Category: Blog

The Other Spellbook

This is a spellbook rewrite, where I am taking the spells from the D&D original booklets but rewriting them in order to make a different but similar spellbook of my own. I’ll update this post as I go, but here are the first 20/97.

Detect Magic

With focus, your eyes glaze over and you can see the auras of magic and their residue trails. The longer you focus, the older the trails you can see (for every 10 minutes, 1 day older residues become visible). Spell ends when focus is broken (through taking actions of your own or others against you).

Hold Portal

Target within eye sight is unable to be closed, effects doors (all sizes), windows, portals, and gates. Locks with keyholes are stuck. Pocket watches with doors are jammed open. Bags can’t be closed or cinched shut.

Read Magic

On examining the movements and spellcasting of another magic-user, the general effects of the spell cast are known. If not in duress, upon your next rest you can prepare the spell witnessed, the first time casting it will have a 50% chance of success. If the cast is successful, then the magic-user can cast it successfully as other spells. If the first cast is a failure, then the spell is forgotten and cannot be prepared again in this same manner.

Read Languages

Running your hand across a text, a commanding voice reads the text loudly in the most widely understood language of anyone within the room who could hear the voice.

Protection from Evil

Creatures and people who the caster consider “pure Evil” are unable to touch the target, with weapon, body, or magic. Lasts 1 day or until another spell is cast on the same target.


Creates a physical orb of light that illuminates a 10 ft. radius. An unlimited number may be created, each exists for 3 days or until dispelled. Each orb acts as if in zero-g.

Charm Person

Targets who are unaware of the caster are at a higher chance of treating the caster upon meeting in a friendly manner. Only lasts until the caster proves to not be worth the friendly demeanor.


All creatures capable of natural sleep within 25’ of the target area fall asleep within 2 minutes of the rituals completion.

Detect Invisible (Objects)

Non-living objects that are not visible to the naked eye become beacons of rotating light beams to the casters eye. These lighthouse beacons can go as far as 5 miles. Each light is a different color, color of light is based on the caster who made the object invisible.


Target starts to rise off the ground at a rate of 2 inches per minute even when standing still. Spell ends after 2 hours, or if target can be weighed down by a number of pounds additional equal to their own.

Phantasmal Forces

The caster summons 1d20 illusions of ghosts, specters, undead, or ghouls. These illusions act on the commands of the caster and appear real upon all scrutiny (except touch).

Locate Object

The caster imagines an object in as much detail as they wish. They know the direction from their position that the object is. If the object cannot be visualized from first hand looking at the object, then the spell will point the caster in the direction of the closest object that is similar. If no similar object can be found, then the spell points in a random direction.


The target of the spell, living, dead, or inanimate is made invisible. This spell lasts until the spell is broken by the caster, or the target of the spell touches a magical artifact, spell, or enchanted area. A caster cannot make more than 1 target invisible at once.

Wizard Lock

The caster conjures a magical padlock (size and weight determined by the caster), it glows and hums at a high pitch at a low volume. It can only be opened with the wand that the caster used to create it. Spell ends when the caster says so.

Detect Evil

Spell detects any individuals or objects that are enchanted with dark or chaos magic, or think of themselves as someone who has done “evil” actions. Range of the spell is 20 feet.


A spell that allows the caster to listen to all thoughts not shielded by magic within 200 feet at once. The closer the thinker is, the louder the thought sounds (screaming), and the farther the thinker away the quieter (soft whisper). Spell lasts 1 hour, and leaves the caster incapable of verbal communication for its duration.

Continual Light

This spell permanently alters the a 10 ft by 10 ft cube of space to be well lit by natural sunlight which comes from a flat circular hole on the cube’s “ceiling”. Spell lasts eternally unless dispelled.


The caster can create knocking noises in as many places on as many surfaces as desired within sight. The surfaces vibrate and quake with each knock, causing unsecured objects and persons to fall over. The spell ends when the caster takes damage or stops the spell.


The caster chooses a target and the target grows functioning wings. The caster chooses whether the wings are under control of either the caster or the target. The character with wings moves at 3x their normal speed, and the spell ends after 20 minutes times the number of turns spent casting the spell.

