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D&D 3E
Dragonlance Specific: Designing a Test of High Sorcery 
9th-Dec-2004 01:42 pm
Dragonlance Specific: Designing a Test of High Sorcery

Hi all,

I've got about a week to craft a Test of High Sorcery for a pc in my Dragonlance campaign, and I was hoping you'd have some good suggestions for me. For those of you who don't know, in this campaign setting all wizards must take a test at 4-6 level in order to continue learning new spells. Failure in this test means death. The test is structured in such a way that the candidate will cast every spell they know at least once. The test presents at least three challenges that examine a mage's knowledge and use of magic. It contains three challenges that cannot be solved by magic alone. A wizard must face at least one confrontation with a known ally. Finally every test must place the mage in single combat with a highly dangerous foe.

Essentially the test is structured into battles, tasks, hazards, magic areas, rest areas, and the duel. What I could really use is some help designing the magic areas, the challenges that test a wizards knowledge and use of magic. I will need at least 10 of them, and I'll include a few as examples. Thanks for any help!

1. The inn at which the wizard is dining catches on fire, the quick use of the appropriate magic might save him from death.

2. There are 4 unlabeled potions on a table. According to a note left there, to continue with the test the wizard must drink the potion of teleport. At least one of the four is a poison.

He's a fourth level wizard, here's his spell list.

1st level
Burning Hands, Comprehend Languages, Featherfall, Floating Disk, Identify, Magic Missile, Magic Weapon, Shield, True Strike

2nd level
Continual Flame, Detect Thoughts, Pyrotechnics, Scorching Ray
9th-Dec-2004 08:13 pm (UTC)
Get the book Towers of High Sorcery. Great book. It has EVERYTHING on designing a Test. Various levels of difficulty, including the highest, which constitutes a Soulforge (think of what happened to Raistlin). It has a concept map of various ways to plan the Test, down to spell battles, puzzles, etc. I have the book at home (at a library right now) and the section on the test is waaaay too long to describe on here. They dedicated a chapter to the designing of the Test. And I wouldn't expect any less.
9th-Dec-2004 08:14 pm (UTC)
whoops. rereading your post, it seems you already own the book, or have read the chapter. My bad.
.:sheepish grin:.
9th-Dec-2004 08:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've got it. I'm trying not to use too many of the examples in that book because my players have access to the material as well.
10th-Dec-2004 12:42 am (UTC)
I don't have a whole lot of experience in this area, but take a look at how magic is used in video games and see what kind of set ups they have in there. Many times the hero/heroine can't get through a room/can't recieve an item/etc unless they preform some sort of magic to solve the situation. Hope that may be a source of some help.
10th-Dec-2004 06:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've started to go through the games I've got handy here. Let's see, woul dit be trite to recycle some Legend of Zelda challenges? ;)
10th-Dec-2004 12:58 am (UTC)
Some sort of balanced object where all the ropes/objects holding it must be removed simulaneously?
10th-Dec-2004 06:29 am (UTC)
That's good, A nice way to bypass could be with Mage Hand, or perhaps Floating Disk...

Thanks for the suggestion!
10th-Dec-2004 03:56 am (UTC)
Here's one that you could use that I had done in my campaign. As far as the place that is up but the scenario is key:

The player is walking alongside a road near an embankment of water (also works near a cliff) when he spots small children playing in a tree. Suddenly one of the children loses his/her balance and begins to fall. The player is too far to try to catch the child and the height of the fall will kill the child unless something is done. The trick is to make it where the child is just beyond the normal movement rate (and if he does double movement that is the end of his turn anyway). Certain spells can work in this predicament depending on what the spellcaster has chosen. For example, in my campaign the Mage chose to use Shield Other which saved the child's life, even though the child still took damage (and of course so did the mage).

Hope that helps... there are others but I'm not sure what level your casters are that are taking the Test.
10th-Dec-2004 03:58 am (UTC)
What specific level to be exact (and also if multiclassed or not)
10th-Dec-2004 06:28 am (UTC)
That's a good scenario, I'm going to include it.

He's a fourth level wizard, here's his spell list.

1st level
Burning Hands, Comprehend Languages, Featherfall, Floating Disk, Identify, Magic Missile, Magic Weapon, Shield, True Strike

2nd level
Continual Flame, Detect Thoughts, Pyrotechnics, Scorching Ray
10th-Dec-2004 08:12 pm (UTC)
glad to be of assistance. I have another I am working on as well and I will fill you in on it once done.
10th-Dec-2004 07:48 am (UTC)
This is a use of TFD that I had in a game a couple years back:

I had to move a statue that was on a rotating pedastal. The statue had a giant eye in the center (perhaps it was a beholder?) and whenever the eye was turned toward something living, it would open and fire a ray of disintegration at it, then continue rotating. I figured out I would cast a TFD just behind it, wait until it turned around, then push the statue onto the TFD. As long as I never turned the disk towards any of my compatriots, I was able to get it safely outside the castle.
10th-Dec-2004 05:37 pm (UTC)
OH nice! Thanks!
10th-Dec-2004 08:40 am (UTC)
1. Kill a party of mook-monsters (*almost* too obvious to post). It's a good test of his combat spells. There are six of them, 3 hp each, plus a 10hp leader. Arrange them so they can all be hit with a single Burning Hands. The leader flees when this happens; he can be dropped with a Scorching Ray (if he tripped when he was trying to run) or a Magic Missile (if he was able to flat-out run). For extra fun, have the goblins be camped around a fire in the evening.

2. Lizardmen surround him, hissing threateningly in their strange language. They're suspicious, not hostile (though he won't be able to tell for sure, without some means of translation), and they'll let him pass if he simply affirms that he comes in peace or tells them where he's going. Make them too numerous for him to have any chance of survival in a straight-up fight. For bonus points, have them try to push him off a cliff if he (stupidly) fights or if he can't communicate with them.

3. The Watch has apprehended a tricksy thief - after he hid the valuable treasure he stole. The thief isn't talking, so the Watch captain asks for help with questioning him.

(Actually, the thief is innocent! The Watch captain is the true thief as well as a very accomplished liar.)

4. Lord Haggins challenged Lord William to a duel. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be a fair duel; William's sword is enchanted. His honor requires a fair duel, but no one is around to lend him a normal sword. Lord Haggins, demanding satisfaction NOW, is very unhappy at the prospect of waiting until matched weapons can be found. Can a way be found to even the match?
10th-Dec-2004 05:37 pm (UTC)
Nice scenarios! I'll add the first one to my battle events. I especially like the third and fourth ones, because depending on how he handles the situations (morals and what not) could affect the outcome of his test, ala which of the three orders he is made a member of.
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