Edit: stupid autocorrect thinks it knows everything. “Alliteration” school indeed.

The 3e Transmutation school had lots of problems. Technically it didn’t have many more than prior editions.

But one of those problems was that it was a go-to school for every magical effect that didn’t easily fit in another school–and a few that did.

Back in my purist phase, when I wanted schools to reflect their themes and nothing else, Alteration (as I prefer to call it) was a different school that had little overlap with the other schools.

Things are different now. I like to think I’ve gotten better at this.

The design of the schools reflects a certain overlap, or blending of their disciplines. Polymorph for example, is vital to the identity of Alteration, but I didn’t want the school to be every spell that alters the composition of something.

There’s still plenty of that, though.

But among other things, that’s why you can find Regenerate in this school instead of whatever school picks up the other healing effects. (Currently Divination, but I’m changing the name of my Divination school to Invocation.)

Then there were some important lessons.

Like, I never realized the importance of spells like Heat Metal and Warp Wood until after I played Master of Magic.

Warp Wood was simply one of the most effective ways of dealing with archers, who are otherwise the death of very many magic-using characters.

Woe unto any wizard who doesn’t prepare Warp Wood: which is all of them, since it’s a druid spell.

I learned the importance of the Heat Metal spell as a result of a paladin dominating the encounters of the campaign I was running until recently.

Having one of the highest ACs possible, dealing staggering amounts of melee damage, having stupid numbers of hit points, AND being able to heal. Oh, and being able to make almost every saving throw on account of the new low DCs and high paladin bonuses from Charisma.

There’s a line between a character well-played and being too powerful to fail, and I couldn’t see it anymore.

That’s when I finally realized how vitally important it was that some spells simply not offer a saving throw.

It isn’t petty, to have aspell affect an object in a character’s possession instead of directly targeting the character, the way I feared. Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to preserve the essence that magic is scary and unpredictable. Plus, fire damage is the most common energy type under the sun.

And if magic can’t touch a scary man in a tin can, then there is something SERIOUSLY wrong that is going on.

So, there’s some spells in Alteration and some spells in Evocation that should help with the scary tin can man problem.


SNAKE STAFF
Alteration cantrip
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: touch
Components: verbal, somatic, material
Duration: 1 minute

Effect: The spell transforms the head of a touched club or staff into a striking snake. For the duration, you can use your spellcasting ability instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using that weapon, and the weapon deals an additional 1d6 poison damage. The spell ends if you cast it again or if you let go of the weapon.

Higher Levels: The poison damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).


WARP WOOD
1st-level alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: concentration, up to 1 minute

Effect: The spell causes a nonliving, nonmagical, wooden object you can see within range to bend, destroying its straightness, form, and strength. For the duration, a wooden or hafted weapon (e.g. bow, crossbow, club, axe, spear, or staff) imposes disadvantage on attack rolls made with it, and a wooden door becomes stuck (requiring a Strength check DC 15 to open).

You may warp other objects as the DM permits, such as wooden chairs, tables, and signposts, but the spell fails to warp an object larger than a bed. If you maintain your concentration for the full minute, a weapon, door, or other wooden object becomes permanently altered.

Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can target one additional wooden object for each slot level above 1st.


HEAT METAL
2nd-level alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: concentration, up to 1 minute

Effect: Choose a manufactured metal object, such as a weapon or a suit of armor that you can see within range. For the duration, any creature holding or wearing the object takes 2d8 fire damage the first time it comes in contact with the object on its turn, or at the start of its turn if it was already holding or wearing the object.

If a creature holding or wearing the object takes damage from it, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw or drop the object if it can. If it fails the save, the creature has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks until the start of its next turn.

Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 2nd.


GASEOUS FORM
3rd-level alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: touch
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: concentration, up to 1 hour

Effect: Your touch transforms a willing creature into a misty cloud for the duration. The spell ends if the creature drops to 0 hit points, or you use an action to dismiss the spell. An incorporeal creature isn’t affected.

While in this form, the target’s only method of movement is a flying speed of 10 feet. The target can enter and occupy the space of other creatures. The target has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, and it has advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws.

The target can pass through small holes, narrow openings, and even mere cracks, though it treats liquids as though they were solid surfaces. The target can’t fall and remains hovering in the air even when stunned or otherwise incapacitated.

While in the form of a misty cloud, the target can’t speak or manipulate objects. Any objects the creature was carrying or holding can’t be dropped, used, targeted, or otherwise interacted with. The target can’t attack or cast spells.


POLYMORPH
4th-level alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: concentration, up to 1 hour

Effect: The spell transforms a creature that you can see within range into a new form of your choosing. An unwilling creature makes a Charisma saving throw. If it succeeds on the save, you can’t target the creature with this spell for 24 hours. The spell has no effect on a shapechanger or a creature with 0 hit points.

For the duration, the target adopts the game statistics (including mental ability scores) of a beast whose challenge rating is less than or equal to the target’s (or the target’s level, if it doesn’t have a challenge rating). The target retains its alignment and personality. The transformation lasts for the duration, or until the target drops to 0 hit points or dies.

