View Full Version : Homebrew Magic System

2007-02-28, 07:45 PM
I'm making a d20 based fantasy world called Feron, and decided that the standard DnD stuff just wouldn't do. First of up: Magic. I decided right away to do away with the jack-of-all-trades Mage class. Instead I wanted players to be faced with a real choice in their spellcaster.

So I came up with this basic idea and list of spells/abilities. Its just a start. Keep in mind MOST but not necessarily all spells are designed to scale with level, rather then be level based. So most will be available at level 1.


Spellcasters such as Wizards and Priests cast their magic from reserves of mana which they store within themselves. Priests restore their mana through prayer, wizards by drawing their elemental powers from a source.

A wizard’s mana is broken down into the elements, air, earth, fire, and water. A wizard can only cast spells from three of these, however. When a wizard begins his studies, he must choose a Primary Element. He will be most powerful with his Primary selection. A wizard cannot cast spells from the opposite element of his primary.

A wizard’s mana is drawn from a source, so earth magic is drawn from a stone, fire from flames or the sun, water from rain/rivers/lakes, air from wind and storms. The more powerful the source, the quicker they can gain mana.

To regenerate: A wizard or priest cannot regenerate during combat. They may regenerate at the possible rate while traveling, as long as they are able to maintain contact with the source. (IE a priest cant travel and gain 5 mana/hour since that rate would require him to be performing a full ceremony or be inside a cathedral, however if he possessed a holy relic this could be possible).

Mana Regeneration
Type Regen/hour Source
All 1 Sleep
2 Candle or similar-sized flame
4 Lantern or Torch
6 Campfire or fireplace
8 Huge bonfire
10 Forge or Magma
2 Vial or flagon of water
4 Large puddle, bucket, or sprinkling rain
6 Stream or Pond or steady rain
8 River or Lake or heavy downpour
10 Ocean or torrential downpour
2 Still air
4 Light breeze
6 Steady breeze
8 Heavy winds
10 Full force Gale
2 Small stone or container of dirt
4 Large stone, wide area of dirt, stone building
6 Massive Boulder or Large Stone building, holy grounds
8 Giant rocky hills, Gigantic stone structure (fortress or giant cathedral)
10 Underground stone tunnel, Large Mountains
2 Small animal bones or dead insects
4 Humanoid bones or decaying corpse
6 Fresh Corpse, large pile of bones, desecrated ground
8 Graveyard, Multiple bodies
10 Massive Graveyard, large number of sick and dying persons

Life (Spirit)
2 Small vial of holy water or unblessed symbol, prayer
4 Basin of holy water, Readings, crude shrine, blessed symbol
6 Full ritual of blessing, small church, Preaching
8 Regular sized church, Ceremonies, Holy Tome
10 Cathedral, High Ceremonies, Holy Relic

Starting Mana:
A wizard receives 10 mana in their primary element and 6 in their secondary elements at level one. They get +1d6 mana in their primary per level, and +1d4 in their secondary elements. A wizards adds their intelligence bonus to mana every level, and a priest adds in their Wisdom bonus.

Wizard Spell list


Candles Flame – Cost 1F, Casting time: instant, Duration. Creates a small flickering candle-sized flame. This spell can only be cast on candles, used to light torches, or bits of cloth, wood and other basic flammable materials. It causes no damage to creatures unless they are unable to expend a free action to pat or blow out the flame. It does not count as a source for fire magic.

Heatwave – costs 1F/rd, Casting time: 1 round, Duration: Concentration. With this spell the caster creates a field of heat that causes discomfort to those that enter it. The spell fills a volume of 10ftx10ft +5ft/lvl. Those inside this field suffer a -2 penalty on all attack rolls and skill checks.

Dazzling Sparks – cost 1f Casting time: instant, duration: none. This spell causes flashes of sparks in the air to confuse and blind enemies. Enemies must make a reflex saving throw to avoid being blinded for 1d3+1 rounds.

Flame Ball – Cost 2f Casting time:instant, duration: none. This spell creates a ball of magical fire in the casters hand that can be tossed at an opponent. It does 1d6/lvl to a max of 10d6.

