Schools of Magic (2024)

Schools of Magic (1)

In most approaches to arcane theory, magic of all kinds, be it arcane, divine or from some other source, can be classified as being part of one of eight types, or schools. The eight schools are abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation.

Contents

  • 1 History of Magic
    • 1.1 Arcane Colleges
  • 2 Divisions
    • 2.1 Abjuration
      • 2.1.1 Contramaledictum
    • 2.2 Conjuration
      • 2.2.1 Demonology
    • 2.3 Divination
      • 2.3.1 Arithmancy
      • 2.3.2 Tyromancy
      • 2.3.3 Astrology
      • 2.3.4 Oneiromancy
      • 2.3.5 Dunamancy
    • 2.4 Enchantment
    • 2.5 Evocation
    • 2.6 Illusion
    • 2.7 Necromancy
      • 2.7.1 Osteomancy
      • 2.7.2 Hemomancy
      • 2.7.3 Incarneum
    • 2.8 Transmutation
      • 2.8.1 Keiromancy
  • 3 Arcanus Eternum
    • 3.1 Lich
    • 3.2 Sarg
    • 3.3 Tulpa
    • 3.4 Hadrach
    • 3.5 Regaia
    • 3.6 Makt
    • 3.7 Gespen
    • 3.8 Sharrkyth
  • 4 Casting
    • 4.1 Somatic
    • 4.2 Verbal
    • 4.3 Material
  • 5 Spheres of Magic
    • 5.1 Cantrips
    • 5.2 The Nine Spheres
    • 5.3 Ritualism
    • 5.4 Greater Magic

History of Magic

Magic, in the form it is now, is believed to have first been used by the gods, who gave shape to the raw chaos of the forces of the planes and used them to craft their own domains in the heavens. Such powers were gifted to mortals as they devoted their lives to the powers of these gods, and eventually mortals, the first believed to have been dragons, learned to replicate these magical powers.

Magic spread across the planes as mortals mastered the many forms of magic, binding their will to the formless powers of the universe and invoking it with the words of arcane power.

Arcane Colleges

As races arrived in Tolas, some formed centres of learning and arcane study, such as in Telinor and Osana, two societies that rely heavily on magic and share its power with its people.

Divisions

The eight schools of magic, as defined by the college of Telinor, are separated primarily by function, with the most well known of magic being those that can be duplicated by wizards. Others however are able to tap into magic sources, such as from their bloodlines or through channeling the powers of their gods through prayers and holy symbols.

Other, less organised magicks include occultism and the esoteric powers of psionics, which can perform acts similar to the structured schools of magic.

Schools of Magic (2)

Abjuration

Spells of a protective nature, wards and spells that dispels or counters others. It is common for those seeking to protect themselves to employ such magicks, without the need for bulky armour which can hinder spell casting.

Contramaledictum

With many generations of magic users having made their mark on Tolas, as well as a myriad of cultists that enacted dark rituals heedless of the pain they would cause, not to mention the foolish peoples of the world encroaching onto the territories that had long been claimed by the Fey or touched by divine beings, the presence of curses can be found throughout the world. Whether it be an ancient sword that binds itself to the wielder or a fair maiden cursed with a disfigurement by a witch, curses are a plague upon those afflicted with them. Some practitioners of the arcane specialise in the lifting of these curses, either by sheer force of abjuration magic, or fulfilling the curse's requirements, such as returning a lost ring or tending to a long forgotten gravestone.

Conjuration

Magic that gathers tendrils of arcane power and forces a form upon it, creating matter, creatures and even bridges to other realms. Such powers are used by those seeking to travel instantly across the world or planes.

Demonology

The study of the chaotic entities that dwell beyond the known realms in the Abyss, demonologists often claim to seek to combat such creatures should and incursion into the world occur, though few keep to such noble ideals and many instead see these beings as tools to be used, and risk becoming tools of the very things they sought to control.

Divination

The ability to read the ebb and flow of the arcane as it is tugged and pulled by the forces of the universe, allowing them to change their vision to see magical auras or cast their minds eye across the world to other places, and even locate lost objects.

