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Does Anyone Remember Cantrips from 1st Edition AD&D?

HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,580
edited January 2015 in Off-Topic
We never used them... they were like minor spells for doing chores and crap. Like one might be called Sweep or something. Or Warm Water. I don't recall specifically. They basically became a tool for Power Gamers to try to use them to screw with enemies, even though the rules stated specifically they couldn't be used to do that... lol. Just curious if anyone ever actually used them in a campaign.

Post edited by HaHaCharade on
MortiannaMoomintrolljackjackTeflonJuliusBorisov

Comments

  • FigrutFigrut Member Posts: 109
    edited October 2012
    The power is in their creative use. I have had the flavouring cantrip save my life a half dozen times. Some had great utility, and utility wisely used can spell doom for your enemies. They are a toolbox of handy, useful, specific, and reliable effects. I never read a rule saying that spell sould do anything other than what spell says it should do within what a well reasoned DM is comfortable with. What does "power gamer" mean to you? A guy trying to pry a chest open with sword? A thief changing the fur color of a horse so the owner takes a second longer to find it? A MU using a bee sting spell to distract an ogre from sniffing out a hostage that is hiding?

    HaHaCharadethe_spyder
  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,580
    edited October 2012
    Figrut said:

    The power is in their creative use. I have had the flavouring cantrip save my life a half dozen times. Some had great utility, and utility wisely used can spell doom for your enemies. They are a toolbox of handy, useful, specific, and reliable effects. I never read a rule saying that spell sould do anything other than what spell says it should do within what a well reasoned DM is comfortable with. What does "power gamer" mean to you? A guy trying to pry a chest open with sword? A thief changing the fur color of a horse so the owner takes a second longer to find it? A MU using a bee sting spell to distract an ogre from sniffing out a hostage that is hiding?

    Using a 0-level cantrip to disrupt a 20th level spell caster from casting for example (ex. The "itch" cantrip). I think like @Mortianna says, they're built for fun / backgrounds more than anything. That makes more sense to me.

  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Member Posts: 1,389
    They brought back cantrips in 3E.

    Just saying.

  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,355
    edited October 2012
    @HaHaCharade I think I remember something about how cantrips couldn't disrupt spell casting or cause damage anyway. The 3rd/3.5 edition cantrips seem quite a bit more powerful. In fact, they made quite a few 1st level spells from the 1st/2nd editions into 0 level cantrips, like Read Magic, Detect Magic, Light, and Dancing Lights. I always liked the way 3rd edition revamped the arcane spells and made cantrips into something you might actually want to use during an adventure.

  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,355
    @sandmanCCL When did they ever go away? 2E made "Cantrip" an open-ended 1st level spell that left the (minor) effects pretty much up to the imagination of the player.

    jackjack
  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,580

    They brought back cantrips in 3E.

    Just saying.

    I don't play 3rd Ed much, were they in the main book?

    @Mortianna Ah hell, we never thought they could do spell disruption / damage. Shows what we knew lol.

    I've never met anyone to this day that played with spell components... that would be interesting, if not difficult. I remember one being a Lich's Eye... yikes. Do Liches even have eyes? lol.

  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,355
    edited October 2012
    @HahaCharade I did it a few times in 1E, which required using a lot of belt pouches and side-quests just for the damn components.

    One of my favorite PCs was an Arcanist in 2E Ravenloft (referred to as "Bards of the Macabre": basically a combination of a Necromancer, Diviner, and a Cleric, but 4 restricted wizard schools, no armor, and wizard weapons only). He was a university professor and had the Academician kit who had access to lots of rare spell components. Most of his adventures involved going out and locating esoteric books, lore, and artifacts in haunted castle libraries and undead-infested dungeons. Kind of like a macabre Indiana Jones.

    The 2E spell "Conjure Spell Components" helped quite a bit during adventures in case my PC was running low on basic components.