Hold Person

The caster chooses a target to hold/restrain that is within 60 feet, and an arcane hand is summoned. The hand reaches out of the caster and is made of arcane energy. The hand exists as long as it grapples/restrains a target, until it is dispelled one of the caster’s hands is clutching a small arcane energy figurine.

Double Patty Softburger (Stovetop)

My recipe for making very soft double patty burgers on the stovetop in a cast iron pan. Each pound of ground beef creates 3 servings (3 burgers). The goal of this recipe was to make a very soft burger that is warm and very easy to chew, which is some of my favorite qualities in a good fast food burger.

Servings: 3



  • 1 lb ground burger meat (85% lean / 15% fat)
  • Sesame Seed White Hamburger Buns
  • 6 slices of Kraft American Cheese Singles
  • 2 tablespoons of Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper


  • Any bun that is substantial and not flimsy should work, I have found success with Pepperidge Farm Heart White Hamburger Buns
  • What I use for beef: Thomas Farms Beef Ground Organic Grass Fed. It comes in a 1 lb. pack and is pretty good!


  • White Onion (medium)
  • Dill pickle slices (Vlasic)
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Lettuce
  • Anything you want honestly.

Step 1

Turn cast iron on the stovetop to high, add a bit of olive oil into the pan, and spread it using a small scrap of paper towel to coat the surface. Then add the butter to the pan.

Step 2

Mix together ground meat, adding a light/medium dusting of Paprika, Salt, and Black Pepper. Mix the spices into the meat with your hands. Separate the burger meat into 6 balls of equal size, and gently coat each ball with a small amount of olive oil.

Wearing gloves (or not), flatten each ball into about a 4-4.5 inch diameter circle. About as spread as you can get without tearing the meat or risking it falling apart, but not any larger than the size of your burger buns.

As a note, the patties will shrink as they cook so don’t worry about that occurring when they start to cook and you are getting ready to flip them.

Step 3

With the pan nice and hot, butter melted, add your patties to the pan. It is okay if they gently touch but don’t let them overlap. After about 2 minutes of cooking, flip each patty. Then squish each of them.

They will have shrunk a bit from cooking, so it is important to smush them here using a spatula or bacon press, or the flat side of a circular Meat Pounder. Squish them.

Let patties each cook for another 2 minutes of until even in color. Add a slice of cheese to each patty at this point, let the cheese melt until gooey.

Step 4

While cooking the patties, grab a microwave-safe plate and heat up the buns in the microwave for 15 seconds. Or until the buns are soft and warm.

Step 5

On a plate, lay down paper towels. Take the patties off the pan and arrange them on the paper towel to soak up any excess grease off the burgers. Doing this will help reduce the chances that the burgers will have soggy buns or buns that fall apart when held in your hands.

Step 6

Plate up the burgers! Stack two patties while hot onto a warm bun. Assemble your toppings of choice and you’re all done. Ready to eat!

Topping Notes:

  • Arrange toppings in such a way so that the bun is less likely to fall apart from being damp. For me, this means using onion or lettuce as a buffer between wet toppings and the top or bottom bun. Wet toppings being sauces, pickles, etc.
  • I only recommend this because I have long held the belief that the best burgers don’t have a soggy bottom. Especially if the difference between a soggy bottom or not is just a dab with a paper towel.

A Gratuitous Amount of Ghosts and A Less Than Ideal Number of Chairs to Possess

This is a variant of Musical Chairs, to setup have a number of chairs one less than the number of players and arrange them in a circle. To no music the entire group rotates around the chairs one by one.

When any player says “BOO!” outloud, then each of the Ghosts (the players) must sit down into a piece of furniture in the ring, Ghosts that don’t sit down will evaporate and will no longer be playing the game. There are two situations that will occur at this point, that two people will fight over a chair, or that one person won’t have a chair to sit in at all.

If two ghosts are competing to sit in a chair, rather than push and fight to sit down they must make stone cold faces at each other and start a Contest.

A Contest has two players making ghostly faces at each other, they take turns making ghost noises at each other. Whichever player’s face or expression breaks into a smile or breaks character loses the contest. The winning player gets to sit in the chair.

