Ley Lines, part 1

Ley Lines, part 1

Ley Lines are the Arteries of the World, and Magic is the Blood of the World that Courses through them.

—Book of Ebon Tides

Ley lines are some of the most powerful, least understood, aspects of the magical world. Sources of great arcane power, they are difficult and dangerous to tap into. However, the rewards can be mighty indeed.

Using the spell below, a wizard or sorcerer can detect and tap into a nearby ley line and enhance their spellcasting. However, tapping into such primal magic can have a backlash.

Access Ley Line

3rd-Level Divination (Ritual) | Sorcerer, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S, M (forked stick)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You sense a ley line and its strength (weak, strong, titanic) within 120 feet of you. If cast as a ritual, you can sense all ley lines within 1 mile of you and their strength.

If you are a wizard within 120 feet of the ley line, as a bonus action, you may make an Intelligence (Arcana) check to tap the ley line to boost your spellcasting. The DC of the check is on the Ley Line Tap Results table.

Ley Line Tap Results

DCRequired StrengthSpellcasting Boost
17AnyAdd one metamagic option to the next spell you cast before a long rest, or cast it as though 1 spell level higher.
22Strong, titanicAdd two metamagic options to the next spell you cast before a long rest, or cast it as though 2 spell level higher.
22TitanicAdd three metamagic options to the next spell you cast before a long rest, or cast it as though 3 spell level higher.

If you are a sorcerer, you must also spend one sorcery point for each metamagic option used or level boost beyond the first for the boost to work.

Failure on the Intelligence (Arcana) check, incurs no penalty. However, if your check result is a 1, roll on the Leyline Backlash table to see how you are affected:

Ley Line Backlash

1You are immediately unconscious. You remain so for 24 hours, or until you take damage, a remove curse spell is cast on you, or a creature within 5 feet of you uses their action to wake you.
21d8 healing potions in steel vials fall from the sky and land in a 20-foot radius around you. Those not consumed by sunset turn into deadly snake venom. Anyone who drinks one must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 13 (3d8) poison damage on failure, or half damage on a successful save.
3A random arcane rune determined by the GM (see Midgard Heroes Handbook) appears on your chest, palm, or forehead. You gain the bonus of the rune and can invoke its power once per long rest. It disappears after a year and a day.
4Your hands become sharp claws for 1 minute. You drop any weapons or items you were holding. For the duration, your unarmed strikes are magical and deal (1d8 + Strength modifier) slashing damage.
5You smell like rotten flesh until the next sunrise. No amount of cleaning or scrubbing can remove the stench before then. All Charisma-based checks are made with disadvantage for the duration of the effect. A remove curse spell ends this effect.
6A Tiny ethereal shadow goblin appears on your shoulder and shouts goblin obscenities at you for 1 minute, then disappears.
7The temperature within a 20-foot radius of you is raised or lowered by 30 degrees. This effect lasts until the next sunrise. You cannot gain the benefits of a short rest while it is in effect.
8The smell of ozone fills the air around you, and electric sparks snap around your extremities. You have the effect of a shocking grasp cantrip for five rounds. If you are wearing metal armor, or holding a metal weapon or shield, you take 1d8 lightning damage at the beginning of each of your turns.
9You cast no reflection or shadow until the next sunrise. You gain advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks until the effect ends.
10A fireball shoots 200 feet into the air above your head and explodes in a blast of light and sound that can be heard and seen up to 5 miles away. If it impacts on a creature, roof, or other object over your head, it explodes there instead.
11You become invisible (as the spell), but with no concentration required.
12You become allergic to gluten, lactose, peanuts, and bee stings, if you were not already. A remove curse or lesser restoration spell ends this effect.
13Your tongue becomes purple and forked. You gain advantage on one Deception, Intimidation, or Persuasion check of your choice per long rest, but lose two Charisma points. A remove curse or lesser restoration spell ends this effect.
14You gain 2d6 temporary hit points and have advantage on your next attack roll, saving throw, or ability check.
15You teleport, in a shower of golden sparks, into a random unoccupied space within 120 feet of you.
16Fragrant, multicolored (and hallucinogenic) flowers sprout beneath your feet until the next sunrise. Where you walk, they grow in your footsteps, then wilt and die 1 hour later. Anyone who ingests or stoops to smell a flower must succeed on a DC13 Constitution saving throw or suffer the effects of a confusion spell.
17You are under the effect of a bestow curse spell for one minute.
18The ground in a 10-foot-radius around you sprouts swirling, grasping bamboo stalks for 10 minutes. It is considered difficult terrain and any creature in those spaces is partially obscured. When the effect ends, the bamboo dies and turns to dust immediately.
19A tiger falls from the sky and lands with a roar in an unoccupied space within 30 feet of you. It is angry and hostile.
20You are aware of every nonmagical dog, cat, or bird within a 1-mile radius of you until the next sunset.

about Adam W. Roy

Adam has been playing TTRPGs for almost forty years, and has been a freelance game writer and editor for decades. He has written for Kobold Press, Paizo, White Wolf, and others. He is also a full-time father, husband, and e-commerce guru…. He manages all of this by avoiding sleep altogether.

7 thoughts on “Ley Lines, part 1”

    1. Note that the DC is the same for the third result, but the required strength of the ley line increases for it.

  1. …just wizard and sorcerer mechanics?..i’d expect warlocks and bards to resonate comparably with their arcane brethren, and druids to be integrally-attuned to ley magic…

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