    *About the lich's eye: I would think you'd have to kill a relatively "young" lich in order to get an eye. They eventually rot away as the centuries pass until they're basically a skeleton with tiny red lights coming out of their sockets.

    HaHaCharadeFigrutElrandir
  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,580
    Mortianna said:

    @HahaCharade I did it a few times in 1E, which required using a lot of belt pouches and side-quests just for the damn components.

    One of my favorite PCs was an Arcanist in 2E Ravenloft (referred to as "Bards of the Macabre": basically a combination of a Necromancer, Diviner, and a Cleric, but 4 restricted wizard schools, no armor, and wizard weapons only). He was a university professor and had the Academician kit who had access to lots of rare spell components. Most of his adventures involved going out and locating esoteric books, lore, and artifacts in haunted castle libraries and undead-infested dungeons. Kind of like a macabre Indiana Jones.

    The 2E spell "Conjure Spell Components" helped quite a bit during adventures in case my PC was running low on basic components.

    *About the lich's eye: I would think you'd have to kill a relatively "young" lich in order to get an eye. They eventually rot away as the centuries pass until they're basically a skeleton with tiny red lights coming out of their sockets.

    Sounds like a cool character fo sho!

  • rexregrexreg Member Posts: 292
    @HaHaCharade...in 3.X edition most casting classes get 0-level spells; these replace cantrips/orisons...
    while a 20th lvl character being disrupted by a 0 level spell might be extreme, i have seen a Bard use the 0-level spell Daze to great effect against targets in the 5th-7th lvl range...
    if a Save is failed, Daze causes the target to be unable to act for 1 round; that one round can be very important...

  • FigrutFigrut Member Posts: 109
    @HahaCharade So, what if they are 200th level casters? They are still mortal. Any protection from low level spell effects would include cantrips. Infact, any "skin hardening" spells would likely give protection. When the game is only biggest #'s rolled at the table wins all, that gets stiffling. It can be a level 35 cleric... it still probably does not like sand thrown it's eyes if it leaves them vulnerable. I suppose you could start each session by writting 2 numbers on a piece of paper, have all agree that one is larger than the other, and then everybody going home. Innate immunity and protection from all things in addition to supernatural uber npc intuition that automatically sees through all of PC's tricks just for the sake of a later round of "highest numbers on paper wins" is lame. I think some DM's pull that to retain stability in their "rail roading". Also, you might have mixed up "dazed" with "dazzled". The best encounters are the ones "you were not suppose to win", and not just because the dice landed uncommonly.

  • FigrutFigrut Member Posts: 109
    Not to be crass, but "even Elminster poops".

    jackjack
  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,580
    Figrut said:

    @HahaCharade So, what if they are 200th level casters? They are still mortal. Any protection from low level spell effects would include cantrips. Infact, any "skin hardening" spells would likely give protection. When the game is only biggest #'s rolled at the table wins all, that gets stiffling. It can be a level 35 cleric... it still probably does not like sand thrown it's eyes if it leaves them vulnerable. I suppose you could start each session by writting 2 numbers on a piece of paper, have all agree that one is larger than the other, and then everybody going home. Innate immunity and protection from all things in addition to supernatural uber npc intuition that automatically sees through all of PC's tricks just for the sake of a later round of "highest numbers on paper wins" is lame. I think some DM's pull that to retain stability in their "rail roading". Also, you might have mixed up "dazed" with "dazzled". The best encounters are the ones "you were not suppose to win", and not just because the dice landed uncommonly.

    It all just depends on the situation. There's a fine line between being clever and manipulating rules and mechanics for stupid results.

    Figrut
  • FigrutFigrut Member Posts: 109
    @HahaCharade I think most 1st edition cantrips, with a reasonable enough DM, fall into the category of clearly enough explained in their uses with the intent of being used creatively. Which rule mechanics are you talking about here? I suppose a frisky enough DM could make all fire damage catch everything on fire and burn everything to death in 2 rounds, but I am going off the assumption most people do not play like this. I have never seen a decent DM have "game breaking" (a massively overused term IMHO) issues with cantrips at very high character levels.

