One oft-ignored asset of both wizards and priests is magical research. While
the spell lists for both groups offer a wide variety of tools and effects, the
clever player character can quickly get an edge by researching his own spells.
Where other spellcasters may fall quickly into tired and predictable patterns
("Look, it's a wizard! Get ready for the fireball, guys!"), an enterprising
character can deliver sudden (and nasty) surprises!
Although your DM has the rules for handling spell research, there are some
things you should know about how to proceed. First and foremost, research means
that you and your DM will be working together to expand the game. This is not a
job he does for you! Without your input, nothing happens. Second, whatever your
character researches, it cannot be more powerful than the spells he is already
able to cast. If it is, you must wait until your character can cast spells of
an equal power. (Thus, as a 1st-level wizard, you cannot research a spell that
is as powerful as a fireball. You must wait until your character can cast a
fireball.) Finally, you will have to be patient and willing to have your character
spend some money. He won't create the spell immediately, as research takes
time. It also takes money, so you can expect your DM to use this opportunity to
relieve your character of some of that excess cash. But, after all, how better for
a spellcaster to spend his money?
Knowing these things, you should first write up a description of the spell you
want to create. Be sure to include information on components, saving throws,
range, duration, and all the other entries you find in the normal spell
listings. When you give your DM the written description, tell him what you want the
spell to do. (Sometimes what you write isn't really what you mean, and talking to
your DM is a good way to prevent confusion.) After this, he will either accept
or reject your spell. This is his choice and not all DMs will have the same
answer. Don't kick and complain; find out what changes are needed to make the
spell acceptable. You can probably iron out the differences.
Once all these things are done, your character can research the spell. Be
ready for this to take some time. Eventually he will succeed, although the spell
may not do quite what he expected. Your DM may revise the spell, perhaps reducing
the area of effect or damage inflicted. Finally, all you have to do is name
your spell. This should be something suitably pompous, such as “Delsenora's
Malevolent Steamroller.” After all, you want something to impress the locals!
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