Smolder – 2F/round CT: Instant, Duration: Concentration. This spell requires the casters full concentration for each round. Smolder causes the target to heat up and smoke. Smolder deals 1d6dmg starting on the second round plus an additional 1d6 for each continuous round. So if the spell is maintained for three rounds, it does no damage on the first, 1d6 on the second, and 2d6 on the third.

Combustion – 10F CT: Instant, Duration: none This spell requires that the caster have been concentrating a smolder attack on the target for three continuous rounds. Starting on the 4th round the caster is able to use Combustion to deal an amount of damage of the max possible result for the number of damage die rolled from the last round of smolder. Thus, if a caster concentrated smolder for 6 rounds on a target, and on the 7th decided to use combustion, they deal an instant 35 damage to the target (35 is the max result from the 5d6 that was rolled for damage on the previous round of smolder). Combustion ends concentration on the smolder spell.


Create water: Cost 1W, CT: Instant, Duration: none Creates 1gal/lvl of water inside a suitable container such as a cup, bowl, depression in a rock, etc. Water is clean and drinkable.

Freezing Drench: Cost 2W, CT: Instant, Duration 1d4+1rds/lvl up to +10. This spell causes a target to be drenched in freezing water. It does no damage but slows reflexes and causes the target to shiver uncontrollably, suffering a -2 penalty on all attack rolls, saving throws, and skill check.

Breathe Water: Cost 2W, CT: Instant, Duration: 1 hour/caster level. This spell allows a target to breathe underwater.

Drown: Cost 5W, CT: Instant, Duration: 3 rounds. This spell will cause an air-breathing creatures mouth and lungs to fill with water. Target must make a fortitude save vs DC 10+ caster level to resist the effects of this spell. On the first round of the spell the target receives -2 to all saves, attacks, and skill checks. The penalty increased to -4 for the second round, and in addition the target cannot take a move action. The target spends the third round helpless and unable to take any actions. Each round before the effects of the spell are applied, the target may make a fortitude saving throw.

Ice Shard: Cost 1W, CT: Instant. This spell flings forth a razor sharp shard of ice that flies towards a target. It deals 1d6dmg/level up to 10d6.


Tremor: Cost 2E, CT: Instant, Duration: 1rd/level up to 10. This spell causes a small, localized tremor in the ground with a 5ft radius. Targets in this area must make a reflex saving throw vs DC 10+caster level or suffer -4 on all attack rolls and skill checks for as long as they remain in the affected area or until the spell ends.

Casting Stone: Cost 1E, CT: Instant, Duration: 1 hour/level. The caster can enchant a small rock of sling-stone quality. This stone may be thrown by hand for 1d4dmg/caster level up to 10d4. The stone will remain enchanted for one hour per level, and can be used by those other then the caster.

Armor of Stone: Cost 4E, CT: Instant, Duration: 1 hour/level. The caster can give one target creature an armor-like covering of stone. This will reduce the targets movement rate by 10ft. In addition they gain +1 AC/2 caster levels up to +6 and Damage absorption of +10 per 2 levels up to +50. The protection ends either after the duration is up or it has absorbed the full amount of damage that it can withstand.


Gust: Cost 2A, CT Instant, Duration: None AoE: 20ft long, 30ft wide cone from casters hands. The caster creates a heavy blast of air that can cause opponents to lose their footing. They must make a reflex save vs DC 10+caster level or fall prone.

Air Whip: Cost 1A, CT instant, Duration: None. Causes a whip-like blast of air which strikes for 1d3dmg/lvl.

Wind Wall: Cost 1A, CT: Instant, Duration: 1d4 rounds/level. The caster created a wall of swirling air. The wall is five feet deep and 10ft long, +5ft/caster level. Creatures attempting to pass through or that are caught inside this area must make a reflex save vs DC 10+caster level. Failure results in the victim being knocked prone. To stand back up they must make another reflex save. Arrows and other missile weapons fired through this wall receive a -2 penalty to hit.

