Since I started playing Dungeon World, I’ve wanted to create a spellcaster without the need of a spell list like the Wizard and the Cleric have. Awful Good Game’s Vancomancer does a pretty good job, as well as their Wizard found in A Sundered World but what I had in mind drew more inspiration from D&D’s Wizard and their concept of magic schools. For those not familiar with the schools of magic, I present to you an excerpt you can find on open5e.com :
Academies of magic group spells into eight categories called schools of magic. Scholars, particularly wizards, apply these categories to all spells, believing that all magic functions in essentially the same way, whether it derives from rigorous study or is bestowed by a deity.
The schools of magic help describe spells; they have no rules of their own, although some rules refer to the schools.
Abjuration spells are protective in nature, though some of them have aggressive uses. They create magical barriers, negate harmful effects, harm trespassers, or banish creatures to other planes of existence.
Conjuration spells involve the transportation of objects and creatures from one location to another. Some spells summon creatures or objects to the caster’s side, whereas others allow the caster to teleport to another location. Some conjurations create objects or effects out of nothing.
Divination spells reveal information, whether in the form of secrets long forgotten, glimpses of the future, the locations of hidden things, the truth behind illusions, or visions of distant people or places.
Enchantment spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior. Such spells can make enemies see the caster as a friend, force creatures to take a course of action, or even control another creature like a puppet.
Evocation spells manipulate magical energy to produce a desired effect. Some call up blasts of fire or lightning. Others channel positive energy to heal wounds.
Illusion spells deceive the senses or minds of others. They cause people to see things that are not there, to miss things that are there, to hear phantom noises, or to remember things that never happened. Some illusions create phantom images that any creature can see, but the most insidious illusions plant an image directly in the mind of a creature.
Necromancy spells manipulate the energies of life and death. Such spells can grant an extra reserve of life force, drain the life energy from another creature, create the undead, or even bring the dead back to life.
Creating the undead through the use of necromancy spells such as animate dead is not a good act, and only evil casters use such spells frequently.
Transmutation spells change the properties of a creature, object, or environment. They might turn an enemy into a harmless creature, bolster the strength of an ally, make an object move at the caster’s command, or enhance a creature’s innate healing abilities to rapidly recover from injury.
D&D’s magic is divided into 8 schools—which are a fair way to divide them in my opinion—each of them condenses similar magical effects into a cohesive group making it easier to specialize in one school by searching spells belonging to that particular school. My goal is to make a mage class that compresses all schools into one super move, the move will have ranks that you can put on to acquire the ability to use a particular type of magical effect from a school, as you level up you gain more ranks to spend and maybe even take other moves to increase your ranks. As you level up, you will always be able to enhance the effect of your spells or even specialize in one or two schools. For effects not covered by the move you will have a ritual type of move (so far not so different from the original wizard). Here is an excerpt of the move:
You have access to a large repertoire of magical energy that you translate into effects that the scholars have grouped into 8 different schools. You start with 8 ranks which you can spend among the different schools to gain access to particular uses of it. When you level up, every even number (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc) you gain +1 rank in a school you had previously researched.
This school is focused on protective spells that cancel or interfere with other effects, especially magical ones.
Reduce an attack or effect by half (the GM will tell you how).
Ward an area against intruders (name what triggers the ward and how you are notified).
Dispel an active magical effect (strong magical effects may not be dispelled by normal means).
Temporarily banish a creature or return a summoned creature from whence it came.
Of course your background will influence what type of mage you are and whether or not you will be able to completely focus on a school of magic, gain the aid from a cabal of mages, or even have your mentor deliver to you a juicy magic item as you advance your magical studies. The playbook will also go into more detail on the schools of magic, how magic works, what are places of power with a few examples, and a new race for you to use with your mage. The mage will be available for feedback soon, so stay tuned.
The Mage is up for feedback, if you’re interested please email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, those who provide significant feedback get a copy of the class once it is done for free.