Gem Magic Design


  • DM

    I revisited this and I am still working on how to quantify how this works.

    @dwarf said in Ohm Gems and other Gem Magics:

    the original idea came about after reading Volo’s Guide to All Things Magical, by Sir Ed of the Greenwood. on page 21, he listed a spell called Focal Stone - which transforms a standard gem into a sort of energy receptacle capable of holding a spell inside. thereafter, a caster using the Dweomerflow spell could PUSH the next spell he cast into the gem - which would release it on command or by being smashed.

    The known method is this:

    1. Obtain high quality gem. Varies by spell power.
    2. Prepare the gem with the 5th level spell Focal Stone (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 21).
      https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Focal_stone_(spell)
    3. Load the desired spell into the gem with the 4th level spell Dweomerflow (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 20).
      https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Dweomerflow
    4. Smash the gem to release the spell.

    But this is not the current implementation. What I am trying to find is how the gems were changed to have a trigger.

    A recent email with @dwarf brought in the spell Abeyance.

    then along came the ogre - who took shit to the next level and started making keyed gems that could be triggered with a command word to release the effect (a tweaked version of Abeyance in the same Volo book) thus saving the Focal-stone gem for reuse… and the famous Ohm Gem was born ;p tap the gem, say Ohm and you get a healing spell effect triggered on whomever you’re touching it to (or yourself in the case of nobody else). FLASH !

    Reading this spell, it is certainly part of the process. But something else is needed to create the trigger.
    https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Abeyance


  • DM

    Reading the entire creation section of Volo’s guide, I can easily see this method making things work.

    1. Prepare the gem with the 5th level spell Focal Stone (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 21).
    2. Prepare a parchment with magical formulae for the command word and any specific “rules” for activation.
    3. Prepare the gem for the incoming spell and the activation formulae by casting Eternal Flame (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 21). This replaces Dweomerflow.
    4. Cast Heal into the gem.
    5. Cast Wonderous Web on the gem and the parchment with the trigger formulae (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 22).
    6. Finalize the gem with the Awakening spell (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 23).

    This will create a gem that can only be “recharged” with the use of a dweomerflow to open it to spell points being put back in it.

    I can see adding Spell Turning to let it absorb charges without a dweomerflow similar to how spell turning is used to create rods of absorbption.

    1. Prepare the gem with the 5th level spell Focal Stone (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 21).
    2. Prepare a parchment with magical formulae for the command word and any specific “rules” for activation.
    3. Prepare the gem for the incoming spell and the activation formulae by casting Eternal Flame (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 21). This replaces Dweomerflow.
    4. Cast Heal into the gem.
    5. Cast Wonderous Web on the gem and the parchment with the trigger formulae (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 22).
    6. Cast Spell Turning onto the Wonderous Web effect.
    7. Finalize the gem with the Awakening spell (Volo’s Guide to all things Magical, page 23).

    This would bring us to the standard Ohm Gem functionality IMO.


  • PC

    gem storage capacity ORIGINALLY came from the Empower ability in the 2e Complete Psionic Handbook, page 102. wherein it states that a gem can hold 1 PSP per 100gp value, so a 1200 gp gem was considered the bare minimum to hold the juice to power a 12th lvl Heal spell.

    3e attacked gem magic in a variety of ways - from the Crystal Capacitor (ie battery) on page 128 of their psionic handbook (where they stupidly jacked the prices from a 1000 gp gem that holds one PSP to over 4k per point at 15 PSPs or higher). page 129 of the same book talks about making “power stones”, crystals that basically hold a one-shot imprinted psionic ability that the psion can trigger mentally. in it, it lists the MARKET price of a 6th lvl power stone at 1650 gp. after “flushing” the power stone, its interior glow fades but nothing untoward happens to the gem.

    magic of faerun called 'em Attuned Gems (pg 14) - setting the cost at 50 gp per embedded spell lvl, which would have a trigger set and destroy the gem after use

    so lets break down a little comparitive math, shall we ? (( see spreadsheet ))

    as stated… somewhere, there are basically 3 different STRENGTHS of gem spells. the first is just a one-shot item, like a potion but it isn’t destroyed after use. the second is a RECHARGABLE gem, which contains a SET imprinted spell “circuit” or pattern that merely needs refilled with power points to reuse (in your game, equivalent to the spell level). and the 3rd is the REGENNABLE gem - called such for reasons lost in time, which contains a PKArged compressed spell effect that costs 1/3rd to 1/4th of the power points to refill and reuse.


