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Arcane Adventures: Land’s Labors

Arcane Adventures: Land’s Labors

Your wizard might be interested in how big a fireball they can cast, but for the average peasant, nothing matters more than being able to feed and shelter their family. As characters grow in renown, they often build keeps or found temples, attracting NPCs who labor on their lands—labors that might be enhanced by the adventurers’ powerful magic. Feeding the people and helping them house their families is sure to earn the population’s loyalty.

Let’s look at spells that can be used to build up a village and enhance, or curse, the production of a landlord’s fields.

Bountiful Lands

5th-Level Transmutation | Bard, Cleric, Druid, Ranger, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (an apple covered in honey)
Duration: 1 year

You enhance a patch of land up to a 1/2 square mile, causing it to be particularly fruitful. Livestock raised on the land are healthy and strong, and a magical shrub with healing properties sprouts once per month. While enchanted, the land produces twice the crops that it otherwise would. Domesticated animals born in the area gain +1 hit point per Hit Die and have advantage on Constitution saving throws.

Once per month, a bush sprouts somewhere on the affected land that grows ten goodberries and one sweet yellow fruit, covered in spikey projections. When the fruit is completely eaten, it cures any disease afflicting the one who consumes it, and it removes the blinded, deafened, paralyzed, and poisoned conditions. The berries and the fruit spoil when the next bush sprouts or three days after they are picked.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the multiplier of the crop’s yield increases (to ×3, ×4, ×5, and so on), and bonus hit points increase by 1 for each slot level above 5th.

Curse of Fallow and Flame

5th-Level Transmutation | Cleric, Druid, Ranger, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (the ashes of an apple tree)
Duration: 1 year

You curse a patch of land up to a 1/2 square mile, causing it to be prone to drought and fire. Crops wither and sicken. While enchanted, the land produces half the crops that it otherwise would. Crops and flammable buildings in the affected area are vulnerable to fire damage.

Once per month, a fire breaks out in a randomly determined area. A 5-foot cube of fire springs into existence and spreads normally. The fire never appears where a creature is standing but may spread into their space.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the crop yield halves an additional time (to 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, and so one), and an additional random fire breaks out for each slot level above 5th.

Frame the Crafter’s Touch

5th-Level Transmutation | Bard, Cleric, Paladin, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a golden tool worth 100 gp used as a focus)
Duration: 1 week

By striking the ground with your golden focus, you bless a patch of land up to 1,000 square feet, augmenting artifice and construction within the area of effect. Ability checks with tool proficiencies made to build or repair a non-magical object or building are rolled with advantage. In addition, each downtime day spent to craft or repair a non-magical object or building results in twice the work accomplished.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the duration increases by one week for each slot level above 5th.

Adventure Ideas

Many players enjoy investing their character’s gold in local villages or helping the common folk who flock to their newly built keep. Feeding these hungry mouths or using them against one of the party’s rivals can make for interesting adventures:

  • Best Calvary in the Land. Perhaps your PCs want to raise warhorses or fighting dogs for sale or defense of the land. Those from bountiful lands are particular resilient with additional hit points and advantage on Constitution saving throws.
  • Fight the Sickness. Lands close to a disease-filled swamp or fouled water? Poisonous plants abound in your lands? Well, the sweet fruit created by bountiful lands leaves the locals a way to cure the sickest among them while the characters are not at home and unavailable to dispense healing magic.
  • First to the Shrub. The magical shrub created by bountiful lands sprouts in a random location at a random time. The magical fruit is likely to be in demand for those with sick loved ones. Low-level adventurers might be asked to help a family search for the magical bush and bring the fruit back to the needy before greedy neighbors find it.
  • Hungry Mouths.Too many mouths to feed? Bountiful Lands not only provides twice the food a farm might normally produce but also creates goodberries to help feed the starving.
  • Rapid Production.With the approach of bad weather or a dangerous enemy, by using frame the crafter’s touch, the PCs might try to rally the locals to build sturdy walls, dry rooms, or even assemble scores of arrows before the calamity arrives.
  • Sow the Seeds of Unrest.The PCs want to drive a local lord out and sow unrest among their people. By sneaking on to the lord’s land, they might enact the curse of fallow and flame to starve them out. Of course, they need to remain undetected for the hour needed to cast the spell.
  • Summer of Flame. Plannig to burn down an enemy’s wooden walls, mill, or warehouse? The curse of fallow and flame makes wooden or straw buildings vulnerable to fire. It also causes additional random fires, so don’t plan to inhabit the land after burning down your enemy’s buildings unless you can cast dispel magic or bring a bucket brigade.

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