Redefining Arcane Magic - Part 2

Copyright Jonathan Dale © 2014

Edited by Terence Wynne for The Guild Companion

"What Arcane magic lacks is stability, constancy, and reliability. It is a crude harnessing of power that can achieve great effects yet not always with the desired precision or predictability."

We continue our reworking of Arcane magic with three new lists: Arcane Light, Arcane Water, and Arcane Wind. As before, these lists are somewhat broader in nature than corresponding lists in each realm, but also a bit less predictable. Additional lists will follow in future articles.

The Arcane Spell Lists

Arcane Light

Level Spell Area of Effect Duration Range Type
1 Projected Light 50' beam 10 min/lvl self E
2 Light I 10' R 2d10 min/lvl touch E
3 Shock Bolt I 1 target -- 100' Ed
4 Light Elemental Control I 1 elemental C 100' F
5 Aura 1 target 10 min/lvl 10' U
6 Foe's Aura 1 target 1 min/lvl 100' F
7 Light III 30' R 2d10 min/lvl touch E
8 Sudden Light 10' R -- 100' F
9 Waiting Light 1 spell up to 24 hr -- E
10 Shock Bolt III 1 target -- 300' Ed
11 Utterlight 100' R 1 min/lvl touch E
12 Mass Foe's Aura 100' R 1 min/lvl 100' F
13 Sudden Illumination 10' R 2d10 min/lvl 100' F/E
14 Lightning Bolt I 1 target -- 100' Ed
15 Beacon 5 miles 1 min/lvl self E
16 Light Elemental Control III 1 elemental C 100' F
17 Sunfires 1 point C 500' E
18 Chain Shock Bolt special -- 100' Ed
19 Sun's Light 30' R 2d10 min/lvl touch E
20 Light Elemental Summons 1 elemental varies 50' E
25 Lightning Bolt V 1 target -- 500' Ed
30 Chain Lightning special -- 100' Ed
35 Sun Bolt I 1 target -- 100' Ed
40 Sun Bolt V 1 target -- 500' Ed
50 Chain Sun Bolt special -- 100' Ed
1. Projected Light
Beam of light (like a flashlight) springs from the caster's palm; 50' effective range. If the caster's hand is closed into a fist, the light will "turn off." If the caster's fist is reopened before the end of the duration, the light will turn on again.
2. Light I
Lights a 10'R area about the point touched. This spell may be cast onto a target, which then gets a RR: if the RR succeeds, the area of effect is centered on the point where the target is standing, but will not move with the target. If the target fails the RR the area of effect sticks to the target and will follow the target until it is dispelled, or the duration ends.
3. Shock Bolt I
A bolt of intense, charged light is shot from the palm of the caster; results are determined on the Lightning Bolt attack table, as a Tiny (-2 size) attack.
4. Light Elemental Control I
By concentrating, the caster can control one Grade I Light elemental. If this spell fails, the elemental will act normally unless it is a spell-caster, in which case it will become hostile (i.e., only a spell-casting elemental will recognize a control attempt as a hostile act). Once free of control, the elemental will be hostile to the caster if the elemental was placed in danger. A controlled elemental may be commanded to return to its origin; this will take the elemental two rounds. Thus, this spell doubles as a means of banishing elementals.
5. Aura
Causes a bright aura about the target, providing a more powerful appearance and subtracting 10 from all attacks on the target.
6. Foe's Aura
Target is outlined by a luminous aura, making it difficult to hide. Any penalty for seeing the target due to darkness or shadow becomes a bonus. E.g. if Perception rolls to see the target are -50 due to darkness, this becomes a +50 bonus, but if there is no penalty to see the target due to darkness (e.g. in normal daylight), no bonus applies.
7. Light III
As Light I, except radius can be up to 30' (can be changed by concentrating 1 round).
8. Sudden Light
Causes a 10' R burst of intense light, all within are stunned for 1 md/5 failure.
9. Waiting Light
