hour of brainstorming, I offered a "where trained" modifier to be added to the players combined Wisdom and Constitution, with the resulting total falling into a specific range that would help to decide starting stones available.

One player noted he was hoping to see more lower level spells that had some alternate abilities. This original question came long before Unearthed Arcana arrived on the scene and while 12 spells originally were developed for this class, part of the fun was coming up with mundane uses for the stones. During a visit to an out of the way Inn, one player scribbled a note and asked "any way I can use a stone to spoil the food"?

I thought for a couple seconds before writing back: "sure - what about a bloodstone - you got one of those." He improvised, and a few minutes later when the barkeep was informed the food had gone bad, the entire party got free fresh food and board for the night. "Taint Food" was born.

Spells like Thunderclap were developed on a tremendous night of summer storms in 82, and Tsunami followed in 88 after I almost drowned in a pool when a man 5 times my size did the biggest cannonball I'd ever seen/felt. 

So now 35 years later, the class is near completion and I present the introduction from the PDF:

Geomancers are an earth–based class, neither Mage nor Cleric, yet a combination of both. They have an innate ability to cast spells directly from the gems and stones that exist around them and thus through attunement, a Geomancer is capable of gradually deepening his connection to a stone and drawing out the vital energy that the stone possesses. Since the Geomancer is capable of casting spells across the full spectrum, they are able to wear any non-metal armor – although their preference is leather or padded. However, due to limitations they are incapable of using a shield and are somewhat restricted on weapons they may employ in combat.

They can play an important support role for an adventuring party. Because they are capable of Personal, Offensive and Defensive spells, they are capable of doling out significant damage, but they should never be considered as a front line fighter. They rely on the gems and stones they find to power their abilities, and thus do not need to use material spell components, mistletoe or a holy symbol.

Geomancers spend an exorbitant amount of time collecting and studying gems and stones. Many subsidize their stockpiles by working at a Lapidary or Gem shop where they can pick over incoming supplies from adventuring parties, and also study new levels of attunement. A Geomancer, if informed of a rare stone, is likely to drop everything and rush off to obtain such items, often disappearing and not returning for many months… if at all.

Upon reaching 11th level (Diamond Keeper) a Geomancer may decide to settle down and begin spell research full time. Devoting their lives to the attunement and study of mixing stones, most take up roles at large libraries where they have the greatest chance to happen upon records denoting special gem collections. If a collection is known to exist, you can bet a Geomancer has already studied it, or is nearby.  In many cases, they start their own order, and followers and acolytes will flock to the Geomancer’s banner.


Here is the link to the PDF, which you can also find in the Archives section: