Shadow of the Weird Wizard

Traditions and Spells

Shadow of the Weird Wizard magic

Traditions and Spells in Shadow of the Weird Wizard

I’ve been all over the place with magic, from the beginning of the game’s design. At first, I had planned to use the Shadow of the Demon Lord magic system, but as I tinkered, I found that I wanted to make spells and other magical effects expressions of specific paths, rather than having chunky traditions. At one point, the game had simple spells, basic spells available to anyone, and then path-based spells—alchemist spells, pyromancer spells, diviner spells. Even now, as I write this, I’m still tempted to explore this concept further, but I ultimately abandoned this approach as I found there was too much overlap in design. Eventually, I landed on a system similar to what I did in Demon Lord with a few important changes.

First, Weird Wizard includes 33 traditions of magic, covering everything from alchemy to war magic. Each tradition includes a selection of spells organized into four tiers: starting, novice, expert, and master. When you discover a tradition, you learn a starting spell as a result of your discovery. If you would discover the same tradition again, you learn another starting spell from it. Generally, you learn novice spells from your novice path, choosing the spells you learn from the traditions you have discovered. Similarly, you learn expert and master spells from your expert and master paths.

Each spell tells you how many times you can cast it. Many starting spells give you a number of castings equal to 1 + your group’s level. Others enable you to cast them 3 times, but the more powerful spells grant you but a single casting.

You recover expended castings after you finish a full night’s rest.

Here are some sample spells to give you an idea about format and function.

Soaring Leap

Casting You cast this spell as a move. You can cast this spell three times.

Effect You jump into the air and land in a zone within three zones of you, and take no damage on landing. If the zone does not contain a surface capable of supporting your weight, you fall until you encounter one that can.

Moon Frenzy

Target One creature within three zones.

Effect For a moment, the target’s eyes shine with silvery light. Make an Intellect roll against the target’s Will. If the target is in a zone lit by moonlight, you get an automatic success. If the target is in a zone lit by sunlight, you get an automatic failure.

On a success, the target becomes Will impaired (luck ends). Until the affliction ends, the target uses an action to attack on each of its turns and chooses the targets of its attacks at random, treating its allies as its enemies. In addition, the target grants 1 boon on rolls to attack it. If the target took damage during the round, it makes the luck roll to end the affliction with 1 bane.

If you fail your Intellect roll, make a luck roll. On a success, you regain the casting you expended to cast this spell.

Fling through Time

Target One creature within three zones.

Effect The target disappears. Roll Intellect and note the result of your roll. At the end of each round, roll a d6 and subtract the number rolled from your result. When the result drops to 0 or less, the target reappears in the space it vacated or an empty space nearest to it. When the target reappears, make a luck roll. On a failure, you become stunned until the end of your next turn.

Beware the Black Door

Target One creature in your zone.

Effect Make a Will roll with 3 banes and take 4d6 damage on a failure. Then, a stone doorframe appears in the space behind the target and remains there for 24 hours, at which time it vanishes. Darkness prevails inside the frame. When the frame appears, pale hands snatch the target and drag into the darkness.

Until the spell ends, a creature that moves through the frame vanishes into the darkness. Anyone inside the darkness is trapped between worlds until it can find its way free and emerges from the door into the nearest empty space. Any creature still inside the darkness when the spell ends must wait until another door opens from a casting of this spell, and can then resume trying to find its way free.

While the door is open, a creature trapped in the darkness contends with the horrors it finds there. The darkness prevents a creature from gaining nourishment from food or drink and makes sleeping impossible. The nature of these horrors are left to the imagination but can be quickly resolved with rolls. The trapped creature makes a Strength roll, Agility roll, Intellect roll, Will roll, and a luck roll, one of its choice on each of its turns. Once the creature succeeds on the roll, it need not make that roll again. If a creature fails a roll, 1d6 hours pass before it can make the next roll.

Tear Free the Still-Beating Heart

Requirement You are under the effect of your Tooth and Claw spell.

Target One creature in your zone.

Effect Your clawed hand darts out to punch into the target’s chest. The target takes 10d6 damage. If the target becomes injured as a result, it takes an extra 10d6 damage. If the target becomes incapacitated, you rip free its heart (or similar organ) and the target dies. Each creature that sees you kill the target in this way makes a Will roll and, on a failure, becomes frightened of you (luck ends).

Break the Rules

Effect You can perform each of the following options once before the spell ends. The spell lasts 1 hour.

  • Turn a failed roll into a successful one.
  • Automatically evade any pursuers in a chase.
  • Grant 3 boons on the next roll a creature in your zone makes before the end of your next turn.
  • Impose 3 banes on the next roll a creature in your zone makes before the end of your next turn.
  • Heal all damage.
  • Regain all Health lost.
  • Cast an expert, novice, or starting spell without expending a casting or without having to know the spell.
  • Deal maximum damage for an attack.
  • Remove all afflictions from yourself.
  • Ignore one feature in a zone, such as obscurement, challenging terrain, or a damaging hazard until this effect ends.