Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Arcane Magical traditions

by Greg Weatherup

Wasn't there a discussion on here about different Arcane Magical traditions (ie not systems using different rules, like this is, but rather different flavors, if you will, and their history? I have the following discussion post typed up and saved on my HD but I'm not sure If I ever got around to posting it or not (ie I might of been getting it ready to use to start a thread but then never got around to it). I'll post it here, in case not.

I had found DM's magic system in Italian, and could translate parts of it. He classified different traditions as High (H), Medium (M), or Low (L) magic (never did figure out what that meant ruleswise, but I found it useful as a discussion and thought category), and I wrote the following up commenting on the assignments and constructing some "family tree's" of magical tradion histories:

-Alphatian (High)
--1. Ochalean (Medium)

-Emerondian (?)

-Laterran (?- probably Medium or High)

Human Mystaran:
Atruaghi (Low): Shamanistic/Totem magic

Ethengarian (Low): Spirit magic mixed with Tengri(s) mysticism

Milenian (High - not sure I agree with this)
1. (merged with Hutaakan magic to create) Traldar (Low)
1.1. (with Thyatian influence, lead to the creation of) Traladaran (Low- advancing to Medium)

Nithian (High)
1. Hutaakan (Medium)
1.1. See Traldar

Norse (Low): Rune Magic

Proto-Human Magic (?): Primitive or First Human Magic, all other Mystaran Human traditions originate from this.
1. Oltec (Medium)
2. Tanagoro (Low)
Is there a 3. Neathar magic?

Sindhi (Medium): Probably heavy on Vedic style chanting and other Indic aspects. Possibly even some Demon (Fiend) summoning rituals.

Tanagoro (Low)

Taymoran (?): Necromancy heavy

Thonian (Medium): Old Magic ??

Thyatian (High - I would disagree and call it Medium): Idraote style blending

Ylari (Low): Desert Magic

Mystaran non-Human:


Herathian- Illusion/Shapechange/Charm magic


Denagothian (L)- possibly related to Shamanism/Spirit Magic

1. Hulean (M), see the Immortal Iliric's write up in the Codex


Merchant? two varieties- Darokinian subltle social magic and Minrothadian sea prince magic

Pyramid Magic (Someone mentioned this, possibly connected to Nithian or Taymoran)

Varellyan (M): Summoning magic? Were Varellyan's human?


Glantrian (H)- A blending of Laterran, Alphatian, Thyatian, Elven, & Traladaran

Setting aside "alien" magic (Alphatian, Laterran, Emerondian, and Aranean/Planar Spider) the first split in magic was probably between Divine and Druidic/Nature, with Arcane arising as a third split on the oposite side of the spectrum from Druidic. It is at this point that most forms of magic diverged from what we would now call old elven magic, as old elven tried to keep the three way dichotomy, while others began to focus and specialise. Later Arcane-Divine-and Radiance became like three points of a triangle on a circle while Druidic/nature magic was seen as outside the circle branching off of Divine- though the elves still view it as the points on a 3D tetragon. Humanoids of course know nothing of Radiance so their view is that Divine and Shamanistic (their corrupted version of Druidic/Nature magic) are the two that are easy (a relative term) to utilise but Arcane is distant and hard (so most leave it to Humans and Elves). Using this discription I think I can work out each of the traditions:
1) Of course there's Elven magic descended from Old Elven Magic.
2) Herathian is a spark left from Planar Spider magicks that still work on the Prime, focusing on Illusion, Shapechange, and Charm magics.
3) Nature/Druidic magic gave rise to (amongst many others) the Marine tradition which in turn influenced the social or Merchant magic of Minrothad (distinquishing it from the Darokinian merchant magic) both of which are subtle charms and the like.
4) The humanoids have a corrupted blend of clerical and druidic/nature that gave rise to Shamanism and Spirit worship, both of which in turn shaped Atruaghi and Ethengarian magical styles.
5) Human and other races magic have split and merged and influenced one another over the millenias resulting in a variety of styles.
6) and then there are the the distinc alien styles of human magic (Alphatian, Laterran, Emerondian)
Glantrian arose later as a blending of several styles (Alphatian, Laterran, Thyatian, Elven, Traladaran)
The one thing I'm unsure on is the Dravish and Myoshemian styles of magic, where do they come from? Especially since they later gave rise to Hulean (ala Iliric) style magic.