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Wizard Spell Lessons
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Wizard Spell Lessons

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Tired of writing down spells without doing math and referencing charts?

Feeling down because there's not enough library science in your game?

Suffering from a complex suite of neuroses that demand a metaphysical framework for magic before you can give yourself permission to enjoy being a pretend wizard?

Welcome to the Academy of the Arcane.  We have pages and pages of magic theory and spell scribing guidelines, perfect for roleplaying your Arcana proficiency.  We have wizard lesson plans, ideal for character backgrounds or helping you plan a game focused on wizards in school.  We have team roles to add more flavor to characters, independent of class.  So come on in, sign your name in blood, and open your mind to the mysteries of the multiverse.

Note: this document is not intended for the casual consumer of gaming products.  If you don't like funky fonts, fantasy chemistry, or the ramblings of madmen, this is probably not your niche.  But if you do? Buckle up.

For something a little less esoteric, check out my wizard spell scrolls.  Those handouts are ready for immediate use at your game table.

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Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Connor H July 06, 2020 2:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I can say for sure that with only one read through I fell absolutely in love with this. Going through this and your spell scrolls book, picking apart all the bits in the reticulata equation was so much fun, then trying to take some of my home made spells to see how I could make them work with it.

One issue I find however isn’t with the work, but my understanding of the balancing aspects of the spells. I understand how to add up the total filaments, but after that I’ve become confused on how those specific balances are chosen.
Customer avatar
Connor H July 06, 2020 2:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Also, I was curious to see more about somatic component resonances, as all that’s mentioned was in the Old Cambian example.
Customer avatar
Shane S July 06, 2020 3:42 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey there, Connor, I'm glad you're enjoying it! So, you're looking at the card titled "Example Reticulata Scripting Process for Mage Armor" I think, down at the table "filaments needed to complete." Let me see if I can walk you through some thoughts and you can let me know if they answer your questions.

In-character, the purpose of the balance filaments is to to make sure you're pulling from an integer number of aether strands (so, 7 strands, 8 strands, etc., never 7.3 strands or any other fraction). In the example, we end up with 31 filaments, so we need to ask ourselves how many more filaments we need to get to an even number of strands (remember there are 6 filaments to a strand): that answer is 5 filaments, because 31 + 5 == 36, which is evenly divisible by 6. I'm representing that mathematically with the modulus operator (%), which tells you the remainder (5 % 6 == 5, 6 % 6 == 0, 7 % 6 == 1, 8 % 6 == 2, ... etc.). Then 6 - X % 6 simply tells you how much you have to add...See more
Customer avatar
Connor H July 06, 2020 4:00 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This explains that part wonderfully. One last question then about this topic. Once you’ve discovered which elements are necessary to balance said numbers to make it so (per the mage armor example air and fire), how then do you determine how many to use? Is it just based on the level you desire the spell to be? Or would thee be another way of determining the spells level through the math?
Customer avatar
Shane S July 06, 2020 4:28 pm UTC
CREATOR
Excellent, I'm glad that helped. As to how many balance elements to use, there will always just be two balance elements: balance A, and balance B. So in the example on that page, we needed 5 filaments to complete the balancing. The two elements in "filaments needed to complete" under "5" are ᚆ (air) and ᚋ (fire), which I had to level to ᚇ and ᚏ per the table to the right since Mage Armor is a level 1 spell (under A, air/water is 2; under B, fire/earth is 5). Does that make sense?
Customer avatar
Connor H July 06, 2020 4:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
It does, yet let’s say I’m designing a new spell, and am uncertain about what level it should be. Is there a way that the system determines that for the wizard? Or is it purely up to preference?
Customer avatar
Shane S July 06, 2020 6:43 pm UTC
CREATOR
I couldn't make hard and fast rules about that because the game designers didn't follow any rules in making the official spells (try to count the number of spells that actually follow the spell creation rules in the DMG, almost none of them do - even the straight damage spells). And to be fair, given the lack of limitations put on spells, you can't really compare the utility of a wall to the utility of a blast or the utility of to convincing a creature you are a friend. The game designers just had to make the spells and assign them levels based on percieved effectiveness in the types of games they play.

