Excerpts 07/07/2001

Tome and Blood
A Guidebook to Wizards and Sorcerers

Fun With Prestidigitation

The prestidigitation spell gives you the ability to perform minor magical effects for 1 hour. You can slowly lift 1 pound of material. You can color, clean, or soil items in a 1-foot cube each round. You can chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of nonliving material. You can create small objects, but they look crude and artificial, and they are fragile. Any actual change to an object (beyond moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.

So, what's the use of prestidigitation? Actually, it's one of the handiest cantrips around.

Change: You transform one object of Fine size or smaller into another object of roughly the same size. The object can weigh no more than 8 ounces.

The change must be within the same kingdom (animal, vegetable, or mineral). For example, you could change a piece of paper into scrap of linen, and then change that into a rose. Likewise, you could change a coin into a ring. You could not, however, turn a strip of leather into a piece of paper.

Chill: You reduce the temperature of an object by about 40° F, but never below freezing (32° F). After an hour the object's temperature returns to normal.

Clean: You remove dirt, dust, and stains from floors, walls, dishes, windows, and the like, leaving these surfaces or objects spotless. You can clean an object with a volume of 1 cubic foot, or 1 square foot of the surface of a larger object, each round. The effect does not remove any foreign object of Fine size or larger. Dirt you remove is permanently gone, but objects you clean can get dirty again just like anything else.

Color: You bring color to an object. You can restore faded hues or give it a new color. If you add color, it must be from the visible spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, or violet). You cannot change an object's pattern, such as adding or removing stripes or polka dots, but you can change the color in a pattern so that, for example, a blue garment with white stripes becomes green with yellow stripes.

Dampen: You leave an object damp to the touch for 1 hour. Damp objects have fire resistance 2 while the effect lasts.

Dirty: You soil, spot, and sully walls, floors, dishes, garments, or the like, leaving them dusty, filthy, or stained. You can dirty an object with a volume of 1 cubic foot, or 1 square foot of the surface of a larger object, each round. Dirt you add remains after the effect ends, but objects you soil can be cleaned again just like anything else.

Dry: You remove dampness and excess moisture from an object. Moisture you remove does not return after the effect ends, but the object can become wet again just like anything else.

Firefinger: You cause a jet of flame up to 1/2 foot long to shoot forth from your finger. The flame is hot and ignites combustible materials. Lighting a torch with this effect is a standard action (rather than a full-round action), but lighting any other fire with it takes at least a standard action (DM's discretion).

Flavor: You give a substance a better, worse, or different flavor. You could, for example, make porridge taste like lobster bisque. You do not change the substance's quality or wholesomeness. Spoiled food remains spoiled, a poisoned drink is still deadly, and inedible material provides no nourishment -- you can make a twig taste like steak, but it remains a twig.

Gather: You neatly collect numerous objects. The objects you gather can be no larger than Fine size, no two items can be more than 10 feet apart, and their total weight cannot exceed 1 pound. You can place the gathered objects into a container you touch, or you can form a stack or pile that you touch.

You can gather selectively; for instance, you can pick up just the coins from an area.

Polish: You bring luster to a wood, metal, stone, leather, glass, or ceramic object. The object must be clean to start with. It remains shiny after the effect ends but can become dull again like anything else.

Sketch: You create a two-dimensional visual figment of whatever you desire. You can leave the image hanging in the air, in which case it is immobile, or place it on a mobile object, such as a shield. The image can be no more than 1-foot square, and it lasts a maximum of 1 hour.

Stitch: You magically sew seams in textiles or leather. You can create new stitching or repair old work. Unlike the mending cantrip, you cannot heal rips, holes, or tears (though you can patch or sew them together). If you have thread on hand, the stitches you make remain after the effect ends, but they are no stronger or weaker than normal stitching. You also can sew without thread, but then the seams last only an hour.

Tie: You magically tie a firm knot (as though taking 10 with the Use Rope skill) in a thread, string, cord, rope, or cable up to 10 feet long. You can knot together two such objects if they're within 1 foot of each other.

Warm: You increase the temperature of an object by about 40° F, but never above 140° F. After an hour the object's temperature returns to normal.

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