Magic Schools

Orthodox Schools

Academic Magic

Academic magic is the study of the forces and elements, controlling the stuff of the real world. Throwing fireballs, shooting lightning bolts, all the stereotypical stuff - it’s an academic’s bag.

An academic magician’s role is an offensive one. No other school is as dangerous in combat. Academic magic also readily interacts with inanimate objects, conjurations and magical items. Academic magic is an ideal starting point for magicians planning to study other schools, as those starting as academic magicians get additional bonus spells per level. On the other hand, the school has less utility spells than others, no access to healing and limited choices for apprentice-level spells.

In the World

Academic magicians are normally urban-dwellers who practice magic in an organized profession - whether as scholars, soldiers, or even engineers and inventors. An academic magician usually maintains a relationship with his academy or college, on whom he or she depends for libraries and laboratories, research money and camaraderie.

As masters of the elements and the not-so-secret weapons of many an empire’s army, academic magicians share an awesome reputation. Heads of academies are politically influential. Up-and-coming students can be celebrities. After their apprenticeship, academic magicians usually find themselves well-connected and well-respected.

Witchcraft (Folk Magic)

Witchcraft is the weird domesticated for human use. They’re subtle. They’re tricky and evasive, going around problems rather than through. They fly with broomsticks just to throw regular people off. They can just do that.

Witchcraft is primarily a utility school. The ability to control the weather, as well as to conjure food, water, fire and other necessities, makes a witch an ideal travel companion. Inside dungeons, their ability to dowse for directions, water and treasure helps parties to find their war around traps and towards their goals. Illusions can be used offensively and defensively against intelligent enemies. Most notably, master witches have exclusive access to reliable, long-distance teleportation. A witch’s ability to deal damage is somewhat situational, as their offensive abilities are more subtle than an academic magician’s.

In the World

Witchcraft is the magic of the Fey, tied to the weird perhaps more closely than any other school. Indeed, witches often trace their schools back to a single witch apprenticed by some forest spirit or another. Organized witchcraft academies exist - the Silas’ Hole School being notable for its attempt to systematize the school into a form acceptable for academics - but private, informal apprenticeship is much more common.

Experienced witches work within their communities as jack-of-all-trades problem solvers. They are just as likely to be hermits and recluses, safe behind layers of phantoms and illusions, or vagabonds wandering the world as explorers, prospectors or even spies.

Pastor’s Magic (Royal Magic)

The magic of virtue, belief and ideal life, pastor’s magic exists to bring out the best in human life. Almost everyone likes them - especially adventuring parties who find themselves at the business end of a goblin’s spear.

Pastor’s magic is primarily defensive. They are unmatched as healers, with the exclusive power to heal many allies at once. Pastor-mages can also support their allies in the heat of battle by making weapons and armour more effective. Outside of combat, the school protects the magician and his allies from hostile environments and lurking foes. It is a useful school for non-magicians to dabble in, and provides more spells at apprentice rank than any other school. There are a few offensive spells available to pastor-mages, but these are somewhat clumsy compared to those of other schools. The school is also weak when it comes to affecting the environment, rather than merely resisting its harmful effects.

In the World


The magic of mind and thought. A mentalist often doesn’t even realize he or she is practising magic. A mentalist also may or may not know what you look like naked.

A utility school of a different breed than witchcraft, mentalists excel at gathering information. They can get limited glimpses of the future, read the thought of friends and enemies, or massage party relations with NPCs. Delving into the darker side of the school allows a magician to write and rewrite memories, drive enemies away in fear and even reduce intelligent beings to catatonic vegetables. Regardless of whether they study in other schools, a magician who starts as a mentalist is less likely to break the real when casting spells, making their abilities generally safe to use. The school is nevertheless quite limited: its powers have little effect on mindless and unintelligent foes, such as undead and vermin, and the school has difficulty harming bodies with the same ease it has when changing minds.

In the World

Forbidden Schools


Necromancers study pure life, pure death and pure spirit, unencumbered by superstitions, religion, even mere matter. Frankly, other magicians find them to be a bit of a bummer.

Necromancy is a “hybrid” school of magic. Dedicated necromancers can fill in for academics, witches and pastor-mages. Apprentices have access to healing and utility spells, while initiates and masters can learn extremely dangerous offensive magic - including instant death.

In the World

Necromancy is widely forbidden due mostly to the heretical habits of necromancers themselves. Due to many shared abilities, however, necromancers often “pass” as other kinds of magicians and folk healers. Whether altruistic or malign, many necromancers mask their true abilities for decades, taking the odd apprentice to pass on their knowledge and ease the loneliness of keeping their secrets.

Notably, necromantic magic is not unorthodox within the culture of the lizardpeople of the west, or at least so it seems due to Inxi Huinzi actually having a place in his society.

Abyssal Magic

The magic of demons themselves, the stuff of nightmares, the weird loosed to wreak havoc on the real. Abyssal magicians are bad news. They want to get even worse.

Abyssal magic suits magicians of exceptional ability looking for high-risk, high reward spellcasting. Magicians with wisdom and charisma to spare will get the most out of the school’s powers. Largely offensive, the school excels at unusual types of harm: damage over time, environmental damage (especially fire), and changing or crippling targets. The school also excels at causing general mayhem through spells that inflict curses, force enemies to act against themselves and summon dangerous monsters. The school suffers from a much more limited set of abilities than other schools. While the flexibility of Blood Pact spells alleviates this somewhat, an abyssal magician gambles with his or her soul every time he makes one.

In the World

Abyssal mages are universally hated - they don’t even like each other very much. Unlike necromancy, whose practitioners can be convincingly morally ambiguous, abyssal magic has no redeeming qualities. It exists to help consume, deceive and destroy. It is taught generally by demons themselves - rarely does an abyssal mage wish to share. Abyssal mages skulk in forgotten corners of society, or else hide in plain sight through elaborate networks of false identities, lackeys and front men, schemes and counterschemes.