This is one reason why I left the spell damage, for example, out of the script. If you could just specify 100% of a spell, you could assign ultimate power to a cantrip. Instead, think of it this way: the elements for the Fire Bolt and Fireball spells are going to be almost the same. The difference in effect is what level you design as the "native" level for the spell (see "Regarding...See more
Customer avatar
Connor H July 06, 2020 9:28 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks, I think that’s all the questions I had. Thank you so much!
Customer avatar
Shane S July 07, 2020 12:10 am UTC
CREATOR
You bet, glad I could help! To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised that I could reverse-engineer any of their systems at all (that is, with as much as they decided to design the game by "feel", I was surprised I could still find things based on math). Like spells about doubling in power ever level, and the conversion from spell slot level to spell points. Sometimes it was also clear that someone designed a system to follow a pattern, then someone else later revised it on "feel" without realizing they were breaking it, like the spellcasting services cost from the ALDMG. Up to v7, they follow a very clear pattern, then in v8 and onwards they only kept those original values up to Level 3 and decided to just wing it from there =/
Customer avatar
Dave G November 09, 2019 10:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
It seems I can't give stars because I'm also a publisher, but I would give 5 if I could. Truthfully, this document might be a bit over the top for a lot of games, but I think it's brilliant. A -lot- of effort has gone into it and it adds a ton of flavor to the magic system. I definitely recommend checking it out.
My only suggestion would be to change the font. It looks great and very authentic but also makes it a bit hard to read.
Since I can't give stars, I'll also review this on my website in the next few days, dungeonsanddave.com.
Customer avatar
Shane S November 10, 2019 2:16 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Dave,

I think "a bit over the top" is the best review I could ask for =). You're quite right, a ton of research and theory went into it; I'm glad to hear that it shows. Your kind words are appreciated, and your site is bookmarked.
Customer avatar
Badger B November 03, 2019 6:34 am UTC
PURCHASER
i bought your other document

but do you have a youtube example I could follow please?
Customer avatar
Shane S November 03, 2019 2:52 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi badger,

Can you let me know what part is giving you trouble? If a section warrants more explanation, then it probably makes the most sense to add that explanation to the document itself. I see card 20 (example scripting process) didn't convert to PDF quite as legibly as I'd hoped. I've made a couple of minor changes to it to improve the readability. If it's still too information-dense, or there's another section troubling you, let me know.

Thanks!
Customer avatar
Badger B November 03, 2019 9:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hmm I took the preview for this one rather than buying it like I did the other spell kit.

It seems overly complicated and I am autistic.

Its hard to see from the sample how this system will work out and as a result I am reticent to buy it
Customer avatar
Shane S November 04, 2019 4:23 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi badger,

No worries! If this product doesn't speak to you, you don't owe me anything, least of all a purchase.

I wouldn't call it complicated, but it is definitely complex. That is, the difficulty comes not from any one piece being inscrutable, but instead comes from having a large collection of simple pieces (in other words: relationships are complicated, rockets are complex).

I've updated the preview to start a page or so earlier, where I have a summary of the contents, and end a page later. In retrospect, I should have included the beginning bit in the preview from the start because I think it better explains what you can expect to see. So have another look at the preview, and don't worry about it if this one doesn't align with your interests. As long as you're enjoying the spell scrolls in my other document, that's enough for me.
Customer avatar
Badger B November 05, 2019 5:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Brilliant.

I will look now and see.

The other product in my opinion could easily be raised by $5 and still be worth it.

I have a wiz in the group I dm and he has found a spell book. I have talked over questing the "logical language" to understanding the 4 spells he will receive.

He is very excited by this.
Customer avatar
Shane S November 05, 2019 9:49 pm UTC
CREATOR
Fantastic, I'm glad you like the Wizard Spell Scrolls! They are basically the polished end-product, while the Spell Lessons here explain the magic system I developed to create them. But the Spell Scrolls stand on their own; the Spell Lessons are only if you want to peek "under the hood" of the magic system; they are not required reading.

I'm excited that your wizard player is excited, and very happy that you feel the Spell Scrolls are a bargain. You can always let other people know what you think of a product with a review, if you feel like it.
Customer avatar
Badger B November 08, 2019 9:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
i have a publisher account :/

I cant review on this account.

I have petitioned the powers that be to convert it back to a 'normal' account.
Customer avatar
Shane S November 09, 2019 1:56 am UTC
CREATOR
I only mentioned it because it sounded like you had strong feelings about it. No worries, my friend!
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File Last Updated:
October 23, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on November 02, 2019.