Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Variants for Magic Users and Clerics

by Eric Wirsing

I have multiple variants for magic users and clerics. ALCHEMIST, ASTROLOGER, BLACK MAGICIAN (necromancers), ELEMENTAL MAGE (Druids and Wiccans), ILLUSIONISTS, HIGH MAGICIANS, LOW MAGICIANS (animism), MECHANOMANCERS (fuse mechanics and magic), MYSTICS (using physical and spiritual energies to perform great feats), and SORCERERS (study of magic as a science).
Each variant has spells listed for it, and you must pick spells akin to those each level, and pick those spells first. Then you can dip into either cleric or magic user spells depending on your class.
It was an attempt to stop the cleric from being walking medical kits and the magic users being heavy artillery. Not to mention give the players a chance to play something different. I'd written them up as distinct disciplines within the realms of magic. It was a way to provide flavor, without resorting to the AD&D classifications. I did port the AD&D spell list into BECMI. So if you see any spells you don't recognize here, that's where they came from.

My apologies for copy/pasting, but it was composed in OneNote.

ALCHEMY (Wizard): the mixing of various potions, salves and powders to create magical effects. You can even create "bombs" (treat as magic missile). You could drink a potion to help you "Comprehend Languages," or scatter dust over your enemies to make them "Sleep." Obviously, you can probably identify potions as well.

ASTROLOGY (Wizard or Priest): studying the heavens for various signs and portents. You can often grant your friends powers based on these influences, such as the "Strength of Taurus" as a bonus to STR. You would also have spells related to knowing information like "Read Magic," "Identify," and "Detect Alignment." You may draw from Cleric/Priest lists, as well as Wizard and Illusionist.

BLACK MAGIC (Wizard or Priest): The dark forces of magic, the undead, and the realms of the damned. Spells like "Animate Dead," "Darkness" (reverse of Light), and "Curse" (reverse of Bless) would be appropriate spells. May borrow from Priest/Cleric and Magic-User spells.

ELEMENTAL MAGIC (Priest): The magic of nature and the elements. Uses Druid spells.

ILLUSION (Wizard): Causing false images to appear, and playing tricks of the mind. Uses Illusionist spells.

HIGH MAGIC (Wizard): The ancient words of power and command. "Hold Portal," "Charm Person," "Sleep," or "Hold Monster" would be good ones to take.

LOW MAGIC (Priest): The invisible realm and the spirit world. "Power Animal" (Find Familiar), "Detect Magic," and "Chant" (Bless) are all good ones. Note that Low Magic draws from Druid, Cleric/Priest, and Magic-User spells.

MECHANOMANCY (Wizard): The fusion of mechanical engineering and magic. Spell picks are anything that you can use a pseudo-scientific justification for. Like an eight-legged exoskeleton for "Spider Climb!"

MYSTICISM (Priest): The study of the inner self, using physical and spiritual energies to perform great feats, like 'Chi,' 'Kundalini,' or 'Qigong.' Spells like "Shield," "Jump," "Levitate," and "Detect Illusion" would be ideal.

SORCERY (Wizard): Study of magic as a science. "Charm Person," "Shocking Grasp," and "Comprehend Languages" are good ones.