    OlvynChuru
  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,580
    Figrut said:

    @HahaCharade I think most 1st edition cantrips, with a reasonable enough DM, fall into the category of clearly enough explained in their uses with the intent of being used creatively. Which rule mechanics are you talking about here? I suppose a frisky enough DM could make all fire damage catch everything on fire and burn everything to death in 2 rounds, but I am going off the assumption most people do not play like this. I have never seen a decent DM have "game breaking" (a massively overused term IMHO) issues with cantrips at very high character levels.

    Can't really say to be honest, because its been *SO* long. I probably wasn't being fair towards them because I always just remember that we didn't use them for that reason. I can't argue as to why... I guess cuz they seemed useless more often then not.

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    The way liked using them was to grant 4 cantrips to the 1st level mu, in addition to the 1st level spell. Then allow them to trade at the 4-1 ratio for higher levels.
    The ToEE PC game uses 3e cantrips.

  • LadyEibhilinRhettLadyEibhilinRhett Member Posts: 1,078
    I love all those 1st ed cantrips. I still have this big box of cards my dad's friend gave me and each card has a spell on it with a description and all. I still take them out and read them from time to time. All the little ones were always the most interesting.

    HaHaCharadejackjackronaldo
  • FulknerraFulknerra Member Posts: 1
    I always wondered about cantrips myself so I ended up making a character to specifically play the hell out of them. Having just made a half-elf MU/Thief named Roland, I decided he was albino and thus was outcast from his human village in a hurry and had only enough time to take his cantrip spell book with him as he fled north across a continent (so I started with a crapload of cantrips but no 1st lev spells). At second lev I took find familiar (got a psudo dragon!!!) so really until I hit 3rd lev MU I had nothing but a large cantrip spell list to play with. I found they combined with the thief aspect of my char brilliantly. Using whistles while hiding in shadows, or tweeks. Firefinger was a endlessly useful one, even doing 1d4 dmg to a mummy! In cities they're even better. Roland would always find flower seeds in the wild and kept them. He was a beggar by trade so on a street corner he'd scoop up some dirt, mix in the seeds, then proceed with his show: "behold, the magic of nature! Where nothing is as it seems",(cast Sprout, flower grows in hand) "but everything is as it always has been" (Cast Bee and have it fly up and pollinate the flower). Any DM with a love of the game would at least drop a couple silvers in your hat for that trick haha. Also, Even though I was a beggar i cast Clean cantrip on myself every day so I always looked less disheveled than the rest of the party haha! Long story short, cantrips were a way of relearning the joy of role playing, and enriched my characters story endlessly. Plus, you can mem 4 cantrips for one lev one spell so now that I'm more powerful I still always have 4 of them on hand.
    PS. Can't wait to use my Mouse cantrip next time I'm at some fancy ball room dinner heh heh...

    HaHaCharadeElrandirronaldoJuliusBorisov
  • domeplsffsdomeplsffs Member Posts: 36
    There where cantrips in later versions as well?! Pretty sure they where there in 3.5 But yeah, awesome RP-wise ^-^ (you know, go all Gandalf on them and 'Light' your own staff is awesome)

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    I remember cantrips. While it is true that some were functionally not very useful in a Dungeon setting, not all were that way. I remember there was a limited light spell that worked pretty well. There was also a minor gust spell that could be an excellent distract. There was even a distract spell as I recall.

    At the end of the day, they were mainly flair for role playing, but then my group was all about the role playing so....

    jackjack
  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    I've only played P&P for Pathfinder, where (unless I'm mistaken) cantrips can be cast without limit, so I liked them a lot. Clever use of a simple cantrip could turn a hard battle around, which is how so many battles are won in fantasy books. Makes the character seem more clever and resourceful.

    jackjackJuliusBorisov
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