Ruleset: Spellcasting

 

Spell Families


Each spell falls into a family of spells with a list of specific spells within. Inside each spell you will see the elemental branches that can cast it and the changes that branch has on the spell's effects. If a branch is not in the spell’s family that branch cannot be used to cast the spell. These spell variations can be found beneath each spell listing in green and are considered spells when selecting them as spells known. A spell family is not a spell.

 

Schools of Magic


Academies of magic group spells into five categories called schools of magic. Scholars, particularly wizards, apply these categories to all spells, believing that all magic functions in essentially the same way, whether it derives from ki energy or taken from the spirits' ether. The schools of magic help describe spells; they have no rules of their own, although some rules refer to the schools.

Evocation Magic

Magic that creates a very temporary amount of an element to attack with. The created energy or object doesn’t last more than the few seconds it is used to attack with.

Structural Magic

Magic that uses an element to create objects like walls, weapons, and tools. The school focuses on creating lasting effects.

Environmental Magic

Similar to structural magic, this school usually creates a type of physical substance but is more malleable by nature. The school focuses on modifying the terrain and area around it to cause effects.

Transmutation Magic

Magic that modifies the physical aspects of something that already exists. A lot of healing and empowering magic can be found in this school.

Manipulation Magic

This school focuses on debilitating effects on the environment and individuals. Ailments and force effects can be found in this school. 

 

Elemental Trees and Branches


All magic is tied to one of the five elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These five major groups are referred to as Elemental Trees. On each of these Trees are several Elemental Branches, disciplines that focus on specific aspects of the major trees. These branches determine which spells a spellcaster can use. All of the branches are tied closely to one of the Magic Schools but it’s not uncommon to see a spell of a different school on one of the branches.

Fundamental Branches

Each element has one branch called its fundamental branch. A fundamental branch's cantrips are usable by everyone that can use that element.

Restricted Branches

Some branches are so rare few know they even exist or are so taboo that it’s use could put you into serious trouble. Being able to use one of these branch’s spells requires story reasons that must be discussed with your DM before hand.

 

Wood Branches

Plant

Evocation and Structural Magic
Fundamental Branch

Create structures of wood, vines, and other plant material. Of the structural magics, plant focuses more on producing large quantities of plant matter at a distance over durability.

Toxin

Manipulation Magic
Restricted Branch. Is restricted due to its purely harmful nature making it taboo and against the laws of the cities.

Create debilitating effects by creating venoms, poisons, and other ailments. Well known for its ability to bypass a creature's barriers.

Health

Transmutation Magic

Create healing herbs and poultices to heal wounds and ailments. This type of healing is often known for its long term abilities and preventative nature. If you find yourself sick you’re likely to be directed to a Health based caster to alleviate your symptoms.

Wind

Evocation and Environmental Magic

Control the air around you to push, pull, and injure. Wind users have commonly been employed to deliver messages over long distances due to their unique abilities.

 

Fire Branches

Flame

Evocation and Environmental Magic
Fundamental Branch

Create and snuff out fire and heat to burn and injure targets. Flame spells often produce powerful effects in a small area.

Light

Manipulation Magic
Restricted Branch. An uncommon form of magic. Restricted simply by being rarely seen.

Manipulate light to blind or create mirages to mimic distant or nearby objects.

Clay

Evocation and Structural Magic

Create structures from clay or brick. Clay is well known for its malleable and quick hardening. It’s best at producing large quantities of material in a short amount of time.

Soul

Transmutation Magic

Self affecting magic used to fight off disease, heal wounds, or strengthen the body. Some of the best fighters utilize this magic due to its empowering abilities allowing them to sustain themselves as they fight.

 

Earth Branches

Rock

Evocation and Structural Magic
Fundamental Branch

Create rock, stone, and crystal to form structures. Rock structures tend to be durable but also plentiful. It is considered the middle ground of all the structural magicks.

Sand

Environmental Magic

Create sand to push and pull targets, damaging them in the process. Sand is one of the rarer types of magic not due to its difficulty but due to most not having opportunities to utilizing it. It is far more common in desert environments.

Gravity

Environmental and Manipulation Magic
Restricted Branch. This branch is restricted for two reasons. The first is its rare for someone able to utilize the magic. The second is due to some taboos against it due to old stories of terrorists completely bringing a large city down into the earth hundreds of years ago. Now practitioners of the magic are often placed on watch lists.