  • PC


  • PC

    -=sidebar PKArg=-
    *Once upon a blue ogre, it occurred to the father of Argopolis (in 2e) that there seemed to be an awful lot of wasted effort and energy being put into creating a magical spell effect. Long strings of gibberish words to invoke, complicated gestures and movements akin to a martial arts kata, and material components of various types and amounts… all to just fucking generate a fairly simple magical effect. So he sat down for a few months, wracking his big giant ogre brain and actually MATHING OUT the whole ruddy process for a 1e fireball - during which time Daren stopped by to laugh at him several times, as saving such tiny iotas of magic were, in his opinion a waste of time. Then, once he’d diagrammed the whole thing out on the side of a mountain, started breaking it down into its final, concisely packed CORE FORMULA. which, of course, only worked on a standard 1e fireball - which now cost Arg a mere 2 points to generate.

    Going back to the drawing board, he did the whole process again - this time on a 1e Heal spell. Took about as much time, as this spell was more advanced so the math was harder, but at the end
    he was able to generate a Heal for about as much power as an Acid Arrow - and Daren was no longer laughing at him. “Maybe you’re on to something here, Ogre” he grudgingly admitted. Which was all the impetus the pupil of the firstborn Powermaster needed to jump in with both bigass feet and burn a few years in the out-of-time rooms at Diniscus’ shop to refine it down to a science (that could be taught).

    PKArg requires an INT score of 20 plus the level of the spell you’re trying to compress, just to understand the math involved - along with one week of time per level of the uncompressed spell.
    In 2e it required 3 non-weapon proficiency slots, so its likely in the Epic Fcheat range now… Provided you pass the weekly ability checks, you finish up with an unscribable and hard to memorize magical formula that will allow you (or anyone who you successfully convey the formula to) to cast the compressed spell that decompresses on-the-fly as it reaches its target.*


  • DM

    @dwarf I was ignoring the entire PKArg advancement for now.

    My goal was just to actually come up with a workable process based on the spells and rules from 2e.


  • DM

    @dwarf said in Gem Magic Design:

    gem storage capacity ORIGINALLY came from the Empower ability in the 2e Complete Psionic Handbook, page 102. wherein it states that a gem can hold 1 PSP per 100gp value, so a 1200 gp gem was considered the bare minimum to hold the juice to power a 12th lvl Heal spell.

    Calculated on the old 2e 10:1 ratio for PSP to SP?
    Volo’s guide doesn’t actually spell out a minimum gem cost, but this balances well for 2e mechanics IMO.

    Though PSP storage (and subsequently SP storage) are different than gem magic. Being only batteries.


  • DM

    @dwarf said in Gem Magic Design:

    as stated… somewhere, there are basically 3 different STRENGTHS of gem spells. the first is just a one-shot item, like a potion but it isn’t destroyed after use. the second is a RECHARGABLE gem, which contains a SET imprinted spell “circuit” or pattern that merely needs refilled with power points to reuse (in your game, equivalent to the spell level). and the 3rd is the REGENNABLE gem - called such for reasons lost in time, which contains a PKArged compressed spell effect that costs 1/3rd to 1/4th of the power points to refill and reuse.

    I would actually say there are 4 versions.

    • Version I: is strictly 1 time use and destroys the gem.
    • Version II: is one time use with a trigger word so the gem is not destroyed.
      • This is your first example, and one I’ve never seen in a game.
      • This version would require a dweomerflow to open the gem to refill as noted above.
    • Version III: is the rechargeable
      • this method is what I think I have recreated above with the inclusion of spell turning. It was the end result I was trying for at least.
    • Version IV: is the regennable (that is a Arg word if I ever heard one).
      • this is the same as version III, except with a PKArg’d version of the Heal spell.