The target assumes the hit points of its new form. When it reverts to its normal form, the creature returns to the number of hit points it had before it transformed. If the transformation ends as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to its normal form.

The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and it can’t speak, cast spells, or take any other action that requires hands or speech.

The target’s gear melds into the new form. The creature can’t activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment.


PASSWALL
5th-level alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: 1 hour

Effect: A passage appears at a point of your choice that you can see on a wooden, plaster, or stone surface (such as a wall, a ceiling, or a floor) within range, and lasts for the duration. You choose the opening’s dimensions: up to 5 feet wide, 8 feet tall, and 20 feet deep. The passage creates no instability in a structure surrounding it.

When the opening disappears, any creatures or objects still in the passage created by the spell are safely ejected to an unoccupied space nearest to the surface on which you cast the spell.

Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the depth of the passage increases by 20 feet for each slot level above 5th.


FLESH TO STONE
6th-level alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: concentration, up to 1 minute

Effect: Choose one fleshy, living creature that you can see within range to transform to stone. The target makes a Charisma saving throw. If the target fails the save, it becomes restrained while its flesh begins to harden.

While restrained by this spell, the target makes another Charisma saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If it saves against this spell three times, the spell ends and the target is no longer restrained. If it fails three saves against this spell, the target becomes petrified for the duration. The successes and failures don’t need to be consecutive.

If the creature is physically broken while petrified, it suffers from similar deformities if it reverts to its original state. This can result in the creature’s death if, for example, its head is removed while it is petrified. If you maintain your concentration on this spell for the entire possible duration, the creature is turned to stone until the effect is removed.


REGENERATE
7th-level alteration
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: touch
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: 1 hour

Effect: The spell accelerates the natural healing ability of a living creature you touch. The target regains 4d8 + 15 hit points. For the duration of the spell, the target regains 1 hit point at the start of each of its turns (10 hit points each minute). There is no effect on constructs or undead.

The target’s severed body members (fingers, legs, tails, and so on), if any, are restored after 2 minutes. If the severed member is present and held it to the stump, the spell causes the limb to reattach instantaneously.


EARTHQUAKE
8th-level alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 500 feet
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: concentration, up to 1 minute

Effect: You create a seismic disturbance in a space on the ground that you can see within range. Tremors shake the ground in a 100-foot-radius burst centered on that space. The ground in the area becomes difficult terrain. Each creature on the ground in the area makes a Constitution saving throw if concentrating on an effect.

When you first cast this spell, and at the end of each turn you continued to concentrate, each creature on the ground in the area makes a Dexterity saving throw. If the target fails the save, it is knocked prone. The spell may have additional effects depending on the terrain in the area, as determined by the DM.

Fissures. Fissures open throughout the spell’s area at the start of your next turn after you cast the spell. A total of 1d6 such fissures open in locations chosen by the DM. Each is 1d10 × 10 feet deep, 10 feet wide, and extends from one edge of the spell’s area to the opposite side. A creature standing on a spot where a fissure opens makes a Dexterity saving throw to avoid falling. A creature that saves moves with the fissure’s edge as it opens.

A fissure that opens beneath a structure causes it to automatically collapse (see below).

Structures. Tremors deal 50 bludgeoning damage to each structure in contact with the ground within the area when you first cast the spell and at the start of each of your turns until the spell ends. If a structure drops to 0 hit points, it collapses and potentially damages nearby creatures. A creature within half the distance of a structure’s height makes a Dexterity saving throw. If it fails the save, the creature takes 5d6 bludgeoning damage, is knocked prone, and becomes buried in the rubble, requiring a DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check as an action to escape.

The DM can adjust the DC higher or lower, depending on the nature of the rubble. If it saves, the creature takes half as much damage and doesn’t fall prone or become buried.


ETHEREALNESS
9th-level alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: self
Components: verbal, somatic
Duration: up to 8 hours

Effect: The spell transports you, and up to eight willing creatures linked by holding hands, to the Ethereal Plane. You remain in the Ethereal Plane for the duration or until you use your action to dismiss the spell. During this time, you can move in any direction. If you move up or down, every foot of movement costs an extra foot. You can see and hear the plane you originated from, but everything there looks gray, and you can’t see anything more than 60 feet away.

While on the Ethereal Plane, you can only affect and be affected by other creatures on that plane. Creatures that aren’t on the Ethereal Plane can’t perceive you and can’t interact with you, unless a special ability or magic has given them the ability to do so.

You ignore all objects and effects that aren’t on the Ethereal Plane, allowing you to move through objects you perceive on the plane you originated from.

When the spell ends, you immediately return to the plane you originated from in the spot you currently occupy. If you occupy the same spot as a solid object or creature when this happens, you are immediately shunted to the nearest unoccupied space that you can occupy and take force damage equal to twice the number of feet you are moved.

This spell has no effect if you cast it while you are on the Ethereal Plane or a plane that doesn’t border it, such as one of the Outer Planes.