3e D&D did some really weird stuff to its magic schools.

Cure spells were moved out of Necromancy and into Conjuration (Healing). The Healing subschool is incredibly small — basically just the restore health/remove affliction and raise dead spells. There isn’t much else to them.

This is problematic for complex cosmological reasons.

What else can/should the same kind of magic that restores health be doing?

It took some time for 3e to get rolling on effects like Death By Awesome — in which a character transported to the Positive Energy Plane, accumulates temporary hit points until they explode — because it doesn’t make sense.

No, restorative spells like cure and raise dead were a part of Necromancy for a reason. They manipulated life force, plain and simple.

Once you’re able to see past that first problem — which is inherent only to the magic system of 3e — there are other issues that need to be addressed.

Like binding magic. Goodness gracious.

3e was actually way sloppier on assigning healing its own subschool (under Conjuration, no less) the binding or “imprisonment” spells were spread across multiple schools. Magic Circle is Abjuration while Binding is Enchantment. Soul Bind is Necromancy while Trap the Soul is Conjuration.

Imprisonment like Magic Circle, is Abjuration, as is Freedom.

What am I getting at?

All of these spells should be found in the same school of magic.

“Lolwut,” you might ask. “No really,” I reply.

Let me ask you — what are you doing when you restore someone to “life?”

Before you answer, let me give you a hint. It’s generally accepted that when a creature dies, any spirit or soul they have departs for the afterlife.

Could it be that you are enticing the spirit to return to its former vessel? That perhaps what you’re doing is binding that spirit into its former host? Healing wounds, to be certain — but effectively imprisoning it in flesh.

So how might this magic be abused?

Perhaps in enticing spirits into vessels to which they do not belong? Could I be suggesting that the same magic for healing might be used to create undead?

Much more than that, actually — I’m suggesting this power is used to prevent enemies from crossing thresholds and to bind elemental spirits into powerful constructs like golems, or in Eberron — airships and lightning trains.

Here’s the crazy thing. All these magic schools I’ve listed up to this point — Abjuration, Conjuration, “Healing,” Enchantment, Necromancy — are anemic traditions when taken individually as they currently are.

If I were to combine the above effects I’ve described, they’d actually form one robust magic tradition — instead of three to five really flimsy ones.