Arithmancy

Utilizing mathematics and complex formula an arithmancer can see patterns in the future, using these portents to prepare for upcoming events and even ensure they happen.

Tyromancy

Developed by cheesemongers, this form of Divination involves the careful examination of the development of cheese as it coagulates. If a tyromancer is provided with the provenance of a cheese, they may inhale of its stench and be granted visions of the future, using the information known about the cheese as a guide. Such methods are not recommended for major prophecies or long term predictions as the accuracy usually falls off a tenday or so later.

Astrology

The monitoring the movements of the planes, both those bound to Tolas by anchors that appear as lights in the heavens that revolved around the night sky, and those further away that appear as distant stars. Such movements are the result of grand cosmological changes, showing the movements of the gods or their influences spreading to other planes. By rooting an object, and basing the movements of the heavens around it you can attempt to divine its future, mainly by ascertaining the relevant information from the astral calendar and doing some simple calculations around the person, event, or perceived outcome.

Oneiromancy

The study of dreams for the purposes of predicting the future has long been used by sages across Tolas. It varies from school to school, with some able to simply enter a dream state at will while other drink a brew that allows them to skim the Skein to interpret their soul's messages.

Dunamancy

The study of time and fate, specifically for the purposes of its manipulation, often crossing over in the Transmutation school of magic. Dunamis is "the primal magical energy of potentiality and actuality, an anticipatory arcane force that helps shape the multiverse and might very well be what holds its elements together, like an infinite web of unseen tethers. Dunamancers are able to twist fate and project potential destinies into a reality or shift the unseen force of gravity to their will, such as the warriors of the Orders Vaults.

Enchantment

Affecting the mind and enthralling the senses, enchantment relies on altering a persons opinions, charming them, or compelling them to some course of action, or inaction.

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Evocation

Tapping into rawer elements of magic, evocation creates spontaneous effects often without tangible form such as light or fire. Such magic is quite desirable in a world in conflict, and many envokers can find employment in adventurer bands.

Illusion

Focusing on deceiving and bending perceptions, illusion magics allow the user to present their version of reality to the viewer.

Necromancy

Life and death, the forces that stem from the innate magicks of souls as well as the mending and manipulation of flesh, necromancy is seen as dark and dirty magic by most common folk.

Osteomancy

Known as "bone magic", this sub-school focuses on the manipulation of the skeleton and the calcificed remains of the living as well as the dead. Spellcasters that specialise in osteomancy enhance their own bodies; growing to the heights of giants, making armour of bony plates, and forming blades from calcified protrusions. Some might dabble in this practice for practical reasons, such as the nomads of the Open Steppe of Marn that sometimes dwell in the remains of great beasts whose flesh has long been scoured by the wind, or the elves of Nnar'Oster who dwell in an elephant graveyard, and even the dragonborn of Fothis who live in the bones of a great dragon.

Hemomancy

For more on this, see here.

A rare and often reviled subschool of magic, this blood magic performs sickening rituals upon the bodies of others, corrupting the life giving forces of the body to warp into grotesque forms.

Incarneum

The contacting and returning of souls from beyond death, often to resurrect a fallen hero or to bind the soul to an object or vessel. Such magic is viewed as heretical when not performed by clerics that channel the powers of their god, which is seen as having the blessing of both the keeper of the soul, and the soul itself.

Transmutation

Spontaneous alteration from one from to another is the domain of transmutation magic. Polymorphing objects and creatures into other forms, or enhancing the abilities of a warrior or scholar in their endeavors are common transmuter abilities.

Keiromancy

The manipulation of weather, keiromancy is often considered the domain of more primal magic users, such as sorcerers and shamans. Powerful keiromancers are highly valued by Tolas' naval powers. Darazil, Osana and Yeleghem are examples of nations who utilise keiromancy to bolster travel, trade and war.

Arcanus Eternum

As the study of magic evolved, the idea of using magic to not only extend one's life but to ensure it never ends became a popular avenue of study, especially among the elven exiles from Eschensil. In time, methods to achieve life everlasting were developed, each one utilising one of the schools of magic. These methods are known as the Arcanus Eternum and those who have exploit them as Arcanus Eternals. While magical immortality is appealing, it is believed that it inevitably comes at the cost of the lives of others, even if the seekers intentions are pure.

