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Produces a magical rune that, when triggered, causes a magical effect.

Original D&D Edit

Debuted in Supplement I: Greyhawk for the magic-user and the cleric (and anti-cleric). Dragon Magazine #12 put this spell on the Illusionist list as well, at a lower level.

  • Spell Level 8 (magic-user) or 7 (cleric, anti-cleric) or 6 (illusionist)

Inscribes a rune that, when passed over, touched, or read by a creature of a different alignment than the caster, or one with hostile intent to the caster, causes some magical effect. The possible symbols and their effects are below. A symbol may be negated by a magic-user at least one level higher than the caster.

  • Symbol of Fear: Creates a cone-shaped area, 6" outwards, to a base 3" wide. All creatures become panicked and flee, with a 50% chance to drop whatever they are holding when struck with the spell.
  • Symbol of Discord: Creates a disharmony in all who pass.
  • Symbol of Sleep: Presumably, puts the target to sleep. It affects 4d8 1st-level types, 4d6 2nd-level types, 2d6 3rd-level types, and two 4th-level types.
  • Symbol of Stunning: Stuns up to 150 levels of creatures for 2d6 turns.
  • Symbol of Insanity: Up to 100 levels of creatures become insane (a remove curse spell restores their sanity).
  • Symbol of Death: Up to 75 levels of creatures are killed outright.

A cleric or anti-cleric has access only to the symbols that do not cause permanent harm (thus, Stunning, Sleep, Discord, and Fear, but not Insantiy or Death).

The Illusionist in Dragon Magazine #12 has a different set of symbols:

  • Symbol of Insanity: Up to 100 levels of creatures become insane (a remove curse spell restores their sanity).
  • Symbol of Fear: Creates a cone-shaped area, 6" outwards, to a base 3" wide. All creatures become panicked and flee, with a 50% chance to drop whatever they are holding when struck with the spell.
  • Symbol of Confusion: Creates a cone-shaped area, 6" outwards, to a base 3" wide. All creatures within become confused. Creatures who become confused will act as dictated on the roll of 2d6: they'll attack the magic-user's party (2-5), stand around doing nothing (6-8), or attack their own party (9-12). Re-roll this each turn.
  • Symbol of Discord: Creates a disharmony in all who pass.
  • Symbol of Paralysis: A creature of 35 or less hit points is stunned for 2d6 turns. A creature with 36-70 HP is stunned for 1d6 turns. Creatures with more than 70 HP are immune.

AD&DEdit

Symbol Edit

Debuted in the Player's Handbook as a cleric spell.

Level: 7 School: Conjuration/summoning
Components: V, S, M (mercury and phosphorus)
Range: Touch Casting Time: 3 segments
Duration: 1 turn/level Saving Throw: Negates
Targets: Creatures seeing the rune

The caster inscribes a rune on a surface or on the air. Creatures who behold the rune are affected by it if they fail their save. The rune lasts for the duration, and the specific effects have their own durations. The caster may choose from the following runes:

Symbol Effect
Hopelessness Targets retreat in dejection or surrender. Effect lasts 3d6 turns.
Pain Targets take -4 on attack rolls and -2 to Dexterity due to wracking pains. Effect lasts 2d10 turns.
Persuasion Targets become the same alignment as the caster, and are friendly to them, for 1d20 turns.

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