So, I started writing up spells this week.

Based on some stuff I came up with last week, I have outlines for a number of subschools. I’ve mostly finished the ‘Curse’ subschool of Necromancy, and I’m partway through ‘Summons.’ It’s been a lot of fun.

I’m working on the schools I felt have been neglected through the editions — plus some of my favorites — so I imagine the first schools I’ll finish will be Conjuration, Divination, and Necromancy.

Right now, I have Necromancy planned to include Motion and Curses. The Motion subschool includes most of the spells for animating the dead, as well as creating a homunculus or animating objects. You use Necromancy to create golems.

Curses focuses on a number of methods for avoiding death, and making life miserable for others. There are at least four spells dedicated to avoiding death, inspired by Dracula and Voldemort. “Temporal Stasis” is now a Curse.

Conjuration consists primarily of the Teleportation and Summons subschools. I’m going the 4e route for the majority of teleportation spells because I think they were “better balanced” for the most part. (Spread out over several levels.)

Summons will borrow heavily from 5e. I’m rather fond of the simplification of Concentration in 5e — and for my disappointment with wizard class features, I figure the Conjuration specialist made out pretty well.

There are a few concerns I’ve worked to address:

– Magic Item Creation
– Summons / Servants / Minions

While schools are typically aligned with sources of magic (e.g. Divine, Psionic, Arcane, etc), spells are not. Spellcasters can cast any spell.

Most spells offer no attack roll, and no saving throw.

Saves are a privilege, not a right.

Many, many spells have extensive casting times (1-4 hours) and expensive material components. (This balances the former.) The primary advantage of playing a wizard then, is gaining “freebies” as you advance in level.

Scrolls aren’t magic items, they are incomplete spells. They don’t radiate or detect as magical, just as a wizard doesn’t radiate magic when he’s casting a spell. They are easily confused with non-magical writings.

Creating a magic item is a three-step process:
– First you summon an elemental.
– Next, you bind the elemental to the item.
– Finally, you cast the enchantment.

Object-oriented spells belong to the Alteration school (for the most part), and while most will persist for some time — however, they fade without an anchor and a continual supply of magic. A bound elemental provides both.

As for summons, servants, and minions . . .

I intend to “bring back” some of the truly heinous and game-breaking effects of yore. “Charm Person” for example, can be used to befriend someone for . . . forever. As long as you treat them well, of course.

Most of these effects will require re-asserting the spellcaster’s control over the subject periodically, most of them about once per day, though some effects can be prolonged through special means.

“Animate Dead” for example, borrows from 5e’s version of the spell — animating and asserting control over an undead creature. After 24 hours however, the undead becomes free-willed (“uncontrolled” might be more accurate).


Next, I hope to work on the “Covenant” subschool of Divination.