Yeah, yeah, more D&D stuff, I know. It’s just what I’ve been working on lately, and this particular one is a very recent change. Similar to my last post, I’ve grouped together all the Wizard spells across a handful of 2e sourcebooks into a single list sorted by level and school. So here’s a handy link for all of the classic schools with spells listed in the 2e PHB, Tome of Magic, Players Option : Spells and Powers, and Wizard’s Handbook.
Again, I’ve felt the need to compile a list like this online because I honestly just haven’t seen it done yet. There’s lots of different compilations of spells, and after putting this one together, I can see why a lot of people don’t do it. There’s also particular reasons why I wanted this done as well, and it goes along with how players learn their spells in the first place.
Generally, I encourage players to write up their own spells, have their own spellbook with new ideas, things specific to them, so they themselves are the process for their learning and development. I feel that creating your own spells as a spellcaster is one of the greatest testaments to your character development, but when you have free reign things can get overpowered rather quickly. Not to say I don’t put limits on how often spells can be learned, or how powerful they can be for each level, those parameters are definitely enforced, but free reign of all the schools of magic was something untouched, outside of specialist casters, by the rules as far as I could tell. So here’s how I’m running things now.
When you create a character, there’s a number of spells you receive in your starting spellbook, I have a chart somewhere detailing this process. Some spells are assigned, some the player is allowed to choose, it really depends on the mood I’m in at the time. All of these spells will belong to different schools, and thus give the players their access to these schools as they learn them, per level. I think about it like a hallway of a hotel or something, each floor is the level of spell you can cast, each doorway on that floor opens up into that specific school of magic. Upon learning a spell of a certain level and school, you get a key to that particular door which allows you to then develop more spells of that level from that school. The rest of the doors on that floor are locked however, until you get a key from another source. Any spell learned is a key to it’s particular school on a particular level.
Man I hope I explained that right. So now as a starting arcane spellcaster, you start out on the first floor (being able to cast level 1 spells), with keys to a select few schools (via specific spells). You also have the keys to a couple doors at a higher levels scribed into your spellbook, but you’re not able to go up to the next floor just yet in order to take a look around and start messing with those schools at that particular power level.
Spellcraft is the proficiency we use to explain all of this, and we’ve converted it to a teaching proficiency that’s required in order to teach players spells from your book. You make a check, depending on how well you roll affects the learning players Learn Spell modifier based on their INT. Long time teachers with multiple ranks of Spellcraft have bonuses (i.e. are better teachers) and of course would charge more for the service. This explains why you find wizards holed up in their towers surrounded by books instead of flying around the realm blasting things to pieces with fireballs. They’re not just researching spells at their whimsy, but picking locks on these doors to new areas of arcane power while occasionally teaching students that shell out the cash to learn from them.
From a player perspective, and to sum things up, learning new arcane spells works like this. You can learn from a spellbook or a scroll at your normal Learn Spell percentage, but each spell learned this way is permanently removed from scroll or spellbook and scribed into your own. Players are no longer able to copy spells from a book, because they would actually be removing those spells (which stops mages in the group from sharing everything). The spellbook is in itself a magical construct that acts as an extension of the players memory when it comes to arcane knowledge. Scrolls now cost quite a bit more to create, and are more rare because of the process needed to craft a scroll while preserving your spellbook.
A player with more than one slot of Spellcraft (the first slot is more of a general knowledge proficiency) would be able to teach spells at 1 week per spell level of time. At the end, the learning player makes a Learn Spell check and either gets it, or has to go through another full session (up to 9 weeks!). Failed Learn Spell checks when being taught by an instructor do not ruin the possibility of ever learning the spell, normally failing a check against a scroll or spellbook will destroy the spell.
As a side note, having more than one slot of any proficiency is required to proficiently teach to another player in my game, although proficiencies take a month to learn (or forget) and require no check, only an available slot.