This article originally appeared in Pyramid #5

The CHEESE College

by Andrew Hartsock

Dedicated to my gaming group, who were too lazy to write it down themselves.
To: Master Archmage Tharulavax
    His Majesty's Royal Academy of the Magical Arts
From: Thy humble apprentice

Master --
As you bade, I have journeyed to the stronghold of your erstwhile student Malconques, but I have come upon a mystery. Upon reaching his home I found it abandoned, overgrown and dilapidated. The locals in the nearby village apparently give the place a wide berth, swearing that it is haunted. Being a student of magic, and therefore undaunted by such peasant talk, it seemed fitting that I investigate. Upon entering the manor, I found the walls, floors and patches of the ceilings covered with old, moldy... cheese. In the highest tower of the place I found what I believe was the remains of Malconques himself -- rotting robes that covered a vaguely human shape composed of cheese as well. The form was still slumped over a desk, as if he had been feverishly writing when the tragedy occurred.

The only clue I have to what actually happened at the manor is the book which Malconques seemd to have just completed when he died. Entitled "Malconques -- The Autobiography of a Cheese Whizard," I believe it contains a whole new college of magic.

I have enclosed the book with this letter for you to study, but I implore you to use the utmost caution in your research. Surely the fate that befell Malconques awaits others who delve too deeply into the dark world of cheese.


Seek Cheese Information
This is the basic cheese spell. It tells the caster the direction and approximate distance of any one type of cheese. "Any" is an acceptable type, if the caster is simply seeking the nearest cheese of any sort. Known cheese sources may be excluded if the caster mentions them before beginning the spell.
Duration: 1 minute.
Cost: 3.
Time to cast: 10 seconds.
Item: A small mouse-shaped figurine, wearing a collar upon which is affixed a rod and string that dangles the specific type of cheese sought before the mouse's nose. Energy cost to create: 50.

Shape Cheese Regular
Lets the caster move cheese about and shape it into any form. A stable form, such as a hill of cheese, will remain after the spell expires. An unstable form, such as an oversized statue of the caster's love interest, is likely to collapse.

Cheese moved by this spell travels at 2 hexes per turn.

Duration: 1 minute.
Cost: 2 per hex of cheese shaped; 1 per hex to maintain.
Prerequisite: Seek Cheese.
Item: A bladed cheese spatula. Energy cost to create: 200.

Preserve Cheese Regular
Keeps cheese fresh and wholesome, despite lack of refrigeration, exposure to the elements, and so forth.
Duration: 1 week. Cannot be maintained, but may be re-cast without penalty.
Cost: 1 per hex of cheese preserved.
Prerequisite: Shape Cheese.

Cheese to Stone Regular
Turns cheese into hard stone (but not gemstone). This spell may in fact be "Age Cheese"; old enough cheese is indistinguishable from stone.
Duration: Permanent.
Cost: 3 for a mass of cheese up to 20 lbs.; 5 for a larger item up to 1 hex, plus 5 more for each additional hex.
Prerequisites: Magery and Shape Cheese.

Stone to Cheese Regular
Turns any sort of stone into pure cheese. Must be cast on a whole stone or block, rather than a part of it.
Duration: Permanent
Cost: Double that of Cheese to Stone.
Prerequisites: Cheese to Stone or Magery and any 4 Cheese spells.

Create Cheese Regular
Through this spell the caster creates good, wholesome cheese where none existed before. The cheese will be of average quality, although a critical success might produce, for example, an exceptionally fine brie.
Duration: Permanent.
Cost: 4 per hex to create cheese from nothingness, or 2 per hex to solidify milk into good cheese. Halve costs to produce a 10-lb. brick of cheese, instead of an entire hex.
Prerequisite: Cheese to Stone.

Essential Cheese Regular
Calls forth the "magical essence of cheese." The spell is much like Create Cheese, but the cheese called into existence will be twice as nourishing, and will complement absolutely any wine.
Duration: Permanent.
Cost: 6 per hex to create cheese from nothingness, or 2 per hex to solidify milk into good cheese. Halve costs to produce a 10-lb. brick of cheese, instead of an entire hex.
Prerequisite: Create Cheese.

Flesh to Cheese Regular; resisted by HT
Turns a living creature, with all of the equipment he carries, into cheese.
Duration: Permanent unless reversed by another spell.
Cost: 15 for a one-hex creature, 30 for a two-hex creature, and so on.
Time to cast: 5 seconds.
Prerequisite: Cheese to Stone.

Cheese to Flesh Regular
The reverse of the Flesh to Cheese spell. It will bring a victim of the above spell back to life, but will not animate lifeless cheese -- only create unliving flesh. Note that a victim of a Flesh to Cheese spell restored in this fashion will have sustained 1d damage for every week spent in cheese form due to molding, etc. This damage is avoided if his cheese body was refrigerated or preserved in some way. The victim will also almost always come away from the experience with a mild case of athlete's foot.
Duration: Permanent.
Cost: 10 for a one-hex creature, more in proportion to size.
Time to cast: 5 seconds.
Prerequisites: Magery 2, Cheese to Stone and Flesh to Cheese.

Queso Regular
This is the basic hot cheese spell. It creates a mass of near-boiling liquid cheese with small bits of jalapeno peppers floating about in it.