Many actively hunt those seeking to achieve Arcanus Eternum. The college of Telinor sees them as abominations that risk inviting the wrath of those entities or organisations that would associate them with all arcane practitioners. Servants of the Lady of Candles hunt them down mercilessly and within the belief system of the Shining Virtues, these creatures can be held as examples of the opposites of the six virtues.

There are eight varieties of Arcanus Eternum, each one resulting in a different eternal, utilising a different school of magic and associated with a different vice.

Lich

Necromancy - Sloth
The oldest and most commonly known of the Arcanus Eternum, a lich has bound its soul into an object known as a phylactery. A lich rarely worries about being destroyed, as its phylactery will always return it to some form of unlife. With this guarantee, most liches are patient creatures, it can plot revenge on its own time, even on its slayer’s progeny.

Davark is a known lich.

Sarg

Abjuration - Gluttony
A leviathan in a puzzle. A sarg has banished itself to its own private pocket dimension between the planes, nestled so deep into a maze of magical wards and safeguards that not even the god of death can reach it. A sarg sustains itself by siphoning the souls of the dead into its waiting maw, trapping them within. Sargs are of greatest danger to souls passing into the afterlife and sometimes those travelling between planes.

Tulpa

Conjuration - Envy
A small parasite that conjures new bodies to host it. As such, the Tulpa can appear in any form, and it plucks the form it finds most suitable to its needs from the various planes of existence. Upon being slain, the Tulpa uses a combination of Gate and Wish to remove itself from a dead form into another plane where it regenerates and summons a new host. Killing it permanently requires catching the parasite at its destination realm, where its ‘phylactery,’ a familiar in its thrall, stands ready to return it with Wish. The Tulpa despises its familiar, but refuses to acknowledge its reliance on the creature.

Hadrach

Divination - Despair
A hadrach avoids death by sheer degree of prescience, witnessing the extent of time and reality around it, understanding in full the suffering of existence. A hadrach sees and knows it's destiny and must simply follow the path that keeps it alive. In this lies a hadrach's curse, for it is akin to a puppet who can see its strings. Indeed, by becoming a hadrach one inevitably learns the certain terms of one's own death, a revelation that drives many to madness.

It is possible that the Guide was some form of hadrach.

Regaia

Enchantment - Lust
A thought, an infection. A regaia exists as a possessing influence, spreading into the minds of creatures, taking them as host bodies and overwriting their consciousnesses with its own. As long as it remains an idea in the minds of others, it can always spread its essence. A regaia can quietly overtake villages or entire towns in the span of weeks, replacing the minds of their inhabitants with its own.

Aloralla Vana was attempting to become a regaia.

Makt

Evocation - Wrath
Makt manifest in a myriad of forms; an iron golem containing an elemental furnace which constantly reforges its body, a glacial titan whose wounds freeze over in the blink of an eye. Makt are those who have relinquished their bodies, instead sustaining a new form through raw elemental might. A makt is unique in that it draws constantly upon the arcane, always channeling a torrent of magic to fuel itself. Makt are particularly dangerous to mages as when they grow powerful enough they begin to siphon magical energy from around them, rendering spellcasting difficult, if not impossible.

It is possible that the Crimson Mage is some form of makt.

Gespen

Illusion - Pride
By weaving complex illusions a gespen becomes a living dream. Gespen's lack a physical form, instead they spread over an area, consuming reality. A gespen sustains itself on the belief of others, feeding best upon a long life lived under the spell of its illusion. Within its bounds the Gespen shapes reality as it sees fit, manifesting itself with simulacrums and shaping the landscape to fool those within. The gespen hides its death under multiple layers of illusions and can only be slain by uncovering this truth within the heart of its realm.

Sharrkyth

Transmutation - Greed
A sharrkyth prolongs its life by successively polymorphing itself, changing form each time death approaches. Each layer of transformation brings greater instability until the sharrkyth has become a horror of constantly shifting form. It must absorb entities into itself to avoid reverting to it's true form and exists as an eternal cancer. A sharrkyth only sustains one form long enough to draw in prey and merge it into itself.