Carrying Wind: Cost 1A/round, Ct: Instant: The caster can attempt to fly an object through the air. The object cannot weigh more then 10lbs. The object does not move with enough force to make a good weapon. It has a movement rate of 20ft/round.

Flight: Cost: 10A, CT: 2 rounds, Duration: 1hour/level. A target chosen by the caster gains the ability to fly. The targets flight is not controlled by the caster.

Death (Spirit)

Steal Life: Cost special, CT: Instant, Duration: Special. The caster chooses a target, who makes a fort save vs 10+caster level. If they fail the caster can drain 1hp/round +1hp/caster level from the target and transfer the life to himself. The caster cannot go over his own max HPs.

Fear: Cost 2D, CT: Instant, Duration: 1d4rounds +1/ caster level. The caster causes a target to flee in fear if they fail a will save vs DC 10+caster level.

Curse: Cost 5D, CT: 4 rounds, Duration: 1 hour/caster level. The caster utters a foul curse onto a target creature. The target receives -1/ ever 2 caster levels up to -10 on all saves, attacks, and skill checks. This spell can be used to cancel a bless.

Lifetap: Cost Special, CT: Instant. The caster is able to transfer 1 HP into 1 death-type of spirit mana.

Life (Spirit)

Healing Light: Cost special, CT: Instant. The caster is able to heal one target 1hp for every mana he spends. The caster cannot heal more then their level x2 with one casting.

Bless: Cost 2L, CT: Instant, Duration: 1 hour/caster level. Targets of this spell gain +1/2 caster levels on all attack rolls, saves, and skill checks to a maximum of +10. This spell can be used to cancel a Curse.

Armor of Faith: Cost: 2L, CT: Instant, Duration 1hour/caster level. Target gains +1 ac/2 caster levels to a maximum of +4.

Relnors Hammer: Cost: 5L, CT: Instant. The priest summons a blast of light that strikes one target, searing it with spiritual power. Deals 1d6dmg/level up to 10d6.

Counterspell: Counterspelling is done by setting a DC of the casting wizards level +10. A counterspeller can use mana from any or all elemental sources they possess, but the mana cost of a counterspell is always equal to that of the spell being countered.

2007-03-03, 01:58 PM
Updated to include a lot more spells, including spirit types of Life and Death.

2007-03-04, 10:46 PM
good luck
lenthening my post...

2007-03-05, 01:48 AM
I like the clearly defined elemental and spiritual roles. I would suggest adding order and chaos, as they tend to have a strong role in spiritual realms.

Definitely a good flavor of magic. It's been done, but this looks like a well thought way of doing it.

2007-03-05, 02:37 AM
I like it, good work. I suppose you could add new spells to the list forever, I'd suggest trying to get roughly the same number in each category so that its kinda balanced.

I've always thought magic users should be more specialized than in the rules, I came up with avarient myself though its based on the D&D schools of magic instead of the elements.

2007-03-05, 05:46 AM
I have been trying forever to make a balanced magic system that uses fewer schools of magic (about 6 is where I would like it to be, so I may use yours) as well as making all spells fall into a Rarity system.
Common, Uncommon, Rare, Exotic and Ancient (Lost), similar to the way the Wheel of Time RPG does magic.
Also planned for this system, only one basic spellcaster type, with different disciplines for magic.

2007-03-05, 05:46 PM
Glad you like it. I'll most definately be adding more spells. Im thinking law/chaos for whenever I get around to making paladins/anti-paladins. I also plan on doing something similar for monks, so they will be heavily elemental based as well. A Flaming Tiger, Water Serpent, Stone Fist, or Winds Breath monk would be cool.

Attack with fiery fists, regenerate, take incredible damage, or walk on the wind depending on which type of monk. At least thats teh general directions.

Vespe Ratavo
2007-03-05, 06:36 PM
Hey, pretty cool. If you don't mind I might use this for some of my games...

2007-03-05, 07:39 PM
I definitely like it, but the spell list is mighty short. Add tons more spells before using it, I'd say.