On Tue, 10 Feb 1998, Mark A Vandermeulen wrote:

> Too many divination spells can foil the set-up of many literary
> mysteries, but these do well with at least low-level spell-casters.

I love divinations spells as a DM, and am kind of disappointed my players
don't use them more. Having a great interest in Indo-European religion,
and especially tripartition as outlined by Georges Dumezil, I'm always
mentioning omens and signs and recommending auguaries. I permit all kind
of auguary proficincies (based on astrology in the PHB) dealing with
sticks, stones (favored among dwarves), anmial behavior (animal lore
includes this), animal entrails (req a special slot), the sky (astrology),
cards, dreams, coins, hidden messages in texts, &c. I liked the new
"thought" school in the TOM, and devised my own high powered divination
spells: extasy and rhapsody. I include them here:

Augury (Divination) 2nd Level
as per PHB

Meditation (Divination) 2nd Level
Sphere: All
Range: 0
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

By considered reflection upon the teachings of the sect, or favored
wisdom, the priest gains insight into a dilemma. After one turn of
uninterrupted contemplation and meditation. In game terms, the DM alerts
the priest's player of a fact or event that has been overlooked, discounted,
or forgotten (in that order). Thus, the DM might remind the player about an
important clue that the priest observed but failed to perceive. This new
information should be derived from something the character has seen or
experienced, but did not explore or consider until now. It may provide
information about the future if a deep contemplation might denote some pattern.
Such perceptible patterns should form the basis of the information provided.
Such that something a player could not have guessed at is not appropriate
to this spell, while something they could have guessed at is. The
information should always be relevant and useful but should not be
unbalancing to the situation. The character needs only to remain
contemplative for one complete turn to achieve the effect.

Idea (Divination) 2nd Level
As per TOM

Commentary: The Augury consults the supernatural about the unknown, Idea
consults the supernatural about the known but misunderstood, and
Mediation consults the wisdom taught by the sect to solve the known or
unknown based upon what is known.

Divination (Divination) 4th Level
As per PHB

Enlightenment (Divination) 4th Level
Sphere: All
Range: 0
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area of Effect: Caster
Saving Throw: None

This spell is similar to meditation, but is based upon a more
comprehensive knowledge of the wisdom literature. This spell is used to
garner a useful piece of advice concerning a specific goal, event, or
activity that will occur within a one-week period. This can be as simple
as a short phrase, or it might take the form of a cryptic rhyme or omen.
Unlike lessor spells, this gives a specific piece of advice, which is
presumed to exist in the sect's teachings.

For example, if the question is "Can we trust this merchant which has
betrayed us in the past?" and the DM has planned for the merchant to
betray the party, the enlightened response might be: "A good tree does
not bear rotten fruit; a rotten tree does not bear good fruit. Are apples
gathered from thorns, or grapes from thistles? Every tree is known by
its fruit." If the DM had planned for the merchant to cooperate, the
enlightened reply might be: "If a man takes your cloak, do not ask to
have it back. As you want people to treat you, do the same to them."
In all cases, the DM controls what information is received and whether
additional contemplation will supply additional information. Note that
since the enlightenment is based upon current, observed conditions, if
the information is not acted upon, the conditions probably change so that
the information is no longer useful. To achieve a successful
enlightenment result, a successful Religion proficiency check must be
made. If the character has two slots or more devoted to Religion then no
check is necessary. Speculation about the future is acceptable if the
information provided can be derived from known conditions.