Casting

Schools of Magic (4)

Spellcasting can be a complicated process requiring intense concentration and completing complex movements along with precise incantations as well as using strange arcane reagents as a focus for many spells. Other times it is as simple as weaving together the innate magics of the planes to create an effect through the patterns of music or through force of will, whether that be the casters own will or the will of greater entities channeling through their vessel.

Casting spells draws partially on the casters innate willpower, or the will of some other being. Students of magic will learn quickly that their minds and bodies can only draw upon so much reserves of magic before they will need to rest.

Magic is considered a very dangerous power to wield, and so is often a closely guarded secret. Those that seek to learn powers from others or draw forth innate magical abilities from gifts or magical items are often considered "dirty" or "unclean" magic by those that learned the complex theory and correct components required to master spells.

Somatic

A basic part of spellcasting, somatic components refer the specific movements of the caster which require them to be unhindered so as to allow them to complete the motions smoothly and safely, not doing so might result in the spell not working at all, or creating some other unintended result.

The movements are believed to be the "will" part of magic, the concentration and the movements focus the mind, often with mantras or repetitive sayings that guide thoughts as they invoke the powers of magic.

Verbal

Another important part of magic, verbal components to a spell are those words that need to be spoke to give the magic shape. If the speaker is interrupted or silenced before they can complete the words, the magic can fail as its power is drawn forth but it its not expelled.

The "word" part of spellcasting are often in the language of the arcane itself, a scholarly language that is almost never spoke aloud except in instructions. Such words are hard to remember, almost having lives of their own, many are eager to return to the magic from which they were spawned and be freed from the prison of the caster's mind. Binding the arcane symbols to the written word requires enchanted inks and parchment, as mundane inks and paper seldom hold onto the symbols and runes long enough, the reader usually finds the language indecipherable nonsense.

Material

Many physical objects in the world have power inherent to them, and magic can be focused through them to produce fantastic results. Many wizards and arcanists employ innately magically objects such as rods or wands to focus their spells without relying on a combination of magical components that needs to be gathered and maintained. Some items however are required for certain spells, such as a mirror or crystal ball to allow the viewer to cast their mind's eye elsewhere, or a pearl's ability to allow a caster to identify magical effects and powers.

Spheres of Magic

As well as magic being divided into schools, it is common to further separate the arcane into spheres of power, with each sphere allowing the practitioner to perform greater and greater feats of magic, but at the expense of costing a exponentially more of their reserves of magic and mental focus.

Cantrips

Cantrips are an exception to the common rules of magic, as they are so simple that apprentices of magic are given such spells to memorise with very little supervision. Such magics appear to flow so naturally, requiring little coaxing from the raw magicks into form that many races are capable of innately casting such spells through force of will and practice.

The Nine Spheres

The exact distinction between the nine spheres of magic can be hard to grasp for someone who has not dedicated their life to the study of arcane lore. But the core differences are that certain spells require higher levels of complexity in order to cast, whilst others that require less focus can be elevated to a higher sphere through a process known as arcanus maxima, wherein additional arcane words are used and more intricate movements are made to bring the spell enhance the spells effects.

Ritualism

Some spellcasters posses the ability to replicate the effect of a spell without the need to expend any of their reserves of arcane power, instead casting the spell over a longer period of time, in which complicated arcane words and complex movements are used to produce the desired effect. Most spellcasters need only reference material to work off of, such as their spellbook or a divine focus to channel directly with their deity who grants them the knowledege as they complete the spell.

Greater Magic

Clearly magicks greater than those that most who study the arcane up to ninth sphere exists, one need only to look at the gods themselves as examples of beings capable of magic beyond that of the ninth, though the difference between many of the greatest spellcasters in Tolas and the gods can seem very slim indeed for many people looking on.

Some have managed to perform magic that might be considered beyond ninth sphere, such as the ritual used to pierce the barrier between Tolas and the Eyrie that brought Tiamat into the mortal realms.

