Magic for professors

The Little Professor has A Compendium of Professorial Magic that looks useful—I’m going to have to master these.

The list, though, is of low level spells. I think I really need an “Enchant Knowledge” area-effect spell that infuses all of the targets with mastery of the subject matter. It’s probably a ninth-level spell, I’m afraid, and I’m going to have to get more experience before I can handle it. (Knocking over creationists is probably analogous to fending off a kobold raid—tedious hack-and-slash that garners darned little experience, and they don’t even have any loot worth harvesting.)


  1. #1 plunge
    January 30, 2007

    Damnit, someone give my #2 pencil Minor Beastslaying!

  2. #2 Millimeter Wave
    January 30, 2007

    you need to watch yourself or you’ll end up on the Christian Worldview Weekend shit list. 😉

    I got on their email distribution list for some reason, and in my inbox this morning I got an alert for an opinion piece entitled “High Tech Witchcraft”. It starts with the opening line “Mention witchcraft and most people will think of Harry Potter.”. As the folks at Sadly, No! would put it, you just know it’s going to be unintentional comedy gold…


  3. #3 Joshua
    January 30, 2007

    * PZ Myers attacks Jesus with +1 Angry Blog Post of Heresy
    * Jesus saves and takes half damage

    Finally, we know what lead up to the events depicted on that shirt!

  4. #4 False Prophet
    January 30, 2007

    Is there a spell to keep the Department of University Advancement from hitting up this alumnus for cash? I’ve managed to make my saving throw to avoid detection thus far, but it’s only a matter of time…

  5. #5 Blake Stacey
    January 30, 2007

    This reminds me when I faced that 22-level Math Professor and had to fend him off by casting Factor Prime Number.

  6. #6 Bobryuu
    January 30, 2007

    You just became so much (less?) cooler with that well articulated D&D related language. I just need to find a way to screen capture that Mii I made in your image.

  7. #7 Mike Crichton
    January 30, 2007

    Properly DMed, kobalds should be one of the most dangerous encounters a PC group can possibly have. _Goblins_, on the other hand, really are useless little punks…

  8. #8 Stogoe
    January 30, 2007

    Hooray for Miis!

  9. #9 Great White Wonder
    January 30, 2007

    The list, though, is of low level spells. I think I really need an “Enchant Knowledge” area-effect spell

    If Mr. Roper were here, he’d be doing that little “tinker bell” hand signal.

  10. #10 Bronze Dog
    January 30, 2007

    One of us! One of us! One of us!

    Creationists aren’t at all like kobolds. Kobolds build nasty traps baited with gold. Creationists build “traps” with big red buttons labeled “don’t push” and attempt to mob us when we stop to laugh.

  11. #11 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2007

    I’m dating myself with this…but I first played D&D in the mid-70s, right after it came out. Kobolds were among the weakest monsters in the game — ½ hit dice, when monster hits were rolled with a d6.

    I also remember when thieves were made an official character class. Ooooh.

  12. #12 Azkyroth
    January 30, 2007

    I’m dating myself [snip] mid-70s,

    More like carbon-dating yourself. 😛

  13. #13 Blake Stacey
    January 30, 2007

    If it weren’t for carbon-14, some of us wouldn’t date at all.

    (I’m still a little upset I had two tentacles too many to get a date with Rebecca Watson, Skepchick extraordinaire.)

  14. #14 RCP
    January 30, 2007

    It would probably be wise to put a few ranks into Craft Beverage: Coffee.

  15. #15 Cody
    January 30, 2007

    What about Elicit Laughter after telling a truly horrendous joke? The awkward silence that usually follows has to get to you professors at some level.

  16. #16 llewelly
    January 31, 2007

    It’s not hit points that determine whether Kobolds or Goblins are tough. It’s whether the PCs meet them in Kobold- or Goblin-sized tunnels, rather than the giant-sized tunnels that are bizarrely common for D&D.

    By the way … there’s a reason Kobolds worship Dragons … it’s because Dragons keep them as slaves, and force them serve as crack tunnel defense forces.

  17. #17 Cat
    January 31, 2007

    My mom could definitely use the Accept Grades one, and an upgrade, Deter Whiners: Level 7: All students unhappy with their grades within the effect radius will loose their nerve. Radius is half of Int value. DC 15 for detering college students, DC 20 to not only deter the wining but prevent them from whining to their rich parents. I made that one up though.

