Magic is about breaking or controlling the laws of nature and channeling powers not from this world and it should be filled with Wonder and Danger. Since all Magicians are Magicians and are not limited to any one type/school of spells I took inspiration from Crypts & Things and the rules about White, Grey and Black magic from there.
- White Magic are spells that are about healing, protection and spells "in tune" with nature or the laws of nature. Most spells that Cure or Detect are examples of White Magic. Memorizing and casting White Magic spells is safe.
- Black Magic are spells that cause destruction, controls minds, summons demons and make fun of the laws of nature. Obvious spells are Summon, Animate Dead and Cloudkill but spells like Invisibility and Teleport are also Black Magic. Memorizing these spells are exhausting and casting one of them is corrupting.
- Grey Magic are the spells in between. Spells that reads but don't control minds and spells that heighten senses are typical Grey Magic spells. ESP and Heat Metal are both Grey Magic. Memorizing these spells are exhausting.
ExhaustionMagic is power, and power should not be free. When a Magician memorizes a Grey or Black Magic spell he takes 1d4 Exhaustion plus one point for every Grey or Black Magic spell memorized.
Exhaustion is damage to the Constitution score and is recovered by 1 point per night's rest or 1d3+1 point per full days rest in a comfortable environment. If Exhaustion from magical sources causes a characters Constitution to drop below 0 that character will go into coma, gain a mutation and lose one point of Constitution permanently. Awaking the magician from coma sounds like an excellent "journey into a weird mind"-adventure.
If the source of Exhaustion is physical, skip the mutation and roll 2d4 for the amount of weeks in a comfortable bed it will take for the character to wake up.
CorruptionCasting a Black Magic spell is about letting forces no human should know about rush through your body in an attempt to control them. Sometimes this ends up corrupting the caster. Whenever a Black Magic spell is cast, the magician need to roll Save vs Magic modified by her Corruption Level. A failed save increases the casters Corruption Level with 1. When this means that the corruption is equal to the casters Wisdom score the caster gains a Mutation. Roll a d500 and consult The Metamorphica. The corruption level then resets but will never go below the amount of mutations the caster has.
No Levels and a Thousand spells
There is also 1000 spells. Every Magician starts with three spells, Read Magic being one of them and the other two can be decided however you want. I suggest rolling 1d1000 on a table like this for at least one of them. If a number with an empty line shows up use the Raggi method:
- Go to Metal Archives Random Band.
- Randomly select a release from the Discography
- Randomly select a track from that release
- Create a spell with the same name as that track. Bonus points for finding the song on Youtube/Spotify and listening to the song on repeat until you have figured out what the spell is about.
Footnote: The Spell List may cause you go "what the hell makes spell X White/Grey/Black?" and the answer to that may be "because it was put together in an hour" or it may be "because Lamentations of the Flame Princess". LotFP takes some spells and makes them weird, take Mirror Image as an example:
That's from Labyrinth Lord, here's the LotFP version:Several illusory duplicates of the caster pop into being, making it difficult for enemies to know which target to attack.
This spell grabs 1d4 duplicates of the caster from near-identical timelines to confuse foes and make it more difficult for the original caster to come to harm. ... When an opponent makes a successful attack against one of the duplicates, it instantly dies and dissipates into nothingness (the others remain).So basically, Mirror Image makes you a serial killer targeting yourself in other timelines.