Redefining Arcane Magic - Part 4

Copyright Jonathan Dale © 2015

Edited by Terence Wynne for The Guild Companion

"Arcane Shadows does not merely manipulate the simple elemental form of shadows, but gives them form and motivation, treating them as entities unto themselves."

Arcane Beasts, Roads, and Shadows

In this fourth installment, we continue our reworking of Arcane magic. These lists deal with topics that might normally be associated with a particular realm, but from a broader perspective. The Arcane Beast list allows the control and influencing of animals, as might typically be practiced with Channeling by a Druid or Ranger, but is perhaps less respectful of the ordinary roles and natures of those animals, even modifying them as necessary. The Arcane Road, too, has parallels with the Ranger’s Path Mastery, but draws upon more elemental powers to shape the road itself, and at higher levels even warps the nature of reality. The third list, Arcane Shadows, does not merely manipulate the simple elemental form of shadows, but gives them form and motivation, treating them as entities unto themselves.

Arcane Beast

Level Spell Area of Effect Duration Range Type
1 Beast Sleep I 1 beast 1 min/lvl 100’ F
2 Charm Beast 1 beast/lvl 1 hour 100’ F
3 Beast Messenger 1 beast 1 hr/lvl 10’ F
4 Repel Beasts 10’R/lvl 1 min/lvl self F
5 Beast Sleep III 3 beasts 1 min/lvl 100’ F
6 Beast Mastery I 1 beast C 100’ Fm
7 Beast Guardian 1 beast 1 hr/lvl 10’ F
8 Minor Beast Enhancement 1 beast 1 hr/lvl 10’ U
9 Beast Mount 1 beast 1 hr/lvl 10’ F
10 Beast Summons I 1 beast varies 1 mi/lvl E
11 Extend Binding 1 spell 1 day/lvl 10’ U
12 Guardian Pack 1 beast 1 hr/lvl 10’ F
13 Major Beast Enhancement 1 beast 1 hr/lvl 10’ U
14 Beast Mastery III 3 beasts C 100’ Fm
15 Beast Summons III varies varies 1 mi/lvl E
16 Beast Call 1 beast 1 mi/lvl U
17 Beast Protector 1 beast 1 hr/lvl 10’ F
18 Minor Chimaera 1 beast 1 day/lvl 1’ F
19 Beast Mastery V caster C 1 mi/lvl I
20 Beast Hunter 1 beast 1 hr/lvl 10’ F
25 Beast Enhancement True 1 beast 1 hr/lvl 10’ U
30 Beast Summons V varies varies 1 mi/lvl E
35 Extend Binding True 1 spell P 10’ U
40 Beast Summons X varies varies 1 mi/lvl E
50 Major Chimaera 1 chimaera 1 day/lvl 1’ F
1. Beast Sleep I
Puts any beast to sleep. For purposes of this list, a Beast is a non-humanoid naturally occurring creature of no greater than animal intelligence, including those of unnatural size or under the effects of any Beast Enhancement spell.
2. Charm Beast
Target beasts will believe caster is a good friend.
3. Beast Messenger
Target beast, which must be under the influence of the caster (e.g. controlled or trained), is compelled to deliver a message to a particular person at a particular location (this information is magically conveyed by the caster using this spell). The beast is not granted any ability to communicate but can be given a small item to deliver (e.g. a note). If the beast reaches the destination, it will attempt to find the intended recipient. After delivering the message, or at the end of the duration, the beast is released from control and will act according to its nature.
4. Repel Beasts
No beast can approach within the area of effect unless it makes a resistance roll. Those within the area that failed the resistance roll must attempt to leave the area of effect.
5. Beast Sleep III
As Beast Sleep I, except 3 beasts may be put to sleep.
6. Beast Mastery I
Target beast may be controlled by the caster.
7. Beast Guardian
Target beast, which must be under the influence of the caster (e.g. controlled or trained), will treat a specified area as its territory, allowing only the caster and those designated by caster to pass. The guardian may leave as needed to find food and water if none is provided, but will return to continue its duties for the duration of the spell.
