Another question for my spell book project.

Another question for my spell book project.

Another question for my spell book project. What does everyone think about the old D&D spells and how they kind of crossed classes at time? Like how both Wizards and Clerics could cast Hold Person, Summon Monster, or Animate Dead? Would you want to have those spells show up in both the Arcane and Divine spell compendiums I’m working on? Let me know in the poll!

27 thoughts on “Another question for my spell book project.”

  1. I very much conceptually side with the idea of a generic “magic user”. A paladin is just a fighter who has found faith, I imagine a cleric to be a wizard who found faith.

  2. I do like the approch Dragonlance 5th Age uses: living and unliving are the domains of mystics; material and energy are the domains of sorcerers.

    So wizards may cast fireball and burning blades, but clerics may cast charm and hold person.

  3. Depends entirely on the rest of the context. Assuming you’re using the core DW Cleric and Wizard classes as written, then I’d keep them separate (yeah, yeah, Light is on both lists, but c’mon, it’s Light).

    Reason 1: It helps thematically differentiate between them.

    Reason 2: It’s a good design constraint, to have to make any given spell fit clearly under “Cleric” or “Wizard.”

    Reason 3: If the spell lists overlap, the human wizard and cleric moves lose some of their appeal, and the become messier. (e.g. player accidentally chooses a wizard spell that was already a cleric spell!)

    Now, if you’re tweaking the underlying classes, then I think what Aaron Griffin is describing has legs: cleric vs. wizard could have less to do with the types of spells they cast and more to do with their focus on spells or divine smiting.

    Like, for a different fantasy hack I was working on, I divided spells into Spheres (blood, chaos, death, fire, restoration, etc…. something like 15 of them, each with a cantrip and 4-6 additional spells). Wizards got to pick 2 or 3 starting moves, each of which granted access to 1 – 3 spheres, as well as a thematic special ability.

    So, like, if they choose, Dark Arts, the got access to the darkness and death spheres and could also see ghosts and shades of the dead, and the impressions left by death. If they chose Occult Order they got to pick two spheres of their choice that defined they’re order’s magic, and got influence and access to the order’s resources. If they chose Sanctified they got protection and restoration and spirit and the ability to ask “what here is touched by Evil?”

    Similarly, there was Templar playbook that had a bunch of moves about smiting enemies of the faith, and a few available moves that granted access to spheres.

  4. For clarification, these are just lists of spells to give more available options to the existing classes. It can be a quick way to find a new spell for the players to find if they roll that option on the treasure table or if they want to just throw a scroll in somewhere. Wizards or other arcane spellcasters could choose new spells from the compendium when they level up, while Clerics or any divine spellcasters obviously have access to any of them. I planned on making Cleric domains a thing, as an optional feature.

  5. Do you guys think all the Divination and Necromancy spells belong in the Divine list? As of now I have schools of magic for Arcane spells as:









    And Universal if they are just spells any wizard should know.

    Now, Divine spells don’t have schools listed because they come from deities, but I would basically remove Necromancy and Divination spells from the Arcane list and put them all into Divine spells. What do you think?

  6. Mmm I don’t think we need schools in DW. Part of its appeal is its crunch light apect. More spells are fine and I totally dig this but I would personally keep the class options to a minimum.

  7. Now there will always be spells that just fit one Class so perfectly it’ll be a crime not to have them, like “detect magic” on a witch hunter class.

    Besides that though, one should ALWAYS strive to prevent overlap.

  8. Maxime Lacoste Schools are present in the base wizard spell list, they just don’t serve a purpose. I planned to have a compendium class included for those wizards that like to be more crunchy with their spells, which is why I chose to keep them.

  9. Ok makes sense. Honestly I had forgotten schools where present in the original playbooks. Sorry my bad. Since they don’t have any mechanical effect in play my mind just erased that fact its seems. Thanks for correcting me.

  10. Scott Selvidge I don’t think that removing all Necromancy or Divination spells from the wizard lists and moving them to the cleric lists makes sense. The necromancer is a classic wizarding trope! And so is the wizard peering into their crystal ball (or whatever).

    I think what you should do is consider the style of each spell and which class it fits. Or decide which class you want a spell to go with, and make sure it’s description and function fits that class.

    It’s a subtle distinction about which type of spell fits where, but in my mind it breaks down to:

    Wizards tamper with forces best left alone. They bind, twist, harness, exploit, defy, bargain. They fling open Death’s Black Gates to blast their foes with a withering black wind, conjure up a dead man’s shade by leveraging their link to a once-beloved possession, or send their senses off into the void to spy upon their foes.

    Clerics wield the authority and power of their deity. They command, beseech, abjure, and censure. The invoke spirits or entities that respect their god. The wield a fraction of their god’s domain, or their command over the fundamental forces of the cosmos. They smite their god’s foes. They bless or curse in their god’s name!

    Wizards are hackers. Clerics are representatives. Their spells should reflect that.

  11. Jeremy Strandberg I think you are right in the flavoring of spells. Even though they are both the same spell, Soul Gem and Soul Trap belong to the Wizard and Cleric respectively. The same goes for Contact Spirits and Speak With Dead. So even though I may have the some of the same spell effects on the two lists, they will have different names and flavor depending on whether they are Arcane or Divine.

  12. Scott Selvidge Keeping the spell schools as you intend to can only be a good thing. Right now they serve as Tags, which other fiction (and mechanics) in the future might play off. More Tags is more better.

  13. Scott Selvidge I kind of like that necromancy isn’t part of the Wizard. Several Necromancer playbooks have been made, but I like how much necromancy is part of the base Cleric. Even with Contact Spirits they put it in the summoning school and describe it as “name a spirit… you pull that creature through the planes.” It is very different (and potentially much broader) than Speak With Dead.

    On a side note, I did a little tinkering with the schools when I revised the playkit, mostly because I wanted all the spells to be assigned to a school (some aren’t). There is a table at the end of the changelog which show the break down: – Changelog for Playkit Plus v1.1

  14. Scott Selvidge I don’t think the Tag-based spells are incompatible with the current wizard though, where you can cast as often as you like, but risk burning out your Tags.

  15. Wow, I thought “Spells shouldn’t overlap” was going to win, but it looks like “Some should” pulled ahead. I plan on making some similar spells with different flavor exist between Arcane and Divine spells.

    I’m also up in the air on calling the school for spells that summon something into existence Summoning or Conjuration. I wanted to go off of old D&D schools like I posted earlier, but the fact that those spells already have summoning on the basic sheets makes me hesitate. The pdf of the spellbook would have updated Cleric and Wizard playbooks included, using my custom format, so I could change the schools of spells on their list, but I’m still not sure.

  16. So the result is that I will have a few similar but different flavored spells between the Arcane and Divine spell books. I also will use the following schools for all the arcane spells to go along with the specialist wizard compendium class that I will include with the arcane compendium:










Comments are closed.