Bosco’s Spell Compendium – Cantrips and Orisons clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2.5 pages of SRD, 1 page odd drawing, 1 page variant cover, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content and it’s FREE, so let’s take a look!
Beyond the obligatory spell-list by class (including Shaman), Bosco’s spells have a peculiarity: The spells herein can be used for spell failure equivalents – each spell herein has the base spell in parentheses. If the spell has a target, there is a 33% chance it targets the caster, 34% – 66% targets a random creature, 67%-100% means the original target is subjected to the effect. The pdf suggests a 50% chance for casting the Bosco variant accidentally when failing via concentration, UMD, etc..
Acid Splash receives a cosmetic reskin – an acidic moustache you fire at the opponent. If you botch Create Water, you find yourself instead Berateing Water – to which water elementals may take offense. There is also the Disrupt Dead spell, which deals damage to neither the living, nor the undead – only the dead, which thereafter also get the severely dead “condition”. This one made me laugh so hard… Throwing frozen filets at foes is pretty hilarious, though the half bludgeoning/cold damage doesn’t work that well with 1d3 – what if you roll a 1? Gaining a Diplomacy-bonus for a 10 GP-bribe.
Okay, what really made me laugh was Most Sound: It allows you to create…bingo, most sounds. But if you cast the spell, you must roll a d4 – the result determining what sound you can’t make. So if you needed a tap-dancing walrus, a hummingbird humming the word “bird”, a goat imitating an elven noble or the sound of an ice-skating dragon, you may well be out of luck. What about instantly forgetting where North is from your current position? There also is a spell that can only target characters with 0 or less HP, fixing their eyes and stopping them temporarily from squirming.
Similarly hilarious: Suspect Poison. My players have this spell due to years of traumas at my sadistic GM-style: You begin to suspect that a creature, object or area is poisonous. You can guess the type of poison, but it may or may not be accurate. A touch that may intrigue inebriated creatures that would be attracted to your type. You can also make good guys feel bad for themselves or cause very short-lived bursts of guilt.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Flaming Crab Games’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Alex Abel’s Bosco-Compendium is not only free, it’s hilarious. There are not that many funny RPG-books out there and the spells herein are well-balanced, fun and with the exception of some minor hiccups, awesome. This pdf actually made me laugh out loud at my table and is an inspired, awesome, little book. Better yet, it’s FREE!!! So yeah, there is absolutely no reason not to download this fun, awesome little supplement – final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval.
Bosco’s Spell Compendium: Cantrips and Orisons is available from DriveThruRPG.
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