8. Minor Beast Enhancement
Target beast receives a +20 bonus to one specified skill (e.g. an attack, Perception, Tracking, etc).
9. Beast Mount
Target beast, which must be under the influence of the caster (e.g. controlled or trained), will accept the caster as its rider, if it is physically capable of carrying the caster.
10. Beast Summons I
Caster magically summons a 1st level animal from the surrounding area. The caster can specify the species of creature or simply a general type, but not a particular individual. The animal is affected as if Charm Beast and Beast Mastery I had been cast upon it. If the animal summoned is used for a task that is not dangerous (in the animal perception), the duration of this spell is 10 minutes per level. However, if the animal is ever put into a dangerous situation, the duration immediately drops to 1 round per level.
11. Extend Binding
Any one of the following spells is extended to a duration of 1 day per caster level: Beast Messenger, Beast Guardian, Minor Beast Enhancement, Beast Mount, Guardian Pack, Major Beast Enhancement, Beast Protector, Beast Hunter, or Beast Enhancement True.
12. Guardian Pack
As Beast Guardian, except if multiple beasts are made into guardians, they will work together in defending the specified area.
13. Major Beast Enhancement
Target beast may be granted improved intelligence (still below human levels), increased size (e.g. from Medium to Large), or double recovery rate from injuries. Alternately, this spell can be used to grant a +20 bonus to two separate skills (as Minor Beast Enhancement, but may not be used to grant a bonus to a skill already improved by that spell). This spell cannot be cast on the same beast again until any previous casting has expired.
14. Beast Mastery III
As Beast Mastery I, except 3 beasts can be controlled.
15. Beast Summons III
As Beast Summons I, except the caster chooses two of the following options: a) the level of the summoned creature is increased by one, b) an extra 1st level creature can be summoned, or c) the duration can be doubled.
16. Beast Call
Caster can “call” any 1 known, individual beast; if it is physically possible, the beast will come to the caster.
17. Beast Protector
As Beast Guardian, except beast will stay in the area of and protect one specified individual. The beast is not controlled by that individual, but he does receive a +20 bonus on any Animal Handling attempt to influence or train the beast.
18. Minor Chimaera
Any one type of sensory organ, limb, or tail may be transferred from one beast to another. This may grant an additional mode of movement (e.g. wings or fins), attack type (e.g. tentacles might permit a Grapple attack), or sense. There is 95% chance that the trait will be lost at the end of the duration. This spell may not be cast again on the same creature until the duration ends. A chimaera is not considered a Beast for purposes of spells on this list, except that any such spells cast before it became a chimaera will continue to affect it.
19. Beast Mastery V
As Beast Mastery I, except 5 beasts can be controlled.
20. Beast Hunter
As Beast Messenger, except instead of delivering a message, the beast will attack the target to the best of its ability.
25. Beast Enhancement True
As Major Beast Enhancement, except a second enhancement may be granted.
30. Beast Summons V
As Beast Summons III, except the caster chooses four options.
35. Extend Binding True
As Extend Binding, except the extended spell becomes permanent.
40. Beast Summons X
As Beast Summons III, except the caster chooses nine options.
50. Major Chimaera
As Minor Chimaera, except multiple traits can be transferred, multiple creatures combined, additional heads implanted, etc. For example, a lion and an eagle could be combined to create a griffon.

