View Full Version : [3.P E6 Magic Alternative] Black Wing Elite Magic System

Toy Killer
2013-08-14, 03:09 AM
Statement of Intent
***I'm designing a campaign setting the drastically reforms the concept of D&D. For this setting, I had a lot of head scratching in regards to the standard magic system. Things that should be standard (Like memory reforming) were well out of reach of an 6th level character, but I need the players to be well above their typical mark. But they can't be godly either. Further more, since it's mostly skill based, many standard spells (Knock, Invisibility, Charm) completely replace skill checks and anyone playing a wizard, removed from his ability to have a 2 hour adventuring setting and limited time to write scrolls, would be either drastically inhibited in his ability to provide meaningfully (Or possibly, create situations in which players were unable to provide anything meaningful because auto-pass Hide checks via invisibility is wasted hide ranks).

I pulled heavily from The Black Company campaign setting, but it still doesn't allow the Utility I need from it when limited to 6 levels.

So, I'm making a skill based magic system that also pulls off of the Mutants and Masterminds point buy system. The complexity allows for a minimal investment of skill points, and the ability to use magic in any circumstance. The introduction of [Font] points (Separate from the Factorum ability of similar name. When I get a suitable replacement, I'll correct the name.), Players will be able to use magic freely but in limited degree, spending font points to expand their repertoire of abilities. this will recreate the feel of blowing 3rd level spells, without actually having dedicated slots, known spells or scrolls of spells known.

Stay tuned for future embellishments, starting August 14th, 2013.***


Black Wing Elite is a concept I've had since Old school 2nd edition D&D. I've always been fascinated with the means that players completely circumvent my expectations. Over my 20 years of gaming, I've never been with a solid group. Some stick for a year or two, some for a handful of months. I've had to adapt to a lot of different play styles and environments.

I can set up a beautiful mansion, chocked full of meaningful encounters and heartbreaking story; and then realize that the escape route to the guest house the BBEG was supposed to use to escape can go both ways, and the guest house is a much easier target.

Sometimes, things I put in the room for pure flavor get utilized in magnificent ways. I recall a crystal chandelier that a rogue plucked 'One of the dangly bits' to use as a window cutter. Or using an octupus familiar to explore the water system in the manor. The Alexandria has a wonderful essay stating if you want players to come to a conclusion, leave three clues. I don't have conclusions, I want to see how they out think the status quo. How they challenge the expectations.

And thus, the idea of a D&D Game was born. I present a challenge for the players, they have time to discuss with each other and brainstorm how to complete the challenge. Give contradicting goals, just to see if they can find some form of Grey zone between the two.

By using the wonderful Idea of E6, I can keep the players the big dogs in the playground and reduce the need for TO. Further reducing the need will be making encounters where simply killing something isn't the best idea. They will be Elite Super soldiers, trained for childhood to accomplish the impossible with a simple 5 man band.

But one thing plagued me. Magic. Of course, the greatest plot development tool rears it's ugly face to inhibit my creative course. I couldn't use standard 3.5 abilities, as the magic system is too... convoluted. Wizards and Clerics have spells for every occasion and wanting a more skill based game, either the spell casters are too limited in spells slots, or completely circumvent the need of skill checks. there is no middle ground unfortunately. Further, magic users that prepare spells are unable to reconvene their selection for when a circumstance changes dramatically and spontaneous magic users are even more limited in their spell selection.

So, I introduce to you. The Black Wing Elite Magic system:

Toy Killer
2013-08-14, 03:10 AM
Table of Contents to come.
[] Bracketed words are filler words until I decide what I officially want to call it.
Dark Green is fluff
Dark Red is break down of the crunch.

Magic, The Art and Science

The Manaweave flows through everything within our world. it passes invisibly in and out of our bodies, belongings and thoughts. With training, a knack or with diligence the flow of this weave can be harnessed and channeled into incredible effects within our day to day lives.

But tampering with the Manaweave is dangerous. presumption of understanding the fabric that flows within existence can result in many undesired effects. Some mages study the effects of pulling on strings and others just have an inherit feel for the flow of the Manaweave. Others refer back to centuries of tradition that have been finely tuned to the safe and desired effect.

However one manages to draw this effect, the billions of different weaves in the very air that makes existence occur requires study for Decades, or intense study for years to be able to harness it's ability to change what reality is.

Magic Skill System

Magic is a skill broken into exactly three forms (Although, extras could be added on in future dates.). Each is perfectly capable of manipulating the Manaweave, modified for the purposes and intents of the intended effects, called a spell.

For each rank in any Magic skill, the student is allowed to choose one [School] of magic. A discipline, obsession or study of particular folds in the mana. Not all schools are available to all skills, and Prestigious Schools of magic require training or study of the techniques of individual cultures that canonized breakthroughs in magic.


