Monday 5 September 2022

Macho Mandalf's Flying Elbow

Unlike my first foray into spell research, this one is a fast low level attack spell. It is based on a standard pattern many magic users have used before, with a special capability that I find quite satisfying. You could call this a little recreational spell research.

Macho Mandalf's Flying Elbow (Evocation)

Level: 1                     

Components: V, S

Range: 6”+1”/level   

Casting Time: 1 segment

Duration: Special      

Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: One or more creatures in a 10 square foot area

Explanation/Description: Use of the Macho Mandalf's Flying Elbow spell creates one or more Magical Flying Elbows which dart forth from the magic-user’s elbow; which must be pointed in the direction of the target, and unerringly strike it. The ghostly form of Macho Mandalf accompanies each elbow, but only the elbow itself has matter behind it. Each Magic Flying Elbow acts as a single successful non-magical pummelling attack to the head of its target.

Roll on the Pummelling Table as per DMG page 72, calculating all penalties and bonuses to the roll as normal, but with the following exceptions; penalties for armour or clothing worn by the target do not apply (since the elbow will always hit the head of its target) and bonuses for using a wooden butt/mailed fist/metal pommel do not apply since they do not come into play. In addition, the caster applies a special bonus of +5% per level of the caster up to a maximum of +20%. For the purposes of this spell, the 'strike again' part of any result is ignored.

If the magic-user has multiple Magic Flying Elbow capability, he or she can have them strike a single target creature or several creatures, as desired. For each level of experience of the magic-user, the range of his or her Magic Flying Elbow extends 1” beyond the 6” base range. For every 2 levels of experience, the magic-user gains an additional Magical Flying Elbow i.e. 2 at 3rd level, 3 at 5th level, 4 at 7th level, etc.

The verbal component of the spell is just these two words; "Oh Yeah!"

DMG pg. 72

So, what did all this cost?

Dungeon Masters Guide Page 115, Spell Research                                       Flying Elbow

Although a great library of arcana was created in the Minas Mandalf Keep, for this spell the University Library was used for reference. 

Duration of research: 1 Week base (minimum 2)

Chance of Success: 10base +18 (Int) +12 (level) -2 (spell level *2) = 38%

Note that according to the above formula, adjusting the chance of success upwards is VERY expensive. A domain would need to be at least an order of magnitude more wealthy to consider such spending.

However, when you consider the conditions under which spell research is possible, the cost in time may well be a bigger loss; if you have the money then finishing the spell research ASAP could indeed be worth it.


Base cost 200gp per week.

Weekly variable of 100 to 400gp for additional materials.

Duration of research: 1 Week base (with a minimum of 2)

I was successful on week 3, and the total expenditure ended up at 1200gp. This spell is now available for learning by Good Aligned characters at the Minas Mandalf University as party of a special program recently featured in the Machodor Daily.

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