d6 - A mage should have less HP than a farmer, who has 1d8. (RAW says humans have d6 hp which is stupid. Goblins have d8-1, humans should have more hp than goblins. -Neal)
As a replacement for the spell slot system, there is also a Mana System that fully replaces all the spell slot rules. With this system, spell casters start with MP equal to their willpower score, and gain 1dWillpower [1dW] up each level they again. Spells do not need to be memorized ahead of time, and may be cast from the list of spells they know for the listed MP cost.
Mana is regained only after a good night’s sleep. The amount of mana gained is dependent upon the quality of rest the wizard had that night. A wizard who spends their day resting or studying gain back even more mana.
Sleep is very important for spell casters. Anything less than a good sleep is worthless when it comes to recovering spent mana. Good sleep is warm, dry, and uninterrupted by situational or environmental factors. Quality sleep is being totally relaxed and comfortable (e.g. feather bed at an inn in town, or in your own house) on top of the requirements for good sleep.
If a wizard has a full night of good sleep, they may gain 1dWmp back, although they can never go over their maximum. If a wizard gets a full night of quality sleep, they make the same roll at advantage (roll twice and take the higher result).
Defined as minimal physical activity, and light mental activity.The spirit of light rest is a situation in which the caster is not exerting themselves or being under stress. Examples include: Socializing at a tavern, riding (not driving) in a carriage or cart along a road, taking a slow day at the beach, and napping around the house.
A day of rest grants a wizard an additional 1dW mp back on that night’s sleep.
Refers to the wizard separating themselves from the world and focusing on their craft. This is usually time spent in seclusion studying spellbooks and libraries. At a minimum, the mage must have access to all of their spells (in book, scroll, tablet, or other written form) and a place of peace and quiet. They must have their guard completely down in order to relax the body and focus the mind. This state is easily interrupted by good intentioned traveling companions who may wish to just ask a quick question about golem creation.
A day of rest grants a wizard an additional 1dW mp back, at advantage, on that night’s sleep. Studying supersedes rest, and interrupted study is reduced to rest.
|Quality Sleep||Good Sleep||Studying||Resting|
|1dW (advantage)||1dW||1dW (advantage)||1dW|
- Brutana the evocationist has spent the day fighting goblins, and is settling down for a nice long sleep out in the woods. Her party decides to let her rest and covers her watch for her. In the morning she will roll her willpower for her good sleep, but recover no mana for the day before because she wasn’t resting or studying at all. If Brutana had to cover a watch or it had begun to rain and she had no tent, she would have recovered no mana.
- The next day her party heads into town where they regale the folks with tales of their victory before going to sleep in soft feather beds. Upon waking, Brutana rolls her willpower at advantage for her quality night of sleep.
- As the party goes about their business in town the day after, Brutana orders some food and drink, takes it to her room and tells the innkeeper not to disturb her. She spends the whole day pouring over her spell books reconciling her experiences of casting vs. her spellbook, and making notes in the margins. When her party returns that night, they all meet up in the common room of the inn and Brutana is regaled with the party’s experiences of the day. That night she sleeps deeply and well, and in the morning rolls her will power at advantage, twice.
A wizard’s spellbook is an ever growing collection of notes about the nature of magic, and the caster’s personal insights and discoveries. All mages start play with a simple spellbook and are assumed to be adding to it along their journey, filling it up after roughly 1 level. A particularly fast or slow paced campaign may wish to bend this rule. Each new level requires a new spellbook, which can begin to get burdensome rather quickly for the wizard on the go. Those that wish to devote the time and resources may create a traveling spellbook.
A traveling spellbook is a condensed version (50 pages) of their accumulated knowledge, containing everything they have learned up until that point in organized chaos and shorthand. It is assumed that as a wizard advances in level, s/he becomes better at condensing information so a traveling spellbook should usually be the same size, regardless of caster level.
If a wizard does not have access to their spellbook (either a traveling book of past levels and a book for the current level, or all the books), they cannot learn new spells nor gain MP from studying. Replacing lost spellbooks is an expensive and time consuming ordeal. In the best case situation, the wizard has all their spellbooks accessible somewhere and only lost a traveling spellbook, in which case the normal rules for creating it apply. Should a wizard lose all their books, they must be recreated, which takes a number of months equal to the cumulative sum of the wizard’s level. That is to say, at first level it takes 1 month, at 2nd it takes 3, at 3rd it takes 6 months, at 4th it takes 10, etc. If the wizard has access to partial notes, or other forms of the spells they know, this time can be reduced (proportionately to the recovered information).
Initial Wizard Spells
Each wizard begins the game with a spellbook, but they has no information on what that book contains. The DM can choose from several different methods for what spells the Wizard starts with. The below are about wizards starting at level 1.
The first option is to allow the player at character creation to say what spells they would like, then roll to see if the wizard can learn it. If spell learning fails, they cannot attempt to learn the spell again until the next level up. Keep doing this until all the 1st-level spells have been checked or until the wizard reaches their maximum number of spells they are allowed to learn (depending on the character's Intelligence).
However this method has some drawbacks.
- First, players tend to pick the spells they consider the most powerful. While this is not bad if you have only one or two wizards, a whole horde of the fellows, all with identical spells, gets pretty boring.
- There is also a chance the character will overlook some basic spells they really needs to function as a wizard--"Read Magic" and "Detect Magic", in particular. A wizard who cannot read a magical scroll is deprived of one of the important abilities of their class.
- There is even a slim chance the wizard will hardly get any spells.
The DM can automatically give the Wizard "Read Magic" & "Detect Magic" and four other spells of the DM's choice. No rolls to learn these spells need be made. The character is assumed to have mastered them during their apprenticeship.
This method starts all wizards off with the same number of spells, but not necessary to give each character the same spells. The DM should see that everyone has roughly the same balance of power
With this option, the DM can allow the Wizard to start with 3d4 (or up to the limit of their Intelligence) 1st-level spells. Two of these are automatically "Read Magic" and "Detect Magic", which all wizards learn as part of their training. The remaining spells can either be chosen by the player, determined randomly, or selected by the DM.
If the DM selects the spells, be sure to give the player a fair mix, allowing them to do a variety of things. Try to ensure that the player has a few of the spells they really want.
If the character is a specialist in a particular school of magic, you should allow them to know one spell of their school automatically along with "Read Magic" and "Detect Magic". All other spells must be checked for normally or discovered.
Neal Pass Erickson tends to start level 1 wizards with 5 spells, either of his own or their choice, depending on the campaign.