Toby wants his character to learn advanced necromancy. He looks at the options provided and sees that bodiless undead requires training through The Hierarchy of Sytrah, but being a Black Wing Elite member, he can pass with suitable training with Knowledge (Elven) and (History). He doesn't have enough ranks in either, but he has put ranks into Knowledge (Savage Hordes) and a few ranks in Craft (Alchemy), as he was emulating a specialist on the Gnoll Society, The Shamanhood of Boriki. The Shamanhood Gnolls are Voodoo esque necromancy dark cultists, and have specialized training in controlling others undead and making intelligent undead. He meets the requirements and selects Boriki Necromancy as his 4th rank spell selection. His Necromancy skill gets additional shapes, and extras allowing him to crank his spells and use them to control Undead he did not make, or make undead with intelligence scores. He can then choose a new school for the rank of necromancy that was replaced with Boriki Necromancy.

If he chooses the Affliction school of Magic, He can make undead that drain his enemies...

Each school of magic allows for a simple effect that is castable as a standard action. this is usually at range of touch, with no AoE effect and a standardized saving throw. This can be modified and changed, Increasing the class of the spell. but we will go more into that later...

Arcania (INT)

Well, I started with core Metilizin, but reversed the vanuer. I figured the Dialti Principle would create a sufficient charge for polarizing the core capacitor and then I...

Arcania is the study of the of the Manaweave. Arcanist tend to be very snooty about their practice, looking down on anyone's ability to cast if they don't know how they did what they've done.

Spells cast through Arcania checks have inherent verbal components, and fittingly as well. Arcanists in day to day life struggle for the next big discovery and are very verbose about their accomplishments. By ignoring the somatic or material components of a spell, they can assure that they will always be able to cast regardless of the situation. The Dwarves have a saying ", then you might as well show me how to shut Carilben up." (Carilben is a prominent Dwarven wizard, responsible for their discovery of teleportation rings... And a bit of a motor mouth, apparently)

Arcania checks receive a +2 synergy check with Knowledge (Arcania), studying the accomplishments of prior wizards and scholars. Additionally, Arcania can be used in place of Spellcraft to identify spells being cast.

Sorcery (CHR)

[i]You don't ask a dancer what scientific principle creates a beautiful movement. You don't ask a painter how to measure the brush stroke that made his masterpiece. Likewise, you don't ask me how I breathe spells into existence. I just do, and it's beautiful, because I have practice behind it.

Draconic studies suggest that The Tiamati, the 5 original Dragons, are Manaweave Dynamos. Even in their dormant state as The Relaid, they are capable of pumping out the mana that saturates the world.

This explains why those of the draconic tyrannical state, Stormwraith, are so keen to the use of magic, yet don't quite know how or why what they do works. Sorcerers are simply accustomed to the bend and flow of magic, and the confidence and identity of themselves allows for the freedom of magic not otherwise experienced. No two sorcerers are quite alike and that's just how they like it.

The chaotic nature of sorcery and the free spirits of it wielders means that it carries with it an innate Somatic component. They don't command magic or entice magic to occur, they move with it and play with it and are awarded with a spell in return.

Sorcery gains a +2 bonus for three ranks in any Perform skill, as long as it requires precise movement (Lute, Dance, but not something like Execution or Drill).

Furthermore, A Sorcerer can always apply a duration increase on his spells without costing against his allotted Elogance.


To this, we pray for the great drakes long slumber. May their rest be scarred and broken, restless and tiring, as the age of man breaches their own thresh holds of power. To Man, The Risen, and Eternal Faith, Ahle Korme

Divine casters are notorious for being Obsessive compulsive, nit picking manner. When they aren't convulsing over superstitions, they are picking out odd numbers of beads and grammar errors in holy text.

As they should be. Like sorcerers, they don't know how their spells work, but unlike sorcerers, they contribute it to the gods above. The first Divine Casters likely learned their first forms of magic from natural sorcerers, taught to those whom didn't understand. Out of fear of deviation and tradition, Fueled by belief, over hundreds of years, they forged an entire field of magic. Separation from the traditions can be disastrous, although Wizards may snicker at lower priest whom look to simple spells as 'Miracles'; all hold their breathe back in awe as High Priests of Ahle Korme prepare the battle field for their war paths. Perhaps the scariest part of Divine Magic is it's Consistency.

To aid in the channeling of spells, Divine casters utilize Material Components. Not always used in the casting of the spell, Divine casters carry foci and sacred material typically shrouded in superstition, legend and hymn.

Divine Casters recieve a +2 synergy bonus for three ranks in Concentration, and any time they miscast a spell, they have the option to spend a [Font] Point to treat the spell as "FailSafe" and simply let the spell fizzle instead.

Toy Killer
2013-08-14, 03:12 AM
Reserved for future use 2/4

Toy Killer
2013-08-14, 03:13 AM
Reserved for future use 3/4

Toy Killer
2013-08-14, 03:14 AM
Reserved for future use 4/4

Please feel free to post and comment below. Thank you for staying tuned!

-Toykiller, A Broken Toychest Production