In conjunction with any Light spell (i.e., this spell is cast and then the Light spell is cast, including Light, Sudden Light, Sudden Illumination, or Sun's Light) it can delay the action of that spell up to 24 hours; it can be triggered by one selected trigger (decided by the caster): time period, certain movements, certain sounds, touch, violent actions in the area, or any other trigger so long as the caster would be able to sense it if the caster remained at the area of effect.
10. Shock Bolt III
As Shock Bolt I, except range is 300'.
11. Utterlight
Nullifies all magically created darkness in a 100'R, and lights that area as brightly as full daylight.
12. Mass Foe's Aura
As Foe's Aura, except all animate objects and people within the radius at the time of casting are affected, except the caster. Affected targets remain illuminated even if they leave the radius. Caster may make a spell mastery roll for each target he wishes to exempt from the spell.
13. Sudden Illumination
As Sudden Light, but after the intense light has passed, the area remains illuminated as Light III for the remainder of the duration. A resistance roll against the sudden light will not cancel the Light effect.
14. Lightning Bolt I
A bolt of lightning is shot from the caster's palm; resolve attack on the Lightning Bolt Attack Table as a Medium sized attack.
15. Beacon
Ray of light of any color springs from caster's palm; can be up to 5 miles long.
16. Light Elemental Control III
As Light Elemental Control I, except that a Grade I, II, or III Light elemental can be controlled.
17. Sunfires
Focuses sunlight as a lens, must be focused initially on a fixed point. The lens can be moved at a rate of 1'/round, after the first round. It will burn through a 1' diameter at a rate of: 1' wood/round, 4" stone/round, or 1" metal/round. This spell cannot be used effectively in combat (as foes can easily move out of the way). However, if used on an immobile foe, it strikes on the Fire Bolt table (x2 hits) using caster's Directed Spells skill with a +30 bonus.
18. Chain Shock Bolt
As Shock Bolt I, except that if it does any damage to the target, it then continues and makes an additional attack with the original OB minus 20 on a random target within 20' of the previous target. This continues until a target is missed (no damage) or there are no targets within 20' of the last target who have not already been struck. The -20 penalty is cumulative, so the second attack is at -20, the third at 40, etc.
19. Sun's Light
As Light III, except the light is treated as sunlight for all purposes. Creatures harmed by sunlight receive a resistance roll at +20; on success, they are affected as if by Light only. While this spell is active, it may be used as the source for Sunfires if that spell is cast.
20. Light Elemental Summons
Allows the caster to summon a Light elemental. This elemental will appear over the course of two rounds. If uncontrolled after those two rounds are complete, it will act normally according to its nature. Uncontrolled elementals can return to their place of origin at any time, taking two rounds to do so. If the elemental is in a region that is particularly suitable for it (e.g., an open desert), it will not return for 1d10 days. If the region is not particularly suitable for it (e.g., a temperate forest), it will stay for 1d10 hours. If the region is unsuitable for the elemental (e.g., an underground cave), it will stay for 1d10 minutes. This is normal behavior and if a method of communication exists, or if there is an obvious motive to act otherwise, behavior may vary. The Grade of elemental is determined randomly: 1-40 Grade I, 41-70 Grade II, 71-90 Grade III, 91-100 Grade IV.
25. Lightning Bolt V
As Lightning Bolt I, except range is 500'.
30. Chain Lightning
As Chain Shock Bolt, except the attacks are as per Lightning Bolt I.
35. Sun Bolt I
As Lightning Bolt I, except creatures that are harmed by sunlight treat it as Slaying II (resulting in a +10 modifier on any critical roll).
40. Sun Bolt V
As Sun Bolt I, except range is 500'.
50. Chain Sun Bolt
As Chain Shock Bolt, except the attacks are as per Sun Bolt I.

