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School of Geometry

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The Dragon Above presents…

The School of Geometry

This supplement introduces a new Arcane Tradition made with meticulous players in mind. A wizard who studies the School of Geometry, sometimes known as a Geometer, must create a graphical representation of all the spells they have prepared and all the cantrips they have learned. By exploiting the inherent connections and cycles between their spells, Geometers can learn to manipulate the way they express their arcana.

This Tradition is ideal for wizard characters with an interest in mathematics or cartography.

Be sure to pack your quill and ink!

The School of Geometry began its life as playtest homebrew content on the "Dragon Above" tumblr blog. The Dragon Above started life in 2004 as the Eberron Bestiary, and has created hundreds of monsters and player options across 3.5 Edition, 4th Edition, and now 5th Edition D&D.

 
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Customer avatar
Alessandro I November 19, 2019 4:03 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, it's me again, I have another question. Can a terminal spell also be part of a closed loop? Say, I have a square composed of four spells, and a fifth spell, connected to one vertex only, pointed on the inside of the square. This way the spell is technically on a vertex of the enclosed area, which does not contain any connection (since the connection is a side of the area, which is not convex), so mathematically speaking (and thus RAW) it should be counted, but I'm not sure it is intended.

I hope I made myself clear, if not I'll try to upload a picture.
Customer avatar
Imogen G November 20, 2019 11:04 am UTC
CREATOR
Ah, I see. No need for a picture, I understand what you mean.

The intention is that a spell can't belong to both a terminal and a closed loop.
That way there are decisions to be made regarding balancing triggering the damage and temporary hit point bonus you get from Arcane Topography and Off the Grid against the variability of Spell Link. I found that lead to more interesting spell map shapes.

In writing it the way I did, I was intending your proposed shape count as "containing a connection", but I see the language is a bit wonky and technically permits it because you could wrap the area around the terminal instead. The wording will have to be patched in the next update, but I'm not yet sure what exact form that will take. Perhaps something as simple as "A closed loop cannot be defined in a way that encloses a terminal spell, and a terminal spell cannot be part of a closed loop."

Good catch, thanks!
Customer avatar
Alessandro I November 20, 2019 4:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I see, that's what I thought. The problem with considering such a shape as "containing a connection" is that sometimes you have such a terminal that is necessarily inside a closed loop because of the shape of the map, and I don't think it would be fair to make those loops not count.

There are similar issues when you have stuff like a loop inside another. Say you have two loops connected by a vertex: you could technically put one inside the other, thus having another non-convex shape whose boundary contains the spell of both loops.

There are other edge cases: you could technically declare that the inside of a loop is the "outside" of the map, and that the actual outside is yet another closed loop. You can achieve that by drawing the graph on a sphere, then "unwrapping" the sphere on a point inside the region you want to be the "outside" of the map, and then straightening the lines while preserving the regions (and I'm quite sure this can always be...See more
Customer avatar
Barney C May 28, 2019 11:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
Honestly, I read the describtion of this subclass and immediately had to create character with it and play. Which is a sign of good class, I think. There is a small thing that puzzles me, though. What is the nature of the spell map? So far, I've came with 3 possibilities:
1) You sit down and make mind map of your spells while reviewing them.
2) You made mind palace sort of thing, that helps you retain the info on the spells themselves, and the theory behind hem, allowing for more efficient spellcasting.
3) You literary bind the spells together in some sort of pattern while preparing them. Issue is, that would only work if spells are entities of their own (ala Discworld)

Anyways, would you tell mewhat you envisioned the map to be?
Customer avatar
Imogen G May 28, 2019 4:46 pm UTC
CREATOR
I'd say all 3 of those are reasonable interpretations. There's intentionally nothing hard-wired into the flavour here. Choose whatever interpretation of the spell map mechanic fits best for your character and your world, or consult with your DM. It could easily be a physical thing you draw or a mental thing you construct in a mind palace. It could be something with deep cultural ties, or something your PC has developed for themselves. The important thing is that you have fun with the concept.

To give you an example, one of my PCs who inspired portions of this work is a cartographer who draws her spell map with a quill and ink. Part of her preparations are taking out her compasses and rulers and making something physical. But that's absolutely not the only way you can play this.
Customer avatar
Barney C May 28, 2019 9:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Oh, I'm all for various interpretations, but thing is, none of the theories I've presented fits with all of the features included:

Many of the features speak of how the map blends out to the real world.. which means they can't be written down on piece of paper, since that would mean the map already exists in the real world.

For the first theory, speaks cartography tools, but they can't explain why connecting spell notes on sheet of paper is connecting the magic.

Second option, the mind palace, can work with actual cartography tools, and can even work out why loops and terminals work.. you understand the theory behind it and so are able to modify the spells a bit..but it ends with the token thing and bleeding out to the reality.

