|Date Created:||October 28, 2012|
|Editing:||Please feel free to edit constructively!|
[[Summary::A spell that draws upon the power of Veles, Slavic god of earth and water, to blend the two elements together and form a whirlpool anywhere... yes, you can make a whirlpool of dirt, rock, or trees with this spell, among other things.| ]]
|Transmutation [Earth, Water]|
|Level:||Cleric 4, Druid 4, Sorcerer/Wizard 4|
|Components:||V, S, M, F/DF, (see text)|
|Casting time:||4 rounds|
|Range:||Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)|
|Effect:||A whirlpool in the ground, 60 feet wide and 30 feet deep|
|Saving Throw:||Reflex negates, Reflex partial, or Fortitude partial (see text)|
Holding the god's holy symbol aloft, you call upon the name of Veles to blend the elements of earth and water together. Several seconds later, the ground begins to writhe and churn beneath your foes, who can only stare slack-jawed in utter disbelief as a whirlpool opens up directly beneath them - on solid ground - and proceeds to grind them to a lifeless pulp.
This utterly bizarre spell temporarily erases the distinctions between earth and water in a highly localized region of space, causing a whirlpool to form in the ground. Yes, you read that right. A whirlpool. In the ground. (You can cast this spell on water, too, if you want an old-fashioned ordinary whirlpool.)
If cast on water, this spell forms a rather ordinary whirlpool. This acts just like the vortex ability of a Medium water elemental, with your caster-level substituting for all level-dependent variables except for DC, which is replaced with the spell's save DC (unless you have a feat such as Dynamic Potential that lets you substitute an HD-based DC for a spell's DC). However, the whirlpool cannot move from where you cast it, nor can it voluntarily release creatures until the spell ends.
If cast on land, this spell shows its real power. When you finish casting, the ground suddenly buckles and softens, and a small sinkhole (about 10 feet wide and 15 feet deep) opens up where you cast the spell. The sinkhole then instantly collapses in on itself and collapses into a whirlpool. On the round that the whirlpool opens, all creatures caught in the area must succeed on a Reflex save to sprint away from the collapsing ground before the whirlpool fully forms. A creature that succeeds must escape from the spell's area on its next turn, using any means available to it (move actions, running, spellcasting, etc.), or else it gets stuck in the whirlpool regardless (though in its new location rather than wherever it was when the spell took effect). Creatures unable to move aren't even able to attempt the Reflex save. Creatures that fail the Reflex save or are unable to escape the whirlpool before it forms check fall prone and are caught up in the whirlpool, taking 1d4 + your spellcasting modifier (Intelligence for wizards, Widsom for clerics and druids, Charisma for sorcerers) points of nonlethal damage each round that they are stuck in there. Victims are unable to move using any of their listed speeds - they cannot take move actions to move, nor may they run, charge, withdraw, take 5-foot steps, or take any other action that involves standing up, leaving the ground, or leaving their square (except for casting/manifesting teleportation effects). Attempting to cast or concentrate on a spell or manifest a power while in the whirlpool requires a Concentration check against a DC equal to 10 + spell level of the spell being cast + ½ of the previous damage taken, plus an additional DC 15 + spell level Concentration check due to the violent motion of the whirlpool; a failure on either check means that the spell or power fails and is wasted. Creatures caught in the whirlpool are allowed to make a Climb, Swim, Tumble, or Escape Artist check or Reflex save against the spell's DC as a full-round action on each of their turns in order to try to scramble out of the whirlpool. Creatures that fail on a check or save get dragged 5 feet towards the whirlpool's center, plus an additional 5 feet for every 5 points by which they failed the check/save (a failure of 5-9 would drag a creature 10 feet towards the whirlpool's center, a failure of 10-14 would drag a creature 15 feet towards the whirlpool's center, and so on and so forth). A success on the check/save allows the creature to hold its current position, or advance 5 feet towards the edge of the whirlpool for every 5 points by which it beat the DC. Swim and Climb skill checks take a -4 penalty unless the creature in question has a listed speed for that movement mode, while Reflex saves and Tumble checks take a -6 penalty and Escape Artist checks take a -8 penalty (frantic squirming generally doesn't help anything other than a snake or worm crawl up a landslide, while escaping by tumbling or sheer reflexes requires a character to pull off gymnastics like the sort seen in the opening to Sonic CD). A creature that does not try to scramble out of the whirlpool is automatically assumed to have rolled its lowest possible result on the check/save with the lowest modifier, and is dragged the appropriate distance towards the whirlpool's center. A creature cannot take 10 on a skill check to escape the whirpool by virtue of having an appropriate mode of movement; it needs to have some sort of feat, class ability, or special quality allowing it to take 10 in stressful situations (such as a rogue's skill mastery class feature).