Arcane Road

Level Spell Area of Effect Duration Range Type
1 Pathlore 10’R self I
2 Path Awareness 200’ on path C self I
3 Visualize Tracks 20’R 1 rnd/lvl self U
4 Alter Traction varies 1 hr/lvl self F
5 Pathfinding I caster C 1 mile I
6 Locate Obstacles 1000’/lvl self I
7 Detect Ambush I 50’R 10 min/lvl (C) self I
8 Locate Destination I caster 1 min/lvl 500’/lvl I
9 Pathfinding V caster C 5 miles I
10 Alter Surface varies 1 hr/lvl self F
11 Memory's Path caster 1 hr/lvl self U
12 Path’s Magic caster 10 min/lvl (C) self I
13 Pathfinding XX caster C 20 miles I
14 Locate Destination II caster 1 min/lvl 2000’/lvl I
15 Detect Ambush II 100’R 10 min/lvl (C) self I
16 Bridge Obstacle 10’/lvl 10 min/lvl 10’ F
17 Erase Path 10’R/lvl P 10’ F
18 Detect Ambush III 150’R 10 min/lvl (C) self I
19 Paths True caster C 1 mi/lvl I
20 Detect Ambush True 10’R/lvl 10 min/lvl (C) self I
25 Know Path caster C self I
30 Warp Distance 1 path 1 hr/lvl self F
35 Alter Destination 1 path 1 hr/lvl self F
40 Alter Destination True 1 path P self F
50 Arcane Way varies P 100’ U
1. Pathlore
Caster learns the origin and nearest “destination” of any path within the area of effect.
2. Path Awareness
Allows caster to monitor animate activity along a path, including 200’ forward and back and extending 50’ to each side of the path. Caster does not receive a picture of what is moving, just an awareness of the movement. This will allow distinguishing general size and shape of a moving object. Someone staying still, but breathing, will be detected, but only a very general idea of size would be determinable.
3. Visualize Tracks
Tracks on the path become more distinct, granting +30 on any Tracking attempt and canceling any penalty for surface conditions (e.g. no penalty would apply for tracking on a cobblestone surface). These modifications apply to anyone tracking in the affected area, not only to the caster, but the center point of the effect moves with the caster for the duration as long as he remains on the path.
4. Alter Traction
Caster may cause wet, muddy, icy, slippery leaves, loose soil, or other conditions that impair traction, resulting in -30 to all moving maneuvers, fatigue is incurred at a 50% higher rate, and overall pace for long distance travel is reduced by 30%; these penalties also apply to those moving alongside the path. Conversely, caster may improve such conditions, canceling up to these same penalties. The area of effect may be either a 10’/lvl length of path in each direction from the caster and moving with them, or 100’/lvl in one direction and remaining fixed in place. Caster may make a Spell Mastery roll to prevent impaired traction from affecting himself.
5. Pathfinding I
Caster learns the location(s) of any path(s) within 1 mile. This spell reveals the nearest point of path, but not the path’s course.
6. Locate Obstacles
Caster is aware of any major fixed obstacles on the path, such as fallen trees, collapsed bridges, washed out areas, etc. This does not include any type of animate activity, such as bandits running a “toll road.”
7. Detect Ambush I
Caster is aware of any being within the area of effect that has hostile intentions towards travelers on the path. The being’s hostility must be active (i.e., driving the being to perform aggressive actions), not passive (i.e., hate exists, but no action is planned).
8. Locate Destination I
For the duration of this spell, the caster will know the direction and distance to any major destination that can be reached from the path or from paths which connect to it, including the correct direction on the present path to reach the destination (but not the entire route). Major destinations include cities, towns, villages, temples, and specific places of business.
9. Pathfinding V
As Pathfinding I, except range is 5 miles.
10. Alter Surface
