Clothing College of Spells for GURPS IOU

by Elizabeth McCoy

This college of magic was researched and designed by an IOU double-major: College of Metaphysics and School of Performing Creative Arts. It is, effectively, a subset of the Making and Breaking college (p. M51) and therefore the spells listed would be usable by a One College (Making & Breaking) mage, though a more-limited Magery might only permit Clothes magic.

It should be noted that this could also be called "the Fabric College," as the same spells will allow one to work with drapes, slipcovers, or even upholstery; however, most masters of the following spells prefer to use it for clothing. (Most are also possessed of the advantage of Fashion Sense.)

All Clothes spells have a prerequisite of a suitable mundane skill, such as Professional Skill: Fashion Designer or Professional Skill: Seamstress/Tailor. Attempting to cast these spells without a sufficient knowledge of the underlying skill tends to produce very crude results, and no teacher of the College would tolerate that.

In all cases, an "outfit" is what would be required to clothe a single person. This may be a dress, pants and a shirt, or an entire suit with coat and tie. Socks and underwear will also be included when appropriate materials are provided, or with Create Clothing (below). An "item" is a single item: a dress, a shirt, a single sock, etc.

Other spells from GURPS Magic which are considered part of the Clothing College are: Measurement (p. M47), Dye, Clean, Rejoin, Repair, Knots (pp. M51-52), and, strangely, Enchant, Fortify, Deflect, and Lighten (pp. M38-41). Spells which can affect clothing may be used when Enchanting clothing, such as Resist Fire or Resist Cold, even if the mage has One-College (Clothing) Magery. Spells from GURPS Grimoire which should count are: Haircut (p. G16; useful for getting wool), Prepare Game (p. G43; useful for getting leather materials), Inscribe (p. G56; for more magical patterns), Duplicate (p. G56), and Fasten (p. G67).

Seek Clothes


Useful for finding your clothing in the dark, or the last pair of clean underwear in the pile on your dorm room floor. This spell allows the caster to sense the nearest item that fits the description. (This may be "my pants" or "clean socks." A truly detailed description, such as "A red leather corset done up with silver laces and a latex over-pattern, with a hidden pocket containing a credit card," will carry a penalty -- usually around -1 to -5, but it could be more, depending on how much the GM thinks the spell is being abused.)

Cost: 1.
(This is also a Knowledge College spell.)

Know Pattern


With a successful casting upon an item of clothing within the caster's sight, the mage will know what pattern was used to create the item. The caster may try to sketch the pattern out then and there (using an appropriate Professional Skill: Fashion Designer or Artist skill), or quickly use Cut Pattern (below). Note that this will be the pattern of the clothing as it is being worn -- if the wearer is a size 6, then the pattern will be for a size 6 person. (Something which may be annoying, if the mage is a size 8.)

If the pattern so discovered is not transcribed into a physical form (by magical or mundane means) or memorized quickly enough, the GM may require IQ rolls to duplicate it exactly, later on. These IQ rolls would have the usual bonuses for Eidetic Memory.

Cost: 1.
(This is also a Knowledge College spell.)

Memorize Pattern


A variant of Memorize (p. G59), this allows the caster -- or, with a touch, anyone else -- to memorize a pattern for future use. (The pattern may be one the subject is looking at physically, or one that has just been discovered with Know Pattern (above).) The subject may store, as perfectly as if he had 60-point Eidetic Memory, up to (IQ) patterns via this spell. Memorized patterns may be "over-written" if the subject desires. (There is a rumored improved version which allows the number of memorized patterns to equal the skill with the spell or the underlying mundane skill of Seamstress/Tailor/Fashion Designer, whichever is higher.)

Cost: 3.
Time to Cast: 1 minute.
Prerequisites: Know Pattern or Memorize.
(This is also a Knowledge College and Mind Control College spell.)



When the basic elements of clothing are assembled -- properly-cut fabric, needle, and thread -- this spell will quickly by-pass all the tedious sewing required to make a single outfit. (Pants and shirt, dress, etc.)

Cost: 2.
Prerequisite: Either Rejoin or Air Golem.
(This is also a Movement College spell.)

Undo Sewing

Regular; Special Resistance

As you sew, so shall you rip. This spell causes a designated item of clothing to come completely unstitched. If it is being worn, the clothing's occupant has a chance to grab for the unraveling thread and hang on, aborting the spell. This requires a DX roll. (The GM may rule that the degree of success of the DX roll indicates how quickly the spell was aborted, and thus to what degree the wearer is now unclothed.) A counter-casting of Stitch, Weave, or other clothing-creation spells will also cancel the Undo Sewing, as the threads upon the clothing seem to ripple and come un-done and re-done much like a Magical Girl costume change. Only without the change (probably).

Cost: 2.
Prerequisite: Either Stitch or Weave (below) or Weaken.

Mend Clothing


This is, essentially, a cheaper version of Repair, specialized for clothing. It will fix any outfit, provided there is needle and thread and appropriate patching materials. (If spells which would provide such material are known, such as Weave and Create Fabric, the physical ingredients need not be present.)

