Magic. It’s a source of stress for me, speaking as a world-builder. One half of me longs to completely revamp the existing rules, while the more cautious half is unwilling to sacrifice the players’ sense of familiarity with the standard magic system. What to do, what to do?

Compromise is inevitable.

The magic of Lands of Yore is divided into three categories:

  • Arcane Magic
  • Divine Magic
  • Potion Magic

Arcane Magic is essentially the same as that outlined in the PHB with a few exceptions that will be discussed below. It is the primary field of study for two very different social groups: Arcanologists and Enchanters.

Arcanologists are sages schooled in the field of arcanology — the science of magic. They are a common sight in most cities of the Rúksea Region, the center of their studies being the island-state of Twel Yebral. The typical arcanologist is a stuffy old scholar who has spent the majority of his life conducting experiments in his laboratory-sanctum. He is usually far too busy with his research to involve himself with the world of the mundane. In most cases, the work of an arcanologist is bankrolled by a wealthy patron, who provides the the sage with a space and materials to conduct his studies in exchange for the arcanologist’s expertise if he should require it. The exception would be those resident arcanologists who dwell in the Arcanological Conclave of Twel Yebral, the self-proclaimed authority on all matters of magical research.

Unlike the archetypal mage, an arcanologist does not typically concern himself with combative magics of any sort. The goal of arcanology is simply to understand how magic works. In game terms, most arcanologists (technically mages) do not exceed 8th Level. They have little or no prowess in battle and are used to conducting magic in controlled environments free from interruptions or dangers of any kind. They are specialists in the sense that they are useful if one is looking for knowledge of, for example, the workings of a particular magical device. When it comes to adventure, however, they are best left at home. Better to bring the prince’s butler along than his arcanologist.

Enchanters (not to be confused with the specialist wizard class), are representatives of a magical tradition that predates arcanology by eons. Not nearly as numerous as the arcanologists, they spend most of their time away from the centers of civilization. The social status of enchanters is very different than that of arcanologists. For example, in the Empire of Mortháyin, only practitioners of arcanology are considered ‘licensed’ magic-users. Most enchanters find such prohibitions laughable and look on the field of arcanology with disdain.

All enchanters learned their art as apprentices to a Master Enchanter. There are never more than seven such individuals. All are members of an ancient order known as the Torque. Very little is known about the members of the Torque, and many consider them to be figures of myth.

Enchanter PCs are essentially mages, though their gamut of spells largely depends on which Master Enchanter instructed them. Each enchanter develops a distinctive magical style.

NEXT TIME: Divine Magic, Potion Magic, and Rune Lore