Caster may transform a path into perfect conditions, a surface as sturdy as stone with good traction but easier on the feet, eliminating any moving maneuver penalties for surface conditions, reducing fatigue by 25%, and increasing long distance travel by 20%. Alternately, the caster may create nearly impassable conditions of loose, unstable, broken rock with slippery muddy or icy conditions, which cannot be traversed by wagons or carts, reduces all movement rates by 75%, and imposes -50 moving maneuver penalties for anyone on foot. The area of effect may be either a 10’/lvl length of path in each direction from the caster and moving with them, or 100’/lvl in one direction and remaining fixed in place.
11. Memory’s Path
Caster can remember an exact route he has traveled; whether or not he was without one or more of his senses when he made his original journey (e.g., a 12th level caster could remember the course of 12 hours of a trip, even if he had been blindfolded). To be effective, this spell must be cast within one month per level of the journey. Caster must be on a path he traversed during the journey when this spell is cast.
12. Path’s Magic
Caster is alert to any active use of magic along the path. A Perception roll may be made for each active spell in order to detect it. If detected, a Lore: Spell roll may be made to identify each spell. If there are multiple spells in a given direction along the path, each active spell blocks detection of lesser spells beyond. E.g. if in a given direction, there is a 1st level spell at 50’, a 5th level spell at 100’, a 3rd level spell at 150’, and a 10th level spell at 200’, the 5th level spell would block the 3rd level spell from detection.
13. Pathfinding XX
As Pathfinding I, except range is 20 miles.
14. Locate Destination II
As Locate Destination I, except for range.
15. Detect Ambush II
As Detect Ambush II, except for area.
16. Bridge Obstacle
A stone bridge is created which continues the path across an obstacle. The bridge may be up to 10’ long per level of the caster. Both ends of the bridge must be placed on the path.
17. Erase Path
A section of path is permanently removed, replaced by terrain like that surrounding the path. All tracks in the affected area are erased as well. For purposes of path spells, this creates a dead end.
18. Detect Ambush III
As Detect Ambush II, except for area.
19. Paths True
As Pathfinding I, except range is 1 mile per level and exact routes within the range are ascertained.
20. Detect Ambush True
As Detect Ambush I, except area of effect is 10’R per level.
25. Know Path
Allows caster to ascertain the proper path to what he seeks (includes the course along that path). For example, he could know the quickest way to the city or the safest way to the city, depending on his goals.
30. Warp Distance
Space around the path is warped so that the path becomes 50% shorter, reducing travel times. In addition, no difficulty is incurred by any slope upwards or downwards. Anyone approaching or leaving the path must make a resistance roll or suffer disorientation (-30 to all activities) for 1 round per 10 failure. Animals will instinctively avoid approaching or leaving the path.
35. Alter Destination
Path shifts so that one end reaches a new destination. Anyone on the path will see it shift away and must make a moving maneuver to remain standing. The total length from the caster’s location to the end of the path will not extend more than 300% or shrink more than 50%. The caster must make a Spell Mastery roll to specify the new location; on failure, the approximate distance between the new destination and the intended destination should be determined by the margin of failure. E.g. if the distance to the intended destination is 10,000’ and the Spell Mastery roll fails by 20, the new destination will be approximately 2,000’ from the intended destination. At the end of the duration, the path is 95% likely to shift back to its original destination.
40. Alter Destination True
As Alter Destination, except the change is permanent.
50. Arcane Way
While the caster is traveling along a path, he receives the benefit of Alter Surface, Detect Ambush True, Know Path, Path’s Magic, and where relevant also Bridge Obstacle. In addition, he receives the benefit of Warp Distance, except that the path becomes 75% shorter.

