Chromatic Orb (spell)

From The Authentic D&D Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
Chromatic Orb (spell).jpg

Chromatic orb creates a sphere of magical power which the caster is able to wield as a bomb. When thrown at an enemy, the orb causes an effect, direct damage or both to a chosen target — whatever it hits, the orb bursts, sending magical shards outwards to a 10 ft. radius circle.

Chromatic Orb
Range self; see text
Duration until thrown or dropped
Area of Effect 25 ft. diameter
circle; see text
Casting Time 1 round
Saving Throw none; see text
Level illusionist (1st)

Once the orb has been cast, the caster make is manifest by discharging it into his or her own hand. This makes the orb a semi-solid object that can be thrown.

The power of the effect is determined by the orb's colour, as shown in the table below. As the caster gains experience levels, different orbs become available. The caster can create only one type of orb per day.

The caster must indicate which type of orb is being created before throwing it. If the player forgets, the DM can either dictate a default orb form; or retroact any die roll that's made without the orb having been determined, forcing the player to make the roll again.

Roll to Hit

The caster chooses a target to throw at; this may be a creature or it may be specific combat hex — if the latter, then only "grenade" damage is caused. The caster rolls a d20 to hit, needing to achieve armour class (AC) 10 to hit the desired target.

In the case of a hit, "direct" damage is delivered to the target; those within 2 combat hexes of the target take grenade damage. If a miss occurs, then the caster needs to roll a d6 to determine which random hex around the target hex was hit, determining who receives grenade damage.

This damage can potentially affect anyone, including the caster's allies.

Chromatic Orb Special Effects
Manifestation Damage/effect
Direct hit Grenade hit
1 pearly light 1-4 0-1
2 ruby heat 1-6 0-2
3 hyacinth fire 1-8 0-3
4 emerald stinking cloud
5 turquoise magnetism 1-12 1-3
6 amber blindness 2-16 1-4
8 sapphire paralysis 2-12 1-6
10 white spike stones 6-24 1-8
12 ochre quasi-elemental
14 amethyst petrification slow
16 ashen death paralysis

Special Effects

Each sort of orb also exerts a magical effects against the target and upon the immediate environment. Each acts upon a 25 ft. diameter circle, five hexes wide, sometimes as a smaller version of familiar spells. A description for each colour is given below:


Causes a burst of light, similar to the spell, which persists for 5 rounds per level of the caster. Creatures within the area of effect make save vs. magic or be stunned for 1 round.


Releases a blast of heat that will raise the ambient temperature intensely, causing minor burns as it does. Wet leaves or rotted wood will dry instantly, ice or snow upon the ground will be turned to water, candle and lantern flames will be snuffed out; those suffering from sinus ailments will find their heads cleared. Cold-based magical creatures will suffer an additional +2 damage from the effect. All those affected will also be -1 to hit in the round following the blast. The heat dissipates quickly, with ambient temperature completely restored in three rounds.


In addition to the damage caused, the orb causes flammable items in the targeted hex to ignite and burn, if they fail their save against normal fire. The surrounding 10 ft. radius outside the target hex will be singed and hot to the touch, but no additional effects are felt beyond damage.


Creates a small stinking cloud, like the spell. This noxious vapour will billow only within the area of effect and won't appreciably distort line-of-sight. Those within the cloud must make save vs. poison or be made helpless for 1-4 rounds before they can take any action. During this time, they will take an additional point of damage per round. Those who make their save will be able to flee the cloud at once, without taking additional damage.


Damage comes as an electrical jolt, producing a shuddering shock to those affected. Following the damage, iron-based materials in the area of effect will be intensely magnetised, being drawn forcefully to other like objects. Items will fly from the character's hands towards metal gates or other structures; otherwise, metal weapons will attach to metal-rimmed shields or armour; the DM must consider the potential effect carefully. In any case, metal items will be unusable and the condition will remain for 5 rounds, before the magnetism falls away.


When striking the targeted creature, the orb causes blindness for 3-18 rounds for those who fail their saving throw. Once affected, attackers are stunned for 2-3 rounds; thereafter, they receive a -8 penalty to hit, without any possible knowledge of who might be a friend or foe.

If a save is made, the target and others in the surrounding hexes will experience a brief darkness that passes within a single round. For that round, persons in the area of effect will be stunned.


When striking its target, the orb causes the target creature and all those surrounding to save vs. paralysis. If the target fails, then the paralysis persists for 2-12 rounds; others in the grenade area must save or be paralysed for 2 rounds.

Once the paralysis has passed, it requires a round for the character to acquire his or her senses before taking any action; during this period, the character's AC is restored.


This does more damage than any other chromatic orb; in addition, it transforms the area of effect into a small patch of spike stones, like the spell of the same name. These will last for 1 round per level of the caster, causing 1-4 damage to any creature treading on an affected hex. Ooze, jellies and slimes are not affected.

If the caster chooses to affect his or her own hex, the target hex is unaffected; instead, a surrounding circle two hexes wide is created as a barrier between the caster and outsiders. The caster cannot move from this center, however, without being hurt by the spikes, unless he or she chooses to dispel the effect.


Wherever the ochre orb falls, it shatters to create a "quasi-elemental" — a creature far less powerful than traditional elementals. This creature always obeys the caster, moving and attacking as desired; if the caster is knocked unconscious, or its hit points are reduced to zero, it will cease to be.

Each form possesses 16 hit points and has 8 hit dice (THAC0 16). They have 5 action points and cause 2-12 damage on a hit. The quasi-elemental endures for 1 round per level of the caster. They have an AC of 5 against magic weapons, improved to AC 1 against other weapons. The form the quasi-elemental takes depends on the surface struck by the orb, as described below.

Dust elementals arise when the orb strikes earth or stone. They form a pillar of tightly twisting dust; when attacking, choking and smothering their opponents as they attack. A miss by a dust elemental still causes 1-4 damage. Those assaulted by the dust elemental will be half-blinded and unbalanced by the attack, forcing them to retreat one hex before they can attack — with this attack being done at -3 to hit.
Heat elementals arise when the orb strikes a fire. They radiate intense heat that causes 2 damage to non-fire-based creatures within 2 hexes of their location. They're able to concentrate their heat in order to crack glass and mortar, or dry out wood, reducing its resilience so that doors and like objects have a -6 saving throw against attack.
Ice elementals arise when the orb strikes snow or ice. They radiate intense cold that causes 2 damage to non-cold-based creatures within 2 hexes of their location. They shape their bodies to adjust enemy missile attacks by -2 to hit; ice elementals can also form ice globes from their own bodies that they can throw, causing 2-8 damage on a hit.
Vapour elementals arise when the orb strikes water or other liquids. They form a pillar of dense mist; when attacking, they move into an enemy's hex, smothering and soaking their opponents as they attack. A miss by a vapour elemental still causes 1-3 damage. Defenders must retreat from the hex in order to attack. In chilly or colder conditions, the shock received from emerging out of a vapour elemental can produce immediate hypothermia and unconsciousness if a save vs. paralysation fails.


Creatures successfully struck by an amethyst orb must make saving throw against petrification or be turned into stone. This effect lasts until the following sunrise, or perpetually if the victim is below ground and cannot be exposed to the sun. All creatures within the area of effect, including the target if the save is made, are slowed like the spell for 1-4 rounds.


The orb possesses a dull, swirling grey colour; creatures struck with the orb must save vs. death or be instantly killed; they are considered to be at -10 hit points for the purpose of the death's door spell. All creatures in the area of effect, including the target if the save is made, are stunned for 2-3 rounds.