    I haven’t been a huge D&D Player, so forgive me if some of my info is wrong. Kobolds aren’t that weak (or at least our DM never made us run into more than one at once), and are worth decent EXP. No, what you’re thinking about is Imps, aside from poison they’re weak and stupid (they’ve got like 6 hp).

  18. #18 Callandor
    January 31, 2007

    Bah, you don’t need magic to use the Destroy Cellphone charm. Just find a friend who is getting a new phone, and a ball-pine hammer, and give a first day “demonstration.”

    Then say that you’re fat rich off of your sweet professorship deal to afford any number of student cell phone replacements.

  19. #19 Great White Wonder
    January 31, 2007

    I’m dating myself with this…but I first played D&D in the mid-70s, right after it came out. Kobolds were among the weakest monsters in the game — hit dice, when monster hits were rolled with a d6.

    Oh, geez: kobolds. That’s something I hadn’t thought about in a quarter century. So, uh, what was the name of your world, PZ? Or were you always a lowly player …

  20. #20 Drhoz!
    January 31, 2007

    Ah, but what is the phylogeny of Kobolds, Goblins, Imps, etc?

    are their usually humanoid frames the result of convergent evolution? or do they share a recent common ancestor? ( Homo florensis, perhaps? )

    and don’t get me started on the six-limbed anatomy of griffons, devils, etc…

  21. #21 fusilier
    January 31, 2007

    To slightly mis-quote Harry Reddington from Footfall
    “Foolish D&D kiddies, eat hot gamma rays!”

    Cell-phones are easy to deal with, just have one of the Electronics Technology guys build a jammer for you; although the elegant simplicity of a ball-pein hammer does have its merits.

    fusilier, SMOF, jg. (ret)
    James 2:24

  22. #22 jackd
    January 31, 2007

    Note for the youthful who think they’re old-timers: PZ says he played “D&D”. That is a specific and accurate reference. Sometime within a year or so after *I* started playing, this new “Advanced D&D” thing came out, with hardcover manuals and everything.

  23. #23 Flex
    January 31, 2007

    Well that’s twice that an incorrect spelling of ‘peen’ was used. The peen of a ball-peen hammer is used to peen, which is to dent, bend or alter in some way with a peen. Not that it really matters.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, most states have outlawed the use of cell-phone jammers for anyone other than law enforcement. Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist about the infringement of liberty, the reason is fairly rational. Emergency workers, like doctors and firemen, are often reached through their cell phones. Jamming the cell phones in an area would make it impossible to reach these people, and might result in unnecessary delays.

    Which scenario would make you madder? A cell phone going off during Ludwig Van’s ninth, or a relative suffering additional complications because the specialist who was at the concert couldn’t be reached? (Obviously you can substitute your own favorite entertainment. Orac may be at The Ramones.)

    I’m not asking anyone to agree with the decision, just understand why it was made. Oh, and for the record, as an automotive electronics engineer, the portable cell-phone jammer is one of the most frequent requests I get. Just about everyone wants the ability to break the connections of kobolds who are paying more attention to their cell-phone than driving. That’s one of the reasons I’ve looked into the legality of cell phone jammers.

  24. #24 fusilier
    January 31, 2007

    “Ball-PEIN” is a correct spelling; depends on which side of the Atlantic you are. There are rabbet planes and there are rebate planes, there are plow planes and there are plough planes.

    I have examples of all three sorts. Errm…for different setups; not a collector, nosireee.

    fusilier, FOYBIPO
    James 2:24

  25. #25 Flex
    January 31, 2007

    Fusilier wrote, “Ball-PEIN” is a correct spelling; depends on which side of the Atlantic you are.

    Fair enough. I stand corrected.

  26. #26 jufulu
    January 31, 2007

    We can never get away from our pasts can we. Not too long ago my son and I were going through some of my old stuff and found book 2 of the origonal paperback D&D books. Now he wants me to DM him. Major flashback.

  27. #27 Keith Douglas
    February 3, 2007

    Kobolds?? Snotlings, from (ahem) Warhammer. Now there’s a bunch of wimpy humanoids.

    That said, I think professors also need a “Improve Public Support” spell, but it is probably epic, and so only someone like Dawkins can cast it ;). Unfortunately also it has a 90% chance of backfiring …

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