From Discworld MUD Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Tricks are custom illusion spells that can be created and shared between witches.


To create a trick, a witch needs an empty large hag stone. Note that a small hag stone will not suffice.

All of the stages involved in making (as opposed to casting) a trick use the magic.methods.mental.convoking skill; this skill in particular determines the maximum number of stages. research

Making a trick

Tricks are made by the following procedure.


The witch must first bond the hag stone to herself.

If you forget to bond the stone first you will see, "The large round stone turns ice cold in your hand." when you try to convince it of the new Trick name.

Naming the trick

The witch then tells the stone the name of the trick it is to learn, via the following syntax:

convince <stone> to learn <name>

The name follows the standard spell naming conventions, hence The First Letter Of Each Word Is Capitalised.

Determining the trick's target

The witch now determines what the trick can be cast at, with options of:

  • Someone - the trick is cast on a living target
  • Something - the trick is cast on an object
  • Nothing - the trick has no target

By using the syntax:

convince <trick> [that] it is cast on {something|someone}
convince <trick> [that] it isn't cast on anything

Note that in the above syntax, and all subsequent stages, it is the trick that is convinced, not the hag stone.


The witch indicates how many stages the trick has, using the following syntax:

convince <trick> [that] it has <number> stages

The skills bonus' necessary to make Tricks with various stages are as follows:

Trick Stages convoking bonus ma.sp.sp bonus
1 <190 <190  ??
2 <190 <190  ??
3 190 190 <292
4 222 >217 <223 <292
5 >249  ??  ??
6 326 340 350

Once she has done this, she can then fill out the details of each stage as follows:

  • A description for the caster to see must be provided.
  • A description for the target or observers to see must be provided.
    • The target/observer descriptions must have the witch's name in.
    • Each description cannot be longer than 250 characters.
  • The witch must give an indication of how difficult each stage is
  • The witch must indicate which skill is required for each stage. This is done by mentioning the name of one of the skill leafs under the magic.methods skill tree in the target/observer description.

A witch may ask the trick to forget any stage if she wishes to rewrite it.

The syntax for the all of the above is as follows:

convince <trick> to tell me "<string>" at stage <number>
convince <trick> to say "<string>" at stage <number>
convince <trick> [that] stage <number> is {easy|average|difficult|impossible} [to cast]
convince <trick> to forget stage <number>

The average succeed/failure point for each of the stages is as follows, accoring to the difficulty specified:

Difficulty Average bonus required Head space
Easy 100-200 2
Average 200-300 6
Difficult 300-400 12
Impossible 400+ 16

The gp cost of the trick will be 20 gp plus 20 gp per stage.

Focus tea can give a more precise indication as to the difficulty of each stage, once the witch has educed the trick.


The witch also needs to indicate what is seen by the caster and target/observer when the trick completes. Unlike the stages, there is no skill associated with the target/observer description given in the finale, and the witch's name also does not need to be mentioned here.

The syntax for setting the finale is:

convince <trick> to tell me "<string>" when finished
convince <trick> to say "<string>" when finished

Targets and Unlucky Charlie

Where a trick is cast on either someone or something, the witch must refer to that target as "Charlie". If she needs to refer to the target, she should use the masculine pronouns (ie. 'he', 'his', etc).

Witches should not have 'Charlie' perform actions (ie not use 'Charlie <verb>...') in the stages, as this won't translate correctly from the point of view of the target; they may however get Charlie to perform actions in the finale. This is achieved via tactical use of the '$' character to distinguish between the point of view of the target and an observer.

For example, a witch could write 'Charlie leap$s into the air and watch$es in panic as his skin falls off!' for the finale; if then cast on Alice, then this would be seen as:

  • (From Alice's point of view) You leap into the air and watch as your skin falls off!
  • (From everyone else's point of view) Alice leaps into the air and watches as her skin falls off!

The rationale for this unusual naming system comes from Unlucky Charlie, a scarecrow to be found in Lancre Town who is traditionally a common target for tricks. Charlie has the unusual property that he can be either a person or a thing, depending on whether he has been put on his pole or not.


The witch can now determine which components a trick requires:

  • A trick may require any number of components.
  • Any of the components may or may not be consumed, according to the witch's desires.
  • The components must be in the witch's inventory when creating the trick, but may otherwise be any item.
  • The witch may designate a particular stage at which the components are consumed.

The syntax for controlling components is:

convince <trick> [that] it needs <object>
convince <trick> [that] stage <number> consumes <object>

Setting the trick in stone

Once the witch has specified all the stages and the finale, she may 'set the trick in stone'. It uses the convoking skill and the talisman skill (confirmed with mock). It also requires a small amount of binding; a bonus of 170 is sufficient. This fixes the trick inside the hag stone - once this has been done:

  • The trick can no longer be modified
  • The trick can be educed from the stone.

The syntax for setting the trick in stone is:

set <trick> in <stone>

Acquiring the trick

Once the trick has been set in stone, the witch must educe it from the stone before she can cast it. It is recommended that the witch clears her head of all other spells before doing this, as this point is notorious for the hag stone's tendency to crumble to dust if insufficient head space is available for the trick.

Cancelling tricks

A witch can cancel the creation of a trick at any stage before it is set in stone, using the syntax:

convince <stone> to forget trick

Exploding stones

Failing a convince skillcheck badly enough can cause the hag stone to explode, destroying it completely. This does not do any damage to the witch, but is still annoying.

The stones seem to explode less while convincing as you approach a 300 bonus in magic.methods.mental.convoking.

Getting information

At any stage of the trick making process before setting it in stone, the witch can use the following syntax to find out the parameters and stages of the trick currently set up:

listen to <trick>

Similarly, the following syntax will tell the witch the name of the trick, if she has forgotten:

listen to <stone>

Finally, Granny Beedle's Cooperative Credits will also give substantial information about tricks.

For information on the stages and how likely you are to succeed, you can use focus tea.

Sharing tricks

Witches can share tricks with each other by imbuing the trick into a large hag stone and then either:

  • Giving the trick to another witch, who can educe it from the stone.
  • If more than one witch has educed the trick it can be ordered from Hilta Goatfounder.

Tricks which are more notorious can be ordered in a shorter time from Hilta. However notorious tricks can't be ordered if the witch who created it hasn't shared it with other witches. Notoriety is determined by how often other people have seen the trick being performed.

See pages with tricks in Category:Tricks.

The Witch Trials

The Witch Trials are a yearly trick writing competition held by the witches guild, in which witches tricks are cast and judged by a panel as to which are the most impressive. Prizes are often offered.


You can use this template to assist you in creating tricks. Copy-and-paste to your favorite text editor. Search-and-replace the "[x]"'s with your trick's name. The other "[]" sections are bits where you have to enter items or delete as applicable. You'll only need one copy of each of the first and third sections, and as many of the second as you have stages.

Once you're done, you'll have the output needed for the game, but save a copy on your system, in case of Accidents.

cast Granny Benedict's Bond of Loyalty with stone
convince stone to learn [x]
convince [x] that it [isn't cast on anything]/[is cast on something]/[is cast on someone]
convince [x] that it has [] stage[s]

convince [x] to say "[]" at stage []
[convince [x] that stage consumes [] / convince [x] that it needs []]
convince [x] that stage [] is [easy/average/difficult/impossible]
convince [x] to tell me "[]" at stage []

convince [x] to say "[]" when finished 
convince [x] to tell me "[]" when finished
set [x] in stone
educe [x] from stone

See also

External links