Note: The notes in Spell Law regarding Path spells should also be applied to this list. In particular, note that a path is considered to end where it either reaches a destination (e.g. a village, town, or city), a larger path (e.g. where a path feeds into a major road), or a dead end.

Arcane Shadows

Level Spell Area of Effect Duration Range Type
1 Shade 100’ R 10 min/lvl touch E
2 Shadow caster 10 min/lvl self U
3 Nightvision 1 target 10 min/lvl 10’ U
4 Shadow Forms 1 shadow/lvl 10 min/lvl (C) 100’ E
5 Shadow Messenger 1 shadow 1 hr/lvl touch U
6 Shadow Rejoining I caster instant 100’ U
7 Shadow Thief 1 shadow 1 hr/lvl touch U
8 Shadow Curse 1 target 1 hr/lvl 50’ F
9 Shadow Sight caster 10 min/lvl (C) 1 mi/lvl I
10 Steal Shadow I 1 target varies 100’ F
11 Shadow Guardian 1 shadow 1 hr/lvl touch U
12 Shadow Rejoining II caster instant 500’ U
13 Shadow Split II caster’s shadow 1 hr/lvl touch U
14 Shadow Betrayal 1 target 1 rnd/lvl 100’ F
15 Shadow Warrior 1 shadow 1 hr/lvl touch U
16 Destroy Shadow 1 shadow P 100’ F
17 Bind Shadow 1 shadow P 10’ F
18 Steal Shadow II 1 target varies 100’ F
19 Restore Shadow 1 target P 10’ U
20 Shadow Split IV caster’s shadow 1 hr/lvl touch U
25 Shadow Rejoining True caster instant 1 mi/lvl U
30 Mass Shadow 1 target/lvl 10 min/lvl 100’ U
35 Shadow Split VIII caster’s shadow 1 hr/lvl touch U
40 Shadow Possession caster 10 min/lvl (C) 1 mi/lvl U
50 Steal Shadow True 1 spell P 10’ U
1. Shade
All shadows and darkness within the area of effect deepen, giving all hiding maneuvers a +25 bonus and giving all stalking maneuvers a +10 bonus.
2. Shadow
Caster and objects on his person appear to be a shadow and are almost invisible in dark areas (e.g., in many situations this could be handled with a Stalking/Hiding bonus between +25 and +75).
3. Nightvision
Target can see 100’ on a normal night as if it were daylight.
4. Shadow Forms
Caster can create the visual illusion of either shadowy figures or actual shadows (as many as the caster’s level); they will move when he concentrates.
5. Shadow Messenger
Caster’s shadow becomes animated and will attempt to deliver a message to the specified recipient. While active, the caster casts no shadow, which onlookers are likely to find disquieting. The shadow messenger moves at the caster’s Run pace and is able to move over any surface, including vertical or upside-down surfaces, but not through the air. It can fit through openings of any width as long as they are at least 1 foot in length. It has AT 1 and the same number of hits as the caster, takes 2 damage/round in brightly lit or pitch black locations, and can otherwise be harmed only by light-based attacks. It may not move through Utterlight or Utterdark areas and suffers 3d10 damage if these spells are cast upon it. The shadow messenger will take the best route based on the caster’s knowledge at the time of casting (this may include waiting for lighting conditions to improve), but is not under the caster’s control. On reaching the recipient, it will speak in whispers audible only to the recipient. It will then wait for a response until dismissed or it appears no response will be forthcoming, then return to the caster by the same means. If it reaches the caster before the duration ends, it will whisper the response to the caster, or merely confirmation of delivery if there was no response, and then reattach to the caster and the spell ends. If the spell ends before it reaches the caster, or if the shadow loses all of its hits, any response is lost, the shadow messenger dissipates, and the caster’s shadow will reform over 1d10 rounds.
6. Shadow Rejoining I
Caster instantly transports himself to a specified shadow he controls (e.g. with Shadow Messenger or Shadow Forms). There must be a direct, unimpeded line of sight between the caster and the shadow.
7. Shadow Thief
As Shadow Messenger, except the Shadow Thief is assigned to obtain a specific, known item up to 1 lb per level of the caster and bring it to the caster. The Shadow Thief cannot take an item that is worn or held by an unwilling person, but it does have +100 Stalk/Hide skill and will bide its time for an opportunity to grab the item. Once it grasps the item, the item becomes semi-solid shadow and can be carried by the shadow thief.
8. Shadow Curse
Target’s shadow becomes animated and malicious, but it still attached to the target and cannot touch or affect any item. Instead, the shadow may take on monstrous forms and mock the movements of the target. Depending on circumstances, it may attempt to persuade onlookers that the target is actually a monster in disguise or that the target is trying to harm them (e.g. a shadow of a knife hidden behind the target’s back). The shadow may be inventive and clever, and will attempt to reinforce any damaging ideas expressed by onlookers. The shadow is not under the control of the caster.
9. Shadow Sight
Caster can see as if he was at the location of a specified shadow under his control (e.g. using Shadow Forms or Shadow Messenger). Caster is not empowered to see in darkness or communicate with the shadow (so, for example, he could not control a Shadow Messenger to get a better vantage).