Arcane Water

Level Spell Area of Effect Duration Range Type
1 Condensation 1 cu. ft water P touch E
2 Fog 10' R/lvl P 100' E
3 Waterwall 3d10x10x1' C 100' E
4 Water Elemental Control I 1 elemental C 100' F
5 Unfog 2d10' R/lvl P 100' U
6 Water Bolt I 1 target -- 100' Ed
7 Pure Water 1 cu. ft/lvl P 2' U
8 Evaporation 1 cu. ft/lvl P 2' U
9 Water Support 3d30' R 1 min/lvl 100' E
10 Displace Water 1000 cu. ft/lvl C + 1d10 rnds 500' F
11 Waterwall True 3d10x10x1' 1 min/lvl 100' E
12 Water Bolt III 1 target -- 300' Ed
13 Breathable Water 3d30' R 10 min/lvl 10' E
14 Control Flow III 3 targets C 100' F
15 Call Downpour 100' R/lvl 10 min/lvl 100'/lvl E
16 Water Elemental Control III 1 elemental C 100' F
17 Cooperative Flow III 3 targets 1 min/lvl 100' U
18 Water Bolt V 1 target -- 500' Ed
19 Control Flow X 10 targets C 500' F
20 Water Elemental Summons 1 elemental varies 50' E
25 Water Bubble 10' R 1 min/lvl (C) self U
30 Control Flow True 1 target/lvl C 1000' F
35 Cooperative Flow True 1 target/lvl 1 min/lvl 1000' U
40 Water Bubble True 20' R C self F
50 Water Mastery varies 1 rnd/lvl varies U
1. Condensation
Condenses 1 cubic foot of water from the surrounding air. Condensation can be channeled into any suitable receptacle, including caster's cupped hands.
2. Fog
Creates dense fog within the area of effect. Treat as a heavy fog (50' visibility and -50 on Perception rolls).
3. Waterwall
Creates a wall of water up to 10'x10'x1'. This wall cuts all movement through it by 80%, and attacks through it suffer a -80 penalty.
4. Water Elemental Control I
By concentrating, the caster can control one Grade I Water elemental. If this spell fails, the elemental will act normally unless it is a spell-caster, in which case it will become hostile (i.e., only a spell-casting elemental will recognize a control attempt as a hostile act). Once free of control, the elemental will be hostile to the caster if the elemental was placed in danger. A controlled elemental may be commanded to return to its origin; this will take the elemental two rounds. Thus, this spell doubles as a means of banishing elementals.
5. Unfog
Disperses fog within the area of effect. If not all of a fog is dispersed (i.e., the fog covers a greater area than the area of effect for this spell), the fog will refill the area of effect, reducing the cleared radius by 10' every 1-5 minutes (varying depending on the heaviness of the fog and ambient humidity).
6. Water Bolt I
A bolt of water is shot from the palm of the caster (a water source must be within 10'); results are determined on the Water Bolt Table.
7. Pure Water
Affected water is purified of all impurities, including dissolved materials such as salt, making it suitable for drinking.
8. Evaporation
Affected water is turned to vapor at a rate of 1 cubic foot per round of Concentration.
9. Water Support
Water in the area of effect will support the weight of individuals size Medium and smaller, allowing them to walk and move on its surface. When moving faster than a walk, a moving maneuver roll is required. Individuals in the water may "climb out" onto the water's surface. Caster may concentrate to shift the area of effect.
10. Displace Water
Displaces up to 1000 cubic feet of water per level of the caster, in a shape of the caster's choosing, except that it must reach the surface at every point. The water is magically held out of the area of effect for the duration, as if by invisible vertical walls (but things other than water may pass through without effort). At the end of the duration, the water will flow back naturally, possibly with significant force, if that is possible (e.g. if water is displaced out of a mountain lake onto the adjacent slope, it will flow down the mountain and not return into the lake). The displacement lasts as long as the caster concentrates, plus 1d10 rounds.
11. Waterwall True
As Waterwall, except the caster need not concentrate and the duration is 1 min/level.
12. Water Bolt III
As Water Bolt I, except range is 300'.
13. Breathable Water
Air within the area of effect becomes infused with air and can be safely breathed by those capable of breathing air or water.
14. Control Flow III
By concentrating, caster may grant a +50 or -50 modifier to three targets' maneuvers in water (e.g. swimming, boating), or move the target(s)50'/round in the direction of the caster's choice. Target may be up to size Large (e.g. maximum length for a boat would be 25').Caster may choose to affect one size Huge target (up to 75') in place of three normal targets. The same target may be selected multiple times, to a maximum of +/-100 and moving 100'/round.
15. Call Downpour
It rains outdoors for the duration of the spell. Roll for the intensity: 30 or less light rain (0.1"/hour, 500' visibility, -10 Perception), 31-50 moderate rain (0.3"/hour, 300' visibility, -20 Perception), 51-90 heavy rain (1"/hour, 100' visibility, -30 Perception, may cause local flooding), 95+ deluge (3"/hour, 50' visibility, -50 Perception, likely to cause flooding). Add 25 if there are clouds in the sky; subtract 25 in arid climates.
16. Water Elemental Control III
As Water Elemental Control I, except that a Grade I, II, or III Water elemental can be controlled.
17. Cooperative Flow III
As Control Flow III, except concentration is not required and the targets receive the most beneficial effect.
18. Water Bolt V
As Water Bolt I, except range is 500'.
19. Control Flow X
As Control Flow III, except the range is 500' and ten targets are affected.
20. Water Elemental Summons
Allows the caster to summon a Water elemental. This elemental will appear over the course of two rounds. If uncontrolled after those two rounds are complete, it will act normally according to its nature. Uncontrolled elementals can return to their place of origin at any time, taking two rounds to do so. If the elemental is in a region that is particularly suitable for it (e.g., a body of water), it will not return for 1d10 days. If the region is not particularly suitable for it (e.g., a temperate forest), it will stay for 1d10 hours. If the region is unsuitable for the elemental (e.g., a desert), it will stay for 1d10 minutes. This is normal behavior and if a method of communication exists, or if there is an obvious motive to act otherwise, behavior may vary. The Grade of elemental is determined randomly: 1-40 Grade I, 41-70 Grade II, 71-90 Grade III, 91-100 Grade IV.
25. Water Bubble
Creates a bubble of air (10'R) around the caster and others, which will carry them in up to 100' depth of water. The air is constantly renewed within the bubble. Caster can direct the motion of the bubble at a rate of 30'/round, modified by the presence of (un)favorable water currents. If/when the caster stops concentrating, the bubble will rise to the surface at the same rate (30'/round). If the caster resumes concentrating before the bubble surfaces, the bubble may be controlled again. All objects inside the bubble will rise with it. After reaching the surface, the bubble will burst.
30. Control Flow True
As Control Flow III, except the range is 1000' and one target per the caster's level is affected.
35. Cooperative Flow True
As Cooperative Flow III, except the range is 1000' and one target per the caster's level is affected.
40. Water Bubble True
As Water Bubble, except radius is 20' and there is no depth limit.
50. Water Mastery
Caster can use one lower level spell (on this list) each round.