Customer avatar
Anthony K May 03, 2019 5:52 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi there, Imogen! This is Sean from the YouTube channel, Home Brew Crew.

I wanted to let you know that we reviewed your home brew class, the School of Geometry, on our channel! You can check out the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bolaGSvKNRk

Thank you for making an awesome wizard class. It's a great example of what we look for in home brew content!

-Sean, Home Brew Crew
Customer avatar
Imogen G May 06, 2019 9:20 pm UTC
CREATOR
Wow, thank you for featuring me! You video is great.

And don't worry, you did pronounce my name right!
Customer avatar
Anthony K May 08, 2019 4:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Imogen!

Yay! We have a habit of mispronouncing things so that's good to hear! And thank you!

-Sean
Customer avatar
Calum P April 21, 2019 5:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I love this subclass and the flavour of it, and it has inspired one of my favourite dnd characters so far. Due to this I've created a custom character sheet for this subclass, including a more detailed spell sheet and a spell map + tokens. I currently only have these as individual PNG files, but if you have a way of converting these into a PDF file for sake of ease, and if you wished to present this here, I'd be happy to show the design.
Customer avatar
Matt L March 26, 2019 10:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So I love the subclass and how it works but I feel like if you also had an app to help out with spell book set up it would be really helpful for people like me
Customer avatar
Imogen G March 27, 2019 2:10 pm UTC
CREATOR
I haven't the expertise to make one myself, but you're in luck! Another fan of the subclass, Calvin McHenry, has made one which you can play around with here: https://calvin99.github.io/spell-map/
Customer avatar
Oscar M March 23, 2019 4:15 am UTC
PURCHASER
Perhaps this is a question for all our respective DMs to evaluate, but wanted to know your thoughts Imogen!
Chromatic Orb inflicts your choice of acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison or thunder. Under the Spell Link feature, are all spells in a closed loop with Chromatic Orb entitled to change their damage type to any of the aforementioned?

Really enjoying this Arcane Tradition by the way.
Customer avatar
Imogen G March 27, 2019 2:24 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thank you, I'm glad you're enjoying it! :D

Under the current rules, linking Chromatic Orb would allow you the choice of any of those damage types when it is linked to spells in the same loop.

That improves the utility of Chromatic Orb for sure, and perhaps gives it an edge over magic missile. While the force damage granted by magic missile very reliably bypasses resistances and immunities, chromatic orb may give you more chances to target vulnerabilities.

Overall, I'm not sure that this is going to require a targeted nerf to the ability. I doubt it'll affect the mechanical balance, but it may present a "fun" issue in that it incentivizes particular spell. If you find it causing issues, I'd suggest asking your geometer player to pick which damage type Chromatic Orb count as when the spell map is prepared (regardless of how the spell is cast).
Customer avatar
Insidious W March 12, 2019 11:12 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hello Imogen G. I really like the concept of this and have enjoyed playing it at low levels so far. I was looking at the PDF because my character is about to reach 6th level and noticed a flaw in the 20th level spell map. The 4th level spell Wall of Fire is connected to the 6th level spell Chain Lightning to create a 6th loop. I was trying to find a class ability which would allow this jump and I can't. Could you please clarify? I understand if it is simply an error and I'm sorry to nag if it is. Mistakes happen. I get it. I have to triple check my maps and I'm only 5th level at the moment. Thanks.
Customer avatar
Imogen G March 13, 2019 2:05 pm UTC
CREATOR
Oh no! You're right, there's no class feature you've missed, it's just a mistake on my end. "Wall of Fire" is supposed to be "Wall of Force".

I will make sure it's fixed in any future updates.
Customer avatar
Insidious W May 28, 2019 9:30 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome! Thanks for clearing up the confusion I had. I understand that mistakes just happen. By the way, I loved the school. It added intense thought into time between sessions trying to set up various spell maps.
Customer avatar
Taylor B March 02, 2019 9:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This really looks great although I do have a question regarding the Spell Map. On a prepared spell map, I have 2 evocation spells. Fire Bolt and Scorching Ray. They do not connect because they are more than one level apart, but SR connects to Misty Step (which is the only conjuration spell on the map) as they are the same level. This has resulted in two separate constructs within the map, one which contains 5 of the prepared spells and the other which contains the two 2nd level spells I have prepared.
Does this make SR and Misty Step both count as terminals, or does every prepared spell have to find a way to connect in one piece in order to gain the benefits?
Customer avatar
Imogen G March 07, 2019 8:57 pm UTC
CREATOR
There's no requirement that your spell map all connect up into one piece. If your spells result in multiple unconnected parts of your map, then you still check each part to see if they have any terminals or open loops.