10. Steal Shadow I
Caster takes control of another person’s shadow so that it may be used instead of his own for the casting of Shadow Messenger, Shadow Thief, Shadow Guardian, or Shadow Warrior. The spell must be cast within 1 round per caster level or the shadow will return to its owner. If used to create a Shadow Guardian or Shadow Warrior, use the target’s stats and weapons in place of the caster’s for purposes of determining the shadow’s stats and weapons.
11. Shadow Guardian
Caster’s shadow becomes animated and will attempt to protect the specified recipient from harm. While active, the caster casts no shadow, which onlookers are likely to find disquieting. The shadow is not under the caster’s direct control, but may respond to useful suggestions from the caster or others in protecting the recipient to the best of its abilities. The shadow is semi-solid, with AT 1, the same DB, hits, and movement rate as the caster. It is immune to criticals dealt by non-magical weapons but light-based elemental attacks (e.g. Shock Bolt) are treated as Slaying I (increase severity by one level). It is equipped with the same melee weapons the caster was holding at the time of casting (may include a shield) which it wields with an OB of +80. At the end of the duration, the shadow will dissipate and the caster will regain his shadow over the next 1d10 rounds.
12. Shadow Rejoining II
As Shadow Rejoining I, except the range is 500’, and the caster may move through barriers. If the arrival point coincides with solid or liquid material, the caster does not move, is stunned for 1d10 rounds, and the PP for this spell are expended.
13. Shadow Split II
Caster’s shadow is split into two parts, permitting each part to be separately animated using spells such as Shadow Messenger. If the caster is missing only part of his shadow, he will appear to have an unusually small shadow. This spell cannot be used to infinitely subdivide the caster’s shadow; if one part is missing, it must be restored to make the caster’s shadow whole before it can be split again.
14. Shadow Betrayal
Target’s shadow is animated, taking on semi-solid form, and immediately attacks the target. In most cases, the target will be unaware of the initial attack, which may be from the rear. A Perception roll may be made by the target at -20 to -80 depending on the angle of illumination. The shadow has the same DB, OB, and Hits as the target (use the target’s highest melee OB as the creature’s OB), but AT is always 1. It is immune to criticals dealt by non-magical weapons but light-based elemental attacks (e.g. Shock Bolt) are treated as Slaying I (increase severity by one level). It automatically moves with the target. If it loses all its hits, the spell ends.
15. Shadow Warrior
As Shadow Guardian, except the shadow is tasked to attack a specified foe or group of foes. If all foes specified at the time of casting are defeated, it will return to the caster and the spell ends. Alternately, the Shadow Warrior may be tasked to protect a particular location, in which case it will defend that location against anyone other than those specified at the time of casting, and will remain there for the full duration.
16. Destroy Shadow
Target animated shadow (e.g. Shadow Messenger) takes 4d10 damage. If this results in it losing all of its hits, or this spell is cast in the same round that it loses all its hits for any reason, the shadow is permanently destroyed rather than returning to its normal owner.
17. Bind Shadow
The caster’s shadow, or a shadow which has been stolen using any Steal Shadow spell, may be bound in a crystal at least 1” in size per shadow to be contained. Anyone viewing the crystal will see a smoky, animated darkness within. Shadows within the crystal may be used in place of the caster’s own shadow, and will return to the crystal when any animating spells end. A caster may only have one such crystal at any time; if a second crystal is made, any shadows in the original crystal are released and return to their rightful owners. Destroying the crystal will also release the shadows.
18. Steal Shadow II
As Steal Shadow I, except the duration of the subsequent spell is extended to 1 day per level of the caster.
19. Restore Shadow
Caster uses a shadow stolen with any Steal Shadow spell or a shadow bound with Bind Shadow to restore a shadow lost by the target.
20. Shadow Split IV
As Shadow Split II, except the caster’s shadow may be split into a maximum of four parts.
25. Shadow Rejoining True
As Shadow Rejoining II, except the range is 1 mile per level of the caster.
30. Mass Shadow
As Shadow, except as many targets as the caster’s level can be affected.
35. Shadow Split VIII
As Shadow Split II, except the caster’s shadow may be split into a maximum of eight parts.
40. Shadow Possession
As Shadow Sight, except the caster may also control the shadow or change its instructions, and the caster may speak and hear through the shadow.
50. Steal Shadow True
As Steal Shadow I, except the duration of the subsequent spell is permanent.