Friday, May 17, 2013

The Great School of Magic - Part 1

Here's the 2nd edition D&D version of the Great School game. This is probably how I should have handled the most recent campaign.


The Great School of Magic in Glantri City is a place of learning and the heart of Glantrian society. While many wizards have been privately tutored the best and brightest come from the Great School. The range and variety of wizards that the school produces is breath taking.

The course of study at the School is divided into three parts: Philosophy, Methodology and Arcana. Philosophy covers the wizard's approach to the nature of magic and includes the eight major "schools" of magic such as transmutation along some more esoteric approaches such as Shadow and Life. Methodology is the manner in which a wizard actually casts a spell. While traditional book magic is the most common alternatives such as Artifice and Alchemy are also taught. Finally, Arcana refers to learning that is tangentially related to spell casting, such as History or Necrology.

There are four two month quarters at the School separated by month long breaks. One on one mentoring continues until the wizard is 5th level at which point he is released to independent study. Routine testing is still administered until 9th level at which time the wizard graduates and is formally declared a Wizard. After that time he may stay at the school in order to use the facilities and take Arcana courses but this is usually frowned upon.

Costs and Expenses

The tuition for the Great School is 5gp a day. This covers access to the facilities, mentor, classes and common needs such as ink and paper. Thrown in for free is a small room and three (poor) meals a day for those who want it. Most wizards move out as soon as they can afford it and almost all are out by 5th level since that is usually when they begin building their library.

What the tuition doesn't cover is reagents. So all components necessary for the creation of spells or magic items are for the student to find and pay for. This also goes for alchemical needs. A student should expect to pay a minimum of 1,000 to 3,000 gp a quarter along with the 5gp/day tuition.

Leveling and Advancement

In order for a wizard to gain the benefits of his new level, he must spend at least 3 weeks plus one per level attained at the school with his mentor. After 5th level the personal training is no longer required but his new level won't be recognized by the School unless he continues testing.

Testing consists of the wizard creating a spell from scratch, either a known spell or one from his imagination, and demonstrating it to a panel of instructors. The wizard must be able to show his work and answer questions.

In order to graduate a special test must be taken. The nature of this test is shrouded in mystery.


A wizard's philosophy reflects how he believes magic to work. While he is capable of creating other effects it will always be less desirable. In game terms, a wizard's philosophy reflects his Specialty, if any. A non-specialist wizard is considered to have the philosophy of Thaumaturgy. The eight main philosophies are Abjuration, Conjuration/Summoning, Divination, Enchantment/Charm, Illusion, Invocation/Evocation, Necromancy and Transmutation. There are also other minor philosophies that are recorded and are there for a student to follow. Those are Shadow, Elemental, Geomancy, Dimensionalism, Wild Magic and Force. (Apparently all these are in Player's Option: Spells and Magic).

It is possible for a wizard to develop a new philosophy. While silly ideas are frowned upon (the Food philosophy), ones that can make a lasting contribution are encouraged (such as Life and Dracology). If a wizard achieves Wizard status with a new philosophy he is asked to contribute his learning to the school in exchange for a generous payment or a teaching position.


Methodology reflects the manner in which a wizard casts his spells. In some cases a wizard's methodology eclipses their philosophy. The most popular methodology is standard book-bound spell casting. However the methods of Alchemy, Artifice, Channeling, Song and War are supported. (Note standard book magic and Channeling are covered in the rule books. The others are new.)

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