A creature that winds up in the whirlpool's center is in big trouble — the swirling, churning land around it proceeds to grind it to a pulp. The hapless creature stops taking nonlethal damage, instead taking 3× that amount as lethal damage per round (treat this as the spell scoring a critical hit with a ×3 damage multiplier). The center of the whirlpool also damages the victim's armor; the armor takes damage equal to ½ of the damage dealt to the wearer. The creature may continue attempting saves or checks to clamber out as described above, but the DC is increased by 10, as the victim is subjected to the full force of the whirlpool's pull. Failure has no major consequences, as the creature is already in the center. Once out of the center of the whirlpool, the creature stops taking lethal damage (and begins taking nonlethal damage), and must continue succeeding on checks/saves to avoid being pulled back into the whirlpool's center.
Regardless of whether the spell was cast on water or on land, Veles whirl only lasts for one round per caster level. When it ends (including if it's dispelled), the magic fails slowly; the whirlpool slows down and stops over the course of 5 rounds, with each round of slowdown reducing the damage by 1/5 and reducing the DC to escape by 4 (these reductions are cumulative, maximizing at 4/5 less damage and a -20 reduction to the DC 4 rounds after the spell's duration expires). At the fifth round, the spell ends completely. For the water version, the waters calm down, as if a whirlpool was never there to begin with, and creatures that were still stuck in the whirlpool are now free to act. For the land version, the whirlpool collapses in on itself yet again, and the land rises up and folds in on itself to return to its original proportions (unlike move earth, this spell doesn't permanently change the landscape). What happens to creatures at this point depends on what "zone" of the whirlpool they're in, these zones defined by distance from the center in terms of the whirlpool's radius.
|Distance from center||Result|
|> 4/5||Creatures within this zone are completely released, free to act normally on their next turn.|
|4/5 > × > 3/5||Creatures within this zone are buried up to their ankles, taking 1d8−3 points of nonlethal damage and becoming rooted to their square; such a creature is unable to move from its square until it succeeds on a DC 10 Strength check or DC 15 Escape Artist check (or uses a spell such as teleport or dimension door to change its position in space). It can still take any actions that don't involve moving from its square, still has its Dexterity bonus to AC (but its Dexterity is treated as being 2 points lower than it actually is, to a minimum of 10, for the purpose of determining AC), is still able to make Reflex saves (albeit at a -1 penalty), and is not considered prone or helpless.|
|3/5 > × > 2/5||Creatures within this zone are buried up to their waist, taking 1d8 points of nonlethal damage and 1d8−1 points of lethal damage and becoming rooted to their square; such a creature cannot take any actions involving the use of its legs, including movement, until it succeeds on a DC 14 Strength check or a DC 20 Escape Artist check to pull itself free as a full-round action (provoking attacks of opportunity). It also loses its Dexterity bonus to AC, takes a -8 penalty to Reflex saves, and loses the benefits of evasion and improved evasion until it frees itself (it's also considered "half-prone", taking a -2 penalty to melee AC and gaining a +2 bonus to ranged AC, and it is not considered helpless).|
|2/5 > × > 1/5||Creatures within this zone take 3d8+1 damage and are buried up to their necks; such a creature cannot take any actions that are not purely mental and cannot make attacks of opportunity until it digs itself out (see "Cave-Ins and Collapses" and earthquake for details). A creature buried up to its neck is considered prone and helpless (-4 melee AC, +4 ranged AC, loses Dexterity bonus to AC, can't make Reflex saves).|
|1/5 > × > 0||Creatures within this zone take 4d8+3 damage and are completely buried 20 feet beneath the ground's surface (see "Cave-Ins and Collapses" and earthquake for details).|
|Center||Creatures within this zone get viciously ground up by the earth closing in on itself; they must succeed on a Fortitude save or die instantly, as if caught in a fissure at the end of an earthquake spell. A creature that succeeds on this Fortitude save still takes 5d8+5 points of damage and is buried 30 feet beneath the ground's surface (see "Cave-Ins and Collapses" and earthquake for details).|
- These descriptions of burial assume that the sizes of the victims range from Small to Large; for anything smaller or larger, the DM may alter degrees of burial (and their consequences) as he deems fit. Generally, smaller creatures suffer worse consequences and larger creatures suffer less severe consequences (in fact, Gargantuan and Colossal creatures don't even really fit in the whirlpool's center). All damage dealt by this spell's land version is physical, and therefore can be reduced by damage reduction, but it counts as magic and bludgeoning for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction. (The exception is being in the center of the whirlpool before it collapses; this damage counts as piercing, slashing, bludgeoning, and magic for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction.) An object's hardness is capable of reducing the damage dealt by the whirlpool's center, unless adamantine ore was used as a material component (see below). This is also true of armor being worn by a creature in the whirlpool's center. Objects do not take damage from any aspect of the spell except the whirlpool's center, even during the whirlpool's collapse.
