Dweomer Day: Conjure Boat

Once upon a time I ran all my D&D games in Aquerra, a homebrew I started working on in 1989 when I switched from 1E to 2E and then did the heavy lifting of converting to 3E in 2000 (and beyond). I ran my last campaign there in 2009, but other friends also ran games set there and the last campaign to finish up in Aquerra went as late 2016 (in which I was a player). This setting and the games played there were so heavily house-ruled we maintained a very detailed wiki to keep up with everything once the effort of maintaining a printed campaign world bible became impractical. This allowed the setting to become even more of a collective effort and for some contributors to go deep in creating new spells and other material to make the setting even more distinctive from your typical D&D game. It was something like the campaign wikis I maintain for my current games, except it chronicled a “living world” where multiple campaigns occurred in the same timeline (sometimes concurrently) over a period of 25 years.

The person who probably contributed the most to this project (beside myself and the other DMs who did world-building for their games) was Eric Minton, who is probably best known these days for writing a great deal of material for Exalted. He played in two different D&D campaigns I ran, and was a crucial and creative spirit that contributed countless spells and other material to the world we were building, transforming it from the sometimes goofy hodge-podge of a setting I started when I was 17 years old to something with a more sense of place and history.

Anyway, I say all this because in addition to the spells from other older sources I plan to update and convert for D&D 5E, I plan to dip into the spells we both created for Aquerra and are now lost to the ephemerality of the internet. Yes, I downloaded an archive of all the material from that old wiki, but finding a new home for it all as it existed would be brutal undertaking for a setting I will probably never make use of as written again. Instead, I occasionally dip into the marked up files and take out a useful spell to make use of in 5E. I put them on scrolls PCs find in game and can have a choice of using or transcribing. I sometimes offer them to divine casters when they reach a new level, having uncovered a fresh mystery of their deity.

Today I am beginning with a fairly simple but extremely useful spell, Conjure Boat. This spell was especially useful in Aquerra which was a world of archipelagos and lots of seafaring, but is great utilitarian resource for adventures fleeing sinking ships, exploring swamps, traversing flooded dungeons, or a whole range of possibilities that creative players can come up with.

The original spell, as written, had a duration based on caster level, as spells often did in previous editions. Rather than change how spell durations work in 5E, I decided to make longer duration a result of upcasting the spell. Some folks might argue that no one would ever want to spend a 3rd or 4th level spell slot just for a normal rowboat, but I say, they might if they were desperate or under-prepared enough to have to when a just such a rowboat is needed for a few hours. And I am sure there are others that might argue that having to make such a choice is not “fun,” to which I can only respond that to some people having to make those hard choices is exactly what fun can look like, and if it doesn’t to you and your group, you are free to change the spell for your table.

Remember, I can’t tell you how to run your game. I can only tell you how I run mine.

Oh and one last thing, this may be a ritual spell, but keep in mind that ritual spells can not be upcast. They can only be cast ritually at their base level.

A PDF of the spell can be downloaded below.

Click here to download a PDF.

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