Arcane Wind

Level Spell Area of Effect Duration Range Type
1 Whispering Wind 1 target C 100' E
2 Breezes 10'R/lvl C 10'/lvl E
3 Airwall 3d10x10'x3' C 100' E
4 Air Elemental Control I 1 elemental C 100' F
5 Slumber Mist 5'R/lvl C 5'/lvl F
6 Guiding Wind I 1 missile 1 round 10' E
7 Stun Cloud I 5'R 1d10 rnds 10' E
8 Whisper True 100'R C self E
9 Vacuum I 5'R -- 100' F
10 Slumber Cloud 1'R/lvl 3d10 min 5'/lvl F
11 Guiding Wind II 1 missile 1 round 10' E
12 Wind Stop 50'R 2d10 rnds 100' F
13 Stun Cloud IV 4d10'R 1d10 rnds 40' E
14 Vacuum II 10'R -- 100' F
15 Whirlwind 10'R 2d10 rnds 100' E
16 Air Elemental Control III 1 elemental C 100' F
17 Vacuum IV 4d10'R -- 100' F
18 Whirlwind Toss 1 target -- 100' F
19 Restart Heart 1 target P touch U
20 Air Elemental Summons 1 elemental varies 50' E
25 Windstorm 100'R 4d10 rnds 100' E
30 Whirlwind Transport 10'R 1d10 rnds 100' F
35 Stun Cloud True 5d10'R 2d10 rnds 100' E
40 Storm Call 1d100 mi R 3d10 hours 1 mi/lvl E
50 Wind Control 500' R 1 rnd/lvl -- E
1. Whispering Wind
Caster can whisper and the air will carry his words to one person within range. No one else will hear.
2. Breezes
Causes a light breeze as long as the caster concentrates. The breeze moves any gasses in the area as the caster directs, up to 20' per round.
3. Airwall
Creates a wall of dense churning air 3d10 feet long, 10' high, and 3' thick. This wall cuts all movement through it by 50%, and attacks through the wall suffer a -50 penalty.
4. Air Elemental Control I
By concentrating, the caster can control one Grade I Air elemental. If this spell fails, the elemental will act normally unless it is a spell-caster, in which case it will become hostile (i.e., only a spell-casting elemental will recognize a control attempt as a hostile act). Once free of control, the elemental will be hostile to the caster if the elemental was placed in danger. A controlled elemental may be commanded to return to its origin; this will take the elemental two rounds. Thus, this spell doubles as a means of banishing elementals.
5. Slumber Mist
By concentrating, the caster can remove most of the oxygen from the area of effect. After three rounds of concentration, all targets in the area of effect must make an RR each round in the area of effect or fall asleep (1 round per 10 failure). All fire spells in the area suffer a -20 penalty (or are 20% less effective in the case of non-attack spells).
6. Guiding Wind I
A missile launched from within 10' of the caster is aided by a wind that leads it towards or away from its intended target (caster's choice). This provides a +10 bonus or -10 penalty to the missile attack.
7. Stun Cloud I
Creates a 5'R cloud of charged gas particles which delivers a C Electricity critical to all within the area of effect on the first and second rounds, a B critical on the third and fourth rounds, and an A critical on the fifth and sixth rounds, after which it dissipates. It drifts with the wind. The cloud takes one round to form, so anyone in the radius when it is cast may make a maneuver to move out of the radius without taking a critical; however, after that anyone within the radius at any time during the round takes the critical indicated (a maximum of one per round).
8. Whisper True
As Whispering Wind, but message can be heard by any number of recipients within the area of effect.
9. Vacuum I
Creates a 5' radius of near vacuum; all within the radius take a B Impact critical as the air leaves and rushes back in (if they fail an RR).
10. Slumber Cloud
As Slumber Mist, except for the radius, duration, and that it drifts with the wind.
11. Guiding Wind II
As Guiding Wind I, but provides a +20 bonus or -20 penalty.
12. Wind Stop
Stops all generalized air movements up to winds of 30 mph and cuts higher winds by 30 mph within the radius. In addition, any continuing or new spell causing air movement within the area (e.g. Airwall, Breezes, Whirlwind, etc) must make an RR or be canceled. This does include spells cast by the caster.
13. Stun Cloud IV
As Stun Cloud I, except for the radius and range. The radius is determined after the center point has been chosen by the caster.
14. Vacuum II
As Vacuum I, except the radius is 10'.
15. Whirlwind
