Your irregular extract from that invaluable compilation of the overlooked arcane.
It is, in general, potent and impressive magic that captures the popular imagination. It is a curious fact that both the largest group of spells, and the best-known, are those of middling power: dramatic and devastating enough that onlookers are thrilled and audiences lean close to catch the storyteller's words, yet within the reach of sufficient mages that they earn a sense of familiarity.
Little attention, in comparison, is given to the many useful cantrips developed through the ages. Yet their very humbleness means they are accessible to a far wider field than more potent spells, and thus significant to wider society. Unschooled hedge-wizards can use these tools in their researches, and priests not bestowed with divine might can yet call up the lesser blessings of their gods. Even to the artisan, the doctor, the farmer or the servant, a cantrip can be a talent within their grasp and capable of greatly aiding their livelihoods.
The spell I present today is one such cantrip. To the academic mage, even the travelling adventurer, it may seem of little value. Nevertheless, I have heard from the lips of hunters that it can make the difference between a successful hunt and an empty belly. Both gamekeepers and poaches, besides, have reported high regard for this cantrip in aiding the detection of their foes - the one to capture them, the other to evade them.
School transmutation; Level druid 0, hunter 0, ranger 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components S, F (leaves or loose stones)
Area 30-foot radius
Duration 8 hours
Saving Throw none Spell Resistance no
This spell can only be cast in an area with fallen leaves, grass, undergrowth, gravel or similar loose material. At your silent command, fallen leaves become crisply dry, twigs grow fragile and undergrowth snags loudly against whatever passes by. Attempts to use Stealth while passing through the affected area incur a -5 penalty, which stacks with the normal penalties for using Stealth while moving. You aren't affected by the penalties from this spell. If you sleep within the affected area, the DC of your Perception checks increases by only half the normal amount while you sleep (typically +5). Rain negates the effects of this spell within 1 hour.
I've finally got round to adding a Ko-fi button to my blog, in the hopes of making some use of all the gaming material I produce - only a fraction of which I've ever posted here. If anyone does enjoy it, I'd really appreciate a coin or two. It makes it easier to spend time on this, rather than my day job or side gig as a proofreader.