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« Understatement | Main | Times when it would be awfully nice to have a subscription to Project Muse »

January 30, 2007



Addendum to 1-st Level Spells:

Note that CAUSE STUDYING is ineffective on 4/19 and 4/21. Moreover, its effects are wholly inverted on 4/20 (-3 to Student Concentration and Reading).

Russell Arben Fox

But this is all Third Edition! What about us all-lecture Luddites who have resisted the appeal of Wizards of the Coast, and continue to roll our saving throws the way Gary Gygax and TSR wanted us to? I suppose I'll just have to keep casting my good old reliable Instill Fear spell and hope for the best.

Jonathan Dresner

I'm holding out for the "Shield of Tenure" spell, which is permanent and effective against all academic monsters, and most political ones.


I'd wish for "reflective consciousness" -- allows students to directly experience how their bs essay answers and bad excuses for extensions will really be received.


That is fantastic! I've always wanted to come up with a Gygaxian take on an RPG where the ultimate goal is tenure.

Sherman Dorn

Thank you! I needed this today...


I want Hand of Technology! So far all I have is a Technology Elf, who is always hiding in some cpmputer cave somewhere...

Sietse Brouwer


I know many of my profs would crave this set of spells. (Not that they don't command a healthy subset.)

As for SPILL RED INK --- let's just say it's all too aptly named.

It reminds me of another piece I recently read: an account of grading undergraduate essays, written in the style of interactive fiction / text adventures.

Now, I ought to go and cast CAUSE STUDYING on myself.

Lovely piece. I'm still grinning.


Sietse Brouwer


This is great! I want to see the whole manual now...




You just made my day.

The only problem, of course, is that some of us don't sleep often enough to regenerate used spells before we have to teach or grade again...

a very public sociologist

Tres funnee

Mason Porter

How about the 9th level spells of "Summon Greater Tenure." Also, I think we should transplant "Teleport Without Error" and some of the Bigby spells directly from D & D with little or no changes.

dr. dave

that is really, really nerdy.

(love it!)


Thank goodness I still have my ten-sided dice!!!

I'm in need of a summon grading gnome spell, though. What level was that again?

Another Damned Medievalist

soooo funny!


Brilliant. Gonna go get my D20 out to help me decide on which journal to submit my latest paper to.


C'mon now: does anyone really think professors would use a "Detect Boredom" spell? They'd get the answer they don't want far too much of the time. Don't ask, don't roll.


Oh, that's wonderful! I want "detect plagiarism" and "destroy cell phones" ... now!

Davis X. Machina

A student whose parents were house-hunting at the same time I was co-wrote a Mortgage Quest thingy along similar lines.

Regrettably everyone in the real estate racket was either Chaotic Evil, or Lawful Evil...

Michael H

What about the 2nd lvl spell "Banish latecomers" for evil aligned professors.
Only works if the student fails a DC14 sneak check or he doesnt have the "Greater excuse" ability.

Rich Puchalsky

Funny. The next addition could be the equivalent of that AD&D chart of the minions who gather when you make a particular level. Each level of tenure gives you so many dissertation-writing grad students, grading gnome TAs, etc.

the boxing octopus

so true to life as to be painful.

Tim Lacy

I wonder if this will result in a new TSR role-playing game?! Good stuff. - TL


Oh dear gods this is funny.


If we're going to include the Bigby's spells, then we should also include Grettinski's Plinking Finger: a disembodied hand appears directly behind the target's head, middle finger curled back and restrained by the thumb, and is then released, doing 1d3 Stun damage.

Note: It is unwise to use Grettinski's Plinking Finger when playing Tabletop Football, lest you put an eye out with that triangular wad of paper.

Just another liberal professor

"I'm in need of a summon grading gnome spell, though. What level was that again?"

I believe there is a Summon Grader spell (and a Summon Greater Grader spell, not to be confused with the domestic Summon Greater Grater). However, any grader summoning spells have a gold piece cost (and/or a material component, depending on your edition of D&D).


Adorno says something somewhere about recreation in modernity as the extension of labor...

The Constructivist

Hmm, is this going to make your personal favorites list? B/c it's made mine. Thanks!


You might be interested in a game studies blog's discussion of D&D from a while back.


Brilliant. Brava!


Catching up on several months of your wonderful weblog. This is absolutely brilliant. After reading this posting I actually went hunting for the role-playing game in question!


Oh, please, please **publish** this book. I would buy multiple copies for friends and family. It's a riot.

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