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Arcane Tradition: Blood Magic
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Arcane Tradition: Blood Magic


A new arcane tradition and sanguimancy spells for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Blood magic, also known as sanguimancy, is an ancient, primal form of magic often shunned by more respectable members of the arcane arts. Practitioners of sanguimancy call themselves blood mages and guard the secrets of this forbidden arcane tradition with ruthless dedication.

A new arcane tradition, Blood Magic, is offered here as an additional character option. This supplement contains:

  • The Blood Magic arcane tradition
  • Fourteen new sanguimancy spells

David McDonough is an editor, writer, think tanker, and recovering academic in Ottawa, Canada. He is the author of the bestselling adventures, The Priest, the Witch, and the Lost Temple,  Undermountain: Caverns of the Many-Legged, and Twilight at Eventide, as well as the supplement Van Richten’s Guide to Korvidas.

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Chris R January 21, 2022 8:16 pm UTC
I noticed Blood Lash just says "If it hits the target takes 1d10 damage." A damage type should be specified, even if it's just physical damage (bludgeoning, piercing or slashing) as that can affect resistance.
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David M January 21, 2022 11:07 pm UTC
Thanks. I've updated the doc with that fixed
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Ryan D January 21, 2022 4:55 am UTC
This arcane tradition is powerful, as blood magic should be, but in the wrong way.

First, the positives: it greatly rewards having a high constitution, a very good choice. If you're going to be using your own life force to amplify your magic, then you better have a lot of it. Furthermore I love that the primary mechanic boosts defense, which you are absolutely going to need.

But the biggest issue that I take with this subclass is that it has a very powerful healing effect. When I think of blood magic, I think of a caster using up their own health to make their magic more powerful, not their magic becoming more powerful and they also get massive healing. That feels unbalanced. I have three suggested edits.

First, I would suggest the following addition to the list of effects granted by the Blood Pact feature: "Each time you cast a sanguimancy spell, you take damage equal to twice the spell's level." This school of magic should have a sacrifice for the power it offers....See more
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David M January 21, 2022 11:15 pm UTC
Hi Ryan. Thanks so much for your comments. They provide some excellent food for thought. I do take your point on the healing portion, as you are correct that the extent of healing with the Sanguine Soul feature might just be too much. I've modified it. You also make a good point on how using some of these features should perhaps have more of an immediate cost in terms of hit points. I've added some elements of that, though different from your suggestions. I didn't touch the Hit Die mechanic, as it's important to my vision for the subclass. I've updated the pdf. Again, I really appreciate your thoughtful comments. And I'd be happy to send you a free pub of mine (your choice) as thanks,. Just let me know your email on here or DM me on Twitter with it (@DS_McDonough). Cheers!
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File Last Updated:
January 22, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on January 19, 2022.