Cost: 1 per outfit.
Prerequisite: Rejoin or (Weave, Cut Pattern).

Cut Pattern


With a physical pattern (or a previous casting of Know Pattern or Memorize Pattern (both above)), and fabric, this spell will create the raw materials for a single outfit. The outfit can then be put together with Stitch, or mundane means of sewing. The spell is at a -5 to cast if the fabric has been previously worked. (E.g. if someone is trying to cut a ballgown into a pair of overalls, whether or not the ballgown is being used . . . )

Cost: 1; 3 if the fabric was previously worked.
Prerequisites: Either Undo Sewing or Weave or Reshape.

Dye Pattern


With this spell, outfit may be dyed in the pattern of the caster's choice. (One pattern per casting; the mage may wish to separate items if more than one pattern is desired.)

Duration: 2d days.
Cost: 1 for an item of clothing that provides partial body coverage, such as pants, a sock (or, in this case, a pair of socks), or a bathing suit; 3 for an outfit or item that provides extensive body coverage (such as a dress, a catsuit, or an old-style bathing suit).
Time to Cast: 5 seconds.
Prerequisite: Dye.



Given basic materials (yarn, thread, etc.), this spell will weave a bolt of fabric. With extra energy, the basic materials may be raw wool, silkworm cocoons, etc. A use of the Clean spell (p. M51) is suggested in such cases, if the material has not already been washed.

Cost: 2; 5 for raw materials.
Time to Cast: 5 seconds.
Prerequisites: Reshape or Stitch.
(This is also a Movement College spell.)

Alter Clothing

Regular; Special Resistance

The caster may alter the fit of any one outfit within sight, by means of waving her hands in the air (or actually touching the garment) with appropriate motions as if to physically sculpt the item. (At IOU, the dreaded "Wedgie Gesture" can cause many students to jump for cover.) Alas, this spell will only work on one subject-outfit at a time. Though there are always rumors of a version that will allow the caster to modify whatever she (or he) looks upon for the duration of the spell.

The effects may be resisted by contorting one's body (Double-Jointed helps), as the effective strength of the modifications is relatively weak. (Except, for some reason, the Wedgie maneuver.) Getting out of the mage's line of sight will cause the mage to be unable to modify the clothing until visual contact is once again established.

Duration: 1 minute.
Cost: 3 to cast, 2 to maintain.
Time to Cast: 2 seconds.
Prerequisites: Weave or Reshape.
(This is also a Movement College spell.)

Make Clothing


This is basically a spell that combines the effects of Cut Pattern and Stitch, and has the same basic requirements: Pattern (or appropriate prior spell), fabric, needle, and thread. If Dye or Dye Pattern are known, their effects may also be incorporated. If Weave is known, only appropriate threads are required -- and the clothing created will have no seams!

Cost: 3.
Time to Cast: 5 minutes Prerequites: Cut Pattern and (Stitch or Weave).

Create Fabric


This is a specialized version of Create Object (p. M46), which is cheaper and only creates a bolt of fabric, but is otherwise identical.

Duration: Indefinite, so long as it is touching a living being.
Cost: 1 per 10 pounds of fabric created.
Time to Cast: Equal to cost, in seconds.
Prerequisites: Ten Clothing College spells or (Magery 2, Create Earth, Perfect Illusion).
(This is also an Illusion and Creation College spell.)

Create Clothing


Again, a specialized form of Create Object, permitting the (cheaper) creation of clothing -- including more complex forms than Create Object permits. (The caster must be familiar with the pattern which is being used as a template for the created clothing, however.)

Cost: 2 per outfit.
Time to Cast: 5 seconds.
Prerequisites: Memorize Pattern and (Magery 2, Create Earth, Perfect Illusion) or Create Fabric.
(This is also an Illusion and Creation College spell.)

Summon Brownies


This summons 1d Brownies (also known as elves) into one's workroom. Given sufficient supplies, they will mend clothing for a period of one night or until they are disturbed. (The caster is advised to sneak out quietly after summoning them.) Once summoned, make a reaction roll for the Brownies; if it is Good or better, they will continue to appear every night and mend whatever they find. If a gift of clothing is made to them, fitted to their size and pre-made, they will vanish immediately upon donning the clothing and a subsequent casting of the spell will be required if Brownies are once again desired. If the conditions in the area are harsh (such as a Brownie sweatshop), they may become very liberal in interpreting what a "gift of clothing" is . . . ("Oh, look! A napkin! What a wonderful hat this makes. I'm outta here.")

Duration: 1 night; anything after that is up to the Brownies.
Cost: 10.
Time to Cast: 5 minutes.
Prerequiste: Magery, and either at least one spell from 10 different colleges, or 12 Clothing spells.
(This spell is a variant of Planar Summons (p. M65) and is therefore also a Necromantic College spell.)

* * *

(This College was inspired by a minor character in John M. Ford's The Last Hot Time, and by the Angel of Comfortable Clothing, who has appeared from time to time in the author's personal In Nomine games.)

Article publication date: May 25, 2001

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