Wizards at the Gate

Now that I’ve done a first pass on warrior, I’d like to look at the classic book bound wizard.

Spell Gates

Central to this reworking is the idea of “spell gates”, magical constructs that release potent arcane effects when opened. These gates can be bound to a number of things, including arcane writing and even complex mental constructs.

Wizard Features

Basic Features

Tome Adept

When you spend an action to study writings, you can raise your affinity to any spell gate stored within the text. This affinity let you determine the nature of the gate and it’s effects. More powerful spell may take more affinity to fully comprehend.

You can only maintain affinity with one gate at a time. The amount of affinity generated depends on your level and the type of action used. The maximum affinity you can build up also increases with your level. Affinity fades when you focus your attention elsewhere for more than a round.

Arcane Key

You can use an action to open a spell gate. The cost and effects of opening a gate varies with the spells bound two it. Opening gates usually cost a point of stamina and an amount of affinity determined by the gate. Each gate will also have certain conditions that close the gate.

Arcane Gatekeeper

You can use an extended action to create a mental copy of a spell gate you have affinity with. The copied gate is then stored in your mind indefinitely or until dismissed with an extended action. You can build affinity with these gates at an accelerated rate by spending an action to focus on the gate. The gates can also be opened to release a spell effect. However, these mental gates are imperfect copies and will break when they close. Broken gates can not be reopened.

Most people can store only a small handful of spell gates within their minds. However, other features may increase this limit.

Advanced Features

Spell Expertise

Choose an area of expertise (ex. attack, defense, or exploration) and a spell school (ex. illusion or necromancy). When opening of that type and school, you can ignore the base stamina cost for doing so. You can also open and build affinity with those gates with the same action.

Arcane Immersion

You can expend this ability while building affinity with a spell gate. If you do, you must spend a point of stamina, but gain extra affinity with the gate and have your maximum affinity raised until the gate closes. This ability can be replenished by taking a few minutes to rest and refocus.


This gives us a nice flexible base for reworking the wizard. As is they can cast straight from tomes, but doing so is slower than casting from their held spells. They have a good amount of versatility, but must spend stamina and often take longer than a mundane skill user. Spell expertise brings them more on par with a mundane skill user, but only in a specialized field.

The “15 minute workday” problem is taken care of by the Arcane Immersion ability. It opens the way for storing spells more powerful than they could normally use (due to the affinity limit), but ensures that only one such spell can be unleashed per encounter. In fact, it’s likely that wizards in this system will only normally store 1 or 2 powerhouse spells, while keeping the rest of their slots “low level” to retain flexibility when they’re not using Arcane Immersion.

Published in: on May 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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