If the whirlpool ends up within an antimagic field, it halts immediately, but a land-based whirlpool doesn't collapse in on itself as described above. The whirlpool (of either kind) immediately resumes if it still has part of its duration remaining when the antimagic field goes away. If not, a water-based whirlpool simply doesn't reappear, while a land-based whirlpool immediately collapses in on itself as described above. The whirlpool won't collapse until the antimagic field goes away. While suppressed, a land-based whirlpool is still a 25-50 degree slope (steepness is inversely proportional to distance from the center) and difficult terrain. Each square of movement away from the whirlpool's center costs 3 squares of movement to proceed (movement cost is doubled twice, but each doubling is equivalent to a tripling).
A land-based whirlpool can be made with this spell on any solid surface, even one suspended in midair that isn't thick enough to support the whirlpool's depth (such as a wooden balcony in the canopy of a forest). In such a case, the spell still works exactly as described above, with the exception of what happens when it ends. The DCs to extricate oneself from partial burial are reduced by up to 5 (depending on the platform's thickness), a creature buried up to its neck may wind up dangling from the platform's underside (I'll leave it up to the DM to determine what happens because of that, but I'm sure it'll be utterly hilarious to any onlookers, at least until the victim starts choking), and any creature that would be "buried" in midair will wind up, well, "buried" in midair — if it can't fly, then it'll fall instead (taking the appropriate amount of falling damage upon impact with the solid surface beneath it). However, a creature being "buried" in midair is also automatically assumed to have made its Fortitude save to avoid being instantly killed, as there was no ground available to smash it to death in the first place.
Casting Veles whirl is difficult on the Inner Planes. It may function on the Elemental Plane of Earth if you succeed on a DC 24 Spellcraft check (since only one of its two elements is naturally present). It also may function on the Elemental Plane of Water with a DC 20 Spellcraft check (it's easier to cast it without earth than it is without water). However, no Spellcraft check result can allow Veles whirl to function on the Elemental Plane of Fire, the Elemental Plane of Air, or any other strongly air-dominant or fire-dominant plane, due to an opposing element reigning supreme. It only works on the Positive Energy Plane if you can succeed on a DC 28 Spellcraft check, as water and earth are both scarcely present; however, as the space of the Positive Energy plane behaves in many ways like a liquid, you can cast Veles whirl at basically any point in space. The same Spellcraft check (with a DC of 28) is required on the Negative Energy Plane, but you actually need to find a solid or liquid surface to cast it on (even a voidstone will suffice, though considering how deadly a voidstone is already, this is nigh-useless).
Casting Veles whirl on the Outer Planes is just like casting it on the Material Plane (as altered by the traits of the plane in question, such as Limbo's wild magic), with the exception of regions that are strongly element-dominant. Water-dominant areas are treated like the Elemental Plane of Water. Earth-dominant areas are treated like the Elemental Plane of Earth. Air-dominant areas are treated like the Elemental Plane of Air. Fire-dominant areas are treated like the Elemental Plane of Fire. Positive-dominant areas are treated like the Positive Energy Plane (except that you may actually need to find a solid or liquid surface). Negative-dominant areas are treated like the Negative Energy Plane. Minor element dominance doesn't affect Veles whirl any more or less than it'd affect any other spell with its descriptors (Water and Earth).
Though this spell refers to Veles, Slavic god of water and earth, you may substitute whatever god is most appropriate for your campaign. Change the name of the spell accordingly. Whichever deity you choose to associate this spell with, it is only available to worshippers of that deity.
Material Component: A chunk of adamantine, cold iron, or alchemical silver ore worth at least 100 gp, or a chunk of matter taken from a strongly-aligned Outer Plane (such as Mechanus, Limbo, Hades, or Elysium). Note that you may use any number of these material components, and all of them are completely optional. The purpose of providing a material component for this spell is to enable the (land-based) whirlpool to bypass the corresponding type of damage reduction.
Focus: A silver holy symbol of Veles costing 3,000 gp. For a cleric or druid, this holy symbol can be the same divine focus used to cast your other spells, but it must be made of silver and cost at least 3,000 gp in order to cast Veles whirl.
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