If a player can’t find a chair to sit in then they can start a Contest with one sitting player. They cannot start a second contest if they lose this one, and the losing player of this Contest cannot start one to gain a new seat.

Once any Contests are complete, the losing player leaves the game and is now a spectator. The winning players remove one chair so that there is only a number of chairs one less than the number of players still in the game.

Players who are ejected from the game while players are rotating around the chairs make spooky ghost moaning noises until one of the circling players says Boo!

That is all there is to this very long-named variant of Musical Chairs.


As a fun note here are some ways to spice up this game of musical chairs.

  • Play during halloween.
  • All players wear ghost costumes.
  • When making contests players make ghost noises and serious faces but can also wiggle their arms, legs, in order to add to their spooky vibe.
  • Cover the chairs in fake cobwebs.
  • Add mood and spooky lighting.

Long Hair

This is how I look now. A marked difference to what I looked like a year ago, six months ago, and a massive change compared to the last picture of myself that I posted on my blog.

Jumpdown Sketch

A quick sketch for the screen of an NES-inspired platformer game idea. You collect the hammer to smash rocks, a machete for vines, and gems for points. The goal is to get to the bottom of each level. Other hazards are snakes, waterfalls, and tigers.

— 8/3/2021

Oldham Rules v.1

On the Brain Trust discord (a discord community based around the Brain Trust podcast and its creators), there was a conversation that occurred about FKR games (Free Kriegsspiel Revolution), and the amount of freedom to create surrounding games where the rules are not wholly defined at the games outset.

This lead me to be inspired and write my own incredibly basic base set of rules to be used for FKR games but that was also inspired by other games that I like (Barons of Braunstein) and games that I play (Red Markets & Dungeon World).

Anyways, here is the PDF of the two short digest pages of rules. Feel free to use them and modify them for your own games and products.


Intentional become Purposeful

Hello everyone,

I think I have finally figured out how to describe what I want my art and work to be. I want it to be done, but I also want to strive to something that will make me happy in the process. Anyways here it is…


When I look at the lakes I have built, I can see the bottom. When I look at the lakes that others build, they seem infinitely deep. In order to keep myself interested long enough to drown in my own work, I am going to have to purposely put enough work and layers in to keep myself captivated.

This effort is for myself. While others may benefit and enjoy the work that I put in, the work is ultimately serving myself first when it is at the bottom of a lake.

The Art Piece I Adore

I have drawn so many pictures and there is exactly one picture that I can visualize in my mind at all times. That will always be infinitely interesting for me to look at and enjoy in the same way I do looking at other people’s art. It is a picture of a distorted court room scene with many characters in my standard detailed ink pen cross hatchery style. What keeps me interested and amused with it, is because I purposely worked to give a purpose to every character in the scene.

I want to have more pictures and work of mine that I can look at and enjoy in this way. In summary I want my work to be more intentional, and through that more meaningful to myself.

The Whisper Promise

I want to promise myself that I can change and be more in what I do. I am whispering this promise because it is a soft promise, it is an idea that I wish to attain that I am unsure if I can commit to completely at this time.

I want my work…

  • To interest me after it is finished: I want to do things that interest me in the moment, but that I won’t find useless later.
  • To be memorable to myself: What I do should be purposeful in the moment, which is the only way I can really build the memory of the image or my own writing to myself.
  • To not have to be good: It absolutely doesn’t matter if something is good by critical merit, or commercial merits. What is important is that I give into my work what I want out of it. If I want it to be layered, if I want it to be meaningful, then I need to put in the care and attention that it takes for my work to be those things. It may not be good, but it will be satisfying to me, and to those who share my interests.

I understand that what I am describing won’t always happen or be possible. But I want and need for how I currently think of my work to change. I know that when I am focused and purposeful, that all of what comes out of me creatively is infinitely better than what I can come up now.

My courtroom picture tells me that. Runaway Hirelings shows me what is possible too! That game took forever to write, but it still is unfinished from what it could be. I want to come back to that game eventually and finish it, really finish it.

For now, I will press on and focus on my new game ‘A Greeblin’s Journey’.

I hope those who have purchased it will be okay with how long it will take me. And I hope that those who like my work are also willing to wait, and then support me when I am finished with it.

Talk again soon,
– Thomas Novosel