A 10'R whirlwind is created. It delivers an A Impact critical to all inside (every round). All movement through or within the whirlwind is reduced by 80%. The whirlwind moves 1d10' in a random direction each round.
16. Air Elemental Control III
As Air Elemental Control I, except that a Grade I, II, or III Air elemental can be controlled.
17. Vacuum IV
As Vacuum I, except the radius is 4d10'. The radius is determined after the center point has been chosen by the caster.
18. Whirlwind Toss
One target up to Medium size is moved to any location on the ground within 20' (but not through solid objects) and takes an A Impact critical. If the target is aware of the intent and the caster wishes, the critical roll may be reduced by -30.
19. Restart Heart
Target's heart will start beating after having stopped. This does not repair any heart disease or damage that caused the initial stoppage. In addition, target takes an A Electricity critical.
20. Air Elemental Summons
Allows the caster to summon an Air elemental. This elemental will appear over the course of two rounds. If uncontrolled after those two rounds are complete, it will act normally according to its nature. Uncontrolled elementals can return to their place of origin at any time, taking two rounds to do so. If the elemental is in a region that is particularly suitable for it (e.g., an exposed mountain top during a storm), it will not return for 1d10 days. If the region is not particularly suitable for it (e.g., a temperate forest), it will stay for 1d10 hours. If the region is unsuitable for the elemental (e.g., underground), it will stay for 1d10 minutes. This is normal behavior and if a method of communication exists, or if there is an obvious motive to act otherwise, behavior may vary. The Grade of elemental is determined randomly: 1-40 Grade I, 41-70 Grade II, 71-90 Grade III, 91-100 Grade IV.
25. Windstorm
Creates a windstorm in the area with strong, shifting winds. All missiles passing through the region suffer a -100 penalty, including elemental bolts other than Shock and Lightning Bolts. Anyone flying must make a flight maneuver roll at -50 or be moved 2d10' in a random lateral direction and 2d10' randomly up or down. Sailing vessels in the area must make a Piloting roll at -50 or be moved 3d10' in a random direction. Other movement maneuvers such as running, climbing, or jumping are at 20.
30. Whirlwind Transport
A 10'R whirlwind is created. It may be moved up to 10' each round if the caster is concentrating, and otherwise will move 2d10' in a random direction. Anyone up to Large size in the whirlwind will be moved, either to a point within 50' (not through solid objects) if the caster is concentrating, or to a random point 1d100' away. Anyone moved will suffer a B Impact critical, except a concentrating caster may reduce this for targets of his choosing to an A Impact critical modified by -20. Large targets reduce the critical severity to A or A minus -50, respectively.
35. Stun Cloud True
As Stun Cloud I, except the radius, duration, and range. In addition, the caster may move the Stun Cloud up to 10' per round by concentrating; if not concentrating, the cloud will move in a random direction. The radius is determined after the center point has been chosen by the caster and will remain constant for the duration.
40. Storm Call
Summons forces of nature in a fierce thunderstorm which includes heavy rain, 25-60 mph winds, lightning, and a blizzard (if correct climate). Can be delayed up to 1 hour/level after casting. The radius is determined after the center point has been chosen by the caster.
50. Wind Control
When concentrating, caster may alter the speed of any wind in the radius down to a full stop or up to twice normal, and alter the direction of any wind to any degree. Any spell causing air movement in the radius may be canceled (if an RR is not made) or have its duration doubled. Whirlwind, Whirlwind Toss, Whirlwind Transport, and Stun Cloud True within the radius may be fully controlled by concentrating on this spell (they do not require separate concentration while Wind Control is active). If they were cast by someone other than the caster of this spell, they receive an RR to resist being controlled.