Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Ten Schools of Magic in Trollworld

From 1982 through 1997, Flying Buffalo produced a series of 'CityBooks' that detailed a variety of urban establishments – complete with maps, NPCs, and scenario ideas.  The covers displayed the phrase, “a game-master's aid for all role-playing systems.”  Today, we would just use the term 'system neutral'.  Given its generic nature, guidelines were necessary to adapt the CityBook to any given set of rules.  To this end, “a six-level coding system” of quality was implemented; each 'level' corresponding to a percentage range.

Given the diversity of magic systems in fantasy gaming, it is impossible to assign specific spells or powers to any magic-using NPC in CityBook.  However, spells or powers can be broken down into categories of magic, regardless of what game system you use. Mike Stackpole devised the “8C's System” in order to provide GMs with a better understanding of the magical capabilities of NPCs.  In this system, each “C” corresponds to a particular category of magic:  Combat (“used primarily in an offensive/defensive manner in combat”), Curative (“used to heal wounds, cure diseases, stop poison damage, etc.”), Clairvoyant (“used to detect things:  secret doors, magic, hidden or trapped items, etc.”), Conveyance (“Teleportation, levitation, flying, telekinesis spells, etc.”), Communication (“telepathy, translation, hypnosis, magic reading spells, etc.”), Construction (“uses matter or energy to 'build,' e. g. wall spells, protective fields, stone-shaping spells, etc.”), Concealment (“serves to hide or misdirect, e. g. invisibility, illusion, shape-shifting spells, etc.”), and Conjuration (“produces a condition or entity, e. g. light spells, weather control, demon-summoning spells, etc.”).

The recently completed Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls divides magic into ten schools (after the fashion of the Universarium of Learning in Knor).  According to page 100, “The ten schools of magic used in dT&T are directly derived from FBInc's Citybook publications.”  The schools are listed below.  The parenthetical names “are merely examples as are occasionally used in places like the Universarium (some openly, some mockingly behind the backs of the practitioners...).”
  • Clairvoyant (College of the Illuminated Mind)
  • Combat (Academy of Applied Force)
  • Communication (Academy of the Echoing Forum)
  • Concealment (The School You Don't Know About with the Classrooms You Can Never Find)
  • Conformation (School of Bodily Functions)
  • Conjurations (School of Creative Invitations and Reality Realizations)
  • Construction (The Technical College of Fabrincantations)
  • Conveyance (The Exalted Union of Hod and Cask Translocation)
  • Cosmic (Esoteric Lyceum of Splendiferous Wonderment)
  • Curative (The Caring Ones)
Obviously, the two additional schools are Conformation and Cosmic.  The Conformation school includes...
Spells that can alter shape, form, makeup, or attributes of living beings (although some undead magic also falls into this category).  Shapeshifting spells that actually alter the body fit here; illusions of same fall under Concealment.
Cosmic magic regards...
A broad alteration of reality, and (because every scheme of magic needs one) this is also the dump category for things that doesn't fit anywhere else.
In the 8C system, the Conjuration category served as the repository for misfit spells.

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