The queso will cause 1d damage per turn to anyone immersed in it. A critical success with this spell will call into existence an equal volume of fried corn chips.

Duration: Permanent, but queso created will cool at a normal rate. At the GM's option, a Fright Check may be required at the sight of cold queso.
Cost: 5 per hex of queso created.
Prerequisites: Create Cheese and Create Fire
Item: A porcelain bowl from which the hot cheese pours. Energy cost to create: 500.

Rain of Cheese Area
This spell causes a rain of hot cheese. Anyone within the area of effect will take 1d-1 damage per turn for the duration of the spell.
Base Cost: 1, 1 to maintain.
Prerequisite: Queso.

Cheese Jet Regular
Allows the caster to fire a stream of hot cheese from his fingertips. Each turn, the caster rolls vs. DX-4 or Magic Jet to hit. The attack may be dodged or blocked, but not parried.
Duration: 1 second.
Cost: 1-3 points. Does 1d damage for each point put into it. The jet's range in hexes is equal to the number of dice. Cost to maintain is the same.
Prerequisite: Queso.

Breathe Cheese (VH) Regular
Like Cheese Jet, except that the hot cheese comes jetting out of the caster's mouth. Called "Bad Night in Mexico" by many cheese whizards, each energy point spent on this spell buys 1d+1 damage, instead of 1 die, and the spell cannot be maintained.

Hand gestures are not required to cast this spell; certain grimaces and abdominal clenchings are made instead. Thus, "hands free" castings are possible at any level of skill.

Duration: 1 second.
Cost: 1 to 4. Cannot be maintained.
Time to cast: 2 seconds.
Prerequisites: Magery, Cheese Jet.
Item: Ring -- the wearer must touch the finger wearing the ring to the back of his throat to activate the spell. Energy cost to create: 800.

Cheeseball Missile
This spell allows the caster to create a sphere of cheese which can be hurled as a missile. Upon striking, the missile does crushing damage and dissipates into a foul-smelling gas. It functions exactly as the Stone Missile spell, having SS 13, Acc +2, 1/2D 40, Max 80.
Cost: 1 to 3; the cheeseball does 1 die of damage for each point of energy used.
Time to cast: 1 second for each point of energy used.
Prerequisite: Create Cheese.

Explosive Cheeseball Missile
Creates a cheeseball which explodes on impact. For purposes of range, etc., stats are as for Cheeseball above. Unlike a standard Cheeseball, the Explosive Cheeseball is covered with nuts. It can be targeted at a hex to catch foes in the blast.
Cost: 2 to 6; the cheeseball does 1 die of damage for each 2 energy points spent in casting it. It also sprays nearby hexes with hot cheese and nuts; 1 die less damage in adjacent hexes (or to someone standing in the target hex but not hit by the cheeseball); 2 dice less in hexes 2 distant.
Time to cast: 1 to 3 seconds.
Prerequisites: Queso and Cheeseball.

Cheesecake Regular, Resisted by IQ
Causes a delicious cheesecake to appear. Any creature within a 2-hex radius of the dessert must roll vs. IQ at -4 (modified by Strong or Weak Will) or stop what it's doing and eat the cheesecake. Note that anyone with the Gluttonous, Overweight, or Fat disadvantages receives an additional -3 on their roll. It will take a single man-sized creature 5 turns to consume the cheesecake, or 5 man-sized creatures 1 turn, and so on. If a creature is attacked while eating the cheesecake the spell is immediately broken. A good spell for making escapes when the caster may otherwise be outgunned.
Duration: Permanent until cheesecake is eaten.
Cost: 4.
Prerequisites: Create Cheese and Simple Illusion.

Big Cheese Regular; Resisted by IQ
The subject of this spell will looked upon as an extremely important person by anyone failing to make his resistance roll. It will not necessarily prevent the subject from being attacked -- in fact, potential enemies are likely to see him as the leader and therefore the one that should be eliminated first. The spell grants a +3 to any reaction roll made on the subject.
Cost: 4, 2 to maintain.
Prerequisites: Seek Cheese and Loyalty.
Item: A brass door plate with the caster's name engraved upon it. Energy cost to create: 1,500.

Summon (Cheese) Elemental Special
Also called "Muenster Summoning," this spell allows the caster to call a being from the elemental plane of cheese. Note that the being can only be summoned to a place where cheese already exists; it may be necessary for the caster to use a Create Cheese spell before casting this spell. The creature's attributes, reaction to the summoner, etc., are determined in the same manner as is done for the more typical elementals. (See GURPS Magic , p. 30.)

A cheese elemental with an IQ of 10 or greater will make terrible puns at any opportunity. Polite laughter at these cheesy attempts at humor is worth a +2 reaction modifier.

Duration: One hour. In theory, it may not be maintained -- but nobody has ever actually attempted to keep a cheese elemental around for longer than an hour.
Cost: 4.
Time to cast: 30 seconds. GM rolls 2 dice to determine how many minutes before the elemental appears.
Prerequisites: Magery; at least 8 other spells from the Cheese college, or 4 Cheese spells and another Summon Elemental spell.

Article publication date: February 1, 1994

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