Muster The Birds
–Thursday Thaumaturgy

Fisherman in Diner
Hell, maybe we’re all getting a little carried away with this. Admittedly a few birds did act strange, but that’s no reason to…

Melanie Daniels
I keep telling you, this isn’t ‘a few birds’! These are gulls, crows, swifts…!

Mrs. Bundy, Elderly Ornithologist
I have never known birds of different species to flock together. The very concept is unimaginable. Why, if that happened, we wouldn’t stand a chance! How could we possibly hope to fight them?

–From Alfred Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS (1963)

Muster the Birds

Level: D5, M6
Range: 1 mile per caster level
Duration: 25 hours (but see below)

The caster gathers a huge flock of The Birds and can control them mentally until the spell expires. The Birds can be mustered anywhere within the spell’s range and can be commanded while within that range. They can be sent beyond the spell’s range but cannot be given additional commands if the caster is not within that range.

The flock takes 1d6 hours to form. This time counts against the spell’s duration. If within command range, the caster may dispel the flock at any time after it has gathered, though this is subject to the spell aftermath (see below). Casting another muster the birds spell while a previous casting is still in effect can extend the initial casting another 25 hours even if the flock is beyond command range, though no new instructions may be issued. A save vs. spells is required to maintain control in this manner, with each subsequent attempt getting a cumulative -1 modifier.

Roll 1d20 to determine the size of the flock mustered. Druids add +1 per level over 9 and magic-users add +1 per level over 11. 1-10: Small, 11-15: Medium, 16-19: Large, 20-23: Huge, 24-29: Gargantuan, 30+: Hitchcockian.

Aftermath: When the spell ends, roll d100 to determine the flock’s actions: 1-50: Flock disperses, 51-75: Flock continues following last instruction, 76-99: Flock wanders in random direction and attacks anything that moves, 00: Flock seeks out caster and attacks. Roll once every six hours until either ‘flock disperses’ or ‘flock seeks out caster’ results.

Usurp Flock: A caster may attempt to take control of a previously-mustered flock of The Birds using this spell. If uncontrolled or outside the range of the original caster, the new casting has a 50% chance of success, with one extra percentage point per point of intelligence and wisdom. If controlled and within range of the original caster, the chance of success is 50% minus one percentage per point of the original caster’s intelligence and wisdom. Flocks successfully taken serve the new master as if mustered normally.

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3 Responses to Muster The Birds
–Thursday Thaumaturgy

  1. Pingback: The Birds –Monday Monster « Lord Kilgore

  2. Love it, LK. I know some players who will soon have a very Hitchcockian moment 🙂

    • Kilgore says:

      Hey VP: If you’ve got a suggestion on the damage value for The Birds or if you adjust it for your game, I’d appreciate it if you let me know how it goes. I want The Birds to be lethal, but not immediately so. I want it to usually be a case of “find cover or die”, not “just die”.

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