Spells of Sunken Empires

Posted In Articles, Front Page | 5 comments

Vril BatteryThis week sees the release of Sunken Empires, and already bursting at the seams, there was simply too much material for its pages alone. It was packed to the GILLS! Ha! Ahem, anyway… this week, to celebrate, Kobold Quarterly presents new gaming bits, complementing what’s already packed within Sunken Empires and all from the same designers—there’s additional spells for manipulating ioun stones and the water around you, there’s additional lost technologies, there’s even a new monster. And more!


(Illustration by Christophe Swal)

Whether several fathoms below the waves or enjoying some shore leave, these spells offer a wide range of utility and destruction…

Cold Snap

School evocation [cold]; Level druid 3, sorcerer/wizard 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one living creature
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude negates, see below; Spell Resistance yes

The target takes 1d6 cold damage/2 caster levels (maximum 5d6) and 1 point of Constitution damage/4 caster levels (maximum 3). On a successful save, the target takes no damage of either type but finds itself shaking violently due to the sudden cold, gaining the staggered condition for 1 round. Whether the save is successful or not, the target loses its grip on any one held object, determined randomly. Targets immune to cold are immune to all effects.


School transmutation; Level druid 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a pinch of salt)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one creature
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude half; see text; Spell Resistance yes

You sap the water from the flesh of a living target, causing it to experience horrible pain. The spell inflicts 1d6 damage/2 caster levels, to a maximum of 10d6. (Water elementals and aquatic creatures take 1d8 damage/2 caster levels, to a maximum of 10d8). On a failed Fortitude save, the target also becomes fatigued for 1d4 rounds. A successful save means the target is fatigued for 1 round. Undead, constructs, and creatures without bodily fluids are immune to this spell.

Protean Return

School transmutation; Level sorcerer/wizard 9
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a sponge)
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./2 levels)
Target 1 creature/caster level
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Fortitude negates; Spell Resistance yes

You force target to take on the chaotic, formless substance of the world’s first ocean, losing corporeal integrity and shape. While under the spell’s effect, creatures lose all natural armor bonuses and natural attack forms, have their movement reduced to 1/4 normal speed, suffer -4 penalties to Strength and Dexterity, and take a -4 penalty on all attacks and skill checks. In addition, the slow dissolving of the victim’s body deals 1d6 damage/2 caster levels/round.

Stone Strike

School transmutation; Level sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (ioun stone)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one ioun stone
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You empower an ioun stone, including a dull gray, burned-out stone, to function as a short-range weapon. For the duration of the effect, the stone orbits your head as normal, and you may direct it to make ranged touch attacks against foes within range. On a hit, the stone deals 1d8 bludgeoning damage +1/3 caster levels (maximum +5 at 15th level). It strikes with your base attack bonus (possibly allowing it multiple attacks per round if your BAB warrants it), plus your relevant ability modifier (Intelligence for wizards, Charisma for sorcerers). The enchanted stone is considered magic for purposes of overcoming DR. After each attack, the stone returns to you and orbits your head, ready to make further attacks until the duration expires. Active ioun stones do not impart any abilities on rounds they are used to make attacks.

Wave of Mutilation

School evocation [force]; Level cleric 6, druid 6, sorcerer/wizard 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range 60 ft.
Area cone-shaped burst
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude partial, Reflex half, see text; Spell Resistance yes

Whether cast above water or below the churning sea, this spell causes an unearthly wave to undulate from the caster disfiguring and maiming all creatures in the spell’s area with an abrasive and lashing force. This deals 1d6 damage/caster level (maximum 20d6). This damage is halved with a successful Reflex save. The wounds inflicted by this spell strip the flesh, tear jagged rents, and twist limbs. Those suffering wounds from this spell must also succeed on Fortitude saving throw or take 2d4 Charisma damage, taking on a horrific appearance.

(This post is Product Identity.)


  1. I just got done going through my PDF copy of Sunken Empires.

    Folks, these great spells are just the tip of the iceberg. Literally just a smidgeon.

    Disclaimer: I have a design credit on this book (and it’s for some minor stuff really). I just want to be open about that.

    That being said, I had only a vague idea what to expect from this book. What I’ve found absolutely blows my mind.

    If you’re seeing a “hole” on how to run and present an aquatic campaign, Mr. Hodge and Company have filled it.

    This is a relatively comprehensive book, and regardless whether I had anything to do with it, I’d call it a “must have” with no reservation.

    Congratulations Bill, Adam, Ian, and Stefan! And of course, Brandon too.

    Jim Groves

    May 11, 2010

  2. Thank you for posting the extra material and what Jim G said :)


    May 11, 2010

  3. …and I thought my spell got cut because I was trying to slip an easter egg into the book. :)


    May 11, 2010

  4. Nah, we were just saving material to share with everyone. Nice work, Daigle!


    May 12, 2010

  5. [i]Frank Black wrote:[/i]
    “[i]I’ve kissed mermaids, rode the El Nino,
    Walked the sands with the crustaceans,
    Could find my way to Marianas…
    …on a Wave of Mutilation.”[/i]


    May 14, 2010

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