Control weight and forces applied to it to lighten or burden targets.

Power

Transmutation Magic

Improve physical qualities of a target to make them stronger. Many power magic users can find themselves in commanding positions of guilds that rely on physical labor due to their abilities to heighten the physical traits of their workers.

 

Metal Branches

Forge

Evocation and Structural Magic
Fundamental Branch

Create objects made of iron and steel. The strongest of the structural magicks but also the hardest to create a mass amount of anything it creates. What it makes is usually precise and well suited for its use. 

Nimbus

Evocation and Environmental Magic

Create clouds to produce rain or lightning. Due to recent technological advances, nimbus casters are finding employment as generators for crude batteries and other types of electrical storages.

Blood

Manipulation and Evocation Magic
Restricted Branch. A branch of magic so rare it's become mythological to most people. However, many historical texts detail its use and due to its powerful nature it is well established as taboo.

Manipulate blood to produce debilitating effects.

Ether

Transmutation Magic

Control magic at its source to empower magical abilities. Those that wish to study the spirits of the land are necessarily required to be able to manipulate the ether.

 

Water Branches

Fluid

Environmental Magic
Fundamental Branch

Create water and manipulate its forces to push and pull. Water elementalists often find their abilities useful in a vast array of situations due to their ability to easily create water. Many of their abilities require water to be present to be able to utilize, but when there is they can easily cause devastating effects.

Ice

Evocation and Structural Magic

Create structures made of dense ice. Ice structures, while durable and easy to create, are not known for their long lasting abilities. Heat often causes their structures to melt and casters focused on building with it find their abilities best suited for colder climates. That said it is well suited for temporary solutions such as in battle.

Restoration

Transmutation Magic

Healing magic focused on improving a person’s natural healing ability. The other type of healing magic often known for being better at healing in emergency situations.

Time

Transmutation and Environmental Magic
Restricted Branch Restricted due to its mythological connections. It is the rarest type of magic and no practitioners of it are known in anything beyond fantasy.

Manipulate how time flows in a small area to speed up or slow down targets.

 

Casting a Spell


When a character casts any spell, the same basic rules are followed, regardless of the character’s class or the spell’s effects.

Each spell description begins with a block of information, including the spell’s name, level, school of magic, casting time, range, components, and duration. The rest of a spell entry describes the spell’s effect.

 

Casting Time


Most spells require a single action to cast, but some spells require a bonus action, a reaction, or much more time to cast.

 

Bonus Action

A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn. You can’t cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

 

Reactions

Some spells can be cast as reactions. These spells take a fraction of a second to bring about and are cast in response to some event. If a spell can be cast as a reaction, the spell description tells you exactly when you can do so.

 

Longer Casting Times

Certain spells (including spells cast as rituals) require more time to cast: minutes or even hours. When you cast a spell with a casting time longer than a single action or reaction, you must spend your action each turn casting the spell, and you must maintain your concentration while you do so (see “Concentration” below). If your concentration is broken, the spell fails, but you don’t expend a spell slot. If you want to try casting the spell again, you must start over.

 

Range


The target of a spell must be within the spell’s range. For a spell like magic missile, the target is a creature. For a spell like fireball, the target is the point in space where the ball of fire erupts.

Most spells have ranges expressed in feet. Some spells can target only a creature (including you) that you touch. Other spells, such as the shield spell, affect only you. These spells have a range of self.

Spells that create cones or lines of effect that originate from you also have a range of self, indicating that the origin point of the spell’s effect must be you (see “Areas of Effect”).

Once a spell is cast, its effects aren’t limited by its range, unless the spell’s description says otherwise.

 

Duration


A spell’s duration is the length of time the spell persists. A duration can be expressed in rounds, minutes, hours, or even years. Some spells specify that their effects last until the spells are dispelled or destroyed.

 

Instantaneous

Many spells are instantaneous. The spell harms, heals, creates, or alters a creature or an object in a way that can’t be dispelled, because its magic exists only for an instant.

 

Concentration

Some spells require you to maintain concentration in order to keep their magic active. If you lose concentration, such a spell ends.

If a spell must be maintained with concentration, that fact appears in its Duration entry, and the spell specifies how long you can concentrate on it. You can end concentration at any time (no action required).