In your your 'island' of 2nd level spells, Scorching Ray and Misty Step both fulfil the requirements of terminals, since they're connected to exactly one other spell node.
Customer avatar
Wade F February 28, 2019 6:36 am UTC
My friend shared this arcane tradition with me. As a programmer, I really enjoy this subclass, and I plan to playtest it sometime.

My only concern is the saving throw change with Spell link. I would suggest only being able to change it to other physical saves (Strength, Dexterity, or Consitution) or mental saves (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) based on the save of the spell being cast. As it stands, it may not be an issue, yet there could be more official spells for 5e in the future that could lead to an issue.
Customer avatar
Imogen G March 07, 2019 9:00 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for your interest!

With regards to Spell Link, the saving throw adjustment part has been patched in the latest version to avoid some unintended issues. I enjoy the flavour and creativity that comes being able to switch between mental and physical stats, so that remains. Instead, there's now a restriction on duration so you can't exploit the saving throws to stun-lock with certain low level spells. (Looking at you, Hold Person!)
Customer avatar
Alessandro I November 18, 2019 8:22 am UTC
PURCHASER
If Spell Link only applies to Spells with duration "Instantaneous", then the example you suggest (Fireball and Phantasmal Killer) is wrong, as the latter has duration "Concentration, up to 1 minute".

I understand the issue with stun-lock, but if you check the list of Spells with duration "Instantaneous" that offer a save other than Constitution or Dexterity, of level lesser or equal than 6, it includes Lightning Lure (Strength) alone. Even at very high level you only get Plane Shift (Charisma) and Feeblemind (Intelligence). I believe this is a serious issue with this class feature, how do you suggest to address it?

Other than this, it looks awesome, and I can't wait to try it!
Customer avatar
Imogen G November 18, 2019 2:04 pm UTC
CREATOR
I'm glad you enjoyed the subclass!

With regards to the "instantaneous" duration and the example given, your reading of the ability is a little more restrictive than intended. Mixing Fireball and Phantasmal Killer is allowed within the current framework.

From Spell Link, the current rule is "...you may only apply this benefit to a spell with a duration of 'instantaneous.'"
The important point here is that only the spell receiving the benefit (i.e., the one which has its saving throw modified) has to be instantaneous. It's not required that donor spell has to be instantaneous as well.

So if you have fireball and phantasmal force in a closed loop, you can change fireball (an instantaneous spell) to an Intelligence save (via Phantasmal Force), but you can't change Phantasmal Force (concentration, 1 minute) to a Dexterity save (via Fireball).

I hope that helps address your worries about the Spell Link ability :)
Customer avatar
Alessandro I November 19, 2019 3:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I actually figured it out myself and came here to comment that I understood what you meant, but your reply was really fast! Thanks, it indeed helps addressing my concern.

I also found out that building a good spell map is more complicated than I expected! I really had fun trying to puzzle out a way to maximise the benefits while still picking good spells.
Customer avatar
Robert S February 24, 2019 12:15 am UTC
PURCHASER
I have a question about the level 14 ability Geometer's Journey. I'm not quite sure about this part of it, "If this spell is not connected to the last spell you covered with a token, remove any tokens you have previously placed. If the number of tokens on your spell map is then equal to that spell's level plus one, you may choose not to expend a spell slot when you cast the spell." If you could explain this that would be helpful, thank you.
Customer avatar
Imogen G February 24, 2019 10:32 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Robert, it may be my funny order of sentences there! The order of operations goes like this:
1. Add a token over the spell you just cast.
2. Check to see if that spell is connected to the last spell you put a token on. You're trying to form an unbroken chain.
3. If it's NOT connected to the last one you cast, removing all the tokens on the board and continue without doing anything else. The spell is casts as normal, but now your board is reset.
4. If it IS connected to the last spell you cast, count up how many tokens you have.
5. Say I've counted up five tokens. If the spell I'm casting is level 4, I can then cast that without spending a spell slot if I want to.
6. If I do take the free casting, I remove all the tokens. Otherwise, I spend a spell slot as normal and start from step 1 next time I cast a spell.

Does that help? I can clarify further if you like!

I think when I update the document, I'll add a more detailed example.
Customer avatar
Ángel David M February 23, 2019 10:19 am UTC
PURCHASER
I miss an explanation on how should spells casted at higher levels be handled. I'm guessing you wouldn't benefit from Geometer's Journey. Off the Grid might be ok though, but which value would be used for the temporary hit points?

Also, would spells copied to the book count as "granted by your wizard class levels"? Or would the spells gained for free on level up the only spells allowed on the map?

How would Spell Mastery and Signature Spells interact with these features?
Customer avatar
Imogen G February 24, 2019 10:22 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Ángel, thanks for your questions!

