(by Daniel Smith)
Duration: 1 round per level
The touched book animates, forming a mouth around the edge where the paper shows. You can ask the book one question per round, and if the information is inside it will answer. If anyone else approaches or asks questions the book snaps and growls that round instead of answering anything. Intelligent books may save to negate (as a Magic-User of a level equal to the author). Magical books don't impart their effect when they answer. The spell is a shortcut to actually reading a book, and it won't give more information than a careful reading would give.
Picking a winner really sucked. I had it narrowed down to 9 finalist spells which immediately stood out. But that was too much. I had to find some criteria to kick spells out. A couple really shouldn't have been first level, so that eliminated some. If it looked anything like another spell, it went. Recreated something another class does, gone. All awesome spells being dumped there. And I still had a handful. Do I go for something creepy that promotes the flavor of the game? Or do I go for something most likely to actually be chosen by a player? It's impossible - no matter what I chose there would be a better spell, if only the motivation behind the pick was slightly altered, left behind. But then that's the advantage of the PDF compilation of all the entries, right?
In the end, the spell chosen is not flashy or especially bizarre, but it is something actually useful in the kinds of adventures I run and write.
So, do I axe Magic Missile and add a second spell from the contest? :D
The PDF file is here.
np: Twisted Sister Stay Hungry
("In order to obtain maximum sensory enjoyment from the auditory representation contained herein, it is necessary to minimize load resistance through the potentiometer in ones preamplification section. In other words, PLAY IT LOUD, MUTHA!