Normal activity, such as moving and attacking, doesn’t interfere with concentration. The following factors can break concentration:

  • Casting another spell that requires concentration. You lose concentration on a spell if you cast another spell that requires concentration. You can’t concentrate on two spells at once.
  • Taking damage. Whenever you take damage while you are concentrating on a spell, you must make a Constitution saving throw to maintain your concentration. The DC equals 10 or half the damage you take, whichever number is higher. If you take damage from multiple sources, such as an arrow and a dragon’s breath, you make a separate saving throw for each source of damage.
  • Being incapacitated or killed. You lose concentration on a spell if you are incapacitated or if you die. The GM might also decide that certain environmental phenomena, such as a wave crashing over you while you’re on a storm-tossed ship, require you to succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration on a spell.

The GM might also decide that certain environmental phenomena, such as a wave crashing over you while you’re on a storm-tossed ship, require you to succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration on a spell.

 

Targets


A typical spell requires you to pick one or more targets to be affected by the spell’s magic. A spell’s description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect (described below).

Unless a spell has a perceptible effect, a creature might not know it was targeted by a spell at all. An effect like crackling lightning is obvious, but a more subtle effect, such as an attempt to read a creature’s thoughts, typically goes unnoticed, unless a spell says otherwise.

 

A Clear Path to the Target

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can’t be behind total cover.

If you place an area of effect at a point that you can’t see and an obstruction, such as a wall, is between you and that point, the point of origin comes into being on the near side of that obstruction.

 

Targeting Yourself

If a spell targets a creature of your choice, you can choose yourself, unless the creature must be hostile or specifically a creature other than you. If you are in the area of effect of a spell you cast, you can target yourself.

 

Areas of Effect


Spells such as burning hands and cone of cold cover an area, allowing them to affect multiple creatures at once.

A spell’s description specifies its area of effect, which typically has one of five different shapes: cone, cube, cylinder, line, or sphere. Every area of effect has a point of origin, a location from which the spell’s energy erupts. The rules for each shape specify how you position its point of origin. Typically, a point of origin is a point in space, but some spells have an area whose origin is a creature or an object.

A spell’s effect expands in straight lines from the point of origin. If no unblocked straight line extends from the point of origin to a location within the area of effect, that location isn’t included in the spell’s area. To block one of these imaginary lines, an obstruction must provide total cover.

 

Cone

A cone extends in a direction you choose from its point of origin. A cone’s width at a given point along its length is equal to that point’s distance from the point of origin. A cone’s area of effect specifies its maximum length. A cone’s point of origin is not included in the cone’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.

 

Cube

You select a cube’s point of origin, which lies anywhere on a face of the cubic effect. The cube’s size is expressed as the length of each side. A cube’s point of origin is not included in the cube’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.

 

Cylinder

A cylinder’s point of origin is the center of a circle of a particular radius, as given in the spell description. The circle must either be on the ground or at the height of the spell effect. The energy in a cylinder expands in straight lines from the point of origin to the perimeter of the circle, forming the base of the cylinder. The spell’s effect then shoots up from the base or down from the top, to a distance equal to the height of the cylinder. A cylinder’s point of origin is included in the cylinder’s area of effect.

 

Line

A line extends from its point of origin in a straight path up to its length and covers an area defined by its width. A line’s point of origin is not included in the line’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.

 

Sphere

You select a sphere’s point of origin, and the sphere extends outward from that point. The sphere’s size is expressed as a radius in feet that extends from the point. A sphere’s point of origin is included in the sphere’s area of effect.

 

Saving Throws


Many spells specify that a target can make a saving throw to avoid some or all of a spell’s effects. The spell specifies the ability that the target uses for the save and what happens on a success or failure.

The DC to resist one of your spells equals 8 + your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers.

 

Attack Rolls


Some spells require the caster to make an attack roll to determine whether the spell effect hits the intended target. Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Most spells that require attack rolls involve ranged attacks. Remember that you have disadvantage on a ranged attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature that can see you and that isn’t incapacitated.

 

Combining Magical Effects


The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don’t combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect—such as the highest bonus—from those castings applies while their durations overlap.

For example, if two clerics cast bless on the same target, that character gains the spell’s benefit only once; he or she doesn’t get to roll two bonus dice.

Ruleset: Spellcasting

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