YARC: Magic-Users

This week on my craziness to mess with every class, I’m going to talk about Magic-Users. Now part of this whole thought process comes from later games. So what’s the difference between a Wizard, a Sorcerer, and a Warlock? Well, let’s see at it most basic in order it’s Spell Book, Blood, and Deal. Three different sources of power that play out much the same way. Now, I like the way Dungeon Crawl Classics does it and the Magic-User classes does feel like a combination of all of them. Heck, in their Lankhmar setting, you don’t even need to be a Magic-User to sign a pact and gain a Patron. So in many ways, the idea of the Warlock can be easily something that’s pegged onto another class. Just sign the dotted line and don’t read the fine print.
That leaves me with Sorcerers. I know I said in the beginning I was going to include and I may still. But for right now, my inclination is that spells due to bloodlines sound more like a class feature rather than a class.
What about specialist Wizards? On this subject, I’m really old-school. Want to be an Illusionist? Then learn and research Illusion spells. Want to be a Necromancer? Well…. You get the idea. Ok. Now on to the class itself.
Hit Dice, Saves, Attack Bonus: No change from Swords & Wizardry
Skills: +2 to skill rolls related to magic and arcane lore (This isn’t a bonus to any specific skill but is applied at the GM discretion based on the task at hand).
Spell Casting: This should be fun, interesting and just a whee bit dangerous.
Spells Per Day: Intelligence Mod+Level. I know this is way out the ordinary. But I’ve this philosophy for Magic-Users. If they know a spell then they can cast it. And the normal Vancian progression just doesn’t quite fit my idea of how magic should work.
Max Safe Level: There’s still a lot of limits on Magic-Users. This is one. This maximum safe level. I’ll do the whole chart when I write all these notes but for now just look at the regular spell progression chart and find the highest level spell. That’s the Max Safe Level. Casting above the Max Safe Level is dangerous and can be done. The Magic-User attempts a Saving Throw with a penalty equal to the spell’s level.
Casting In Armor: Can Magic-Users cast in Armor? Maybe. For YARC, I’m lifting a rule from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Any class can use any weapon or wear any armor. So sure your Magic-User with a d4 Hit Die can run into melee combat. See how that goes. For Magic-Users, they can’t use shields and cast spells but they can wear any armor and try. Since I’m using Ascending AC, it’s pretty easy. The Armor’s bonus is the chance in d6 that the spell will fail and there will be a Magical Mishap (That chart is forth coming). For example Leather Armor (+2) has a 2 in 6 chance of causing things to crazy.
Starting Spells: At first level, the character has two first level spells of choice plus one random first level spell and one random second level spell.
Learning Spells and Spell Research: I haven’t gotten this completely written and this is long enough to be it’s own post. But once again I’m taking a lot of inspiration from Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
Making spell casting interesting: It’s just my opinion that magic just isn’t mysterious, interesting, and dangerous enough. But I’ve got a few ideas on that.
Spell Books: Yes, if a Magic-User knows a spell then they know/have it memorized but they still must study their spell books daily to keep the chaos of magic straight in their mortal brains. Additionally, they are constantly scribbling down notes and attempting the refine the spells they already know. Spell books are magical and unique to each caster. So if you read my thoughts on Mazes & Perils yesterday then I’m lifting from that a bit. If a non-Magic-User attempts to read a spell book then there is a Magic-User’s level x 5 chance that the character will go insane. A Saving throw makes this only temporary. If a Magic-User attempts to read (and they will to gain new spells) the percent chance is (Book’s Owner Level x 2)-Reader’s Level. The reader attempts a Saving Throw at +2 to avoid permanent insanity.
Spell Components: This is a great way to make spell casting interesting and I’ve already written about it here and here.
Spell Quirks: This is another chart that I need to write up yet but I’m getting inspiration from the Mercurial Magic of Dungeon Crawl Classics.

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