Genius (Divination) 4th Level
as per TOM

Commentary: Divination consults the supernatural about the unknown,
including the future; Genius consults the supernatural about the known
but poorly understood; Enlightenment consults the inspired words of the
sect to provide insight on a known problem with some spiritual guidance
to aid interpretation

Commune (Divination) 5th Level
As per PHB

Ecstasy (Divination) 5th Level
Sphere: Thought, Divination
Range: 0
Components: S, M
Duration: Instantaneous
Casting Time: 3 hours
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

The spell meditation is based entirely on wisdom teaching, enlightenment
is based on advanced wisom but is suplimented by spiritual guidance.
Ecstacy is based upon a solid foundation of wisdom, but is essentially an
overwhelming feeling sent by a deity. The scope of the spell is to find
the answer to broad questions such as "why are the crops failing" or "how can
we insure victory in battle tomorrow." Unlike commune, the priest asks
only one question, but the answer might be very complicated. By this
spell, the priest in given profound understanding of the aims and desires
of the god. After three hours of uninterupted meditation upon the
problem, the deity or their agent appears to the priest and provides the
sought after answer. At that time the priest is struck numb. Some
faculties may be lost, especially if the priest questions the god's
purpose or motivation. In any event, some powers, such as sight or
speech might be lost for a short while or until the instructions are
implimented. In no way should this imparement prevent the priest from
working toward his mission. Blinded priests can navigate spiritually and
are protected from bandits and hostile encounters on the path directed by
the guiding spirit. For example, if the crops are failing, and a priest
consults the agriculture god, the god might instruct the priest that the
people have fallen away from hard work and the labor of agriculture and have
turned to the gods of luck and ill-gotten gain. To restore the health of
the farms, they must return to the ways of the agriculture god. The
priest might then fall unconcious, wake to find himself deaf (so he
cannot hear excuses and rebuttals) instructed to lead the people back to the
right faith. Instructions can be very complicated. In order to find
victory tomorrow, the army may have to refrain from alcohol, spend two
hours in prayer and meditation, and each knight or noble may have to sacrifice
an animal ritually which will be consumed by his men in a religious feast
conducted by the priest, assuring that all soldiers refrain from alcohol,
pray as instructed, and participate in the feast. The material components
of this spell are the scriptures and holy symbol of the priest.

Commontary: Both Commune and Ecstasy are communications between priest
and diety. With Commune, the priest asks questions derived for any
purpose and the god answers in their own interest; with Ecstasy, the
priest desires to find the god's will and seeks their instruction, although
this could be a contractual relationship- I give, so that you give.

Divine Inspiration (Divination) 7th Level
as per TOM

Rhapsody (Divination) 7th Level
Sphere: Thought, Divination
Range: 0
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Instantaneous
Casting Time: 1 week
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

This spell is the most powerful of communications between a priest and
his deity. It permits the most complicated of questions and may concern
events happening much later in the future, long ago in the past, or far away in
distant lands. If it concerns the deity, it is appropriot to this spell. By
this spell the priest may engage in an echange with his god- questions asked,
answers provided and discussed. The god may or may not be willing to
interchange, but such is the decision of the god, not a limitation of the
spell. For example, a priest may be pursuing a powerful necromancer and
desires to locate a powerful artifact with the powers to slay undead
armies. The god may prefer this dangerous magical item remain hidden, but
will offer another approach to destroying the necromancer. The priest might
then ask questions about this new approach, although one must be careful not
to question the aims and purposes of the god. "How can I find the Sword of
Life?" or "Where shall I encounter the necromancer?" and "Should I create any
magical items or devise new spells for the mission?" are all possible questions.
"Why don't you want me to have the artifact?" is a very dangerous question to
ask. After a week of meditation on the question, study of the wisdom
texts, and total reflection (after all we don't wan't to bother a god with
something we could have figured out on our own) on the problem, the god will
summon the character to a meeting place, or come upon them as they contemplate,
perhaps in the high priest's chapel of the Great Temple, on a mountain top, in a
sacred glen, or even awakening the priest in his quarters. Unlike esctasy,
the subject of rapture experiences heigtened sensitivity and invigourated
powers. As a consequence, simple tasks necessary to complete the god's
intructions are automatic. For example, villagers have food available to share
with the traveler, horses are available if needed, specialists if available
can be persuaded to join the priest, in general the priest is not burdened
by mundane inconveniences in his fulfilment of the god's directions.

- ----
Rember not to give away the store, be vauge and answer from the god's
interest. Gods may have no interest in, no knowledge of, or desire to
share any piece of information.

Happy divining
Kenneth Gauck