Monday, July 26, 2010

Sleep Spell Chart

This is the kind of crap I do instead of working on one of my projects. I am looking up a stat for this or that or some critter and I wonder what it looks like in one of the other gaming systems. And off I go. Twenty books spread across my desk, this time all opened to the Sleep spell, and now I can't even find my keyboard.

I picked the Sleep spell this time because it is the quintessential 1st level spell. No mage leaves home without it. And for a 1st level spell it is by far the most powerful. Magic Missile wounds one, maybe you get a kill if you run into a sickly kobold. Read Magic I always had a problem with since I am playing a mage should I not have been trained in the oogly googly language of magic? Charm Person is a great one, but again it affects a single target. And if the target makes his or her saving throw you are stuck there with nothing but a stubby dagger in your hand. Has shouting "Stop, or I'll kill you with my darts!" ever been effective? Hold Portal, is handy, but a chair or a lock can do the same. Needing to cast Shield would mean I am getting attacked. Why aren't my meat shields doing their job? Then you have a handful of useful utility spells like Light, Read Languages, Identify, and Unseen Servant are all useful, but not worth taking up a spell slot during the exploration of the Spastic Lizardmen Temple of Unseen Smells.

Sleep can single handedly take out a small army of critters and all of a sudden that stubby little dagger of yours becomes the most powerful weapon in existence to those taking a snooze.

So this is where my time goes. I spent going through as many system books as I could find and comparing the differences of the Sleep spell. One thing they all seem to agree on is Sleep is a 1st level spell. So here is a table of the basic information. I guess the one thing that always bothered me about the Sleep spell was no saving throw. Systems seem to be split on this one. Anyways, this is how I spent my Sunday afternoon. It is now Monday morning and I have finally put back my books so I could write this. Click on it to make it larger.


  1. Cool chart. I don't mean to criticize, but the "Doesn't specify" value for the 4e D&D one caught my eye, so I'm going to fill you in on the details that you missed due to (I'm guessing) unfamiliarity with the terms used.

    The duration actually is specified, but it's variable. Ignoring the spell's initial effect of slowing the targets, the actual time spent sleeping has an average of about 2 rounds, but it's a deep enough sleep that you can stab the sleeping targets without waking them.

    The range of the spell is 100 ft (5 ft per square). It does not affect only 2 creatures. It affects all creatures within a 25'x25' area. So, while its duration is rather short, you can knock out an entire mob with it.

  2. Thank you Davir. I knew I was going to mess that one up. Where all the other systems use a Vancian model, 4th Edition and GURPS are their own beasts. I appreciate the clarification.