Schools of Magic (2024)

FAQs

What are the 8 schools of magic 5e? ›

There are 8 schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons 5e: abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation. All magic (and spells) are separated into schools.

Which school of magic is the best D&D? ›

We've also given it more links to other helpful D&D topics.
  • 8 War Magic.
  • 7 School Of Conjuration.
  • 6 School Of Necromancy.
  • 5 School Of Illusion.
  • 4 School Of Evocation.
  • 3 Order Of The Scribes.
  • 2 School Of Divination.
  • 1 Chronurgy Magic.
Nov 14, 2023

How do you detect magic school 5e? ›

For the duration, you sense the presence of magic within 30 feet of you. If you sense magic in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature or object in the area that bears magic, and you learn its school of magic, if any.

Do magic items have a school? ›

It would often be reasonable to say that a magic item which produces a particular spell effect, such as a wand or scroll, bears the corresponding school of magic of the spell, but there is no rule that states this is the case.

What are the 8 magical schools? ›

In most approaches to arcane theory, magic of all kinds, be it arcane, divine or from some other source, can be classified as being part of one of eight types, or schools. The eight schools are abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation.

How many schools of magic are there? ›

Schools of magic. There are eight classic schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons, as originally named in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: abjuration, alteration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, illusion, invocation, and necromancy.

Who is the god of magic in D&D? ›

Mystra first appeared within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Mystra is introduced as the Lady of Mysteries, the goddess of magic, a lawful neutral greater goddess from the plane of Nirvana.

Who is the strongest mage in DnD? ›

Mordenkainen
GenderMale
ClassWizard
AlignmentNeutral
HomeYatil Mountains
4 more rows

What is the most powerful class in DnD? ›

The paladin is perhaps the most powerful class in D&D 5e. Paladins combine the best aspects of fighters and clerics into a single character. Paladins get a fighter's weapons, spellcasting like a cleric, and several unique features. These make paladins unmatched combatants in D&D 5e.

What does thaumaturgy do? ›

Thaumaturgy is the purported capability of a magician to work magic or other paranormal events or a saint to perform miracles. It is sometimes translated into English as wonderworking.

Does detect magic tell you the spell? ›

Basically if it is a magical item or a spell, or something of that sort, Detect Magic will sense it, but not give the specifics of what it is beyond the general type of magic.

What school of magic is Fireball? ›

Fireball is a third-level spell appearing on both the sorcerer and wizard spell lists.

Do Wizards study for magic? ›

They learn new spells as they experiment and grow in experience. They can also learn them from other wizards, from ancient tomes or inscriptions, and from ancient creatures (such as the fey) that are steeped in magic.

Can Wizards use spells from any school? ›

There is no such restriction on the spells. Choosing a school of magic, the only consequence on the spells is that it is easier to copy the spells from that school. That aside, you can learn every spell. There are no school restrictions in 5e, so your wizard can learn any spell on the wizard's spell list.

What level should players get magic items in D&D? ›

Each character should have at least 1 uncommon magic item at 5th level. At 11th level, there's a balanced distribution between rare and very rare magic items. Then, at 17th level, there are almost enough legendary magic items to go around for everyone.

What are the 8 types of magic explained? ›

Magic has been captivating audiences for centuries. It's one of the oldest forms of entertainment, stretching back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Magicians perform eight magic tricks: appearance, levitation, penetration, prediction, restoration, transformation, and transposition.

What are the spellcaster classes in 5e? ›

In the base version of Dungeons and Dragons 5e, there are six casting classes: the Bard, the Cleric, the Druid, the Sorcerer, the Warlock, and the Wizard.

How many types of magic are there in 5e? ›

In base 5e there are 8 different schools of magic: Conjuration, Necromancy, Evocation, Abjuration, Transmutation, Divination, Enchantment, and Illusion.

What is dunamancy 5e? ›

Dunamancy is the ancient and esoteric study of the magic called dunamis which is based on potentiality and probability. Dunamis was discovered independently by several nations and explored to manage and control time, gravity, and fate, removing chance from mortal actions.

References

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