Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spell Research of Varying Utility: Alne's Ankle Snapper

Alne's Ankle Snapper (Evocation/Necromancy)

Level: 1
Range: 1"/Level
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: One or more creatures in a 50 square foot area
Components: V, S, M
Saving Throw: Special

Alne was apprenticed to a minor wizard that secretly experimented in the necromantic arts, unbeknownst to nearby villagers - or Alne, prior to entering his service.  Experiences during his training left Alne with an intense phobia of skeletons; particularly their tendency to implacably pursue their quarry without hurry.  The first spell that Alne researched allowed him to escape from skeletons that were otherwise resistant to his dagger, and typically encountered in quantities exceeding that able to be brought low by Magic Missile.

Alne's Ankle Snapper creates offset jaw foothold traps (resembling those used in trapping bears or other large animals) made of magical energy at a rate of 1/level, up to a maximum of five.  These traps will streak away from the caster, at ground level, attacking designated targets.  Skeletal undead of less than 3 Hit Dice get no saving throw; other skeletal undead and living targets get a saving throw to avoid the effect.  Affected skeletal targets take 1d3 damage and lose their foot at the ankle bone due to the strength of the trap-jaws.  While they are able to pull themselves along the ground with their arms at a movement rate of 1", this usually allows the caster to escape at will.  If the undead are instead attacked, a counter-attack is only possible if the undead wins initiative.  Otherwise, the attacker can attack and retreat before the undead can react. 

If used on living creatures, they also take 1d3 damage but do not suffer amputation. Their movement rate is instead reduced by half for 1 hour/level of the caster, and any subsequent melee is unaffected.

As the traps travel along the ground, They can be disrupted by increases in elevation exceeding 12 inches, or other significant obstructions.  As an example, if cast by a wizard at a skeleton on a dais or stairway the skeleton would not be in danger, although if the locations were reversed the spell would work normally.  Traps can flow around a small to medium obstruction such as a rock without difficulty, but would be stymied by the unbroken remains of foundation perpendicular to its course.  The final determination of whether or not the spell is negated by obstacles belongs to the DM.

The material components are small pieces of iron and bone.


  1. Nice one! Almost reminds me of Hunter traps in Lotro. I will throw this at my players.

    Don't be shy about throwing a little fiction into your posts.

  2. Thanks! Glad you found it useful.