I Was a Teenage Wizard
In this campaign I’ve created several schools of magic, using the same process for creating Archetypes. Each school of magic determines the character’s starting spells, boosts to a few skills, and some of the change the spellcasting attribute from smarts to something else, to allow for more character variation.
From talking with Janelle and Mindy, it sounds like Jan will probably take Empath, and Mindy will probably take Elementalist. I have no idea what Carly will do, but that leaves lots of unselected archetypes. I’m still trying to flesh out the list, because I can then use the other archetypes to create NPCs, and would definitely like to have a fair list of other students and teachers for them to interact with, and maybe control in some situations.
General Notes on Custom Magic Rules
- Characters start with 15PP at Novice, and gain 5PP every rank increase
- Characters regain 1PP every 10 minutes
- Characters can spend their combat round meditating to regain 2 + 1d4 PP
- Magic items with charges will be moderately available. These will either be wands or amulets with X charges of a certain spell like Bolt, or scrolls which will be consumed on use.
- Alchemy: although not technically a school of magic, the Alchemy (smarts) skill will be very useful. Players can take time when they have access to the right equipment to create potions from recipes that they know. The components for each potion recipe will cost a certain amount of money each time the potion is attempted. Players can spend money to purchase ingredients when they have access to appropriate vendors, and save them for later brewing. Additional recipes can be purchased from vendors, and some rare recipes can be found as treasure. A player can attempt to invent a recipe with a desired effect. The difficulty of the roll, and the amount of time the experiment will take, will be determined by the GM based on how useful the potion would be. Once a recipe is invented, it can be recreated as usual. Invented recipes will sometimes have unexpected effects…
The governing attribute for each Archetype starts at d8. The spell schools are:
Arcanists are masters of the ancient laws and secrets that govern magic itself. They are the stereotypical “bookish wizards” of legends, and that general knowledge aids them in overcoming many types of obstacles. Arcanists cast spells with Smarts.
Bonus Edge – Arcane Study: Arcanists’ wide ranging study has given them a passing knowledge of many spells. They can attempt to cast a spell that they do not currently know at a -4, or a -2 if it is a spell known by one of their companions. They can attempt this once per hour, per adventurer rank. So, a Veteran Arcanist could attempt this three times per hour.
Starting Spells: Analyze Foe, Bolt, Armor (Shield)
Illusionists cloak themselves in shadow and delight in subtle trickery to achieve their ends. They understand that the mind is the most powerful weapon, and deception the greatest tool in their arsenal. They are less well suited to direct confrontation, but should never be underestimated in any situation. Illusionists cast spells with Agility.
Bonus Edge – Prestedigitation: Illusionists have honed the powers of deception and misdirection to such an extent that minor tricks barely require effort. As a minor action, Illusionists can make a simple spellcraft roll to produce simple illusions within 10", such as a flock of doves, a flash of light, a phantom sound, a dancing flame, etc. Minor illusions fool the senses in some way, but are otherwise not real. Anyone who can sees you can observe you casting the illusion, unless you specifically make the roll at -2 to cast undetected.
They also receive +2 on all stealth roles due to their subtle manipulation of light and shadow.
Starting Spells: Fear (Phantom Spectres), Stun, Deflection (Mirror Image)
Kineticists’ magic springs from an almost intuitive understanding of the unseen forces which course through the world. Force, momentum, velocity, gravity; in their hands these immutable laws of nature become more powerful than any spell. Kineticists manipulate the forces of motion to imbue their limbs with incredible strength and speed, and as their power grows they can even learn to alter these forces in their environment. Kineticists cast spells with Strength.
Bonus Edge – Infused Celerity: Kineticists are attuned to the natural flow of energy through and around them. They are dealt 2 initiative cards in each round, keeping the best result, and their pace is increased by 1.
Starting spells: Jet (Shockwave), Entangle (Intertia), Deflection (Blur)
A roaring flame, a blast of wind, bone-chilling frost, and earth-shaking tremors, these elemental forces have fascinated and terrified man since the dawn of time. Elementalists take that fascination to its logical end, harnessing the elements of nature with their own powerful wills. Elementalists come in all shapes and sizes, but they all share one trait in common: a powerful (some would say stubborn and uncompromising) will, which fuels their control over nature’s wrath, and a surprising personal fortitude, which allows them to survive the terrible forces they employ. Elementalists cast spells with Vigor.
Bonus Edge – Elemental Manifestation: Each elementalist’s magic is based on a profound attunement to one of the four primary elements. As a minor action, the player can cast the Elemental Manifestation spell free of cost, but is restricted to the element they selected when creating their character. Additionally, any spells cast with their elemental trapping receive +2 on their roll, while any cast with any other elemental trapping receive -1.
Starting Spells – Burst, Burrow (Elemental Movement), Damage Field
Some wizards are known for flinging bolts of power or turning their enemies into toads, but the Empath knows that all magic flows from the soul, and that controlling the heart of a man is true power. Their spells are subtle, influencing or even dominating the minds and wills of their enemies towards their own ends. Some foolishly consider them weak for their lack of raw power, but the wise know to respect an Empath’s powers. Empaths cast spells with Spirit.
Bonus Edge – Arcane Intuition: Empaths can sense the subtle currents of will and emotions emanating from others, and can often subtly influence them. They receive a +2 to their Charisma, and a +2 on Notice rolls that relate to a living being.
Starting Spells – Confusion, Healing, Mind Reading
Conjurors’ wield their magic to create solid matter out of pure energy, if only for a short time. They are masters of summoning allies, and manipulating their constructs to achieve their ends.
Bonus Edge – Empowered Summoning: Summoners have studied the conjuration and manipulation of matter with such focus that they can summon stronger or more numerous allies than their compatriots. When casting the Summon Ally spell, their ally either receives the Hardy and Brawny edges. Alternatively, if they opt to summon a greater number of weaker allies, they summon one more than the spell would normally allow.
Starting Spells – Barrier (Stone Wall, Wall of Constructs, etc), Ledgerdemain (Summoned Servant), Summon Ally