When you cast a spell at a higher level, it counts as a spell of that level for all purposes, even in the Geometer subclass features.

For example, in Geometer's Journey, you can continue to build up tokens to cast (usually) low level spells at higher level. For example, using the 20th level example map, I might cast Detect Magic (add token), Detect Thoughts (add token), Hold Person (add token), then Charm Person (add token). I have 4 tokens on my map, so I choose to cast that Charm Person as a 3rd level spell without expending a slot.

Off the Grid will grant temp HP based on the level at which you cast the spell. For example, if you have Magic Missile at a terminal and cast it with a 3rd level spell slot, you and all allies will gain 3 temp hp.

As for Spell Mastery and Signature Spells, the important point for whether anything appears on your spell map is whether or not they count as "prepared". Spell Mastery spells...See more
Customer avatar
Ángel David M March 10, 2019 8:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So it doesn't matter whether you spend a spell slot to cast them, right? * Edit: I just saw the update clarifying that you must spend a slot *

Regarding spells copied to the book... I guess those also appear on the map if they are prepared..?

Thanks for answering!
Customer avatar
Imogen G March 10, 2019 8:46 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yes, the wording on the Spell Map "Draw a node representing each of your prepared spells and cantrips granted by your wizard class levels." is intended to include any wizard spell that you prepare, whether it comes from level up bonuses or transcribing into your spell book. I included "granted by your wizard class levels" just to clarify that if you're multiclassed, you don't include spells you prepare from other classes' spell lists. For example, you can't put cleric spells on your spell map even if you're a wizard 6/cleric 6.

Customer avatar
Michael G February 23, 2019 12:37 am UTC
PURCHASER
Very interesting idea. However, aren't the examples in the module wrong? As I understand it: Spells can only connect to another of the same level and/or of the same school that are within 1 spell level. Yet, in the first example, the Evoc Cantrip Ray of Frost connects with the Illususion 2nd level spell Mirror Image. Is my interpertation wrong or is the example wrong?
Customer avatar
Ángel David M February 23, 2019 10:00 am UTC
PURCHASER
It's Minor Image, not Mirror Image, but it should be Minor Illusion, which is a cantrip too ^^.
Customer avatar
Brittany H February 22, 2019 9:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey!

So I've been playing around with this subclass today and it seems really fun. However, I'm a little stumped by the 14th level feature. Specifically with the line "If this spell is not connected to the last spell you covered with a token..."

Just using Spell Map 2 as an example: Mirror Image is the first spell I cast, and I place a token. So the next spells I cast to count as being connected should be Alter Self, Detect Thoughts, and Major Image (correct?). If I cast anything other than those spells, I must remove my tokens from the spell map.

I just wanted to make sure I got this all correct. I apologize if I'm not supposed to post this here. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Imogen G February 24, 2019 10:02 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi! Thanks for your interest in the subclass!

You have the right idea. As you said, if you cast Mirror Image from that map, then you must cast Detect Thoughts, Alter Self or Major Image or remove all your tokens. If you cast Major Image next, you'll then have to cast Counterspell, Sending or Greater Invisibility and so on.
Customer avatar
Sotet S February 22, 2019 2:52 am UTC
PURCHASER
My wife and I have really enjoyed this sub class, especially for the way that it makes spell choice more complex as you start to ask how spells will affect your spell maps. In particular, trying to change out low level spells to build to free casts of higher level spells.

If anyone is interested, there is a field of math that studies these sorts of maps and loops, Algebraic Topology. The maps themselves are essentially Simplicial Complexes, and the loops are roughly equivalent to the topic of Homotopy Groups. Take that with a grain of salt, though. It’s been awhile since college.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algebraic_topology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplicial_complex
Customer avatar
Erik L February 19, 2019 8:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
How does this product differ from “Geometer Arcane Tradition” ?
https://www.dmsguild.com/product_info.php?products_id=266757&it=1&SRC=newsletter_freebies
Customer avatar
Imogen G February 20, 2019 10:56 am UTC
CREATOR
Although they share a name, these products have very different practical approaches to the concept. I'd certainly encourage checking out both. The product you've linked looks to convert some of the mechanics introduced by the 3.5e version of the geometer, including substitution of spell components and protective sigils. The version I've created challenges the player to draw a network of the spells they prepare - the connections and shapes formed by that map grant different abilities as the wizard levels up, including substitution of effects between spells linked in the network, and exploitation of 'routes' along the network to cast without spending spell slots.

Thanks for the link! It's always nice to see how other people have interpreted a concept!
Customer avatar
Erik L February 20, 2019 12:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the quick reply.
Cheers!
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on February 18, 2019.